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Finding Norm by Jana Berndt
Jana Sipe Berndt is the blessed mother of three adult Children, dog mom to an adorably naughty golden retriever, friend to anyone who can keep up with her fast-paced walks, and talented musician seated most often at the piano. Her life was very normal…. until one day it wasn’t. Widowed at Fifty-two, she was faced with a future she never asked for, didn’t want, and certainly didn’t foresee. Jana’s honest, faith-filled storytelling will encourage, comfort, and inspire you to build resilience in your personal quest towards a more joy-filled life. Finding Norm will leave you with hope that a new ‘norm’ is possible and worth finding!
Wife, Widow, Now What? by Rachel Engstrom
When Rachel was 28 years old, her husband was diagnosed with leukemia. What they thought was the flu after working too many hours, turned out to be the life altering illness that would forever change everything they knew. Rachel became a cancer wife, manager, team cheerleader and expert juggler at life, while supporting her husband throughout his illness, until he died two days after she turned 31. She had to reboot her life and learn how to start over as a widow, without a map or guidebook to lead her. Rachel’s humor, moxie and faith helped get her through the cancer world, and survive the calamity of errors that kept-on coming after he died. She fought tooth and nail to survive and is thankful for everything that brought her to present day, despite how hard it was to get there. She wishes she had had this advice and a story to reference when she was in the jungles of her cancer life and widowhood. Her hope is to provide you with some laughter, comfort, solace and guidance on your own journey, whether it be through the world of cancer, or any other life challenges. Wife, Widow, Now What? chronicles Rachel’s journey using her narrative along with original Facebook, CaringBridge and Instagram posts, while giving resources on how to navigate cancer diagnosis, treatment, insurance, disability, finances, health care directives, emotions, patient and caregiver self-care and support, and much more.
A Tempered Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the Ashes of Loss by Jennifer Sands
Jennifer Sands’ gripping, firsthand account of a young widow’s questions, doubts, and desperate search for answers in the wake of her husband’s murder. It is the emotionally raw journal of a battle to find footholds of faith in the midst of sorrow and spiritual darkness. Most of all, it is a joyful confirmation that what the Bible says is true.
Believe: A Young Widow’s Journey Through Brokenness and Back by Jennifer Silvera
After Jennifer’s husband, a police officer, died in a line of duty accident, grief upended her life. Believe follows the story of her long road out of darkness and her struggle to believe in anything after she’d lost everything. As she recounts her journey back into the light, Jennifer offers empathy and encouragement to those who have experienced loss, including those who have been widowed far too young. In Jennifer’s story, readers can find reason to believe.
The God of All Comfort: Finding Your Way into His Arms by Dee Brestin
After losing her fifty-nine-year-old husband to cancer, Dee Brestin wondered if her life was over as well. She ached for God’s comfort but felt utterly alone. Then she discovered a secret that suffering souls through the centuries have learned: She began using psalms and classic hymns to speak the truth to her fretful soul. The truths carried by these timeless songs – many of which Brestin includes in this book – can calm the most fretful spirit. They invite the wounded heart to be quiet before God, to rest like a child in the arms of a loving parent. Each of us must travel down roads of bereavement, betrayal, and broken dreams. The God of All Comfort will help readers find their way into the arms of God. With compassion and spiritual wisdom, Brestin draws on the difficult beauty of her own story as well as her skills as a Bible teacher to offer companionship, comfort, and hope.
The Funny Thing About Grief by Katie Stifter
Grief isn’t funny—is it? What about when life is so heartbreakingly tragic, so gut-wrenchingly unbearable, that to ease the overwhelming ache you feel, if only for a minute or two, you just have to laugh? In The Funny Thing about Grief, author Katie Stifter shares her struggle to survive the sudden, tragic death of her beloved husband and best friend, Andy. It’s a thing she can’t fathom surviving, yet she manages to, a little bit every day, as she raises her two young kids and newborn baby, helping them survive their grief too. In recounting her journey, Katie creates a guide for others who are lost amid their own grief and heartache, ultimately imparting that humor can only help and there can be happiness after loss.
Signs of Life: A Memoir by Natalie Taylor
Twenty-four-year-old Natalie Taylor was leading a charmed life. At the age of twenty-four, she had a fulfilling job as a high school English teacher, a wonderful husband, a new house and a baby on the way. Then, while visiting her sister, she gets the news that Josh has died in a freak accident. Four months before the birth of her son, Natalie is leveled by loss. What follows is an incredibly powerful emotional journey, as Natalie calls upon resources she didn’t even know she had in order to re-imagine and re-build a life for her and her son. In vivid and immediate detail, Natalie documents her life from the day of Josh’s death through the birth their son, Kai, as she struggles in her role as a new mother where everyone is watching her for signs of impending collapse. With honesty, raw pain, and most surprising, a wicked sense of humor, Natalie recounts the agonies and unexpected joys of her new life.
From One Widow to Another: Conversations on the New You by Miriam Neff
“Widow” is one title women do not want to have. Yet, according to the Surgeon General’s office, 800,000 people become widows or widowers every year in the United States alone. Every aspect of a widow’s existence changes – like it or not, ready or not. These changes add to the emotional roller coaster that most women experience after losing their husband. Miriam Neff understands the ride. As she struggled to understand and accept her new role after her husband’s death, she recognized the need for women to hear from others about their experiences and what helped them transition to this new stage of life. From One Widow to Another offers practical advice for those facing the loss of a spouse. Drawing from her own loss, Neff walks with the reader through practical issues to a sense of encouragement.
Navigating Grief with Humor by Melissa Mork
Grief hits us all. Death, divorce, a broken childhood, a job loss, the loss of identity, or the loss of a dream can bring us each deep grief. This book reveals what we can do to work through the tasks of grief with resilience, coping, humor, and purpose. Melissa Mork is a professor of psychology and grief counselor who has studied bereavement her entire career. When her husband died, leaving her to parent their two children alone, it all became very personal. Taking what she’s learned from her academic and professional studies, and using her questionable sense of humor, Melissa realized it was humor, laughter, gratitude and optimism that helped her navigate this very personal grief process.
A Widow’s Guide to Healing by Kirstin Meekof
When Kristin Meekhof lost her husband to cancer, she discovered what all widows learn: the moment you experience the death of a spouse, you must make crucial decisions that will impact the rest of your life. But where do you begin when your world is suddenly turned upside down? This inspiring book on widowhood shows grieving widows what to expect in those difficult first five years, and how to deal with the challenges of expectantly losing a life partner, including: Finances, estates, and medical bills; Single parenthood; Being a widow in the workplace; Navigating social situations by yourself. With Meekhof’s firsthand experience and gentle understanding, this healing after loss book goes beyond shining a comforting candle in the darkness of loss. It encourages those left behind to tackle the tumultuous and painful first five years and move to a more hopeful future.
Moving Forward on Your Own: A Financial Guidebook for Widows by Kathleen M. Rehl
A husband’s death is possibly the most devastating event a woman will experience. She might wonder if she will be able to make it on her own. She may feel overwhelmed and not know what to do next without her partner. Kathleen’s guidebook helps widows be more confident, knowledgeable and secure about their money matters. The book integrates basic financial information with self-reflective exercises that encourage financial self-assurance. Kathleen is honest about her own struggles as a widow, and she holds empathy for others. This unique guidebook is presented in a beautiful format, to help heal a woman’s soul as well as gently focus on money matters. The book is not intended to teach women everything about money and financial planning immediately. When someone is emotionally overwhelmed, it s not wise to overload one’s focus.
Getting to the Other Side of Grief: Overcoming the Loss of a Spouse by Susan J. Zonnebelt-Smeenge and Robert C. DeVries
Two healing professionals who both lost spouses to death provide empathy, valuable psychological insights, biblical observations, and male and female perspectives to help you experience grief in the healthiest, most complete way.
A Grace Disguised: How the Soul Grows Through Loss by Jerry Sittser
Loss came suddenly for Jerry Sittser. In an instant, a tragic car accident claimed three generations of his family: his mother, his wife, and his young daughter. While most of us will not experience such a catastrophic loss in our lifetime, all of us will taste it. And we can, if we choose, know as well the grace that transforms it. A Grace Disguised plumbs the depths of sorrow, whether due to illness, divorce, or the loss of someone we love. The circumstances are not important; what we do with those circumstances is. In coming to the end of ourselves, we can come to the beginning of a new life – one marked by spiritual depth, joy, compassion, and a deeper appreciation of simple blessings.
Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy by Sheryl Sandberg and Adam Grant
After the sudden death of her husband, Sheryl Sandberg felt certain that she and her children would never feel pure joy again. “I was in ‘the void,’” she writes, “a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe.” Her friend Adam Grant, a psychologist at Wharton, told her there are concrete steps people can take to recover and rebound from life-shattering experiences. We are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It is a muscle that everyone can build. Option B combines Sheryl’s personal insights with Adam’s eye-opening research on finding strength in the face of adversity.
A Teachable Faith: Learning from God in Everyday Life by Jennifer Sands
Jennifer Sands, a 9/11 widow, found herself at the crossroads of faith – remain bitter at God and the world or pick herself up, take a deep breath and move onward. She uses her own daily experiences during this remarkable faith journey to illustrate how to gain knowledge of God and build a committed relationship with Him through challenges. She shares what God has taught her through her struggles in a poignant yet lighthearted style. Regardless of their own life circumstances, readers come away with wisdom, direction and inspiration to strengthen their own relationship with Christ. This is Jennifer’s second book describing her journey after 9/11. Her first, A Tempered Faith, endorsed by Joni Eareckson Tada and Phillip Yancey chronicles her emotional and spiritual journey in the first year after the terrorist attacks.
A Treasured Faith: Refining a Heart for the Riches of Christ by Jennifer Sands
Jennifer’s life drastically changed on 9/11 when her husband Jim was killed in the World Trade Center attacks. She was not a believer in Christ before then; God used that tragedy to bring forth her salvation as well as a writing and speaking ministry. God continued His refining work when her life changed again in 2007 with a diagnosis of breast cancer. In “A Treasured Faith”, Jennifer candidly shares her heart and her struggles with radiation treatments. But “A Treasured Faith” goes far beyond a battle with cancer. This book shares the wisdom and the wealth discovered when we dig deeply into the Bible and into our souls. It reminds us of the valuable lessons that result from our joy and our trials. And it challenges all of us to possess a treasured faith… “for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Wisdom… Growth… Laughter… Tears… Faith… Trust… Understanding… Experience the journey with Jennifer as you discover (or rediscover) Jesus, life’s greatest Jewel.
Little Pieces of Light … Darkness & Personal Growth by Joyce Rupp
This hope-filled book offers both courage and solace. It reaches into the human heart, encouraging the reader to approach painful, inner darkness as a help for rather than a hindrance to personal growth.
In Light of Eternity: Perspectives on Heaven by Randy Alcorn
The deepest longing of your heart is for one person and one place. Jesus is that person. Heaven is that place. A thousand counterfeits vie for your attention, trying to convince you that they are what you’re looking for. But you’ll never find true satisfaction with what the Shadowlands of this world have to offer. What you really crave can only be found in the land of substance: heaven. In Light of Eternity will grip your soul and open your eyes to the realities of heaven.
Heaven by Randy Alcorn
What will heaven be like? Randy Alcorn presents a thoroughly biblical answer, based on years of careful study, presented in an engaging, reader-friendly style. His conclusions will surprise readers and stretch their thinking about this important subject. Heaven will inspire readers to long for heaven while they’re living on earth.
Shattered Dreams: God’s Unexpected Path to Joy by Larry Crabb
“Shattered dreams,” writes Dr. Larry Crabb, “are never random. They are always a piece in a larger puzzle, a chapter in a larger story. The Holy Spirit uses the pain of shattered dreams to help us discover our desire for God, to help us begin dreaming the highest dream.” To help you understand this neglected truth in the deepest and most helpful way, author and counselor Larry Crabb has written a wise, hopeful, honest, and realistic examination of life’s difficulties and tragedies. He wraps insights around the bold story of Naomi in the Bible’s book of Ruth.
Walking with God through Pain and Suffering by Timothy Keller
The question of why God would allow pain and suffering in the world has vexed believers and nonbelievers for millennia. Timothy Keller, whose books have sold millions of copies to both religious and secular readers, takes on this enduring issue and shows that there is meaning and reason behind our pain and suffering, making a forceful and ground-breaking case that this essential part of the human experience can be overcome only by understanding our relationship with God.
Words To Live By by Sarah Kroenke
Words To Live By is a collection of reflections and quotes, but not from those you might expect. The words in this book are spoken by hospice patients…people who have little time left to share. These are words of love, laughter, regret, pain, and inspiration. This book reminds readers to live a life where nothing is left unfinished in your heart.
Letter to a Grieving Heart: Comfort & Hope for Those Who Hurt by Billy Sprague
With honesty, compassion, and perspective, Billy Sprague reaches out as only one who has suffered deep loss can. Facing the death of a fiancé, a beloved grandmother, and a favorite college professor, Sprague pulls from the depths of his soul to share insights and encouragement with those living through grief and heartache. Illustrated with restful, hope-filled photographs of nature, Letter to a Grieving Heart will comfort the broken and assure them that someday they, too, will feel the sun again.
Everyday Comfort Meditations for Seasons of Grief by Randy Becton
People who are mourning the loss of a dear friend or beloved family member often feel alone, abandoned, and helpless. And those who want to comfort them can feel inadequate and at a loss for words. In Everyday Comfort grievers will find thirty daily devotions to help them through their heartache. Respecting the griever’s anguish and emotional turmoil, these devotions avoid platitudes and offer genuine empathy and wisdom. Subjects like recovery, facing death, normal grief and abnormal grief, and using the Psalms daily will help those who grieve examine the path through despair and take the next steps toward living life again.
Jesus Calling: Enjoying Peace in His Presence by Sarah Young
Jesus Calling is a devotional filled with uniquely inspired treasures from heaven for every day of the year. After many years of writing in her prayer journal, missionary Sarah Young decided to listen to God with pen in hand, writing down whatever she believed He was saying to her. It was awkward at first, but gradually her journaling changed from monologue to dialogue. She knew her writings were not inspired as Scripture is, but journaling helped her grow closer to God. Others were blessed as she shared her writings, until people all over the world were using her messages. They are written from Jesus’ point of view, thus the title Jesus Calling. It is Sarah’s fervent prayer that our Savior may bless readers with His presence and His peace in ever deeper measure.
Jesus Always: Embracing Joy in His Presence by Sarah Young
Life today is full of difficulties—loss, sadness, fear. In the midst of these challenges, joy often feels impossible or out of reach. But Jesus has more for His followers than a life of striving, pain, and discontent. He offers life abundant, life to the fullest, life brimming with joy! Jesus Always, the new 365-day devotional from bestselling author Sarah Young, was written as part of Sarah Young’s exploration of the promises of joy in scripture. Written as if Jesus Himself is speaking directly to the reader, Jesus Always invites you into a new way of living—a life of joy.
Streams in the Desert: 366 Daily Devotional Readings by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman and Jim Reimann
For years, the beloved classic devotional Streams in the Desert has sustained and replenished God’s weary desert travelers. Now, bursting forth like a sparkling clear river of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration, this updated edition of Streams in the Desert promises to revive and refresh today’s generation of faithful sojourners, providing daily Scripture passages from the popular New International Version and modern, easy-to-understand language that beautifully captures the timeless essence of the original devotional.
You are not alone. Even if you have suffered terrible tragedy, even if you have lost the person most dear to you, God’s love holds you in His comforting embrace. Miriam Neff shares this essential message through the powerful testimony of eleven widows in the Bible. Their stories are brought to narrative life in lyrical, first person prose that takes readers deep inside these women’s grief, strength, and faith. Both haunting and hopeful, the moving stories in Not Alone remind us what it means to love—and what it means to live with God.
You fear you won’t make it through. We all do. We fear that the depression will never lift, the yelling will never stop, the pain will never leave. In the pits, surrounded by steep walls and aching reminders, we wonder: Will this gray sky ever brighten? This load ever lighten? In You’ll Get Through This, pastor and New York Times best-selling author, Max Lucado offers sweet assurance. “Deliverance is to the Bible what jazz music is to Mardi Gras: bold, brassy, and everywhere.”
The Good and Beautiful God: Falling in Love with the God Jesus Knows by James Bryan Smith
“God wants me to try harder.” “God blesses me when I’m good and punishes me when I’m bad.” “God is angry with me.” We all have ideas that we tell ourselves about God and how he works in our lives. Some are true–but many are false. James Bryan Smith believes those thoughts determine not only who we are, but how we live. In fact, Smith declares, the most important thing about a person is what they think about God. The path to spiritual transformation begins here. Turning to the Gospels, Smith invites you to put your ideas to the test to see if they match up with what Jesus himself reveals about God.
Tear Soup by Pat Schwiebert and Chuck DeKlyen
If you are going to buy only one book on grief, this is the one to get! It will validate your grief experience, and you can share it with your children. You can leave it on the coffee table so others will pick it up, read it, and then better appreciate your grieving time. Grand’s Cooking Tips section at the back of the book is rich with wisdom and concrete recommendations. Better than a casserole! Appropriate for kids ages 8 and up.
Hope Heals by Sarah Kroenke
Hope Heals is a keepsake journal created for teenagers and adults who have lost a loved one. This journal was created out of an appreciation and understanding of how difficult and life changing it is to experience the death of a loved one. The book serves as a tool to discover growth and strength in the midst of the pain. Elements of the book were first used in group and individual grief counseling sessions as part of Park Nicollet Foundation’s Growing Through Grief program. This book provides a place to write details of a loved one’s death and memories of their life, along with thoughts and feelings that are part of the healing process.
Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy’s Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo, Sonja Burpo, Lynn Vincent, Colton Burpo
A young boy emerges from life-saving surgery with remarkable stories of his visit to heaven. Heaven Is for Real is the true story of the four-year old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who during emergency surgery slips from consciousness and enters heaven. He survives and begins talking about being able to look down and see the doctor operating and his dad praying in the waiting room. The family didn’t know what to believe but soon the evidence was clear.