A MAZE OF GRACE
BY TRISH RYAN
In her first book, Trish Ryan chronicled the ways in which finding faith lead her to the happily-ever-after ending that had eluded her for so long. Only it wasn't an ending. It was a beginning. In A MAZE OF GRACE, Ryan picks up where she left off, sharing the early years of her marriage, and the challenges that both shaped and startled her: temptations regarding fidelity, the anxiety of shifting body image, the awkward nature of following Jesus in a decidedly secular family and city, and struggles (depression, trying to conceive) that made her wonder if God had lost her file. With appealing candor, Ryan sweeps the reader into her life and ponders questions and issues that we all face, dropping nuggets of wisdom along the way that are sure to inspire, encourage and help readers from all walks of life.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Trish Ryan lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Visit her online at trishryanonline.blogspot.com and trishryanonline.com.
READING GROUP GUIDE:
1.) In A Maze of Grace, Trish discusses how her “Happily Ever After” played out differently than she expected, sometimes in good, bad, or surprising ways. Are you living your "Happily Ever After"? What does it look like for you?
2.) In the introduction, Trish says that one of the best parts of her faith is that it allows do-overs. What is your experience with second chances?
3.) Trish was excited to share the mundane aspects of marriage with her new husband: clogged sinks & burnt meatloaf. What do (or did) you envision marriage to be like?
4.) "GIRL—you’ve got to give that man some SEX!" was the best advice Trish and Steve received in their newlywed year. What’s your reaction to this advice?
5.) A situation with an attractive female coworker at Steve's work caused Trish concern. Do you agree with her caution?
6.) Trish describes a point in her marriage where it felt as if she and Steve had become “more like casual roommates than lovers.” Have you felt this way in a relationship? Is it inevitable, or something to push back against?
7.) Trish's friends Helena and Jasper shared how their marriage was damaged by an affair. After months of prayer and healing, they made it through to a wonderful restoration of their family. Have you ever been betrayed? Do you believe restoration is possible?
8.) Trish’s inability to get pregnant raised questions about whether God really listened or cared about her. Have you had a situation where you felt hopeless and abandoned by God? How did you handle it? What gave you hope?
9.) In moments of frustration and doubt in life, do you look for answers in a specific place, as Trish looked for them in books? What do you find?
10.) Trish describes 'Acedia' as the evil spirit akin to depression that assaulted her during dark times in her life. Have you experienced similar dark times? How did you handle them?
11.) Trish is surprised to find herself agreeing with Lori Gottlieb’s rally cry that women stop being so picky and “Marry That Man”…But with a caveat. What are your criteria for choosing a mate? How realistic are they? Does faith play a role?
12.) As Trish faced hard realities amidst her 'Happily Ever After', she saw 'glimpses of
grace'. Do you get glimpses of grace in your life? She says that even in hard times, God's voice can be heard, and hope can be found. Do you agree? Why or why not?
13.) In the beginning of her book Trish asks to be encouraged by her story. What were your thoughts as you finished the book?
14.) At the end of her book, Trish shares four words she heard at a friend’s wedding: Prayer Works. Love wins. What strikes you about this perspective?
THANKS TO VALERIE AND MY FRIENDS
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