Country music veteran Alan Jackson's daughter, Mattie Jackson Selecman, shares how she wrestled with faith and life after her husband death in her new book. In her book, Lemons on Friday (which releases on November 16), Mattie shares how her faith was shaken when her husband Ben of 11 months passed away after suffering a fall during a family celebration on Alan Jackson's boat over Labor Day weekend in 2018.
The situation progressed to where Ben was taken to the hospital, where doctors suggested surgery might be necessary as Selecman's brain began to swell. Doctors subsequently placed Ben in a medically induced coma for 11 days and operated on him multiple times. When the decision was made to start waking him up, the family was hopeful.
Instead, Ben suffered multiple strokes and extensive brain damage within minutes of beginning to wake up, due to a blood clot that had broken off in his cranium. His heart began to fail within 24 hours, and he died shortly after.
Twenty-eight-year-old Mattie had to find a way to move forward and reconcile herself with a good God, even when He did not give her the healing miracle she prayed for.
"When fundamental parts of our lives are lost, when people and things we thought we'd never lose are suddenly gone, it's natural to want answers," writes Selecman.
"Why did this happen Who's to blame What could I have done differently And for many of us in the aftermath of life-shattering change, we also want to know, where is God Not just where was He when the tragedy happened, but where is He now in my darkest days of hurt, wondering, and longing for comfort When I am on the floor, writhing in tears with no idea what the rest of my life will look like, where is God"
Despite her questions, Mattie Jackson Selecman says she has not lost her faith. "I don't believe God chose to inflict this pain on me," she tells People. "I think the world is broken and it's sinful and bad things happen, and docks get wet, and people fall. That's the way that it is."
Lemons on Friday grapples with questions like these:
- How did I get here
- Will this always hurt
- Who am I now
- How do I move forward
Lemons on Friday offers insight and peace for anyone grieving, but especially for young people experiencing loss and facing a future that feels full of question marks. The book is currently available for pre-order.