Reaching for Wonder - Marlo SchaleskyReaching for Wonder

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Reaching for Wonder: Encountering Christ When Life Hurts by Marlo Schalesky

Sometimes life hurts. Sometimes you’ve struggled, and stumbled, until it even hurts to hope. Perhaps you’ve faced a spiritual crisis of disappointment, doubt, or a feeling of distance from God due to unanswered prayers and painful circumstances. But what does it mean to encounter Christ in those times? What does he say to us when we have nothing left to say? How do we see him when pain has silenced our prayers and blinded our souls?

In Reaching for Wonder, Marlo Schalesky explores fifteen of the New Testament’s one-time encounters with Christ to illuminate the surprising character of a God who transforms our pain into wonder.

Because sometimes life isn’t at all as we want it to be…

Because we lose the wonder in the hardships of life …

Because encountering Christ changes everything…

Like those who have gone before, following God’s call isn’t about easy faith, a life of effortlessness, or every prayer answered when and how we want. Instead, it’s about encountering God so deeply, so significantly, that everything about your circumstances, about your life, about you, changes because of God.

In these New Testament stories you’ll find guidance to a deeper understanding of God’s plan for you, a more vibrant faith, and a fuller trust in God. Plus you’ll find hope in knowing that your life may not be as you had envisioned it, but is one in which God is doing a mighty work.

Waiting for Wonder

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Because God’s timing is so rarely our own…

Because we lose the wonder in the waiting of life …

Marlo often says she should have a PhD in the art of waiting. Now, she brings what she’s learned to the story of the Bible’s Sarah to explore the wonder of waiting for those on a long journey toward the promised land. It’s easy to believe God when a promise is new. It’s hard when years pass and nothing changes. It’s hard to keep praying, hoping, believing. It’s hard when desperation strikes, your plans backfire, and still God does not fill the emptiness. But God is calling us to more. He’s calling us, as He called Sarah, to wonder, to laughter in the face of the impossible, to a blessing not just for us but for the whole world. Come, join Sarah on a journey of faith, failure, and amazing wonder.

Wrestling With Wonder

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You’ve never seen Mary, or her God, like this!

Who is this God? Who is he who calls us to surrender and then leads us on a journey of twists and turns, ups and downs, unlike anything we could have ever expected? Who is this God who calls a young girl to birth a Savior and then watch him die on a Roman cross? Who is he who fulfills every promise and yet shatters every expectation?

Come, join Mary, Jesus’ mother, on a journey of discovery. Hear the angel’s call, walk the long road to Bethlehem, give birth in a barn, search for a lost son, kneel at the foot of a cross, and experience the wind of the Spirit. Come, walk with Mary, and find your own journey in hers.

Because life rarely turns out the way we planned…

Because we lose the wonder in the disappointments of life …

Because being highly favored does not mean being highly pampered …

Because Mary shows us God — Passionate, breath-taking, and unpredictable…

emptywombEmpty Womb, Aching Heart

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Empty Womb, Aching Heart listed among the top 11 infertility books on Healthline

A Special Note from Marlo:

I wish no one had to go through the pain of infertility. But the truth is, some of us do. Below is a little bit about my non fiction book, Empty Womb, Aching Heart, and why I wrote it. Since its release, I’ve received letters from all over the world telling me how the stories in the book have brought hope and healing to many on the journey through infertility.

Also on this page are some helpful articles and tips for your reference. May God strengthen you and give you peace!

About the Book: Infertility strikes at the core of what it means to be a woman or man, tests marriages, and shakes faith. The honest, open, and emotionally resonant first-person stories in Empty Womb, Aching Heart share the real struggles couples face, including “crying in the diaper aisle”, wondering if you are “less of a woman”, asking “how far should we go?” or whispering to God “it’s not fair.”

This is a book for the times when professional advice isn’t enough, and you’ve had your fill of well-meaning comments from those who haven’t experienced infertility.  Empty Womb, Aching Heart will help you know you are not alone with true stories about couples who share your hopes, fears, frustrations, and the comfort only God can bring.

Marlo’s Story: It wasn’t supposed to be like this. Even when I was a little girl and boys had cooties, I knew that someday I’d grow up, get married, and have children. After all, didn’t everyone? As I entered adulthood, everything seemed to be going along fine. I met a wonderful man, got married, and on our honeymoon we had fun discussing what we might name our future children. Later, we bought a house with extra bedrooms for the kids we hoped to soon have.

But the years passed, and no children came. No morning sickness, no rounding belly, no baby showers filled with cute little booties and boxes of diapers. Soon, hope turned to fear and trips to the mall changed to travels to the doctor’s office. Tests and more tests, fertility drugs and ovulation sticks became a part of my everyday life. But still, no babies. Fear turned to grief and pain. What was happening to all our dreams? Would there never be a baby in the nursery? Or a pink-cheeked child to call me Mom?

In those days, advice was plentiful. Everyone who discovered that we were having trouble conceiving volunteered their own magic cure. Our fertility specialist loaded us down with pamphlets, articles, and information on web-sites. With him, we planned the course of our medical treatment. Then, we attended seminars on IVF, GIFT, ZIFT, IUI, and a host of other alphabet-soup procedures. But, despite all the information, my heart still felt as if it were breaking every day. And no one offered hope for that . . . until I spoke with a woman named Sandra and discovered that I was not alone in my pain.

Eventually, I met others, just like Sandra, just like me, who were struggling with the same heartaches, questions, and fears. As they shared their stories over cups of coffee or glasses of lemonade, I encountered a type of wisdom and comfort that was not available in the reams of information I had on infertility. Theirs were stories of experience, of those who had walked the path I trod and found a glimmer of peace in the midst of it.

This book is a compilation of their stories, the experiences of people who have struggled and are struggling through the pain of infertility. It is not meant to be guidebook on infertility treatments, or a manual on what to do, think, or feel. It gives no easy answers. It offers no quick cures. Rather, this book comes from the hearts of fellow travelers, like you, and in its pages I pray that you’ll find what you need – hope, understanding, and the healing touch of God.

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