03 September 2018

Relatable, Thought-Provoking & Genuine | The Struggle Is Real: Getting Better at Life, Stronger in Faith, and Free From the Stuff Keeping You Stuck by Nicole Unice

ABOUT THE BOOK

“It just shouldn’t be this hard!”

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had a day where everything that could go wrong does go wrong—you lock your keys in the car while it’s running, lose control with your kids, make a mistake at the office that results in hours more work. And just when you think not one more thing could possibly happen . . . well, fill in the blank.

The struggle is real, friends. It may not be major stuff. Lives are not on the line here. But it makes us feel awful . . . and then we feel guilty for stressing when other people have “real” problems that are so much more serious.

Yet the fact remains: We live in a world that often feels harder than we think it should be. And so it can be easy to believe the stories we tell ourselves—that we’re doing it wrong, that we’ll be stuck in this place forever, that God doesn’t love us. We struggle to practice gratitude, to make godly choices, and to live our daily lives with confidence and contentment. So what can we do?

Join popular Bible teacher and counselor Nicole Unice to discover why the struggle is real . . . and what to do about it. Nicole offers practical tools to help you navigate the daily ups and downs, and ways to rewrite your struggle into a new, God-centered life story. The Struggle Is Real is an invitation to take the hard, hurtful, and confusing moments and turn them into opportunities to grow in wisdom, strength, and joy.

Publisher: Tyndale Momentum
Release Date: August 21, 2018


MY REVIEW

I’m pretty sure I don’t know anyone who would disagree that life is a struggle sometimes—which is why Nicole Unice’s The Struggle Is Real is such a gem of a book. Throughout the book, Unice addresses what to do when the struggle of life makes everything feel wrong and hopeless, detracting from who God is and what He wants for the people He loves. It’s relatable, thought-provoking, and genuine while offering practical applications grounded in biblical truth. I enjoyed reading The Struggle Is Real and definitely recommend it.

★★★★

Thanks to Celebrate Lit, I received a complimentary copy of The Struggle Is Real and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Unice is a Bible teacher, author, and passionate communicator who delights in bringing God’s Word to life in a personal and relevant way. Her training as a counselor informs her work, as she emphasizes the importance of facing our own reality and embracing the transforming power of God’s grace.

Her heart belongs to Hope Church in Richmond, Virginia, where she serves as ministry director, leading discipleship and Praxis, a full-time ministry residency program for young leaders. In addition, Nicole co-hosts Hope Cast, a podcast on spiritual formation, leadership, and relationships.

Nicole’s invitations to speak have taken her across the world, and her books come to life through her popular video curriculum series found on RightNow Media. Her first book, She’s Got Issues, released in May 2012 and speaks to a fundamental question of faith: Is being a Christian supposed to change me? Also available is a companion curriculum, She’s Got Issues DVD Group Experience, a six-session journey that includes interviews, questions, and teaching expanding on the book. Her subsequent titles—Brave Enough and The Struggle Is Real—help people distill the complicated stuff of life into a simple and clear path to Jesus.

Nicole holds degrees from the College of William and Mary and from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She loves creating a space for ministry and spiritual formation in the everyday rhythms of life with three children, two pups, one husband, and a whole community of twentysomethings who regularly raid her fridge.

Nicole is known for making friends in all corners of the world, especially via social media. Connect with her on Instagram, YouTube, or at nicoleunice.com—and hopefully face-to-face at one of her upcoming events.

GUEST POST FROM THE AUTHOR

There’s a question we throw around that I bet means a whole lot more than we would expect. How many times a week—or a day!–are you asked:

“How are you?”

I don’t know about you, but the answer I hear and give the most is something like …. ”fine”, or —“busy but good!”? It’s kind of the socially acceptable answer, right?

A friend asked me this question just this week as I walked into work. I was multitasking as usual while knee deep into a cell phone conversation about yet another problem. I didn’t answer her, because if I did—if I really stopped and answered—I might have started crying, right there on the spot. My lips formed the word “fine” when in reality, I was anything but—at least not in that moment. And life doesn’t always stop long enough to give a real answer….

But isn’t “fine” the socially accepted answer because it works….or does it?

The reality is, we are all struggling, to different degrees and complexity levels, each and every day. The Struggle IS Real, and when you add up both the little and big daily struggles, it’s easy to understand why this hashtag social media rockstar exists—over 3 million deep at #thestruggleisreal.

But if we dig a little deeper into this common complaint, we might discover a much more sinister root—and real help toward freedom and wisdom in Christ.

In my newest book, The Struggle is Real, that’s what I’ve done. I address issues like:
  • Life is much harder than I thought it would be, and I feel bad saying it.
  • There are some things about myself that I can’t change…it’s just how I am, and it frustrates me.
  • I really don’t know if God is interested in my life, and even if He is, I don’t know how to hear from Him.
(and if you are wondering how real your struggle is, I’ve included a Good Life Inventory on p. 14!)

I wrote this book because I know how real the struggle truly is—and I want us to discover the true source of the answer to these age-old problems. My hope is to take my readers through a journey into this gap between our “just fine” lives and the truly good lives we are seeking and are hungry for. To offer hope that we can live the best life we can, this side of heaven.

Yep, the struggle is definitely real. But the struggle can also start the story. It can motivate us to rewrite our lives into a new story. The struggles can lead us to a new source of hope and freedom, and somehow, even the worst of life can become a place of strength and growth. The struggle is real. And the struggle can be good.

GIVEAWAY


To celebrate her tour, Nicole is giving away a grand prize of a “The Struggle is Real” T-Shirt!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Enter below.

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