I received this book for free from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.ISBN: 9780310339953
Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty
Published by Zondervan on October 7th 2014
Genres: Religion, Christian Life, Spiritual Growth, General, Inspirational
Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet by Sara Hagerty is the story of a woman whose life expectations went unmet while her heart became re-acquainted with her first Love. God, who comes in the hunger that pain so masterfully produces, worked His way into her insides to write a love-story as universal as the barrenness that every life clothed-in-flesh wears.
A back alley is an unsuspecting place for a brush with God. In the age of fingertip access to pipe dreams and a ceiling-less supply of ambitions, where do you find the God who was birthed in dirt and straw? Sara Hagerty found Him when life stopped working for her. It was after almost a decade of Christian life and ministry when she was introduced to pain and perplexity. God met her and moved her when life broke.
Hagerty weaves in and out (not necessarily sequentially) stories of her conversion and teen years, dating years, infertility, adoption, early years of marriage, husband's business failure, and family health issues. The overall message is that all the tough times end up teaching her major lessons about herself and God.
I rarely have such mixed feelings about a book. Normally I can tell you that I either liked it, or I hated it and I can tell you why. I really want to work on my faith. I understand that by faith I am-am more Danielle Laporte than Billy Gram. I mean I can read Pema Chadron and be all like omg she is BRILLIANT! But I read something like this book and there is SOMETHING that I have resorted to calling the holier than thou asshole test. This is where people tray and sound how the Lord had helped them but in doing so they make people like me who I will fully admit to being broken sinners feel like assholes.
For example, when I read someone like Pema Chadron I can relate to her and I feel like I am on the right path and that I am on the brink of an awaking. I feel good and I want to do good and I want all humankind to feel peace and joy and communion with our creator or the source as it is called in some circles. To me, the Creator IS the source so.
I read Something like Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet and I read about how to agreed to Give her life to the Lord at 16 and followed all the rules I feel like and asshole because at 16 I was battling drug addiction and a mental illness and my single mother was trying to keep my ass out of Juvenile. (I am a productive member of society nowadays and I have never been in an adult jail so therapy and medication really do work). I feel like scum because of all I put my mom through. And that makes me not like the book.
To be fair, the writing is beautiful. It is an internal journey of a woman getting to the core of communion with God. It tells the story of how God peeled back layers and layers til what was left was a precious diamond that reflects God. I LOVED the language and how she described her internal journey. and yet…
I felt worse and worse. Like I wasn’t good enough. Like maybe I was unsavable which I know is not true. God has blessed me with a life beyond my wildest dreams and I now try and follow him, but I KNOW I am still broken in a fallen world and I will never reach the heights of holiness that this author talks about. I could feel the anger in me that all she lacked was getting pregnant. That is all she couldn’t get pregnant. I wanted to tell her to try fertility treatment or something. I hate to admit this, but I felt as if her problem was really not all that big a deal. I know couples who deal with this will disagree with me, but I somehow feel that that people who have suffered withdrawal from drugs and cancer patients and the lack have far more to deal with and so what if you can’t have a kid?
Again my feelings with this book stem from a personal nature. This is a beautiful book to read if you have only faced something of a similar nature. That language is out of this world and it is a beautiful story. So I gave it three stars.