A young woman recently shared her thoughts with Outreach on the upcoming movie The Shack and the impact the fictional novel had on her life, as well as her walk with the Lord. This modern-day parable of a man struggling with his relationship with God helped her find the courage to seek out the true answers to her questions in the church and bring her to Christ. She is sharing her story in the hope that it may help others who are working through life’s challenges.
My struggle with my faith began after two miscarriages and a very negative, unsupportive experience with my local church. My losses had devastated me. Although I had tried desperately to be strong, I began to falter. When I discovered I would never have biological children, I became furious with God. What in the world did I do wrong to deserve this? Why was God taking away our opportunity to be parents and share our beautiful lives with a child?
As my husband and I dealt with my diagnosis, I felt only pain, fury, and emptiness. I confided in my mother and would cry to her every day. One day, she mentioned a book called The Shack and suggested I give the story a try. She had suggested it when we lost our second baby. Sadly, I had not been interested in what God had to offer at the time. But, this time, I decided to give it a try—mostly to ensure my mom didn’t ask me anymore. I chose to read it on our annual road trip to Arizona.
The story I found inside changed my life. I have never read a book faster! I cried, I felt relief, and more importantly, I found Him. After reading The Shack, I realized that my God is MY GOD! And the relationship I choose to have with Him is not determined by the church I attend. No matter what occurred, God had never left my side. He never caused my pain. He was simply preparing me for the promises of His plan. What I believed “all things religious” looked like was false. A much more beautiful picture was painted after reading The Shack.
Let me be clear, The Shack is not the Bible. And it is not a guide to building your relationship with God. It is, however, a fictionally-honest representation of what faith looks like. The challenges. The struggles. The joy. My faith is not—and should not be—identical to that of the person next to me. The story is not an explanation of the promises of His kingdom. However, it is a reminder that there is a kingdom, and it will be there when you need it most, and He will know when you need Him most. Why? How? Because it is ALL in His plans.
After reading The Shack, I explored different churches, not for any other reason than to celebrate my new relationship with Him, on my terms. As a result, I stopped being so mad and allowed God to guide me through His plan. This lead us to take risks knowing that He would be our guide.
For me, The Shack revealed His plan and His promises in a way that I never imagined, that I never expected, but that I am forever grateful for.
Editor’s note: The Shack is now a major motion picture coming to theaters March 3. This exploration of one man’s journey back to God’s love is an inspiring story that will give many faith-seekers pause for thought. Although it is fictional film, its message will offer churches an opportunity to have important conversations about faith, God’s love and the truth of the Gospel.
Davlyn Edgett is a high school English teacher in Arizona where she lives with her husband, son, a Foreign Exchange student, and dogs. Davlyn earned a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from The University of Colorado – Colorado Springs and will complete a Masters in Educational Leadership from Arizona State University in Summer 2017.