Force of Will, A: The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief - eBook  -     By: Mike Stavlund
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Force of Will, A: The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief - eBook

Baker Books / 2013 / ePub

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Product Information

Format: DRM Protected ePub
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2013
ISBN: 9781441240941
ISBN-13: 9781441240941
Availability: In Stock

Publisher's Description

When Mike Stavlund's four-month-old son suddenly died, a flood of cards, flowers, meals, phone calls, and gifts let his family know that they were loved and cared for. What was less welcome were the books, and particularly the religious ones. Often impossibly upbeat, saccharine sweet, and with all kinds of confident promises, they increased the pain rather than soothing it. Though Mike could plainly see that these writers meant well, their preoccupation with defending pristine ideas about God from the suddenly obvious truth of God's unkindness created a cognitive dissonance of such scale that he simply put them away. They were too painful to read and too offensive to bear.

Instead he wrote his own book, one week at a time during that first terrible year. A book that embraced the stark reality of loss, the sense of alienation from all of life, the feelings of suffocation at the hands of the well-meaning people gathered around, and the new awareness of feeling abandoned by God. A Force of Will helps anyone who is going through difficulty to honestly confront their feelings without being made to feel guilty. With heartfelt honesty, Mike shows that there is hope--even when there is no happy ending.

Author Bio

Mike Stavlund (MDiv, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) leads Common Table church in the Washington, DC Metro area, which has been featured in such publications as US News and World Report, The Washington Post, and Voice of America. An adjunct faculty member at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, Stavlund is a regular writer for Emergent Village at Patheos.com and at TheHardestQuestion.org, and is a frequent speaker at Christian conferences. His writing has been influenced by his family's experience of infertility, threatened pregnancy, infant cardiac surgery and critical care, grueling round-the-clock home care, and the sudden and shocking death of his son.

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  1. Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    What A Parent Is Feeling and Needs
    May 5, 2013
    VicsMediaRoom
    Irvine, CA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Mike Stavlund in his new book, "A Force Of Will" published by Baker Books shows us The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief.

    From the back cover: There is hope-even when there is no happy ending

    When Mike Stavlund's four-month-old son suddenly died, a flood of cards, flowers, meals, phone calls, and gifts let his family know that they were loved and cared for. Less welcome were the books, in particular the religious books. Often impossibly upbeat, saccharine sweet, and with all kinds of confident promises, they were too painful to read and too offensive to bear.

    Instead Mike wrote this book, one week at a time during that first terrible year. A Force of Will explores the stark reality of loss, the alienation from all of life, the feeling of suffocation at the hands of the well-meaning people gathered around, and the sense of being abandoned by God.

    If you're experiencing difficulty, this heartfelt book will help you to confront with honesty what you are going through without making you feel guilty.

    I cannot imagine the wild emotional ride and pain that a parent goes through upon the death of their child. I don't think anyone can unless you have experienced it firsthand yourself. Mike Stavlund did and he wrote down everything he went through in this book. Is it easy to read? No, let me tell you this right up front. "A Force Of Will" is brutal and painful and a wild emotional ride. What it is, however, is honest. We all need to read this book to help us understand what our friends are going through and how to be available to them to help them. That is all they really want and really need from us.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 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."
  2. Beaumont, CA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A Journey Through Grief
    April 2, 2013
    The IE Mommy
    Beaumont, CA
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    A Force of Will is a sad story of loss and heartbreak and one man's personal journey through his first year of grief after losing his four month old son. Mike Stavlund is a beautiful writer whose words are poetic and posses a depth that brings you right into his heart.

    As a parent, this is my worst nightmare. I can't even comprehend the loss that I would feel but after reading this, I feel I have a better understanding of it because Stavlund is so raw and brutally honest. I could literally feel his pain in my heart because his words are so descriptive.

    Writing through his pain was probably a very therapeutic way for him to deal with it. It's a way to remain introspective while at the same time, pouring out his feelings with the raw emotion he was feeling, holding nothing back and releasing his grief and agony.

    The Eulogy that he someone had the strength to write and read at his sons funeral is beautiful. I wish I were that gifted with words. It's definitely a gift and he has used it to work through his pain and it will certainly help others to do the same who may not be able to voice their own grief in the same way.

    A Force of Will is a poetic read, a bit dark and depressing but uplifting at the same time in some way. It's a beautiful thing for a human being to be that in touch with their feelings and share them with the world.
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