Recent Reads: Night Driving by Addie Zierman

Jen Bradbury
May 13 · 5 min read

Night Driving

What the book's about: In many ways, Night Driving: A Story of Faith in the Dark picks up where Addie's first book, When We Were on Fire, leaves off. It addresses the question, "What does faith look like when the fire wanes?" using the framework of a road trip. 

Why I read this book: I loved When We Were On Fire and couldn't wait to dig into Night Driving. 

My favorite quotes from the book: 

- "You can't just drive away from who you are and start over - blank slate - somewhere new. It's more consuming than all that - the journey toward whoever it is you're going to become is always smudged with ashen remains." 

- "The faith void of silence has spread out before me again and when everything feels this dark, the drug that I crave is this feeling: the sensation of being seen." 

- "I have spent a lot of my life waiting for God to show up like a tidal wave, sudden and shattering and overwhelming. And for a while, he did. But then he did less, and I started to think it was because of me. That I'd lost some essential way of faith. But the ocean is at low tide now, and this is not her failing but simply the rhythms of life."   

- "I wonder what would happen if I learned to accept these silent rhythms as a normal part of faith: light and dark, high tide and low tide, summer and winter. What if I stopped fighting, stopped going crazy trying to fill in the gap, stopped running? What would it look like to give into these rhythms? What if I learned to love my heavy heart? To stop scrambling to be in the light. What if instead I let God pull me lower & lower, like the moon pulls the sea?" 

- "I thought I needed to fly away to survive. I'd forgotten about the simple ways we are saved exactly where we are." 

- "What the darkness asks of me is different from what the light does. In the darkness I am asked to listen. To wait. To allow myself to be folded close to the heart of God. It is good in a way that terrifies me. It is the other side of hospitality - and I am not the one with anything to offer here." 

- "Maybe faith is the long story of a happy marriage - an average life made fuller, not smaller, by the pockets of silence and darkness that break into it." 

- "God has a history of going quiet with his people. His silence stretches over years, over countries, over generations. But it's not an abandonment, it's an invitation. It asks something different of us than the fire does. It asks for our trust, for our hope, for us to stay as the night darkens around us and we can't hear a thing." 

Who I'd recommend this book for: Addie is a beautiful writer and memoirist. For that reason, her book will have appeal beyond the Christian market. That said, those who came of age in the Christian subculture of the 80s and 90s will particularly resonate with Addie's journey.