Giving Up God

5.25 x 8, 244 pages
Paperback: $16.95, 9781957687308
eBook: $9.99, 9781957687322

Giving Up God

Resurrecting a Spirituality of Love and Wonder

Sarah Henn Hayward

Hayward expresses both the fear and loss, as well as the wonder and liberation, of life after religion.” —Cait West, author of Rift

Embark on a transformative journey through this compelling narrative about giving up a belief in God and finding a new, wilder, and more authentic life.

Sarah Henn Hayward spent over thirty years as a devoted believer, passionately immersed in her born-again faith. But her search for truth also led her to science, psychology, and social justice. She asked really hard questions and uncovered the hypocrisy around concepts like hell, evolution, and Christian exclusivity.

When Hayward realized that she could not continue to believe in God, she ventured out on a journey to find herself again, to let go of fear about the future, to train attention on love and wonder in the present, and to find a life that is very much thriving without belief.

Giving Up God is a satisfying read for all the seekers, the curious, and the bold who aren’t afraid to question the status quo. It’s for wonderers, wanderers, and those brave enough to live into their own truth.

Praise for Giving Up God

“In Giving Up God, Sarah Henn Hayward moves from a binary world with rigid boundaries to a place much messier and muddier—sometimes literally—with room for big questions with no pre-packaged answers. Hayward’s writing is compassionate, kind, and generous, and her work left this progressive Christian filled with wonder, embracing mystery, and grateful for the opportunity to explore the terrain through which she gently guides us.”

Cynthia Vacca Davis, author of Intersexion: A Story of Faith, Identity, and Authenticity

“Sarah Hayward’s debut gives us a tender yet provocative deconversion testimony. With great compassion and kindness for everyone still embracing faith, she yet raises all her questions and, yes, bold complaints without flinching: Where is God in moments of gross injustice? How could a universe-creator who is both all-powerful and all-good come up with the terribly flawed reality we all know?”

Stephanie Eagleson, writer of “Autopsy of Abuse”

“Even though everyone’s path is uniquely theirs, there are similarities common among all deconstruction journeys, and Sarah describes these in a beautiful way. What stands out the most, though, is her courage to put everything at risk and ask the hard questions. The result is she discovers herself and who she may be in the world, as well as a deeper connection to the ones she loves and the universe. If you are deconstructing, questioning your beliefs, and your relationship to religion and the church, read this book for encouragement and validation. But also read it to find a new companion on your spiritual pilgrimage.”

David Hayward, aka NakedPastor, author of Flip It Like This!

“This book is something rare—a story about leaving religion that comes off as calm, healthy, and appreciative. It is a nice reminder that ‘losing faith,’ whatever the negative connotations, is really about personal growth.”

Tim Mathis, author of I Hope I Was Wrong about Eternal Damnation

“Sarah set out to write a book that would ‘be a source of comfort and camaraderie for anyone who had a deep faith and has left it behind.’ In Giving Up God, she did all of that and so much more. Though our experiences are different, Sarah beautifully articulated many of my own struggles and joys on this journey from evangelicalism to atheism.”

Nicki Pappas, author of As Familiar as Family: Leaving the Toxic Religion I Was Groomed For and Becoming Egalitarian

Giving Up God is not a journey on some well-tread path traveled only by intellectual elites. Sarah’s story carefully charts the everyday course for what is now a widespread movement. She helps us build a new narrative for our time now and ahead. It’s a tribute to honesty and a more expansive notion of what is beautiful and good, both spiritually for the individual but also morally for society.”

David Morris, author of Lost Faith and Wandering Souls

“By weaving in references to the scientific and philosophical literature that, piece by piece, helped her to form a more nuanced understanding of the world around her, Hayward brings the reader right along on this genuine, and often uncomfortable, process of discovery. Giving Up God is a bold and worthwhile read.”

Julia Soplop, award-winning author of Equus Rising and Information Crisis: How a Better Understanding of Science Can Help Us Face the Greatest Problems of Our Time

“In Giving Up God, Sarah Henn Hayward asks the hard questions about faith—questions that mirror my own—with an integrity and self-awareness to be admired. This is not a new rulebook or manifesto; it is one person’s path to finding clarity after climbing through the web of evangelicalism in search of meaning and truth. Hayward expresses both the fear and loss, as well as the wonder and liberation, of life after religion, bringing us along on a journey of hope.”

Cait West, author of Rift: A Memoir of Breaking Away from Christian Patriarchy

Sarah Hayward

Sarah Henn Hayward is a writer, a voracious reader, a deep thinker, a curious learner, a nature lover, a brave adventurer, an Enneagram 7, a former Christian, a doctor of physical therapy, and a loyal friend. Her blog at highlights the books of marginalized communities, and she is active on Instagram as @shaywardwrites. Hayward is the author of Sedona and the Sloth: Kid Critter Series #1. She lives in Spokane, Washington with her husband Dan and her two children.

Also by Sarah Henn Hayward

Sedona and the Sloth
Boston and the Beaver
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