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

Description by Mallory Ellington

We are all raised a certain way, our guardians teaching us various truths and beliefs along the way. If you are like me you kind of just roll with these teachings as a child, I mean why would you question the authority figure in your life?

But then there is a point when we all start to ask the hard questions of what we have been taught. We all reach a point when we begin to sort through what we want to believe, how we want to align our lives.  Sarah Bessey gives us space for that in this book.

I will be honest, this book is in regards to the Christian faith. Sarah invites us on a journey to unpack the hard questions with her as she develops her theology.

She talks about Jesus, about community, about justice, and so much more. With every turn of the page I found myself saying “me too” all the more. Sarah asked all the same questions I had asked of my church.

The reasons she left the church? The same reasons that made me want to go running for the hills.

The reasons she was drawn back to the church? Pretty similar to me.

She lays it all out there for us to see. She does it so that we can sigh and say “me too.” Because Sarah gets it; she has been there and wants to guide us through some of the mess of unpacking our bitterness and angry questions. Sarah allows us to bring our hurts, our misconceptions, our skepticism, and so much more to the table. She shows us that she brought it all as well.

I think the act of wrestling with our beliefs, with our faith, is easier when we have seen someone who has gone before us do the same and come out the other side. It is like they are steps past the finish line yelling at us, “me too, so you can do it!” They are there to encourage, to help guide. Sarah was that for me in a lot of ways. Her “me too” has given me space to continue to ask questions and continue to grow.

I look at her story in front of me and think, “If she can do it, so can I.” And isn’t that something we all kind of want? We want proof that we can survive the tricky bits of life. I want to know that I will be okay, even as I wrestle with my faith.

Out of Sorts was that little reminder that I’ll be okay, that there are other people who truly have “been there and done that.”

So even if this book isn’t for you, know that as you continue on your journey there are people who have gone before you, people who understand. I think that is a big takeaway we all need, that we’re going to be okay. That other people have done the hard things and made it, therefore we can too.

 Mallory Ellington

Mallory Ellington