No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending
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No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending

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Product Description

How are you doing? Do you feel pressure to answer "fine" all the time---whether you're really OK or not? Fleece believes this common impulse is misguided---and equips Christians with tools to honestly communicate and cope with life's pain, grief, and trials. Discover prayers that God will never ignore, silence, or waste---by learning the biblical language of lament.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 192
Vendor: Zondervan
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.40 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0310344751
ISBN-13: 9780310344759

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Publisher's Description

If you’ve ever been given empty clichés during challenging times, you know how painful it can feel to be misunderstood by well-meaning people. Far too often, it seems the response we get to our hurt and disappointment is to suck it up, or pray it away. 

But Scripture reveals a God who meets us where we are, not where we pretend to be.

 

No More Faking Fine is your invitation to get gut-level honest with God through the life-giving language of lament. Lament, a practice woven throughout Scripture, is a prayer that God never ignores, never silences, and never wastes. As author Esther Fleece says, "Lament is the unexpected pathway to true intimacy with God, and with those around us."

Esther learned this the hard way, by believing she could shut down painful emotions that haunted her from a broken past she tried to forget on her fast track to success. But in silencing her pain, she robbed herself of the opportunity to be healed. Maybe you’ve done the same. 

No More Faking Fine is your permission to lament—to give voice to the hurt, frustration, and disappointment you’ve kept inside and silenced for too long. Drawing from careful biblical study and hard-won insight, Esther reveals how to use God’s own language to draw closer to Him as He leads us through any darkness into His marvelous light.

Author Bio

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.

Editorial Reviews

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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.

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  1. Kris Bush
    Orlando, FL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Good, relatable Book
    April 17, 2017
    Kris Bush
    Orlando, FL
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: female
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    She hits raw parts, the vulnerable parts that I dare not show to the outside world of how things can look fine and not really be fine.

    The book starts off with Esther's life story, helping the reader to get some context for what she states and how raw she really is in sharing that you don't need to fake being ok.

    Esther then goes on to share what lamenting really is. It's giving yourself time to hurt and feel the pain. It's a prayer to God to share the depths of your heart's cry. As author Esther Fleece says, Lament is the unexpected pathway to true intimacy with God, and with those around us.

    When we can be honest with our feelings in prayer, we can get an honest type of comfort from the Holy Spirit, which can then lead to healing and wholeness. And that is more important than the facade we put up to say we're okay when we really aren't.

    I think this is book best read when you're in this place of drowning and faking fine. Because that's when you're best to understand and relate. (my opinion).

    I did receive this book for free from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.
  2. Bethany
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Embracing Your Laments
    March 20, 2017
    Bethany
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    We all know the drill. When you get asked how you are doing the common answer is, "I'm fine." Our society has become numb to the feelings of others and a current problem in the church, while not in all churches, is that we don't want to address anyone else's lamenting.

    In No More Faking Fine Esther Fleece embraces the fact that to really move on past certain things in our lives, we must take the time to lament about them. If we don't address them, we can never fully move past and move on. No more shutting down how we feel. It's time to embrace our emotions.

    What I loved about this book is that she encourages the reader to feel how we truly feel. Literally, there is no more faking fine because we all know this is just a facade. Fleece gives you permission to really dig deep into how you really are, how you are really feeling at this point in time. She even talks about the fact that there is a book in the bible titled, Lamentations, but yet we continue to pretend we are ok. We especially have this problem when we are in church because we don't want others to see our flaws and chinks.

    If there is one book I would suggest that every. single. woman reads, it would be No More Faking Fine. Because...let's be honest...women are the ones who have perfected faking fine and almost created an art of it. It's time for that to be done. It's time for us to be who we really are and embrace our real feelings.

    This is the best book I have read so far this year!

    (Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
  3. bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Being honest with God, others, ourselves
    February 7, 2017
    bookwomanjoan
    Oak Harbor, WA
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Many feel they need to fake feeling fine at church. Fleece says it's time to set aside that performance. She gives us permission to grieve and lament, something often deliberately missing from our Christian life. Rather than hiding our pain, we have permission to feel it all and express it honestly to God through prayer. (41)

    Fleece shares her own story with the aim of encouraging us to be honest in our story too. Being told to suck it up at a young age, she did that and was successful at faking fine. She climbed the corporate ladder. At age 30, however, she walked away from it all and spent two years facing her relationship with God. Having hit rock bottom, she discovered lament. We can lament something in the past to receive healing in the present. (59)

    I am impressed with Fleece's book. She shows that thinking we should have a fine life is really unbiblical. It is an unrealistic expectation that ended up making me feel disengaged from God and disappointed in Him, she writes. (34) God wants to hear about our pain.

    I like Fleece sharing the difficulty of making herself vulnerable to God, being unsure of His thoughts toward her. She thought He might be withholding good things from her. Her honesty is amazing. I've gone through times, she writes, when it seemed as if God's plans were not prospering me at all; in fact, it felt like they were hurting me. (100)

    I highly recommend this book to anyone ready to quite faking it, quit pretending that all is fine. You'll get great encouragement by instruction and by example. I also recommend this book to church leaders. Fleece encourages leaders to make time for lament in church services, noting it is the pathway to real healing.

    Here are a few quotes to give the idea of the depth of Fleece's book.

    When we fake fine, we fake our way out of authentic relationship with God, others, and ourselves. (37)

    The greatest gift that has come from my suffering is a deeper understanding of the character of God and His thoughts toward me. (103)

    Lament gives us the language to name the weight of our own sins and the wounds from others, so we might look to Jesus to transform our hearts. (170)

    I received a complimentary copy of this book through Icon Media. My comments are an independent and honest review.
  4. pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Free to Fake no More
    February 6, 2017
    pastor2519
    West Point, UT
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: male
    Quality: 0
    Value: 0
    Meets Expectations: 0
    Sometimes you stumble on a book that you can hardly finish because after the first or second chapter you can think of at least three people that you want to share it with. No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending, (Zondervan 2017) is that book. Esther Fleece had it made, except for one little thing. Her perfect life was a sham. On the outside, everything was wonderful, but on the inside, everything was falling apart.

    Esthers story has so many levels and layers that its hard to know where to begin. But two things stood out for me: the first is Lament, and the next is forgiveness.

    Lets start with lament. Admit it, its hard to be mad at God, especially when everyone is telling you to suck it up, to get over it. But when we turn to the Psalms, there are so many examples of what it means to turn to God when things turn sour. Individuals poured out their heartache, their heartbreak, their grief and sorrow to God. And so did the nation called Israel (The Old Testament Israel: the twelve tribes led by the sons of Jacobwhose name had been changed to Israelthis has nothing to do with the 21st century nation state called Israel.)

    Sometimes there is nothing we can do except listen to God as He calls us to Him, as He calls us into a season of Lament. A time when we pull back from the Theater of perfect lives, and let other people, let God speak into our lives. Just like for the Psalmist, just like for Israel, things happen in our lives which we struggle to deal with. We dont understand them, others dont understand them, and as Fleece points out, often our friends follow the example of Jobs friends, they try to come up with a reason. Sometimes we just have to accept the fact that the reason is that we live in a fallen world and is not because God is mad at us. (see page 120).

    And as we go through the season of Lament, the desert experience that many Christians know all too well, the bonus is often that we learn about forgiveness. And forgiving equals freeing. Forgiveness is freedom.

    I want to give this book to several people who are struggling with these issues, but I want to read it again and again.

    I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

    5/5
  5. Sunshine_B.
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    It's Okay Not to be Okay
    January 30, 2017
    Sunshine_B.
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    No More Faking Fine is a book that makes it okay not to be okay! Esther beautifully writes and shares her story of coming to a place of lament. Knowing that God WANTS our laments is something the church doesn't readily teach. I felt that this book was bold yet comforting to know that God doesn't shy away from our mess. He meets us right where we are. Where we are weak, He is strong!
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