Undone: When Coming Apart Puts You Back Together, By Laura Sumner Truax


When Coming Apart Puts You Back Together

by Laura Sumner Truax

  • Length: 231 pages
  • Dimensions: 5.5 × 8.25 in
  • Published: July 08, 2013
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 4306
  • ISBN: 9780830843060

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Pastor Laura Truax, originator of the "reverse tithe" at LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, wasn't always in this same place of faith. In Undone she shares her journey of seeing Scripture with new eyes.

Whether a big crisis shakes us or little things wear away at us, these are moments where we are confronted with ourselves. This is not the way that things are supposed to be. We feel like failures. We are undone. Worse yet, we realize that underneath our masks and facades, we are not the person we are pretending to be. Who are we, really?

Laura Truax knows what it's like when life hits the fan. But she discovered that these times of exposure and vulnerability can become opportunities to find out who we really are and what we are meant to be. When we come to the end of ourselves, God can meet us there to help us face our fears, take off our masks and rediscover our true self as part of his larger story.

Your journey isn't done. Come discover how you can become the person you long to be.

"True friendship and spiritual growth often begins with brutal honesty and self-awareness. I'd rather be in a faith community where people are real and raw than perfect and fake. If we have the courage to admit it, most of us have been undone by something in our lives. In this book Laura Sumner Truax encourages us to embrace these mistakes, disappointments and difficulties as the place where we begin to discover who we really are as beloved children of God."

Mark Scandrette, author of Free and Practicing the Way of Jesus

"Websites and bookshelves are filled with timely, trendy spiritual topics. They offer promises of success, happiness and victorious living. This book is not among them. There is no 'rub-the-Bible-get-three-wishes' piety here. No three-point plan to a better you. Instead, Laura Truax has offered a timeless take on the struggles to live a human life in a universe that is both delightful and destructive. With a candid, straightforward approach, Truax invites us to take an honest inventory about what motivates us, what we value and who, what and how we love. With humor and clarity, Truax presents the classic tenets of the Christian faith in a convincing, if not convicting, fashion. This book will not change your life. But it will lead you to the God who can."

Todd E. Johnson, theological director of the Brehm Center for Worship, Theology and the Arts, Fuller Theological Seminary

"American Christianity at its worst can reflect a superficial religiosity coupled with hubristic, macho triumphalism. Undone reveals to us the potential of Christianity at its best by leading us in a journey through Scripture toward healing. For those who may have given up on the church, Laura Truax, in her words and in her ministry at LaSalle Street Church, embodies a pastoral grace that invites us to experience the rawness of an honest story where nothing remains but grace."

Soong-Chan Rah, author of The Next Evangelicalism

"This beautifully written book is filled with the promise that no matter how low we have fallen, life can be different. Laura Sumner Truax draws candidly from her own story and the stories of Scripture to challenge us to fully embrace life with all its joys and sorrows, to rise up to make a difference in the world, not by way of dutiful rule keeping but with the invincible power of guileless love and honest community. I have marked up this book from start to finish with highlights and exclamation marks. Truax courageously sheds her mask and invites us to do the same."

Arloa Sutter, executive director of Breakthrough Urban Ministries and author of The Invisible

"As a driven 44-year-old professional living in New York City, I find my Christian faith more and more an oddity in the eyes of my vibrant group of diverse colleagues and friends--like a great ape at the zoo, perfectly fine for observation and amusement, but always to be kept safely behind protective glass. I'm convinced Laura Truax's book is written with me and my friends in mind. She speaks to those of us still working it all out. She reminds us that we've all been undone and points us to the wholeness that can be found in God's unquenchable love."

Rob Acton, executive director, Taproot Foundation, NYC

"If I could bequeath a grand title like 'America?s Pastor' on a single individual, it would be Laura Truax. This, her first book, is both beautiful and accessible, distinctively Christian and broadly spiritual, and as wise as it is down-to-earth. And at every turn, in the best sense of the word, it is truly pastoral."

Brian D. McLaren, author and speaker (brianmclaren.net)

"I was surprised at how much I was gripped by the ways in which Laura Truax shared descriptions of how she struggled to become another entire person. What she wrote is filled with reflections on how God's grace can provide a 'lifting up' for any of us who feel 'undone' by life's circumstances and are ready to walk away from God. She knows what she writes about."

Tony Campolo, Eastern University

"This is a memoir about shedding what is false, sentimental, cliché—bound to become honest, real and fully present. This courageous pastor describes her former self as a chameleon, reflecting the colors around her with no substance. 'Being real is a good place to start,' she says, as she describes the turning moments. Coming undone is the path to becoming real."

Roy W. Howard, The Presbyterian Outlook, February 17, 2014

"With frankness and insight, Truax, senior pastor of LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, draws readers toward a God who strips away masks and feigned perfection and replaces them with trust in his love and his plan for their lives. . . . Truax provides a nuanced view of where to turn at the moments when life seems most out of control, and a reminder of who ultimately knows best how to put all the pieces back together."

Publishers Weekly, July 8, 2013


1. Coming Undone: The Best Worst Day of My Life
Part 1: Excluded by Fear
2. Broken Relationships and the Beginning of Emptiness
3. Wanting More, Finding Less
4. Hiding Behind Masks
5. Behind the Mask
6. Transforming Fear
Part 2: Rediscovering Trust
7. The Risk of Trust
8. The Reward of Trust
9. What Does God Want from Me?
10. Childlike Trust
Part 3: Finding Real Connection
11. Restoring Your Identity
12. Imagine Love
13. Community: The Third Way
14. Little Choices: It's All Little Choices
15. The Arc of the Future
Questions for Reflection or Discussion


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Laura Sumner Truax

Laura Sumner Truax is senior pastor of LaSalle Street Church in Chicago, Illinois. She holds degrees in divinity, pastoral studies, and spirituality from Loyola University Divinity School and serves as a teaching pastor for World Vision and for the University of Chicago Divinity School. She and her family live in Chicago.