He said those six words with far more confidence than I felt. I wasn’t sure I believed him. Moments later, we’d record what would be the first of the podcasts and radio interviews I’d conduct for this new book, the one he’d already read.
For weeks I’d been in knots about this new book, knowing I shared more of my faith struggle within these hard-earned pages than I ever had before. In fact, the first few pages alone would be hard for some to swallow. They revealed enough to make me want to hide in a cave somewhere high in the Rocky Mountains and start a new, more anonymous life as a berry-eating, rabbit-hunting hermit.
Oh, God. What did I do? Did I make a mistake? Did I share too much? I didn’t hide anything, and you know how ugly it’s been. How complicated and bloody and hard. Did I go too far? Will it be too much?
These are the questions that have been rumbling around in my gut and my prayers for months, the questions that kept me awake at night and tempted me to slip into a back-peddling and isolating anonymity.
And yet, at the same time, I can not deny that the story I share in Relentless is the very one I believe God led me to tell.
It isn’t a story of my glory, not even close. You may like me less for the reading of it.
It’s a story of His glory. A story of His relentless, unflinching mercy, in spite of me. Which means, regardless of the critic’s assessment, I stand by what I wrote. The rest is up to you to decide.
In the first handful of pages, I wrote these words:
I recognize the risk of disclosing my ugly truth. Some might struggle to understand how I ended up here; others might judge, criticize, and reject. I have enough pride to reconsider. Even so, something far more important than my reputation compels me.
The one who, moments ago, read of my despair and discovered, to your deep relief, you’re not the only one who feels swallowed up by the dark.
You, the one drowning in impossible questions that threaten to take down your faith.
You, the truth seeker who simply wants to know whether the God she’s heard about isn’t an illusion or the product of wishful thinking.
You, the faithful follower who fears that your pain and losses are proof that God is disappointed in you, angry with you, and has left you.
And, yes, for you, the untried Jesus follower who hasn’t yet faced the worst and doesn’t realize she may be walking around theologically off course even now.
This is the necessary and perhaps ambitious quest of this book. To descend into the basement of my faith journey and, hopefully, discover evidence of God’s presence. To scour the sixty-six books of the Bible for glimmers of God’s never-ending desire to be with us. To learn, once and for all, that God doesn’t condemn our questions, doubts, and despair but actually pushes further in, drawing closer still. And to discover, to our deep relief and lasting delight, that God’s greatest desire isn’t to browbeat us into obedience but to woo us with His relentless nearness. (Relentless, Zondervan, 2019)
If any of this speaks to your heart, then I invite you to join me in the launch of my newest book, Relentless: The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves. I’m looking to put together the largest launch team I’ve ever had, full of fellow faith-strugglers who care about shining a bright light in this world’s dark.
For those of you who join the launch team, here’s what you can expect:
- Advanced PDF copy of Relentless
- Access to the exclusive Relentless Launch Team Facebook Group
- LIVE video conversations with me throughout the pre-launch
- Quotes, graphics and other signature Relentless content to share with your people
- Pre-launch community and connection around the themes of Relentless
- Special BOGO BOOK DEAL for Relentless Launch Team members only
- Sweet GIVEAWAYS when we reach our goals!
Want to be a part? This is what you need to do: (1) Click here to complete this simple application form (it will take less than a minute, I promise). (2) Share it on social media and ask your friends to join you.
For those of you who have been part of my previous book launches, you know it’s a unique experience. This community will more than a book promotion—it will be a circle of truth-telling friends. We will diving deep into the message of Relentless, creating community around our shared questions and experiences, and leaning into God’s presence, right here and right now.
Are you in? I’ll see you in the launch team.
I look forward to reading this new Bible Study and seeing how God is going to move through it to me.
Thank you, Deborah. Me too! 🙂
Michele, is the PDF located here?
No, it will be shared with the Launch Team only. You can join the Launch Team and then the Facebook group. We’ll share it soon!
I can’t wait to read Relentless…I really need it. Meanwhile, I am going to start I Am tomorrow as I just found it in my mailbox.. Thank you so much Michelle! <3