One who is grieving is often challenged to find someone who relates to their situation, and Stacey Hoehl is able to offer connection through her writing. In her book Purposeful Grieving: Embracing God’s Plan in the Midst of Loss, Hoehl admits to tantrums and wrestling with God. This helps the reader understand that these behaviors are common in a loss. She shares Scripture that gives the grief-stricken heart permission to plead with God and even to ask why. The fact shared that loss will forever change a person’s life is valuable along with the warning that the heart of faith is open to the attacks of Satan. The author’s wise choice of focusing on Psalm 13 gives her devotions important structure and direction, along with the encouragement from the psalm that God gives aching hearts words to praise him through their struggles.
More details from the author regarding her own story would enhance the connection with the reader along with the acknowledgment that those we love who die are not always in the Lord, another perspective to some Christian’s grieving. The reader should also keep in mind that the seven weeks of devotions are never meant to complete the grieving process, but rather, to encourage the reader to see God’s hand of purpose to the season of grief, which could and likely will, extend far beyond the seven weeks.
Most important, without exception, the author points to the cross of Jesus as the only source of comfort. All tasks offered are confirmed as helps in the healing process, not the source of healing. Many Christians will find this book a powerful tool in seeing God’s purpose to their grief.
Author: Jane Schlenvogt-Dew
Volume 106, Number 12
Issue: December 2019