Lemons on Friday

Trusting God Through My Greatest Heartbreak

by Mattie Jackson Selecman

On Sale: 2021-11-16

Price: $19.99

Book Summary

After being married for less than a year, country music legend Alan Jackson’s daughter Mattie was faced with navigating a future that didn’t include her young husband and their lifelong plans.

About the Book

After being married for less than a year, country music legend Alan Jackson’s daughter Mattie was faced with navigating a future that didn’t include her young husband and their lifelong plans.

Ben Selecman passed away twelve days after a traumatic brain injury—and three weeks before celebrating his first anniversary with his wife. 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. 

In Lemons on Friday, readers walk with Mattie Jackson Selecman during the first years of grief following Ben’s tragic death as she grapples with her loss and leans on a steadfast God. Based on Selecman’s journal writings, Lemons on Friday will speak to all readers who must carry on without their loved ones and take a hard look at faith when their lives have not gone as planned.

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?

“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?” 

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.


'When a tea bag gets steeped in hot water, the true content and nature of what's inside the bag, whether sweet or bitter, is revealed. The same is true of people when their lives become steeped in unexpected sorrow and loss. I will never forget how the sweet aroma of Christ, even and especially through honest yet noncynical, humble tears, came out of Mattie when she lost her beloved husband, Ben. I am thankful that she has gone more public with her story, so that others can see in it the goodness of God in times when they need him most.'
--Scott Sauls, senior pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church and author of Jesus Outside the Lines and A Gentle Answer

'Mattie's story carries you through a valley of unbearable heartbreak, and in the very next moment you are experiencing an ocean of peace that is the heartbeat of Jesus. Her honesty and vulnerability in this book are a beacon of light to any heart that has experienced total darkness. The courage and wisdom expressed through her words will inspire hope in readers, no matter their walk of life.'
--Lauren Akins, author of the New York Times bestseller Live in Love: Growing Together Through Life's Changes

'There is a sisterhood among all of us who have been widowed at far too young of an age. That's where our story intersected with Mattie's. She's wonderful, witty, and wise beyond her years. In Lemons on Friday she takes us all on a journey that is less about making lemonade out of lemons and more about looking to faith for transformational healing. Her story of loss, with hope, reminds us that partnering with Christ can turn the bitter sorrows of life into something far sweeter than we could ever accomplish on our own.'
--Rachel Brown and Ginger Ravella, founders, Be Still Ministries and Never Alone Widows Retreats

'An honest and vulnerable peek into the healing spaces between love, grief, hope, growth, and true restoration. Attainable by all, through God's mercy and grace, especially for the 258 million widows globally we are called to care for in their distress. This is an answer to that divine call.'
--Carolyn Moor, founder, Modern Widows Club

'The most honest, vulnerable, and completely beautiful look inside loss and grief. Mattie's courage to share her intimate thoughts on love, death, grief, and her unending faith will be a gift to those who have loved and those who grieve. Only someone who has suffered through the death of a loved one can write from this place. Lemons on Friday is a lifeline for those who have suffered loss and those who seek to find joy in life again.'
--Liz Allison, NASCAR analyst, author, and radio host

'Too often, as Christians, we have no idea how to approach grief. We either stuff it down, dismiss it, 'Jesus juke' one another, or end up drowning in it. The church needs Mattie's story because, through it, she teaches us something about what it looks like to grieve honestly but with hope.'
--Rachel Joy Welcher, editor at Fathom magazine and author of Talking Back to Purity Culture

'Lemons on Friday is a beautiful and raw depiction of what grief can look like and a hopeful testament to how God can take life's most painful situations and weave them into an incredible masterpiece. Mattie is a wonderfully gifted writer and storyteller whose ability to capture the rollercoaster of loss and faith in God's promises is unparalleled.'
--Shannon Frazier, MMFT (marriage and family therapist)

'No matter what the format--songs, books, and so on--writing allows us to share experiences with and enter into the lives of people we may never meet face to face. For all those who pick up this book, they are welcomed into Mattie's personal story of heartbreak and are reminded in the midst of their own pain: you are not alone, and hope is never really out of reach.'
--Lee Ann Womack, Grammy-winning, ACM-winning, and CMA-winning recording artist

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9780785241270
  • ISBN 10: 0785241272
  • Imprint: Thomas Nelson
  • On Sale: 2021-11-16
  • Pages: 208
  • List Price: $19.99
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • Publication Date: 2021-11-16
  • Trim Size: 143.000mm x 221.000mm x 19.000mm
  • Weight: 308.000gr
  • Category 1 : RELIGION / Christian Life / Death, Grief, Bereavement
  • Category 2 : FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Death, Grief, Bereavement
  • Category 3 : SELF-HELP / Death, Grief, Bereavement