When this is my Out of Sorts story

I was afraid but now I am me.

I love Sarah Bessey’s work. I found her blog in 2013, as I was beginning to understand that being a Christian feminist was possible. For many years, I’d embraced being very pro-women in many respects but never thought calling myself a feminist was ok. I had seen just how powerful, lovely and capable women are. And I was confused at why they weren’t allowed at pulpits, why I almost never saw them on stage at chapel and why there was only one woman in the Biblical Studies department (who taught a women’s only version of an evangelism class).

I went into Christian college knowing I didn’t fit with their ideals, knowing I probably wouldn’t fit with the theology of many of the people there. And at first, I was ok with that. But then it began to get to me. In my weakest points, I felt like I didn’t fit. Because I struggled with my assignments and didn’t want to leave the school engaged. Because I believed that women should be on the chapel stage just as much as men. (Aside: when I told a male classmate this, he said it was harder for men to relate to women. How do you think I feel buddy?)

But it was in one class where I embraced that I was a feminist. Because with every piece of theology I was presented, with every piece of worldview I was supposed to hold onto as a good christian, I found myself almost always believing the opposite and yet I still loved Jesus just as much. I believed women had as much rights as men and that egalitarianism was okay, that it was the best fit for me. I believed that we needed to listen to scientists when it came to climate change, instead of dismissing it. I believed that we needed to treat the LGBT community with respect and love, rather than shaming them or deliberately misunderstanding them.

I wish I could tell you that decision made me feel freer, but it didn’t. Not at first. I felt like a fraud, like maybe I wasn’t listening to the voice of The Spirit, but myself. This despite knowing that the whispers to my soul could only come from The Spirit. But now I do. I feel more like myself, like I am capable of loving the way I’m supposed to.

And there are still times I feel out of sorts. There are still things I’m working through. Hearing sermons are still hard. I can’t watch chapel from my old school, and I don’t know if I ever will be able to. I don’t worry, now is not forever in my journey. Instead I go forward, knowing I will go where I am meant to be.

This is a synchopost linking up to Sarah’s blog, in honor of her book release. Check out Sarah’s site and the other stories there. And be sure to check out Sarah’s new book Out of Sorts. My official review will be going up in the next couple days.

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Why I love Out of Sorts

“Once upon a time, you had it all beautifully sorted out.

Then you didn’t.”

Those are the words that beckon you into Bessey’s latest release, Out of Sorts.

I was very excited when I heard the title and synopsis of Sarah’s new book. In my teens and into adulthood, I had progressively felt like I didn’t fit within the sphere of the church. As a teen on a missions trip, I questioned why women couldn’t be leaders and the answers didn’t satisfy me. Actually, when I questioned a lot of theology, most answers didn’t satisfy me.

Sarah doesn’t try to give all the answers. She knows from her own story just how dissatisfying it is, to be given all the right verses. She tells her own story, of growing up in faith as a child and her shift through adulthood. The ways she began to feel out of sorts in church and with theology. And where she is now, the ways she fits and the ways she finds a home.

This book is a breath of fresh air for those of us who feel like we don’t fit into the church anymore. Sarah writes with beauty and grace about faith–why it is important and why we are important. She doesn’t minimize those who question and who struggle, instead saying that we are a strength. These words are a haven to anyone who has ever struggled when their faith has shifted. If you have undergone a shift in faith or love someone who has, this book is perfect for you.

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Here’s a link to order Out of Sorts on amazon or barnes and noble. (If you hail from Canada or the UK, you can find links to order here)

Be sure to check out the resource page, too. Sarah has printable quotes, a playlist and more on her website.