“Jacob was left alone; and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.” (Genesis 32:24) 

 

The new memoir, WRESTLING WITH GOD, Through Suffering to Grace by Valerie Ann Hart, is an inspiring story of struggle, self-discovery and transformation that is particularly meaningful for our current times. As social distancing leaves us alone we are all wrestling with something, whether physical, emotional or spiritual.

Six months pregnant with her first child, Valerie Hart’s life is shattered when her husband Ron is hit head-on by a truck. Locked in a co-dependent relationship, she must deal with his lengthy recovery, a disrupted professional career path and the stresses of motherhood  alone. 

 

More challenges followed, including job loss, grief, brain surgery, a mysterious chronic illness and the ultimate betrayal that brought on a forced cross country move. 

 

“I want to share my story so that others might see their lives in a new way by knowing that what I’ve struggled with has become a source of blessing,” says the author about her reason writing the book. “This may be the perfect time for a story that acknowledges personal pain, to remind us that we are not alone, and lift up the hope of moving forward, even if we walk with a limp.”

Reviews

The Franciscan Times: 

A Magazine of the Third Order, Society of St. Francis

Early Summer 2020

Reviewed by Liz Peacock, TSSF

  It’s a page-turner.

  Valerie’s memoir is gripping, compelling, like a great suspense novel. I couldn’t put it down, couldn’t wait to find out what happens next.

  But that’s not why I love this book.

  It’s brutally honest and self-searching. With great courage, Valerie lays open her deepest fears and struggles, baring her naked soul for the world to see. She displays a profound self-knowledge, sharing her own weaknesses, blindspots, and missteps as easily and honestly as her victories. 

  But that’s not why I love this book.

  It seems to me no accident that this book came out in the middle of the pandemic. I experienced with Valerie crisis after crisis, tragedy after tragedy, loss after loss. I felt with her all the fear, all the brokenness, and all the despair. Her story of pain resonates with the pain I'm feeling right now.

  But that’s not why I love this book.
  I love this book because it’s a book about hope, the kind of hope that :

    • rises out of the deepest despair; 
    • comes from knowing in the depths of her soul that God is 

      present, intimately present, through all of it; and
   •  is drawn from someone who has truly wrestled with God.

  I need that right now. We all do.

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