A Daily Companion for Healing from Trauma and Loss
by Steve Austin
Coming January 4, 2022
from Broadleaf Books
"Slow miracles drive most of us batty most of the time. We want Microwave Jesus, but we end up with a Christ who insists on slow-roasting everything in a Crockpot. And yet slow miracles are no less miraculous than mud on the eyes, dipping in the river seven times, sending demons into a herd of pigs, or a dead man walking. They’re all miracles, to be sure. The slower variety just seems to require a little extra time, tenderness, and tenacity.
I’ve seen a few slow miracles of my own, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Because a miracle’s a miracle, no matter how slowly it emerges.
Speaking of slow miracles, did you know that a dragonfly’s larval stage (its infancy) can last up to two years? (Thanks, Smithsonian magazine!) And while we’re nerding out, something I find truly fascinating (and strangely parallel with my own spiritual journey) is the fact that dragonfly larvae grow by moulting—in the dark, underwater. They emerge with wings colorless and transparent; only when the sunlight hits does their bare fragility flood with unexpected color.
How very like our own lives, pierced with suffering, no? What is the human experience if not that of shedding layer upon layer of fear, shame, and guilt, so that we can gradually grow into our true identity as God’s beautiful and beloved children? What else is it but emerging from the sightless dark, uncertain of what you’ll become, but desperate for transformation?
I don’t know about you, but for me, healing from trauma and loss feels a lot like being a dragonfly larva—a slow and miraculous journey of latency, patience, and an uncovering of your true self—an arrival at last into weary and sunlit awe. We do not stay in darkness forever."
- from the Introduction
Meet Steve Austin
Steve Austin was a pastor when he nearly died by suicide. Years of performance-based Christianity taught Austin to sweep the pain of childhood sexual abuse, plus the shame of PTSD, anxiety, and depression under the rug.
When it came to his suffering, Austin believed it was best not to let anyone know about his secrets - especially church folks. As a result, fear, shame, and guilt were Austin’s constant companions.
Thankfully, a suicide attempt was not the end of his story.
Since 2012, Austin has written several books, including: Catching Your Breath (2018), Hiding in the Pews (2021), and Slow Miracles (2022). His work has been featured in USA Today, Huffington Post, The Mighty, and other outlets. He has become a leading voice at the intersection of faith and mental health.
Today, Austin consults church leaders from around the U.S. on how to make their faith communities a safe place for those who are suffering. He also hosts the Catching Your Breath podcast, blogs regularly at catchingyourbreath.com, and is a sought-after speaker at international conferences.