What Cannot Be Lost (ebook)

What Cannot Be Lost ebook

How Jesus Holds Us Together When Life Is Falling Apart

from 7 reviews

A personal story of holding on to faith in Christ in the face of loss.

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Author Melissa Zaldivar talks honestly about losing everything that once defined her and how God used unexpected opportunities, like working at Orchard House, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women, to spark a journey of working through her grief and encountering the all-sufficient love of Christ.

Weaving inspiring passages of Scripture and insights from Little Women into her personal story, Melissa encourages readers with her discovery that it’s when we have nothing left to offer that we can receive God’s love the most. And that’s something that can never be lost.

Readers will be reassured that God will meet them in the midst of their mess and urged to look to him for help, comfort, and strength.

A great gift for those whose faith is being tested in the face of a loss of any kind—a loved one, a job, or a relationship.

Product details


  • Chapter 1: The Process of Losing | Genesis 3; Psalm 23
    Chapter 2: By Choice or by Force | 1 Peter 4:19; 5:7
    Chapter 3: One Day At A Time | Matthew 6: 5-15; James 2:14-26
    Chapter 4: Getting to the Root | John 20:24-29
    Chapter 5: The Beach | Genesis 1
    Chapter 6: Honestly | 1 Kings 8; John 16
    Chapter 7: Finding Our Footing | John 6:60-69
    Chapter 8: What Cannot Be Lost | Isaiah 43; Hosea 11


Contributors Melissa Zaldivar, Bethany Barnard
ISBN 9781784987954
Format eBook
First published October 2022
Case quantity 50
Language English
Publisher The Good Book Company

Amanda Bible Williams

Co-founder, She Reads Truth; General Editor, She Reads Truth Bible

An unexpected combination of biblical truth and literary commentary, "What Cannot Be Lost" exposes the rawness of loss and longing while, at the same time, applying the only effective salve. Simply put, it’s one of the most honest books on grief I’ve ever read.

Karen Swallow Prior

Author of Fierce Convictions—The Extraordinary Life of Hannah More: Poet, Reformer, Abolitionist

The things that happen to us in life—whether things of gain or loss—become meaningful through the stories we tell about those things. The story Melissa Zaldivar tells in these pages finds meaning through the frame of the beautiful stories she has immersed herself in: the stories of Louisa May Alcott, the stories of people she knows and loves, and the truest and best stories of all—those of the Bible. "What Cannot Be Lost" is a beautiful testimony to the power good stories have to make our lives better, even (or especially) when we face great loss.

Lisa Whittle

Author, The Hard Good; Bible Teacher; Podcast Host

Good writing is observation, and Melissa Zaldivar does it best. She’s careful with these tender stories of loss and wise in showing how they weave together. What Cannot Be Lost is a stunning book for every heart that aches to make sense of grief and longs to believe in a beautiful future.

Customer reviews


“I laughed, I cried. I couldn't put it down.”

(Review written for 'What Cannot Be Lost')

This was such an honest look at grief in the Christian life. Melissa Zaldivar shares her personal story of losing her best friend and writes it in parallel with the story of Louisa May Alcotta’s writing of Little Women.

A short read that I couldn’t put down. I stayed up late just to finish it because I was captivated at the way Melissa navigated through grief, pushing through everything that can be lost to what cannot be lost, which is saving faith in Jesus.

This is one of those “I laughed, I cried” type stories that is sure to encourage anyone who reads it.


“An Honest Look at Grief”

(Review written for 'What Cannot Be Lost')

As a big fan of Little Women, both the book and the movies (especially the 1994 movie), I was eager to read Melissa Zaldivar’s debut title, What Cannot Be Lost. The book takes readers through Melissa’s journey with grief as she suffered the loss of her dear friend Jill. While working at Orchard House, the home where Little Women was penned, Melissa began to see parts of her grief story in the grief that author Louisa May Alcott experienced throughout her life.

No stranger to grief myself, one of the aspects of What Cannot Be Lost that I most appreciated was how it is a resource that gives language to how grief feels. It really encouraged me to read the account of someone who is also a Christian who grieved with hope and remained committed to Christ even in the midst of incredible pain. I really appreciate how Melissa shares honestly about grief. I know that grief is uncomfortable, overwhelming, and confusing which makes people want to move past it quickly. This makes it especially difficult for the one grieving and I am grateful for Melissa’s story which acknowledges that grief is a process.

The past few years have brought about various kinds of grief for me and my family so I found comfort in Melissa’s words. I appreciate that she didn’t shy away from the honest thoughts and feelings grievers have. I know it is painful and difficult to share your grief story with others but I believe that doing so encourages others to not bear their pain alone and I am so grateful to Melissa for bravely sharing her story. If you’ve experienced grief or have wanted to better understand it, I think you will enjoy What Cannot Be Lost.

I received What Cannot Be Lost compliments of The Good Book Company in exchange for my honest review.


“An Honest Exploration of Grief and Faith”

(Review written for 'What Cannot Be Lost')

This is a raw, honest, and encouraging read as we hear the story of Melissa's loss and how Christ sustained her. If you're going through a tough time or are supporting someone who is, this could be a really helpful read, especially if you're looking for something that is a little more gentle than a full-on Bible study. Instead, there are Bible passages woven throughout when appropriate, so that the book feels like it's on a really solid biblical foundation.


“An honest and hopeful book about loss and hope”

(Review written for 'What Cannot Be Lost')

I felt so encouraged reading this book by Melissa. She has a way with words that connects you immediately to her life and also into the life of the Alcotts. If you're a fan of Little Women and/or experienced loss and grief in your life, this book is a refreshing and vibrant approach to the every day life that continues on. It is funny, hopeful, and endearing.


“Honest Faith”

(Review written for 'What Cannot Be Lost')

In What Cannot Be Lost, Melizza Zaldivar shares honestly about the losses in her life and how her faith was powerful through it all. It's a great book for those who need encouragement in a season of hurting or someone who needs a reminder as they are on the other side of the season.

*I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


“Compassionate Truth”

(Review written for 'What Cannot Be Lost')

I’ve read many books about grief and loss over the years. I’m drawn most to ones that allow readers to peer into the heart and mind of the author and glean insights and perspective from what they see there. What Cannot Be Lost does this on two levels: Melissa Zaldivar reflects on losing her dear friend while also recounting the experiences that led 19th-century author Louisa May Alcott to pen Little Women.

When her friend died, Zaldivar was working as a guide at Orchard House—Alcott’s home in Concord, Mass., where she was living when her beloved children’s classic was published in 1868. With this poignant combination of past-meets-present as a backdrop, Zaldivar speaks with the compassion of someone who has grieved deeply, while never veering from truths about suffering and loss that are sometimes hard to hear.

Among other topics, she writes about the fallacy of trusting in our plans, the importance of friends who help us put words to our sorrow, the necessity of loving all of God’s words, and how Jesus is near and good through the entirety of life, not just the parts on the highlight reel.

I received a media copy of What Cannot Be Lost in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.


“Courage and Candor”

(Review written for 'What Cannot Be Lost')

Where is God in our grief? In What Cannot Be Lost, Melissa Zaldivar shares how Jesus holds us together when life Is falling apart.

Loss and Grief

In just over 150 pages, this book tells Zaldivar’s personal story of loss and grief. The loss of a job was just the beginning. Zaldivar would later grieve together with and eventually lose the life of Jill, her beloved friend from college. The book is raw, honest, and strangely inspiring.

When Zaldivar seemed to have hit rock-bottom, she found her faith to be on solid ground. She found God’s love in Jesus. And while the season was difficult, she writes with warmth and strength.

Courage and Candor

This book is not a Bible study, but Zaldivar brings Scripture to life in a way that only someone who has tasted its truth can do. She is wonderful with words, and tells her stories with courage and candor.

What I found most interesting was how Zaldivar shared her story along with insights from her work at the Orchard House — where Louisa May Alcott wrote and set Little Women. It gave a timeless, classic, but very real and relatable aspect to her story.

Anger and Sadness

I was most moved by a sentence that Zaldivar had spoke to her pastor when she was at a low point in her life. I won’t quote it here, because I feel it was most powerful in the context of the book, but I saw how open, honest anger is sometimes what we need to bring to Jesus. And when we can see the connection between our anger and our sadness, it makes the love of our Lord that much sweeter.

This book is like looking at an open wound, and seeing it being stitched back together by the Savior. For those who are being tested in their faith, this book will be a balm. For anyone who reads, it will reassure you of Christ’s compassion for the hurting. We can bring our grief to God. He will meet us there.

I received a media copy of What Cannot Be Lost and this is my honest review.

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What Cannot Be Lost (ebook) | Melissa Zaldivar, Bethany Barnard |