Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God

Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God

In her most personal book yet, popular speaker and bestselling author Sarah Bessey invites us into her long—and sometimes miraculous—road to recovery after a terrible accident and shares how it changed everything she believed about God. Sarah Bessey was in her sweet spot: a popular author, sought-after speaker and preacher, and an active and engaged mother of four, married...

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Title:Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God
Author:Sarah Bessey
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Edition Language:English

Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God Reviews

  • Jennifer

    This latest book by Sarah Bessey made me cry and filled my heart with hope, as her words usually do. I've already read it twice. The second time I listened to the audiobook and was able to highlight some things in my kindle version. I was still moved to tears over and over again. Chapter 15 and the benediction are my favorite. And the chapter on letting God Mother us. Sarah is such a good storyteller and her writing is beautiful and poetic.

    Sarah reminds us at the beginning of her boo

    This latest book by Sarah Bessey made me cry and filled my heart with hope, as her words usually do. I've already read it twice. The second time I listened to the audiobook and was able to highlight some things in my kindle version. I was still moved to tears over and over again. Chapter 15 and the benediction are my favorite. And the chapter on letting God Mother us. Sarah is such a good storyteller and her writing is beautiful and poetic.

    Sarah reminds us at the beginning of her book, "I should probably warn you right up front that I love Jesus with my whole heart. I have zero chill on this topic. I think he’s worth following, and that can get me into trouble. I have never evolved past Jesus: I still abide in the shadow of his wing." -- I love that so much! I am right there with her!

    I cried all the way through the benediction (final prayer) at the end, no surprise there... I highly recommend you read it for yourself. In fact, go read her first two books first, and then read this one.

    I agree with what Shauna Niequist wrote in the forward:

    "In friendship, if you want to create the kind of space between you that is strong and durable and deeply valuable, you have to be willing to go first. And part of why books matter and writing matters and storytelling matters is because the best writers go first: the best writers say the unsaid and unspoken, the secret truths we all feel but can’t quite speak aloud. And in these pages, Sarah’s willingness to go first in all sorts of ways is a sacred gift, a permission slip, a key unlocking doors long closed."

    10/16/19 - I still need to finish writing my longer review, but I just finished reading this for a second time already. This time I listened to the audiobook and was able to highlight some things in my kindle version. I was still moved to tears over and over again. Chapter 15 and the benediction are my favorite. And the chapter on letting God Mother us.

    9/16/19 - First read through: Longer review is forthcoming, but I just finished this tonight (thanks to the publisher for the ARC!). I cried through the benediction at the end, no surprise there... I highly recommend you read it for yourself. It hits the shelves on October 8. #ReasonableMiracles

  • Sarah

    Listen, I know I'm a bit biased (because I wrote it) but I thought this was a pretty good book. ;-)

  • Christie

    Proper review coming later after my eyes stop leaking from Sarah's benediction.

  • Tami Groth

    While I fell in love with this book right from the introduction. When Sarah describes how "this book persisted" the preacher in me knew it was going to persist in my heart and mind long after I first read the words. And then as I witnessed her beautiful vulnerable storytelling, the reader in me that simply loves story and words also fell in love with for the quality of writing and masterful storytelling. Finally, when I was just a bit sad to finish the book when I first read it, I slowly encount

    While I fell in love with this book right from the introduction. When Sarah describes how "this book persisted" the preacher in me knew it was going to persist in my heart and mind long after I first read the words. And then as I witnessed her beautiful vulnerable storytelling, the reader in me that simply loves story and words also fell in love with for the quality of writing and masterful storytelling. Finally, when I was just a bit sad to finish the book when I first read it, I slowly encountered the last chapter -- BENEDICTION -- and I knew I was experiencing something beyond mere words as here was Sarah's presence in pure intimate vulnerable blessing.

    While I've been returning to my favorite quotes the last few weeks, today as the book showed up in my audible account and I began listening, I realized that this book is not only for those deconstructing their faith or wondering how to live faithfully with chronic illness or those waiting for their miracle while witnessing others' miracles, and that this book is also for those that simply appreciate stunning storytelling and memoir that comes to life. With the audio I could hear even more acutely the rhythm that Sarah creates as she weaves together the pieces of her own story with the connection points to faith and culture. Her weaving in of personal vignettes along with telling the larger story arcs create an absolutely brilliant suspense and holiness as we wait in the hospital emergency room with Sarah and later are right there with her as she is visiting the Pope, and between and beyond these moments we are with her as she learns from her own children and embraces the holiness of a mothering God.

    And in Sarah's story many of us witness our own stories too, and this is what makes this so much more than a great book. As she begins her benediction Sarah is grateful for the reader's time, and I return the gratitude ten-fold for her time and vulnerability as an author. And I am grateful that others will also share in this communal story. May we rise together.

    NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. On release day (Oct 8 2019 I then received audio and all versions via order)

  • Lori Jane

    I’ll start with this. I loved Sarah Bessy’ latest book, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things. Of course, I did. 5 Stars. And a few extra for courage and vulnerability because this one is BRAVE.

    Reading Miracles and Other Reasonable Things brought to mind a quote I read in an article about LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.

    Anne was our wardrobe, our tornado — our portal to the capacity within ourselves to make the mundane world magical. “Dear old world,” Anne murmurs, in what is to me her mos

    I’ll start with this. I loved Sarah Bessy’ latest book, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things. Of course, I did. 5 Stars. And a few extra for courage and vulnerability because this one is BRAVE.

    Reading Miracles and Other Reasonable Things brought to mind a quote I read in an article about LM Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables.

    Anne was our wardrobe, our tornado — our portal to the capacity within ourselves to make the mundane world magical. “Dear old world,” Anne murmurs, in what is to me her most important moment, “You are very lovely, and I am glad to be alive in you.” (Sarah Mesle, Los Angeles Review of Books)

    In Miracles and Other Reasonable Things, Sarah is my portal to the world of Evolving Faith. My Anne. Helping me to navigate the wilderness and see its beauty. Pointing me to hope and faith and the ability to see miracles, even the ones that do not look the way I hoped. Even more than in her previous books, Sarah bravely reveals her own story to readers and, in doing so, builds connection in a deeply personal way. Sarah writes that she loves her readers and it doesn’t come off as just words on a page. It feels true.

    I met Sarah at the Evolving Faith 2018 Conference. As I was standing in line, the organizer was begging us not to spend too much time talking to her. Things were running late and apparently Sarah just couldn’t cut people short. I watched her greet everyone – there were 1500 people at the conference – and I knew Sarah was already struggling with the physical challenges described in her book . She was undoubtedly exhausted. It wasn’t evident though, Sarah listened and hugged and responded to everyone. Like the woman in Luke 8 who wanted to touch Jesus’ cloak, I think we all wanted to reach out and touch Sarah’s metaphorical “cloak” and be infused with the hope and love that she carries in her heart and words.

    If you believe in miracles and even if you don’t…

    If you have questions about faith…

    If the church or religion has harmed you…

    If you’re a liberal…

    If you’re a conservative…

    If you long for meaning or purpose…

    If you don’t believe in God at all…

    If you’re angry at Christians and Church in general…

    If your only experience of faith involves judgement

    If you have been excluded because of your beliefs, sexual orientation …

    If your faith is changing and you feel lost…

    Sarah’s words can be for you. I’d encourage you to pick up Miracles and Other Reasonable Things or any of Sarah’s previous books – Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible’s View of Women and Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith.

    Perhaps Sarah can be your portal too.

    NOTE: I received an ARC of this book from the publisher. Book will be out on October 8 and is available for pre-order everywhere books are sold.

  • Jessica Howard

    Fantastic! Full review coming for Shelf Awareness.

  • Andi M.

    Sarah Bessey’s latest book is absolutely gorgeous. She has such a big, welcoming, everyone-at-the table vision of God that inspires and fuels me. There were several issues she wrote about in this memoir that intersect with my own experiences in really important and affecting ways, and it was much like sitting with a good friend for a chat, prayer, hugs, and a good cry.

  • Amber

    This book was balm to my weary soul. Sarah speaks so honestly and eloquently right into your heart. Her vulnerability about her own pain and wandering and her heartfelt, unwavering love for Jesus are things I so respect and admire about her. I felt like she was sitting right here with me talking with and praying over me. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has wrestled and wandered in their faith and/or dealt with pain. When I turned to the last page, I wasn’t ready for it to be done. I t

    This book was balm to my weary soul. Sarah speaks so honestly and eloquently right into your heart. Her vulnerability about her own pain and wandering and her heartfelt, unwavering love for Jesus are things I so respect and admire about her. I felt like she was sitting right here with me talking with and praying over me. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has wrestled and wandered in their faith and/or dealt with pain. When I turned to the last page, I wasn’t ready for it to be done. I think I’ll start reading it all over again. It’s worth every second you will spend reading it.

  • Zachary Houle

    To say that Sarah Bessey has had a tough go of it in recent years would be a huge understatement. The Canadian Christian author of the books Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts has endured a nearly life-ending minivan accident, her father’s near-fatal heart attack, a book being rejected by her publisher, and the death of a very good friend, the great Rachel Held Evans. She has also, more recently, pulled away from her church over the issue of the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. In her more distan

    To say that Sarah Bessey has had a tough go of it in recent years would be a huge understatement. The Canadian Christian author of the books Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts has endured a nearly life-ending minivan accident, her father’s near-fatal heart attack, a book being rejected by her publisher, and the death of a very good friend, the great Rachel Held Evans. She has also, more recently, pulled away from her church over the issue of the treatment of the LGBTQ+ community. In her more distant past, she has seen four children die as miscarriages or stillbirths, though another four of them have lived. If you’re looking for someone as a Christian to write about pain and suffering, Sarah Bessey is probably the best candidate that we have to write with some level of personal expertise on the subject. And, would you look over here, she has done just that with her third book, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things.

    Before diving into the contents of the book, you should know that Sarah Bessey is becoming a very big deal in Christian publishing circles. Her latest comes with advance praise from a litany of successful Christian authors such as Jen Hatmaker, Barbara Brown Taylor and Jonathan Martin (who wrote the very thought-provoking How to Survive a Shipwreck, which guided me through a difficult season). The foreword of the book was penned by none other than Shauna Niequist, a New York Times bestselling author. These are some powerful heavy-hitters in the Christian publishing field, so you get the sense that Miracles and Other Reasonable Things is a bit of a coronation and that the publisher expects big things from Bessey. I’m happy to report that she more than delivers.

    Read the rest of the review here:

  • Jennifer

    Sarah Bessey always speaks to my heart. This story shows how God will always surprise us when we think we’ve got everything figured out. The benediction at the end is perfect.

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