Growing Desperate

Desperate people stop Jesus in His tracks. Think of the woman hemorrhaging for 12 long years, despondent that all remedies up to that point had proven worthless. The only option left for her was to grab the robe of the miracle man as He walked by. Jesus affirmed her courage, healed her, called her daughter, and blessed her in peace. Jesus admires your gut-honest desperation more than your religious self-sufficiency. It attracts Him like nothing else. Cruel circumstances, fractured relationships, bruised emotions and aching loneliness—God meets us in the desperate places of our lives, fights and delights to restore us, and sends us out into a world full of desperate people.

Available in paperback and Kindle edition from Amazon.


“Growing Desperate offers a most inspiring and compelling insight into Jesus’ promise of the kingdom for the poor in spirit. It’s well-written and chock-full of fascinating stories of Mike’s experiences from his life and the lives of people he’s served both in the U.S. and Indonesia. His winsome, transparent style of writing invites the reader to be more than okay with our own neediness. Most refreshing is Mike’s call for us not to just look inward but to also look outward to others who are needy. Mike lives what he’s addressing in his book, thus it carries much authority.”

— Ron Parrish, author of From Duty to Delight: Finding Greater Joy in Daily Prayer

 “One of the biggest dangers for the Western Christian is to wrap our lives in so much bubble wrap, that we no longer remain vulnerable, raw, broken and, most of all, dependent upon Jesus. Mike carefully removes the bubble wrap we have put around our own souls as he reminds us that it’s only in our desperation that we can fully meet the perfect love that saves us. Growing Desperate reminds us that, in the same way Jesus noticed the desperate hemorrhaging woman, He notices our own, everyday brokenness as well, if only we would be desperate enough to reach up. After reading this book, you will be.”

Jessica Honegger, founder and CEO of Noonday Collection

“Mike O’Quin is equal parts storyteller and theologian. His writing is crisp and relatable, his stories are engaging, and he unpacks the Scripture with the insight of a seasoned pastor. Growing Desperate poses one of the most troubling central questions of my faith journey, ‘Where is God when I feel desperate and alone?’ It’s a question we’ve all asked, and Mike provides an answer we all need to read for ourselves.”

Rob Stennett, author of The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher and The Perfect Dad

“There are generally two types of writers who fill the pages of books in stores. The first are famous people who need some help to make their story readable. You’ll buy the book ‘cause you know who they are but struggle to finish reading their passable drivel. The second are people you’ve never heard of who have ridiculous writing talent.  Imagery leaps off the page so vivid and real you forget you’re reading. You’re living the story.  You can’t wait to read more, wished it wouldn’t end and ache to read it again. Mike O’Quin is that second type of writer. Even better, he’s lived desperation from Austin to Indonesia. You’ll feel his stories tugging at your soul. More importantly, you’ll hear the voice of God calling you to a life that’s richer, riskier and singing a new song.”

Peter Nevland, author of Exposing the Psalms and I’m Going to be a Zebra

“A much needed message for all who have come to the end of themselves and have realized their brokenness and desperation. Mike O’Quin eloquently shares how those who have exhausted themselves spiritually, emotionally, and relationally can find rest and healing for their weary souls. Growing Desperate is an excellent, moving explanation of both the heart of God and the Gospel. A highly recommended read that is sure to bless believers at every stage of life.”

R. Duncan Williams, author of the Thinkwave series

“Mike is a great communicator whether he is speaking, writing, or just in a group at lunch telling stories. Mike is also vulnerable and honest. He is good at opening up his own life and struggling with how he is doing at pursing his deepest values more than 20 years into his walk with Jesus in pastoral ministry and as a missionary. Growing Desperate will bring a challenge and comfort to you as the reader, or to a friend who really needs the encouragement.”

Mark Buckner, pastor, Community of Faith Christian Fellowship, Boston

“For over a decade I met weekly with the writer of this book. I will carry the memories of those conversations with me for the rest of my life. Mike is a rare breed; a once in a lifetime kind of friend. His stories and jokes were dangerous because he often had me laughing so hard I choked on whatever I happened to be eating. But it wasn’t just the laughter that I miss so much. Mike is a deep soul. He is a man who passionately lives in a quest to know God and to love God more deeply. My time with Mike always made me think. After being with him I wanted to live more passionately. Mike showed me how to be honest with myself and with God. Our friendship was forged on the anvil of truth. Honesty is what you will find as you advance through the treasures that await you in this unforgettable book. The words are not the hollow ramblings of an academic, but rather the wisdom of a man who writes from the depths of his quest to find meaning and hope in the darkest and loneliest circumstances you have ever endured. My life has been profoundly and deeply shaken by my friendship with Mike O’Quin. I invite you to read his meditations on human desperation. Prepare your heart. I dare say, you will never be the same.”

Paul Richardson, author of A Certain Risk: Living Your Faith at the Edge