Real Women, Real Life, Real Faith
Life isn’t always sunshine and chocolate.
Being a Christian doesn’t change that.
What is the book about?
In Candid Conversations you’ll read real life stories from real Christian women, and how God has used their struggles to either refine their faith or used their faith to help them weather the storm. From struggling with doubts to dealing with the loss of a loved one, these women lay it all out. They aren’t afraid to get real, because they know God can use their struggles to inspire, encourage, and reach others all for His glory.
Heather Hart, founder of the #CandidlyChristian movement, encourages readers to be honest and look for ways they can relate to each story. Then take that mentality into their everyday lives and start having candid conversations with those around them. Because when we share our struggles, when we are real, that’s when we truly point others to Jesus.
So, what are you waiting for? It’s time to get Candid.
26 Women. 30 Stories. 1 Jesus.
Why did you write this?
This book was written by women for women, because you don’t have to struggle alone.
I remember the first time I realized that other Christian women struggled just like I did—that moment when I realized that I wasn’t struggling alone. It was like a huge burden was lifted.
I wasn’t glad they struggled, but there is something about walking through the trenches with someone else beside you. When you can let your guard down without fear of being judged because you know the ladies sitting next to you really are struggling just like you are. They aren’t going to judge you because they have their own problems. They are just as thankful to have someone to talk to as you are.
That’s why I put Candid Conversations together. Because I know I’m not the only one who has been there. I’m not the only woman who has ever felt like she doesn’t measure up. And when we realize that the women around us are struggling just like we are, and we come together to support and encourage one another, we are so much stronger. There’s a freedom there.
And that’s what God wants for His children. He wants us to do life together, to love one another, bear one another’s burdens, and lift each other up.
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Let’s Be Honest
What is one thing you struggle with as a Christian woman? I asked that question on Facebook one day and the responses started pouring in. One of the first women to comment answered with a question of her own, “Just one?” In fact, most of the women who responded listed multiple struggles in their answers. They ranged from common to tragic. Many women struggled with patience and pride. Some women struggled making friends while others struggled with submission. Some women were struggling with contentment, and others were struggling with commitment. But not a single woman responded saying she didn’t struggle with anything. We all struggle with something. Life. Faith. Family. Work. Love. Learning. PMS. Menopause. It seems like just when we think we have a handle on things, another struggle pops up or an old one resurfaces.
Can I be honest with you? I used to look around at other Christian women in awe, thinking everyone other than me had it all together. That these other women had mastered house cleaning, child-rearing, and life. I thought every woman at my church (besides myself) was a solid Proverbs 31 woman and that at any moment I would be found out. That they would realize what an utter failure I was. The problem with that sort of thinking is that it’s wrong and it’s shallow.
What I have discovered though, is when we take the time to really get to know other women, we realize that all of us have our own share of struggles. Maybe it was immaturity or inexperience on my part not to have realized it sooner, or maybe it’s just the way we portray ourselves to those around us. Because whether it is an instinct or a learned behavior, we women tend to fight our hardest to put our best foot forward. We want others to think we have it all together. At the end of the day, we want others to look at us and think, “Wow, that lady has a ton on her plate, but she gets it done and she looks good doing it.” We wear our “Hot Mess” 1 badges with pride, don’t we ladies?
I am definitely a mess. I have no doubt about that, and I am thankful for clichés like “God can turn our mess into His message,” and “Our mess is His masterpiece.” Sayings such as these don’t just tell me I am not alone in this, they remind me that God’s got this. He is in control. I will never forget the first time I heard another Christian woman confess her struggle with depression. This woman, who I idolized, was a pastor’s daughter. She was super fit and an amazing mom. She had gorgeous hair and trendy clothes. But as she sat there in our Bible study group pouring her heart out, I was stunned. I thought if this amazing lady had issues, maybe I was okay. Maybe it was okay that I had struggles, too. Maybe they wouldn’t snub me if they knew how much I was struggling with life as a stay-at-home mom, or just how many cheerios were under my couch.
I would love to tell you that my struggle with my struggles ended there, but it didn’t. While I learned I could trust that group of women, I thought maybe they were unique. That other women really did have it together, and we were just birds of a feather. I loved their honesty and, for the first time in my adult Christian life, I felt like I belonged. These women became my closest friends. They were my church family in a way I had never experienced before.
Eventually, life happened, and my family and I ended up in a new church. I was in a different Bible study group with new women. These women surely didn’t struggle. The mom’s home that we met in was always spotless. The women took turns bringing snacks and everyone took the time to study the lesson in advance. These women were most definitely Proverbs 31 women. One day I just couldn’t take it anymore. I arrived a bit early and I asked the hostess how she kept her house so clean with children at home, and her answer rocked me to the core. Are you ready for it? She simply said she didn’t. She told me the reason she volunteered to host the study once a week was so she would put the effort in to clean. She confessed that if I would come any other day of the week, or even just a few hours early, that her home wouldn’t be so tidy. Housework was something she struggled with.
1 Dictionary.com defines a Hot Mess as “a person or thing that is a mess, as in being disorganized, confused, or untidy, yet remains attractive or appealing”
About the Author
Heather Hart is an internationally best-selling and award-winning author with an unquenchable passion for Jesus. She knows one thing every girl needs is a little honesty, so she’s not afraid to get candid and share her struggles. Her hope is that through her writing, she can help others soak up the love of Jesus.
Heather currently resides in a small Texas town with her husband, Paul, and their four quickly-growing children. You can connect with her online by visiting her website BooksFaithandCoffee.com.
Connect with the Candid Gals online in the following places:
- Twitter: @CandidGals
- Instagram: CandidlyChristian
- Facebook: CandidlyChristian
- YouTube: CandidlyChristian
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