"In 1986, Ed Wallen's beloved daughter, Susan, was killed in a tragic automobile accident. Two years later, in 1988, I moved to Birmingham, Alabama, to begin the work of Beeson Divinity School of Samford University. At that time, Ed was a pastor in the area, and we became good friends. Over the years, we have prayed together, travelled together, and ministered together. Ed's courage and spiritual integrity have shown through time and time again.
Ed's life was shattered by the death of his daughter and all that flowed from that event. In this book, he describes some of the pain he experienced. Sometimes 'dark nights of the soul' can be devastating to one's faith and trust in God. Sometimes they can leave the sufferer seemingly forever suspended on the gallows of 'Why?' and 'Why me?' Ed certainly writes as one 'acquainted with grief,' the kind of grief from which we all want to hide our faces. But he also writes as one who lives by the promises of God.
Table of Contents:
Foreword by Dr. Timothy George
1. THE GIFT NOBODY WANTS
3. ANSWERS, ATTITUDES AND ACTIONS
7. PORTRAITS OF DISCOURAGEMENT
16. THE KING SAYS, 'COME'
Ed Wallen is now retired after fifty-five years of pastoral ministry. During those years he pastored in Germany, Kentucky, and Alabama. He is the founder and president of Bible Study Foundation which sponsored a ministry in Ukraine where he taught theology to pastors and assisted in the formation of new churches. He presently spends his time writing and producing Think Scripturally, a weekly email devotion. His latest book, Leaving DarkLand and some of his writings are featured in the Books,Books,Books section of this website. He and his wife Tommie reside in Alabaster, Alabama.
"Leaving DarkLand is a contribution towards realism in a day when so many Christian leaders are deceiving people with false expectations for the Christian experience. But it is also a message of hope for all of us who have experienced the failures and tragedies of life and get crushed by them. It is a biblical antidote for the gloom and doubt which satan brings even upon the true children of God. I do not know of a book which has given such a comprehensive catalogue of the various negative emotions of true believers, how they affect God's people and how they can be managed. And it comes from a man who has walked a special road of grief and sadness.
This book is more than just an abstract treatise for me for it was my responsibility and privilege to try to comfort Ed and his friends as I conducted the funeral of the precious little child which lay in state before us. A more poignant and yet important opportunity I have never experienced. For that shattered life of the friend who listened I sought, as best as I could, to bring comfort from Heb. 12:28 which speaks of a 'Kingdom which cannot be shaken'. It is my hope and prayer that Leaving DarkLand will help the suffering, afflicted people of God who live in the modern world to press on in serving the Lord, with the dynamic message of this book before them." - JOHN F. THORNBURY, Th.M., D.Min.
"Leaving Darkland is a deeply spiritual resource for the person facing difficulty of any nature and is a good reference for a pastor who may be preaching on the problem of pain, evil, and suffering. Ed Wallen masterfully addresses the subject. He introduces it with the most painful day of his life and draws upon his personal experience as well as decades of bible study and pastoral ministry. It is biblically and theologically sound. The book was used by the Holy Spirit to encourage me. It is full of poems, hymn texts, and statements of saints of old. I thoroughly recommend this book. Reading it is good preparation for difficulties to come and encouragement and instruction for persons in difficulty." -DR. HUGH RICHARDSON
"'Our theology must eventually become our biography. You will never know how strong the foundation of your faith is until walk through this DarkLand.' These sage-like words by my friend, Ed Wallen, describes a pilgrimage through the pain and grief precipitated by the loss of a loved one. In Ed's case, his beloved daughter was taken from this life way too early. Throughout the years since her death, Ed Wallen has been on a journey through the DarkLand of suffering and sorrow. As a fellow struggler in the grief process and as an author of a well written book, Ed can be your human guide through the DarkLand of grief. This is not an easy road to travel but with the grace of God as your sustenance and with people of faith, like Ed Wallen, you will discover there is light at end of the DarkLand."-RICK LANCE