When Divorce Is Not the End of the Story

Laura Truax

I met Laura Truax a couple years ago. She’s a force of nature — high spirited, joyful, loving. She pastors a church in Chicago that, as unlikely as it may seem, was founded by Moody Bible Institute as a place for its students to attend. That church has changed significantly over the years and, suffice it to say, with a woman pastor and an openness to GLBT persons, Moody no longer recommends it to their students.

When we met, Laura told me that she was writing a book, and we chatted about the writing process. We did not, however, talk about the content of her book. So after my initial impression of her as ebullient and joyous, I was surprised to get her book in the mail last week and find out that it’s about failure and brokenness.

And then I was really floored when I read the opening lines, about her divorce. Yes, I was hooked.

Laura was divorced after a three-year marriage, a marriage that was all about Jesus and quiet times and seminary for her husband. It became about disillusionment, judgment, and shattered dreams. Now, 30 years later, Laura has the wherewithal to write about that — what she calls the “worst day of her life” that turned into the “best day of her life.”

This isn’t a book about divorce. It’s a book about, as the subtitle says, “Undone: When coming apart puts your life back together.” It’s a book that gently and unobtrusively weaves the entire biblical narrative into a story of growth and healing, from Genesis through Paul. And it’s full of anecdotes from Laura’s own story, and from others who pull her story forward. This is a great and healing book for those of us who are divorced, and those of us who are broken in other ways. In other words, for all of us.

This post is part of the Patheos Book Club. There, you can read more reviews of Undone and an interview with Laura.

And if you want to hear Laura preach, come to the Progressive Youth Ministry Conference, where she’ll give the closing sermon.

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