When I heard that Holley Gerth was going to be a guest on See Hear Love, I knew I had to be in the studio to see her. I loved her previous books, especially, Do You Know You’re Already Amazing, and I wanted to hear about her newest book, Fiercehearted.
Holley was charming and self-deprecating and all of the things you’d expect her to be. When asked about her mindset when she started to write the book, she laughed and said that she derives great comfort from the fact that – in scripture – “God spoke through a donkey.” Of course, her humility is not necessary as her wildly popular books are beautifully written and packed with wisdom: a donkey she is not.
Holley’s publicist sent me a copy of Fiercehearted after the show taped and I devoured it immediately. It’s one of the best books I’ve read all year.
It is not the book I expected, as a follow-on to her other books. Gerth – a counselor and life coach by background – is known for her practical and humourous approaches to applying scriptural wisdom to one’s life. Fiercehearted is raw and personal: Ann Voskamp meets Anne Lamott. My copy is dogeared and underlined: the spine cracked wide like Gerth’s heart.
On the show, Gerth said the process of writing this book was different. She admitted that this was the first time she ever missed a deadline with her publisher. She struggled with what to write about, and God kept urging her to write about her own life and to be more open and revelatory than she’d ever been before. This is not an easy thing for a deep introvert who does not like the spotlight.
But the whole point of being Fiercehearted is to show up where we are needed and to push past the fear. So – as she said on the show– “I wrote it messy and I wrote it broken, because it’s not about me.” And the result is breathtakingly beautiful.
Gerth shares her experiences with infertility and depression, and describes how God showed up for her even when she felt at her most broken. The whole idea behind Fiercehearted is to push through your fears to live more fully and love more bravely. She urges us to keep our hearts open and love like Jesus even when we are tired, hurt, and afraid. In the book, she reminds us that Eve was born to be a helper or ezer, a Hebrew terms connoting strength in battle. We were never meant to play timid.
Her book begins and ends with a manifesto, crafted during an emotional trip on a plane. The manifesto invites the fiercehearted woman – all of us – to “fully see the force her star-scattering, mountain moving, water-walking God created her to be.”
Amen to that.