Alongside Book Giveaway

February 18, 2017

*** Congratulations Lisa Adams! You are the winner of the Alongside Book Giveaway ***

Giveaway now closed

I’m not sure if it’s the time of year with the anniversary of Dad’s passing approaching, or experiencing deeper healing in my own faith journey, but this book, Alongside, had me nodding and crying and literally yelling out loud, hands springing up and down in the air, Yes! Yes! Sarah Beckman, a kindred and compassionate soul, breathes perspective and permission. She offers practical, real life nuggets with how to best love someone in need.

Sarah has walked alongside friends experiencing cancer, loss, miscarriage, divorce, and other trials. And she’s been on the receiving side of needing care during multiple back surgeries and bed rest. She knows what it means to join someone in his or her pain, suffering, or grief and offer a safe space to simply be. Her book takes the guessing game out once tragedy strikes – that moment we get a phone call from a friend who lost a loved one, or received a diagnosis, or found out their marriage is thready – and we’re standing there with gaping hearts, ready to help, but wonder, How? How do I help? What can I do? She rewrites the narrative from, “Let me know what I can do to help” into specifics like: “I’m at the store. What can I pick up for you since I’m already here?” “I’d love to bring dinner. What are you craving?” “Can I watch your kids?” or “Can I come sit with you at the hospital/home?”

I didn’t make it to page 20 before I found tears falling in constant streams and had to put it down, pause, and reflect on how her words gave permissive healing, even almost four years later, doused with intentional ideas for how to best love my neighbor when he or she is in crisis.

Words like, “As you begin to look at your friend in trial through this new lens- one solely focused on them- there are several considerations to bear in mind. First, try not to let your own feelings cloud the picture… we want to help others, but often we can’t see past our own grief, our desire to be “In the know,” or our need to be appreciated. In the process, we forget we are reaching out to someone who is not operating at full capacity or in a sound frame of mind…Give lots of grace- especially to the person who’s directly facing the trial. Crisis can make people irrational” (I know it did me) “Emotions tend to run high. Forgiveness and understanding are in order. It’s not about you. It’s not about you.”

Sarah offers perspective when someone we love is experiencing a trial and reminds us:
“Be present
Come alongside
Support those they love
Guard your tongue
Believe in them
Do not take offense
Serve out of love.”

Sarah shares an article by Catherine Woodiwiss, who debunks the I’m giving you space myth: “There is a curious illusion that in times of crisis people ‘need space.’ I don’t know where this assumption originated, but in my experience, it is almost always false. Trauma is a disfiguring, lonely time, even when surrounded in love; to suffer through trauma alone is unbearable. Do not assume others are reaching out, showing up, or covering all the bases. It is a much lighter burden to say, ‘Thanks for your love, but please go away,’ than to say, ‘I was hurting and no one cared for me.’ If someone says they need space, respect that. Otherwise, err on the side of presence.'”

Permission is never wasted.
Sarah encourages, “Give them permission to feel the way they’re feeling. We should never expect someone to respond in the way we might, so let each person deal with their trial in their own way. Don’t push them to move through or move on immediately. They need your encouragement to take all the time they need.”

Nor presence.
“I am with you, I’ll be here for you, I’m standing beside you in this hard thing.”

I mean, who doesn’t need this book?

In support of Alongside , I’m offering a giveaway from Saturday, February 18 to Monday, February 20, 9pm PST.

To enter, please leave your name in the comments below and share a bit about yourself. A winner will be chosen at random and announced here Monday night.

Connect with Sarah Beckman at:

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  • Reply Bridget Mandel February 18, 2017 at 8:46 am

    Hi Bekah,
    A few things I learned through hospice volunteering is how much a dying person needs someone to talk to, especially about what they are experiencing, feeling and their fears. They want to talk about their life, and more importantly, they want to be remembered. They also want their families to know that it’s ok talk to them about their illness because they know they are dying and it eases their mind to talk it through with those closest. I hope this helps someone along life’s journey.

    Thank you for the wonderful article!

    • Reply sarah March 10, 2017 at 2:41 am

      Bridget! WHAT A GIFT YOU ARE! You are spot on in every thing you said above. Thank you for coming alongside people in the most precious space possible…end of life.

  • Reply Lisa Adams February 18, 2017 at 3:01 pm

    I would love that book. I am a counselor and sit with people in pain for a living. Great tips on how to do it well.

    • Reply bekah February 21, 2017 at 6:38 am

      Lisa!! Congratulations! You are the winner of the Alongside Book Giveaway! Please contact me with your mailing address. Thanks, Bekah

    • Reply sarah March 10, 2017 at 2:39 am

      Lisa, YAY! You won! I hope the book helps you as you literally sit with people and are present in their suffering. God bless you!

  • Reply Diane February 18, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    This book sounds like what I need to read and re-read until it becomes imbedded in my soul. I am an empty nester wife expecting our first grandchild this summer. I have vowed to myself to try and be intentional with my time and not fill it with busyness. Each morning I will try to patiently listen to the still small voice of Jesus whisper His intentions and opportunities for the day ahead.
    Thank you for your blog posts. I have just recently discovered you. I’m sorry about your father’s passing. I think he would be very proud of the way you honor his memory by reaching out to others.

  • Reply Michelle Gladden February 18, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    One of my greatest desires in life is come alongside a friend or colleague in need. Don’t get me wrong, it’s something that I will do, but I’m not good at doing with great success. Yes, I am there in the basic, but I have not figured out a way to be there in the specifics of intentionally…unless, the need is medical in nature. I would love to read the book Alongside so that I can better serve those with whom I come in contact. Thank you for the recommendation Bekah!!!

    • Reply sarah March 10, 2017 at 2:38 am

      Michelle, I pray that alongside has the solution to your problem… but it sounds like your heart is pure and intentions are wonderful! I love your honesty! Blessings to you.

  • Reply Donna Rottschafer February 18, 2017 at 3:50 pm

    My name Donna Rottschafer, wife to an amazing husband and momma to three wild and crazy boys! Part time Registered nurse and Full time momma.

  • Reply Jenny Brown February 18, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Thank you Bekah for your words. I just found out that my sister-in-law’s dear husband passed away last night. This book Is just what I need to come along side Gloria. I’m not writing this to enter the free book, only to let you know how much your words mean to me. I’m going to purchase the book today.

  • Reply Jacque Coulombe February 18, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    My husband and I have been in ministry for 50 years and have come alongside many people in those years. But three months ago I had an accident which resulted in a terribly broken shoulder and a head injury. I was suddenly on the other side of “alongside”. What wonderful gifts of presence, meals, cards, e-mails, texts, gift cards, flowers and reminders of “we are praying for you” we have received. (and are still receiving as the healing continues). I have been reminded again of how important it is to help those in need and don’t wait to be asked. Just do it! We’re always learning, aren’t we?!

    • Reply sarah March 10, 2017 at 2:37 am

      Jacque, I pray you heal fully and quickly so you can press on toward the upward call! Sounds like all your years of loving have paid off! Godspeed.

  • Reply Debra Robertson February 18, 2017 at 10:14 pm

    This book would an awesome resource. I often feel I should do more for those who are going through difficult events in their lives.

  • Reply Tatyana Pashnyak February 18, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Hello, I am a college professor and would truly enjoy using this book to help my students. Thank you!

    • Reply sarah March 10, 2017 at 2:36 am

      Tatyana, I just spoke at my son’s college and the kids really responded well to the message. I think this generation is starving for meaningful ways to connect with people. I hope Alongside fits the bill for you! Bless you for pouring into our kids!

  • Reply Leah February 19, 2017 at 11:31 am

    Wow! This book sounds amazing and I seem to be in a stage of life where friends are going through big things, divorce, loss of loved ones, etc. I’m looking forward to reading it.

  • Reply Susan February 19, 2017 at 4:31 pm

    I have influence and relationship with so many and I’d love ways to be the hands and feet of Jesus in times of need for others. I often just have no idea the best thing to say or what action to take, sounds like a great resource! We recently moved to a much smaller community and I’d love to connect with those experiencing hard times with real actions.

    • Reply sarah March 10, 2017 at 2:35 am

      Susan, I sure hope you connect with your new community. And I hope alongside will help you with practical ways to love! My dream was if you opened up the book anywhere you’d land on a page where you would find something you could DO to love a friend in need. Best of luck to you as you join a new community!

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