The words of Sara Bareilles’ song snagged me one day as I drove:
‘I wonder what would happen if you
Say what you want to say
And let the words fall out
I wanna see you be brave’
I realise I sometimes lack courage in my words. The poem Desiderata encourages me to ‘Speak your truth quietly and clearly’, yet sometimes my fear of offending or provoking causes me to hold back.
Since being in South Africa, I have been encouraged by wise words of women on the Internet: Sarah Bessey, D.L. Mayfield & Rachel Held Evans being a few examples. I loved Sarah Bessey’s book Jesus Feminist and wished she was my pal, so I was delighted to get a pre-release copy of Out of Sorts.
Reading this book felt like receiving a letter from a wise (and well read) sister. With her warm tone and vulnerable stories, Sarah Bessey invites the reader into the changes she’s seen in her faith journey. In chapters covering the church, the Bible, the Holy Spirit, community & justice (amongst others) she embraces the opportunities for depth brought by uncertainty. Sharing her own movement from being a ‘know it all’ through being ‘out of sorts’ we are given permission to lean into our questions and doubts, and to make peace with our evolving faith.
‘Set out, pilgrim. Set out into the freedom and the wandering. Find your people. God is much bigger, wilder, more generous, and more wonderful than you imagined.’
This book affirmed me and challenged me, to continue asking and to have courage to speak out my own unfolding story. As Sarah says herself: ‘Really, it’s a book about not being afraid. This book is my way of leaving the light on for the ones who are wandering.’ I hope that by sharing ‘my truth’, I can encourage others as I have been given courage by these words.