I have often said that I don’t know what I think or what I believe until I write about it. Writing is how I reflect, how I meditate, how I chart life’s every journey. In the waning weeks of 2020 my dear son Nick passed away very suddenly and very unexpectedly. And when that sorrow was still new in my heart, when the tears were still fresh in my eyes, when I barely knew up from down and here from there, I began to write. I had to write because I had to know what to think and what to believe, what to feel and what to do. I had to know whether to rage or to worship, whether to run or to bow, whether to give up or to go on. I had to know how to comfort my wife, how to console my daughters, how to shore up my own faith. I put fingers to keyboard and pen to paper to find out.
In the weeks and months that followed, I wrote a series of meditations, some of which I shared through this blog, but many of which I did not. As that first year drew to a close and I came to the first anniversary of Nick’s death, I wrote one final meditation, then sent it all to my publisher in the hope that it would be able to bless and serve others. The result is Seasons of Sorrow: The Pain of Loss and the Comfort of God which will be published on September 13. The book is not a thorough theology of grief or an exhaustive tome on suffering, but neither is it meant to be. It is a real-time, first-person, present-tense series of reflections on the pain that comes with loss and the comfort that God provides. It is my fervent prayer that it will give help, hope, and comfort to others who are enduring hardship as well as to those who may be seeking to help them.
I sent the manuscript to some friends and asked if they would consider reading it and providing some words of endorsement. All were kind enough to do so and you can read their words below.
It would mean a lot to me, and be helpful to the publisher, if you would consider pre-ordering Seasons of Sorrow. Pre-ordering a book helps the booksellers gauge interest and, if the results are good, to determine how they will give it attention as it releases. In other words, if it is something you would order anyway, it would be helpful if you would order it in advance. Here are a few of the stores that already have it listed for pre-order:
‘If ever there was a book Tim Challies needed to write, it’s this one. And it’s a book I needed to read. Within these pages, you will do more than enter Tim’s story of enormous loss; you will come out on the other side having gained a softer heart and a renewed courage to persevere through your own dark seasons of affliction.’ — Joni Eareckson Tada, founder of the Joni and Friends International Disability Center
‘Seasons of Sorrow is a beautiful book. Reading it is like holding a precious gift, like standing on holy ground.’ — Paul David Tripp, pastor, speaker, author of New Morning Mercies and Suffering: Gospel Hope When Life Doesn’t Make Sense
‘Seasons of Sorrow cut straight to my soul. I read it within a few weeks of the unexpected deaths of two close friends and while my wife struggles bravely with stage 4 cancer. Tim’s heartfelt pain and Christ-centered perspective spoke to both my heart and my head.’ — Randy Alcorn, author of Heaven and If God Is Good
‘Tim Challies has taken us into his confidence by writing with such self-searching honesty. It is a painful pleasure to be invited into these sacred moments of grief and to be helped by the reminder that God is too kind ever to be cruel and too wise ever to make a mistake.’ — Alistair Begg, senior pastor, Parkside Church, and host of the Truth for Life radio program
‘Believers need this book, and only Tim Challies could have written it. I am so thankful that Nick was a student at Boyce College, and his influence as a young Christian was remarkable.’ — Albert and Mary Mohler
‘In the pages of this book, grieving people will find companionship, insight, and genuine encouragement for the journey.’ — Nancy Guthrie, author of Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow and cohost of Respite Retreats for grieving parents
‘This book is brilliant, not because of Tim Challies’s eloquence, but because of his tears! The buoyancy of faith that shines from every page often left me teary-eyed, thanking God for his grace to his people during their darkest times. What priceless grace!’ — Conrad Mbewe, pastor of Kabwata Baptist Church and founding chancellor of the African Christian University
‘If you have lost a loved one to death, as everyone has, or if you have buried a child, as many have, Tim Challies is your friend. Your brother. Your lifeline.’ — Robert and Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, bestselling authors