A grief counselor commented, “Grieving people need down-to-earth wisdom. Leona doesn't preach or find fault with those who struggle with grief. She offers us wisdom and nestles our wounded hearts into the loving heart of God.”
Leona writes for Christian widows, whether newly bereaved or alone for many years. This is a book for all seasons of loss.
Upbeat, practical and inspiring, this book and the companion book, The Widow's Might, point a widow toward healthy single personhood in Christ. Family, friends, pastors and counselors will receive help in understanding the Christian widow from these pages.
Rather than use the term “widowed,” Leona suggests use of the term “singled out” in the sense of the Christian woman being chosen and appointed by a loving God for her new role in life as a single again. She writes from experience, having lost her husband Ted, the father of their four children, after 45 years of marriage and missionary ministry.
Leona approaches universal grief feelings from multiple directions with tender understanding. Besides drawing on her own experience and extensive research, she shares moving stories and examples of fellow travelers on the road to healthy adjustment. Anchoring her insights squarely on the Scriptures, she applies God's principles with tender honesty. She doesn't hesitate to probe deep feelings and wrestle with hard questions while offering abundant comfort.
Dr. Chester L. Schneider, retired clinical psychiatrist and former medical missionary, endorsed Leona's book in the Foreword: “As a practicing psychiatrist for many years, her writing makes sense to me professionally and personally. If widows whom I treated had read this book soon after the death of their husbands, many might not have needed my professional services. Not all grieving requires intervention by a professional. That's where Leona's book comes in.
“I have known the author for many years to be honest, direct, and perceptively sensitive. She addresses a wide variety of facets arising from widowhood. It's difficult to imagine any she has overlooked. She allows herself to be vulnerable and the result is that readers can readily identify with her. I would eagerly have recommended her book to my patients had it been available.”
Leona writes, “As a new widow, I thought God wanted me to hurry toward adjustment. Somehow I thought that if I spent time in working through some of my grief that it would be “unchristian.” Wouldn't God be displeased if I wasn't immediately victorious? After all, I believe that my Christian husband entered the thrilling new dimension of heaven when he left this life. He is with Christ at last and free from pain, trials, and limitations. I was supposed to rejoice, wasn't I?
“Therefore, I didn't take enough time to cross a natural bridge over my troubled waters—the bridge of the initial, healthy grieving process that God Himself lovingly provides. But better late than never, I discovered I had to back track to confront, embrace, and work through my normal emotions. Only then could I move on to healthy adjustment as a single again and experience the delight of finding God's new (or continuing) assignment. Only then did my valley of grief become a joyful valley of learning.”
This is a book whose time has come. It differs from many books on the subject. Leona writes with sensitive understanding to inspire and encourage the woman who has suffered the loss of a spouse and is often pressured by well-meaning friends to “get over it” quickly.
She recognizes and addresses the great diversity of responses to grief due to our various temperaments, backgrounds, and experience, and gently applies sound biblical principles.