Shattered, Stirred, and Shaken – Michele McCarthy

Shattered, Stirred, and Shaken by Michele McCarthy
on June 2, 2021
Genres: Non-Fiction, Memoir
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Is the Holy Spirit calling you to the bold, exciting, power-filled Christian life? Have you wondered if there is more? Share Michele's eye-opening spiritual journey "from here to there."

Are you searching? A new Christian? An experienced believer? Fed up or dried up? As a Christian for decades, I recently learned the scope of the gospel is beyond everything I had ever been taught.

Allow yourself to set aside preconceived notions. Unwrap the box we easily put God in to take hold of the "more" He offers.

Join me in a story of healing, hunger, and humor. Undiluted transparency, a medical horror story, perplexed church leaders, and zany God encounters fold together into an unexpected adventure with Jesus. Your name is on the invitation.

Shattered, Stirred, and Shaken is a memoir of sorts from Michele McCarthy the explores her growth in faith and reliance on the Holy Spirit. It’s a deeply personal look at McCarthy’s faith journey, the lessons she’s learned along the way, and the toxic beliefs and thoughts she’s left behind. McCarthy invites readers to step into the journey, using her experience as a beacon to invite others into the freedom offered by Christ.

The memoir is bookended with the story of a big no-no in conservative Baptist circles: raising your hands in abandon while singing in the choir. McCarthy recounts losing herself to worship so much that someone even called emergency medical services. This is all played off as a silly thing, but I wish that Shattered, Stirred, and Shaken had gone a bit deeper into exploring the differences between Charismatic and non-charismatic expressions of faith and the work of the Spirit. The instance is portrayed as something that’s negative on the part of the church, but her actions seem counter to Paul’s command in 1 Corinthians 14 about orderly worship. Perhaps in a Charismatic congregation, this wouldn’t have been a problem. But to a Baptist congregation, it was obviously a distraction and, valid expression of worship or not, made people uncomfortable. McCarthy had an opportunity to talk about why that might make people feel that way, why she felt compelled to not squelch the Spirit, but instead McCarthy remains observational, rather than analytical.

That’s a good critique of Shattered, Stirred, and Shaken as a whole. It tells a good story…but what are we to do with it? McCarthy tends towards observation with only cursory analysis. Her testimony is compelling and I’m so glad that she was able to reconcile her use of medication for her depression with her belief in a Jesus who heals. For me, that was the big takeaway from the book. I know of so many in a faith tradition like this that are suspicious of medicine for mental healthcare or feel like they are not strong enough in their faith because they are depressed/anxious, etc. It was a great relief to see McCarthy come to the conclusion in the book that God works healing wonders through people—even if it’s not always our preferred method of healing.

Shattered, Stirred, and Shaken is the story of one woman’s faith journey and if that’s the sort of thing you’re looking for, then I think you’ll enjoy this book. The writing is conversational, a bit amateurish, but holds your attention. Life is Story, and I’m always interested in reading the experiences of others. Some narrative clarity and internal cohesion would have improved the book’s structure, but you can’t really criticize someone’s experiences and I even hesitate to criticize the way they chronicle their experiences. McCarthy felt she needed to tell her story, and so she did—and I think the world is better for it.