Embracing uncomfortable: Review of Wrecked by Jeff Goins

The subtitle to Jeff Goins’ book Wrecked sounds like the sort of thing you’d want to avoid: “When a broken world slams into your comfortable life.”

And, I’ll admit, this was not an easy book to read. Not because the writing is confusing or the structure unclear.

No, Wrecked is a book that lives up to its name. wrecked cover

If you aren’t wrecked already when you read it, you will be. But don’t let that scare you away.

Goins offers stories and practical life advice for how to embrace what makes us most uncomfortable and live a life of radical obedience, even when the “adventure” looks more like “mundane.” Being wrecked means we’ve encountered something outside of our comfort zone and have made a choice to not go back to the way things were.

I’m afraid I’m not doing the book justice. When I read a book these days, I dog-ear the pages where I’ve read something that resonates. Almost every other page in Wrecked is dog-eared. Goins is a gifted storyteller, and his advice sounds more like gentle yet challenging encouragement from someone who’s traveled the road already than mandates from someone without a clue what they’re talking about.

To be wrecked begins with an experience that pulls you out of your comfort zone and self-centeredness, whether you want it to or not. … Being wrecked means everything you believe–everything you know about yourself, your world, and your destiny–is now in question. (34-35)

Before reading this book, my life got wrecked by a change in circumstances–financial, emotional, spiritual. All of it. Over time I’ve wondered if this is a good thing. Goins’ book offers stories that assure me I’m not alone and that even when it’s painful, being wrecked has the potential to foster deep change.

But it’s not enough to be wrecked. It’s not enough to see and walk away. Goins challenges us to commit to work that affirms what wrecked us in the first place.

Change always happens when you come down from the clouds and deal with the messiness of life. When you turn a mission trip into a lifestyle. … Real transformation happens when you commit. (92)

Although Goins draws from missions experiences and stories, this book is for anyone called to something by God. As a wife/stay-at-home mom/writer, I found the principles and stories in Wrecked meaningful and applicable to my situation.

It’s a small book, less than 200 pages, but each chapter is full of life-giving truth. I judged the book by its length, thinking I could breeze through it. Instead, I found myself reading a few pages and setting it down for a couple of days. In the places where I’d been wrecked already and thought I had moved past, I found the book wrecking me all over again, giving me a gentle nudge to take another step out of the comfortable life.

Even now as I revisit the pages I marked, I find myself lifted by the words.

If you’ve had an experience (a mission trip, a major life change, an encounter with poverty) that has wrecked you and you don’t know what to do now, this book is for you.

If you’re looking for your life’s calling, this book can guide you in finding it.

It would be good reading for high school and college grads who want to live the story God has for them.

As Michael Hyatt says in the book’s foreword, Wrecked “is not designed to make you feel overwhelmed by the world’s problems. Nor is it designed to make you feel guilty for not doing enough. No, it’s more than this. It is an invitation to lead a wrecked life–one that is shaken up but transformed by confronting the world’s most difficult challenges. It’s about living the life we are so often afraid to live. … It’s about stepping into the pain and discovering fulfillment in the most unlikely places.”

You’ve been invited to be wrecked.

The choice, now, is yours.


In exchange for my review, I received a free copy of Wrecked from Moody Publishers.