Books, Faith

“This Undeserved Life: Uncovering the Gifts and Fullness of Life”


Guestpost by Natalie Brenner

Have you gone through infertility, miscarriage, adoption, adopting while pregnant, birth trauma, forgiveness and church trauma? Natalie Brenner has and she has written a book exploring how she found Jesus in all the broken bits of her life.

Short bio: Natalie Brenner is wife to Loren and mom to two under two, living in Portland, Oregon. She is the author of This Undeserved Life. She likes her wine red, ice cream served by the pint, and conversations vulnerable. Natalie believes in the impossible and hopes to create safe spaces for every fractured soul. She’s addicted to honesty. You can love Jesus or not, go to church or not: she’d love to have coffee with you. Natalie is a bookworm, a speaker, and a wanna-be runner. Connect with her at and join her popular email list.

“The Undeserved Life” is available for preorder here – and if you order before 18th September you can get free goodies here.

Here is a short excerpt on forgiveness from “The Undeserved Life”

Forgiving quickly, in my experience, is often superficial forgiveness.

Fast forgiveness is a way to avoid pain.

Fast forgiveness is a way around suffering.

Forgiveness happens in layers. Layers running deep, on top of the other, take time to uncover. Sometimes a new layer pops up unexpectedly.

Fast forgiveness is a part of Christian culture I want to help change and transform.

I ache for a journey of Jesus-like forgiveness. The kind demanding time and suffering in the process.

We analyze our faults and sin; I tend to over-own things in my repentance. But I’m learning the kind of forgiveness inviting us to acknowledge the fault of others, the unfair pain brought upon us that wasn’t our fault.

It’s not about sitting around blaming and justifying my hardened angry heart, justifying bitterness turned to hatred; no, it’s about softening my heart to feel the pain, acknowledge the deep brokenness of humanity.

When I invite God into these softened, honest spaces of honestly seeing brokenness, I am more sad than angry with those who hurt us. The hardened walls of bitterness are shed and replaced with soft sorrow and an invitation to grieve the loss of what should have been.

Forgiveness is for our healing and wholeness, forgiveness is what launches us into the fullness of life. But I cannot find this freedom and joy until I truly begin to walk through the dark parts of suffering and pain.

Time and time again, I find I cannot skip the night to arrive to the morning.

Joy comes in the morning, but the morning comes after the dark night.

Sometimes the night lasts longer than we want it to.

Rachel’s comments: I have never thought about forgiveness happening in layers – I would love to hear your thoughts – share in the comments.