Is your life perfect in every way? Then you probably won’t like Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain.
Do you have absolute, unwavering, all-the-time, no matter what faith and confidence in the perfect plan of God? Then you probably won’t like Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain.
Do you prefer a perfectly linear book that moves systematically from start to destination, you definitely won’t like Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain.
But if you’ve ever wondered, “Where are you, God?” or “Where were you, God?” you’ll appreciate Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain.
If you’ve ever wanted to shout, “God, you’re doing it all wrong!” you’ll love Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain.
Finding God in the Ruins: How God Redeems Pain by Matt Bays is a raw, gritty, irreverent, meandering look the experience of one man – and all of us – as we question God and his ways in the face of pain and doubt. Bays’ story is one of childhood emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, but he weaves into his story those of suicide, cancer, disability, and unanswered prayer. The story he shares with us is a long journey of authentic questioning. In fact, he took a hiatus from God, inviting him to prove himself. Or not. Bays says, “Unexpressed doubt can be toxic.” And so, he went on a quest to express, explore, and challenge his doubts, inviting God to show himself. Or not.
In the process of this meandering journey, Bays’ subplot is that of his journey toward healing. Again, he is in no hurry, exploring his memories, his feelings, and truth. One critical concept that is so often underestimated is that whatever happened to us can’t be undone. Only healed. Yet we all too often blame what happened and who did it to us, as if we could rewind our life and make it better. And since we can’t rewind, we decide we can never be healed. Bays says that while the offense can’t be undone, it can be rewritten from this point forward. That is the best we can expect, and it can be enough.
This is an uncomfortable book. It doesn’t tie up our faith into a neat bow. In fact, it doesn’t tie up much of anything. But it’s well worth the read and will become required reading for many of the women I mentor. Especially those who believe that they are forever beyond healing because of their past. And those who believe God doesn’t play fair.