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A Force of Will: The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief Paperback – March 1, 2013
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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.
"This book is about life in all its splendor and in all its agony. Mike talks about pain without trying to theologize it away and reminds us that it's okay for us to feel darkness--for even in our darkest moments we are not alone."--Shane Claiborne, author, activist (thesimpleway.org)
"A gripping, unflinchingly honest, beautifully written model of how to live with grief in faith."--Nicholas Wolterstorff, Noah Porter Emeritus Professor of Philosophical Theology, Yale University
"Stavlund's unguarded account is one that you will neither put down unfinished nor soon forget."--Phyllis Tickle, founding editor of the Religion Department at Publishers Weekly
"Stavlund speaks the unspeakable in a beautiful, eloquent, and moving narrative that is both deeply personal and theologically resonant."--John D. Caputo, The Thomas J. Watson Professor of Religion Emeritus, Syracuse University
Mike Stavlund leads Common Table church in the Washington, DC metro area. He is a speaker, an adjunct faculty member at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, DC, and a regular writer for Emergent Village at Patheos.com and at TheHardestQuestion.org.
About the Author
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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A Force of Will is Mike Stavlund's life throughout the first year after he lost his four-month-old son. How would I feel if that were my son?Read more