Recently I had the opportunity to review Michelle Cushatt's book Undone: A Story of Making Peace with an Unexpected Life. In a nutshell, Undone is a heart and soul baring memoir of Cushatt's journey through cancer and then changing life circumstances in her family. Some memoirs offer a pull back the curtains glimpse into an author's life. However, Cushatt gives a door-wide open entry into her life.
Undone begins with a life-changing phone call from her doctor with the words "Michelle, it's not good" after which she "fell completely apart." From that point on, Cushatt interweaves stories from her life, Bible stories and teaching, and her current reality to emphasize the truth that if you believe what you say you believe, everything is going to work out. Some stories are funny and others are serious, but each one reminds the reader that God uses and works through imperfect people. One particularly humorous story encourages readers that authenticity and vulnerability minister more than perfect put-togetherness. Throughout the book, readers are reminded messy is the beginning of extraordinary as Cushatt shares openly of a painful divorce and substance abuse.
Throughout Undone, Cushatt's theme is "God showed up bigger" and that he provides enough for one day at a time. My notes from this book are filled with poignant quotes and one-liners that pointed me back to God's grace and forgiveness. The reminders that life is meant to be lived, not to feel guilty of letting some things go, and that the battle is God's, not mine, will remain with me long after reading this book. Many women will enjoy reading Undone on their own. Others may benefit from reading this book in community and using it as a springboard to openly share their own mess and how God is making something beautiful in their life. While not designed as a book to study, a discussion guide to help facilitate women sharing their own experiences would be helpful.
Statement of Disclosure: I received a free copy of this book simply by requesting it on the author's blog in return for a fair and honest review.
P.S. I enjoyed Cushatt's reference to the CIY conference where she committed to full-time ministry as I have served as a youth sponsor at CIY several times and am blessed to minister to and with many individuals who have been impacted for eternity through the ministry of CIY.