This Too Shall Last | Book Review
Raw. Honest. Relatable. Perfect words to describe the beautiful book written by K.J. Ramsey. This Too Shall Last combines theology, neuroscience, and personal testimony to examine the complex topic of suffering.
God is not on the other side of our suffering. He is in it. The invisible God is closer to us than we are to ourselves.K.J. Ramsey, This Too Shall Last
Throughout the book, K.J. encourages readers to transform long-held beliefs related to pain and suffering. From the shame we hold to the belief that our pain is something that, once we crack, will magically go away, K.J. artfully highlights how suffering can be a transformational space—one where we are present to pain and receptive to grace.
From The Publisher
This book is not a before and after story.
Our culture treats suffering like a problem to fix, a blight to hide, or the sad start of a transformation story. We silently, secretly wither under the pressure of living as though suffering is a predicament we can avoid or annihilate by having enough faith or trying harder. When your prayers for healing haven’t been answered, the fog of depression isn’t lifting, your marriage is ending in divorce, or grief won’t go away, it’s easy to feel you’ve failed God or, worse, he’s failed you. If God loves us, why does he allow us to hurt?
Over a decade ago chronic illness plunged therapist and writer K.J. Ramsey straight into this paradox. Before her illness, faith made sense. But when pain came and never left, K.J. had to find a way across the widening canyon that seemed to separate God’s goodness from her excruciating circumstances.
She wanted to conquer suffering. Instead, she encountered the God who chose it. She wanted to make pain past-tense. Instead, God invited her into a bigger story.
This Too Shall Last offers an antidote to our cultural idolatry of effort and ease. Through personal story and insights from neuroscience and theology, Ramsey invites us to let our tears become lenses of the wonder that before God ever rescues us, he stands in solidarity with us. We are all mid-story in circumstances we did not choose, wondering when our hard things will end and where grace will come if they don’t. Together, we can encounter grace in the middle, where living with suffering that lingers can mean receiving God’s presence that lasts.
What if the church treated suffering like a story to tell rather than a secret to keep until it passes?
This Too Shall Last Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
The book is a true work of art. Unlike many books that examine the topic of suffering, This Too Shall Last tackles an extremely important question: where is God when suffering lasts?
The book stretched me and made me feel known. It isn’t a book to pick up on a casual afternoon of reading. It is a book you must come to prepared to go deep. This Too Shall Last requires you to linger, just as the suffering it speaks to does to come out transformed.
My favorite part? The footnotes. K.J. knows her stuff and backs it up both theologically and scientifically leaving us with a myriad of resources to explore to go even deeper.
About the Author
K.J. Ramsey (BA, Covenant College, MA, Denver Seminary) is a licensed professional counselor, writer, and recovering idealist who believes sorrow and joy coexist. Her writing has been published in Christianity Today, RELEVANT, The Huffington Post, Fathom Magazine, Health Central, and more on the integration of theology, psychology, and spiritual formation. She and her husband live in Denver, Colorado. Follow K.J.’s writing at kjramsey.com and across social media at @kjramseywrites.