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Publisher's Summary

This audiobook edition is read by the author and includes the song “Racing the Dark” performed by Alan Jackson and cowritten with his daughter Mattie Jackson Selecman. 

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 12 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, you will 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 listeners 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.

©2021 Mattie Jackson Selecman (P)2021 Thomas Nelson

Critic Reviews

"'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 best seller 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) 

What listeners say about Lemons on Friday

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Healing after Tragedy

We lost our son 2 years ago and trying to put the pieces back together has been almost impossible. This book has provided such healing and peace for me. I bought a copy and gifted it to my oldest daughter as well. Thank you Mattie for being brave enough to listen to the Lords calling. I can’t thank you enough for this blessing.

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amazing!!!!

Mattie wrote an amazing story. I love that she narrated. I highly recommend this.

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Absolutely LOVE this story of hope and healing!

I love this story of hope and healing in the midst of darkness. As someone who is on this journey I do appreciate Mattie’s desire to seek the Lord for that healing. I can’t imagine doing this without HIM and I love the encouragement given in the lines of the amazing testimony. Praise God He takes our hand and walks with us. I highly recommend this read. Thank you, Mattie for sharing!

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Wonderful book

What a wonderful way to share the hurt and healing of such a loss. Blessings to Mattie in the new moments to come.

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Thank you

I lost my father And my oldest sister within 6 months of each other! I wasn’t coping well! I would go through my day to day motions as a home health nurse. I would pray and ask questions without answers! Now I’m seeing the God nods and realize exactly as you say and our father in heaven say Thy will be done, there is no because at the end. Thank you for helping me see that I was asking in the wrong way! I will put my arms around my wonderful daddy and my sister again! God Bless.

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Incredible

Mattie shared her story in such a raw way, so vulnerable. This is exactly what I needed. It’s so important to share our struggles to help encourage others that life is not always what we things it should be, but no matter what, God truly is good and uses all things for a greater purpose. Thank you for being so brave in sharing your story. It impacted me and I know will impact others for years to come. God bless you!

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Such an impactful book

I would like to start by thanking Mattie for sharing such an intimate part of her life!
This book was tremendous and so well written. I loved each theme and title of each chapter. I have been talking to so many friends and family about the thoughts and ideas of this book it truly touched and inspired me.
Highly recommend if going through a tough time or even want to be infused with some extra faith, this book is for you!

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Lemons on Friday

This book is so good. I was blessed by Mattie Jackson Selecman’s choice to be transparent.

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So great.

This book was beautiful- I listened on audible on the way to my Brother and his family for Christmas, several states away. It was a Godsend; a breath of fresh air. Our Mom passed in March of this year and we're navigating the first holidays without her. I feel like God placed this in my lap, and I have a few ladies I'm going to send it to that will be able to glean from its pages. It was a beautiful read, and wonderfully written. The authors heart was truly in it.

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God Will Take Care of You

Mattie, you touched my heart with your story, your voice, & your honesty. I pray for you & the Lord says to me “I will take care of her.” May He grant you joy beyond what you could imagine.
Love & admiration,
Dot Powell

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  • 01-16-22

RAW AND POWERFUL

A very raw insight into grief and the pain it brings in its wake. Such a powerful message for anyone who has questioned their faith after a significant loss. Mattie has articulated her experience of trauma and loss in such a beautiful moving tribute to her late husband, Ben, renewing my faith along the way. I will never underestimate the power of prayer.