Monday, February 25, 2013
Dancing Upon Barren land by Lesli A Westfall
Dancing Upon Barren land: Prayer, Scripture Reflections, and Hope for Infertility by Lesli A Westfall is a very good resource for anyone who finds themselves suffering the grief of pregnancy loss, stillbirth or infertility. The statistics are grim- it is difficult to believe here in the unites states alone, that one out of every 160 births is a stillbirth! And that is a conservative estimate. This statistic does not even include the higher numbers of pregnancy loss from miscarriage that occur before 20 weeks or even the rising prevalence of infertility in this country alone. Sadly, the grief of pregnancy loss, still birth and infertility is largely unrecognized. In the midst of the pro life movement and the attention given to young unwed women contemplating abortion, the very real pain and anguish of a mom who has either lost her beloved baby or faces infertility is ignored. Nevertheless it is these moms who are more at risk in terms of physical health complications as well as emotionally- than any other group of women.
Finally there is a book to address the spiritual needs of women facing infertility, pregnancy loss and stillbirth. Having gone through the grief of infertility herself, the author, Lesli Westfall is uniquely qualified to minister to these suffering women. Her small, yet to the point book is an excellent resource for women buried in grief, disappointment, anger and even jealousy. She offers true hope that goes beyond the single minded goal of simply motherhood. In contrast to other fertility related books, she opens up the avenue of hope by pointing to other goals and accomplishments apart from motherhood that a woman may find fulfillment from. The fact of the matter is that statistically, many grieving and struggling women may never become biological mothers on this side of eternity- no matter how sincere their prayers are or how faithful they may be. Sometimes God simply has other plans that do not include motherhood. Leslie recognizes this and shares with the reader how she found satisfaction and peace by attaining other God given goals and accomplishments apart from motherhood. This is true hope that any grieving woman may grasp- that happiness and purpose can be found even if God does not grant motherhood. This is an important message that I feel will empower even the most grief stricken reader. One thing I would have liked to see included in the book would have been more explanation on page 100 on how God healed her from her grief and sorrow. As Lesli explains it, "that's a story for another book". Though she hints at her age at being an issue, I also think the reader may benefit from more specific details of her infertility.
As a resource this book includes relevant scripture and prayers that a woman can turn to and revisit at any time. This concise book ha a section where the reader can turn to when struggling with infertility treatment, anger, finances, grief, jealousy as well as a host of other issues. As the forward suggests, this makes the book useful as a manual that can be kept at one's bedside.
As a blogger for Litfuse publicity I received this book published by DUBL for the purpose of writing this review.
The website for the author's online ministry is available by following the link provided: