Undone: When Coming Apart Puts You Back Together is a new book by Laura Summer Truax
In this 224 page book, Truax tackles the difficult issues of how to respond when you have hit rock bottom and life throws it’s worst at you.
She addresses how big life-crises as well as wearing “little things” cause us to confront ourselves. Truax believes that crisis removes the facades and masks we put on in life. She argues that when we come to the end of ourselves, then . . . God can meet us and do His deepest work in our lives.
The book is well written and there are great insights throughout.
As you all know, God’s purpose in suffering is a topic that I often write about.
Truax does a good job explaining that God uses suffering to refine us, to shape our characters, to gain more for God in and through us. Here emphasis is on getting us to become more real and less fake and pretentious.
I’ve described suffering in God’s purpose with the metaphor of gaining more ground. Suffering in our lives can be wasted or it can be used as a tool for God to kill things in us that need to go to the cross, and to gain more space for the character of Jesus to be wrought within us.
You find this theme in Romans 5, 2 Corinthians 4-6, 1 Peter and James.
The work of the cross subjectively in us comes through suffering. We can waste a crisis by complaining, fighting against it, blaming God and others. By contrast, we allow it to shape us by submitting to the hand of God in it and resisting the devil at the same time.
All told, Undone does a nice job of bringing out these ideals in the author’s own language and from her own personal stories.
In closing, here are some excellent endorsements from others:
“With frankness and insight, Truax, senior pastor of LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, draws readers toward a God who strips away masks and feigned perfection and replaces them with trust in his love… Truax provides a nuanced view of where to turn at the moments when life seems most out of control, and a reminder of who ultimately knows best how to put all the pieces together.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
“True friendship and spiritual growth often begins with brutal honesty and self-awareness. I’d rather be in a faith community where people are real and raw than perfect and fake. If we have the courage to admit it, most of us have been undone by something in our lives. In this book Laura Sumner Truax encourages us to embrace these mistakes, disappointments and difficulties as the place where we begin to discover who we really are as beloved children of God.” (Mark Scandrette, author of Free and Practicing the Way of Jesus)
“Websites and bookshelves are filled with timely, trendy spiritual topics. They offer promises of success, happiness and victorious living. This book is not among them. There is no ‘rub-the-Bible-get-three-wishes’ piety here. No three-point plan to a better you. Instead, Laura Truax has offered a timeless take on the struggles to live a human life in a universe that is both delightful and destructive. With a candid, straightforward approach, Truax invites us to take an honest inventory about what motivates us, what we value and who, what and how we love. With humor and clarity, Truax presents the classic tenets of the Christian faith in a convincing, if not convicting, fashion. This book will not change your life. But it will lead you to the God who can.” (Todd E. Johnson, theological director of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts, Fuller Theological Seminary)
“If I could bequeath a grand title like ‘America’s Pastor’ on a single individual, it would be Laura Truax. This, her first book, is both beautiful and accessible, distinctively Christian and broadly spiritual, and as wise as it is down-to-earth. And at every turn, in the best sense of the word, it is truly pastoral.” (Brian D. McLaren, author and speaker (brianmclaren.net)
“I was surprised at how much I was gripped by the ways in which Laura Truax shared descriptions of how she struggled to become another entire person. What she wrote is filled with reflections on how God’s grace can provide a ‘lifting up’ for any of us who feel ‘undone’ by life’s circumstances and are ready to walk away from God. She knows what she writes about.” (Tony Campolo, Eastern University)
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