Out of Sorts.

Have you ever felt like you had it all figured out and then you didn’t? Maybe that you knew exactly what you believed about that one thing and then you realized, wait, maybe I don’t know what I think? Or that at one time the world was really black and white and everything you believed made sense…and then it didn’t? Have you had doubts, felt more like you’re wandering in the wilderness every Sunday morning rather than sitting in that comfortable church pew?

My answers to all these questions? Yes, yes, yes, and yes. My faith has always been a part of who I am, but it has changed and evolved over the years. Sometimes it has made sense to me, other times it hasn’t. Sometimes I welcomed the changes and sorting out with open arms and sometimes I clenched my fists and fought against the feeling that I need to let go of these ideas that I always thought were right. Sometimes I felt really alone, other times I felt like just when I thought it was just me out here wandering, I would see Jesus and a friend would come alongside me too. In her new book, Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey is that friend.

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Sarah Bessey is one of my most favorite authors and her new book did not disappoint. I think every other line is underlined and I’ve lost count of the number of times “yes!”, “amen”, and “me too” fill the margins. It’s packed full of so much truth. It’s her story of how her faith has evolved and how she has made peace with that, but through her story you are confronted with so much truth. Truth that makes you dig deep, that makes you reflect on your own story. Her words remind us that we’re not alone and that God is oh so present in the sorting out. I see my story in her story.

It’s hard for me to articulate all the goodness found within Sarah’s writing so I think I’ll have to do a series of posts about it, but whether she’s writing about the Kingdom of God, community and friendship or the Church, her words drip with truth, life and light. It’s clear her writing is Spirit led and this writing is necessary and important to us all. It made me feel less alone and has helped me make peace with my evolving faith and I think it will for you too.  Sarah explains what the book is about, “Really, it’s a book about not being afraid. This is my way of leaving the light on for the ones who are wandering.”

Sarah also says, “There are many of us out here sorting, I think. This might be a small candle, but I’ll set mine on the lamp stand and you can set yours there too — and maybe our glow will light the path of others.” So join us on this lighted path so you can join your candles with ours and we can remember that we’re not on this journey alone.

{I was lucky enough to be on the launch team for Out of Sorts, which means I received an advance copy of the book in order to review it and spread the word about it. I didn’t receive any compensation for this, just the benefit of reading it so I can tell everyone how great it is and that you should buy it! You can find it on Amazon here.}

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I was so excited to get the book! Seriously…go get your copy!!!

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And just in case you need any more reason to love the book, there are the cutest printables with some of the themes from the book that you can find here.

Whole.

Today I hit a milestone and I am really excited about it. It’s not like the jumping for joy, look what I did excitement, but more of a I feel at peace and feel like I can kick back and relax and it enjoy it kind of excitement. It took a lot of work to get here and it was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

Almost a year ago exactly I started counseling. I wrote more about that here, but it has been quite a journey. I’m not shy about sharing my experiences with counseling and how beneficial I think it is for anyone and everyone and that it’s been one of the best decisions I could make for myself. I highly recommend it.

About six months ago I started a type of therapy called EMDR, it’s kinda hard to explain, but it’s a process that helps you let go of painful memories, experiences or beliefs and helps remove negative cognitions that one has always had through stimulation resembling REM sleep. This stimulation helps your brain process things and resolve feelings and beliefs not yet resolved. Sometimes I just explain it like magic because of how effective it is and I don’t really understand how it works so well, your brain and what it can do is cool, you guys!

Today I finished EMDR and boy, has it been a long journey! I’m not quite sure I knew what I was getting myself into when I agreed to try this. At times I thought I was going crazy, other times I never knew I could feel so many things, at other moments I wanted to quit, and most of the time I knew it was exactly what I needed.

One day within this process my counselor told me, everyone desires to be…I thought she was going to say happy, but she didn’t, she said…everyone desires to be whole. And I thought, yes! That is so much better than just being happy. That is what I want, I want to be whole. I want to live my life making healthy choices that contribute to my wholeness. Yes, I want to be happy, but I know that’s a fleeting feeling that is based on circumstances, but being whole is not. Being whole is knowing who you are, loving who you are, knowing that you’re someone who is always growing, evolving and learning, showing yourself grace, acknowledging all that you feel, and the freedom to claim and live into your story and out of your wholeness loving others well. I want to be a whole person, that is what I desire.

Today’s milestone of completing EMDR in counseling in no way says, hey I made it! I’m whole and that’s it! I will always continue to improve myself, to continue to be healthy so that I can continue to be whole, but today I am excited that I have hit a milestone on this journey. I have shed a lot of tears, done a lot of work and gone through a lot of crazy to get here, but it’s worth it.

I think if we asked a lot of people what they want it really can come down to wanting to be whole. Whole people, complete people, knowing who we are and staying true to that. I am so incredible thankful that this process has been such a huge part of my life and my wholeness.

So as I sit here, kicked back and relaxed, excited about this completed milestone, I’m thankful for the fact that it is because of this that I can continue to be the person I want to be on this great journey of life creating and living the story I know I am meant to live.