Out of Sorts ~ Sarah's Synchroblog

Sarah Bessey describes herself as mum of 4 tinies and a writer, speaker, and recovering know-it-all.  When a post bearing her name comes up in my reader, I'm there.  She's that thought-provoking, challenging, inspiring.  I'm a fan.

And though our theology might differ here and there, it matters not.  Because yes, there's room for non-essential differences in the Body of Christ ... but only if we agree that Jesus Christ is Lord and that the pathway to heaven is straight through His incredibly merciful sacrificial death and resurrection.

And the recovering know-it-all piece?  

Well, let's just say that I could hang my hat on that peg, too.  I'm sure that she and I must be distant cousins, somehow related to the infamous Doubting Thomas, himself a passionate follower of Christ.

If you've lived any length of time, you begin to discover that even the most devoted, mature believers don't have all the answers.  And that if we're honest, most of us wrestle with a number of perplexing questions that swirl right in the midst of the magnificent sacredness of our faith.  

The truth is that if we've gleaned any bit of wisdom along the way, that same wisdom whispers that no one here on earth has arrived yet in any way, shape, or form.  And the still small voice reassures us that as we fervently follow His lead, we'll keep on learning, growing, evolving, becoming more like Christ 'til we reach our heavenly destination and meet Him face to face.

To celebrate the launch of her new book Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith, Sarah's opening the doors wide to what looks to be an energetic, enlightening synchroblog.  We're all invited to come to the gathering, carrying our own personally unique faith-walk as we fill in the blanks of this soul-searching prompt:

I used to think __________ and now I think __________.

Honestly, my 'I used to think' comes from the strong, conservative, evangelical upbringing I was privileged to enjoy.  I make no apologies for this gift of sacred grace.  I am filled with gratitude for the faith that my fathers and mothers in generations past have modeled for me and their steadfast prayers that have paved my pathway.

Much of my 'and now I think' comes from 60 years of hard won life lessons.  An almost 40 year introvert / extrovert marriage that birthed two incredibly wise daughters, their godly men, and seven grandchildren who've captured my heart, one who went home to be with Jesus just two months ago.  A soul-stretching graduate school experience in my 40s.  A horrific nightmare of peri-menopausal anxiety and depression that almost finished me off in my early 50s.  Thirteen years of journeying with hundreds of beloved counseling clients on their courageous trek toward hope and healing.

And years of serving in the trenches of church leadership, a mixture of delightfully rewarding work laced with frustrating and disheartening experiences with people that didn't quite know what to do with a woman in ministry.

4 random observations ...


I used to think that every Christian should have a disciplined quiet time at the beginning of the day.  Said quiet time should involve extensive Bible reading and praying through an around-the-world prayer list.  Missing daily devotions kicked off inner guilt trips, but usually not a Spirit led conviction that led to a meaningful change of heart.

And now I think that a morning time with God is an important invitation to say yes to, but I'm not less of a Christian if I fall off the wagon.  Thankfully, God is delighted to meet up with me any time of day or night ... and I dare say, just might prefer a sacred dialogue that's unceasing and not confined to a set time period before the sun goes up.


I used to think that if someone in church authority asked you to serve in some capacity it was a call from on high and you were obliged to say yes, even though your heart was screaming no.

And now I think not.  Yes, there are seasons of embracing a wide variety of ministry opportunities, there are gifts and callings which we are invited to explore, and there's a time to jump right into the party with both feet.  And, for a variety of reasons, most very personal, there are other seasons where sitting on the sidelines or devoting ourselves to quiet prayer are the best decisions we could make.


I used to think that if I was doing something I thought was important for Christ, then everyone else should embrace that same passion, too ... or they somehow had missed the boat.

And now I think your unique giftedness will, most likely, be different than mine.  And that when we pool all the bounty of our differing abilities together, the church becomes alive and vibrant, growing and expanding and honoring Christ.  It just doesn't get any better than that.


I used to think a women's place in the church was confined to the nursery, the kitchen, the Women's Missionary Society, or leading Pioneer Girls on Tuesday afternoons.

And now I think that Ruth Haley Barton said it all when she wrote, 'I rest in the fact that people - even those who try to limit the ways in which women serve God - cannot ultimately prevent God from accomplishing His will in and through my life.  If He has given me spiritual gifts to use in service to others, He will give me opportunities to use them.

Too often I have looked to people to recognize my gifts and give me the opportunity to use them, as if they have ultimate control.  But God does not waste His gifts or His calling.  As I am engaged in the process of becoming the kind of person God can use, He will place me where I can be of greatest use to Him.'

{Read more of my post Stop Waiting Around.}

You can read the first 4 chapters of Out of Sorts FREE right here!

So ... how has the practice of your faith morphed and changed over time?  

*  Connecting with Anita  .  Kelly  .  Holley  .  Lyli  .  Suzie