Find fullness of joy during the holidays—especially for the brokenhearted.
Divorce. Financial stress. Chronic illness. Losing a loved one. Experiencing any of these situations during the year is already difficult. But the holiday season, once joyful and happy, can heighten this pain even more. Author Bo Stern has spent the past two Christmases struggling to connect with the joy of the season. As she has watched her husband, Steve, struggle with terminal ALS, Bo has quietly felt her spirit for the season fade—and has noticed countless others suffering the same way.
Through stories and scriptures, Bo offers readers a way to redeem what can often become painful days—Thanksgiving, Christmas, birthdays and anniversaries, milestones such as weddings and graduations, and more. At the end of each devotion, Bo gently guides readers to engage with these holidays and special occasions in different ways that offer a tangible outlet for healing. At the heart of this message is that Christ came—to bring hope and healing to those who are hurting.
“Jesus didn’t come to cheer us up. He came into the shadowlands we call home to set us free. He came to untangle us from the despair that wraps itself around our joy and peace and purpose. It seems, then, that hopelessness is the very first qualification for receiving the bright hope of Christ’s coming. Perhaps you are exactly where you need to be to experience the miracle after all…”
Trim Size: 5 x 7
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The subtitle for this book captures the essence of why this little treasure trove will encourage the heart of anyone who reads it: "Finding Hidden Hope Amid Pain and Loss." Bo pulls back the curtain on the difficult yet deeply precious realities of her life while writing short snippets of truth that serve as a survival guide during hard times.
She gives an action step at the end of each chapter to assist not only in coping but also to promote thriving during the holidays (or any other day of the year actually!). Her suggestions are practical, uncomplicated, and refreshing, which is about all that someone who is struggling with pain and loss can handle. One of my favorites is her idea to simply write the word "Immanuel" on our hand as a reminder that God is with us.
Each chapter begins with a verse, followed with Bo sharing in her beautifully-authentic style (that we've all come to know and love after reading her last two books) as she unwraps the deeper...
When I first heard that Bo was writing this book, I assumed that by "Holidays" she meant Thanksgiving and Christmas. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Bo actually tackles ALL the major holidays, and some not-so-major. Bo's writing reached right down into my soul and stirred up deep-rooted pain, then somehow gently soothed it. Her honest, transparent communication makes her teaching relatable and easy to understand. Even when it's a deep, soul-wrenching, hard-to-grasp truth, such as "sorrow is not sin, and gratitude does not cancel out grief." I literally wept upon reading this chapter. I wept tears of relief and release as years of guilt melted away. I had tried to cancel my grief with gratitude and it wasn't working. All I needed was for someone to tell me that my sorrow was not sinful and that I couldn't wash it away by being grateful. Bo writes, "...we all need permission to experience both joy and sorrow. When we stop viewing grief and...
If you are struggling, tentative or dreading the holidays approaching for any reason, "When Holidays Hurt : Finding Hidden Hope Amid the Pain and Loss" is the book for you. Bo, writes raw, honest and beautifully as she and her family journey the stormy waters of ALS through many holidays and celebrations, Her writing has touched our family as we look at a new picture of holidays without one of our members, as he went home to be with the Lord last week. I appreciate Bo's way of telling her story woven with scripture, the truth of who God is and His constant love for us, even in the midst of our hurt and weariness. Thank you, Bo for writing "When Holidays Hurt", it has come to us at a time we need it.
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