Only God Knows Why: A Mother's Memoir of Death and Rebirth

Chalice Press
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"I heard a choking, gasping sound and looked around, then realized it was coming from me. This was a kind of horrid scene from a television show, but this couldn't be real life. Our real life. My body went numb again and the doctor's voice grew farther and farther away. My baby was going to die. And nothing would be the same ever again." Losing a child isn't the end of the world. It could be, but it isn't. So what happens to a mother during and after such a life-altering tragedy? Author Amy Lyon invites readers on her journey as she shuffles (less than perfectly) through the ruins of loss to find that, buried beneath the thick layers of sorrow, hope and joy can exist...even if you refuse to believe.
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About the author

Amy Lyon is a community newspaper editor near Minneapolis. She is a wife and mother who assists parents in their grief journey as they navigate the "new normal" after the loss of a child. Find out more about her and resources for grieving families at amylyon.com
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Additional Information

Publisher
Chalice Press
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Published on
Sep 30, 2012
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Pages
207
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ISBN
9780827227538
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Language
English
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Genres
Religion / Christian Life / Death, Grief, Bereavement
Religion / Christian Life / Family
Religion / Christian Life / Women's Issues
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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#1 New York Times best-seller with more than 11 million copies sold and Amazon’s #17 best-selling book of all time. Heaven Is for Real was the best-selling non-fiction book of 2011 as reported by Nielsen’s Bookscan, and was developed as a major motion picture by Sony in 2014.

“Do you remember the hospital, Colton?” Sonja said. “Yes, mommy, I remember,” he said. “That’s where the angels sang to me.”

When Colton Burpo made it through an emergency appendectomy, his family was overjoyed at his miraculous survival. What they weren’t expecting, though, was the story that emerged in the months that followed—a story as beautiful as it was extraordinary, detailing their little boy’s trip to heaven and back.

Colton, not yet four years old, told his parents he left his body during the surgery–and authenticated that claim by describing exactly what his parents were doing in another part of the hospital while he was being operated on. He talked of visiting heaven and relayed stories told to him by people he met there whom he had never met in life, sharing events that happened even before he was born. He also astonished his parents with descriptions and obscure details about heaven that matched the Bible exactly, though he had not yet learned to read.

With disarming innocence and the plainspoken boldness of a child, Colton tells of meeting long-departed family members. He describes Jesus, the angels, how “really, really big” God is, and how much God loves us. Retold by his father, but using Colton’s uniquely simple words, Heaven Is for Real offers a glimpse of the world that awaits us, where as Colton says, “Nobody is old and nobody wears glasses.”

Heaven Is for Real will forever change the way you think of eternity, offering the chance to see, and believe, like a child.

Continue the Burpos story in Heaven Changes Everything: The Rest of Our Story. Heaven Is for Real also is available in Spanish, El cielo es real.

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A meditation on sense-making when there’s no sense to be made, on letting go when we can’t hold on, and on being unafraid even when we’re terrified.”—Lucy Kalanithi
 
“Belongs on the shelf alongside other terrific books about this difficult subject, like Paul Kalanithi’s When Breath Becomes Air and Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal.”—Gates Notes

Kate Bowler is a professor at Duke Divinity School with a modest Christian upbringing, but she specializes in the study of the prosperity gospel, a creed that sees fortune as a blessing from God and misfortune as a mark of God’s disapproval. At thirty-five, everything in her life seems to point toward “blessing.” She is thriving in her job, married to her high school sweetheart, and loves life with her newborn son.

Then she is diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer.

The prospect of her own mortality forces Kate to realize that she has been tacitly subscribing to the prosperity gospel, living with the conviction that she can control the shape of her life with “a surge of determination.” Even as this type of Christianity celebrates the American can-do spirit, it implies that if you “can’t do” and succumb to illness or misfortune, you are a failure. Kate is very sick, and no amount of positive thinking will shrink her tumors. What does it mean to die, she wonders, in a society that insists everything happens for a reason? Kate is stripped of this certainty only to discover that without it, life is hard but beautiful in a way it never has been before.

Frank and funny, dark and wise, Kate Bowler pulls the reader deeply into her life in an account she populates affectionately with a colorful, often hilarious retinue of friends, mega-church preachers, relatives, and doctors. Everything Happens for a Reason tells her story, offering up her irreverent, hard-won observations on dying and the ways it has taught her to live.

Praise for Everything Happens for a Reason
 
“I fell hard and fast for Kate Bowler. Her writing is naked, elegant, and gripping—she’s like a Christian Joan Didion. I left Kate’s story feeling more present, more grateful, and a hell of a lot less alone. And what else is art for?”—Glennon Doyle, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Love Warrior and president of Together Rising
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