A Force of Will by Mike Stavlund
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.
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? Or how would you feel? Or maybe you know first hand what Mike is feeling. This is a difficult book to read because of the heartbreaking events of Stavlund losing is baby boy. It was heartwrenching to read about his feeling and how he hurt. Though I hurt with him, I have no idea how he felt when that horrible day happened in his life.
But one positive thing you will find while reading this book is that you can survive when life slaps you will difficulties you don’t want to face. It won’t be easy, and I appreciate Mike Stanlund’s honesty in the different feeling he had during this time, because we all have these same feelings when we loose loved ones. And I can not imagine how it would be if it were a child.
If you are going through loosing a child, this book is a must for you. It will help you cope with life, even when you don’t want to. And this guy is totally honest, and will help you with the feelings you are having! Give A Force of Will a try.
I received this book from Baker Books to read and
review. 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 55.