Still - Notes On A Mid-Faith Crisis by Lauren F. Winner
This is the personal story of Lauren Winner who was raised Jewish and later converted to Christianity, an experience she wrote about in a previous book "Girl Meets God". In the beginning days of her journey with Jesus she felt His presence and talked to Him easily, but life got hard and things began to fall apart. She lost her mother just before she got married, then her marriage failed. Anxiety, grief and guilt took their toll and doubt crept in. She questioned her faith and the very existence of God. This is her journey through that darkness.
It's rare to find an author who can be honest about her personal life while still maintaining discretion. Ms. Winner does it beautifully. She admits to doubts we all have and hide, but in her admission there is tact and grace. There is no wallowing. There must have been some of that in her actual experience but she's a good enough author to leave it out of her book. Her writing is intelligent, honest and clear in a way that has you nodding your head and recognizing yes, you've been there, or maybe are there now.
Her graceful candor is a breath of fresh air to one who has read too many I-have-all-the-answers books. She works her way through this "mid-faith crisis" by putting one foot in front of the other. She keeps breathing, working, living, though much of it seems pointless at times. In her own words "...I continue to live in the world the way a religious person lives in the world; I keep living in a world that I know to be enchanted, and not left alone. I doubt; I am uncertain; I am restless, prone to wonder. And yet glimmers of holy keep interrupting my gaze."
"Still" was not written as a how-to manual for getting through your own periods of doubt, but it is a light for the darkness. Hope is necessary for survival and it is strengthened when we hear of someone else going through a crisis similar to ours and surviving with faith intact. You will find no pat answers here; what you will find is encouragement to carry on, and that is far more valuable.