In her second book, Michigan-based writer, blogger, and podcaster Traci Rhoades takes her fellow sojourners deeper, to address those difficult days that try one’s faith—when you receive the cancer diagnosis, when your spouse leaves you, when you lose a loved one to suicide, when you have a disagreement over politics that ends a friendship.
In Shaky Ground: What To Do After the Bottom Drops Out, Rhoades directs believers to practices that Christians have undertaken for centuries to help them stay anchored in hope when everything around them is falling apart. Such practices include silence, prayer, lament, reciting the historic creeds of our faith, connecting with fellow believers, and communion.
“Through these experiences and countless conversations with other Christians, I’m learning more ways to encounter Jesus,” Rhoades writes in the book’s prologue. “I’ve felt his presence among his people. I’ve sensed a smile on his face when collectively we sing about wanting to know him. I’ve tasted and seen that God is good at a number of communion tables … I’ve learned entirely new ways to pray. How I read the Bible continues to evolve.”
Rhoades grew up in the Southern Baptist Church and now attends a congregation in the Reformed tradition. Just as she did in her first book, “Not All Who Wander (Spiritually) Are Lost,” published in 2020, Rhoades cites examples of spiritual practices from a wide variety of faith traditions, including Orthodox and Catholic.
“As I continue maturing in my faith, it’s getting even more complicated as I realize Christians who also proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ can disagree on how we live out that gospel,” Rhoades writes in the book’s prologue. “Living in this world, I also see the quick fixes dangling before me, telling me I can feel better (for a time).”
As a frequent poster on social media, Rhoades seeks to get believers to focus more on what they have in common rather than what they differ on. She has connected with Christians from just about every faith tradition through a curious spirit that seeks to learn more about church history and beliefs, and incorporate what she learns into her own spiritual practices.
If you are struggling in light of your circumstances, Shaky Ground is an excellent read to help you refocus and find a spiritual practice that will help you abide in your faith. To learn more about Traci Rhoades and her faith journey, visit tracesoffaith.com. (Morehouse)