Friends! Last week we learned about a children’s book about the death of a child and ways to handle such. This week we’ll get to look at a handful of books by different authors which are equally helpful. If you’re like me, usually at a loss for words, grasping for something, anything, I believe these authors offer a number of nuggets.
First up is author Nancy Guthrie. She and her husband, David, lost two of their three children to Zellweger Syndrome where babies only live less than six months with no known cure. Hope was their first child, followed by Gabriel.
Unbelievably, Nancy wrote Holding on to Hope: A Pathway Through Suffering to the Heart of God not long after both babies went to Heaven.
Their story was first published in Time magazine on 7/16/01 in an article called, When God Hides His Face: Can Faith Survive When Hope Has Died? The Guthries think so.
I must share three stats that will make your hair stand on end: “The odds of carrying a recessive gene for… Zellweger Syndrome are 1 in 160. The odds of two carriers meeting and having a child who suffers from the syndrome are about 1 in 100,000.
David and Nancy, already the parents of a healthy son, Matt, drew that 1 in 100,000 chance when they had Hope, who struggled with life for 199 days. After Hope was found to have the ailment, David got a vasectomy. The odds of a woman becoming pregnant after her partner has had the procedure are roughly 1 in 2,000.”
Nancy did indeed become pregnant with Gabriel, who also had the syndrome and lived about six months. How does one cope?
I’m beyond thrilled to report Nancy and David’s faith has remained intact, and their friends from church have been “an unfailing pillar of strength.” Nancy said while pregnant with Gabriel, “If God would ask me to suffer this significantly, I think He has something significant He wants to do with it through me, if only just in my heart.”
I know what you’re thinking. I thought it too. (Reminds me of Job.)
In Holding on to Hope, Nancy walks us thru’ parts of the Book of Job, holding our hands, digging for pearls we can cling to. She tackles these subjects with vulnerability that’ll make you weep: (At the end of the book, there’s also a section of Scriptures on each of these topics.)
Nancy and David, along with her numerous books she’s written since their children’s deaths, are a visual of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4.
In the chapter on Intimacy, Nancy says, “It is one thing to believe that God is faithful and will supply all your needs—even in the darkest of times. It is another thing to experience it. In the darkest of days, we’ve experienced a supernatural strength and peace that could only come from God. Perhaps you have too.”
Nancy says her husband, David, “…always feared a tragedy would occur in his life. But …now that the tragedy has come, the fear is gone. Now that he has experienced his greatest fear, and experienced God’s supreme faithfulness to us through this difficulty, he no longer fears tragedy in our lives. We know God more fully because we’ve experienced Him more fully through our sorrow.” Wow.
Anne Graham Lotz wrote the Foreword of Nancy’s book. She says, “Holding on to Hope is like a beacon of Light, drawing the reader to God and God alone. My prayer is that God will use this book to rescue you from the depths of being buried alive in the debris and rubble of your own life experience, …planting your foot on the solid ground of His Word, setting your spirit free to soar in the rarefied atmosphere of genuine worship.” Wow again!
Don’t miss this little powerful book, plus here are four others of Nancy’s I especially like:
This one is by David and Nancy:
Nancy’s also written outstanding Bible studies. (I have her newest on order: Even Better Than Eden: Nine Ways the Bible’s Story Changes Everything About Your Story)
To see what else Nancy’s written and to learn more about her go to her website: www.nancyguthrie.com
And if that’s not enough resources, oh yes, there’s more… (Variety is truly the spice of life.) Two more beautiful and helpful books on dealing with grief are:
The God of All Comfort: Finding Your Way into His Arms by Dee Brestin. Dee shares about experiencing the loss of her husband and how worship was (and is) a healing salve to her soul.
The Confessions of a Grieving Christian by Zig Ziglar. This was a fairly recent discovery for me. I didn’t know Zig lost an adult child. It’s comforting to hear his honesty and see the God of hope at work.
Next week we’ll pick back up with another new children’s book which is happy and bright (after reviewing such serious material!), followed by helpful resources for reading to your child or grandchild, as well as for ourselves!
SO MANY BOOKS, SO LITTLE TIME.
‘Til next time!