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Grief Undone: A Journey With God and Cancer (Groves)

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New Growth Press
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Grief Undone is the breathtakingly honest, yet hopeful account of how Elizabeth (Libbie) and Al Groves walked with God through Al’s terminal cancer. Their true story—saturated with in-the-moment Scriptural reflections, blogs, and fervent prayers—paints a stunning picture of how faith transforms the human experience of suffering. 

But Grief Undone is more than the chronicle of one family’s courage in the face of cancer. At its core, Grief Undone tells a story about the God who is with his people through each and every circumstance in life. Grief Undone will inevitably display the beauty of Christ’s sustaining love for his people through trials that seemed too hard to bear. Though grief threatens to undo us, we find that we are not destroyed, but sustained by God’s presence.

Story-driven and real, Grief Undone avoids the usual traps of being preachy, gratuitous, or dismissive in the face of suffering and grief. Modeling rather than teaching about healthy and God-honoring grief, Grief Undone is uniquely practical for those who are grieving as well as the pastors, counselors, and friends who seek to help them.

Table of Contents:

1. The Quiet Killer

Shame Uncovered

2. Shame Exposed

3. Shame Through the Years

4. Shame and Disgust

Shame, before Christ

5. Naked Without Shame

6. Naked with Shame

7. The Outcast

8. Clean and Unclean, Holy and Common

9. When God Is Your Tailor

10. Touch and Cleansing

11. ‘Their Faces Shall Never Be Ashamed’

Shame, Honor, and Jesus

12. A Shameful Start

13. The Boundary Violator

14. When God Touches the Untouchables

15. A New Code of Honor

16. New Boundaries for a New Kingdom

17. Mark 14: Shame, Betrayal, and Abandonment

18. The Cross

19. ‘Come and Eat’

20. The Way of the Kingdom

Honor, after Jesus

21. Honored by God

22. ‘You Will Receive Power’

23. The Sacraments

24. Riches, Strength, and Beauty

25. The Apostle Paul on Shame

26. Despising Shame

27. ‘Don’t Be Ashamed’

28. Boasting

29. Brides and Banquets 



Elizabeth W. D. Groves, MAR, teaches Hebrew at Westminster Theological Seminary and is the author of the minibook Becoming a Widow: The Ache of Missing Your Other Half. She has four children, who were ages thirteen and up when her husband Al died in 2007, and two granddaughters born after his death.



 “A lot of people write books about the loss of someone they love. Few are worth reading. This one is. Few combine honesty about the sorrow with insight into the Scripture. This one does. Few people face death holding both present sadness and future hope in their hearts at the same time. That’s what Al and Libbie Groves did. And it is a beautiful thing to behold through the pages of this book.” - Nancy Guthrie, Author of Hearing Jesus Speak into Your Sorrow

“What do you say about a story when you know and love the people who lived and are living that story? Perhaps the most helpful thing I can say is this: Grief Undone tells the truth, in both senses of the word. It is honest—true to life. And it is True—true to Jesus. You can’t say better about a book.” - David Powlison, Executive Director, CCEF; author 

“Here is what will happen as you read this book. You will learn more about how to love those who have lost someone, you will be loosened from your own calcifying grief, you will actually enjoy more of the love of God, you will notice hope growing, and you will cry—mostly all at the same time.” - Ed Welch, PhD, CCEF Faculty; psychologist; best-selling author

“This is a painful, but hopeful book to read. For those of us privileged to have known Al and Libbie as a couple, this book is a poignant reminder of a lost friend. But it is more than that. It is also a powerful plea for the reader to take seriously the truth of the gospel and a trenchant reminder of how Jesus Christ stands with his people in even the darkest of times and will bring them ultimately through death to their eternal home.” - Carl Trueman, Author; pastor; Paul Woolley Professor of Church History, Westminster Theological Seminary

 “‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ This promise of Christ is not only for the apostle Paul, as this volume so convincingly and winsomely evidences. Though written in a highly personal vein, it does not so much draw attention to the author as it does to Christ’s sustaining and sanctifying sufficiency. Here is hope and encouragement for Christians undergoing similar circumstances. Grief Undone indeed.” - Richard B. Gaffin, Jr., Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology, Emeritus, Westminster Theological Seminary

 “In Grief Undone, the reader is given the most honest and vivid picture of the walk through the valley of the shadow of death that I have ever read. There is the depth of both the valley and the darkness. But in these brief and engaging chapters there is also the constant presence of the Shepherd whose triumph over death gives the reader true comfort to believe that ‘I need not fear for thou art with me.’” - Dr. Tim Witmer, Professor of Practical Theology, Westminster Theological Seminary; pastor

 “Libbie Groves invites us into her personal valley of death to help us see, hear, and feel how God comforts and strengthens his precious children. Instead of advising us how to avoid painful feelings, Libbie shows us how God walked her through the full range of human emotions that accompany the loss of a loved one in Christ. Our strong Savior disarms death, helps us face grief head-on with a sweet and certain hope of resurrection, and generously gives us himself in our deepest sorrow.” - Barbara R. Duguid, Author of Extravagant Grace, Biblical Counselor, Speaker