When it comes to suffering, there are two kinds of people in this world: Those who say, “Crap happens,” and those who cry out, “Why is this crap happening to me?
“Turn that crap into fertilizer” was Sarahbeth Caplin’s father’s twist on the expression, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.” That line became a running joke between the two of them during his final months of life, as he rapidly deteriorated from cancer. David Caplin’s death prompted Beth to reevaluate everything she thought she knew about why we suffer, if God cares, and why He seems to intervene for some people who pray for healing…but not for everyone.
At some point, it occurred to Beth how many Christians seem to pray to be spared from pain, when perhaps it would be beneficial to also pray for the tools with which to face it. Drawing inspiration from her Jewish heritage, Beth explores the ways in which unexplained pain, disappointments, and losses can be used for redemptive purposes…if we are willing to entertain the possibility.
In a bittersweet twist of fate, I started out “too Jewish” for my Catholic friends in elementary school, but not Jewish enough for the kids I met at summer camp, with their youth group logos and wristbands. In Israel, I didn’t feel I had the right to call myself Jewish at all. Now I was too Christian for Jews everywhere, but still too Jewish to completely fit in with my new bible study friends.
In my most pessimistic moments, I wonder if I’ll never fit in anywhere, with anyone. It’s interesting because Christians are called to be pariahs, to go against the ways of this world. But I am a special kind of pariah.
From Amazon bestselling author Sarahbeth Caplin comes a collection of her best essays from all over the internet, including the Huffington Post, about things you can’t un-know, un-hear, or un-see once they happen: be it feminist awakenings, spiritual doubt, the effects of living with mental illness, and the normalcy of rape culture in Hollywood as well as in real life.
Funny, heartbreaking, and insightful, Caplin never minces words — or opinions.
Adelaide Scott is a 25-year-old relationship advice columnist for Stunning! Magazine. Her new boyfriend, Jordan Johnson, is a renowned photographer for Sports Unlimited. Their relationship seems perfect, until his ex-girlfriend confronts them at a bar – and accuses Jordan of raping her, turning their world upside down.
It doesn’t help that her best friend and editor, Kiersten Sharp, sees rape as a black-and-white issue, with no shades of doubt. Addie is about to discover that the truth – in all its forms – is complicated, and not at all what she expects.
Pastor Henry Collins is hailed as a hero after rescuing a teenage girl from a burning church. But the real reason he was at the right place at the right time is known only to him and Hannah Mercer, the teenage girl he rescued: a girl whose faith has more to do with keeping up appearances than anything to do with God.
Lia Anders is a classmate of Hannah’s: a girl whose coming out as a lesbian resulted in immediate expulsion from the church. As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, Hannah begins to realize the error of her hypocritical ways, and encourages Henry to make a decision that will forever alter the course of their lives. But for Henry, the price of living a lie is easier than owning up to the truth.
Where There’s Smoke is a story that asks: who are we really? Are we the sum of all our actions? And is the note we finish our lives on the most defining of them all?
Being single. To some it’s a blessing; for others, a curse. Newly-dumped Anna-Kate can’t imagine a life without Jared being anything but empty and hopeless. Following her passion for classic literature, she accepts a job at a local bookstore, where she can spend her days reading about independent heroines like Jane Eyre and Elizabeth Bennet: women who broke the conventions of their day, and inspire Anna-Kate to do the same.
With a colorful cast of co-workers who offer plenty of unsolicited advice and can’t take hints, the journey to self-sufficiency turns out to be wilder than Anna-Kate ever expected.
A young girl exploring her place in the world attempts to slip into the identity of a saint. A woman bruised by rape culture rewrites her identity. A devoted skeptic experiences real conviction.
These scenarios and more are the focus of Sorting Myself: a testament to the human experience.