Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis

by Lauren F. Winner

Hardcover, 2012





Following up her highly acclaimed Girl Meets God, author Lauren F. Winner has written an engrossing reflection of literary grace and spiritual wisdom with Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis. As she lives through a failed marriage and the loss of her mother, Winner finds her Christian faith slipping away. Through reading religious works and tomes and being counseled by leaders of the church, she learns she must find the courage to trust in God in order to to find His presence. Elegantly written and profound, Still offers reflections on how murky and gray the spiritual life can be while, at the same time, shows us how to see the light we do encounter more clearly.


HarperOne (2012), 244 pages


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½ (53 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member ctpress
“That finally is the questions, that is the anguish — to abide in God’s hiddenness is one thing, to abide in God’s absence is altogether something else.”

I loved Lauren F. Winners book [Mudhouse Sabbath] in which she reflects and look back at some of the Jewish practices that she misses
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after converting to the Christian faith.

In Still we find Lauren in a crisis of faith after going through a divorce and she finds herself spiritual lost and bewildered.

There is a movement toward finding some solace in the presence of God - although He’s still rather elusive.

“Some days I am not sure if my faith is riddled with doubt, or whether, graciously, my doubt is riddled with faith. And yet I continue to live in a world the way a religious person lives in the world; I keep living in a world that I know to be enchanted, and not left alone. I doubt; I am uncertain; I am restless, prone to wander. And yet glimmers of holy keep interrupting my gaze.”

These glimmers of holy - of the enchanted world keep popping up in the journal-like entries, that are deeply personal - it's a vulnerable soul who shares her loss and pain but also the light and beauty.
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LibraryThing member khiemstra631
I stumbled onto this book at my local library and decided to read it as the topic of "Notes on a mid-faith crisis" sounded like an interesting one. And, indeed, that proved to be the case. Lauren Winner is a professor at Duke Divinity School and may, by this time, also be an ordained Episcopalian
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priest. She was raised Jewish and converted to Christianity at around the age of twenty-one. (An experience detailed in Girl Meets God, a book that I would like to read.) Two events toppled her from the mountaintop of her conversion experience to the depths of a faith struggle--the death of her mother and her marriage shortly thereafter. Her marriage never quite seemed to take, and the marriage eventually died, too. Throughout her marriage, her faith withered on her vine. This book begins just as she starts her long climb out of her personal pit of despair. What she discovers is that the time we spend in "the middle" of our faith journey is the part that endures the longest. The conversion high and the eventual entrance into glory both constitute fairly brief experiences in ones faith journey. The time in the middle is what will make or break a Christian. This concept does not receive much attention so this is a welcome meditation on what surely must be a common situation faced by Christians everywhere. Highly recommended.
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LibraryThing member knitwit2
Lauren Winner does an interesting job of explaining her crisis of faith in a general way that others can relate to.
LibraryThing member ReviewsFromTheHeart
In her critically-acclaimed memoir Girl Meets God, Lauren F. Winner explores her religious identity as she made the transition from Judaism to Christianity. A thought-provoking glimpse into 21st century religion, Winner was praised as "insatiable, and dauntless, in her search for religious truth at
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whatever the personal cost" by the New York Times.

In Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, Lauren offers readers a quietly powerful and fiercely honest exploration of love, loss and what it means to land at the "middle stage" of the spiritual life. Taking her spiritual quest even deeper, she navigates difficult new terrain as she confronts the spiritual aftermath of personal tragedy.

At a time of crisis - grieving her mother's death, navigating a painful divorce - Lauren finds that she is mourning her faith as well. She hasn't lost sight of God entirely, but she's watching him gradually fade away. She offers us a "picture of the end of darkness, of the stumbling out of the darkness into something new."

I received Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis compliments of Authors On The Web for my honest review and have to say, no matter where we are at in our religious beliefs, we've all come to a place where we find ourselves in the middle. Whether we are waiting on answers for prayer, looking for water in the desert when we find ourselves parched and searching, we all hit our dry spells. This is just the point that Lauren takes the readers into her personal life. Between experiencing the newness of finding God and the moment when we find ourselves just accepting life as it is, until we can find our way back to God at some point. An interesting look at something most Christians don't share in their walk with others this is a refreshing look at things from a different perspective not often talked about and for that reason I rate this a 4.5 out of 5 stars.
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LibraryThing member debnance
Winner found God and related her experience of discovering God and converting from Judaism to Christianity in Girl Meets God. She thought finding God was a done deal, that she was finished with struggle.

Then she divorced her husband and found that God was gone.

Winner was bereft, filled with
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anxiety, filled with depression and fears. She felt abandoned, alone. She did not know what to do.

She began to do what she does best: she researched others who felt they had lost God and she talked with people about losing God and she began to write about it and think about it. And somehow she found God again in the middle of all the struggle and she realized this would be something she would deal with every day of the rest of her life.

Winner is smart and soulful and funny and poignant. I loved reading this book and I imagine that I will read it again one day. I recommend it for all of us who struggle with our faith (and that is all of us, I think).
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LibraryThing member akblanchard
Lauren Winner, who previously examined her conversion from Reform to Orthodox Judaism, and later to Christianity in Girl Meets God, now writes from the middle of her spiritual journey in Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis. After the breakup of her marriage (for reasons she does not divulge), Winner
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found herself bereft of God as well. In short, blog-like essays, she works through the spiritual implications of this difficult period of her life. She's read a lot of books on her time, and she uses her even her more secular reading as spiritual ballast. The poetry of Anne Sexton and Emily Dickinson, in particular, speaks to her in the midst of her spiritual desert.

What I like about Winner is that she's well past the point of debating whether God exists, or if its cool to believe in God, etc. God and her church are part of the fabric of her life, even when she feels distant from God, or, as she admits, even bored with the whole religion thing. She writes well about divine mystery, and doesn't seem to feel like she needs to know all the answers (a rare quality in an academic like Winner, who is a professor at Duke Divinity School). She also stays out of the religious vs. secular "culture wars."

If you liked Winner's Girl Meets God, you will probably like this book, with its similar approach, as well.
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LibraryThing member christina.h
I think I came across this book at the right time. While mine and Winner's inner qualms are very different from one another, it is incredibly refreshing to see someone of her intellectual caliber be both humble and seeking, and occasionally so weary.

Still is a far cry from Girl Meets God, which I
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read years ago when it first came out, and fell in love with Winner's honesty, zeal, and her confrontational-yet-sweet prose.
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