Back in February, I wrote a post about Women of Valor, Women of Words. Here are three more valorous women of words and their wonderful books that chronicle their struggles with doubt through their own “dark nights” and the deepening faith. I read each of these books over the summer and all earn a hearty “Eshet chayil!”
Found by Micha Boyettt.
“My first year of motherhood I lost prayer.
I lost early mornings of quiet, mornings in my pajamas with a Bible in my lap, mornings when I spoke my mind’s chaos into God’s ear and let the chaos come back ordered, holy sealed. I lost peace. I lost clarity and certitude. My faith was never perfect before my son was born, but somewhere in that first year, somewhere in my distraction and exhaustion, I lost the Spirit-life I had known. I blamed myself. . . .”
Found is a story of nourishment for anyone who hungers for rich spirituality and has come up empty. It’s a story for anyone who is trying to reconcile great big dreams with the ordinariness of their days. It’s a story of discovering divine kindness and affection in the most mundane moments of life. With brilliant and moving prose, Micha Boyett invites us on a journey to discover the richness in the everyday—and it changes everything.
Spiritual Misfit by Michelle DeRusha.
I didn’t set out to write a book.
Back in 2006, although I wasn’t sure I even believed in God, I inexplicably began to write about my faith history, beginning way back in the third grade. The very first sentence I typed turned out to be the first sentence of a memoir that took me more than two years to write. I didn’t know it at the time, but God used writing to bring me back to him, and I’ve been wrestling with my faith on the page ever since.
My first book, Spiritual Misfit: A Memoir of Uneasy Faith (Random House: Convergent Books), released April 15, 2014 – eight years after I first began to write it. The story chronicles my loss of faith and my subsequent journey back to God.
My story is ordinary – it’s not a dramatic conversion story; nothing “big” happened to me along the way. I didn’t experience a near-death situation. I didn’t survive a tragedy. But in a lot of ways, that’s what makes my story so accessible. It’s about an ordinary person with ordinary questions, fears and doubts who was transformed in an extraordinary way.
Something Other Than God by Jennifer Fullwiler.
Jennifer Fulwiler told herself she was happy. Why wouldn’t she be? She made good money as a programmer at a hot tech start-up, had just married a guy with a stack of Ivy League degrees, and lived in a twenty-first-floor condo where she could sip sauvignon blanc while watching the sun set behind the hills of Austin.
Raised in a happy, atheist home, Jennifer had the freedom to think for herself and play by her own rules. Yet a creeping darkness followed her all of her life. Finally, one winter night, it drove her to the edge of her balcony, making her ask once and for all why anything mattered. At that moment everything she knew and believed was shattered.
Asking the unflinching questions about life and death, good and evil, led Jennifer to Christianity, the religion she had reviled since she was an awkward, sceptical child growing up in the Bible Belt. Mortified by this turn of events, she hid her quest from everyone except her husband, concealing religious books in opaque bags as if they were porn and locking herself in public bathroom stalls to read the Bible.
Just when Jennifer had a profound epiphany that gave her the courage to convert, she was diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition-and the only treatment was directly at odds with the doctrines of her new-found faith. Something Other Than God is a poignant, profound and often funny tale of one woman who set out to find the meaning of life and discovered that true happiness sometimes requires losing it all.