5 Stars Out Of 5
Moral Temptations Accompany Grief Stages?
July 30, 2013
How I Got This Book
A complimentary review copy was provided to me by Kregel Publications, a division of Kregel, Inc. 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.
Finding the Good in Grief: Rediscover Joy After A Life-Changing Loss by John F. Baggett, is written well and comprehensive, but it is also honest and relatable. The author sums up his latest work with this, "I have known several times of tragedy in my life. I have also experienced many moments of grace during my seasons of grieving. This book has drawn significantly on those difficult times and reflects my own journey of faith in the midst of them."
The very beginning starts with quoting Job 3:25, "What I feared has come upon me," and then it gets real and Baggett gets personal, "The thing you feared, the thing you hoped would never happen, has come upon you. Do you think you will ever forget where you were, what you were doing, or the way you felt at the time? Do you remember asking yourself, "Is this really happening?" Did you pray for God to make it not so? And then, as the awful truth penetrated your heart, did you cry out, "Why, God? Why did you let this happen?" The worst thing that ever happened to me did not happen to me. It happened to my son_" Wow.
Finding the Good in Grief: Rediscover Joy After A Life-Changing Loss by John F. Baggett is remarkable. His candor about the loss he endured and the stages of grief he experienced lend to his credibility and draw the reader in. He couples this with five steps to Ã¢â¬Ërediscovering joy after a life-changing loss', backs everything up with scripture, as well as presents truths that I have experienced but either didn't realize or wasn't able to articulate. So as not to give too much away, I will limit myself reluctantly to three.
Here is an example of one: there are actually moral temptations that accompany each of the stages of grief, such as making choices, whether consciously or unconsciously, that can either delay healing or prevent it altogether. Baggett clarifies by stating, "By making poor choices in our coping strategies and by continuing in a stage of grief when it is time to move on, we can stray from the healing pathway and find ourselves in a spiritual crisis." Been there, done that; never want to repeat it again.
There is also the Ã¢â¬Ëif I have enough faith or am strong enough, I won't have to go through that' myth. This is addressed clearly as early as page 11, "It is a mistake to believe grief can be avoided if we have enough strength of character or enough faith. When we suffer a loss, whether we are among the strong or weak, whether our faith is small or great, we naturally experience grief, not as a sign of weakness, but as a manifestation of our humanity." Selah. [Calmly pause, and think about that.]
Another honest statement was the unspoken Ã¢â¬Ëdeal with God.' This is something that I have thought to myself before without expressing to others, only to learn from experience that as Christians we are not immune to testing, trials, struggles, or pain. Baggett expounds, "Surely, I reasoned, if we had survived all of those things and if I continued in God's faithful service, then God and I had a deal: He would not let anything bad happen to me and those I loved the most. The tragedy of my son's illness shattered my illusion of invincibility and laid bare the inadequacy of my naÃÂ¯ve faith. I found myself journeying through a dark spiritual night, struggling with a new lucidity about life, and feeling overwhelmed by sadness. In the midst of my grief, my faith was tested profoundly as I struggled with an unwillingness to face and accept the reality of my son's condition [schizophrenia]."
Obviously, I recommend Ã¢â¬ËFinding the Good in Grief: Rediscover Joy After A Life-Changing Loss' by John F. Baggett.