Book Review: Breaking Cover

Perhaps winter has dragged on a bit…

and you’re ready for something energizing and exciting to get your heart pumping and the blood flowing through your veins with enthusiasm to feel alive and on purpose again, then I’ve got an answer.  Buy a copy of Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad and read it cover to cover.  Start out intrigued by her subtitle: My secret life in the CIA and what it taught me about what’s worth fighting for, and then become aware of your own heart thumping with a desire to make a difference in this world.

Breaking Cover


Why did I choose this book?

Ever since I was a youngster living in South Florida and heard about members of our local church smuggling Bibles in suitcases behind the Iron Curtain my adventurous heart has been fascinated by spy stories and secret missions.  I remember as a child the FBI coming to our house to question my parents about neighbors and church members who may or may not have been involved in helping a family to seek asylum in the US after walking across the border out of East Germany.

“Those who grew up with me and knew me as a sweet, southern girl are probably still shocked that I would even apply to the CIA.  After all, how could the little ballerina voted homecoming queen – the girl who openly and frequently talked about her faith – get involved in clandestine activities that required such manipulation and deceit?  Michele Rigby, international spy.”  (page 2, Breaking Cover)

These stories thrilled my heart and added fuel to my imagination of possibly one day getting to make a difference by being on mission for Christ.  Since I can’t imagine really getting to be a spy or secret agent missionary in a foreign country, I’ve become an avid fan of TV shows such as Homeland and The Americans.  The mystery and intrigue mixed with a bit of danger and adventure catch and maintain my attention regularly.

So, when I saw a real-life CIA secret agent story in the Christian book offerings I lunged for it. Michele Rigby Assad did not disappoint either.

Was it all training for her assignment as God’s Ambassador?

I’m going to try really hard not to have to give a spoiler alert here.  However, you need to know, you who like me are wondering if you’re everyday life can be used of God to make a difference in this vicious world, YES is the answer!  Yes, her whole life in detail was on purpose, submitted into the hand’s of God, for the big assignment as His Ambassador.

“Was it hard to be a CIA officer with all of the challenges and change that entailed? Yes. Scary? Of course.  But if I was to fulfill my life mission, I had to conquer my instinctual tendeny to freeze in place.  Fear would get me nowhere.  Faith, however, would take me to places I never imagined.”  (Michele Rigby Assad, Breaking Cover, page 88)

Though I’ve finished reading her fantastic tale of small-town Christian girl turned spy working undercover in some of the most dangerous places in the world, I’m still chewing on the enormity and sovereignty of God to work out the details for His greater plan!

No spoiler alert! But you’ve got to get to the end to catch the whole big vision of God. Be encouraged to live even the mundane days of your life on purpose because God’s got an amazing plan. Ordinary people do extraordinary things under God’s authority!

“Looking back, there is so much I couldn’t see clearly – until now.  From the very beginning, God had been guiding my every step, all with this end in mind.  He instilled in me the gifts of empathy, intuition, and the ability to read human behavior that would be necessary not only to excel in counterterrorism, but more importantly, to discern the Hamads amidst a sea of Christian converts in Erbil.”

“He (God) has been firmly in control all along – directing my footsteps and speaking His desires into my heart.  All I had to do was listen and obey.”

(Michele Rigby Assad, Breaking Cover, page 233 &234)

Go read it for yourself…

Eyes on Jesus… you’re shining!