The Shack shakes things up

I just finished The Shack by William P. Young.  I have been avoiding this book like the plague, mostly because so many Christians were reading it.  No offense if you are one.  It’s just I’ve been treated better by proud convicts than most Christians.  It wasn’t until my Mum told me that she had read it and thought I might not be ready for this kind of book that got me interested.  Ok, so it was more of a – “Did she just say no?  I must rebel!” kind of thing.


It was really odd.  I couldn’t get anyone to tell me about the book!  They didn’t want to “spoil it”.  One Twitter friend did email me her thoughts on the book.  She said to read it for what it is: a fictional book and not to try “to theologically dis it at every point”.  I would get more out of it.


So I did.


I’ll tell you right now.  She was dead on.  I couldn’t get over how much I adored how he characterized God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  It was an awesome concept!!  It explained things in a way that I never “got” before.  I was talking to my brother about it this weekend and he asked me, “What’s different about this that you finally saw ‘it’, whereas before this book, you didn’t get ‘it’?  Why hasn’t anyone else been able to do that?”  And I still don’t know, but I wonder that myself.  Maybe it was just my ‘ah-ha’ book.  Probably not though.


I found myself saying things like, “Of course that’s the way it’s suppose to be….stupid Christians.”  But then again, I have been one of those stupid Christians myself.


It’s hard to believe that we were fired from our church exactly a year ago.  It had been a long time since I had felt so betrayed.  The lead pastor’s wife chuckled at my tears of pain.  Promises that were made were broken maliciously.  Friends at the church were lied to about our firing.  Our children were just as devastated as we were. 


I have been angry.


I was able to forgive a lot of what was done and said, but until very recently I wasn’t able to forgive one person.  The pastor’s wife.  She was pointed in her maliciousness, so I felt like I had the right be angry at her.  She was wrong, but I was wrong by holding on to that.  I was actually tying myself to her by holding on to that ‘right’.  I was finally able to look at her and realize, how sad must her situation have been that she felt the need to be so cruel to another human being?  She must have been in such a dark place that lashing out at me made her feel in control of something.  Maybe?  I don’t know.  I do pray that she’s not still in that dark, lonely place.


I have forgiven her and anyone else involved in that whole situation.  I yearn for the days when we attended the church as regular attendees; surrounded by friends and loved ones.  It hasn’t been the same since.  I lost a lot of friends during that time, but I hear they are still enjoying their time at the church and that’s wonderful.  We are now attending a church that does a lot of community outreach and that is where our heart is.  There are some great people there (a lot of them from our old church!).


I look forward to celebrating this Christmas with love and peace, which we did not have last year.  It’s been a long process of healing, but I’m used to long processes such as these.  It’s perplexing and painful at the time, but you come out a stronger and better person once you’re through it.


“…since most of our hurts come through relationships so will our healing, and I know that grace rarely makes sense for those looking in from the outside.” –pg.11

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  • I won a copy of The Shack in a giveaway. I have yet to get to it, but I do know to take it as it is. A work of fiction. I’m excited about reading it.

    I’m more excited about how you’ve grown this past year. How you have been able to let go and be at peace. I know very well how hard that can be but it’s also so free-ing.

    Continued Peace to you this Christmas season!

  • Oh sister, I’m having a heart attack. Stop! Our church is reading this and I’m so sad about that. When churches start reading this book, then we have to pick at the theological points, it becomes dangerous. But I will stand down now, in the interest of loving you tons. But if you ask….

    I’m heartened to read about your journey and how you feel now. You can look at it now and see God’s hand in that, not everyone can do that so soon. Hugs. ~Gidget

  • I have yet to read this book, but it’s on my list. Maybe when D… finishes she’ll loan me her copy….

    JenGi, I know how hurtful a church can be. While I have not been in your exact situation, I know the hurt you must feel because we have been in a similar place. God’s grace is working in your heart, sweetie, and I love seeing that! I pray you continue to have peace in your heart this Christmas, and beyond. How much you have grown!

  • I know how you feel with being hurt by other christians. I’m sorry that happened. But I am glad that you are finding your way out of that place it sends you. It took me years to get as far as you are.

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