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No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending Paperback – January 10, 2017
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How we grieve is directly related to how we heal. Esther Fleece introduces the language of lament and argues persuasively that this is a prayer God never ignores. No More Faking Fine is a book for anyone wrestling with the unavoidable tension created when the faithful suffer. (Andy Stanley, communicator, author, and pastor)
For many of us, when someone asks how we’re doing, our automatic response is “fine”---even when we aren’t. Esther Fleece transparently shares her story of “faking fine” until she couldn’t anymore---and how God has brought emotional healing as she learned to stop pretending. This is an encouraging and helpful book. (Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family)
No More Faking Fine deepened and solidified my understanding of bringing God into every part of my life, especially when it comes to difficulties and grief. I know this will help heal, challenge, and encourage people wherever they are in life. This is such a needed book for our time! (Rachel Cruze, #1 New York Times bestselling author and personal finance expert)
In a culture full of facades, Esther Fleece unpacks the vital and overlooked role of honest lament in our complete healing from life’s harshest storms. No More Faking Fine leads us on a biblical yet scarcely traveled road, where God meets us in the midst of our deepest pain, in ways unlike any we could possibly experience in our greatest victories. (Benjamin Watson, National Football League tight end and author)
Esther Fleece exposes her personal pain to us in this book. She exposes what that pain did to distort her reality and shift her from truly trusting that God is near. Her pain forced her to the Scriptures, and the Scriptures exposed a way through the pain. This book is a gift to be led through the Word in this way---to be encouraged to give voice to our destructive thoughts and memories, to receive permission to let it all out to God. There is no judgment of our hurt or our painful experiences. All are worthy to be heard by God. Thank you, Esther, for sharing your story and teaching us to be free to lament. (Sarah and Matthew Hasselbeck, ESPN analyst and retired NFL quarterback)
Many days, it just feels easier to fake being fine. Esther Fleece’s powerful voice for lament, beautifully told through her splintered story, allures me into authenticity before God. She invites us to this ancient, yet out-of-fashion way and introduces another side of God to those of us who are hungry for more than those pat answers to what aches within our insides. (Sara Hagerty, author of Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet)
Esther Fleece’s powerful story encourages us to be honest to God and to each other. Life isn’t easy in a world under the curse, nor does God intend it to be. The poison of prosperity theology has set up countless Christians for disillusionment because they’ve been told they’re supposed to always be healthy, wealthy, successful, popular, and “just fine.” As Esther demonstrates, we need the authenticity of David and the prophets and Paul and, above all, Jesus, recognizing that God will be with us when our hearts are broken. He can infuse us with joy even when we are suffering. One day, God’s children will “live happily ever after.” Until that day comes, let’s give ourselves and each other permission to grieve and feel pain, loss, and discouragement. In other words, let’s quit faking fine so we can gladly embrace together the comfort of Jesus. (Randy Alcorn, founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries and author of Heaven and Happiness)
Esther Fleece writes an authentic and vulnerable book that we all need to read. Esther helps us to recover the language and practice of lament. This is for anyone who has been disappointed in life but is determined to overcome and live honestly and sincerely. (Brady Boyd, pastor of New Life Church, Colorado Springs, and author of Speak Life and Addicted to Busy)
I have walked with Jesus my entire adult life and never read anything so powerful calling us to lament. Esther Fleece is the real deal. Her life is a genuine lament of brokenness and celebration of God’s redemption. (Dr. Juli Slattery, president of Authentic Intimacy)
Esther Fleece is a gift to the church. No More Faking Fine is just the book many Christians need to understand the biblical call to lament. The only way out of the valley of sorrow is through the path of lament. Let Fleece be your guide on the journey to joy. (Phillip Bethancourt, executive vice president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC))
Dear reader: This book is your permission. To hurt, to cry, to scream, to grieve, to feel. And on the other side of that lament is a journey more beautiful---and a God more near---than you could have ever imagined. (Allison Trowbridge, author of Twenty-Two)
I need this book. We need this book. We are a people who live in a world of increasing virtual reality, honing to a fine art the wearing of masks. God is calling us, through the tragedy of Esther Fleece’s story, to a contrite and humble lament. He is calling His people to weep before Him because their own brokenness and the brokenness of the world around them is so tragically not what it should be. It is only in this true honesty before God that we will find the comfort of His grace and peace and our eventual healing. (Dr. Del Tackett, creator of Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project)
Esther Fleece truly displays the courage of her biblical namesake in this book. Expressing grief, pain, and doubt can be dangerous in our current culture, even in the church. She brilliantly lays out the case for choosing vulnerability rather than inauthenticity and demonstrates how God’s glory is revealed through every aspect of the human experience, including---maybe especially---lament. (Kirsten Haglund, political analyst and commentator, Miss America 2008)
No More Faking Fine is a desperately needed book, helping all Christians who have felt obligated to hide their hurt, pain, grief, and rejection and put on a fake happy face. This book provides a pathway to experiencing the joy and peace that come with being honest with God and with each other about our inner pain and grief. Well done! (Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary)
In this much-needed book, Esther Fleece provides an honest account of her journey toward the biblical practice of lamenting. Learning the language of lament can be difficult, but Esther writes as a friend linking arms and walking alongside the reader in a journey of discovery. The pages of this book are drenched in Scripture, which encouraged my awareness that I am permitted to lament and sharpened my understanding of God and his character. Esther’s undeniable affection for the Bible and her firm hold on what God says in his Word are affirming. She reminds us that when we are in unstable times, we have a firm foundation to turn to in God’s Word. (Lauren Green McAfee, corporate ambassador for Hobby Lobby and third-generation member of the Hobby Lobby Green family)
Esther Fleece has always been a voice of encouragement and hope to me and many others. In No More Faking Fine, she brings hope by courageously pulling back the curtain on her life and guiding us through the valley of tears. The result is a recovery of lament as a form of praise and a pathway to hope. To lament is to bear witness to a God who sees and hears, heals and answers---a God who will one day wipe away every tear and make all things new. (Glenn Packiam, lead pastor of New Life Downtown, Colorado Springs)
Esther Fleece and I have shared many lamenting moments through the years, and I’m thrilled she is now sharing her journey with such honesty and wisdom. Yes, heartache is real, but so is redemption, and on these pages, you’ll see how these two can coexist in a way that feels more like a gift than a cross. (Lynette Lewis, speaker and author of Climbing the Ladder in Stilettos)
About the Author
Esther Fleece is an international speaker and writer on Millennials and faith, leadership, and family, recognized among Christianity Today’s “Top 50 Women Shaping the Church and Culture” and CNN’s “Five Women in Religion to Watch.” As founder and CEO of L&L Consulting, she works to connect influential individuals and organizations to their mutual benefit. You can follow Esther’s global adventures on Twitter @EstherFleece and at www.estherfleece.com.
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Esther offers readers an authentic glimpse at a life of faith. By sharing her own story and journey, she gives readers a language for the raw emotions that we might otherwise try to bury. She honestly and candidly reveals her own discovery of how lament not only renews and restores our OWN faith, but empowers us to help others find restoration as well.
If you’ve spent any time stuffing your emotions or just trying to move forward and get past a hurt of any kind, Esther dedicates an entire section of her book to learning to lament honestly. It’s permission to own your pain, not to wallow in it, but to own it and talk to God about it. Take the time to care for yourself by learning to lament honestly so that you can heal, and you can move on.
“Lamenting is actually a testimony of God’s great love for us. It demonstrates that we have a God who listens to us, a God who hears us, and a God who concerns Himself with every area of our lives, both big and small.” — Esther Fleece, No More Faking Fine
I appreciate the openness and vulnerability of Esther in this book. She talks about the importance of lament, forgiveness and community in the process of healing. She points us to Scripture as well as ways to walk toward healing in our own lives. God used this book and the message to aid me on my own journey of lament even though it is much different. I am grateful to Esther for her courage in writing this book and her faithfulness to draw attention to the Savior.