Book Review: Miracles and Other Reasonable Things

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There are so many of us who claim Sarah Bessey as one of our kindred spirits. Following her Field Notes and other social media posts, you will quickly embrace her as a sister that you didn’t know you needed. Sarah Bessey’s newest book, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God, chronicles her experiences through a car accident and afterward through her journey of suffering and healing. Coincidentally, it was during this time that she became a balm for many within our circle.


When we were dreaming of the future for Sister Triangle, we were gifted with Sarah Bessey. We had to boldly and courageously step outside of our heritage, as we welcomed this new outside voice into our sphere. And her books Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts were precisely what we were thirsting for in our circles.


Jesus Feminist allowed many of us to move beyond our own gender restrictions to embrace the giftedness that God gave everyone – man and woman – to use in our church communities. And it was Out of Sorts that allowed us to say, “what, me too?” and be comforted that we were not so alone in our wondering and wandering. Her wisdom shared during our 2017 Sister Triangle Retreat allowed so many to start deconstructing our God boxes so we could freely meet Him outside the constructions set within our church traditions.


Now, in her new memoir, she weaves her discoveries of being made and unmade, over and over again, as she learns, unlearns, and relearns God, and as she adjusts to living with constant pain. Her healing is not the miracle of the story, but Bessey does share the many miracles she discovered about unlearning and relearning God. She is honest in her struggles and desperation; this vulnerability permits us to be real in our own lives as we struggle to encounter God’s presence.


There were so many powerful moments in Miracles and Other Reasonable Things, but I loved how Bessey writes, “Every time I build an edifice for God to live within, God transcends it while still abiding in it” (205). Bessey found God in the grandeur of the Vatican City but also in the Canadian wilderness. She found God in spontaneous worship but also in the carefully prepared worship. She also found God when she assumed that He wouldn’t be there, discovering He was always there.


So much of Miracles and Other Reasonable Things spoke to me, and I wish I could share it all with you (I guess you’ll have to read it yourself), but let me end with Bessey’s epiphany from page 20: “God is as present in the darkness as in the light, in the valleys as in the mountaintops, in my suffering as in my victory.”


Note: Deanna Cook received an Advanced Copy of Miracles and Other Reasonable Things from the publisher to review. This book will be released on October 8, 2019 (that’s tomorrow)!

To buy Miracles and Other Reasonable Things, available for preorder today and in stores tomorrow check out Sarah’s website here. You can follow Sarah Bessey’s work on social media, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Also, don’t forget to give Sarah some love over on Goodreads after you’ve had a chance to read her latest release! You know we did!

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