For the Woman Who has to be Divorced


I watched him speed down the street, as if he couldn’t get away fast enough and had been awaiting that very moment for a long time.  And maybe he had. I watched him speed off, but turned to go back inside rather than watch him drive away. I had watched him “drive away” for such a long time in our little more than 5 year marriage.

We had started out just fine of course.  We had met at Moody Bible Institute my freshman year of college.   After getting married, he got a job as a youth pastor in Southern California.   I was so excited! This was what I had wanted to do ever since I could remember - work with high schoolers alongside my husband!  Yet, before it felt like I could even live that dream, things began to change. He started becoming like our students, rather than leading them.  He often did things on his own, rather than inviting me along. After awhile, I saw my husbands values, standards and relationship with God slip.  I started praying. I knew my God; I had known Him for a long time and trusted Him. I also knew what He could do. So I started praying that my husband would get God. Four and a half years later, I was still praying- but life had become quite hard for me.  I had seen my youth pastor husband continue to spiral away from God. He had grown too close to some of our female students. When I tried to talk to him about it, he saw it as me not trusting him and it would cause a rift in our relationship. As if interacting with all these girls had not become difficult enough - he had also gotten too close to a leader.  A female leader who was still helping out, at EVERY youth group event.

I got a call at work from my husband one day asking me when I’d be home cause we had to talk.  When I got home, he told me had to resign from his job as a youth pastor. He had gotten too close to some of our female students, as I knew.  What I didn’t know was that thankfully, it had been found out and the pastor had talked to him. He had been given three strikes and now he had struck out.  Honestly, I was relieved! I had been watching my husband walk away from God while he was supposed to be leading students toward God and it was a miserable place to be! This was good news to me; maybe God would use this to get this man I had once fallen in love with back to Himself and restore our marriage.  My husband resigned and we had to move out of the house we lived in because it belonged to the church. They gave us three months. In that time, I found a job offer. When I told my husband about it, it led to a conversation where he told me that he felt he didn’t love God, he hadn’t for awhile, he didn’t love me and so we should separate so he could figure himself out.  

  Me on a family vacation, a few weeks before my first husband told me he was resigning.

Me on a family vacation, a few weeks before my first husband told me he was resigning.

I ended up standing in my parents driveway,watching him speed away, likely driving away from our marriage, one final, tangible time. We met up once after that, but he never came back to our marriage.


 To those of you who have found  yourselves here, hold, no CLING, onto God.  I promise you He loves you, knows, cares, aches with you and for you and can hold you like nobody’s business.  But you’ve got to let Him. I know that can sound so vague, but it is SO important and so easy. God loves us so much, takes us as we are, and is inviting us all the time to just BE with Him.  He will show you what to do, just go to Him.


At first, I just prayed a lot.  I journal, so I would write everything to God - how I felt, what reminded me of my husband, if I read a good verse, talked with a friend or heard some good lyrics.  Sometimes I would draw pictures. I was processing with God.

I would remember.  Remember what God had done in my life.  I’m sentimental so I thought this was just me.  But then I would read in Psalms how often David talks about what God had done for him.  In the Old Testament, they would pile stones to serve as reminders to their children what God had done for them.  The writers of the epistles were often telling churches to be thankful. Well, what can you be thankful for? The things God has done! It is good in any relationship to talk about fun memories, cherish the things that make your relationship meaningful - the same is true with God.  It is great for your relationship with God to remember what He has done for you.



Then, I would let myself feel.  I would cry.  I would be upset.  I’d be touched when friends showed up for my birthday or wrote or took me out to dinner. The point is I didn’t feel that I had to be okay - because I wasn’t.  My husband had just left me. There were things I had to do, yes, but I did them as I was and prayed for God to give me the strength that I knew I didn’t have.  What that created was such an intimate, beautiful, very real dependence of me on God and allowed me to see every intricate detail of how He was taking care of me.  You don’t forget that. Eventually, I had more happy moments. I saw God exchange my mourning for  excitement of a new adventure. He did build me a new life; but in order to rebuild, He had to first rip away pieces of the old. Don't rush or skip over the pain, confusion, and loss in a vain attempt to get on with your life.  God has to do His work it if it’s gonna hold.  


Piece by piece, God built me a new life.  I moved out of my parent's house, down to Orange County, California for a teaching job.  I started going to Saddleback Church, making good friends and I lived close to my sister and brother in law! There were hard nights still, more processing, times of crying and calling IRS guys, but there was such a fun adventure with God too!  I loved living in a beautiful place- going to beaches, eating at fun places, having girl nights, brunches with friends, etc…God taught me how to enjoy being the single career girl I never imagined myself being in my late 20’s!


One of my new friends was this handsome guy named Drew.  His wife had also left him, a year and 11 days after my husband had left me.  Drew and I knew each other's stories, kind of knew from living it, what the other was going through and had a silent connection.  He would look out for me - make sure I had directions, pay for me, and follow me to gas stations late at night so I was safe. The more we got to know each other, the more we saw we really got along!  I saw him choosing God the same way I had.


We got married February 17, 2012 - three and a half years after that day I stood in my parent's driveway.  Drew and I fell in love easily. He is so amazing, handsome, protective, confident, smart, silly, romantic, get it!  ;) He is so everything I wanted and more, everything that I did not have in my 5 year, sad, first marriage, I have in abundance with Drew.   My marriage to Drew is amazing BECAUSE THAT’S WHAT GOD DOES. I gave Him my life to do WHATEVER WITH, even if that meant I never got married again, and this is what He did.  I mean, even down to my last name. Drew's last name is Moore. At our wedding brunch, I told everyone that I had memorized Eph.3:20 as a senior in highschool when I had to trust God with a disappointment.  It says," To Him who is able to do far MORE than anything we could ever dare to ask or even imagine. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen" (Living Bible). I am Amy Moore now; when I was pregnant, we found out halfway through that there was MORE than one baby in there, we were having twins!  I am constantly reminded of the far more God has done in my life - glory to Him forever and ever!

He writes great stories, the best stories.  Give Him total control and hang on to His hand.  He will hold you, guide you, direct you and totally blow you away with whatever it is!  

Hold on to Him,



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Amy lives with her husband and twin daughters in La La Land, also known as Southern California.  She’s a stay at home mommy who spends her days coloring, cleaning the kitchen and finding joy in moments. Amy loves going anywhere with her husband and has a heart for helping women see their relationship with God as the vibrant, fun and personal adventure He created it to be!

Connect with Amy...

Email Amy at

For the Woman Who is Struggling to Find Her Worth through her Pain by Nycia Emerson


SO often we get caught up in childhood experiences and hurts and carry them from season to season, which causes us to miss out on what God is trying to show us, or where he is trying to take us on this journey of purpose.  I remember growing up not knowing who I was, like many;  because of the lies I was being told by Satan constantly through the abuse from my stepfather.  Also seeing the hurt of my mom, from the verbal and physical abuse that she encountered repeatedly. 


“How could this be happening to someone that just wants to love, and be loved?”


I didn't necessarily know my worth; as a matter of fact, I thought I was dumb and not good enough in many areas of my life, because of what I lived with from my step dad, but also from the divorce of my parents at the age of seven.   Insecurities surfaced from all corners and the lack of confidence overpowered it all.    Not understanding a lot that was going on as a young girl, I was constantly reminded that God was right there with me. 


At the age of fourteen I laid in my bed late one night afraid and just staring up at the ceiling, felling paralyzed and defeated.  In that moment I will never forget how the presence of the Lord was so evident and how my fear was lifted in that moment.   I felt safe for the very first time, I felt relieved, I felt like I could just rest in that place of being okay.   He was right there with me, he held me tight, he washed away my tears, my fear was gone, my anger was lifted, my hurt was lifted all in a moment. 




As a teenage girl, I still had so much more to face to really know who I was and finding who I was in Christ didn’t come in that exact moment.   It came many years later.  It came with forgiveness, it came with more hurt, it came with more experiences, and more forgiveness, it came with eventually dying to myself and being okay with living whole for him.


I will never forget the day when I was in college, I opened my eyes and took a look around, (literally) I felt myself speaking out loud to God, and realized that I was worthy of it all, because my Lord and Savior tells me so in His Word.  That day opened me up to accepting who I was and even being open to being loved.


“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Eph. 2:10


Loving myself and dying to my fleshly being has brought me to a place of intention in my faith.  It allows me to open myself up and truly live for Him.  In addition, I can encourage other women to do the same, through my She Inspires ministry and through my church as the women’s leader.   My purpose is to solely live for my Father---to not hold back---to walk in His complete grace and bring everyone around me along for the ride.


"We are not defined by our past experiences, we are defined by our purpose.”


My experiences have shaped me and molded me today and made me a better vessel for God, they have also allowed me to be bold for him and not be caught up in the things that don’t bare Good fruit in my life. 

God wants us to live whole through him and he wants us to seek him in all things and be all in for him.  He takes our hurt and pain and turns it into something good.  He molds us and shapes us through our hurt. He gives us strength through our weaknesses, he loves us and comforts us when we are lonely, he brings us an overwhelming peace and joy when we are saddened, he holds us tight when we feel like giving up. There is nothing like the presence of God in a hurting season.  There is nothing like laying it all at his feet and letting him have it.


He shows us our Worth through our PAIN!


Do you feel like you are letting past pain and experiences keep you from moving forward in your relationship with God?   If so, it’s time for freedom and healing.  Forgive yourself and forgive others, because our father forgives us.   You are made with a purpose and with that you can know your worth and know you are worthy of all that God has for you.  


Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her. Luke 1:45 



Nycia Emerson





Nycia Emerson is the founder of She Inspires, a faith based organization that brings women from all walks of life together over Brunch, Faith, Purpose and a whole lot of Jesus.  She is also the Author of the She Prays book, (available of amazon) and the owner of a Planning & Design firm.


Nycia lives in Austin, Texas and enjoys spending time with her two boys & hubby on any given day.  She is also the women's leader at Mission Church of Round Rock.  She enjoys gathering beautiful inspiration, entertaining friends and simply taking in the beauty of life with a smile. She also loves to inspire everyone around her and any chance she gets to share God's love, especially over a cup of coffee, brings her so much joy.  Nycia believes that living what you love and loving what you do, makes life much more purposeful.  She also believes that "Inspiration comes from the things that lift our spirits and allow us to love fully.


Find her at all these places:

Founder of She Inspires, Speaker & Author                                                                   

Instagram                                                                                                                                           @nycia.emerson                                                                                                                              @sheinspireslovely



For the Woman Who is Wrestling with Disappointing Diagnosis

For the Woman Who Is Wrestling with Disappointing Diagnoses


I had expectations about my life. Not dreams, exactly—although I had those too. I’m talking about things I looked forward to with absolute certainty. When I pictured myself as a mother, I almost always saw myself standing at the stove, playfully swatting away eager little fingers snatching still-warm cookies from the counter, my kids’ faces speckled with chocolate and crumbs, a satisfied and mischievous smile twisting their lips. I expected this sort of scene to be a normal, natural part of our home life as much as I expected my children to have perpetually empty tummies I would be tasked to fill. Now here I am, a mom standing in front of the stove just as I thought I would be, but my kitchen and circumstances are far different than I expected, and my attitude toward food has changed forever.


Before my kids were diagnosed with food allergies, before gluten and I became enemies before we became a food allergy family, my attitude about food was joyful, and I wholeheartedly believed food was a gift from a good God, meant to nourish, sustain and delight His creation. The notion that food could be dangerous or cause death was nearly unthinkable. My heart went out to families with food allergies, of course, but I expected my own brood to be immune from them.


And then, the unthinkable happened one morning when my 11-month-old little girl grabbed my breakfast—a piece of toast smeared with peanut butter—and shoved it in her mouth. My two-year-old tolerated peanut butter with no problem, so letting my youngest little girl munch on a smattering of the stuff didn’t phase me until I noticed the skin around her mouth was red. Upon closer examination, it was splotchy too, and before I knew it her face erupted into an angry cluster of what I now recognize as an allergic reaction. Panicked, I called my husband, who assured me, “Nuh-uh, no way. No kid of mine has a peanut allergy. Her skin is probably just sensitive or something.” When he got home, he set out to prove his theory and put a fingernail-sized scoop of peanut butter on her tongue again. The hives returned and Benadryl mitigated the problem. A scratch test followed, and soon we had the diagnosis that rendered our little girl one of the frightening statistics. Two years later, we welcomed a son who ended up with a food allergy diagnosis as well, this time to milk, casein, sunflower seeds and eggs.

To make matters worse, in the middle of all this my own body was showing signs that something was amiss, and over time I came to understand gluten and I don’t get along. My body reacts in the most repugnant and painful of ways after even the smallest gluten exposure; the stuff wracks my body with searing pain, like road rash on the inside, that quickly spirals out of control. For years, I tried to get to the bottom of the problem, but between misinformation and doubting doctors, ER visit after ER visit and negative test results to boot, no one seemed to believe gluten could possibly be causing the trouble. And so, I lived with the agonizing fear that I was dying a slow, undetected death, and no one would figure it out until I was long gone. 

Eventually, I went to see a new doctor, a specialist who listened like others wouldn’t; ran tests others didn’t; and gave me news that at least made me feel less crazy. He suspected I had an undiagnosed case of Celiac Disease, either that elusive thing called Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Either way, he urged me to live like I had Celiac Disease and impressed on me the importance of never eating gluten again. Following a colonoscopy, he was also able to diagnose Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and gluten was clearly a major trigger for that condition. Two years later, I was diagnosed with Biliary Dyskinesia, a hard to diagnose a painful condition that causes the gallbladder to malfunction. 

And so, we are a full-fledged food allergy family and my expectations about feeding my family didn’t turn out the way I imagined. Disappointment turned into frustration, and frustration turned into anger that food—that beautiful, good gift from the God I loved—went from delightful to dangerous. It was all a logistical nightmare, of course, and the fear that accompanied every subsequent diagnosis seeped into my heart and twisted it around, tempting me to believe my family had big targets on our backs or rather stomachs, and Someone was aiming to fire. A deep sense of loss plunged me into a dark place indeed. 

I wrestled with the Lord over all this, arguing my case and putting Him on the spot. Your word says the food that you made is good—that it is a gift! Why is your good gift causing so much grief for my family? And why would you create children who are allergic to normal, everyday healthy foods people have eaten for generations? How can you allow a measly old peanut to carry a death sentence for anyone, much less my perfect little cherub of a girl? How can you sit by and watch as my baby boy’s body swells with hot, patchy hives when so much as a drop of milk touches his lips? While we’re at it, why does gluten wreak havoc on my body? If you really made all the food in this Earth, and if it is even half as good as you say it is—if it really is a gift from your heart to ours—then why are food allergies even a thing?

In the deepest, most vulnerable part of my broken heart, I was really asking this: How could you do this to me?

I lived under a cloud of disappointment over the diagnoses, yes—but also, embarrassingly, I was disappointed with God. I felt betrayed, as if my life-long love affair with food had been a ruse, a set up to lure me into believing God was good when in fact, He was just plain mean. How could a good God let such bad things happen to people who love Him?  I wondered how we could have any quality of life when social gatherings suddenly posed a threat to the lives of my children? How would my kids safely go to school? How could I ever trust anyone else to feed them safely? Our world shrunk into the confines of our own little house, the only place we could control the safety of our food allergy family, and I struggled to know what to do about it.

I wrestled with the reality of all this disappointment and the accompanying frustration and fear for a long, long time, crying out to the Lord in the middle of the worst case scenario situations that come with the reality of being a food allergy family. But even as I did so, I felt as though my cries for help bounced off the ceiling of Heaven because surely the Lord would rescue us all from what felt like a death sentence, but instead here we were without healing. My expectations about family life weren’t met, and in the very scary aftermath of facing the grim reality of how going gluten-free and living with food allergies affect our everyday lives, I grieved.

God met me in the middle of my grief and showed me the startling truth that food allergies are a result of His good world gone completely wrong, in much the same way as cancer and murder and selfishness and conceit, theft and diabetes and migraines and addiction are all byproducts of sin making a most unwelcome appearance on His good earth. When the first bad decision was made, when Adam and Eve decided to distrust God's original intent for their lives and instead chose to believe lies lisped from the mouth of the Enemy, things have spiraled out of control (haven’t they?), and we live in the very real aftermath of a world gone completely wrong. No one knows for sure the exact cause for the alarming growth in food allergies, but many have strong opinions (It’s the GMO’s! Pesticides and over-processed food ruin everything! Blame the vaccines! We’re too clean—if we didn’t wash our hands, there would be no allergies!). I imagine many of these theories have quite a bit of truth to them, too. But at the root of it all, if we go back far enough, God’s idyllic ideas for life twisted under the weight of human greed, the effects of which reach all the way into our food system today, and our bodies are paying the price for it. I am certain of this. And while getting to the bottom of the food allergy crisis is admirable, important, necessary work, I suspect the problem won’t be set right until Jesus returns and makes all things new. 

In the meantime, while we wait for that day to come, I live in the tension between disappointment and hope. If you're struggling with a disappointing diagnosis, I imagine you live there too.

I still feel disappointed about it all, it’s true. The reality of our diagnoses threatens to steal our joy and cut our lives short, and that makes life difficult. I still cry about it all sometimes, especially after I have to administer epinephrine to a floppy, swollen little body and wait while my child’s fate is left to the mercy of the Lord. (And by cry, I mean flail and scream and call out to Heaven in sheer desperation and panic. It’s not pretty, I assure you.) But in the middle of even the lowest, hardest moments, God asks me again and again and again to hold on to hope, promising that hope in Him will never ever disappoint me. He won't disappoint you, either.

But how do I actually do that? How do I exchange disappointment for hope? It takes time. It takes practice (I’m still practicing.) It takes acknowledging my disappointments so I can move forward into a new reality or make lasting adjustments to the way we live. It takes realizing that God understands what it feels like to be disappointed and knowing He understands what it feels like to lose a child, so he can relate to the gut-wrenching feeling that washes over me when my own kids fight for their lives. It takes looking the alternative—that God is an unmerciful, detached meanie who couldn’t care less about my pain—squarely in the eye and deciding to believe He is who He says He is, and He loves me and cares about my life even though my circumstances tempt me toward believing otherwise. I know now in a very real sense what Jesus meant when he said man cannot live by bread alone, but on every word that comes out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4), and over time I let the promises of God fill me up in a transformative, life-giving way. 

I still let myself cry when the pain of our reality peaks, but now I cry out to the God who promises my hope in him will not lead to disappointment (Romans 5:4-5). I experience the truth that the Lord is near to the brokenhearted (Psalm 34:18). I trust that God will always give us the food that we need (Matthew 6:25-34). I know the Lord redeems our suffering and turns it into something valuable and lasting (1 Peter 5:10). I know my disappointment over food allergies and sickness and diagnosis after frustrating diagnosis is not God’s fault, and now I grieve with Him that His good world went so horribly bad. And I am full of hope and anticipation for the day that He will make everything right again when death and disease and sadness and fear and all the stuff that makes life on Earth so painful dissolves as the beauty of His holiness restores wholeness and health to all creation. 


***Watch Rachel and I's live interview on Instagram on this topic below***


For the Woman Who has been Betrayed and Abused


After living through a nightmare so far beyond anything I could have imagined, I am clearly convinced God is much more interested in our callings than our comfort. In September 2016 my marriage and dreams for the future came crashing down around me when I learned my husband had been living a lie.  The kind, honorable, trustworthy and compassionate man I fell in love with had been a persona to cover a darkened and burdened heart incapable of experiencing unconditional love. I was a victim of seduction and deceit in the worst way. An affair alone would have been devastating but to learn the sordid details of things he did and said behind my back for the length of our marriage was absolutely crushing.


It's not easy to reflect on the pain of the past, especially when you are made to feel responsible for the pain by your perpetrator. To aid in the process of understanding the type of emotional abuse I suffered in my marriage, God blessed me with the opportunity to meet twice a month with a Christian counselor that not only knows me but my ex-husband as well.


Sadly, I realize this isn’t always the case for women who have suffered emotional abuse in their marriage.  This is the reason that I have chosen to speak up and share my story publicly. Without wise counsel and revelation from the Lord, I would still be so stuck in a pit of despair that I am derailed from fulfilling my divine purpose in life.


I spent 2017 in hibernation mode. Being too frail, broken and overwhelmed with rejection, shame and guilt to do the social activities I did prior to my marriage. As a woman who suffered childhood abuse and chronic self-worth issues, I was “ripe for the picking” for a man like my ex-husband to woo into marriage.


Many women like myself don’t recognize we are in an abusive relationship. In fact, more than a year later, my experience seems too surreal to be true. What I have since learned is, most abusers are very charming, attentive to your needs and extremely loving and caring. They typically lavish you with love and show you deep appreciation, so we often miss the signs of controlling behavior. This is all part of the scheme, to make us trust them and develop feelings for them. Why do they do this? Because it is easier to control someone that loves and trusts you.


In my case, I was living with what my counselor refers to as a “covert narcissist”. She tried to soothe my feelings of guilt stating that there was no way I could have known that I was marrying a narcissist. After 37 years of professional counseling, she had also been deceived by the true intentions of my ex-husband.  In the case of covert narcissists, it is extremely difficult to discern the true nature of the individual – a wolf in sheep’s clothing.


Over the course of our marriage, my husband used a form of psychological abuse often used by narcissists called, gaslighting. Once I filed for divorce, I was advised to reach out to women in my ex-husband’s past and inquire about their relationships. At least two women had gone through the same abusive treatment I had experienced. In fact, one kind-hearted woman told me I was lucky to have been spared years of heartache with my ex, as she referred to her time with him as “some of the darkest days I have ever known.”


As followers of Christ, we should never be surprised when we come across trials in life. Jesus clearly states that we “…will have many trials and sorrows, but take heart, because I have overcome the world.” John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:1-6


We can take heart because Jesus will never abandon us to deal with our troubles in our own strength.  When we let God heal our past hurts, He not only wants to help us, but He also wants to use our experiences as a gateway through which others can experience the same type of healing. But we cannot move beyond our pain and learn how to love and forgive others until we have personally experienced the love of God. We must allow him to fill the handicap places in our hearts. 2 Corinthians 1:4


We must understand that comfort doesn’t necessarily mean that God will immediately deliver us from our painful circumstances. It can also mean receiving strength, encouragement and hope to deal with our troubles. The more we suffer, the more comfort God will give us. Every trial that we endure will help us comfort other people who are suffering similar troubles.Psalm 84:5-7

“The richest testimonies come from people Christ has made whole who still remember what it was like to be broken" Beth Moore

We can place our hope on the fact that God always gives us the strength to do what He has commanded.  The strength may not be evident however until we step out in faith and begin doing the task. Walking forward, not looking back at the pain but truly resting in God’s truth. Romans 12:2 . When we have been in a situation or a relationship where our self-esteem has been torn down and our mind has been inundated with lies, we need to “renew” our mind.

"The person coming out from under the influence of lies desperately needs a season of intense deprogramming. Until you are less vulnerable, flood your mind primarily with Truth and secondarily with materials that line up with the Truth. Coming out from under the influence of a long-term stronghold can  be like coming out from under the influence of a drug.” – Beth Moore, Breaking Free Bible Study


When we have been victims of abuse it is common to suffer from debilitating negative emotions.  Hindsight is 20/20 so we feel a lot of guilt, shame, and anxiety because we were so blind to what was going on. A crucial step in the healing process is understanding that shame is one of the deepest roots of our emotions when we experience abandonment, rejection and betrayal. Shame is the enemy’s greatest weapon. He knows that shame snuffs out our spirit. God wants our spirit to be awake and filled with peace, joy and all the fruits of His Spirit which lives in us as believers. The enemy knows we can be very powerful in bringing others to know Jesus, so he is going to do everything he can to derail us.


Suffering is training ground for Christian maturity. When God delivers us from our worst fears we can clearly see that what God can do for us is far greater than ANYTHING that can be done to us. I believe God carefully and graciously allowed me to experience the pain of an adulterous and abusive marriage, so I would discover I would not wither away and die. Don’t get me wrong, God didn’t create the storm, but He allowed me to walk the road of redemptive suffering as part of the fallout of someone else’s immoral choices and selfish actions.


To be honest, I am now grateful to have experienced this season in my life. Intimacy with God grows through sharing every realm of experience. Had I not gone through this terrible suffering I would never have gotten as close to the Lord as I have. I would never have realized how much He loves me. Psalm 119:50 He taught me that fruitful relationships are relationships where each person can be who God created them to be. Any relationship where one person is being controlled, constantly being neglected, demeaned, insulted or made to feel bad about themselves is NOT a fruitful relationship. Nor is it a relationship that is healthy or loving by any stretch of the imagination. Further, any relationship that causes you to shrink back from your commitment or passion for God is NOT a good relationship. Matt 12:31-33


We cannot allow another person to define us by the way they need us. I was nothing more than a trophy wife, something my ex-husband could use to boost his self-esteem while he methodically destroyed my self-confidence. As he whittled away at my identity in Christ, my identity got skewed from who I was in Christ to my value (or lack of value) in being his wife. One of the most important relationship lessons I have learned from this disastrous marriage is that you must let a person be who they are and allow their identity in Christ to surface and blossom. When you give a person this type of freedom to be who they are you could find yourself being married to someone who is interesting, who is intriguing. But, to discover that interesting and intriguing person, you cannot lock them in a prison of who you need them to be for yourself.


We must remember that God’s plan is the ultimate plan for our lives. We must remember that we have a very limited perspective. We see the start and God sees the start, the middle and the end. We must trust that He knows best. It’s not until we believe that what is in our future is better than what is in our past that we will ever be able to forget and press onward.

*** Watch Kelly and I's live interview on Instagram on this topic below***




**Kelly Kirby is an artist, writer and Jesus girl with a passion for helping others discover and embrace the beautiful woman of God they were created to be.  She enjoys spending time with God each day, playing tennis, yoga, paddle boarding and making custom designed jewelry.  Kelly has a heart for missions and is a dedicated supporter of Fallen Sparrow, a 501c3 organization created in 2008 to help provide funding for the care of at-risk children.  She will be serving on her 4th mission trip to Cambodia this summer as a member of the Fallen Sparrow mission team.

·         blog:

·         website:

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For the Woman who Deals with Depression and Anxiety


I was 19 years old, and I thought I was losing my mind.  It was right before my 20th birthday and I figured by the time I was 21, I’d legitimately be crazy.  It’s a terrifying feeling.  To be scared, not know what’s wrong, how to fix it, or why it’s happening in the first place.  You wouldn’t have known anything was wrong by looking at my life from the outside.  I was living at home and attending college full time.  I worked a part-time job that I enjoyed.  I had friends, a loving family, and I was dating the man who is now my husband.  Life was good; so I had no idea why I felt the way I did.  I was confused, hurting, and scared.


It started small.  For lack of a better explanation, it felt like a dark cloud was hanging over me; following me.  I could shake it for short periods of time, but it would come back.  I still remember walking around my college library and I could feel it- the cloud.  It was surreal, and yet somehow palpable.  Things started getting worse and I began having panic attacks.  If you haven’t experienced one, they are horrible.  It’s a gut-wrenching, all-consuming feeling of panic and terror.  It’s overwhelming and feels as if it will never end like there is no escape. Picture the most terrifying and extreme mental torment imaginable…and you’re on the right track.    


I told my parents what was going on (as best as I could since I really didn’t know what or why this was happening).  My mom cried and held me.  From there, things are a bit of a blur.  The panic attacks continued.  I couldn’t be alone.  My mom slept in my room with me.  I didn’t go to school.  I didn’t go to work.  I remember that on a good day, I made it from my bed to the couch.  Fear, despair, and hopelessness pervaded my life.  It’s a painful and miserable way to live.  In fact, it’s barely living.  I couldn’t do the things I usually did.  Nothing brought me joy.  The only relief came from not being alone and the escape of sleep.  I realize that if you haven’t experienced something like this my story may sound dramatic, but I promise, the agony is all-encompassing and crippling.


Thankfully, somewhere in this, I saw a doctor. I will never forget the feeling I had when I finally learned what was wrong with me- depression.  As soon as I heard what was wrong, I was relieved.  I wasn’t losing my mind at 19!  There was a REASON I felt this way.  Relief washing over you is one of the best feelings!   Relief and knowledge opened the door for hope.  Now that I knew what was wrong, and this terrifying monster had a name, it was time to fight.


~ ~ ~


That’s how my depression and the path to getting better began.  What I haven’t talked about yet is my relationship with God.  I was a relatively new Christian when this happened.  I had been a believer for just over a year.  I’m sorry to say that at some points during my battle with depression my relationship with God suffered.  Sometimes in my deepest, darkest depression and anxiety, I couldn’t bring myself to pray.  It was almost like it hurt too much to even think about God.  I guess you could say I avoided Him.  I never abandoned Him or my faith, but I didn’t pursue Him like I should have.  But here’s the beautiful thing, even though I may have drifted away, He never left me.  When I was weak, He was strong.  When I wandered, He was steadfast.  Despite my weaknesses, despite my wandering heart and mind, God’s love is unchanging and unending.  He’s a good Father whose love knows no bounds.  He never loved me less and He saw me through the darkest days of my life.  Praise Him.


Because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

Lamentations 3:22-23


One of the most gracious gifts God gave me was loving family and friends to support me on the journey.  Family and friends have rallied around me when I was hurting beyond belief.  They prayed when all I could do was bawl in a heap on the floor.  They fought for me when I was too weak to do it myself.  When you are at the end of yourself, having people come alongside you is priceless. 


Two are better than one…If either of them falls down, one can help the other up.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10


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As for where I am now; I have continued to deal with depression off and on since that first time at 19; including a bout with postpartum depression after the birth of my first child.  (To any mom who has experienced postpartum depression, or is currently, my heart hurts for you.  I know the pain and I stand with you.)   The thing about depression and anxiety is that they tell you lies.  They tell you that this is how life will be from now on.  They tell you it will never get better.  Those are powerful lies because they oppress hope.  Hopelessness is an awful feeling.  Thankfully, now that I know these are lies- I can call them out.  I recognize them for what they are- lies from the enemy.  Knowledge is power and feeling empowered against depression and anxiety is a crucial weapon.  Going through all of this has made me stronger.  Depression doesn’t have the same power over me that it used to.  I know there is light at the end of the tunnel.  I know it will pass, I know God is with me, and I know I will get through it. 


…weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5


Depression may be a part of my story, but it doesn’t define me, and it will never conquer me.  I am an overcomer.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness, rather it’s a sign of strength.  Depression can be painful, lonely, and crippling, but thankfully we have a great God and He is a source of strength, peace, healing, and hope.  For the woman who suffers from depression and anxiety, you are not alone.  There is hope, there is help, and you are so very loved.


You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, that my heart may sing your praises and not be silent.  LORD my God, I will praise you forever.

                                                                                    Psalm 30: 11-12




Jessica and her family live in Northern California.  She and her husband Brad have been married for 15 years and have two children ages 10 and 7.  Brad is a worship pastor and Jessica is an instructor at a local university.  She has a heart to encourage women to live in freedom through Christ!

For the Woman Who Doesn't Love Herself


Anyone who belongs to Christ knows without a doubt that God is love. The quintessential bible verse we all have memorize is John 3:16, “For God so LOVED the world that He gave us His Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” As we grow in Christ we are taught to love our neighbors as ourselves, but what if we don’t know how to love ourselves? What if we actually despise who we are?

For any woman has faced any sort of abandonment there’s a deep root of unworthiness. We blame ourselves for someone else’s rejection. Obviously, there must be something greatly wrong with us if they didn’t want or like us. And that’s exactly the thought Satan wants us to dwell on. Deep within our minds and souls, it’s burned in and without realizing it, we have fallen prey to his deceit.

Maybe you’re unable to rightly love yourself because you’re still beating yourself up over a past sin. The grace of Christ seems too easy to cover a sin so great. And just like the enemy did with Eve in the garden, he’s created doubt in your mind of what God can do. Or maybe you’ve fallen into the lie that you can only love yourself if you have a great job. Or get married and become a mom. Or maybe you can only truly love yourself if you lose weight, get that degree, and have lots of friends. You can only love yourself if you weren’t so tall, or so short, or so clumsy, or so loud. You’re perpetually trapped in feeling like you’re too much or not enough.

In all these situations the focus falls on us instead of on God. We don’t think of these torments as being prideful, but if we aren’t careful that’s exactly where they will lead us. Our attention is centered around our sin, our hurt, or our lack instead of our Healer.

The enemy knows just how to spin this web around us so that we don’t recognize just how self-centered we’ve become. And I say “we” because I’ve been here too. For years I battled with past sins because that was the most obvious. I knew Jesus died to save me from my sins and I trusted His Word was true and that He forgave me, but I couldn’t forgive myself for the sins I had done. The more I grew in my walk and sought God for healing the less Satan could hold these things over my head. I walked boldly in healing and therefore he found another way to sneak in.

1 Peter 5 tells us that Satan is prowling around like a lion looking for someone to devour. Again in John 10:10 we are reminded that he comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He is the father of lies! So once he could no longer hold my past sins over me he found another way. He used old wounds of rejection mixed with current ones. And I let him.

Somewhere over time I not only listened to the negative things people said about me, not only did I let the enemy spew his deceit, I also spoke those negative things over myself. I affirmed that I was too much this and not enough that. This cycle of self-hatred would come in waves. I made a fatal mistake that you are probably making too. I confused confidence for self-love. If I was doing something well, or even if I felt particularly pretty that day, my confidence was up and I was unaware that the lack of self-love was still missing.

My worth began to live and die based on people’s compliments or how I happened to feel about myself that day. Do you see how dire this mistake is? My worth was based on human opinions instead of Biblical truths. Who does God say we are?

In the very beginning, God created people in His image. Our value is high simply for this reason alone! As believers 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 reminds us that our bodies are a temple of the Holy Spirit. God of the entire universe lives within us! We are His children and He loves us unconditionally! We are chosen, a royal priesthood, God’s own possession as 1 Peter 2:9 puts it. How dare we put ourselves down and live in condemnation when God says we were created and chosen by Him?

The only way to learn to love yourself rightly is to remember not just who you are, but Whose you are. We have to constantly take these negative thoughts and words captive and make them obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5) and began speaking life-giving words over ourselves. Proverbs 18 and Deuteronomy 30 both talk about the power of life and death in our tongues.

I have found that when others criticize us it truly has nothing to do with us, but everything to do with them. When their words sting, do as scripture says, pray a blessing for them and then speak the truth of God’s Word over yourself. Do not let the enemy continue to win this battle! Christ died to set us free. So if it’s a sin that keeps you in the cycle of hatred, have you truly repented of it? If not, do it now! Confess to Jesus. He’s not going to shame you or condemn you. John 10:10 not only tells us that the devil is looking to devour us, but Jesus says He came to give us life and for us to have it abundantly. Not mundane. Not just ok. ABUNDANTLY! Full! Complete!

This world makes self-love into prideful deceit, but loving yourself in Christ is acknowledging God’s creation, Jesus’s redemption, and the Holy Spirit’s transformation. It’s not about us. It’s about Him. Take note from Romans 12:2 and keep renewing your mind. Do not conform to this world and what it tries to tell you about who you are! Take those thoughts captive, renew your mind by reading the Bible, worshipping your Creator, and praying to Him daily. Hourly if needed. Then it says you will be able to test and learn what God’s will is for you. And that His will for you is good, pleasing, and perfect.

Friend, you are worth loving. God created you, He chose you, Jesus gave His life for you, the Holy Spirit lives within you. You are not the sum of your failures or your successes. You are His. And that’s perfectly enough.


**Watch Ashley and I's live interview on this topic below**

--Ashley is a self-professed dork who loves sharing the Gospel and digging deeper into Scripture! She wants to live her life in such a way it inspires others to passionately seek Jesus and have Lively Faith. She’s a happily married homeschooling momma to four blessings who runs on Holy Spirit power, coffee, and laughter.

You can find her writing about her faith and crazy life at or over on Instagram @ashley.sigrest. Ashley serves in her local church and community and enjoys helping other women grow in their spiritual gifts.