From Depths We Rise: A Journey of Beauty from Ashes

From Depths We Rise: A Journey of Beauty from Ashes

by Sarah Rodriguez


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781634098625
Publisher: Barbour Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/01/2016
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 526,858
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Sarah Rodriguez is a graduate of Victory Bible College in Tulsa and currently resides Oklahoma. She is a writer, a speaker, and is active in her church community through worship and other avenues of serving. She was blessed to be married to her husband Joel for 8 incredible years. She is Mommy to Milo and Ellis.

Read an Excerpt

From Depths We Rise

By Sarah Rodriguez

Barbour Publishing, Inc.

Copyright © 2016 Sarah Rodriguez
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-68322-022-0


First Comes Love

Whatever you do, just promise me you will not meet a boy," my mom said earnestly.

It was an unseasonably warm January evening, and I was out for an after-dinner walk with my mom and sister. It was to be the last walk for the foreseeable future. In two days I was going to pack everything I could fit into two suitcases and board a plane for my big move from Oklahoma to New York City. This move was something I had been longing for, for quite a while, but never knew quite how to make it happen. My parents, while supportive of my dreams, were extremely concerned at the prospect. In the end my father had one request: if I was to move, I had to find a job before I go. No problem. When this girl sets her mind on something she will move heaven and earth to make it happen. In this instance, moving heaven and earth meant calling a woman about her receptionist job posting and begging her to hire me over the phone. It worked. She hired me on a Friday and asked if I could be there on a Monday. Of course I could, I told her.

The next step was telling my parents that in seventy-two hours I would no longer be living under their roof. Instead, I would be taking everything I had to a city they'd never been to and living with people I had never met. It was definitely a sound and responsible plan. I was nothing if not determined.

I knew it wasn't boys my mom cared about. In fact, she was ready for me to find a boy, get married, and most importantly, have grandbabies. What she was not ready for was those grandbabies to be located halfway across the United States. I, on the other hand, was not in the same frame of mind. I was twenty-two years old and relishing the single life, with no significant other to worry about. I also knew that New York, though crowded, might not be the easiest city in which to meet people.

"Mom, don't worry," I replied. "The last thing I am interested in is meeting a boy."

To my surprise, a mere twelve weeks later, I met the man of my dreams. He was a tall, dark, and handsome New Yorker, the total package. A friend introduced us and arranged our first meeting, which didn't start off very smoothly. I went with him and a group of mutual friends on a trip to a large mall in West Nyack, New York. I immediately found him to be very attractive. He was gorgeous but also loud and brash, a typical New Yorker and a total guy's guy. I, on the other hand, am a not-so-loud midwestern gal who was brought up in an entirely different environment than he.

The curt and to-the-point way in which he communicated would definitely take some getting used to. That was evident on that first day we met. Imagine my surprise that day when the first store on his agenda was Yankee Candle Company. Not only that, he seemed to be somewhat of a candle connoisseur, floating around from one candle to the next, taking in each one's scent and speaking of them in knowing terms.

I was intrigued by him and decided a little flirting might be in order — only I was terrible at it. That didn't stop me from trying.

I walked over to him, smiled coyly, and blurted out the first line that came to mind.

"Ooh, looks like you're really into candles, huh?" He looked back at me, looking completely unamused and slightly annoyed. "Yeah ... so?" he replied, sounding offended.

Hmm, I thought. Not quite the reaction I was hoping for.

He was obviously irritated at my flirting gone awry. I was annoyed myself and decided I didn't like him after all. Without so much as another word, I turned on my heels and left the store, trying my best to avoid him for the remainder of the day.

What had, in those moments, annoyed me completely drew me in at the same time. This guy had managed to put me in my place in an instant. Not an easy thing to do with this feisty girl.

We had the same group of friends, so I wasn't able to avoid him for long. As much as I hated to admit it, I was still pretty captivated by him. I managed to downplay it when he was around and act like I couldn't care less about his presence. He obviously wasn't interested in me, so why waste my time? Imagine my surprise when a mere three weeks later he came up to me out of the blue and asked if I would be interested in having a movie night with him.

Um ... huh?

I was confused. I stood there for a moment formulating my response when he smiled at me — that cute, crooked, like-he-was-up-to-no-good smile. In that moment I knew I was about to dive headfirst into a relationship that would forever change my life.

I said yes to the movie night and yes to spending many more days getting to know him. Before I knew it, I had fallen in love.

* * *

On October 16, 2004, seven months after our first meeting, Joel proposed and I accepted. We were married in Oklahoma on July 2, 2005, in front of a group of friends and family. The location was a beautiful chapel in the woods, with soaring ceilings and glass windows everywhere.

Our wedding day was magical in every way possible. I remember the poignant moments of pledging our love forever, our first kiss as man and wife where he cupped my face gently in his hands, and the joy written on both of our faces. I also remember the lighthearted moment, during our first dance, when Joel told me he was so nervous he had been downing Tums all morning long.

After our wedding we headed back to New York and to our tiny little apartment in the Bronx. Less than a year into our marriage, we were longing for a change, and more space. New York City is an incredible city to live in but an extremely hard one at that the same time. Everything was terribly expensive. Starting a family was on our mind, and we knew if we stayed we would be raising our children in a tiny apartment, lugging strollers up and down subway steps. We wanted more for ourselves than that. A move south would make it possible. Though Oklahoma certainly lacked the excitement and entertainment New York did, it gave us what we wanted in return: great jobs, a brand-new house, and stability.

We settled in easily and thrived in making our house a home. Decorating and Pier One runs became our favorite activity. We quickly made new friends and loved having them over, while our very own pampered chef, Joel, cooked us fabulous meals. Hanging out in coffee shops was a favorite pastime, especially ones that also served cupcakes. Many a Friday evening was spent cheering on Oklahoma's newly acquired NBA team and walking around downtown. Oklahoma certainly greeted us with open arms. Life couldn't get much more perfect than it already was.

* * *

"So, what do you think about going ahead and trying to get pregnant?" I said to my husband in the car while driving home from a quick grocery run.

Admittedly, it was an odd time to broach such a subject, but it wasn't completely random. A journey to the back of the store to pick up an item had taken us right by the baby section. That meant we had to stroll by the land of all things teeny tiny and adorable. It wasn't as if babies weren't on our radar. It was the very reason we had moved to Oklahoma. What was holding us back was the timing.

Despite all their attempts to prevent a pregnancy, my parents had gotten pregnant with me their first month of marriage. Joel and I had a pregnancy "scare" the first month of our marriage as well. I remember the relief I felt at the negative sign on the pregnancy test. The thought of being pregnant at that time was terrifying for me. It wasn't that I didn't want to be a mom. I wanted it more than anything. It was just about finding the right moment. And at that point I didn't feel ready. I assumed getting pregnant would come easily for me. It had for my mom; why would I be any different?

That incident was a year prior. Now I was feeling more than ready. We had gotten through the adjustment first year of marriage, had relocated to a new state, and had a brand-new home and stable jobs and income. I felt there was no better time than now.

"Are you sure, babe?" my husband asked. "I mean, do you feel ready for all that comes along with a baby? Especially no sleep. I know how you like your sleep." He laughed.

"I feel ready," I said in return. "There's no better time than now. I know we've always imagined it would happen quickly, but what if it doesn't? I'm almost twenty-five, you're almost twenty-nine — at a certain point the clock starts to tick," I stated, tapping my wristwatch for dramatic effect.

"You know I've been ready for a while. If you are ready, I say we go for it. But trust me, I think it will happen quickly."

Boy, how I wish he had been right.

* * *

At the very beginning, it's not that you are trying to get pregnant; you are just not preventing. This is the fun part. Your life is ripe with the possibility of what's to come. Each month could be a life-changing one, and you wait in eager anticipation for when that moment will come.

The beginning was exciting. We just knew we would be pregnant within the first few months. After six months, and many failed pregnancy tests, I began to wonder: Why is this taking so long? After nine months, an even heavier thought: What if something is wrong with me?

A visit to my OB showed I had a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome. While it's not anything that will prevent you from getting pregnant, it can complicate things. For me it meant an erratic monthly cycle that was hard to predict. Her recommendation was a round of fertility drugs she was fairly certain would do the trick.

One month on the drugs: nothing.

Two months on the drugs: nothing.

These drugs tend to lose their most potent effectiveness after three months. We were about to hit that mark and were perplexed at the lack of results. When my doctor recommended a surgery to go in and manually cut off the cysts from my ovaries, we jumped at the thought. The surgery would be followed by one last month of fertility drugs. Surely this was the answer, and we would finally get pregnant.

The surgery was much more invasive than I thought and required a three-day hospital stay. Joel was there with me every step of the way, sleeping on the hospital couch and helping me out of bed. It was painful, but I didn't mind taking one for the team. Joel had been tested, and nothing was wrong with his ability to produce a baby. Really, nothing was badly wrong with me. There was nothing they could see that would totally prevent us from having a child, so I believed we would have one. After the surgery I was more hopeful than ever.

Three months on the drugs, and after the surgery: nothing.

Our OB said there was no more she could do on her end and at that point recommended a fertility specialist. I wanted answers. I didn't understand why, if there were no major issues, a pregnancy wasn't happening for us. Our diagnosis of "unexplained infertility" didn't sound like a diagnosis at all. It sounded like a mockery. It was a diagnosis that said something must be happening, but we don't know exactly what.

We knew a visit to a fertility specialist would mean much more invasive measures. We were already tired physically and worn out emotionally from the last year and a half of trying. The decision was made to take a breather, some time off.

Even though we were not, at that point, using any medical measures to try to move things along, it was heartbreaking each month when we still weren't pregnant. I had a large stash of pregnancy tests I kept under the counter. At the slightest hint of a pregnancy symptom, I would run into the bathroom and take a test. Negative, negative, negative, every time. With each negative test, my heart started to lose hope it would ever happen for us.

Then there was a glimmer of hope. We were three long years into the process when I started to develop some very strong symptoms indicating I might be pregnant. Not only that, my cycle was two weeks late. I had held off on taking a pregnancy test because I was scared — scared of another negative result and the rejection that came along with it. Finally, fifteen days after my cycle should have begun, I couldn't wait any longer. Without any fanfare, I made my way to the bathroom and pulled out another trusty pregnancy test. I took a deep breath and said a prayer.

"Please, God, let me be pregnant. I don't even care as much for myself anymore, but I want this so badly for Joel. He will make the best daddy. He wants it so badly. We have waited long enough. Please let today be the day," I whispered.

With that I took a deep breath and did the test. I put it on the counter away from my line of sight, sat on the floor, and waited the required three minutes.

When the moment finally arrived, I stood up slowly and walked over to the test.


I had seen many negative pregnancy tests in my day, so this one shouldn't have come as a shock. But there was something about this month; it had felt like it was finally our time. It was not to be. I was so frustrated. I didn't understand why this wasn't happening for us. Sixteen-year-old girls were accidentally getting pregnant and having babies all the time. My friends were getting pregnant without even trying. People were always asking us the question "When are you two going to have a baby?" If only they knew the years and years we had been trying to no avail. It was all too much. In that moment I sank to the ground, curled into a little ball, and started to sob.

My husband ran into the bathroom to see what was wrong. He glanced at me on the ground and saw the pregnancy test on the counter, quickly putting two and two together. I was sobbing uncontrollably. He knelt down on the floor and wrapped his arms around me.

"Baby, it's okay. Don't cry."

"I can't take it anymore. I just want to have a baby. Is that too much to ask? It happens for people all the time, but not me. It's all my fault. We're not pregnant because of my stupid body not working. I just want you to be a dad. I'm so sorry you're not a dad! It's all because of me."

He looked at me in shock for the thoughts I was thinking and the desperation I was feeling. They were words I had never voiced but that weighed heavily on my mind.

"It is not your fault at all. How can you say that?" he said.

"Because it is! If my body would just work right!" I yelled.

"None of this is your fault. I know you want this more than anything. I want this more than anything. Trust me, it will happen."

"How can you be so sure?" I replied.

"I've just always believed it will happen for us, babe. I don't know how, and I don't know when; I just know it will happen."

I wished I shared his optimism. The truth was, with each passing month I became less and less convinced. I also felt more and more like a failure. I was a woman; this was what my body was created to do, and I was failing at it miserably. I had had surgeries, taken drugs, been poked and prodded to no end, and was still no further along than I had been. I wanted to give my husband a child, make my parents grandparents. Everyone had been so hopeful and excited. It felt like I was responsible for continually dashing everyone's hopes and dreams. The amount of guilt I was feeling for it all was nearly crushing me.

I lay on that bathroom floor for quite a while. The sobs eventually stopped and turned into silent, warm tears dripping down my cheeks. My husband stayed by my side the entire time, handing me tissues and wiping the tears from my face. As I finished, he slowly pulled me to my feet and enveloped me in a huge hug. As I pulled away, he cupped my face in his hands.

"One day, you are going to be the best mom there ever was."

* * *

An entire year had passed since that moment. I was now about to turn twenty-nine years old, my husband, thirty-three. We were a long time removed from that grocery store run conversation, nearly four years prior. We had never stopped trying to conceive but were still coming up empty-handed. The months once filled with anticipation for what could be were now filled with predictable dread for what I knew was to come — another month of no results. I was to the point where I was numb. I never expected it, so I didn't cry about it. The basket under my sink, once overflowing with pregnancy tests, now held a single expired test that hadn't been used in nearly a year. My heart feared I would never be able to have a child.


Excerpted from From Depths We Rise by Sarah Rodriguez. Copyright © 2016 Sarah Rodriguez. Excerpted by permission of Barbour Publishing, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


Part I: The Depths,
Chapter 1 — First Comes Love,
Chapter 2 — Not Again,
Chapter 3 — Time Stands Still,
Chapter 4 — The Long Good-Bye,
Chapter 5 — The Decision,
Part II: The Rise,
Chapter 6 — A Love Story Continues,
Chapter 7 — Life after Death,
Chapter 8 — The Arrival,
Chapter 9 — Don't Let Her Go,
Chapter 10 — My Sunshine,
Chapter 11 — Daring to Hope,

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From Depths We Rise: A Journey of Beauty from Ashes 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shows how out of the depths of despair God never leaves us and truly does hear our prayer and have a devine plan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story about facing life's challenges with God's love! God never promises that life would be easy but He promises that He will always love us and be there for us!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a beautiful story of a faithful life with many difficult events. Life is absolutely unpredictable. Never lose faith as God is always with us and prayers are answered. We must keep our faith and trust in Him who is trustworthy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The awesome power of our living God. Yes, there are some tough things we don't understand but we can trust in His never ending love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent book.. couldn’t read without tears .. it’s truly amazing the faith that is so profoundly witnessed by Sarah. The things she has to go through and yet, always clinging to her ‘mustard seed’..
Mama_Cat More than 1 year ago
What’s in a name? This book is about a man of faith named Joel and his baby girl Ellis; both of their names mean ‘Jehovah is God’. Joel’s hope was that as a result of every crisis, others would come to believe in Jehovah. It is also about Joel’s wife Sarah, mother to Ellis as well as their son Milo. Sarah and Joel Rodriguez believed that the Lord’s hand was on their family; they never imagined how many and how severe trials could be in their lives. Sarah is a young woman whose life after she married Joel Rodriguez became a roller-coaster ride, from despair to joy, from joy to mourning, from mourning to beauty. She could only have endured through close communion with her Savior and the support of family and close friends. This book may be appreciated by those who are going through severe trials as they may find encouragement. It can also be appreciated by those whose loved ones are going through trials as they may find a way to encourage them. The Lord showed Sarah how to see beauty each time she rose through the ashes of intense pain which speaks volumes for her choice of tenacious faith. Sarah met the love of her life, Joel Rodriguez, in NYC in 2004, and they were married just over a year later. They were both Christians and had similar hopes as they grew their marriage. This included their desire for children; the natural step they saw toward that goal was to move to Sarah’s home state of Oklahoma. Pregnancy was not something easily obtained by the couple, however, and after various tests, surgery, and medications, they agreed to submit to in vitro fertilization. Before they could begin the IVF process they learned that Joel had cancer, a football-size tumor that engulfed one of his kidneys. Prior to his treatments and surgery, they began IVF procedures so she could have healthy embryos implanted at a better time. Each step along the way, God was preparing them for the next crisis. They endured what many couldn’t by doing the next right thing, even when their cries were interspersed with screaming, weeping, and asking “why”. After Joel’s first surgery, “it caused us to cling to the Lord like never before…He was Father, He was friend, He was grace, He was strength. He was all we needed” (pg. 44) Sarah also shares a tiny bit of hope; “even as little faith as I had left, I still had that tiny mustard seed of belief He could do the impossible.” (pg. 231) The author speaks from her heart with raw vulnerability and authenticity. She doesn’t sugarcoat the challenges in their lives, nor does she seek pity. She has determined to tell their story, Joel’s story “to touch millions and for nations to be changed by the story of this man…We will continue to proclaim your story until all will see and truly know ‘how great is our God’” (pg. 114, 115). This very well-written story of the Rodriguez family will inspire and encourage readers, although one might keep a box of tissues nearby. I highly recommend ‘From Depths We Rise’ to readers and church libraries. Whatever one is going through, this book will ultimately bring hope in the God who brings us beauty from the ashes of our lives. With a grateful heart, I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing; as a courtesy, I am posting my honest review. All opinions are my own, and no monetary compensation was received.
CGRay More than 1 year ago
As a survivor of the loss of a loved one to cancer, I cried tears of empathy while reading this honest account from Sarah Rodriguez of her family’s struggle with her husband’s cancer. I marveled at her faith that he would be healed, which she believed right to the end of his earthly life. What a marvelous testimony that she was willing to undergo IVF with the remaining two fertilized eggs she and her now deceased husband had in storage. She took great comfort from his statement that they would have a daughter and stepped out in faith. Then Sarah shares with the reader the horrific experience every mother dreads: 2 week old Ellis quickly becomes ill with meningitis and Sarah eventually faces the decision of removing her daughter from supportive measures keeping her alive. Her unwavering faith in the face of her daughter’s declining medical condition was incredible to read about. The miracle which occurs comes at the very darkest time of Sarah’s life. Be ready to cry, and yet, be uplifted by this story which Sarah has chosen to share in her book, From Depths We Rise. I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
BrendaLee More than 1 year ago
I love books that gets down where we live. Sarah shares her heart about the disease, loss, death and agony of losing her husband. Also she shares about her daughter that almost died. This book will touch your soul because we all have struggles in this life and day to day burdens. So many times it's hard to keep our faith the way Sarah did. So much anguish and despair then faith rises. There are pictures of Sarah and her family which I also enjoyed. If you like to read real stories that touches your heart you need to read this book. Uh, get you some Kleenex too, because you will need them. At least I always do when I read the sad parts I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
jmcnutt More than 1 year ago
What a truly amazing and heartbreaking story, that left me tearful, hopeful and thankful for Gods grace in our lives when we are totally overwhelmed by life and death. Sarah Rodriguez writes her families story from the depth of her heartaches and loss, but also from the unending love from our Heavenly Father. Life seldom goes as planned, and her young family has suffered more than some of us will experience in a lifetime, but her story doesn't end in hopelessness because her faith carried her through to receive the blessings of a miracle, which she writes about beautifully, and leaves us all a little more inspired to face our own challenges through Gods mercy and grace. This is a beautifully written story and I highly recommend it. I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest opinion.
DChatley More than 1 year ago
Beauty from Ashes “Death had visited us and so cruelly ripped away a part of our family. Yet she brought life and beauty to our ashes.” This quote from page 186 sums up this book. Sarah poignantly shares from her heart the intense loss and suffering she endured during just a several year time span of her life. She faced mountain after mountain of pain and loss, and yet came through victorious. She was forced to face more than any one person should ever have to. Yet I can tell in this book that God is using her story to give others hope. She is the very example of an overcomer. And who knows maybe God is using her mountains to show others that they can be moved. I highly recommend this book particularly to anyone who is either walking through some tough valleys in their life or those who have a friend or family member walking a tough road right now. And isn’t that all of us? I have heard it said that everyone has either just come out of a valley, is in a valley now, or there is a valley just around the corner. Either way, this is the book for you. It will shine the light of hope on an otherwise dark situation. You will grieve alongside Sarah while being inspired by her courage, her determination, her faith, and even her hope. Sarah’s life can only be described as a roller coaster ride of endless valleys and mountains. As her story unfolds, she will share how her life went from being a normal married couple to a high speed train ride that was anything but normal. The story begins as a love story of how she met and married the love of her life. They start off on a journey to spend the rest of their lives together, only to be confronted with infertility. And as if that is not enough of a battle, her husband is diagnosed with cancer just before they were preparing to starting In Vitro Fertilization. Then you get to rejoice with Sarah and Joel as the beat this cancer and welcome Milo into their lives. But this mountain top experience is short lived as Joel is given another cancer diagnosis which takes his life in a few year time span. Then following her husband’s death, Sarah chooses to carry on Joel’s legacy by having another child from their frozen embryos. And once again, beauty shows itself in the birth of Ellis. But once again another valley is right around the corner as Sarah is forced to face the certain death of her newborn Ellis. Yet literally in the last moments, God shows himself and miraculously heals Ellis. All along this journey, Sarah is sharing from her heart the very real pain, turmoil, doubting, and emptiness that loss and heartbreak bring with them. This book is genuine; Sarah shares how she felt during each valley, sharing her emotions in very open format which is one of the things that makes this book so powerful. Because too many times when we are facing extremely painful situations, we think that no one else would understand or relate to how we are feeling. But Sarah is reminding us that others have faced the same pain, the same emptiness, and that we are not alone. Time after time as a reader you are given a front row seat as Sarah bravely faces the next struggle with only her faith to hold unto. Even when she doesn’t understand what God is doing or how he could be using her struggles, she never lets go of her faith in God. Wow what an inspiration she is. And like I said previously, this is exactly what many need to read in their own times of pain and heartache. They need to know that
Gayla_Mazzuca More than 1 year ago
Amazing, Resilient What an amazing, resilient woman Sarah Rodriguez is. She is proof that when faced with immense tragedy, one can not only recover, but thrive. Sarah experienced more tragedy than most of us experience in our entire lives and she came out the other side a strong, determined and faithful woman whose faith was just as strong as before all the tragedy. From the highs of her relationship with her husband Joel to the lows of his cancer and his eventual death, the lows of having fertility issues to the highs of finally getting pregnant, you feel the roller coaster that she lived through and survived. You were so happy for her when she became pregnant after Joel passed, to then discover that baby Ellis wasn’t going to live; you felt some of her pain, knowing one really doesn’t understand unless they have gone through the same thing. Through it all Sarah’s faith was strong, she continued to blog and poured out her soul and her readers were there for her offering encouragement. What a testament to incredible faith, love and the desire to live the life that God intended her to live. This is a wonderful book that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the beginning. You cry, laugh and hurt for her and her family through all of the good times and tragedy. I received a complimentary copy of the book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
ChasRay0 More than 1 year ago
From Depths We Rise, A journey of Beauty from Ashes, Sarah Rodriguez welcomes you into her inner circle. She shares some of her most heartbreaking moments, as well as, some of life's greatest joys. She does not offer you advice on how to turn a lemon into lemonade, no it's much more than that, sweeter somehow. She simply opens up and shares her struggles with you. Letting you know that you are not alone. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect when I started From Depths We Rise. I guess I was expecting Sarah to share bits and pieces of her story while maybe offering a plan to help you over come greif, loss and despair. I'm so glad that wasn't the case. Sarah is real, raw and honest. She shares her struggles with infertility and how she felt like a failure as a woman. She tells you her love story. How she met her huband and fell in love. How they relied on each other during their darkest days. She is brutally honest on how she felt when Joel, her huband, was diagnosed with kidney cancer. How scared she was, but also how unshakable her faith was. She knew God could heal him and refused to belive anything less. The book is not incredibly long, but it packs a punch. Sarah draws you in, you feel like you're in the coffee shop or curled up on the couch with one of your dearest friends, catching up on life. I cried several times during this book, I felt her pain and her sorrow, I can't imagine having to walk through half of what Sarah and her family has endured. I don't know if I could have risen above again and again and again. Sarah is a beautiful soul and I'm greatful she has chosen to share her story. It will challenge you to look beyond your pain and suffering and see the beautiful joy that awaits you on the other side. It will also remind you miracles happen everyday. Even when we least expect it. It only takes faith as small as a mustard seed and man! What that mustard seed can do! I really hope you will pick up From Depths We Rise and experience Sarah's journey for yourself. It's not pretty, but I believe something beautiful can come from reading and experiencing life's highs and lows together. You will be forever changed by Sarah and Joel's story and I for one am better for it. *I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views and opinions expressed above are solely my own.
readerscozycorner More than 1 year ago
I'm not sure if I can even find the words to describe this book. This book touched me deep down into the most hidden parts of my heart. I read this book in one sitting. I really felt as if Sarah and I were friends and we were having a conversation about her life. It reads very much like Sarah is talking one on one with you. From page one I was hooked and ready to know anything and everything she wanted to tell me. I began to see as I read that this book was going to make me an emotional wreck as I read. The things that Sarah went through are almost unbelievable. As I read I kept thinking, surly this isn't a true story, maybe I got a fiction book by mistake, but as unbelievable as it was, it was real and painful and heartbreaking. I cannot imagine going through anything close to what she went through in such a short amount of time. Sarah's strong faith in Christ is most definitely what kept me reading. I needed to see how she handled each situation and I had to know the rest of the story. I had to see the conclusion of all these unbearable circumstances to know that it really can work out for good. The thing that I found most profound about this book is how Sarah never lost her faith. Sure she questioned God, Sure she begged for it to stop but in the end she always submitted her life and the lives of her husband and children to God and never let that go. This was a great example to me and helped me to see some things in my walk with the Lord that could use some work. I LOVED this book and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I received this book for free from the publisher. A positive review was not required. All opinions expressed are my own.
Britney_Adams More than 1 year ago
From Depths We Rise is an extraordinary story! Sarah Rodriguez has experienced unfathomable suffering and loss, and her journey through this heartache and pain is one of “beauty from ashes”. “What I have to share will hopefully make you laugh-it might even make you cry-but I pray it leaves you filled with hope, because even as the story ends it is really just beginning.” Sarah’s faith is inspiring and her candid story is sure to touch all who read it. Heartrending and hope-filled, From Depths We Rise is a book not soon to be forgotten! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All thoughts expressed are my own.
StephieJ More than 1 year ago
This was such a great book. This book really touched my heart. I really enjoyed reading Sarah's story. It was heartbreaking at times but full of faith and hope! The book had a wonderful message and I would recommend reading it. "I received a complimentary copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the beautiful blessings of the blogging world is the chance to meet people that geographically, you'd never have the opportunity to know. And one of the blessings of the book world collaborating with the blogging world is the chance to meet authors whose blogs you'd not found yet (though you may wonder how you missed it!), and at long last, you get to hear their stories. That is how I "met" Sarah Rodriguez: through her new book, From Depths We Rise: A Journey of Beauty from Ashes. Sarah has a blog, but somehow, even through all its many shares throughout the road she's walked, it never made its way to me, so I had the privilege of learning her story through her book. Her story started out much like most of us would consider our stories: terribly ordinary. She grew up in Oklahoma, lived in a good home with good parents and was a good student and good athlete at a good school. But as she so wisely states in the introduction to the book, "all the things I simply viewed as normal were gifts I didn't even know I should be thankful for until they were stripped away piece by piece. In another typical young adult move, Sarah transplanted to New York for work after college, and there she met Joel. Though she had no intentions of meeting and marrying a New Yorker, Joel captured her heart and they married. A year or so into marriage, they moved back to Oklahoma, thinking ahead to their someday-desire to start a family. They thought Oklahoma seemed more family friendly than the cramped-and-loud lifestyle of New York City. And that's where normal ended for the Rodriguez family. Faith-shaker after faith-shaker pummeled them. A multi-year battle with infertility. An unexpected cancer diagnosis for Joel. Treatment, success, and celebration. The pursuit of IVF treatments and the news of twins on the way. Miscarrying one twin. Celebrating the survival of the second baby while simultaneously grieving the first. The devastation of cancer returning to Joel's body. More treatments, mixed in with their son's birth. And though he fought hard, Joel's body succumbed to multiple complications, and Sarah and little Milo were forced to say goodbye. And that's just the first half of the story. Sarah's decision following Joel's death surprised everyone and began to plant seeds of hope where loss prevailed. Written in a conversational blog-voice, this book is a quick read and certain reminder of the importance of embracing even the smallest moments, because in no time, they could be the only memories to cling to. Sarah wrestles with the same things any of us would wrestle with in her shoes: do miracles still happen today? Will they ever happen for me? Her tenacious faith in the face of loss after loss is inspiring. She's not Super-Woman. Sarah is ordinary, just like you and me. But her faith and trust are extraordinary and this book is a beautiful reminder of how beauty really can rise from ashes. * I received a copy of this book from Barbour in exchange for an honest review. *
annelr More than 1 year ago
From Depths We Rise by Sarah Rodriguez is an amazing journey of faith and hope amidst the depths of disappointment, disease, and despair. A journey that taught the author of joy being interrupted by sorrow and yet recognition that joy can overcome sorrow. As infertility, and cancer rear their ugly heads in their lives, Sarah and her husband, Joel, continue to trust in God and rest in the hope of healing. Through the yo-yo like emotions, their 'normal' was a "constant state of wait and see." As the journey continues through the valley of the shadow of death, Sarah knows that her life has changed forever and yet she still is able to cling to the One who is changeless. She was told she was brave, but she calls herself blessed. She thought her faith was gone and yet she realized at her core she still believes. This is a wonderful story that can bring encouragement and hope to those who are struggling with disheartening and dreadful circumstances beyond their control. From Depths We Rise is a testament of faith in a God of miracles. I received a complimentary copy of the book from Barbour Publishing. A favorable review was not required and the opinions are my own.
Thimbleluvr More than 1 year ago
This book left my faith strengthened. Every so often you come across a story that is so humbling and amazing that you're left speechless. Sarah's story was one of those for me. With all the trials and tribulations she went through in a short period of time, only to keep her faith and emerge on the other side of the dark tunnel stronger for the experience, is incredible. My small trials seem petty and insignificant by comparison. I don't think anyone can read Sarah's experiences and not be touched and made stronger through her strength. I received a free copy of this book from Barbour Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
DebbieCossey1 More than 1 year ago
From Depths We Rise by Sarah Rodriguez is a book I could not put down .. A I started reading I couldn't stop .. Sarah leaves her home town in Oklahoma fore big city of New York .. With no interest in meeting a man she soon falls in love with Joel. They were married 7 months after they first met .. In less than year they moved back to Oklahoma. After their 5th wedding anniversary Joel find he has kidney cancer and must have surgery. After going through this they find they are finally expecting a baby. Before the baby is born they find out Joel has cancer again. He is determined and strong in his faith. Milo is born and the go through Joel's struggle with cancer. Joel has a stroke and must go to rehab. Milo turn 1 and during this time Joel stay strong and tells Sarah they will have a little girl. While still in rehab Joel passes away. Sarah goes through much and finally does have her little girl . The had frozen embryos. Little Ellis is born and has health issues also. Spending much time in hospital with her she thought she was going to lose her also . But little Elli survives. This book is about strength, hope, courage an faith in God. It is a very inspiring book and one I highly recommend .
SunnieReviews More than 1 year ago
This book. It was overwhelming, the trials that this woman and her family and friends had to go through. The book especially touched me as I lost my father the past March after suffering for eight years with ongoing health issues. So it was very close to my heart as I read this. The story of their trials and illnesses were beyond anything most people have to go through, and when you do you know that all things lie in God's hands as to how your own story will go. The book touched my soul and I felt tears welling throughout the reading of it. It was amazing how despite it all, she clung to her faith and never waivered, but relied on the Savior to comfort their family and bless them and for the miracles of healing both in body and in spirit. A wonderful book you will NOT want to miss. I received a copy of this book from Barbour Publishing for my honest review.
KristinSmith More than 1 year ago
This book is a memoir of Sarah's journey through some of the most difficult and life altering circumstances. She writes with such transparency, unafraid to discuss the hard and sometimes unanswerable questions...and yet does so with such grace. Sarah's faith in God, even in the face of her worst nightmares coming true, will challenge you to examine your own faith as well. She is a reflection of the truth that God never said that this life would be easy, but He would be with us the entire time and our hope should be in the promise of his redemptive power over all of our troubles. This is a book that you want to read, and follow her blog too...a beautiful soul who is bringing light into this dark world!