Thursday, July 12, 2012

"Where Do I Go From Here?" Addresses the Stress of Unwanted Change

Have you ever had a day when one thing went wrong right after another? And another? And another? Troubles tug at your elbow or bite at your ankles. The phone rings again and you want to pick it up and scream "Now what!!!????"

Where Do I Go from Here: Bold Living After Unwanted Change  -     
        By: Miriam Neff
Widowhood is not immune from other types of suffering. In her latest book, Where Do I Go From Here?--Bold Living After Unwanted Change, Miriam Neff, founder of Widow Connection, speaks to a broader spectrum of life's problems. Her own experiences of torn relationships, estranged family, a loved one's incarceration amidst her widowhood, and countless examples from people she has met in her travels (even me!), speak to all types of loss---divorce, foreclosures, death, disability, unemployment . . .

This is a book for those days when the kind of problems arise that make you cry out, "I'm glad my husband is not here to see this!" Yes. Like the bumper sticker that adds the letters sh__ in front of the __it-- it happens. Miriam honestly deals with the reality that crises happen and life changes. It's hard. It sucks, like so many widows will agree. She says life will not be blue skies and clear sailing. But here's the take-away value of this book:  good can still come. "Our loss can be the beginning of future gain," she writes.

Rich with battleground-of-life wisdom and real-people tips, Miriams writes in a conversational style and peppers it up with stories of friends. I loved her kaleidoscope illustration and it started the book off with a bang! The first chapter seemed a bit disjointed, but that might have been my own distractions barging in. Speaking of distractions, let me clear up two little ones: first, you'll notice arrows pointing down throughout each chapter---these are simply icons, not "thumbs down" statements. Also, the word humanoid is used a couple of times, which creeped me out. I associate humanoid with science fiction, not psychology or education, as I should. So if you're like me, skim these distractions and keep reading. Each chapter gets better and better. I wholeheartedly said "Amen!" to her last chapter entitled, The Party (You Didn't Know) You Wanted.

Grab a pen to scribble notes for yourself. Where Do I Go From Here? is packed with practical examples and techniques for dealing with "what ifs," regrets, and loss. You'll discover how to take care of yourself, handle singleness, consider remarriage, forgive others, and choose to live well. I was glad to see she re-visited the Board of Directors technique and the list of discerning qualities between wisdom and foolishness she recommended in her previous book, From One Widow to Another. Several other exercises and models are added to Where Do I Go From Here?--such as The Blue Bowl Perspective, Before House/Next House/New House, Kingdom Equity, and Rating Your Life Values.

I'd call the study guide your own "therapist in a box." Go through those questions on your own or with a few friends and in a matter of six lessons you will have a grip on the steering wheel and the answer to Where Do I Go From Here? Life may not be as you expected after loss, but it can be entirely vibrant and splendid as you keep turning the kaleidoscope.

I'd recommend this book for widows and others who are past the initial shock of grief and asking themselves "what's next?" Comment on this or any July blog post for entries into my Free Book Give-Away this month! The drawing will be on August 2, and Moody Press has kindly provided me with three copies of Where Do I Go From Here? I hope I can send YOU this life-enhancing book!  


  1. Sounds like an awesome read, I had one of those thank God my husband wasn't here to ass that days yesterday.

  2. I am sure this would be a great book. I have her other one and found it to be very helpful.

  3. Thank you for the comments, and Ryan, please email your contact info to me. I've entered both you and Ruth into the drawing and hope you'll each win something!

  4. Awesome review!!! Can't wait to read it. Thanks, Feree

  5. Wow! Hope I get to read it. Halima

  6. Sounds like a great book. She is a good writer.

  7. Have just bought Merriam's From One Widow to Another. Have read two chapters so far. It is one of the manuals I would recommend any widow at any stage of her life.
    Issues like trusting God after losing a loved one is very crooked. But I believe with the help of God He can straighten that crooked path again.Found trusting God very challenging a few minutes after my Batson, my husband had passed away to Glory

  8. Miriam Neff is a great author. I would love to read her new book. Please enter me in the drawing.



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