I was curious to read Cora Jakes Coleman’s new book, Faithing It after having followed her blog, Fertility Faith and seen her at Woman Thou Art Loosed. My inclination having been that Cora was a quiet storm building on the front of new spiritual voices ready to take center stage. So I was given the opportunity to be a part of her Faithing It official book launch team and in return I received an advanced copy. Disclaimer: I did receive an advanced copy, but it was not in exchange for a positive review so everything that I am going to outline is my opinion. Now whenever someone gives me (or recommends) a book about spiritual growth I always have a moment of pause. The pause is not a hesitation to learn, grow or expand. I’m certain most of us (especially those who are spiritually centered) are eager to reach deeper levels of awareness, higher heights of understanding, and strengthened spiritual fortitude. My pause is because in order for someone to tell me about spiritual growth I want to assess whether they have manifested any spiritual growth in their own life. In order for me to have a takeaway about surviving storms, I would like to be able to see that you have endured a storm and come out on the other side stronger and wiser. We should acknowledge the depth of wisdom that comes from having survived something doesn’t necessarily come with age. Beautifully illustrated by Cora, a young woman talking about spiritual wisdom, growth, and faith with a clarity and poignancy that only comes from having gone through a storm to see the other side. There is no slow build up to the Faithing It message; the book’s introduction holds the following statement “Without a faith fight there cannot be a win.” This may be the touchstone of the book, the reference point that you will have to come back to again as you navigate this manifesto on fighting with faith. Much like how life is often laid out before us, there is a truth that is illuminated within us that must be tested again and again in order for it to be fully engrafted into our belief system. So it is with the truth of this thesis statement of Faithing It. The truth, there will be a win. This is the truth that we must hold onto. As we navigate the uncertainties of life’s battle–our lifeline, there will be a win. Desperately we grasp this truth, fingers clasped tightly to it as a reminder that there is a promise set before us. This touchstone becomes, at times, the only reminder that there was ever a promise. Unless, we become theoretical believers, who believe but never manifest into actuality, there is an equally weighted truth, there will be a faith fight. As true as the promises of God there is the knowledge that a fight is inevitable and our faith is the weapon we wield to win.
It was during one of these inevitable faith fights that I had one of those “aha” moments. In order to know that God is faithful to both His promises and me I have to be willing to be tested. We can’t really call God our Savior if we’re not willing to be in something that we need to be saved from. In Faithing It, Cora addresses the spiritual immaturity (we all have been guilty of) that can lead to unwillingness to endure the process of growth. The subtext simmering below the surface of Cora’s words seems to be, for all those who want a deeper understanding, a higher level of awareness or a keener level of wisdom the equation is simple (not necessarily easy) process+ faith=growth. Cora comes across as equal parts big sister and cheerleader. Her words of encouragement aren’t indifferent didactic speech. Instead, there is an empathetic conversational tone as she begins to talk about the stages of grief that she herself had to go through as a result of her battles, most markedly her battle with fertility. She states, “You have to be willing to sacrifice your own fleshly desires for God’s will for your life.” This mixture of old-school spiritual mother and contemporary innovator is a welcome mix, especially in a current market where everyone is preaching about purpose. Cora has managed to attach herself to this growing movement without sacrificing the principles of God, which include sacrifice. Themes like sacrifice, perspective during denial, and pain are interwoven through refrains of overcoming disappointment, bearing the process and holding the promise. And in the midst of these difficult to absorb subjects Cora is ever chanting, “I am with you,” “You will arise,” “Do not fear,” and “It shall come to pass.”
I recommend this book for many reasons, the most important being the more times there is a clarion call to return to faith the more equipped we are to finish the journey we are called to. I walk away reminded that faith is not a moment, it is an ever evolving ever-growing process by which we cultivate our minds and spirits to be more like the God we follow. That submission to His will and waiting for His guidance is part of a process that was not designed to destroy us but to strengthen us. Faith is both the key and the doorway through which we walk toward power and destiny. Along this journey there are small directional signs that let us know that we’re headed in the right direction, despite how lost we may feel, and I believe that Faithing It by Cora Jakes Coleman is one of those directional signs to let us know that the promise is still ours and that by facing it there will be a win.