Lilies in the Field is the story of Air Force Captain Kathy Anderson, from her idyllic childhood years as the daughter of an Air Force officer living in the Netherlands and Germany to her return to the United States to complete her education, grow in her spiritual journey, and establish a career in the Air Force. This memoir captures the details of a life whose path winds through spiritual highs and lows, discovering a vocation, embracing the challenges and opportunities of a military career in missile defense, and rising through the ranks of academia.
Along the way, Anderson’s sudden onset of mental illness threatens to derail her hard-earned career and her dream of academic achievement. Through a blend of humor and grace, Anderson invites readers into the events leading up to her first symptoms of schizoaffective disorder and recounts her ongoing struggles with seeking a diagnosis and finally receiving treatment. They will be plunged into her mind as she battles delusions and paranoia, bringing her to the brink of suicide as she struggles through setbacks and also strengthens her bond with her family as she discovers their shared struggles with mental illness.
The book’s three journeys, which span a career, a dark night of the soul, and the depths of mental illness, all converge as Anderson is able to find gratitude, practice her faith, and serve others with her remarkable story of recovery. Like the lilies in the field from which this book takes its name, Anderson’s story of hope, courage, and perseverance is beyond the things of this world and ultimately clothed in splendor.