Monday, January 20, 2014

Thrashing About...

A few days ago a brief book recommendation crossed my path once again, I went for it. I've about 1/3 way through the book Thrashing About with God: Finding Faith on the Other Side of Everything by Mandy Steward and I just wanted to go ahead and recommend it.

It is about the messiness of life and how that relates to faith and God. She is very raw and open in our thoughts about the busyness of our lives and how we end up doing things we don't want to do.
I wonder if there are others who believe as I have believed. I have family members and friends who are working jobs they don’t want to be working, who are living lives they don’t want to be living, who have made great sacrifices, but at the cost of what—their very hearts? And this is applauded and worn as a badge of honor. This is our self-prescripted suffering that we, as Christians, must endure, because we are putting God first. Burned-out mothers have more children. Beaten-down fathers continue working desk jobs and being yes-men to bosses they don’t respect. Women have busy feet, looking for one more cause to champion tirelessly. Men and women sit in more meetings, make more connections, and wait somewhat patiently for their “big break” to come.
We do go through dead motions like this sometimes, don’t we? We hold on to dead relationships, dead churches, dead actions, dead hearts, and dead-end lives, because if we just have a little more faith in something other than ourselves, then maybe things will change for the better. We fake it until we make it. We kid ourselves that this is what it looks like to have a relationship with God. Look at us. We’re a superstitious ball of jokes, holding our breath, crossing our fingers, throwing salt over our shoulders, and not stepping on cracks. Some of us have made a living out of rule making, all because our hearts are supposedly faulty, all because we can’t be trusted, all because, despite all costs, our lives cannot be about us. We Eeyore our way through. Thanks, God, for “noticing me.” Is it any wonder we have lost our lives to the full? Life to the full comes about because God loves us so much, He makes it about us. Is it too much to consider that someone might actually want to love on you? 

I've written many times about stories(here and here). She writes that we all have stories to write and to live. That obviously resonates with me. My story is different from yours and that is ok.
The voice of the Divine inside me continues, “There’s a lot about other people’s stories I’m not telling you. I’m not telling you why so many Jewish people were tortured in concentration camps; why Jay-Z grew up on the streets, hustling drugs to help feed and clothe his family; or why Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath committed suicide. What I am telling you is your story, and your story happens to involve a girl who has a season of life when she skips out on church, leaves her small group, closes up her Bible, and gets really messy with her faith. You don’t have to stress that everyone else’s story may not look like yours. You don’t have to try to force them to step into your precise footprint impressions on the narrow road you walk. I don’t need you to understand why someone else’s story may involve the exact opposite actions: going to church, joining a small group, opening their Bible, and cleaning up their messy life. I just need you to live out your own story.”
Anyway, I'm enjoying the start of the book and I've been negligent in posting lately so today is the day and this is the book.

Blessings to you all.


  1. Sounds like a must read for me! Sometimes I feel in balance, but most of the time not.

  2. Robin, I finished the book and I have to recommend this one with 5 stars. Life is messy and faith is messy. She does an amazing and raw job talking about it. I'm now following her blog too.

    Put this one on your list.

  3. Hmmm, I think I would like to read this at some point. Thanks for the recommendation.

  4. mark I got about 75% through this. I agree 100% the first of the book is really good and as you mention "messy". But the further I get into the book I felt like the person might be "leaning too much on their own understanding" as they get away from the assembly. For me if I believe the Bible is true then I need to study and spend time with those that do. If I didn't believe it contained truth I shouldn't read it at all. To her defense if I quit doing those things I suspect I would be in much the same place, but for me there's a reason God is God and I'm not.

    However, the writing in this book is very raw and powerful.