One Year Book of Hope – Monthly Book Review

Each month we will be posting a book review dealing with pregnancy and infant loss. This months review comes from our team member Melissa Joy C. who has reviewed Nancy Guthrie’s One Year Book of Hope.


I casually ordered a book online a few months ago—it was one of those times on Amazon when I wasn’t quite at the $25 mark and wanted to reach it in order to have free shipping. So anyway, I (almost haphazardly) added one more book to my cart before checking out. It was The One Year Book of Hope, by Nancy Guthrie.

I considered saving it for January, to use as a formal daily devotional for 2010; you know, since it is organized into a “one year” format. But I couldn’t wait and decided that I needed to crack open its cover. I needed to know that hope still exists—and couldn’t wait those couple of weeks. Because some moments, I just don’t see it—hope.

On one of the first pages, there is simply this quote:

Comfort is the one thing you cannot get by looking for it.
If you look for truth, you may find comfort in the end:
if you look for comfort you will not get either comfort or truth–
only soft soap and wishful thinking to begin with and, in the end, despair.
~C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
Then I read the “Acknowledgments” page – that’s when the tears began.
I took off my glasses, wiped my cheeks with my sleeve, took a sip of tea, and turned the page.

Two sentences into the “Introduction,” I lost it again. Something about the phrase “loss that changed everything about your life in an instant” hit me hard. She gets it. Guthrie gets it. It isn’t just one thing in my life. It’s one thing in my life that suddenly, instantaneously changed everything. She goes on, and another phrase pinpointed reality for me when she mentioned “all the questions that taunt us in the midst of tears and keep us awake in the night.” I’m not sure which is worse—that scenario or the nightmares when I do sleep. But either way, she gets it.

Guthrie shares the story of losing their baby girl due to Zellweger Syndrome. She says, “Though we had shed our share of tears during her life, and while I was hopeful that those tears would lighten my load of grief after her death, it didn’t seem to work that way.”

During some of my pregnancies, I have hoped it would work that way too. But nope, it doesn’t. She goes on, “It seems to me that most losses aren’t just one loss, but a series of losses. For a while I grieved Hope [her daughter]’s death. Then I grieved her limited life. Then I grieved our loss of potential.” A series of losses.

Later in the “Introduction,” Guthrie explains something her sister-in-law shared with her. When asking how you can get through and deal with the death of such a dearly loved one, her sister-in-law said “‘Manna.’ She explained that just as the children of Israel were dependent on God to provide manna to sustain them every day while they wandered in the wilderness, I had to depend on God to give me the manna I needed every day to sustain me as I grieved my loss… Every day.

Stop crying.
Wipe those tears, Melissa, you’ve gotta keep reading.
Look at the next page.

Processing pain and embracing its lessons are daily endeavors. Every day we need a little more light to illumine our darkness.” I am not alone. Manna.


This devotional is set up into weeks—52 of them, with five devotionals in each week that go along a central theme. But while it is designed to be a year-long study, if you are like me, you won’t take that long to read it. There are days when I don’t pick it up at all, but when I do—I will read 2 or 3, or maybe a week’s worth of all 5 devotionals. It’s just that good. There are Scriptures, personal anecdotes, prayers, and meditations for each day. Each week’s theme has been a blessing to me—themes like Brokenhearted, Why?, Miracles, The Mysteries Of Heaven, Angels, Storms, Finding Purpose In Pain, Blessing, Prayer, Waiting, and Letting Go.


So that’s my new favorite book.
It’s my new lifeline, I think, really.
I am more than halfway through the book now, and glean something from its every lesson. The pages are dimpled with my tears and I think every page is full of underscores by my trusty pen.

If you are a bereaved mommy, especially a Christian one, I think I can safely say that you need to read this book. I am praying that God would use this book in our lives, that He would renew our hope, and that we would have the courage to continue reading—and living.

– Submitted by Melissa Joy C.


*Interested in submitting your own pregnancy and infant loss book review? Please to have your review(s) published on Grieve Out Loud. Please include book title in your e-mail.

4 Responses to “One Year Book of Hope – Monthly Book Review”

  • Holly Says:

    A great review! I think I may need to get this one from the way you describe it for next years devotional.

  • Monica Says:

    I’ve been reading this book for a couple of months. I’m the same way, I read it for a few days and then I might skip a few days. Last night I read 5 days worth, I almost couldn’t put it down. It has helped me so much and has given me a new hunger for reading my Bible.

  • Joyful Domesticity » Check Out My Review Says:

    [...] out the book review I wrote for Grieve Out [...]

  • Lori Says:

    Along with this…Nancy has several other books that make such a difference because she REALLY DOES GET IT! Hanging on to Hope is amazing. She wrote it before the One Year…highly recommend any of her work!

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