You are a Fierce Hearted Woman
Do you want to be a fierce hearted woman? I know I do.
A Fierce Hearted Woman . . .
Looks life in the face and says, “You can’t beat me.”
Knows love is risk but reaches out anyway.
Understands kindness takes real courage.
Believes the impossible.
Fights like she’s unstoppable.
Dares to find beauty in a ragged soul.
Scandalously picks warm over cool.
Tastes life as a brief, salty-sweet miracle.
Skins her knees, has scars that bear witness.
Defends like a warrior and weeps like a girl.
Makes gentle the new strong, small the new big,
ordinary the new extraordinary.
Sees wrinkles on a face as lines in a victory story.
Never gives in, never gives up, never lets go.
Chases Jesus with a tender, world-changing wildness.
Lives in your neighborhood or not even on your continent.
Looked back at you from the mirror this morning . . .
And has yet to fully see the force her star-scattering,
mountain-moving, water-walking God created her to be.
I just love this description by Holley Gerth in her newest book, Fierce Hearted: Live Fully, Love Bravely. What I love most about this book is how Holley openly shares about her struggles in this book. Through her vulnerability, she encourages us to be bold and authentic too. Honestly, there are so many nuggets of truth in her book but I want to highlight a couple of my favorites.
First, Holley shares in detail about her struggle with anxiety. Interestingly, she shares that people will say to her, “Holley, you seem to balance it all. I want to know your secret.” She says that this statement is inaccurate and in her book, she decides to publicly share about her struggles. She talks about her 4 biggest anxiety enemies: shame, guilt, perfectionism and fear. I know I struggle with some of these too. She gives some excellent examples of each of them; ideas of what they would be whispering in the back of her mind. For example: “shame: you didn’t talk enough to your relatives last weekend while you were visiting them. If you really loved people, if you really were a good Christian, then instead of going to bed early, you would have stayed up with them. Selfish.” How many of us have had some internal dialogue that left us feeling shameful, fearful, guilty or left us struggling with perfectionism? I love how she vulnerably shares; it allows me to honestly take inventory on my life and see where I struggle too. Then she says something that I just love. “Let’s make this our declaration: instead of trying to have it all together, we will dare to do real, messy, imperfect life all together.” Wow- I think there is such freedom in being real, messy and imperfect! No pretending, no trying to photoshop ourselves to look better than we are, but instead just being the authentic you and the authentic me: We are Fierce Hearted Women!
Secondly, Holley encourages us to remember this phrase: “you’re not the only one.” So many times, we think we are the only ones struggling with life, struggling with parenting, struggling with our reactivity, struggling with _________ (you fill in the blank)… But this is not true. Listen to what Holley says, “Thankfully, Jesus has been showing me that we are all more alike than different. We are all broken. We are all beautiful. We are all in need of grace.” Wow- so powerful! Just think how amazing it would be if we extended grace before judgment!
Holley shares to a group of women, “We need to stop believing the lie that we’re the only one. Look around this room.
You’re not the only one who has struggled with an addiction
You’re not the only one whose heart has been shattered by divorce.
You’re not the only one who wonders if God is still listening.
You’re not the only one who desperately needs a night away from dirty laundry and loud children.”
Some of the most powerful words we can speak to someone is “Me too”. To know we are not alone in our struggles brings healing and community. I just love these words: “You are not the only One”. I pray you can remember these words when you are struggling in your different roles as either wife, mom, friend, daughter, sister, co-worker… I love how Holley wraps her message to the group of women. She says, “That is what community means- it’s saying even if the specifics of our lives and stories are different, we both understand what it means to be human and we choose to do that with each other rather than apart.” I just love this- our stories are different, our struggles are different but instead of comparing or judging, we are going to extend love and grace! We are Fierce Hearted Women!
Lastly, at the end of the book, Holley has a chapter called “What I Know Now.” She says, there are some things I wish someone had told myself back when I graduated college so she decides to write a letter to the younger version of herself. I cannot share the whole letter with you because it is long. However, it is packed full of nuggets of truth, so I will end today sharing with you some of my favorite sections of her letter.
Dear Younger Me,
You are 22 and it feels like you know everything. When you are 38, you will think you know nothing at all. What’s actually true is probably somewhere in the middle. So let’s just make a deal that we’ll always keep learning.
You are fixated on the starting line of your career. But moving forward is not really about getting a job. You already have a job. It is to become all God created you to be. You’ve had it since you drew in your first breath and you’ll have it until you release your last. Everything in between is just about assignments, different experiences that will help with the becoming.
It is okay to have a lot to do, especially if it aligns with who you’re created to be and what you’re called to accomplish. This is not the same as being busy. There is one question that can help us tell the difference. We can ask, “Am I doing this out of fear or out of love?”
Worry is as hurtful as a habit as drinking too much or smoking and is just as likely to kill you. As you, sweet girl, are a ten packs a day worrier. I’ll let you in on a little secret- almost none of the things you worry about are going to happen. And the very, very few that do are going to turn out to be the doors to some of God’s most beautiful and healing work in your life.
Finally, you are actually quite wonderful. This isn’t something you can see yet or anything you even feel most days. Have the courage to start believing it anyway, because contrary to what you fear, it will humble you. It will make you lift your hands in praise to the One who made you. And then extend those same hands to bless those around you. This does not seem like it would be true, but in the upside-down kingdom, it is so.
I’m cheering for you.
I just loved this- I am hoping to sit down and write a letter to the younger me too! We are all works in progress! Embrace who God created you to be! Remember you are not alone in your struggles! Be Real! Be Authentic! And don’t ever forget: You are a Fierce Hearted Woman!!!
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