It wasn’t too long ago that I went through a time of subtle shifting in my faith. Over the course of a couple years, what was once black and white became much more gray. As I journeyed through this season, I had some fantastic literary companions that encouraged me to embrace the uncertainty and lean into what God was doing in and through me.
1. Out of Sorts
by Sarah Bessey
Perhaps the best modern memoir out there on walking through a faith crisis, author and blogger Bessey shares her experience on walking away from it all — and how she came back around but in a different sort of way.
2. Faith Shift
by Kathy Escobar
Wondering if your doubting or shifting beliefs is normal? Then you must absolutely read this book. Escobar breaks down the ins and outs of the process of spiritual formation and helps readers see that a faith shift can be an incredibly healthy thing.
3. When We Were on Fire
by Addie Zierman
Zierman grew up in the ’90s as an evangelical Christian, complete with the WWJD bracelet and teen study Bible as she prayed around a flagpole. She was totally on fire for God — until she wasn’t. This honest memoir traces her experience through the ups and downs of her faith journey and leaves readers with a sense of companionship as they wipe away their tears of laughter.
by Rachel Held Evans
While some of the memoirs on this list are more cynical and raw, Searching for Sunday shines a great hope for the future. Evans uses the lens of the Seven Sacraments to explore her experience of returning back to the church in a totally new way.
5. Learning to Walk in the Dark
by Barbara Brown Taylor
There’s a tendency in the Western church to imagine the ideal faith as all happy-clappy, singing love songs to Jesus with stars in our eyes, despite whatever is going on in our lives. Taylor challenges this mindset, encouraging readers to embrace “lunar spirituality” — those times that are dark, when we’re just unsure about it all.
by Peter Enns
Think the Bible is sometimes a little crazy? Have a hunch you’ve been reading it all wrong? Professor and scholar Enns shares the moment his understanding of the Scriptures came crashing down around him, as well as what happened next. Funny, clever and incredibly down to earth, this is a must-read for those who struggle with reading the Bible.
7. Found: A Story of Questions, Grace & Everyday Prayer
by Micha Boyett
Sometimes life’s seasonal changes can be jarring to our faith. For Boyett, this transition was motherhood, and here she is honest about her struggles with faith and living a spirit-filled life in the midst of this newfound identity. She shares how she finds a way to reconnect to God in the midst of the everyday.
by Elizabeth Esther
Esther grew up in a spiritually abusive environment, and this is her story. While I admit I couldn’t relate to many of the details, I know and love people who can. This book is important because it gives voice to unchecked abusive tendencies that sometimes creep up, while also giving hope that there is life — abundant life — on the other side.
9. Spiritual Direction: Wisdom for the Long Walk of Faith
by Henri Nouwen
Sometimes it’s important to look to the past to find hope for the future. Nouwen is my favorite author of all time because of the way his love for God and others invaded all aspects of his life. In Spiritual Direction, we learn about how he taught and lived the lost art of spiritual direction, a holy companionship on the faith journey.
10. A Beautiful Disaster: Finding Hope in the Midst of Brokenness
by Marlena Graves
Graves is a literary spiritual director for our souls. Through this book, she generously shares the rich treasures she has discovered while nomading through the wilderness — or deserts — of her life. As a skillful spiritual guide, she gently walks us through the ways God brings about beauty through the ashes of our lives.
11. The Enneagram: A Christian Perspective
by Richard Rohr
My in-real-life spiritual director introduced me to the Enneagram, an ancient way of understanding oneself in general and, in particular, how we relate to God. Understanding how I was wired was huge in helping me to navigate my faith crisis. For those new to the Enneagram, this is the best book out there.
These books were incredibly helpful in my faith journey. I hope they offer a sense of hope and companionship as you journey through your own faith as well!