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Wordworks Publishing
P.O. Box 644
Westfield, IN 46074-644

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Product Info

God Will Teach Me to Fly
Title: God Will Teach Me to Fly
Author: Joanetta Hendel
Publisher: WordWorks Publishing
Publication Date: 1996 / 2011 / 2016
Retail Price: $14.95 (Paperback) $7.99 (Kindle)
ISBN: 1887913084
EAN-13: 9781887913089
ASIN: B01MSFF9NB
Pages: 372

God Will Teach Me to Fly “Just Grief”
Title: God Will Teach Me to Fly “Just Grief”
Author: Joanetta Hendel
Publisher: WordWorks Publishing
Publication Date: 2016
Retail Price: $2.99 (Kindle)
ASIN: B01CK2PQD6
Pages: 138

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Target Audience

• Parents who have lost children
• Mothers struggling through difficult divorces
• Women recovering from childhood sexual abuse
• Caring friends or family members of loved ones in crisis
• Professionals working with the bereaved or with troubled families
• Those seeking a meaningful spirituality in the midst of challenging circumstances

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News Release

WordWorks Publishing
P.O. Box 644, Westfield, IN 46074-644
Contact: Joanetta Hendel
Phone: 317-473-8918
E-mail: joanetta@godwillteachmetofly.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“When the road before me ends and I stand poised on
the edge of the unknown, I must believe as I step off
that edge there will be solid ground under my feet—
or that God will teach me to fly!”

In the world of “happily ever after” the people we love live forever, our relationships are never challenged, and we never have to look too closely at our own faults. Andrea Maresco lived just such a life with a husband, a lovely home, and four active children. Then her youngest son, Benjamin, became ill and Andrea’s life changed.

What began in his eighteenth month as mild snoring progressed over the course of the next year into a full-blown apnea triggered with the onset of sleep. Ben’s frantic mother took him from one doctor to the next with no diagnosis and no results. X-rays showed no blockage and drugs brought no relief.

Month after month, night after night, mother and child survived in their sleepless prison. At the first hint of silence, she woke. At the first hint of oxygen deprivation, he woke. But one fateful night she didn’t wake up—and neither
did he.

God Will Teach Me to Fly is a profound look into the world of grief and personal loss written through the eyes and heart of a bereaved mother. Her 10-year journey encompasses not only the death of her 2 year old son, but also the breakup of her marriage, as well as her struggle to recover lost memories of childhood sexual abuse triggered as a result of the trauma associated with her child’s death.

God Will Teach Me to Fly may well be the most effective book ever written on surviving the death of a child, and is must reading for all those in the helping professions. It is specifically designed for women in crisis, as well as their counselors, their pastors, and their friends. But the book drops pearls of profound wisdom into the lives of all those searching for deeper meaning and understanding in their interpersonal relationships, as well as their own spiritual journeys.

This compelling and gripping real-life drama brings the reader directly into the moment with an honesty and an intensity that is both riveting and consuming. It speaks to today’s issues with the promise of hope and healing for tomorrow. No matter what the background or the perspective, God Will Teach Me to Fly will touch every human heart to once again believe in the God of miracles.

God Will Teach Me to Fly is available in both paperback and Kindle versions from Amazon.com.
# # #
WORDWORKS PUBLISHING
P.O. Box 644, Westfield, IN 46207-644
www.wordworkspublishing.net

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Fact Sheet

ABOUT “GOD WILL TEACH ME TO FLY”

“This story is not about death, although death is a pivotal element.
This story is not about recovery, although recovery is a trademark
of its glory. This story is about an impossible journey—
and about a God who provided safe passage.”

God Will Teach Me to Fly is a sensitive and moving first-person account of one woman’s experiences with grief and loss. Beginning with the death of her young son, Andrea Maresco begins a most unwelcome and unexpected journey that strips away her identity and brings her face to face with herself.

God Will Teach Me to Fly is a book for women in crisis, and for those who care about them. It’s also mandatory reading for counselors, lawyers, clergy, group facilitators and others who work with bereaved parents and troubled families.

Target audiences include:
• Parents who have lost children
• Mothers struggling through difficult divorces
• Women recovering from childhood sexual abuse
• Caring friends and family members of loved ones in crisis
• Professionals working with the bereaved or with troubled families
• Those seeking a meaningful spirituality in the midst of challenging circumstances

This 372 page book contains 40 chapters and is available from Amazon.com in both Paperback and Kindle – ISBN:1887913084, EAN-13:9781887913089, ASIN:B01MSFF9NB.

Fast paced, gripping, and profoundly insightful, God Will Teach Me to Fly speaks to today’s issues with the promise of hope and healing for tomorrow.

# # #
WORDWORKS PUBLISHING
P.O. Box 644, Westfield, IN 46207-644
www.wordworkspublishing.net
information@wordworkspubishing.net

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Book Review

A REVIEW
by Richard B. Gilbert, A.B.,M.Div,FAAGC, CPBC,
Founding Director, Connections – Spiritual Links

Fasten your seat belts. Grab on to a good friend and all of your inner resources, for this book is not an easy read. Almost like a soap opera with every page a cliffhanger, this book is one of the most overwhelming, yet persuasively caring books I have every read. Most of all, even in its occasional brutal honesty, it is one of the most helpful pastoral looks at spirituality, especially for the bereaved, that I have ever read.

“…this book is one of the most overwhelming,
yet persuasively caring books I have every read.”

Andrea Maresco is a bereaved parent. Her young son died of respiratory complications. The death of any child is a horror packed in surprises. The child (Benjamin) died of respiratory problems that were not expected…just like the death of a child is never expected, and certainly never welcome. The book is the diary of feelings, experiences and insights of a woman who lost a child, lost a husband, lost a marriage, nearly lost her own emotional wellbeing, and on many occasions, felt she had lost the God she had come to know and to trust.

The book is a page by page expose of what some couples go through after the death of a child. We see the pain and struggle of the father (seldom written about), and see demonstrated most vividly the truth that death does not fix broken relationship, but scatters the pieces further and further from any recognizable expression of relationship. The father was abusive, controlling, subject to a variety of addictive behaviors, and he had those tendencies before Benjamin’s death. As happens in grief, we fall back on whatever is “normal” for us, and that becomes our set of journey markers. Edward, the husband/father, had a very poor set of markers to rely on for his journey, and the worst rose to the top in its destructive fury that left everyone scattered and scarred.

“No matter how many couples and families I have worked with
through separation and divorce, no one expressed in writing
the horror and pain as well as has been done in this book.”

We are really also experiencing a powerful witness of what the breakup of a family feels like. While witnessed and recorded by the mother, all of the players are included. No matter how many couples and families I have worked with through separation and divorce, no one expressed in writing the horror and pain as well as has been done in this book. If you are working with couples or individuals in this predicament, this book is helpful.

There were other side benefits. For example, we realized that many attorneys and counselors specializing in divorce are not fully competent, and do not check in on such issues as counter transference or transference. It is also apparent that too many professionals do not understand domestic violence. In the case of Andrea and Edward, if the professionals understood domestic violence, and the mentality of the victim, they would have known that you do not try to counsel the perpetrator and the victim together. This section also reminds us of the responsibilities, even in our disrupted state, of being good consumers when “shopping” for a therapist. A wise therapist would recognize when the sessions/relationship is not working. A client has the right to back out, re-contract, or negotiate with a new therapist.

“Most of all, this is a book about spirituality. While she
speaks from the Christian perspective, her honesty and her
definitions enable all of us to learn from her experience, fitting
her pathways into our own, and reclaiming our own
spiritual vitality. This is the book at its best.”

Most of all, this is a book about spirituality. While she speaks from the Christian perspective, her honesty and her definitions enable all of us to learn from her experience, fitting her pathways into our own, and reclaiming our own spiritual vitality. This is the book at its best. It is the reminder that spirituality is never easily worked. To suggest that someone is “saved,” and now has it all together, is faulty in both definition and theology. Spirituality is always about relationship, however personalized, and journey or growth. A spirituality without the latter is dead, just another empty box.

The book also gives us a good reminder, at least in the Judeo-Christian tradition, that God is realized and experienced best within the wilderness experiences. At the times when God seems the most silent and most absent, he is the God of love and presence. When we are most blinded, God sees.

She “believed” in “an overwhelming sense of Love” as her God. She could speak of the funeral Mass for Benjamin as a truly remarkable experience of faith, comfort and spiritual community with a congregation. It was rooted in the reminder that, as the story’s purpose expresses it, “This story is about an impossible journey—and about a God who provided a safe passage.” The journey continued. The same priest who was loving and caring was later, to no fault of his own, insensitive, foolish, siding with the enemy. The church community of support and love became a center of hostility, hurt, and abandonment. The God she prayed to, demanding answers and direction, became the God of silence and question. Religion destroyed; spirituality crushed.

She was able to stay in her feelings, even her wallowing, because the God of her honest and real spirituality was the God who was willing to meet her there. Her respect for her own feelings enabled her to address her own anger, rage and abandonment. She also, in her frequently sabotaged efforts at reaching healing, was able to get back to her definitions of spirituality and religion (and that they are different!), and to a faith that is both trust and risk. She brought her rage to the God and the church she chose to attach, and found new love, new community, especially a community of equally broken and fragile folks in need of a refreshing spirituality and reframed religion. She saw herself with “a restless need to connect with a church family,” and the insight (with trust) that “God works through churches and I am asked to be part of one.”

“It is mandatory reading for counselors, lawyers, clergy,
group facilitators and others who work with bereaved parents
and troubled families. The book is also a wonderful invitation
for those who seek meaningful spirituality (even if not
particularly comfortable in a Christian framework).”

One strong caution with this book. While it is about bereaved parents and broken relationships, it is, as stated earlier, brutally honest. It is not a book I would give to a newly bereaved or particularly fragile griever. It may be more than some can handle. It is mandatory reading for counselors, lawyers, clergy, group facilitators and others who work with bereaved parents and troubled families. The book is also a wonderful invitation for those who seek meaningful spirituality (even if not particularly comfortable in a Christian framework).

Copyright October 8, 1996
This review may be reprinted, in whole or in part, with written credit to the reviewer.
# # #

God Will Teach Me to Fly
WORDWORKS PUBLISHING
P.O. Box 644, Westfield, IN 46207-644
www.wordworkspublishing.net
information@wordworkspublishing.net

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Excerpt – Prologue

“PROLOGUE”
AN EXCERPT FROM
GOD WILL TEACH ME TO FLY

Benjamin Maresco’s family lived in a quiet suburban Midwestern neighborhood. The Marescos sent their children to private schools, attended Mass each week, and participated in Little League sports. Theirs was a comfortable, spacious two-story home that housed children, playthings, hopes, and ambitions. Traditions were time-honored and holidays were ritualized. In this house, birthday cakes, Halloween costumes, and memories were homemade. Yesterday’s artwork and today’s sticky fingerprints decorated the refrigerator, and fresh-baked bread sprang from the oven on cue.

Ben was born into the family on a sunny Friday afternoon in May taking his position as the fourth of five children. His birth was a celebration, planned and orchestrated to take place at home. He was welcomed into the world by his parents, his siblings, and a handful of trusted friends and caretakers.

“Benjamin shared a kinship with his siblings,
who adored, indulged, and pampered him.”

Benjamin shared a kinship with his siblings, who adored, indulged, and pampered him. His older brother, Rob, was serious, conscientious, and competitive—in contrast to Wendy, his older sister, who was artistic, creative, and environmental. His closest sibling, a sister two and a half years his senior, was his best friend, confidante, and constant companion. Stephanie’s gifts were devotion, spontaneity, and an intuitive grasp of the universe.

Edward Maresco took life seriously, worked hard to support his family in their upper-middle-class lifestyle, and left the logistics of family life to his spouse. He was opinionated, lived and breathed politics, and enjoyed a few cold beers with his evening newspaper. Edward’s wife, Andrea, excelled in the domestic and the maternal. Her home and children were an extension of her own identity. She was idealistic, challenged the system when it affected the well-being of her offspring, and trusted in God. Her contribution to the world was healthy, well-developed human beings.

“Benjamin received the best life had to offer—a loving home, financial security,
and parenting perfected through eleven years of previous trial and error.”

Benjamin received the best life had to offer—a loving home, financial security, and parenting perfected through eleven years of previous trial and error. His body was nourished through whole, natural foods, and his mental, emotional, and spiritual needs were given the same care and attention. By nature he was a happy, playful, and spirited child endowed with the seed of unlimited potential that blesses the very young.

In his second year, Benjamin developed a subtle and illusive breathing disorder. What began in his eighteenth month as mild snoring progressed over the course of the next year into a full-blown apnea triggered with the onset of sleep. In contrast to the waking child, who appeared healthy, active, and normal, the sleeping child struggled for each and every breath, choked and vomited, and stopped breathing several times a night as if an airlock in his throat had mysteriously closed.

“In his second year, Benjamin developed a subtle and illusive
breathing disorder . . . His frantic mother took him from one doctor
to the next with no diagnosis and no results.”

His frantic mother took him from one doctor to the next with no diagnosis and no results.
X-rays showed no blockage and drugs brought no relief. Doctors who saw Benjamin only in a waking state discounted his mother’s narrative of the transformation that took place at night. She was patronized, belittled, discredited, and passed along to the next in line for medical referral. Professionals talked croup, asthma, tonsillitis, and sensitivity to dust. An out-of-state physician suggested a local pulmonary specialist, but referrals by local doctors were refused. Benjamin was caught in political power plays, quarrels, and indecision.

Benjamin’s illness stressed the family, irritated his father, worried his siblings, and exhausted his mother. Between consultations, Andrea Maresco searched for her own answers, completely restructured Benjamin’s diet, tested her tiny charge for ingested and airborne allergens, experimented with nutritional and homeopathic remedies, and scoured book after book on a wide range of topics from alternative therapies to faith healing.

“Benjamin’s illness stressed the family, irritated his father,
worried his siblings, and exhausted his mother . . . Each night she
tucked her two-year-old into the twin bed positioned next to her own.
She watched as he slept, and she listened.”

Each night she tucked her two-year-old into the twin bed positioned next to her own. She watched as he slept, and she listened. As he drifted off to sleep, Ben’s breathing became labored, his color paled, and he struggled with each breath. Some nights his mother could prop him up to bring relief. Other nights she sat for hours and held him upright to partially alleviate his distress. Ben routinely choked and vomited, ruining bedclothes on two beds and requiring a change of night clothes for both of them. Often his mother woke to find Ben sitting upright in bed sound asleep, listing back and forth—leaning, correcting, leaning, correcting.

Occasionally his mother dozed, waking the instant Benjamin’s breathing pattern changed. Five or six times a night, Benjamin’s windpipe collapsed, refusing to allow air to pass in or out. The sudden silence woke her instantly, and within moments the lack of oxygen in Ben’s lungs woke him, as well, freeing him from suffocation. Many times he would awaken in terror, eyes wide, body screaming a soundless scream devoid of breath to give it voice. In their terror, mother and child clung to each other till his tiny body made the transition into wakefulness and he finally caught his breath. Month after month, night after night, mother and child survived in their sleepless prison. At the first hint of silence, she woke. At the first hint of oxygen deprivation, he woke. But one fateful night she didn’t wake up—and neither did he.

“Month after month, night after night, mother and child survived
in their sleepless prison. At the first hint of silence, she woke.
At the first hint of oxygen deprivation, he woke . . .
But one fateful night she didn’t wake up—and neither did he.”

# # #
God Will Teach Me to Fly
WORDWORKS PUBLISHING
P.O. Box 644, Westfield, IN 46207-644
www.wordworkspublishing.net
information@wordworkspublishing.net

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Excerpt – In Retrospect

“IN RETROSPECT”
AN EXCERPT FROM
GOD WILL TEACH ME TO FLY

Weeks preceding Benjamin’s death, there was a “knowing.” I can’t describe it in any other way. I simply “knew” I was to write a book. In fact, I felt the pull so strongly I began making notes for one—a book on mothering, that was what I knew. But that was not the book I was destined to write. Instead the Lord would claim the next ten years of my life to tell a story He wanted to tell. It started slowly at first. A few scribbled notes on the back of a paper napkin. Stephanie’s innocent ramblings in the early weeks after her brother’s death reverberated through our household like shots fired from a pistol. Profound pearls of ageless wisdom disguised as childish prattle pulled cords in my heart and stuck to my soul. Through the fog of overwhelming grief and shock, a clear voice prompted, “This is important. Write it down.” There were a few words here, a few words there, but they grew.

“It started slowly at first. A few scribbled notes on the
back of a paper napkin . . . Through the fog of overwhelming grief
and shock, a clear voice prompted, “This is important. Write it down.”

As the months passed, odd notations on bits and pieces of scrap paper gave way to daily journals—volume after volume neatly stacked in the bottom drawer of my filing cabinet. These copious entries bear silent witness to a transformation of untold force and magnitude—death, divorce, and abuse—each untidy package reframed and neatly bound into victory.

I fancied myself a writer in those days, and yet the words that poured out of me after Benjamin’s death were different than any words I’d ever written. The writing took on a totally new look and feel. The words were no longer flat on the page, but possessed volume and dimension—were somehow alive and independent of me. It wasn’t even that I chose to write. I simply could not keep from doing it.

“The writing took on a totally new look and feel . . .
It wasn’t even that I chose to write. I simply could
not keep from doing it.”

Sometimes I wrote fervently for weeks on end and then long periods of time might go by when I could not write in manuscript form at all—because I was living the drama, rather than recounting it. Later, when perspective finally caught up with experience, I could go back, identify the fragments, and piece them together.

My initial covenant with this story took me only as far as the funeral. In the beginning, I was not writing to inform or inspire; I was writing merely to survive. Some months later I renegotiated a new contract with myself that took us up through the first anniversary of Benjamin’s death. It was at that time I first envisioned the birth of a book and began actively searching for a happy ending. Later I was forced to extend the time-frame to encompass the birth of our fifth child, at which point I was sure we would all be living “happily ever after.” Continually seeking a suitable conclusion, the projections were pushed back time and time again.

“Months passed. Years passed. Day after day, I wrote.
But instead of resolving, the chaos thickened.”

Months passed. Years passed. Day after day, I wrote. But instead of resolving, the chaos thickened. Ghosts surfaced from other eras, and dark sides of myself I could barely tolerate made premiere appearances to rattle my cage. Some transitions were so fraught with horror and disbelief, I doubted I could ever move them from experience to the printed page. Doubts crept in—why am I doing this? Fears beat a path to my door—what will this mean for me and my family? Periods of rebellion and outrage overtook me—why was I seduced into writing a “death and dying” book and then presented with this holocaust?

“Doubts crept in—why am I doing this? Fears beat a path to my door—
what will this mean for me and my family?”

Finally I screamed to God, “When am I ever going to live the end of this story?” One sunny August day as I walked out of a Sunday morning church service, I realized I finally had.

There had been an ominous feel to the weeks before Benjamin’s death, a queasiness in my gut that could not be stilled. I often retreated to solitude where I could sit alone, the Bible propped open before me. I was looking for something—anything—that would speak to the strangeness I felt in my heart. It was during one of those quiet times that a particular passage jumped out and attached itself to me. “This sickness is not to end in death: rather it is for God’s glory, that through it the Son of God may be glorified.” When Benjamin died, I felt nothing but rage and contempt for the voice that had come so clearly to me through the Gospel of John. “If this sickness is not to end in death, then why did he die?” I screamed.

“It can take a lot of living to catch up with the purposes of God.
Now a decade later, my insights have been supernaturally
quickened, a higher truth revealed.”

It can take a lot of living to catch up with the purposes of God. Now a decade later, my insights have been supernaturally quickened, a higher truth revealed. I now realize the “sickness” referred to in the Biblical text went far beyond Benjamin’s breathing problems. It symbolized a spiritual infirmity that infiltrated our entire household and seeped beyond its walls. My life had to culminate in crisis because it’s not my nature to heed the gentler nudges. All I was and all I knew had to be systematically wrecked before it could be rebuilt.

A vague sense of “mission” seemed to follow me the moment I lay pen to paper, yet the bigger picture was continually hidden from view. Repeatedly crying out to God, I demanded to know, “What is this for?” But no clear answers were given. I was simply required to record the journey—nothing more and nothing less. Only when the entire passage was complete was the veil lifted and the higher plan revealed.

“This story is not about death, although death is a pivotal element.
This story is not about recovery, although recovery is a trademark
of its glory. This story is about an impossible journey—
and about a God who provided safe passage.”

This story is not about death, although death is a pivotal element. This story is not about recovery, although recovery is a trademark of its glory. This story is about an impossible journey—and about a God who provided safe passage.

I fell asleep one Friday night and woke to find my two-year-old son lying dead beside me. Nothing would ever be the same again—it was not intended to be. The circumstances were planned, the timing divinely orchestrated, this vessel prepared and poised with pen in hand. When all was clearly in place, God laid His hand squarely on my life, and proceeded to pour out the script.

“When all was clearly in place, God laid His hand squarely
on my life, and proceeded to pour out the script.”

# # #
God Will Teach Me to Fly
WORDWORKS PUBLISHING
P.O. Box 644, Westfield, IN 46207-644
www.wordworkspublishing.net
information@wordworkspublishing.net

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Author Info

BIOGRAPHY

An author and a publisher, JOANETTA HENDEL grew up in the nation’s heartland. Very much a “girly-girl,” she enjoyed ruffles and frills and played with dolls long after she was willing to admit it to her friends.

Joanetta has always expressed herself better in writing than any other medium, and recommends journaling as one of the best ways ever to process life and grow spiritually.

The mother of four grown children, Joanetta is a “creative.” In addition to writing, she enjoys graphic design and website development. An avid photographer, Joanetta believes that no significant moment in life should pass without a snapshot remembrance. You’ll find her in the garden, in the gym, hanging out with friends and family, and spending as much time as possible with her grandchildren.

Joanetta Hendel is available to speak to women’s groups, Christian organizations, caregivers, support groups, and health care professionals. She speaks to the issues of hope and healing, strength and encouragement, the grace of God and spiritual redemption. Some of her favorite topics include: grief recovery, spiritual and emotional healing, journaling as a healing tool, restoration through the Word of God, loving your children through prayer

Reach Joanetta at: joanetta@godwillteachmetofly.com

 

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Program Topics

PROGRAM TOPICS
“GOD WILL TEACH ME TO FLY”

Suggested interview topics include:

“The Redemptive Power of a Transparent Life”

“Wrestling with God in the Dark Places”

“My Past is not My Present —
Embracing an Identity of Victor, Rather than Victim”

“Becoming a Light Bearer —
The Art of Standing for the Long Haul with a Friend or Loved One in Crisis”

“Finding a Future and a Hope after the Death of a Child”

“When the Death of a Child Threatens Your Marriage”

“Fulfilling a Sacred Trust —
The Special Charge of the Professional Counselor in the Lives of the Hurting”
(Best presented in conjunction with a professional counselor.)

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