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a grieving mother shares her heart: a book review December 21, 2006

Posted by guinever in book review, christianity, death, family, grief, healing, life, loss, Sharon Betters.
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treasures-in-darkness.jpgA couple months after my daughter died, my pastor gave me the book, A Grieving Mother Shares Her Heart: Treasures in Darkness. I read it in a couple days, finding in its pages validation for the way I was grieving and how I felt. The process that Sharon Betters had gone through mirrored my own. It helped to know that I wasn’t the only one who had experienced the overwhelming heartache that comes with the loss of a child.

Then I read the book again, highlighting parts that I wanted to come back to.

As Sharon quoted extensively from the journal she wrote in the first months after her son Mark died in a car accident, I watched her struggle with God and then accept her life’s circumstance. Sharon embraces God’s promise of eternal life for His children. She rests in the shadow of the Almighty’s arms, finding treasures of hope in the darkest moments of grief.

The hymns and Scripture she includes in the book were the same passages I had already gone to repeatedly for comfort.

I am worn out from groaning;
all night long I flood my bed with weeping
and drench my couch with tears.
My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
they fail because of all my foes.
Away from me, all you who do evil,
for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy.
~ Psalm 6:6-9

I think that anyone who has experienced a significant loss can benefit from Sharon’s book. She allows grief and points the reader toward healing and comfort in the Lord.

The book is also for those who want to help and minister to people who are grieving. In a chapter titled Who’s Bearing Whose Burden, Sharon writes,

The challenge of Paul in Galations 6:2, “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,” teaches us that God expects us to not only need each other but also reflect the love of Christ by helping each other. Grief is not a pathway we should attempt to walk alone.

She addresses what she calls “echoes of mercy” which are the little things in life that God sends our way to encourage us. Such a God of grace we have. She shows us how to get through the ugly grief and live life.

Read another review of Treasures in Darkness

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1. Brian O'Leary - December 27, 2006

O Thou Who Dry’st The Mourner’s Tear!
By Thomas Moore

Air – Haydn

“He healeth the broken heart,
and bindeth up their wounds.”
Psalm cxlvii.3

I

O Thou who dry’st the mourner’s tear,
How dark this world would be,
If, when deceived and wounded here,
We could not fly to Thee.
The friends who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes, are flown;
And he who has but tears to give,
Must weep those tears alone.
But Thou wilt heal that broken heart,
Which, like the plants that throw
Their fragrance from the wounded part,
Breathes sweetness out of woe.

II

When joy no longer soothes or cheers,
And e’en the hope that threw
A moment’s sparkle o’er our tears
Is dimm’d and vanish’d too!
Oh, who would bear life’s stormy doom,
Did not thy wing of love
Come, brightly wafting through the gloom
Our Peace-branch from above?
Then sorrow, touch’d by Thee, grows bright
With more than rapture’s ray:
As darkness shows us worlds of light
We never saw by day!

Brian O’

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2. allison - January 16, 2007

I enjoyed reading your review of Sharon Betters book. I loved the book for many reasons. And your review was great. I hope that people who visit your site will be prompted to get it and read it. It is insightful for those who have not walked through such valleys of grief….helpful in being honest about the process and showing those with less experience some of the realities, and how to come alongside and love. And it offers freedom in understanding that each of us grieves differently. Perhaps this will be a book that will encourage and promote healing for many.

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3. guinever - January 21, 2007

Brian, thanks so much for posting the poem

The friends who in our sunshine live,
When winter comes, are flown;
And he who has but tears to give,
Must weep those tears alone.

and thank you for showing me
Psalm 74 in the NRSV. You’re right; it’s beautiful.

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