The miracles we ask for are not always the miracles we receive.

In this memoir, Richard Felix, president emeritus of Azusa Pacific University, tells how he prayed that his wife, Vivian, would be healed from breast cancer. After more than two years of battle, including a lumpectomy, chemotherapy, a double mastectomy, radiation, a bone-marrow transplant, a miracle drug, and experimental therapies, Vivian died.

The School of Dying Graces: Lessons on Living from Two Extraordinary Journeys Toward God
by Richard Felix with Rob Wilkins
SaltRiver (Tyndale),
208 pp., $17.99

In this elegantly told story of faith amid suffering, Felix describes how he and Vivian entered "the school of dying graces"—learning grace for living, letting go, dependence, surrender, gratitude, transformation, and how to see with the eyes of faith.

"It is possible," he writes, "to stand on the cusp of our very worst fears, endure the nightmare of their coming true, and find that on the other side we have been transformed rather than destroyed."

Sprinkled throughout are poignant journal entries from Vivian: "It is so hard to die in slow pieces. It is so hard to suffer. … I have begged God, badgered, pleaded, wept … all I seem to get is, 'Trust me.'"

At the end of Vivian's life, Felix believes "the lessons may be costly, but the wisdom is priceless."

Keep the Kleenex handy.

Related Elsewhere:

The School of Dying Graces is available from and other book retailers.

More about Richard Felix and his book, including a chapter excerpt, are available from the publisher.

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