A Tempered Faith: Rediscovering Hope in the Ashes of Loss by Jennifer Sands


Reviewed by Nancy Eaton

A Tempered FaithThere are so many stories regarding the events of September 11, 2001. Some are told by the family members who lost loved ones on this day and others are told by the survivors. The stories are very sad; but, at the same time, they are all unique and very intriguing. It’s difficult to imagine what the relatives and friends of people who were killed on September 11 went through at the time and for the years that followed this terrible assault on America.

Jennifer Sands tells us her personal story. She met her soul mate, Jim, through a dating service. The two were surprised that they went to the same school, lived in the same town, etc. but never met each other. They got married. Jennifer worked as a pharmacist and Jim worked for Cantor Fitzgerald at the World Trade Center. They enjoyed a few short, wonderful years together. They both had a love for Scuba diving in the Cayman Islands.

On the night of September 10, 2001, Jim and Jennifer watched their favorite team, the New York Giants, play on Monday Night Football. Their dinner turned out to be a disaster (pasta made with a jar of sauce.) Since Jennifer was Italian this was really a no-no. Jim decided to make some popcorn. The popcorn burned but Jim ate it anyway. As a result, Jim’s stomach did not feel well during the night. As I was reading this section of the book, I wondered – if only Jim had called in sick the next morning…Jennifer also had the same thought.

Jennifer, a Catholic, always prayed for Jim’s safety. He had a long commute to work between the drive and the ferry. She thought that praying is all she needed to do because she had a contract with God. However, after losing Jim in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center she grew more and more angry with God. She wondered how God could let something like this happen.

Jennifer’s nephew, Kevin, gave her a special Christmas gift, a journal called Grace for the Moment Journal, Max Lucado’s daily devotional prayer journal. On each page there was scripture and a writing prompt. Jennifer wrote daily in the journal during 2002. This journal played a major role in helping Jennifer to heal.

Jennifer writes this story with honesty and raw emotion. You can feel her anger toward God. As time passed, you can see how she started to accept what had happened and the changes that took place in her feelings toward God. As readers go through the journal, they will clearly see how God was there for Jennifer and how he helped to answer many of her questions.

A Tempered Faith is an emotional, gripping and spiritual story of a young widow who questions God and heals in the process. I would recommend this book to everyone but especially to someone who has lost a loved one.

I had the opportunity to meet Jennifer Sands. She was a speaker at an event I attended at America’s Keswick in Whiting, NJ. After listening to her speech, I had to purchase a copy of her book, Tempered Faith, to read more details about the loss of her husband.

Thank you, Jennifer, for sharing your story with us.

On a personal note, one of the items on my “list of things to do” is to visit the 9/11 Memorial. I know this will be a very emotional and difficult trip to make but I just feel it is the least I can do to pay respect to the people who lost their lives that day. After all, these were innocent people who happened to go to work that day to earn a living. My cousin’s wife was working at the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 but she was one of the lucky ones who made it safely out of the building.