I'm onto my next book...
Now when I first heard about this book I was in the midst of my own Ruins, still trying to get my bearings. I basically refused to read it. I mean what does he know about pain? If I'm going to be honest, I was scared of what I might find within the pages and I was convinced there was no way he could offer me any solace to what I was going through.
Man, was I flat out wrong.
It's blowing my freaking mind! It's like reading MY pain but in HIS book.
See I've known of Matt for many years, well known of him. We used to attend the same church. He was new on staff and we were basically on our way out. Plus I had a bad taste in my mouth for the leaders in that church and unbeknownst to him I had categorized him as one of them, even though I didn't know him. Shame on me.
Putting all that history aside, I discovered a treasure in Finding God in the Ruins. It's like God was pointing an imaginary, bright blinking arrow to X marks the spot. And it was mine for the taking if I wanted it. Maybe that's why I resisted so badly because I knew it'd open up an old wound that I had buried a long time ago. "You look at them and instantly recognize...their pain--just like yours."
In all my years of reading books like this, I don't think I've ever read anything so raw, beautiful and brave.
He openly shares about family abuse, sexual abuse, from the head of the family down to the bottom. He also shares about the suffering you endure growing up with the weight of that kind of bull-shit put on you. He becomes a pastor at a young age, and even though he knows all that bible stuff, all the pain, shame, running, hiding, takes it toll and it's time to pay the piper. Many of us try to find an "outward solution to an internal problem," and as a pastor he wasn't immune. But as he sorts through the rubble of his ruins he finds hope and resurrection.
Here's an excerpt that struck a cord in me, "I used to look down on those who had set their life's GPS just two degrees shy of hell, but after my own personal trip there, I realized our enemy punches in the coordinates for us. Yes, we might have followed every ding we heard, but we didn't know where we were headed or how to override the system. The day always comes when the jig is up, and when it does, we will have to punch in new coordinates for a new destination if we want a new life. The temptation to follow the rerouting prompts is powerful, though not too powerful to ignore. And if we want a life that isn't driven by our past hurts, we must squeeze ourselves onto a tiny dirt road and trust that it will lead us somewhere good."
See I took a personal trip there as well. Beaten and battered from the journey, I had almost given up any kind of hope. But I stumbled upon a tiny dirt road, cause I sure as hell wasn't gonna listen to them dings anymore, it was gonna be old-school traveling, with map in hand and follow the yellow brick road. Low and behold, what do I find along the way, Finding God in the Ruins.
So let me just say, IF you've gone through any pain, or shame, or felt like you've failed as a human being, let alone Christian, Finding God in the Ruins will rock your world.
His final exhortation before diving in, "And finally, to whoever reads this book ---let the healing begin.
For me, it already has.
You, like me, may have been swallowed up in so much pain throughout your life that you couldn't care less about somebody else's story of recovery or overcoming. But I'm telling ya -- you do not want to miss out on this one. Your gonna be throwing down the popcorn, sitting on the edge of your seat! "Our stories can deliver hope to others only if they are able to see a bit of who we once were."
I love you all!
Much Peace and Love,
P.S. Just so you know Matt Bays did not ask me to promote his book in anyway, but when I'm impacted so profoundly I want to share it with the world! ...At least those in my sphere.
However, if you are interested in reading Finding God in the Ruins for yourself, you'll consider it a God send.