Sacred Spaces

Grace Like Scarlett (Book Review)

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I have learned to kiss the waves that throw me up against the Rock of Ages.

Charles Spurgeon

Grief Wild Like the Sea

Having experienced three heartbreaking miscarriages, author Adriel Booker is one familiar with the waves of grief, the depths of loss, and how God calls us to Him, all of which she writes about in her new book Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving With Hope After Miscarriage and Loss. In the book’s introduction she writes:

Grief is wild like the sea, but it doesn’t need to destroy us. We can’t conquer it, but we can navigate it, and we can find Jesus there too.

Adriel Booker

While words can fail to clearly articulate the experiences of loss and grief, Adriel uses the sea as a helpful and beautiful metaphor throughout the book to do so.

The first time the waves of grief threw me up against a rock was after my daughter died.

Whether the waves of shock and sorrow slammed me into a rock or threatened to sink me down into the depths of the sea, I found God everywhere I landed. He was with me in the depths. He was with me every step of the way, even when I couldn’t see clearly.

Personal Echoes and Universal Loss

Even though my loss differs from Adriel’s, even though over a decade has passed since I buried my baby girl, and even though my wounds have scarred, Grace Like Scarlett was a relevant read for me.

As I poured over Adriel’s words, I found myself marveling at her ability to fluently describe my own experiences, thinking to myself, “Yes, that happened to me too. Yes, that’s exactly how it felt. Yes, I know what that’s like.” Perhaps that’s because although the details of our suffering and losses will never be the same, there is a commonality in grief and suffering. Death is “the great equalizer” as Adriel puts it.

Adriel described many of the same truths God revealed to me throughout my own experiences with loss and grief. As I read, I continued to inwardly proclaim, “Yes!” and marked up my book with yellow highlights.

God will not shy away from your messy faith or your messy theology or your messy life. He will not despise your brokenness.

Adriel Booker

A Companion in the Loneliness

Although no one is immune to loss, it can feel extremely lonely and isolating, especially with the stigma surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. And that feeling of loneliness sharpens the pain of grief.

However, when grief is shared, when someone steps alongside of us and there’s some exchange similar to, “Yes, me too,” it takes the edge off our pain. The pain is still there of course, but slightly duller and more bearable.

When we find those who share these sacred spaces of bereavement with us, we find the empathy we need, a healing connection, a hand reaching down and pulling us out of the pit of loneliness. We receive a guide, a companion, a literal gift from God in one who allows us to walk our individual journey while at the same time nudging us forward when we start backsliding.

Adriel is that friend and companion behind the pages of this book, showing up through her words alongside of you, speaking truth as you navigate your wild sea and find God as you do.

A New Awareness & Healing

Initially, I was eager to read Grace Like Scarlett because Adriel’s message and heart are similar to mine (and indeed this will be a book I share and recommend for years to come); however, Adriel’s words unexpectedly ministered to me in areas I didn’t even know I hadn’t yet addressed in my healing process.

For instance, I realized that I had yet to forgive many of those who have wounded me with their words or actions. I’ve processed the wounds over the years, mainly by telling myself, “They didn’t mean for that to hurt.” But what I’ve done was talk myself out of hurting and distance myself from those people. What I’ve needed all along, is to practice forgiveness towards those who inflicted wounds they didn’t understand. Adriel speaks to this and uses Jesus’s words on the cross to convict me and show me what I have yet to do in order to continue to heal: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”

Review and Recommendations

No matter where you are in your journey of loss, grief, or healing, or how many days or years have passed, when you read Grace Like Scarlett, you’ll find something in its pages God wants to speak to your heart. I highly recommend you read this gentle, honest, and helpful book to help you navigate your grief and draw near to the Lord.

Even if the loss isn’t yours personally, I encourage you to pick up this book and become acquainted with the experiences someone you love might be having and find resources in it that will help you come alongside them (Adriel includes a wonderful practical section at the end of her book for this reason).

Adriel wrote Grace Like Scarlett from “the trenches” as she calls it and because of this her words have validity and power that will speak profoundly to you and resonate with you. She doesn’t sugarcoat her stories of miscarrying her babies nor does she sugarcoat her faith journey through it all. She is real, authentic, and gentle.

Moreover, Grace Like Scarlett offers freedom from the secrecy, stigma, shame, and guilt surrounding loss and grief and creates space for questions, doubts, grace, and hope.

You will feel welcomed with understanding arms as you hear Adriel’s clear and compassionate voice that demonstrates the humble authority that comes from acquiring godly wisdom and personal experience.

Thank you, Adriel, for sharing your heart and Scarlett, Oliver, and Ruby with us and for writing this book to minister to the hearts of many.

Purchase Grace Like Scarlett on Amazon by clicking here or using the button below.

Please note: Some links may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

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  1. Patty Englin says:

    Thank you for sharing this book review! I just ordered it to be sent to my daughter’s bestie who miscarried 2 weeks ago.

  2. What a beautiful review! And I’m very, very sorry for your loss, Kristin ♥

  3. Rebecca says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing and particularly for articulating “Church is hard”; that has been an unexpected fall out. At first I thought it was because there were people who knew what we’d been through, so I went to a church where I could be anonymous, but that was difficult too. Church is a place where we are vulnerable and emotionally raw, the music, the liturgy, bring up lots of deep feelings. I am learning to give myself grace for this season; it’s ok to stay home sometimes, it’s ok to recover and it’s ok to go and cry. As I looked around the sanctuary on Easter at all the happy mamas God spoke to my breaking heart and aching empty arms, “there is not a woman here who has not been touched in some way by the pain of miscarriage, you are not alone. This is your season of grief, acute and personal, but there is healing and hope and companionship for the journey”.
    (Sorry this just got so much deeper than thanks for acknowledging something I’ve been experiencing too. I appreciate the space to process)

    • Rebecca, Thank you so much for sharing your experiences and opening your heart here. I’m so thankful to hold space with you here and for God’s work He’s speaking into your heart. Blessings, Kristin

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rainbow 'enthusiast,' ENNEAGRAM 4, deep thinker + deeper feeler

I'm Kristin.
Your host here and new writing

I'm a bereaved mom, former English teacher and stay-at-home mom (to two growing boys), veteran military spouse married to my high school sweetheart, contemplative creative, writer, and writing coach. I'm all about spreading the love of writing as a way of healing and hope.

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