Review: Letters to Me Edited by Dan Schmidt

4.5 out of 5 Stars

Editor: Dan Schmidt

Publisher: Self-published

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Letters to Me: Conversations with a Younger Self

Reading Level: Leisure

I’m thankful Lore Ferguson of Sayable sent Letters to Me my way. I’ve written a lot about my personal journey, my failures, and my fight with depression. I just wrote about letting God have it and not pulling any punches. Before I was willing to share my story, I felt I might have been alone. That no one also experienced what I had.

The stories in Letters to Me would say otherwise. I sat down to read this book and found myself so encouraged and strengthen through the community built around life in these stories that I only stopped when I reached the end of the book.

These stories are my story. And they’re your stories. Dan Schmidt talks about “evidence of grace weaves through many of these letters” and it’s these threads that strengthen you.

I read Shawn Smuckers letter to himself about realizing he loved the early stages of love but was afraid of moving forward (“preferred the present shallows to some future depths” p. 12). That was my story.

Penny Nash admonishes her younger self, “I wish you could have been willing to accept companions along that rough road” (p. 25). I also tried to go alone and nearly pushed myself to the point of death.

I could sympathize with Tamara Lunardo feelings of never being able to please those pesky conservative  Christians (who are ready to shame you if you fall into sin). I know the feeling of “the loss of your good reputation, your envisioned future” (p. 91, 92).

I even feel the words leaving my tongue with Brian McLaren and the Psalmist (77:3), “‘I think of God and I groan’” (p. 106). I remember groaning as friends and family tried to encourage me with the gospel. I remember despising a pastor who was trying to save my marriage and speak into my life. I wanted nothing to do with God.

And although the details of our Gospel wakefulness was different, the work of God was the same for Lore Ferguson and I. We were both brought low. We both were brutally honest with God--“He is a liar. He is not faithful. He stands far from you. He judges everything you do. (Or don’t do)” and we also felt like the Church was “the greatest whore of them all” (p. 140). Thankfully God “is not undone by that” (p. 144). God can take it and is patient with his children.

I would encourage you, the you out there who feels alone. Who feels like no one else knows what you are going through. Our Jesus was touched with our humanness. And if suffering was good enough for the Lord of Hosts than it’s good enough for us. We should expect the suffering and pain of life. We shouldn’t be afraid to groan. We should also not be afraid to share our stories. Share our experiences and help each other grow through them.

A free copy of this book was provided by Lore Ferguson, a contributor in this book. If you plan on purchasing Letters to Me: Conversations with a Younger Selfconsider supporting Grace for Sinners by purchasing from Amazon.