Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome
I came across this book at the local library on a day that I had some spare reading time. I had been in the mood for a good memoir, and I read the whole book in one sitting!
Reba Riley grew up in a Pentecostal church and attended a Christian school. She was the epitome of a “good girl”, always eager to please, and to abide by the church standards.
But along the way, she became completely disillusioned with the ways of her church. She lost faith not only in the church, but also in God.
After facing years of an undiagnosed chronic illness, by her 29th birthday she was ready for a miracle. One day in her bathroom, she heard a voice say “Experience thirty religions before your thirtieth birthday.”
And so she did.
Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome is an intriguing and heartfelt read by a woman searching for healing and truth. She visited religions ranging from Baptist to Scientology to Amish. She experienced meditation, celebrated Diwali, and fasted for 30 days. If you ever have wondered what a different religion’s worship services or rituals are really like, this book will provide a fresh perspective.
I appreciated the author’s graciousness towards those that had hurt and confused her. This was shown in her willingness to visit churches that had harmed her in the past. Even if she couldn’t always make it through an entire service . . .
I don’t endorse many of her beliefs . . . She doesn’t believe that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God, or that Jesus is the one true way.
Yet her earnestness in seeking both spiritual and physical healing was convicting to me.
How often do I let my soul remain in unrest because I have “better things to do”? How often do I ignore the Holy Spirit’s urges to strike up a conversation, or embark on a journey of my own? How often do I let my body become run down and exhausted before I allow myself to rest?
Happier At Home
I read Post-Traumatic Church Syndrome after finishing an older book, Happier At Home, by Gretchen Rubin.
In this book, Gretchen Rubin set out on her second “happiness project”. This time, her focus was on the home. She wanted her home to be a place of joy, creativity, and love. A place focused on those she loved the most.
I loved reading about her different resolutions, and close-to-home adventures.The love she has for her husband and daughters is evident.
This isn’t a homemaker’s manual, or a book on how to become Housekeeper of the Year. But rather, it’s an introspective glance into the Rubin family. Memoir-like and conversational in nature, it’s a great read!
What I Learned
Although these books were quite different in nature, they had a few uncanny similarities.
Both of these books were based on year-long projects, and both of these books promoted the value of rest.
I am so blessed to have a husband that delights in “rest” and “home”.
He’s content to snuggle on the couch after a long day at work. He doesn’t mind too much if I need to get some extra sleep, or need some alone time to write.
My heart is at home with him.
And I am thankful.
Have you read either of these books?
I’d love to discuss your thoughts on healing, rest, and home in comments!
“Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer.”