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Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet: Tasting the Goodness of God in All Things Hardcover – October 7, 2014
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About the Author
Sara Hagerty is the author of Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet, a wife to Nate, and a mother of six, including four children adopted from Africa and one toddler who’s found his voice amid them all. After almost a decade of Christian life, she was introduced to pain and perplexity and, ultimately, intimacy with Jesus. God met her and moved her when life stopped working for her. His Word and His whisper took on new shape and form to her in the dark. Sara writes regularly about life delays, finding God in the unlikely, motherhood, marriage, and adoption at www.SaraHagertyAuthor.com.
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I was wrong. Yes, infertility is part of Sara's story, and she draws from that in places throughout this book, but she does what every good author does: uses her experiences to impact more universal truths. As I read, it felt like those sacred moments late at night with your best friend when you whisper your deepest hurts and she not only validates them but is able to say, "Me too." If she didn't lay herself so bare, I think lines like "Every single dark day was an invitation" (pg. 85) would have felt like an easy quip or a dismissive platitude. As she reveals where "pain had created space" for her, for her children adopted from places afar, for their business understanding... I realized places in me in which God has been creating space with pain. And I've been so focused on the pain that I've been missing out on the space.
Unlike Sara, my adult years haven't been times of waiting and hope deferred and such. They've been rolling, non-stop, barely enough time to breathe, breakneck paced days and weeks and years, in which God brought me into a new role of wife in a new town with a new job and no friends but my husband and, in less than a year, pregnant with our first child while the first friends we told gasped at how soon we were becoming parents and stammered, "Did you mean to?!?" Now, eight years and five children (one by birth and four by adoption, including three from Uganda like two of Sara's children) and a half dozen special needs diagnoses later, this book made me pause. I don't think I've paused like this in a decade. This stirring discontent that's been simmering, especially since our six week stint in Uganda last fall, has been hard to identify until Sara gave words to it in describing her own God-given journey: pain is creating a space. The loneliness Sara too has felt in parenting children with such loss, such broken glass, such trauma in their past... that too is creating a space for God to do glorious work.
Now that I've closed the book for the first time, having gobbled it down, I'm going to slowly, sweetly, meticulously savor it with a second reading, treating it more as a devotional resource as I pray through the stirrings in my own heart and explore the 20 or so verses listed at the end of each chapter. And I look forward to meeting God in that space He's created and remembering again what it's like to rest in Him even when my circumstances seem anything but restful.
I recommend this to anyone struggling with infertility.
I personally started this when struggling with my bareness. I related on such a deep level with this woman. I am happy to say in the middle of this we adopted a baby as well. God healed me of the grief I had with being barren. I do not desire at this point to give birth. The author struggled with this after adopting and I am glad she shared her experience even if it was different from mine.
I rate this book a 4 out of 5 stars.
Please seriously consider giving this book a try if you are at all interested.