I first started reading Sarah Bessey’s blog back when she was “Emerging Mummy.” She would write about motherhood, faith, life – quite similar to the topics I’m drawn to here, but much more poetic in style. Even though I was years away from starting a family, I liked reading her thoughts on motherhood – they helped prepare me and made me think of things I wouldn’t have otherwise. Similarly, her thoughts on faith were a few years ahead of my own experiences. She would cover topics that, when I was processing them later, would come back as a help.
When given the opportunity to be on the launch team for Sarah’s newest book, Out of Sorts, I jumped at the chance. Not just to read the book early (though that was fun!) but because I so resonate with the message of hope, love, and reconciliation that Sarah presents.
Presented in terms of a rummage sale, Bessey talks about how we all have bits of our faith that need to be sorted out – some to keep, some to toss. While the foundation should remain in tack, many of us have picked up faulty theology and responses along our journey. Perhaps they were fine at the time, but as we grow and mature, some ideas need to be rethought.
Bessey is clear that God and the Bible are not the ones being rethought through this process, but our own responses to them. Are we creating God in our own image and circumstance or is our journey shaped to reflect the image of God? I think often we can get those two confused, causing our faith to feel “out of sorts.”
In her usual gentle style, Bessey guides us through her own process of getting her faith back to sorts. She talks about unexpected ways she was led back to her faith, even to her childhood denomination. And, when I say “gentle,” I don’t mean in a weak sort of way. I mean gentle in the way someone offers their hand because they are on firmer ground. Bessey has gone through this process of doubt and discontent and she is offering her hand from the other side of that process.
Bessey combines theology, storytelling, and open-ended questions to weave her own journey. And, while this book is her journey, the truths she tells are universal. She takes it beyond a simple faith memoir and into the realm of a guide for other wanderers.
While I found this book profound in the place I’m at now, I could see it being especially helpful to someone who is just coming out of their own out of sorts journey and needs the reminder that everything is ok.
Have you ever felt “out of sorts”? Where has your journey taken you because of that?
GIVEAWAY! I am giving away my copy of Out of Sorts. Leave a comment telling me about something you’ve chosen to keep and I’ll randomly select a winner on Friday, November 6, 2015. (United States addresses only.)
As part of the Out of Sorts launch team, I received an early copy of the book for review.
9 thoughts on “Review: Out of Sorts by Sarah Bessey + Giveaway”
I’m totally feeling out of sorts right now. I’m questioning a lot of the traditions that I was taught were right or even biblical. To be honest, aside from foundational things, I’m not quite sure what I’m keeping (that’s how out of sorts I am!), and I’m just trying to rebuild from the foundation up for now.
Sometimes that’s so necessary… And so scary. I’m glad your foundation is stable. Prayers for you as you sort what you keep.
Grace, you won my copy! Email me your address at email@example.com and I’ll mail it this week.
I, too, have been wrestling with many of the things you mentioned – like faulty theology, and my responses to the Bible. It has been at times liberating and at times discouraging. One of the things I’ve chosen to keep is mystery. While God has revealed a lot to us, there is still so much more than we can imagine. He is above and beyond, great and wild. That mystery and wonder causes me to be amazed and to worship.
I love that you are keeping mystery. I wonder if we embraced the mystery of faith more and searched for concrete answers less if we would feel less out of sorts? (Or if feeling out of sorts would be normal?)
I’m keeping the practice of attending a church whose teachings sometimes make me uncomfortable. Perhaps I can help others sort things out. The pulpit says one thing, but there are whispers in the pews. God teaches us all. We all can do better.
How brave! It is so hard to be the change from within. Good job knowing what you can do help others along the journey.
I am keeping that God has been with me all along, from the very beginning, always a part of my story, waiting for me to make Him a visible part too.
Yes, even in my most out-of-sortsness I have never questioned if God is actually with me. So glad you feel that presence!