Friday, October 24, 2014

"lights out" by travis freeman with rebeca seitz

I've sometimes imagined what it would like to be blind. It always seems absolutely horrific as I think about all the things I'd have to give up, and I end up thanking God that I have my sight. Travis Freeman's story has given me a new perspective ...

When illness completely stole Travis Freeman’s sight at 12 years old, his dream of playing football felt dead. However, the unshakable kid found a way to overcome the impossible and not only play football, but become a champion. 

A severe migraine attacked Travis after he’d returned from a week at summer camp. Multiple visits to doctors in different cities yielded no diagnosis. Not until an eye doctor saw something that sent Travis to the hospital clinging to his life. The undiagnosed condition was Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis, an infection attacking his ocular nerve. Doctors saved his life, but not his sight.

Doctors warned that he would go through a period of depression, but Travis never did. Instead this determined young man attacked learning to live in a sighted world with inspiring ferocity. “God let this happen to me for a reason,” Travis said.

Opting to stay at his school instead of attending the Kentucky School for the Blind, Travis was surrounded by a support system that had known him most of his life. That included the junior high football coach who found a spot on the team for Travis, not as a manager or water boy, but as a player. That year, with Travis playing Center, his team won the championship. Travis continued to play football all through high school, astonishing other teams and officials across the state. 

Lights Out is part memoir, part Christian living, and part Bible study, and those parts come together to form a fascinating book. While Travis Freeman's story of how he became blind and then didn't let his blindness stop him from living life to the fullest is inspirational, I most appreciated how he used his story as a springboard to present the gospel in a very natural and unforced way.

Travis Freeman isn't looking for a pat on the back or for people to feel sorry for him; instead, he's using his story to encourage believers and share Christ with others. The book is written in such a conversational style that the reader can't help but be drawn in—and I found myself nodding in agreement as Freeman talked about spiritual blindness and the disabilities that we all face. Everyone struggles with something—it's just that Freeman's struggles are more readily apparent than most people's. How we deal with our struggles is what's important, and Freeman is quick to point the reader to Christ.

Lights Out is a very inspirational book, and I'm glad I had the opportunity to read it. 4-1/2 stars.

Buy the book.
Watch the trailer for 23 Blast, the film based on Freeman's story.

Disabled people can do anything they want to in life. Travis Freeman proves that. After learning how to play football completely blind, Travis went on to win a championship with his team. The story of a blind football player caught the attention of the national media, spawning interviews with Dateline and TODAY. He went on to serve as the equipment manager for the University of Kentucky football team and earned his doctorate from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. Travis teaches religion at The University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Kentucky.

Learn more about Travis at his website.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Glass Road Media & Management. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Also, some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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