“Triumph from Tragedy” is a compilation of stories telling how God brought good from times of deep tragedy for believers, including a Bible study to encourage those who are struggling.
All the writers in the book are part of Christian Writers for Life, a private Facebook group of more than 3,000 from throughout the world guided by authors Denise George and Rebecca Pounds George.
Many members have “personal stories of defeating tragedy with God’s help and turning tragedy into triumph,” Denise George told The Baptist Paper, “and we wanted to make their stories available to others currently experiencing difficult times. We simply asked our writers if they’d like to share their stories, and they responded with enthusiasm.”
All in one book
Because getting published in today’s marketplace can be competitive, George wanted to provide an opportunity to minister through one book, she said.
“Out of all our submissions, we chose 49 to publish.”
Three received first, second or third place awards.
Hayden Walker, who works with the Robert Smith Jr. Preaching Institute at Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Alabama, won first place for writing about losing her firstborn child to a rare skeletal disorder.
“As the moments passed following Zoe’s diagnosis, I read and studied the Bible like it was oxygen,” Walker writes. “I had believed the doctrine of the bodily resurrection, but as life and impending death wiggled in my womb, I became captivated by the beauty of the glorious hope that is ours in Christ.”
Jim Jones, a former nurse anesthetist, and Richard Greene, a retired journalist, received second place for writing about Jones’ stroke that led him and his wife to start a hunger ministry.
“Linda and I are not superheroes,” Jones writes. “We’re just ordinary Christians who follow an extraordinary God. We’re grateful that He brought trials into our lives and gave us the grace to triumph to serve Him with joy and offer His hope to people who need Him!”
Terrie Todd, a faith and humor columnist, won third place for writing about her husband’s arm amputation. She shares four things God taught her through the trial: “I’ve learned that one can question God and survive. … I’ve learned to be a little more considerate. … I’ve learned gratitude. … I have learned to anticipate Heaven even more.”
Sharing the hope
Readers will be encouraged by the personal accounts, George said.
“The stories touch on many different types of difficulties people are experiencing, showing how to overcome and get through them,” she explained. “We’ve been especially encouraged by our readers’ desire to get copies of this book into the hands of their friends, family members and community members who are suffering.”
Many who read “Triumph from Tragedy” are responding with letters of appreciation “for the openness and honesty of our writers who shared their stories,” George said.
“We’ve been excited to hear that the Bible study and discussion questions we included in the book are proving especially helpful to both individuals and to groups who are meeting together to talk through the many ways God transforms tragedy into triumph,” she added.
Tracy Riggs, a freelance writer and photographer, told The Baptist Paper she was “elated” when she learned her submission would be included in the book.
“Ever since I was little, I wanted to be an author,” she said.
Riggs wrote about God getting her through something she tried desperately to avoid: a divorce that came as “a crushing blow.”
“Encouragement is the biggest thing I hope people will gain from reading my story,” Riggs said. “I have been through a lot in my life. I try to let people know they are not alone in going through this stuff. Being a Christian doesn’t make everything OK. Being a Christian means you can get through whatever happens with the hope of God, being able to lean on God.”
Riggs surmised that “maybe there are people that have it all together; I’m just not one of them. I want to show that there are Christians that have been through a lot, and God has brought them through, and there is a triumph.”