Tomorrow marks three months since Relentless released into the world. Never have I poured so much of my truest self into a project. In spite of my initial trepidation about such raw transparency, I knew it was absolutely necessary:
People are suffering, Michele. They’re lost in a dark that is taking them down. They think God has left them. If you want to help, you’ll have to walk down into the dark with them.
In a world filled with such pain and complexity, we need more than trite cliches and easy memes. When wrestling with faith in the face of real, hard life, we need something to sink our teeth into, something that will hold up to our questions and doubts and the many circumstances that threaten to take us under. We need someone who will tell us we’re alone.
And so I wrote Relentless. Because, ultimately, this is what I needed, too. For two years I dug deep into my life and faith, including the unspeakable questions and shame-filled doubts I feared made me anything but Christian. However, in the ninety days since release, the messages I’ve received from readers have confirmed my conviction:
Deeply honest. This book offers a lifeline.
Pulled in at the beginning, and never let go.
Worth a second read. And more.
This book has changed the way I look for God.
Thoughtful, biblically sound, and full of hope.
Relentless opened my heart to restoration and hope!
A banqueting table set for a feast …
… Reminds us we don’t ever have to prove ourselves or be good enough.
This is a sampling of the public comments readers have shared with me. As you can imagine, I’ve received even more personal, gut-wrenching private messages. So many of us are suffering. And our shame over our faith questions isn’t doing anything to ease our pain.
That is why I’m committed to doing everything I can to create a safe place to (1) Process our pain and questions, and (2) Provide resources that will help strengthen our faith.
Because of that, I have an announcement. And this announcement comes with a year full of resources that won’t cost you a thing.
Beginning Tuesday, February 25th, I’m releasing a brand new, 15-episode Relentless Podcast and YouTube Conversation. I spent months creating this, and I can not wait to share it with you. Here’s what you need to know:
- Episodes will release one at a time, every two weeks (with a short break in the summer)
- Each of the 15 episodes follows the chapters of Relentless. That means you can read a chapter of the book, and then listen or watch to the associated Relentless Podcast episode to take your experience and the conversation deeper
- The Relentless Podcast provides bonus, behind-the-scenes, and practical content to help support you on your faith journey. This content can’t be found anywhere else.
- Each episode is available in both audio AND video formats, to meet you where you are.
To get access to the Relentless Podcast, here’s what you need to do:
First, mark your calendar for February 25, 2020. It’ll be here before you know it!
Second, subscribe to this blog. It will take you less than a minute, and you’ll received a free download packed with Bible verses for when you need to know God is near. Every time a new episode releases, I’ll let you know with a blog post. It will contain information about the new episode and a thoughtful question for community discussion.
Finally, if you haven’t already, buy the book. You can get Relentless at Barnes & Noble, ChristianBook.com, Amazon or any major book retailer, in person or online. It’s not hard to find. Be sure to purchase the version that serves you best: Paperback, Digital, or Audio. By the way, I recorded the audio, which means it has some persona touches you can’t get elsewhere. Although you can listen to the podcast without the book, the book provides important context.
I’m so excited about the next ten months together. I pray that by the end of our time together through the pages and stories of Relentless, you would discover new hope, a deeper faith, and God who never leaves.
10!! But sometimes I forget.
He has been with me, not just in a “God is always there” way, but in personal, detailed, very specific, “how could this be anything other than God?!” kind of ways through so many of my low spots (and high spots) — even when I didn’t necessarily recognize it at the time.
Praise Jehovah forever! He is truly grace and mercy and love.
Scale of 1-10 about 5. My father never thought I was his and didn’t really show love. I was expected to always be perfect and if I wasn’t I was punished while siblings did not have that pressure on them.
Marital betrayal and addiction caused me to further belief i am not worthy or must prove myself. I like to remind myself of the verse “study to show thyself approved”. (Don’t remember exact verse but can find it.). Because I haven’t spent a lot of time studying I believe I am not approved my God. Such a vicious cycle. I love the Lord and I have been reminding myself of Ephesians 3:14-19 but old thoughts seem to win more than new thoughts.
I want to be 100% confident but I am not. I believe for others but not for me.
Probably a 7. Sooo many unanswered prayers At the moment I am railing against God but trying so hard to trust in Him at the same time. For three years I had prayed with absolute trust that a certain health condition would not yet again reek havoc on my life and for three years I trusted so much, more than I have ever been able to before but found out last week that It was back (not cancer, but am 5 years down the track from breast cancer) It has been such a blow and I simply don’t understand 🙁
10! Ever since I was a little kid sitting in Catholic mass every Sunday I was moved to tears by God in many ways every week. Then, I didn’t understand why. I thought I was weak that I cried or at least heavily teared up every Sunday. Through my early 20s and a bought with heavy drinking I saw God save me at least a handful of times. Literally save my life. As I got older I chose non denominational Christian over the Catholic Church. At 48 I was diagnosed with colon cancer unexpectedly with no symptoms. He led me to the path of diagnosis; which had I ignored, I honestly don’t know if I would still be here as per what the doctors told us. There is no doubt in my mind that God was with me then and still, I see him work in my life all the time. I feel very lucky, grateful and blessed not only to be here but to know He is with me all the time. If I know nothing else, I KNOW this.
My faith and belief in God is an unshakeable 10. …
I met God face to face ten years ago when I died. I did not know it, but I had a brain tumor. I was on retreat at the Monastery with which I am affiliated, in the Chapel, when I simply … died. We were reciting the Magnificat in unison when, one breath to the next, I was with God. I was at the center of the universe. I was with God, surrounded by a heavenly choir. And then … I opened my eyes and was in the chapel. The Abbott was cradling my head and he said to me, “you weren’t breathing!” …
Later, my medical team discovered the brain tumor. My life since then has been a labyrinth of surgeries, disability, chronic illness and pain. But my faith in God is deep and abiding. I am grateful. I am in awe.
I know He loves me – 10. I don’t feel His love very often – 4.
I was raped by my dad ages 2-3 y/o and yes, I remember it. It causes Complex-PTSD and damages the brain at that point. I was raised by my grandma who died soon after I was 4 years old and no one took her place. I was #4 of 4 kids and I guess my mom was too busy. I have treatment-resistant MDD, anxiety, the C-PTSD, PTSD, and a ton of infertility issues when my 1 dream in life was to have a lot of kids. Our 2 are adults on their own but are hurt by my years of depression. My husband of almost 37 years is weary! I’m mad at myself for taking 40 years to draw the line and quit trying with my parents. Dad is dead now and Mom is 94. I don’t have contact; she can’t remember anyway. But yes, at 94, she follows me on IG!
Michelle, I’m so excited for this. To read the book “with” you and dive in deep will be so so good.