5 Books That Have Breathed Life Into Me

The Bible - Jesus

No seriously. This book has been the greatest help to me in this during this time. Immediately after Amanda’s death nights and mornings were the two hardest times for me. They were the two times of the day where I was most aware of the void Amanda left. Within a couple days I began back my routine of waking up, drinking coffee and reading the Bible. From that point forward, mornings were no longer excruciatingly painful. I actually looked forward to the mornings and the promise of hope the pages of scripture provides. Now I feel like I am living Psalm 30:5 - “Weeping may tarry through the night, but Joy comes with the morning."

A Grief Observed - C.S. Lewis

This was the first book I read after Amanda’s death. Someone sent it to me with a note enclosed telling me how it had impacted them. It was very timely and very powerful. This book is a collection of Lewis’ journal entries after he lost his wife to cancer. As you turn each page, you experience the progression of him wrestling with God through loss. Lewis was able to articulate everything I was feeling in my heart but didn’t have the words to say.

Through the Eyes of a Lion - Levi Lusko

I was turned on to Levi when I heard him preach at Elevation Church back in October. Amanda and I listened to that message on a train ride to Chicago 2 weeks before she was killed. During the whole message we were in tears listening to Levi’s story of losing his 5-year-old daughter and what Jesus had been teaching him through it all. Immediately after listening to the message, I jumped online to reserve a copy of the book at the local public library. The book was on back order and happened to come available two days after Amanda’s death. I finally got around to reading it over Thanksgiving and literally couldn’t put it down. It’s a must read for anyone working through loss.

Heaven - Randy Alcorn

This book is the best book on the subject of Heaven I’ve ever read. Unlike many other authors on the subject, Randy doesn’t claim to have gone to heaven and returned. He builds a case for what he thinks we’ll experience in Heaven and on the New Earth based on what the Bible teaches. This book helped me feel close to Amanda again and painted a picture for me of what life is like for her right now.

The Path of Loneliness - Elizabeth Elliot

I wrote more about this book and it’s impact on me here, but this one has helped me as I process being single again after losing my best friend, ministry partner, and lover. Elizabeth lost her first husband when he was tragically murdered by a tribe of South American hostile natives. She lost her second husband to cancer. If there’s anyone who could write on the subject of loneliness, it was her. The most profound truth that came out of this book for me was this: getting answers to my questions will not bring me peace; trusting and obeying The Lord through this season will.

I've included links in the titles of each of these books in case you want to read them too - I hope these books help you as you may be working through pain of your own. As I read more I’ll be sure to update you.