Finding Your Way Back to God in an Age of Deconstruction
September 2021 • Paperback • 978-0-8024-2269-9
After your faith has fractured, let what takes its place be the real thing . . . at last.
Somewhere along the way, the Christianity you knew began to crumble. You began to suspect your faith was misplaced. Disillusionment set in. Churches hurt you. Their people failed you. Christian institutions were exposed as fake. And in it all, God was silent. Is He gone? Or is God really there, waiting for you to find Him instead of the counterfeits?
If you’re walking this difficult spiritual path, Lina AbuJamra understands you. After experiencing the near deconstruction of her own faith, Lina had to rebuild something more solid when the faith she once knew let her down. With her diagnostic style that comes from her training as an ER doc, Lina helps you grapple with questions like:
- Where is God in my pain?
- Is this how Christians are supposed to act?
- Why did my story end up this way?
- Is this the normal Christian life?
- Why is it so hard for Christians to love?
Let Fractured Faith help you find your way back to God. You just might discover that the real God has been waiting for you all along.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lina Abujamra is a pediatric ER doctor, now practicing telemedicine, and founder of Living With Power Ministries. Her vision is to bring hope to the world by connecting biblical answers to everyday life. A popular Bible teacher, podcaster, and conference speaker, she is the author of several books including Thrive, Stripped, Resolved and her most recent book, Fractured Faith.
Lina ministers to singles through her Moody Radio show, Today’s Single Christian, and is engaged in providing medical care and humanitarian help to Syrian refugees and others in disaster areas in the Middle East. Her ministry also provides spiritual retreats for women at The Hope Ranch. Learn more about her at www.livingwithpower.org.
I’ve heard a million sermons about suffering. I bet you have too. You’d think I’d know all about suffering by now. You’d think I’d have figured out how to assimilate my suffering into a clean Christian box of faith. But that’s not my story, and since you’re reading this book, it’s probably not your story either.
As an ER doctor, I’ve lived with pain my whole professional life – that is, other people’s pain. And while it bothers me to see them hurt, let me tell you about the day my eight-year-old nephew was brought to the ER with abdominal pain. I happened to be the attending physician in the ER that day. An hour later my nephew was in the ER, crying in pain, though at sixteen today, he would rather die than admit it. Suddenly my knowledge about pain flew out the window. This pain was personal.
Humans suffer. It’s a fact of life, like breathing. Most of us are compassionate enough to admit our frustration with human suffering in general. But the biggest questions we have about God are born out of personal pain.
Where is God in my pain? Why does He seem so far away when I need him the most? Most sermons I’ve heard about suffering offer clear scriptural assertions that God is always with us. My heart rejoices when I hear that no good thing will God withhold from those who walk uprightly (Ps. 84:11), or that no weapon formed against me will succeed (Isa. 54:17). Yet the euphoria and reassurance barely last through Sunday brunch until I’m alone with my thoughts again, wondering if I’m the only Christian still asking, “Why?”
Why does this hurt so much?
Why can’t I hear God’s whisper in the darkness?
I need more than tweetables and popular hashtags when I’m hurting. In the valley of the shadow of death, I need to know that I follow a Savior who is not oblivious to my pain.
Ironically, God is not unfamiliar with our cry for His presence when we’re overwhelmed with suffering. Since the creation of humankind, God has heard it all. He’s heard out complaining and our accusations. He’s heard our moans and our groans. He’s heard our confusion and our frustrations. He’s not unaware of our pain though it may seem like it at first. In fact, the story of the Bible is the story of the suffering of humankind and the goodness of a God who saves them – and almost always despite them. The story of the Bible is the story of an imperfect people and their good God – a God who sometimes showed up when they least expected Him to and in ways they never anticipated.
In other words, just when we take God out of the equation, He shows up with so much goodness it’s hard to ignore. The key is often in learning to know what to look for in our pain. The key is in remembering who God really is, not who we’ve made Him to be.
The Bible is a beautiful display of humanity in all of its pain and glory. The writers do not attempt to hide or minimize the laws of humankind. If anything, it seems as if they revel in telling all the ugly details. Throughout this book I’m going to tell the biblical accounts of men and women like us – men and women with questions and struggles. Men and women with disappointments and doubts. Men and women who thought the worst about God and faced the truth about themselves. Men and women whose faith almost eroded, who hung on to it by a thread, and who later had their faith miraculously reconstructed. Men and women who are going to help us better understand our own struggles to believe.
In Fractured Faith, Lina AbuJamra—ER doc by training and temperament—narrates her painful winnowing through a pastor’s betrayal, a church’s failure, and a lineup of wolves ready to devour her and whatever other sheep remained. Lina’s journey is messy. Some of the things Lina says in this book make me cringe. Survival comes in fits. It grabs at the dark and grabs at the throat. And in the midst of this, we see grace: ‘the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment until the day of judgment’ (2 Peter 2:9). Fractured Faith points to the glory of God in our weakness and to the Lord’s power to keep His true sheep in the grace that we need to finish the race well. Even when our pastors do not measure up. Even when our churches do not measure up. Even when friends prove themselves to be wolves. Even when we do not measure up. Christ always measures up. And that’s the point.
– Rosaria Champagne Butterfield
Author, speaker, homeschool mother
We’ve all heard stories of people who have left the church or their faith due to painful circumstances within the body of believers, with people they know and even their experiences with God. If you’ve ever found yourself in this place and felt like you were too hurt to think about beginning again, I truly hope you will pause to read Fractured Faith during this part of your story. In this stunning book, Lina wisely gives voice to the ache many feel. Don’t miss this one.
– LYSA TERKEURST
#1 New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries
Fractured Faith is like a lifeline thrown out to a soul drowning in doubt, despair, difficulty, disillusionment, and disappointment, providing a rescue, not with more theological clichés, but with truth shared openly from a heart touched, and still tender, to God’s saving grace. Writing with the perfect balance of personal story, memorable illustrations, and scriptural text, the Lord Himself will invite you to come broken and rest in His presence, allowing His truth to settle over you.
58, homemaker, restored and redeemed