Unice, ministry director of Hope Church in Richmond, Va., takes the popular hashtag #thestruggleisreal as the jumping-off point for this forceful and reassuring discussion of the incapacitating nature of angst. Instead of getting caught up in little moments of struggle, Unice writes, readers would be better served considering how small moments of discomfort reflect larger concerns. Unice argues that overcoming the feeling of constant struggle only comes by bridging “the disconnect between what I believe and how I act, how I understand the promises of God and my actual experience with God . . . between who I want to be and who I actually am.” Sharing her personal stories—undergoing a disastrous perm as a teenager, moving to California from the Midwest as an adult—she writes that looking into oneself to discover hard reality, understanding the narratives one creates around one’s history, and then rewriting negative personal stories through the lens of God’s love can be a path to solace. Interspersed with Unice’s story are scriptural readings that focus on the narrative power of Biblical tales and lessons. With energetic style, Unice explores the transformative power of storytelling as a salve for angst in this instructive book for Christian readers.
The disconnect between what we believe and how we act—this changes everything. The Struggle Is Real is a practical guidebook to help us take God at His word and live lives of freedom and power.
Max De Pree used to say that the first task of a leader is to define reality. That is what Nicole Unice has done in The Struggle Is Real. But she doesn’t just define it, she gives us the hope to cope.
I’ve known Nicole Unice for nearly a decade, and I can honestly say that if she’s anything, Nicole is real and she has a real passion for others to embrace how real God can be in their real lives. In The Struggle Is Real, Nicole pours out this passion in an accessible read. Turning these pages is like sitting with a safe friend in a sunny spot and coming away with a refreshed perspective on the real difference God can make in our lives.
Many of us have grown weary of books that offer simplistic steps promising easy transformation. This is not that kind of book. Nicole Unice writes from a deep place of reflection and personal experience about how real is the struggle . . . and how real is the process of true growth and change. I urge you to join her on the journey.
You’re going to love Nicole Unice. She’s bright, funny, observant, honest, and fearless about speaking the truth in love. Her advice in The Struggle Is Real is practical and doable, full of common sense and uncommon wisdom, and her true-to-life stories give each lesson a solid landing place in our hearts. This isn’t a book you simply read; it’s a book you do, with remarkable results.
We live in a day when we Instagram our lives to be perceived as more than mundane. We Pinterest our meals and homes to present a perception of the fabulous life. I’m grateful for Nicole’s book The Struggle Is Real because of the way she uses honesty, humor, and the Word of God to liberate us from the pretense of presenting the perfect life.