Force of Will, A: The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief

Force of Will, A: The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief

5.0 2
by Mike Stavlund
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

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

…  See more details below

Overview

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.

Read More

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780801015113
Publisher:
Baker Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/01/2013
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
1,032,791
Product dimensions:
5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.70(d)

Videos

Meet 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.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Force of Will, A: The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
VicG More than 1 year ago
Mike Stavlund in his new book, "A Force Of Will" published by Baker Books shows us The Reshaping of Faith in a Year of Grief. 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. I cannot imagine the wild emotional ride and pain that a parent goes through upon the death of their child. I don't think anyone can unless you have experienced it firsthand yourself. Mike Stavlund did and he wrote down everything he went through in this book. Is it easy to read? No, let me tell you this right up front. "A Force Of Will" is brutal and painful and a wild emotional ride. What it is, however, is honest. We all need to read this book to help us understand what our friends are going through and how to be available to them to help them. That is all they really want and really need from us. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Baker Books. 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, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
The_IE_Mommy More than 1 year ago
A Force of Will is a sad story of loss and heartbreak and one man’s personal journey through his first year of grief after losing his four month old son. Mike Stavlund is a beautiful writer whose words are poetic and posses a depth that brings you right into his heart. As a parent, this is my worst nightmare. I can’t even comprehend the loss that I would feel but after reading this, I feel I have a better understanding of it because Stavlund is so raw and brutally honest. I could literally feel his pain in my heart because his words are so descriptive. Writing through his pain was probably a very therapeutic way  for him to deal with it. It’s a way to remain introspective while at the same time, pouring out his feelings with the raw emotion he was feeling, holding nothing back and releasing his grief and agony. The Eulogy that he someone had the strength to write and read at his sons funeral is beautiful. I wish I were that gifted with words. It’s definitely a gift and he has used it to work through his pain and it will certainly help others to do the same who may not be able to voice their own grief in the same way. A Force of Will is a poetic read, a bit dark and depressing but uplifting at the same time in some way. It’s a beautiful thing for a human being to be that in touch with their feelings and share them with the world.