Birthed: Finding Grace Through Infertility

What happens when your one dream for life dies?

When infertility interrupted Elizabeth Hagan’s plan to start a family, the path of grace offered her another way. Instead of giving birth to a child, she ended up giving birth to herself. In the deeply personal pages of her new book, Hagan shares her story as a companion and guide for all of those going through inevitable pain and loss, of any kind.
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About the Book

Through her new book Birthed, Elizabeth Hagan offers her story as a companion and guide for living through your own pain and loss. For the one in eight couples who face infertility, you will know you are not alone and a long season of grief does not have to destroy your marriage or your friendships with childbearing friends. For those friends and family members of infertile couples, there are no “one size fits all” answers to a fertility journey—medically, emotionally, or spiritually—and the worst thing you can say is nothing at all. Adoption is never the complete solution to infertility, and through it all, pain can never be fixed, only lived through. So allow grace to help you begin to live today in the present moment.

In Birthed, Elizabeth Hagan shares hard-won lessons from her journey:

  • When life doesn’t go as you plan, something greater might be emerging beneath the surface. Live through the pain and you will get there!
  • There are no “one-size” fits all answers to a fertility journey, medically, emotionally or spiritually.
  • It is okay to live into the mystery — the mystery of not knowing how you will bear a child, when or if at all.
  • Infertility does not have to be a silent journey. Connect with my story. Connect to others who’ve gone through it too. Let friends and family who can bear with your pain love you through it.
  • A long season of grief doesn’t have to destroy your marriage or friendships. It can in fact bring you closer.
Endorsements
“‘God must hate me.’ If you've ever felt that way, I hope you'll read Elizabeth Hagan's beautiful new book. No one can read this book without also being helped to see their own story differently, and no less important, to empathize more deeply with all who suffer the grief of dreams long deferred or permanently denied.”
– Brian D. McLaren, Author/Activist
“With emotional depth and pastoral sensitivity, Elizabeth Hagan gives particular insight to the visceral longing for biological motherhood. Her story is instructive for people who are not aware of the trials of infertility, and it is hopeful as Hagan bears witness for the countless women and men who know those trials all too well.”
– Carol Howard Merritt, Author of Healing Spiritual Wounds
“An utterly absorbing account of birthing—and allowing God to birth—compassion, pain, hope, solidarity, abundance, and lament. But not only those: in this birth story, what's born is a richness in the spiritual life, and, ultimately, a self. (Which means that you needn't be, or want to be, a mother, to find this book good, wise company.)”
– Lauren F. Winner, Author of Mudhouse Sabbath and Wearing God
“Raw. Real. Funny. Honest. Hagan’s tale of hope amid infertility will delight readers with its accessibility and nourish them with thoughtful reflections on love, faith and family."
– MaryAnn McKibben Dana, Author of Sabbath in the Suburbs: A Family’s Experiment with Holy Time
“As a fellow infertile, I wish my wife and I had this book during our period of sorrow to provide language for our grief. I highly recommend this book to pastors, therapists, chaplains or anyone who is willing to be present with those who are suffering.”
– Todd Maberry, Duke Divinity School
Birthed is an unflinching, courageous, and much-needed portrait of what it means to wrestle faithfully with desire, death, and rebirth. By shying away from trite phrases and easy answers, Birthed invites us to reflect honestly and courageously on our own forays into the valley of the shadow of death. Yes, this is a story about one’s woman’s hard-fought struggle through infertility, but it is also a much-needed reminder that God’s Spirit is always making things new in us.”
– Maria A. Kane, Rector, St. Paul's Episcopal Church Waldorf, MD
“In Birthed, Elizabeth Hagan opens her heart, describing with exquisite intimacy her excruciating feelings of biological failure, human disappointment, and divine abandonment. The reader looking for support while living through infertility will find a friend who understands, and the friend looking for ways to offer support will find answers in this warm and real account of the author’s attempts to have the baby she so dearly wants."
– Martha Spong, Executive Director, RevGalBlogPals, and Editor, There’s a Woman in the Pulpit
“Elizabeth Hagan speaks intimately and powerfully to all who have ever experienced the inability to fully realize a lifelong hope or heartfelt dream. … This book left me feeling refreshingly vulnerable and incredibly inspired!”
– Allen V. Harris, Regional Minister for the Christian Church (Disciples Of Christ)
Birthed moves infertility out of the shadows where shame, guilt and discomfort have lodged it for far too long and teaches us that giving voice to our deepest fears and pain is the only way for hope and possibility to take root and flourish.”
– Edith Guffey, UCC Conference Minister, Kansas-Oklahoma
“Tired of the infertility taboo? Elizabeth lifts the veil with humor and raw emotion, guiding her reader through the journey of parenthood, interrupted.
– J. Dana Trent, Author of Saffron Cross: The Unlikely Story of How a Christian Minister Married a Hindu Monk
About the Author
Elizabeth Hagan

Elizabeth Hagan is an ordained American Baptist minister who lives outside of the normal vocational boxes. Sometimes she serves churches through short-term interim pastorates. She often travels to support her husband, Kevin, in his work with the American Diabetes Association and on behalf of Our Courageous Kids, a foundation she created in 2015 to provide educational opportunities for children living in international orphanages. And she always writes. You can find her words about soul care and advocacy over at her blog, Preacher on the Plazaand on the web at Christian Century, Patheos, and the Young Clergy Women’s Journal, Fidelia’s Sisters. Elizabeth has contributed to three books: This is What a Preacher Looks Like, The Modern Magnificat and There’s a Woman in the Pulpit.

Details
Author:
Genre: Non-Fiction
Publisher: Chalice Press
Publication Year: 2016
ASIN: 082720311X
ISBN: 9780827203112
List Price: 19.99
eBook Price: 10.00