Michelle Assad’s Breaking Cover: Gratitude Amid the Struggle

I’ve heard of people saying how grateful they were for difficult trials, and honestly, I never really understood this. Were they kidding themselves, in denial or flat out lying through their teeth? But when I read Michelle Rigby Assad’s book, Breaking Cover, a memoir of a southern bell turned CIA agent, I really believed her.

In her book, Michelle talks about how difficult it was being in the war-zone for ten straight years. When people around her were getting assignments in vacation-type places, she was dodging bombs and bullets and working with dangerous people. Interestingly, she said these perilous circumstances were a gift that honed her natural abilities and talents, and ultimately, prepared her for a great mission in her life: saving 149 Christians.

At first, each chapter felt like nice, little packets of digestible life lessons. And the cynic in me said, ‘Hello Michelle, life is not that neatly packaged; it’s messy; it’s overwhelming, and sometimes, there are no answers to questions that we desperately long to know.’

But I haven’t been able to stop thinking about her book. I think what struck me most was that she was so sincere, and I felt I was in the presence of someone who savored life and looked for something precious in whatever circumstances she was in. With that example, I found myself digging deeper, beyond the pain and hurt in my own life, in search of my own precious gifts, and I was reminded again just how many there were.

So my little packet of digestible life lesson for today is this: each moment of our lives, good or bad, is a great gift. But especially in the fiery furnace of affliction, our souls are most malleable, capable of becoming something even greater than what we can perceive in ourselves, if we are willing to rise to the challenge. If it can turn a southern bell into a top CIA agent, maybe it can also turn each of us into whatever you and I are meant to become.

Happy searching, dear friends!


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Top says:

    You are so right! One of my favorite memories was hiking through the mountains in the freezing November rain, completely soaking wet!

  2. dennessee says:

    I have heard a lot about Breaking Cover, it sounds like a good read. Your post makes me think of a hike I went on in the rain in pursuit of a waterfall. We walked through really rugged, very rocky terrain where most of the trail looked more like a river. I was beginning to doubt that there really was a waterfall or that I really cared to see more water since I was cold and dripping in the rain. When we finally got to the waterfall it was so amazing, I wondered why I had let the journey bother me, because it seemed so worth it to see the waterfall. I wonder if the Waterfall would have felt so spectacular if the trail there had been easy and required little of those that made the effort to see it. I have been to other waterfalls, that were accessible very public, usually a lot of people were around, you couldn’t really get close to the falls, just take pictures from a distance. The challenge changes the experience.

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