Some books are easier to read than others, their words flowing like a life-giving fountain right into your soul.
Each chapter in Fiercehearted by Holley Gerth could stand alone as an object lesson tracing the backstory of Holley’s life and ending with a scriptural truth made alive in my heart.
When she described a time in her life where she longed to be an alternate version of herself, it really struck a chord with me.
I thought if I could just be successful enough, I would become someone else. But you can’t grow into someone else. You can only grow into more of you. I really did believe that if I just tried hard enough, I could become a more outgoing, popular kind of person. I thought I would stop being an introvert. I thought I would quit loving a quiet house more than a loud party.
This book helped me see that the version of myself looking back in the mirror is who God created me to be and if I look a little closer I’ll see a fiercehearted woman learning how to become fiercer each day—learning to be the woman God created me to be.
I found myself nodding in agreement and chuckling in parts where I related to her so much. Like when she tried to balance a tray of food in one hand and coffee in the other while opening the door with her foot instead of putting her coffee down to use the knob.
This is how I go through life so often. I think I have to hold onto it all, all the time. I act like setting it down means it’s lost to me forever—gone down some dark cosmic hole.
I realize I do this same thing with my faith. I want to hold it all together so I can become the Godly woman I aspire to be—as if I will come to that place where I won’t struggle if I just do all the right things, not understanding that faith-making is grown in the jumbled-up Christmas wrappings of my daily life.
The process of faith, I’m finding, is not like my careful system. Instead it’s learning to live in the mystery. Faith is an entirely different thing than logical, cold certainty. Instead, its about a deep and wild security. After all, what I really hope for is not managing to finally follow all of my rules; it’s to believe I’m truly loved anyway. What I want assurance about is not that I’m capable of being perfect but that someone will catch me when I fall.
Holley describes what it means to be kind, not nice in chapter 32.
Nice is easy for me. It covers up hurts and avoids conflict. It wants to please. It pretends to be fine.
Kind has the courage to speak the truth in love. It seeks the highest good for both people.
And that’s the thing. Sometimes for me, being kind doesn’t feel nice.
And I realize that maybe when the shaking of truth causes all the dust particles to show up in the light of the sun as it gets in my eyes, it’s actually better than leaving the rug alone to let the dirt sit.
So let’s find the courage to be more than simply nice and instead be truly kind. This is not the choice of wimps; it is the choice of warriors. Having a soft heart in a hard world is courage not weakness. We’re stronger than we know, braver than we think and the universe needs true, audacious kindness more than ever.
I can look in the mirror now and see Fiercehearted staring back at me. Because I see life is about becoming and the process is continual. I no longer have to want it. I just have to claim its name tag and wear it.