Celebrating Female Authors - Sarah Bessey

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Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey

Sarah Bessey is a writer, teacher, preacher, and award-winning blogger. Bessey describes herself as “one of those happy-clappy Jesus followers with stars in her eyes … a social justice wanna-be trying to do some good, and a non denominational charismatic recovering know-it-all who has unexpectedly fallen back in love with the Church.” She lives with her husband and four children in Abbotsford, British Columbia. She has authored two books, Jesus Feminist and most recently, Out of Sorts.

Out of Sorts is about making peace with an evolving Christian faith. It is for those who are wandering and wondering in their faith journey. This book gives you permission to lean into the pain of uncertainty, to explore your questions, to learn you’re not alone. Ultimately, it will remind you that you are deeply loved by Christ, especially in dry seasons of life.

I came across Out of Sorts during a season of great change. I was newly married and moved to the city of Toronto with my wife Laura. We were disconnected from a church community, and I had also recently completed a work contract and was unemployed in the dead of the dreaded Canadian winter. I felt disconnected from who God was, and had questions about my theology and some assumptions I had about faith. I felt worn down from the recent political election and the unending 24-hour news cycle via Facebook and Twitter. I was dealing with strained family relationships that were affecting my self-worth and identity.

Sarah’s book helped me navigate a season of life where great inner-change was happening. It was a wilderness of sorts, and Out of Sorts gave me permission to be okay in that season. “Lean into your questions and your doubts,” Bessey writes, “until you find that God is out here in the wilderness too.” She reminded me that Christ was there in the wilderness, walking alongside me as I dealt with uncertainties. She reminded me that Jesus dealt with people’s suffering by being present, weeping by their side. She reminded me that at the centre of our faith, is Jesus.

I will leave you with a section of Sarah’s benediction in Out of Sorts. It reminds me of the ways Christ has walked with me in the wilderness, and how we continue to work through incredible women like Sarah Bessey ...

“I pray for your vocation and your calling. Oh, may your hands find the work we're meant to do. I pray that wherever you find yourself — on a stage or in a position of influence or perhaps your kitchen table or beautiful obscurity — you would find God in all the days of your life, in all the callings, in all the places. I pray the holy to invade you daily. I pray that your eyes and heat would be open to see where God is hiding in plain sight. Instead of waiting for your real life to start, I call you to wake up! Wake up! Your life is happening, this is where God has placed you. May you become a parable of hope and renewal right where you are.”

You can purchase Out of Sorts here.

What are some female authors that encourage and inspire you in your faith? Do you have any book suggestions for Women’s History Month?

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Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith by Sarah Bessey
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I read Out of Sorts, too, and got so much out of it! I wrote about one topic here, in my blog: http://lunarsongbird.blogspot.com/2017/09/out-of-sorts-by-sarah-bessey.html.  

I also recommend Rachel Held Evans and Brene Brown. A newer one (for me) is Kate Bowler (Everything Happens for a Reason, and her podcast "Everything Happens"). She's amazing. And going to be at the Faith & Writing Festival this year, by the way. And Marilynne Robinson, Nadia Bolz-Webber, Krista Tippet, Jen Hatmaker (also going to be at the Faith & Writing Festival), Barbara Brown Taylor, Mary Oliver (poet), Lauren Winner, Anne Lamott. In no particular order. :)

I'm sure I'm forgetting some! (or don't know some)