Wrestling with God and Faith – #bookreview


I didn’t believe in God anymore, but my faith was like a faucet with broken handles. It kept coming in gushes and I couldn’t seem to turn it off. I needed a hand to hold on the other side of belief.

When I Spoke in Tongues: A Story of Faith and Its Loss
Jessica Wilbanks
Beacon Press

What can happen after you lose a lifelong belief in God’s existence? And what might happen if you attempt to find that faith again–or at least try very hard to understand why you clung to it in the first place?

When I Spoke in Tongues, a debut book by Houston writer Jessica Wilbanks (https://amzn.to/2E1NUAp), offers intriguing insights into these and related questions, from a personal perspective.  

In this well-written, absorbing memoir, the author draws readers into her innermost thoughts and feelings while she examines how she lost the faith she previously shared deeply with her parents and brothers.  

“The nights were the hardest,” she writes. “I felt so alone, lying in bed in the dark, and found myself wanting desperately to pray. I didn’t believe in God anymore, but my faith was like a faucet with broken handles. It kept coming in gushes and I couldn’t seem to turn it off.”

Jessica Wilbanks’s book also describes struggles with other issues tied in some ways to her lost faith, including sexuality, anorexia, college life, work and personal relationships. Meanwhile, her mother clung to her hope that Jessica someday would return to the family’s Pentecostal beliefs and practices, including speaking in tongues.  

When I Spoke in Tongues (https://amzn.to/2E1NUAp) can be thought-provoking and compelling reading for anyone with questions about their faith, their lack of faith, or why others believe in God.

Si Dunn

See my longer review of this book in Lone Star Literary Life, https://www.lonestarliterary.com/content/wrestling-god-when-i-spoke-tongues.

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