favorite books related to suffering

March 2019

I have read very few books specifically about infertility. I found myself too often trying to compare my story to the author’s, and they were of course never the same, so I ended up feeling misunderstood. However, I have read a lot of books about waiting and suffering and pain, and even though the specific stories were not about infertility, the truths about God remain the same, and I wanted to share some of the titles that have blessed me.

Bittersweet by Shauna Niequist: essay-style chapters exploring the bittersweet nature of the Christian life. Shauna did encounter multiple miscarriages, and she writes about those in these pages, but she has a broader experience of looking for God in a difficult season of life. I’ve read and reread this one 10+ times, and it always refreshes me in my trust in what the Lord is doing.

Still Waiting by Ann Swindell: Jesus-centered and beautifully written!

Suffering is Never for Nothing by Elisabeth Elliot: I can’t emphasize this enough–READ THIS BOOK.

Suffering by Paul David Tripp: written in the midst of his own pain and confusion to explore the theology behind suffering.

The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis: this book helped me grasp God’s goodness in new, foundational ways.

A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis: short, memoir-style that was easy to relate to.

A Severe Mercy by Sheldon Vanauken: one of my all-time favorite books. His story is a beautiful illustration of God’s “severe mercy” in our lives.

The Gospel of Ruth by Carolyn Custis James: I loved this one because she points out the likelihood of Ruth’s infertility in her first marriage. While that’s not what the book is about, this book gave me a new perspective on the story of Ruth, and it was sweet to examine the ways God met Ruth and provided for her–and it made her ability to conceive at the end that much more miraculous.

Longing for Motherhood by Chelsea Patterson Sobolik: One of the only infertility books I read and found help and hope in. Love Chelsea’s heart and her consolation alongside the truth of Christ.

Courage, Dear Heart by Rebecca K. Reynolds: beautifully-written essays addressing different topics and struggles.

Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty: memoir about Sara’s journey through infertility and adoption.