Help, I’m Drowning: Weathering the Storms of Life with Grace and Hope – Sally Clarkson

Help, I'm Drowning Sally Clarkson
Help, I'm Drowning: Weathering the Storms of Life with Grace and Hope by Sally Clarkson
Also by this author: Awaking Wonder: Opening Your Child's Heart to the Beauty of Learning
Published by Bethany House Publishers on September 14, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Christian Life, Marriage, Parenting
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five-stars

In the midst of a storm, it's easy to feel lonely, exhausted, fearful, and helpless. In these pages, Sally Clarkson helps you to find your anchors for life's storms. She will encourage you to combat loneliness with intentional engagement and community, find healing and forgiveness, embrace God's strength as the determiner of your battles, and more.

This timely book, which Sally Clarkson wrote during COVID-19 lockdown, is full of understanding and encouragement for women who feel overwhelmed with life’s suffering. Clarkson shares illustrations from her own life, ranging over multiple decades, and even though she often references the pandemic as a current touchstone, the book addresses so many different issues and universal struggles that the current references will convey a sense of history in the future instead of giving the book a short shelf-life. Clarkson writes about the core experiences that people deal with in suffering, regardless of their specific problems, and she also addresses specific difficulties, including loneliness, marital struggles, and overwork. Help, I’m Drowning: Weathering the Storms of Life with Grace and Hope addresses a variety of struggles with great sensitivity and wisdom, and I found it very encouraging.

Clarkson writes about ways that women struggle to feel connected to God in the midst of their suffering, and she provides solace and clarity without offering platitudes or easy answers. She also writes about the challenges of unmet expectations, sharing about times when reality has caught her off guard and required her to reconsider her assumptions. Also, even though Clarkson primarily writes to married women with children, I found the book encouraging as a single. Her chapter about parenting struggles was actually my favorite, because she shares touching reflections about the challenges of parenting kids with mental health struggles. I dealt with many of the same issues during my teenage years, and her loving, honest words about her family’s struggles were very meaningful to me.

Clarkson does not overshare or invade other people’s privacy, but she writes in a forthright way about challenges that disrupted her rosy expectations for life. It is very rare for Christian books about parenting to acknowledge the reality and impacts of mental illness in a family’s life, and I found her writing very encouraging. Other people will no doubt connect with other elements of the book, and the chapter about dealing with irrational, gaslighting, and abusive people also stands out as one that is particularly unique and helpful. All throughout this book, Clarkson writes about her struggles with candor and grace, and she serves as a seasoned mentor to women who are struggling. Best of all, her life itself is an encouraging testimony to her readers, since she has stayed steadfast through many storms and can point her readers to the God who guided her through every one.

five-stars