When you’re in the midst of suffering, you want answers for the unanswerable, resolutions to the unresolvable. You want to tie up pain in a pretty little package and hide it under the bed, taking it out only when you feel strong enough to face it. But grief won’t be contained. Grief disobeys. Grief explodes. In one breath, you may be able to say that God’s got this and all will be well. In the next, you might descend into fatalism. No pretending. Here, you are raw before God, an open wound.
There is a pathway through this suffering. It’s not easy, but God will use it to lead you toward healing. This path is called lament. Lament leads us between the Already and the Not Yet. Lament minds the gap between current hopelessness and coming hope. Lament anticipates new creation but also acknowledges the painful reality of now. Lament recognizes the existence of evil and suffering—without any sugarcoating—while simultaneously declaring that suffering will not have the final say.
In the midst of your darkest times, you will discover that lament leads you back to a place of hope—not because lamenting does anything magical, but because God sings a louder song than suffering ever could, a song of renewal and restoration.
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Aubrey Sampson is a fresh voice when your broken heart needs a fresh wind. Lean into these pages and you’ll hear the beauty of the Louder Song—that your soul is desperately longing to hear.
by Ann Voskamp, NYT bestselling author of The Broken Way
There’s no denying we live in a fallen, broken, and sinful world—a world of pain—where suffering is a reality for all of us at various levels. Aubrey Sampson peels away the layers of pretense that often masquerade as outward strength or valor as she unpacks an expressive theology of lament. Anchored by her own faith journey and experience of personal loss and suffering, Aubrey encourages authenticity and fosters hope for those who are in the midst of pain and suffering. I am confident this book will be of great encouragement to you as you reflect on the experiences of lament in a world of suffering.
by Ed Stetzer, PhD, executive director of the Billy Graham Center
If you want permission to ask God the hard questions about suffering, Sampson extends an embossed invitation. Here she offers a highly accessible tour of the lost art of biblical lament, teaching along the way with utmost pastoral care—and with just enough vulnerability to persuade hurting readers that their guide is trustworthy. One certain outcome: You will never look at snow globes the same way again.
by Andy Olsen, managing editor of Christianity Today
In this vulnerable account of her own pain, Aubrey Sampson helps us believe that life can be hard . . . and God can still be good. Anchored in Scripture and enlivened by storytelling, this powerful book makes something lyrical of lament. And I suppose this, too, is a mystery—that the most beautiful songs are often born out of suffering. The Louder Song will be a pleasure to recommend and reread.
by Jen Michel, author of Surprised by Paradox
This is a beautiful book. It is real about lament and honest about suffering, but not without hope. With reflections on lament that are both deeply personal and guided by Scripture, The Louder Song composes a harmonious tune that will be restorative music to the ears of anyone who has felt isolated, unknown, or hopeless in their pain. Emily Dickinson once wrote, “‘Hope’ is the thing with feathers— / That perches in the soul— / And sings the tune without the words— / And never stops—at all—.” The buoyancy of enduring, Christ-filled, soul-stirring hope, even in the midst of pain, comes through in Aubrey Sampson’s transparent and evocative writing. This is a song you’ll want to put on repeat.
by Brett McCracken, senior editor at The Gospel Coalition
If you are in the middle of deep hurt, The Louder Song is a powerful reminder of how God meets us in the middle of our pain and reminds us we have victory through him. Aubrey’s story is a personal lesson in how to pass through disappointment and pain without getting stuck there.
by Christine Caine, bestselling author and founder of The A21 Campaign and Propel Women
The Louder Song: Listening for Hope in the Midst of Lament is a rare book written with honest, raw emotion about experiencing life’s most challenging times. Aubrey Sampson uses stories from her life and Scripture to remind us it’s okay to cry out to God when we don’t understand. If you’re going through a challenging time right now or trying to help someone who is, this book is for you!
by Dave Ferguson, lead pastor at Community Christian Church
Having walked through suffering in my own life and with others, I know how tempting it can be to skip right past the hard stuff—and how much we miss out on if we do. In this book, Aubrey Sampson perfectly articulates the beauty of lament and offers it as a gift to anyone who has ever cried out to God—and to the church—in their pain. Through her own story and keen insights, she helps readers learn how to walk through grief while remaining anchored in hope.
by Jamie D. Aten, PhD, founder and executive director of the Humanitarian Disaster Institute at Wheaton College
If you have ever felt the weight of pain pulling hard at your body and soul—and I know you have—there is solace in these pages. Aubrey teaches us not to hide from pain but to look it in the face, hard and long, and lament . . . and, in the depth of this hard, honest song, to find the Louder Song—the presence of the Comforter.
by Catherine McNiel, author of Long Days of Small Things
A book written from the mind reaches a mind; a book written from the heart reaches a heart; and a book written from a life reaches a life. This book is a life reacher. Aubrey invites us to hold the suffering of life and the sovereignty of God together with both hands.
by Tricia Lott Williford, author of And Life Comes Back and You Can Do This
What does a person who believes in a good and powerful God do with unimaginable pain . . . and seemingly stone-cold silence from heaven? Aubrey Sampson, from Scripture and experience, says we must lament. Not to find answers, but to “be still in the unanswerable.” Not to force God’s hand, but to be intimately “tethered to his presence.” The Louder Song gives hope that in the midst of life-shattering wounds, God sees us and invites us to cry out—raw and real—to him. In response, he comes close, walking with us through our pain, until the day when pain is no more. A must-read!
by Kevin Butcher, author of Choose and Choose Again: The Brave Act of Returning to God's Love
I’m celebrating this book on lament. Don’t we all need better ways of grieving? Don’t we need a better understanding of suffering? Aubrey dives deep into the Scriptures and returns with a biblical map and a voice I shall return to again and again.
by Leslie Leyland Fields, author of Crossing the Waters: Following Jesus through the Storms, the Fish, the Doubt, and the Seas