Out of Sorts Cover

Well, my friends, here she is!

Meet Out of Sorts: Making Peace with an Evolving Faith. If all goes as planned, it will release on August 11 of this year.

This book has been a wrestle to write in many ways. I remember when I was writing Jesus Feminist three years ago, people would ask me “How are you doing that with a four year old, a two year old, and a baby!?” and now I know the answer: naps and early bedtimes and quiet days. I have found it much more of a wrestle to find the time and energy to write this book with an 8 year old, a 6 year old, a nearly four year old and being pregnant with our fourth, I’ll tell you.

The other reason why it’s been a bit of a battle is perhaps because of the subject matter itself. As I’ve traveled and met so many of you over the past two years, after we’ve talked about Jesus Feminist or whatever, I kept hearing one question, over and over from people in every context, every denomination, every city.

People want to talk about how I’ve managed to hold onto my faith or what gives me hope as part of the global church. People want to talk about how my faith changed and yet strengthened somehow. Particularly, people have wanted to know why I still go to church.

Phyllis Tickle often talks about how the Church is in the midst of the “Great Emergence” or a major change right now – or as she calls it “a big rummage sale.” We’re figuring out what to keep, what to toss, and what to reclaim as a global Church. But as I thought more and more about that metaphor over the years since first encountering it, I began to realize that that was exactly what I had done and, to be honest, I am still doing right now.

I’m still sorting through my faith. I’m always doing that. I imagine I will always be doing that. 

Jesus  doesn’t change. There isn’t some new-and-exciting Jesus to discover here. He’s the same: yesterday, today, and forever. Rather, it’s we who change or grow or learn. If you feel a bit out of sorts, you’re not alone.

I believe we are all sorting things out on some level: we’re weighing our heritage, our inheritance, our stories and figuring out what needs to stay, what needs to go, and what needs to be either repurposed or reimagined. If the Church as a whole is going through that, then aren’t we all?

I believe if our faith doesn’t change and evolve as we go through our lives, then we simply aren’t paying attention.

So I began to write this book out of that deeply personal journey.

In our family, we use the phrase “out of sorts” to describe our heart or mind or self when we are in the midst of shifting or changing or even just growing or feeling disoriented. For this book, I am using the phrase to describe our sense of self at a time when you feel like everything that you once knew “for sure” is being figured out all over again. Caught in between what-was and what-will-be. Walking away from something perhaps but not quite at the final destination yet either.

This book isn’t an argument to make or a point to take, this isn’t a single story with a plot and a climax and a denouement, and there isn’t a single three-step program to follow with nicely spaced headers and boxes to check off.

I sincerely doubt that anyone could turn this book into a calendar for the gift shop.

Out of Sorts is about loss and how we cope with change. It’s about Jesus and why I love him and follow him.

It’s about church and church people – why they both make me crazy and yet I can’t seem to quit either.

It’s about the stuff I used to think about God but I don’t think anymore and the new things I think and believe that I’ve discovered are actually rather old things.

It’s about the evolution of a soul and the ways I’ve failed.

It’s about letting go of the fear and walking out into the unknown.

It’s about the beautiful things I’ve reclaimed and the stuff I kicked to the curb.

It’s about making peace with my unanswered questions and being content to live into the answers as they come.

It’s about knowing that this is where I’ve landed for now but holding my hands open for where the Spirit may lead me next, it’s about not apologizing for transformation and change and critical thinking.

(Some parts of the book are making me nervous, I’ll admit.)

But really, it’s a book about not being afraid. This book is my way of leaving the light on for the ones who are wandering.

This book is about my own sort, my own rummage sale, the grief that came with the sorting and the healing that was ushered in.

What I had to weigh and discard and evaluate will be different than what you will have in your own house, we all have our own legacies and baggage, family heirlooms and hoarders. It is not about convincing you to end up in the same place as me – how could that even happen when we start from different places?

The book will be released on August 11 – which feels very soon to me since I have our new baby due in just a couple of weeks. I’m sure there will be more to share as the weeks go by and we draw closer to the release. I sent in the manuscript last month to my editor so I could just focus on having another baby in the next few weeks or so. (Don’t you love the “just” in that sentence? Just have a baby. NBD.)

In the meantime, thank you so much for your prayers and support as I’ve written. It means more to me than you could know.

Since this book arose from so many of our conversations over the past couple of years, I can’t wait to offer it to you.


And Out of Sorts is already available for preorder!



Barnes and Noble

Chapters Indigo

You can also ask your local bookstore to place their order now, too. (Readers outside of North America, I don’t know about distribution or publishers for you yet but as soon as I find out, I’ll pass it along.)


Here’s the official blurb from the back of the book:

From the popular blogger and provocative author of Jesus Feminist comes a riveting new study of Christianity that helps you wrestle with—and sort out—your faith.

In Out of Sorts, Sarah Bessey—award-winning blogger and author of Jesus Feminist, which was hailed as “lucid, compelling, and beautifully written” (Frank Viola, author of God’s Favorite Place on Earth)—helps us grapple with core Christian issues using a mixture of beautiful storytelling and biblical teaching, a style well described as “narrative theology.”

As she candidly shares her wrestlings with core issues—such as who Jesus is, what place the Church has in our lives, how to disagree yet remain within a community, and how to love the Bible for what it is rather than what we want it to be—she teaches us how to walk courageously through our own tough questions.

In the process of gently helping us sort things out, Bessey teaches us how to be as comfortable with uncertainty as we are with solid answers. And as we learn to hold questions in one hand and answers in the other, we discover new depths of faith that will remain secure even through the storms of life.

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    • Thanks, Lisa-Jo! I like it too! The yellow even makes me happy – it’s like my “signature colour” now apparently. 😉

  • So happy to read this!

  • Lynda

    My reading list for the year just gained another book! So looking forward to reading this!

  • I can’t even wait! Looking forward to shouting from the rooftops about this one, dear Sarah!

  • Adrienne

    This is the absolute best news. My heart is warm now. One of my favorite authors has something new, just for me. I cannot wait to read it. Praying for baby #4’s arrival and getting over the sadness that I won’t be able to see you in Austin at IF. I love you, Sarah, sister in Christ!

    • Thank you so much, Adrienne! Love to you, too! xo

  • Chelsea

    Yes yes yes!!! We’ve all been waiting so long. 🙂 love the cover and so excited to read it.

  • Maggie H Johnson

    Yay! This is the BEST news!

  • Saskia Wishart

    Yay for a new book! And seriously – with kids and new baby on the way, how do you do it? Wonder Woman.

  • Shane Deal

    Yay! I definitely look forward to reading this. 🙂

  • Dannyelle @ www.lifeisaparty.c

    looking forward to reading this, thanks for leaving the light on 😉

  • Sarah Schwartz

    Yay yay yay yay! Eshet chayil!

  • Carter L

    Looks fantastic! Just pre-ordered

  • taralivesay

    I love you and your books. Congrats on another fun cover!

  • I would do a happy dance, but I’ve got a sleeping baby who would wake up, and then I’d just be bitter at you and your amazing book project…

    • Sleeping babies over books, every time. You made the right call.

  • tinytwig

    love this cover, Sarah! and excited to read long. 🙂

  • theblahblahblahger


  • Whoohoo! Now I know where some of that Kobo gift card from Christmas is going to.

  • Brett FISH Anderson

    Can’t wait Sarah, sounds great. Just finishing up my first, ‘i, church’ which has been a 15 year work in the making and evolving and in the JUST GET THE FLIPPIN THING PUBLISHED ALREADY… so finally heading towards a self-publishing which will hopefully take place end Feb/early March – definitely on a much smaller scale as yours but super amped to just let it see the light…

    And have really enjoyed your words online so many times so really am looking forward to reading one of your books for real [i know, i know, going to hit Jesus Feminist this year as well – got sidetracked into doing some much needed reading on our country’s history from ‘the other side’ not that we’re back living in South Africa – but it’s on my list!]

    So just all that longwindedness to say all the best as you “just have a baby” and work towards the launch date – so much more expectation and pressure and all that for you i’m sure… and just keep on – your wrestling gives many people hope…

    love brett fish

    • Thanks so much, Brett – appreciate this. And best of luck with your publishing adventure, too.

  • shelley nienhuis

    Any chance you might be releasing some signed copies at some point? I bought a signed copy of Jesus Feminist for my amazing, intelligent, strong and beautiful mother-of-three-sons daughter when it first came out and I’d love to give her a signed copy of Out of Sorts as well! Just hoping… 🙂

    • I haven’t gotten quite that far in my thinking, but I’m sure we’ll get there, Shelley – thanks for thinking of it! I need to add that to my list. 🙂

  • Look! It’s your “print baby”! Congrats and God bless as you walk through the edits and after-writing phase!

  • gwally

    SO EXCITED! And love the cover. Much love to you and many prayers for the other upcoming birth!

    • Thanks, Gail! Appreciate that – and your prayers – so much.

  • Megan Clark

    Sarah, I’m so thankful for your writing and can’t wait to read your new book. Your words are like a hot cup of tea for my heart.

    Also, I’ve loved reading your posts about the new baby. I’m currently in my ninth month of pregnancy as well 🙂

  • This. Every word. Especially, the part about not being afraid. Cannot wait to read this beautiful book! I am definitely out of sorts and looking forward to your thoughts and insight on this part of the journey. xo

    • So glad to hear that, Julie-Anne. Always relieved to know we’re not as alone as we think we are.

  • Love the idea of the “rummage sale”! A really interesting image for me. Can’t wait to see this in person.

    • That’s all Phyllis Tickle – but boy, it got my brain going!

  • Hooray!

  • ThatOne

    Wow, this has a release date the day before my 30th birthday. I’ve been deep in the middle of this process for the last few months (years?). I grew up very fundamentalist evangelical and right now I’m in the “basement” sorting through the old family baggage. Thank you, I can’t imagine how wild and uncomfortable this must have been to write at times and I’m already counting down to being able to read it (pre-order is in!).

  • pastordt

    fabulous, fabulous, fabulous. every single bit of this. hoo – to the max – ray!!!!

  • So, umm, Out of Sorts has been on my Amazon wish list since before Christmas and since you hadn’t ‘announced’ the cover, I didn’t want to spill anything. BUT OH MY GOODNESS it’s so unique and funky and perfect I just love it. Genius. Can’t wait for this, Sarah!

  • I’m so excited for this, Sarah! And August is my birthday month, so happy birthday to me! Can’t wait to read another of your “babies”. Blessings to you!

  • Brava! BRAVA!

  • I anticipate you next book to be as captive as Jesus Feminist. I continue recommending it to anyone with a mind or heart to change and to those that know everything. It’s fun to watch a block head start to fracture when ingesting truth with honest emotion.

    I believe Out of Sorts will sort out a lot of hearts and minds.

    God bless.

  • Eileen

    “It’s about knowing that this is where I’ve landed for now but holding my hands open for where the Spirit may lead me next, it’s about not apologizing for transformation and change and critical thinking.”

  • Eileen

    “It’s about knowing that this is where I’ve landed for now but holding my hands open for where the Spirit may lead me next, it’s about not apologizing for transformation and change and critical thinking.” Yes and Amen. I want to cry with relief at what that sentence releases in my soul 🙂

  • zinncristy

    This timing of this! Just this week I prayed that God would send me someone to help me figure out how to walk through this shifting in my faith… I can’t wait to read this book. August feels so very far away.

  • Courtney Young

    I’m really looking forward to reading this book! I’ve been in a “rummage sale” phase myself over the last three years and I’m looking forward to reading how you process it all.

  • Yippee! Can’t wait to read this. I have been sorting through my faith for at least a couple of years. Sometimes this process feels like a midlife crisis come early to which my therapist replies: nope-right on time. It’s what we do in our thirties apparently…this sorting through our beliefs. Glad to know we don’t sort alone.

  • Jory Peterson

    I love this Sarah and I will for sure read it!!! I am just about to start your first book. I am just “getting to know you” and feel very connected to your way of thinking. This is actually quite amazing to me since I always tend to think both inside and outside of the box at the same time. What you write and your personality really resonates with me. Several months ago I started on my own blog journey and hope to write books too. I talk about “taboo” subjects as you do. I feel led to do this as I sense the church needs a change and change begins with conversation. Those who are attached to “the old way” are pretty pissed at me. A part of me is like “Oh well,” but it does hurt when friends are “defriending me left and right” on social media simply because I have a different perspective than them. Anyhow, I know you are very busy and have a new baby on the way, but if you ever have time, would love to interact more. -Jory Micah 🙂 P.S. Hang in there; I have heard the last month of preggos is rough! 😉

  • Flower Patch Farmgirl

    Well, I’m ready for this. I love it already.
    (And I agree with LJ. That title! That cover! Gah.)

  • On Hayden Lane

    So excited to read this. Actually, hoping to listen to it, like I’m listening to Jesus Feminist right now in Audible. Yours is a heart I so relate with and your words are words that soothe my aching soul.


  • fiona lynne

    I’m late to comment but I am so excited about this book. I find I don’t always have the words to explain to friends that my faith has been shifting in big ways, but good ways I think. It’s an unsettling process some days and then an immensely liberating one others.
    (And I’m also curious now to see if they go with a different cover in the UK… I have the beautiful Canadian mountain cover on JF!)

  • scottie1111

    My jehova’s witness friend loves the paleolithic diet yet doesn’t believe “in the caveman” (her words). Witnesses are YEC’s… so of course, neanderthals are out of the question for her. She also believes there was a “giant vault of water in the sky” that caused the so called great flood. How nutty is that shite?

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