For me, a good book is a great remedy for almost any season or struggle. Thankfully, there are a lot of books for the different ups and downs that life leads us through. The question I’m often asked is, “What book would encourage my widowed friend?”
Here are a few of my very favorites:
For the new widow
Hope for an Aching Heart: Uplifting Devotions for Widows By Margaret Nyman
Often, the hardest part of widowhood is feeling that no one can relate to their new season of life. Understanding is the greatest gift that this simple devotional provides. Another difficult aspect of the journey during the early months is the inability to focus, even on God’s Word. Margaret does a great job of inserting encouraging verses, one-line prayers, and her discoveries of God in everyday widowhood.
180 Your Life from Tragedy to Triumph By Mishael Porembski
This is an excellent resource from one who gets it! The description of the cry that bellows forth from the deepest part of our souls to breath prayers guides the new widow through the process of grief. The audiobook format and a leadership guide make this a great tool for small groups.
For the widow-mom
Let’s Pretend We’re Normal: Adventures in Rediscovering How to Be a Family By Tricia Lott Williford
Humor is a gift during sad seasons of life. Tricia’s light-hearted stories in the heaviness of life as a single mom will resonate with every widow raising children alone. Her transparency provides encouragement for the widow to take her next step.
The Unseen Companion: God With the Single Mother By Michelle Lynn Senters
Knowing that you are not alone while taking on the huge responsibility of raising children is half the battle. Michelle offers insight into the ways God is there for the single mother as her unseen companion. The book is filled with God’s word and a lot of practical suggestions, ending each chapter with thought-provoking questions for personal reflection or group discussion.
When Your Child Is Grieving: God’s Hope and Wisdom for the Journey Toward Healing By Amy E. Ford
This is the first book I have seen of it’s kind – an excellent resource for guiding your children through grief! Amy’s experience as a professional counselor AND a parent of a hurting child, provides wisdom and practical guidance. Her words are always supported by Biblical truth from God’s Word, giving hope and the gift of a positive perspective. Amy reminds the parent that “their child will get through this and so will you.”
For the fatherless
Not Forsaken: Finding Freedom as Sons & Daughters of a Perfect Father By Louie Giglio
Statistics are not a friend to the fatherless. One out of four children live in a home without a father. This book covers six different losses that resulted in fatherlessness, but Louie quickly turns the readers sights to God as Father. “God is not the reflection of your earthly dad. He is the perfection of your earthly dad.” He introduces those without a father to God as Father, a father that never leaves or forsakes us.
For those who hurt
Dark Clouds, Deep Mercy: Discovering the Grace of Lament By Mark Vroegop
This book captured my attention from the first chapter, describing the suffering Mark experienced from the loss of his child. I continued to stay engaged with the teaching on a topic I had never studied or heard a sermon on – how to lament. Because of this book, I have included this practice in my life when needed. Dark Clouds Deep Mercy gives us permission to grieve, complain, and then turn our attention in the right direction. This book highlights lament that is all throughout the Bible, especially in the Psalms.
The Broken Way: A Daring Path into the Abundant Life By Ann Voskamp
“Somehow I wonder if it’s in shattered places, with broken people, we are most near the broken heart of Christ.” “Suffering is where God gives the most healing intimacy.” These quotes describe the heart of this book. Ann teaches us how to suffer well and embrace the pain that is sure to come in our lives. She is an artist with words offering wise counsel and encouragement for us all. “Live every day like you’re terminal. Because you are. Live every day like your soul’s eternal. Because it is.” This is one of the most highlighted books in my library!