Ruined by Ruth Everhart

Ruth Huizenga, born into a Christian Reformed family, had always seen herself as a good girl—dutiful, diligent, and doing what was expected of her.

In this moving book, Ruth shares the traumatic story of what happened to her during the fall of 1978 when she was a senior at Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., living off-campus in a house with several other young women. On the evening of November 5, two armed assailants broke into the women’s house while they were sleeping. They were robbed, held against their will, and raped at gunpoint.

The four-hour-long attack changed Ruth’s life forever. The theological worldview which she had inherited from her family and church and her “good girl” perspective on herself seemed inadequate to house the explosive questions that became her daily bread: “God, what did I do that you would let this happen to me?” And later, when the courts meted out justice, “What about God? What about justice? Was God responsible for that justice? Be careful. Because if he was, then wasn’t he also responsible for the injustice—the crime that brought us to court?”

In the chaos, Ruth began to hear God’s call to study theology and to enter the ministry. She eventually became a Presbyterian pastor and has served that denomination for more than 20 years. Throughout her memoir, she writes about how she would have counseled her younger self to understand the debilitating feelings of shame and her perception of herself as damaged goods, though in God’s eyes there is no such designation.

In this memoir—emotionally compelling, achingly vulnerable, and spiritually astute—Ruth Everhart invites readers not only into her pain and healing, but into a theological conversation about the intersection of the divine will and human will. (Tyndale)

About the Author

Sonya VanderVeen Feddema is a freelance writer and a member of Covenant CRC in St. Catharines, Ontario.

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