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Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard Paperback – October 3, 2017
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“Little did I know at the time that I’d one day look back and remember it as the beginning of what I call our ‘weeping years.’” — Ashleigh Slater
We all have “weeping years,” seasons where the trials seem to come one after another. For Ashleigh and her husband, their weeping years included miscarriage, multiple job losses, feelings of betrayal, panic attacks, anti-depressants, cross-country moves, and even suicidal thoughts.
Loss is a constant of life, but the intensity of those years changed Ashleigh, altering how she understood and responded to grief. This book tells her story.
Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard explores loss and trial in a conversational, storytelling manner. It gently encourages those experiencing grief of any kind to seek comfort in God and in the “me too” of community. Ashleigh gives an honest and vulnerable account of her personal stories of loss, as well as those of her friends, with reflections from literature and Scripture sprinkled throughout.
She examines the nature of grief and loss in several universal arenas, such as relationships, health, career, and the home. Anyone who ever struggles (and that’s all of us) will be able to move through trial with more wisdom, releasing anxiety and receiving the help and comfort God so bountifully provides.
Readers of Braving Sorrow Together will be encouraged that they are not alone, inspired to reach out to close friends, and reminded that God—the Author of all of our stories— can be trusted through the tears.
Includes an appendix with further reflections on leaning into community in difficult seasons.
Praise for Braving Sorrow Together
Reading Braving Sorrow Together is like sitting across from the best kind of friend—a friend who has been down the well-worn path of suffering and can listen, empathize, and offer gentle guidance for the journey ahead. If you are walking through your own “weeping years,” Ashleigh’s book will free you to grieve your loss while clinging to the hope that you are never alone in your grief.
Editor of iBelieve.com
Braving Sorrow Together is a healing salve for the hurting heart. Ashleigh’s words offer comfort and hope as they lead you to both trust in and to lean on the Lord for His strength.
Time-Warp Wife Ministries
Braving Sorrow Together is a powerful and practical ministry tool for the community of Christ, especially when its members need comfort and care. This book not only shows us what to do when we don’t know what to say, it encourages us to fight the urge to run from the pain and suffering of others. Instead, we are empowered to forge strong relationships during the not-so-nice times of life, reflecting the gospel as we do. Highly recommended!
Proverbs 31 Ministries speaker and New York Times bestselling author of Keep It Shut and Listen, Love, Repeat
Ashleigh hasn’t given us a textbook or psychological treatise on grief—she’s given us an armchair, a tissue, and a listening ear. With each story of loss, she turns us back to the grace of the gospel. Watching her grapple with her own sorrows gives me the courage to explore my own.
Director of Boundless.org and author of The Dating Manifesto
Grief and loss are real. They’re hard and even harder to talk about. But in her beautiful, honest new book Braving Sorrow Together, Ashleigh Slater fearlessly wrestles with the hard questions, the nitty-gritty issues of grief, loss, and mourning. Filled with real-life stories, practical actions, and sound advice, anyone mired in the trenches of loss will find godly direction and wise counsel as they read this book. Ashleigh has walked the path and knows it well. Let her experience guide you and give you hope.
Author of Growing Great Kids: Partner with God to Cultivate His Purpose in Your Child’s Life
Mother of GRAMMY award winning artist Francesca Battistelli
If you are struggling with grief or anxiety, you are not alone. In this book, you will find a kind and honest travel companion in Ashleigh Slater.
Speaker and author of Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life
Asheigh Slater provides personally vulnerable insights in addressing an important, heartfelt need—the issue of suffering. She examines a wide range of difficult life situations, including relationships, health, work, etc. and shows how faith and community are keys to navigating this season. Braving Sorrow Together provides biblical wisdom, practical application, and true stories that will help you grow through pain and sorrow and embrace God’s best for your life.
Susan G. Mathis
Coauthor, Countdown for Couples and The ReMarriage Adventure
Loss is a dark and painful reality of life in a fallen world. Ashleigh reminds us in Braving Sorrow Together that we don’t grieve our losses alone. We need to brave our sorrows together with our church community, reminding each other that “loss is not a forever part of your story.”
Author of A Heart Set Free and Closer Than a Sister
Ashleigh’s ability to communicate the importance of braving sorrow while reminding us of God’s love is a breath of fresh air. I have no doubt the words on these pages will encourage many who feel alone in their grief.
Cofounder of Learning to Speak Life Books™
As I read Braving Sorrow Together, it truly felt like I was sitting across from Ashleigh sharing moments of togetherness in a conversational way. In a culture where slowing down and acknowledging grief is nearly unacceptable, Ashleigh pulls back the curtain, allowing us to be vulnerable enough to acknowledge the pain of loss. She writes not as a spectator of loss but as a participant, sharing the truth that helped her and practical ways that the reader can come alongside someone who has suffered loss of any kind.
Host of the Surviving Sarah podcast
Braving Sorrow Together is an incredibly helpful and compassionate book for anyone who is hurting or suffered loss. And isn’t that the case for most all of us? So many people go through life experiencing grief, disappointment, and heartache. Yet in spite of this camaraderie of sadness, we feel more alone than ever. Ashleigh Slater brings both hope and practical help to a topic that so many of us feel, but hardly know where to turn. Her book is one that you’ll want to read for yourself, as well as give to a hurting friend.
From the Back Cover
Braving Sorrow Together: The Transformative Power of Faith and Community When Life is Hard is about where to turn when life is hard. Ashleigh Slater weaves together Scripture, personal stories, and guest entries to comfort the suffering and encourage hopeful grieving. Whether your trials concern health, employment, relationships, or even death, grief can turn into growth when we lean on Christ and others. Braving Sorrow Together provides solace for hard times and advice for getting through them with grit and grace.
- Publisher : Moody Publishers (October 3, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 176 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0802416594
- ISBN-13 : 978-0802416599
- Item Weight : 7.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.36 x 8.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,446,767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Reviewed in the United States on January 1, 2018
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The book weaves together the author’s commentary on her own personal losses throughout her life, how she walked through and braved them, along with the stories of others’ to demonstrate and encourage us of what braving the sorrow together sometimes looks like as well as references to various sorrows we see in the Bible and the lessons they offer us.
The greatest takeaway from Braving Sorrow Together will be realizing you’re not alone in your sorrow or loss as well as gaining some insights and tips for how it is possible to brave the sorrows of life — and learning that it’s better when we do it together.
The author does an excellent job of clearly organizing the book’s subject matter so that it is easy to read and gives each type of loss its own chapter. For me personally, I think this book would be best to have on hand as a resource when needed and to be read topically, rather than straight through. The straight through read for me became a touch overwhelming.
For instance, if your spouse is walking through job loss, I would recommend you read that chapter so you can be equipped for ways to brave the sorrow with him/her. If you’re experiencing the loss of a loved one, then I recommend you focus on that chapter and find encouragement that you’re not alone and how community can help carry your sorrow.
Ultimately this book is a good reference of encouragement for walking through loss, but it left me longing for more of the “why and how of community,” which was included as an appendix at the end. Based on the title and subtitle, I felt this would have been emphasized more throughout the book or perhaps included to as an introduction to begin the book. It's a good read, but not a must read for me personally.
I must say a thank you to the author, Ashleigh Slater, for touching on the different types of losses that result in sorrow in our lives and encouraging the rest of us to engage in community in the midst of grief. Thank you for opening up the fragile places of your own story and the losses you’ve experienced and demonstrating what bravery looks like.
“Because, just as there is nothing greater God can give us than Himself, there’s nothing greater we can give others than our willingness to brave their sorrow with them.”
Slater discusses how faith, community, and specifically a faithful and consistent community of faith can be life giving during moments of suffering in big areas of life such as health, family, and work. She gives practical ideas of what was helpful to her during a particular season of suffering. If Slater or her family had not experienced a certain trial, she had a friend who has speak to that issue.
There is nothing new or earth shattering in Braving Sorrow Together. Everyone knows that having friends and family or some other kind of support makes the tough times easier to bear. However, there are some good practical suggestions for those looking for a place to start. Those who lead some kind of group or oversee groups for a church may find this book especially helpful.
I received this book free from Moody Publishers as part of their Moody Publishers Blogger Review Program. 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, See Part 255
- Job loss
- Unrealized dreams
Other areas are included. The book is very readable and the author shares the good and bad from the experiences her family has had with faith-related communities (churches, small groups, etc.). Some of the underlying lessons to be learned include:
- Although we experience disappointment in faith communities (gossip, heartaches, betrayal, feel left out, etc.) we still need to be part of a community.
- God did not create us to be loners.
- If your current faith community is not a good fit, find another one instead of abandoning church altogether.
All of us have stories of loss, and Slater's beautiful book reminds us that God is able to transform that loss into something new, something evangelical, within the community of those who have learned the stories of loss to be stories of resurrection, too.
Braving Sorrow Together weaves together Scripture, personal stories, practical thoughts, and guest entries to comfort the suffering and encourage hopeful grieving. This is a must-read and -share book.
I received a free copy of this book from Moody Publishing in exchange for my honest review here.