Close your eyes and imagine this graphic: a spa green background and a woman with a blissful smile on her face.  Her face is slathered with a creamy facial and  cucumbers cover her eyes with a slight smirk on lips. It implies, “Yeah life is rough but I’m handling it like a boss.”

That my friends was the cover of my first book. And I freaking loved it too. I can tell you it wasn’t well written or well researched since I wrote it when I was 28 and didn’t have a clue about life, but mainly because I wrote it the bathroom with little hands sliding under the door. 

It was written in earnest but the idea of opening it and quoting excerpts makes me cringe. I said a lot and I said nothing at the same time.

But it was my first book baby and I was so proud of her. I was dazzled by the woman on the cover who looked calm, secure and confident. And here’s the thing, I want to get back to her.

Lately I’ve found myself in the hard places that look nothing like my book baby’s cover.

I’ve been treading water too long to prove myself worthy of anything: author, wife, mom, career woman, and friend. I’m tired of saying all the right things.

Instead, I’m becoming more barefaced. The more I peel off the layers, the more I’m finding many of you are tired of being in the hard places too.

Too many of us are standing in the in-between of struggle and fierceness. Some days you irreproachably juggle everything that is your life—kids, husband, house, job, church, friendships, school, appointments, and on and on.

Then there’s those days when the ball drops and it puts your anxiety level through the roof. But then God calls you to: Be strong and Courageous. Be still. Be YOU.

Sometimes these are the hardest instructions to follow. If you’re exhausted like me from the struggle to prove yourself, you are not alone.

We’ve spent too much time with our necks turned, eyes on others, mimicking what we see because we don’t know how to be. We’ve wallowed too much in the in between places.

I want to get back to my fierce faith and I bring you on this journey too. I want us both to be in the beautiful mess and handling it like a boss.

I look back to my book baby with the glossy green cover and hear God whisper, “That’s you in the shadow of my being. That’s you when you melt into my hands. Through me, you’re stronger than the struggle.”

His reminder gives way to forging a fierce faith when the days are heavy, when the days are hard.

When hope is overdue.

When the disarray surrounds your home and heart.

When you feel the absence of true friends.

When anxiety and worry rise.

When you’re weeding through the rough patch in your marriage.

When you catch the woman aging in the mirror.

When life doesn’t look like your dreams and plans.

He wants us to be strong in HIS strength.

He wants us to uncomplicate our spiritual battles that thread through our very marrow and daily routine.

Forging a fierce faith isn’t just about resting in his hands. Like a pail tossed to the bottom of a well, he wants us to draw deep from his strength to quench our need.   

Let his strength fill every chasm in our bodies. Let it quiet the voices of not-enoughness. With tenacity, let’s YES to the battles, YES to the in-between, YES to his strength, because it means we will be more fierce for tomorrow.

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