The Gift of Hard Things
Finding Grace in Unexpected Places
by Mark Yaconelli
"Mark Yaconelli is one of this country's most important and articulate spiritual teachers. This is a book absolutely after my own heart." —Anne Lamott, author of "Traveling Mercies" and "Small Victories"
Using extraordinary stories from his own life and the lives of others, Yaconelli offers a narrative journey through ways in which disappointments have turned into gifts. In these pages are a wealth of spiritual practices that will carry us deeper into the grace we find in unexpected places.
"Looking back on nearly five decades of life, it is still sometimes difficult for me to admit that my struggles, disappointments, doubts and failures in life and ministry have opened me to the very love, acceptance and peace that all my controlling behaviors sought to attain." --from the book
"Exactly the kind of earthy, unpretentious and practical spiritual guidance we need." —Mark Scandrette, founding director, ReImagine, author of "Free"
Mark Yaconelli is a writer, speaker, retreat leader, spiritual director, community activist, youth worker, storyteller, disco dancer, husband, and father. Learn more about Mark here!
Mark tells the BBC's Roy Jenkins about his belief in the transformational potential of the spiritual tradition of sharing the stories of our lives; why he is not afraid of disappointment and doubt; and how imagination is key to the life of the church.
Sitting down with this book felt like a much-needed afternoon of coffee with a trusted friend.
Burnout, shame, vocational failure–the frustration, self-doubt, and emptiness–can slowly corrupt our ability to access our deeper spiritual capacities.
It cuts to the heart of the everyday disappointments, big and small, that pain each of us; and extends an invitation to reframe and retell those stories in a way that is redemptive.
It's easy to be spiritually focused when life goes well for us. Not so easy when grief, suffering, pain and frustration fill our days.
Yaconelli gives us permission to turn our neatly ordered rows and columns of God into a Jackson Pollack painting, a MoMA-worthy splatter art canvas of God’s expansion into the hard places, the foggy places, the places where God is unknowable, and his unknowable-ness is perhaps his greatest comfort offering.