Friday, June 11, 2010

An Inspirational Read (Loss and Love)

Angie Smith, a popular blogger, has released her book I Will Carry You: The Sacred Dance of Grief and Joy which focuses on the life and death of her infant daughter Audrey Caroline and how Audrey has impacted her family and the world.

I've had many friends choose to build their families through adoption as a result of unsuccessful battles with infertility, miscarriage, and disease/disability. The beauty of Angie's book is that she speaks to these friends, as if they are HER friends, with honesty and grace. Angie doesn't discount the losses women have faced, and she offers her readers prayers, encouragement, advice, and inspiration.

Here are a few excerpts from the book:

Remember your word to your servant, for you have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. Psalm 119:49-50 (p.48)

I want you to know, especially if you do not know the Lord, that He is real. This is not a fairy-tale, coping mechanism that I rely on when I need to escape form reality. It is not something I do because it's nice to have a place to dress up for on Sunday mornings. [. . .] It's just that I don't know how people get through things like this without Him. (p. 81)

I know there are people reading who are where I was, and I don't want you to think that you need to have all the answers. your God is perfectly capable of revealing Himself. You don't have to feel like you need to fill the gaps. he has put the gaps there sot hat you will press into Him despite them. (p. 107)

Suddenly, here it is again. The chain of suggestion can begin almost anywhere: a phrase heard in a lecture, an unpainted board on a house, a lamp pole, a stone. Form such innocuous things my imagination winds its sure way to my wound. Everything is charged with he potential of a reminder. There is no forgetting. ~Nicolas Wolterstorff (p. 129)

I also love that Angie has sections in her book for helping children grieve, for how friends of those who have experienced loss can help, and a section of resources. Additionally, Angie's husband, Todd Smith, lead singer of Selah, a Christian band, contributes a chapter from his point of view. Click here to watch the music video to I Will Carry You: Audrey's Song. (Keep your tissues handy! Warning: The video contains sensitive photographs.)

The beauty of this book is that even though it focuses on Angie's perspective and her loss of Audrey, Angie maintains her strong faith in God and addresses the "sacred dance of grief and joy" in a way that pertains to all people, not just those who have lost a child.

Because many of my readers are adoptive parents, birth parents, and people interested in adoption, I can safely say that many of these readers have experienced deep loss in their lives---either by giving their child to another family, by losing a child through miscarriage, by saying goodbye to the dream of having a biological child, and more. Angie's book helped me gain perspective on how deep this loss is for some of my dear friends. I was blessed to have stumbled upon this read at my local library, and I pray that if you are struggling, have struggled, or know someone who is struggling with the grief that comes from dreams deterred, that you'll give Angie a chance to open your mind and heart.

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