Do you have questions and doubts about faith? I do. I have been a Christian since age seven, but as I get older I find I have more questions about God, not less.
When I have questions, I find it comforting to know I’m not the only one. One place I have found that comfort is through memoirs from other Christians. Because here’s the deal, it’s not just you and me, it’s pretty much everyone that has questions. Some people are just more comfortable talking about it than others.
Here are three books I have read recently written by people who have chosen to be vulnerable and let us glimpse their story so we can be more comfortable talking about our own.
Remember God by Annie F. Downs
“I know God is loving; I know He is good; I believe He is big and powerful. But sometimes I wonder if He is really kind – really deeply always kind. Is He?”
I feel as though Annie and I have become friends (we have never met but she is a great social media follow). I recently went through a season where I was just not interested in pursuing spiritual growth. I wasn’t rejecting my faith, just the hard work that comes with improving it. During this time, Annie’s work helped gently lead me back to a renewed excitement for growth and relationship with God.
In Remember God, Annie opens up about her own disappointments and frustrations. She walks you through her journey and all the ways she felt God didn’t match her dream, and all the ways God showed her that his dream was better.
The Most Beautiful Thing I’ve Seen by Lisa Gungor
“The journey toward new sight can be equal parts beautiful and all out hell. But it comes to all of us the same—slowly, in moments separating old from new, before from after. Moments that split time or split our very souls, and we suddenly see life as we have never seen it before.”
I loved this book, not because my journey is very similar to Lisa’s (her and her family have truly been through a wild journey of deconstructed faith and devastating events), but because I can understand how she ended up where she did and it is amazing how she was able to pick up the broken pieces. Lisa’s writing is poetic and emotional. It made me contemplate my pre-conceived notions and helped me reconsider what aspects of my faith could use some breaking down and rebuilding.
The Wondering Years by Knox McCoy
“[Faith] Was something I held in my heart from a very young age; and while I never lost it or had it taken from me, I couldn’t help but notice how both it and I were changing. And it has been during this process of change that I realized how you can be grateful for something while also being occasionally discontent with it.”
This book hit home with me in a very different way than the first two. First off, Knox is a very funny writer. I have never been more interested in footnotes as I was while reading this book. But also, I saw a lot of my childhood in his story. There are certain pitfalls that are more easily stumbled into when you have not known a life outside of Christianity. You sometimes do silly things like try to evangelize to the neighborhood dogs or try to warn all your friends about the dangers of “The Simpsons” even though you haven’t watched a single episode.
Another thing that has helped me become more comfortable asking questions is finding a community I can trust. For me, that community is City Chapel and if you are in Grand Rapids, we welcome you to join us and bring all your questions with you. We are a community of people who are all on a faith journey and are not afraid to talk about the real things and the hard things. Your doubts are welcome here. You are welcome here.
Written by Elizabeth Bosscher