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

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4.42  ·  Rating details ·  3,227 ratings  ·  495 reviews
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
...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published October 8th 2019 by Howard Books
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Sarah
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Listen, I know I'm a bit biased (because I wrote it) but I thought this was a pretty good book. ;-) ...more
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 book, "I should
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Jessica Howard
Fantastic! Full review coming for Shelf Awareness.
Andi M.
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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.
Victor
Nov 29, 2019 rated it it was ok
Firstly, I'm so glad lots of people (women) are loving this book. Any time people read something and are helped, I'm all for it.

Secondly, I feel bad not giving 5 stars to a book almost everybody is giving 5 stars to! What's wrong with me? Something, clearly.

Thirdly, kinda weird but, if a man wrote a book and 96% of the positive reviews were by men, couldn't a woman point that out and go, hmmm, interesting, that?

The subtitle is "a story of unlearning and relearning God." Besides the little secti
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Christie
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Proper review coming later after my eyes stop leaking from Sarah's benediction. ...more
Lori Jane
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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
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Amber
Sep 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jennifer
Oct 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
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.
Tami Groth
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Zachary Houle
Sep 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Emily
Oct 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Sarah Bessey has called this her most personal book yet - something I would definitely agree with. The author of “Jesus Feminist” and “Out Of Sorts” invites us into a new phase of her personal faith deconstruction and reordering, prompted by a devastating car accident that has left her with debilitating physical pain and a faith crisis. The things I’ve always loved about Bessey are present: lyrical storytelling, beautiful turns-of-phrase, and a warmth that makes you feel you’re sitting down with ...more
Lisa Schuh
Oct 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I first discovered Sarah Bessey’s writing around 5 years ago. Her style reaches deep and the words that she crafts together are so true, soulful and articulate. They often are also poetic. This book is no exception. It met me right where I am and filled my soul.
I would highly recommend this book for those who love Jesus with all their being, and for those who love Jesus, but have felt far away from him. This book is also for those who understand God is a God of miracles and also for those who d
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Rachel A.  Dawson
This book was beautiful. Heartfelt. Tender. Lovely. I’m so grateful @sarahbessey gave us this gift — more a memoir than her other books, a treasure to read, and a story that bolstered my own faith and belief in a God of miracles. I’m so excited to share a copy of this one with one of you. I highlighted so many stunning lines in this one and found it so encouraging and moving, and hope you will too. All the praise hands.
Lisa
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher. I had been waiting for this book for what seems like forever and so receiving it early was delightful. It took me very little time at all to read as the story drew me in immediately and didn't let me go until the last page. Like the previous books she has written, Sarah continues to offer up deep spiritual wisdom with the gentle and firm voice of a good friend. As she shares her own life, she pulls back the veil to deeper and more univ ...more
Chris Crosby
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
NOTE: I received an Advance Copy of the book from the publisher. Page number correspond to the 2019 hardcover edition.

Sarah Bessey’s story contained in Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God is not new. We humans have had unexpected complications and suffering since God created us. But Sarah presents a refreshing, honest story of the struggles we encounter and how we can still encounter God’s presence through them.
My relationship with Sarah Bessey and h
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Teresa Thompson
Sep 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-favorites
I was given an advance copy of this book by the publisher, but I had already pre-ordered it.

This book is amazing. It is beautiful beyond words - Sarah is a gifted writer, and her way with words takes this story to a breathtaking level. As someone who has chronic pain and has a chronic illness, she put into words fears and feelings I've never been able to verbalize. She addresses how chronic pain and illness touches us on a spiritual level, and it is achingly beautiful. I cried multiple times rea
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Sarah
Sep 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Sarah writes from her heart about life events from recent years. It was interesting to read more detail of life events that i have seen her experience from afar on social media. Sarah writes well and communicates her thoughts well. She is inspiring and real. Her benediction at the end was one of the most beautiful things I’ve read in years.
Jenny
Sep 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am grateful to the publisher for providing me with a free advance copy in return for an honest review. To be perfectly honest, I would (and will) purchase this book anyway as I have followed Sarah Bessey's writing and speaking since her tinies were...well, tiny! She has been a mentor and guide to me in my faith and theological journey as I have navigated being a woman in ministry in an evangelical tradition that does not always affirm the leadership of women. I have journeyed with her from the ...more
Stefanie
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In her latest release, Sarah Bessey writes beautifully about the holy space between pain and healing — and what happens when things don't go as planned. After a car accident changes everything, she must relearn who God is all over again and how to recognize him in the places she hadn't before.

Whether it's a missive from her monthly Field Notes newsletter or from between the pages of one of her well-worn books, reading Sarah's words is like sitting over cups of tea with a dear friend. She's at on
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Jen Bowers
Jul 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hard for me to put into words how I feel about this book. Sarah has found words for things that I couldn’t. I have read this over the last few months after my own car accident. I found comfort, healing and wisdom in this book. Highly recommend it.
Amy Jackson
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Full disclosure? I was never not going to love this book. I adored Sarah’s previous works, Jesus Feminist and Out of Sorts. Every time either title appears in a flash sale on Amazon, I share the link to all my social connections. Whenever I encounter a friend who is feeling a little lost, I ship them a copy post-haste. When someone asks who has most influenced my faith, I point directly to Sarah. So, I was a sure-win for Bessey...I expected to love every word. I just didn’t expect it to mean so ...more
Sandy Hay
Sep 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Oh, the benediction! Of course, that’s at the end of the book. You must start from the beginning but oh the benediction.

In February 2017 Sarah Bessey was a speaker at Rise Up Sister, a conference I was attending in Chilliwack, BC, Canada. She left the conference intending to return, bought a double double at Tim Hortons and was immediately broadsided. Sarah’s life, as she knew it, was stopped cold.

In Miracles and Other Reasonable Things, Sarah reaches deep inside and draws out the courage to f
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Gabriella Llewellyn
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
LOVE LOVE LOVE. If you're a fan of any of her other books, you will adore this one as well. There is an openness and rawness present in this book that keeps you flipping the pages like a novel. Sarah is the spiritual mentor we all want: wise, gentle, authentic, deep and keeps sh*t real. Haha. I'm so grateful this book exists and will be recommending it to everyone. ...more
Nikki
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so grateful I had the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book! It was what my soul needed. Sarah is so raw and vulnerable when talking about her faith and the miracles she has encountered. And they’re not all big, in your face miracles. She has taught me that being at home in your body can be a miracle. I laughed and I cried and did both some more. I’d highly recommend that everybody get their hands on this book ASAP.
Bethany
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Once upon a time, God was certainty and right answers. Then God became the questions.” Sarah Bessey, Miracles and Other Reasonable Things

On the journey from certainty to questions, Sarah Bessey’s voice has often been a life preserver of mine. This book in all its transparency & vulnerability is a healing balm.

There is so much left unsaid in church circles. Sarah Bessey firmly and gently speaks into those silences. Yes, there is room for your whole self here. Yes, there are sometimes healings o
...more
Kat Coffin
Oct 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I've been trying to come up with the words to describe this book, but nothing seems to do it justice. Sarah's book is a long exhale I didn't know I was holding. Her story of healing in Rome made me gasp aloud and the following reconstruction of healing after--how it was unfinished, how it didn't fit in a neat little box--was mesmerizing. I long for the kind of closeness Sarah has with the Holy Spirit. There were so many lessons in this book, lessons I didn't even know I needed. Like listening to ...more
Michele
Aug 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I'm thankful Sarah wrote this book, specifically Chapter 14, as she has the story to so perfectly embody what it means to allow embodiment to become a component of faith.

In Miracles, she takes her storytelling to a new level. She presents her unbelievable miracles paired with the disappointing chronic pain and sets them side by side without asking either to be evidence for or against a God of love and Shalom. She walks us through her journey of becoming acquainted with (what I call) Bothness. A
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Melissa T
Aug 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: author-sent
I was gifted a copy of this book by the publisher. Thank you!

This is the first book I have read by Sarah, and it will not be my last.
When you read this book you feel as if Sarah is sitting right by you and you have been friends for years.

This is a moving book and it is her account of wrestling with her faith and God. She was also able to find miracles along the way.
I have been wrestling with my faith after losing my son. But I see now that prayer will bring miracles as I was gifted another son.
...more
Michaela Evanow
May 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I am so looking forward to digging into this one!
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Sarah Bessey is the author of the popular and critically acclaimed books, "Miracles and Other Reasonable Things." "Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith" and "Jesus Feminist." Her newest book is the collaborative project A Rhythm of Prayer (February 2021). Sarah is also the co-curator and co-host of the annual Evolving Faith Conference and she serves as President of the Board for Heart ...more

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4 likes · 3 comments
“But at the same time, I don't know that we are doing folks any favors if we act like when we become Christians or when we follow Jesus, all we do is win. I think it's okay to say that we mess up, that we let people down, that we overpromise and underdeliver, that we go to therapy, that we take our meds, that we go for walks to remember everything good and true, that we're still in the midst of figuring out where God is in the middle of all this, that we're learning our capacity and God's goodness the real way: by living our lives and experiencing both victories and sorrows in the midst.” 3 likes
“I believe with my whole heart that the number one place where women should be flourishing is in the body of Christ. So I preached about what it might look like when ordinary women like us rise up in faith, at our full strength, instead of silencing or numbing or dumbing down or retreating in response to cultural pressure. It’s dangerous. Women who are awake are dangerous to the powers and principalities around us.” 3 likes
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