In his book, How to Survive a Shipwreck, Jonathan Martin leans heavily into the metaphor of a shipwreck as a life crisis. Jonathan’s particular crisis was the breakdown of his marriage and subsequent loss of his ministry position. Yet he hopes to relate to anyone who confronts a significant upheaval in their life circumstances. This wouldn’t work for everyone. Some Christians experience a few wild storms rather than a major life-changing event that would warrant the term shipwreck.

Jonathan spends the first couple of chapters establishing his metaphor. He writes in a poetic way which I initially found hard to engage with, but once he started writing about what helped and what didn’t during the crisis, I found my interest level increased.

Ultimately, Jonathan had to allow God to set the pace. He had to allow himself to grieve significant losses and couldn’t hurry the healing process. Some of the opportunities that came across Jonathan’s path where he could connect with God’s love and grace, were unexpected. He started attending a more liturgical church and found comfort in the routines. This makes sense to me when your life feels like it’s falling apart, it’s good to have some familiar practices that you can lean on. Over time God changed his perspective on many things. He learnt that the things we think are “monsters” are mere trifles to God. He learnt to overcome many of his fears, some of which he hadn’t even identified before the crisis. He came to a place of acceptance and peace with his new life circumstances.

Overall, a helpful book, though a bit abstract at times.