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Book Review: Heaven Without Her: A Desperate Daughter’s Search for the Heart of Her Mother’s Faith by Kitty Foth-Regner

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As Kitty Foth-Regner’s mother lay in a morphine-induced coma in a nursing home dying, she wracked her brain for something that would bring a sense of closure to her mother’s life. A devout Christian woman, Regner’s mother had prayed unceasingly for her daughter to come to a saving faith, to put her trust in Jesus, to join her in heaven. As her journals later revealed, her sweet Kitty’s lost state was the one unsettled note in a life fully lived. She couldn’t imagine Heaven Without Her.

Searching her mind for something that would encourage her mother to release her tenuous grasp on life, Regner whispered, “I’ll see you there Mom.” There being heaven, of course.

It was a promise, one that I intended to keep. Of course, I had no idea what this could possibly mean.

Shaken to the core by the loss of her deeply beloved mother, Regner dives into the search for God with a systematic ferocity that leaves no stone unturned. Seeking first to determine if God exists, she uncovers the evidence and questions critically. After finding that there is in fact a divine, creative force at work she goes on to discard one belief system after another as she tries to determine which God is the one in charge. In her memoir of spiritual discovery Regner shares her findings, the paths she explored, the proof she found, her skepticism, and eventual discovery of the truth.

With a history of technical and copy writing as a career, Regner’s prose is lucid, witty, and terribly accurate. A pleasure to read, her descriptions accurately capture her life pre-conversion, during the muddling searching times, and post-conversion. When I think back to my own journey in faith everything she writes rings true. The mocking disdain of God and His followers, the surrender, the irrepressible spontaneity of evangelization; though our stories are different they’re the same. The story of Jesus in pursuit of His bride – I’m sure many readers will resonate with her memoir.

Regner’s writing flips between the past (recalling her childhood, teen years, adult relationship with her mother), and her time of exploration, coming to faith and growth as a new believer. The regularity of these changes left me a bit lost at times, normally I’m on-the-ball with shifts in scene and story, but the short reading periods afforded to me as a mother left me trying to piece together a timeline that seemed occasionally fuzzy. I also wonder about her husband’s coinciding journey to faith. Though she mentions sharing her discoveries with him, his dovetailed testimony is missing. His agreement with her beliefs seems to pop out of nowhere.

Otherwise I found Regner’s unveiling of the basic proofs for the veracity of Christianity as she discovered them for herself fascinating. From young earth creation science to logical arguments and proof for the historic resurrection of Christ, it’s all here. Along with her valuable end-notes Regner even includes a Bibliography of worthwhile titles to guide fellow questioners in their search for answers.

Entertaining, informative, and moving, I recommend Heaven Without Her to anyone interested in reading how the evidence for the orthodox Christian faith drew one woman to Jesus. Her transformed life and passion for God are a beautiful testimony to God’s continued work in His children.

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About Jennifer Bogart