Once again, the fabulous BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided an incredible book for me to review–and one for me to give away to a FINCHNWREN reader, as well! Author Beth Lueders’ new book, Bend-When Life Dares You To Break, begins with a question: “Do we really need God to right ourselves again?” Lueders, a writer and journalist who’s traveled worldwide, applies her exceptional interviewing skills with people who’ve faced both tragedy and struggle to discover the answer. The result is a book you won’t want to miss.
Suffering is tough. (Just ask Job.) It’s often unexpected and surprising. We don’t know how long it will go on or how it will end. It can be demoralizing, especially if it’s one of those times that the difficult situation stretches out for a long time. It can make us question our faith and even whether God is truly trustworthy; if He truly cares about what is happening in our lives or if He really does love us.
In Bend, Beth Lueders talks with men and women who have undergone adversity and sometimes even anguish. She asks them both how they found the strength to endure and what they thought of God during and after their times of trial; how, indeed, they managed to bend under the weight of the struggle instead of breaking. Lueders also shares the stories of some of her own pain and affliction. She tells these stories in such a warm and personable manner, so much so that in many cases I felt as though I were seated at the table with the author and those she interviewed. Each chapter ends with a related question and some journaling space for the reader’s own thoughts, with a bonus section at the end of the book that explores the themes or the characters of each chapter a bit further. (I loved that portion especially, since I’m always someone who loves an epilogue!)
In Bend, you’ll meet:
- A Lithuanian Jewish woman who survived the Nazi’s wholesale slaughter of the Jews of her country
- Three moms of children with significant special needs
- A Marine, having served in Iraq, who suffers from TBI and devastating physical injuries and post-traumatic stress
- Three Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame inductees, who played stellar baseball while facing segregation, broken or poor equipment, and denied service because of the color of their skin
- An incarcerated man, who’d had a brilliant future until he stepped aside into crime
- And more
These accounts of people who’d faced incredible loss and still came out on the other side are told with grace, humor, and compassion. Lueders’ interviews with agnostics, Christians, Jews; with Americans both born and raised in the States and those who are immigrants from other lands (Poland, Lithuania, Liberia) are warm and captivating. You will not want to put this book down once you’ve begun to read it.
My thoughts about Bend
As an American who’d much rather dance through a field of flowers than go through tribulation, I approached Bend with some trepidation. I want to be someone who is able to bend rather than break in times of suffering. But I did feel a bit nervous about engaging with a book ABOUT suffering.
I needn’t have worried, however. Once I started reading Bend I absolutely could not stop reading. Actually, I read it in one day! I loved meeting each character. I was drawn into their stories and experiences. I really did feel as though I was engaging with each person, and each family, as I learned about their lives. (Beth really is that good!)
And I have to tell you; this book engaged me so deeply that it made me cry, several times, over the losses that these precious people had gone through. I’m not really much of a crier. In fact, I don’t think I have cried over a book in decades. But Beth really helps you see these people, and feel, even if it’s to a much tinier degree than they themselves felt, the devastation they walked through. They may never get over their losses and their suffering on this side of heaven. But for many of them, they KNOW that they will see their loved ones again; that some day, there will be complete healing.
Sometimes, looking at suffering makes us draw back. But in Bend, I was able to see some of the breadth and depth of the pain of the human condition. And in seeing that, and hearing the stories of how God was somehow there, I was comforted. I was reminded that, even when we don’t understand pain and life, we really do have a God who loves us.
Get yourself a copy of this book. It will move you, teach you, comfort you, and bless you. And someone who enters the giveaway below win will a copy!
Enter to win your own copy!
I am so, so happy that BlogAbout Blogger Network has provided a SIGNED copy for me to give away to a reader! I am so excited for y’all to check out this book, and for someone to have the chance to win it. To enter, simply click on the “Enter here!” link below. That will take you to a Giveaway Tools entry form where you’ll be able to enter in a variety of ways. Giveaway closes on 10/20/20. Best wishes!
Where to purchase
You can purchase a copy of Bend that is even signed by the author yourself! Order author-signed copies of Bend directly from Beth at BethLueders.com.
DISCLOSURE: From time to time, FINCHNWREN may receive a free product or service that we mention on the blog. We are not required to write a positive or glowing review, nor are we additionally compensated for these reviews. We share our own opinions, and our family’s opinion, of these products. We’re disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.