Why Women Are Hungry for Love (and a Giveaway)

This summer I’ve had the beautiful privilege of getting to know Emily Wierenga and have thoroughly enjoyed the gift of her story told in her new book  Atlas GirlEmily is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, as well as the author of five books including her memoir, Atlas Girl: Finding Home in the Last Place I Thought to Look (Baker Books).

In celebration of Atlas Girl’s book release this week, I asked Emily to stop by and share some of her story with us {and she offered to give a few copies away too!}

Renee Swope

by Emily T Wierenga

I tried to starve away my curves when I was nine years old.

I had my mother’s pear-shaped body, and I thought if I stopped eating maybe I could become small enough to slip into the lives of the other girls at school, the ones the boys stared at. I would douse myself with Exclamation perfume and spend my allowance on brand-name clothes and cry myself to sleep because I was starving.

And even though it got so bad that I was dying at thirteen, and hospitalized at sixty pounds, my hair falling out and my braces showing through the skin of my cheeks, I don’t know that any of us women is much different.

I don’t know that any of us isn’t hungry like this for love.

I wanted my Dad to stop preaching at the pulpit about a God I couldn’t see or taste or touch or feel. I wanted him to come and hold me, play with me, read me stories again like he used to when I was little, the scruff of his beard on my cheek, but life has a way of stealing your loved ones away from you and so I starved myself instead.

And when a friend of mine died when I was eight I hurt so bad it felt like my soul turned inside-out.

Because no one had told me you could love so hard only to lose.

So I spent my life trying not to feel because it ached too much when I did.

And then I met Jesus.

I met him after years of thinking I already had. I met him after years of calling myself a feminist and relapsing back into anorexia when I got married, after years of battling infertility and addiction to sleeping pills and drinking too much wine and never eating enough because part of me always wanted to feel hungry.

Because full isn’t safe. Full means you might start to feel comfortable, and then you might get hurt because nothing good lasts forever.

But that’s where I was wrong.

Because God is good and He lasts forever, and I met Him one day when I was twenty eight and pregnant. I was standing in worship, closing my eyes, and I saw myself as a little girl in heaven. I was wearing a white dress and running to Jesus who looked a lot like a shepherd in one of those children’s paintings.

And Jesus picked up that little girl and he spun her around and then he held her close and said, “Emily Theresa Wierenga, do you know that I love you? I love your feet, I love your knees, I love your legs, I love your arms, I love your head, I love your hair, I love you.”

And sister? He’s saying this to you too. He sees you, the little girl in you—the one who once believed she could swing so high she could touch God, who now struggles to believe He even exists. And He loves you.

Jesus offers a kind of food that will never perish. A love that will never leave you hungry.

He provided the loaves and fishes for 5,000, with twelve baskets leftover. Some would call that a waste; I call it extravagance. He’s the Savior at the well, telling the woman about a kind of feast that will never end—with living water, and living bread. Food that will fill us up forever.

So, I’m eating again.

I’m eating, and I’m no longer scared of getting full.

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Emily lives in Alberta, Canada with her husband and two sons. Her memoir, ATLAS GIRL, releases this week and she is graciously giving away 3 copies here! All you need to do is leave a comment under today’s post to enter the drawing! {If you’re reading this via email, click here and return to my blog to ENTER TO WIN.}

AtlasGirl.ReneeFrom the Back Cover

“Disillusioned and yearning for freedom, Emily Wierenga left home at age eighteen with no intention of ever returning. Broken down by organized religion, a childhood battle with anorexia, and her parents’ rigidity, she set out to find God somewhere else–anywhere else. Her travels took her across Canada, Central America, the United States, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. She had no idea that her faith was waiting for her the whole time–in the place she least expected it.

“Poignant and passionate, Atlas Girl is a very personal story of a universal yearning for home and the assurance that we are known, forgiven, and beloved. Readers will find in this memoir a true description of living faith as a two-way pursuit in a world fraught with distraction. Anyone who wrestles with the brokenness we find in the world will love this emotional journey into the arms of the God who heals all wounds.”

Click HERE  for a free excerpt from Atlas Girl. Emily is also giving away a FREE e-book to anyone who orders Atlas Girl this week. Just order HERE, and send a receipt to: atlasgirlbookreceipt@gmail.com, and you’ll receive A House That God Built: 7 Essentials to Writing Inspirational Memoir — an absolutely FREE e-book co-authored by Emily and editor/memoir teacher Mick Silva.

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ALL proceeds from Atlas Girl will go to Emily’s non-profit, The Lulu Tree.
The Lulu Tree is dedicated to preventing tomorrow’s orphans by equipping today’s mothers. It is a grassroots organization bringing healing and hope to women and children in the slums of Uganda through the arts, community, and the gospel. Find our more and connect with Emily on her blog at www.emilywierenga.comor find her on Twitter and Facebook.

But remember, before you leave, be sure and ENTER TO WIN!
Just leave a comment below.

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. Oh I have been following Emily in great anticipation of the release of her book! I can relate to her, the younger, hurting her, and I know in my heart I MUST read this book. Renee- thank you for giving Emily the platform today on your blog. What an exciting thing to be apart of!

  2. Michelle Quintero says:

    I am new to Emily, but her book looks wonderful to read!

  3. Brianne says:

    Sounds like a great story of healing! Looking forward to checking it out!

  4. Sandy Bizon says:

    Would love to read the entire book. Have not read her works but would like to do so.

  5. Debbie Graham says:

    I too am new to Emily, but just the blog has me in tears reflecting on my youth and I know that I must read this book too! What a beautiful, raw story of the Daddy’s girls we all truly are; what a reminder to keep a childlike faith. That is something God put on my heart last year when I started bringing small tubes of bubbles to our Women’s retreats so that we could celebrate our Daddy God with giggles and bubbles at the end of the event. It keeps this 54-year-old YOUNG HEART smiling!!!

  6. Jill Kuiper says:

    Would love a chance to win her book!

  7. Katrina Somers says:

    As a severely obese, divorced woman just now after 5 years of living alone, starting to live again, this story really hits home. I really needed to hear this, how much God loves me – all of me – without judgment. So I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  8. “the one who once believed she could swing so high she could touch God, who now struggles to believe He even exists. ”

    I can’t wait to read this book.

  9. Joselyn says:

    What a beautiful story!

  10. Misty Bland says:

    What a beautiful passage! We all are so hungry..so hungry for one thing or another! Don’t we all starve ourselves of one thing or another for a fulfillment?

  11. Gayle Anderson says:

    I time’s I’m so very lonely I know that God is always with me I understand that but since my son pasted away three years ago I come home to a empty house. I’m not allow to see my grand children now. It’s really hard at time to see why I’m really still here.

    • oh my dear Gayle… aching for you over here. Just longing for you to feel Abba’s arms around you. I will pray for you sister. e.

    • Kim Jones says:

      Gayle, Don’t give up! God has a plan for your life filled with promise for a bright future. My heart goes out to you over the loss of your son and clearly, I don’t understand all that is involved with seeing your grandchildren. What I do know is that we live for a great God that is full of mercy and grace to see us through our darkest hour, from that place of gut wrenching pain, all the way to the mountain top. I encourage you to keep your heart focused on how big our God is, and how much He loves you and He will get you through these difficult days. I prayed for you when I read your post. You matter, your life matters and you are here for a very special reason.

  12. I thought about myself and my teenage daughter when I read today’s post. I am reading so many more books, blogs, etc. to try to fill myself with the words of God and to learn from other’s experiences. I then pray that I can share what I learn with my daughter in a way that she will hear. Emily’s book sounds like it could give me insights and wisdom to learn from.

  13. Lisa Ann Wright says:

    You’re ready my story.

  14. Beverly says:

    I have lost 35+ pounds since 1/7/14 and am excited about sharing my God story – I realize it can be shared before I think my size is not an issue – be that as it may, would love to win!

  15. I needed this encouragement today. Sometimes I struggle with feeling like I am not enough and becasue of that God must be disappointed in me. I want to feel love, but I reject my self worth. I am thankful that good women are willing to share their stories. It helps to build me up.

  16. Candid honesty anchored courageously in God’s grace is so refreshing! I’m glad I checked my e-mail today!

  17. Jessica says:

    I love Emily’s blog, and would love to win a copy of her book!

  18. This touched my heart just reading this part of the book. Look forward to reading it.

  19. Melisa C says:

    Entering! I’ve never heard Emily’s story but it sounds beautiful!

  20. What a touching story. I would love to read her book, primarily to share with someone I love very much that seems to feel the same way.

  21. Broken, struggling to accept forgiveness (or perhaps rather the worthiness of His forgiveness), and yearning desperately for HIS love…. I’m walking this road and all along have thought I was the only one. It’s refreshing, in a terribly painful and selfish way, to learn I’m not. Hopeful to get the opportunity to read this book. Thanks for sharing….so blessed God lead me to this blog post today!

    • oh girl, it’s not selfish at all–you are definitely not alone, I am walking this road with you sister. May you know how deep and long and wide and high the Father’s love is for you. e.

  22. For me today.

  23. I needed to read this today. Great encouragement.

  24. Milena Marques says:

    I was reading an email from a friend of mine saying to me that Jesus loves me the way I am. After more than 1 year no talking with him, I sent him a message on facebook talking about somethings that had happened in my life but nothing too much intimate about me. He answered saying that : “Jesus loves you so much, his love for you is huge”. And now I read a message/email from Renee and the picture says all that I am going through, someone who one day thought she could reach God in one touch of my hand, who believed without boundaries on God and now is struggling to believe He even exist and yet He loves me. Even if I did not win the book I will buy because I need to read that, I also worry since a little kid about my weight and always mirroring myself in the others women slim and fit. God bless you so much for letting me read once again that Jesus loves me. My heart rejoices. Thank you.

    • oh Milena. My eyes are welling up with tears. I praise God that you read this post today–He wanted you to read it so He could tell you how deeply loved you are. He sings over you sister. Keep believing. All my heart, e.

  25. Thank you for introducing me to Emily……..wow! I have reached my 5th decade, and am still struggling with these things……But thanks to God, He is always faithful and waits for us until we are ready to deal with issues we have……I think it is time for me to read this and begin to find freedom !!!

  26. I’m new to Emily’s books. This sounds like a nice one to read!!

  27. Heather Burton says:

    I am so excited at the chance of winning her book. This was necessary to read….Thank you Renee for allowing her to share a small portion of her testimony. It was inspiring and in some ways hit close to home. Broken, struggling to accept forgiveness (or perhaps rather the worthiness of His forgiveness), and yearning desperately for HIS love….this is something I continue to struggle with and thought I was alone and now I know even as a STRONG believer I was struggling with my earthly father. I sure hope I get the opportunity to read her story!!!!

  28. Krystal says:

    Wow – it sounds like I have a lot in common with Emily. I, too, was a preacher’s daughter, and I, too, battled with anorexia when I was younger. I had an addiction to pills and to alcohol when I was a young adult. I would LOVE to win this book so I can read!! Thanks for the opportunity!

  29. I can so relate with this excerpt. I’m constantly “hungry” for others’ approval and struggle to find any worth in myself. I met God for the first time 6 years ago and still can’t understand that He loves me just the way I am. Thank you for sharing this; I’d like to read more of Emily’s work. Blessings 🙂

  30. Great reminder, after recent events in my life.

  31. As a mom of twin girls AND that fights the daily battle of anorexia I can so relate to the hurting and the belief of feeling unloved. What a treasure it would be to introduce Emily’s blog and heartfelt endurance of anorexia to my daughter. Please consider us in your giveaway. i believe we can receive emily’s message and rejoice. Thank you for sharing. Marti

    • oh Marti, thinking of you sister–you are not alone. i have written a book called Chasing Silhouettes–How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder, which might speak to you also. (www.emilywierenga.com/books). Please know I’m praying for you. in Him, e.

  32. Mippy/Sabrina says:

    I can relate to Emily in a lots of ways by the feelings she describes. If I don’t win It I will get this book and share it with my nieces who have eating disorders. :/ Emily is new to me. Thank you for sharing about her and her book.

    • oh friend, thinking of all your nieces who have eating disorders… aching for them. i have written a book called Chasing Silhouettes–How to help a loved one battling an eating disorder. (www.emilywierenga.com/books). perhaps it might help also? all my heart and prayers, e.

  33. WOW! What a great article – wish so many people could have a chance to read and really understand that God loves them so much! We don’t have to do a thing to earn His love.

  34. Paula Lloyd says:

    Thanks for introducing Emily to us! I look forward to reading this book!

  35. What a wonderful testimony of God’s love and redemption! I would love to read her entire story and then share it with someone else. God is good…all the time. All the time…God is good!

  36. Stephanie T says:

    This book sounds amazing! Emily is new to me so I’m excited to check out her blog. Thanks!

  37. Emily is new to me, but I was so moved by her story. Would love to read her book.

    Cindy

  38. Stephanie Smith says:

    I know that this would be a great book to read.

  39. Emily your story touch my heart. I stuffed the feeling of being unloved or feeling unworthy of love for years. Food was my only friend I thought. It took so long for me to get that God loved me unconditonally. God love us we need to share that truth. Thanks Emily for sharing yours.

    • oh Laura. I understand friend, completely. I love that you’ve found the love you were looking for–and yes, we need to share about it with others. bless you! e.

  40. Colleen Long says:

    Oh, how I love your blog. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us!
    God Bless You!!!

  41. Courtney says:

    Thank you for sharing, Emily. I am deeply touched by your story. I would love to read your book.

  42. Cindy Adams says:

    Just reading this brought tears to my eyes and an ache to my soul. Can’t wait to read the book and share it with others!

  43. April Johnson says:

    I would love to read this book. You can never have too much knowledge that Jesus is the only one that will love you unconditionally and heal you.

  44. Jennifer says:

    Oh my goodness! Just sitting hear checking email and read this! Instant tears filled my eyes. I have been making this journey over the last year! She summed it up in just a few powerful words! Just to know I’m not the only one-brings relief and reassures me that it’s worth purging all the pain! Thank you.

  45. Marie Bride says:

    I loved the places this blog post touched my soul such as:

    “Jesus sees you, the little girl in you—the one who once believed she could touch God.” I remember when I was young swinging so high and working my legs so that the swing would extend as far as it could, in that moment of freedom I could feel the presence of God and believe that He really had made heaven for me!

    Thank You for bring back that sense of the little girl that still lives in me!

  46. Chasity says:

    Awesome testimony

  47. I so needed this message today. I grew up wanting this all from my dad and married thinking the love would fulfill that empty place in my heart. I left a destructive marriage only to meet the man of my dreams or so I thought. After 12 years I found he had a secret life and again I felt my heart shredded
    And empty. I’m making my way back only by the grace of God and seeing this in my inbox reminded me of gods love for me. Despite what others don’t do to fulfill me god is all I need and them I am full again.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I can’t wait to read the book.

  48. Madeleine says:

    Inspired by this post and her journey, God writes straight with our crooked lines.

  49. Sylvia S. says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I look forward to reading this book.

  50. Darlene says:

    This is the first time I’ve met Emily. Love how she sees the little girl inside. Looking forward to reading her book. Thanks for the introduction.

  51. Burdell Clark says:

    God is so wonderful, he will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. I am a 76 year old wife, Mother of five and grandmother of seven. I was born to parents an only child and my Grandmother raised me from a baby. I loved my parents and I believe they loved me but I longed for them to show their love as my Grandma did. I did not travel the path of dealing with my weight until I was in my sixties . My husband became very ill and eight years ago his doctors said he would live only two days, Praise God his is still here and God’s Love, grace and mercy has carried us this far. I have daughters that have or may have experienced some of the struggles that I was reading today and I would like to read and share with them and even my granddaughters. I am not familiar with Emily’s work, but I would like to become more familiar. Faith in God has taken me across many hurdles and as I write my mother is in Hospice and another family member also, There is non greater than God and He has promised never to leave us or forsake us. I’m standing on his promises. Keep up your good works Emly

    • oh Burdell, what a testimony! I love the joy i hear in your voice in spite of everything you’ve been through. may you continue to know how loved you are, friend. Bless you! e.

  52. Would love a copy of her book! Started with relating with the little girl on the swing and starving myself to gain the perfect body. Thank you for posting her story!

  53. “…a God I couldn’t see or taste or touch or feel.” or hear. This is where I am at. My life was shattered 7.5 years ago and the tiny remaining pieces of my heart have been continually ground into the dirt until there is not even dust left. And still God remains silent. A God I can’t see or taste or touch or feel. The end of my rope was 3 years ago and I long ago could not absorb another blow but they have kept coming.

    • oh no, Lyn. oh friend. I’m going to spend some time in prayer for you today. Begging Abba to remember he promised not to let a bruised reed break… oh Father, hear our prayers… I lift up my friend Lyn to you. Be so very, very near.

    • Lyn,

      I can’t promise to know what you are going through. I do understand when you say how the blows can keep coming, even though our actual circumstances may be very different. Just like Emily’s words impacted each of us, in my case I did not struggle with anorexia, and your case may be different also.

      As someone who struggles with receiving the Father’s love, I am the last person who should say to you, ” He loves you no matter what, Lyn.” He does. Beyond comprehension. I have trouble saying it to myself, trouble holding onto that hope, especially at times when it seems he is silent or distant. And thankfully, he loves me even in those times. And he loves you even in those times, too.

      Joining with those here, the seen and the unseen, who are lifting you up in prayer.

  54. God’s grace is so amazing…..So thankful for His working .

  55. Rachelle says:

    Sounds like an amazing journey to discover a deep relationship with God. Can’t wait to read the book!

  56. This sounds like a wonderful story. I too ache and feel unloved and do the opposite of Emily, I try to fill up that void. I’ve tried to fill it up my whole life with food and at various times in my life with other destructive things, to no avail. I am in the process, after being a Christian for the majority of my life, of learning to get all I need and require from Jesus alone!! Thanks for this opportunity!

  57. Thank you for sharing.

  58. Sherry Potter says:

    Powerfully touching…..

  59. Darlene says:

    Daddy’s are the first men a little girl falls in love with. His interaction and acceptance of her makes such differences in her life as an adult! I was the opposite, a little girl who ate too much, and as the oldest, had many pressure put on me to the smartest, more “normal” looking to fit in, etc. When I went into therapy as a young adult, my father told my mother, “It will be all my fault.” But it wasn’t. I had to learn to be a stronger person in who I was, and that took some time. In my 50’s now, I am comfortable in my own skin, but work hard to eat right, wear sunscreen, etc. for the right reasons. I want to be happy and healthy as long as possible, not just because it is fashionable to do so. Emily is new to me, but I feel her pain, as the world’s realities are sometimes raindrops, and fairytales do not always come true. I would be proud if selected to receive her book! Thank you!!!

  60. I stopped loving & letting anyone love me when I was 8 and lost my Nanny (GM) i would not allow that kind of pain in my life again. Got mad at God & didnt look back till I was 39. needless to say my marriage & children have suffered and even though I have spent the last 18 yrs. trying to make up for all the damage done by this broken soul I still dont know how to love or be loved by God or anyone else. its been a very difficult journey but I know a God who has this in the palm of His hand & one day I will be delivered from the chains that bind my heart. This has been my prayer since I found Jesus & will continue to be until my dleiverance. Emily brought tears to my eyes & I’m not a crying kind of girl : )

  61. Emily, thank you for sharing your story. I don’t know of 1 woman who doesn’t hurt and wonder if God has turned His head away. Your story touches my heart, we have a friend of the family who has battled with anoxeria for 30 years. The sadness it has causes her parents and children is overwhelming. If I am chosen to receive your book, I would share it with them, to give them hope and love for a wonderful God who is holding their daughter in His arms.

  62. Reading this post brought tears to my eyes for the little girl in all of us who longs to be truly loved and accepted. but maybe was rejected and never found what we longed for unti we met Christ and had a face to face moment that changes everything! So hope to win this book and share in her journey.

  63. Sammie Warwick says:

    I would love to read this book. The excerpt has really caught my attention.

  64. Darlene says:

    I never knew what God could do for me. In 1985 I divorce and my ex husband bribe them to live with him. He was military with money. I had a job paying $450.00 per month. My oldest son passed away due to some comlications from a military accident. It was 3 years after this that I found oue he had passed. My other children do not have a relationship with me. I do not know if they have God in thier lives. Sinceknow God since 2010 I have live to love God and being a better person for my relationship with hin,God Bless

  65. Wanda Perez says:

    Wow what an inspiring story! Would love to read ☺

  66. Thank you for sharing her story and for the chance to win a copy of the book.

  67. Emily’s post took me right back to my teenage self…broken, searching for love in every wrong place. I’m still learning to see our Heavenly Father as my Daddy that loves me as she describes. I would love to read her story.

  68. Christina says:

    I can’t wait to read her story!

  69. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy of this enthralling story! I can’t wait to read it!

  70. “the one who once believed she could swing so high she could touch God, who now struggles to believe He even exist.”

    Yes, this. And in reading that, the weight of all the sadness I’ve been carrying feels excruciatingly heavy. Yet I cling to the chains of that swing holding onto the last ounce of hope that someday, I will finally reach Him.

    I would love to read Emily’s book!

  71. Love that she is giving the proceeds of this book to her charity. If I do win, I’ll buy another copy to give away. Sounds like a great, inspirational read and a way to support a great cause.

  72. Thank you Jesus for using Emily to share your amazing promise of unconditional, forever love and acceptance!

  73. Linda Bonato says:

    I can so relate to Emily’s story!! I am still searching for where to find the love that I so want to have.I believe that it is so much easier for me to love than to receive love…I am not good enough to be loved by others. After reading this post I felt a spark of hope and pray that I can learn from this book that I am deserving of the love of others, especially my Heavenly Father! Thank you for writing your testimony Emily. I am positive that many will be blessed by it!

  74. Her story really struck a chord with me. I would love to read her book.

  75. I enjoyed the story that you wrote regarding how you were uncomfortable with yourself and felt you were inadequate and to try and make yourself the person you thought you should be you ended up starving yourself and almost dying.

    . I came to know Jesus after a failed marriage of almost 19 years. I felt as you did, ugly, unloved, a failure and certainly someone no one would ever want to love. But I did eventually realize that Jesus loved me and that freed me and I for the firsts time I felt good about myself. I felt like I had failed as a wife, mother, was so unlovable that no one could or would ever want to know me or care about me.

    It happened when I realized I did not need a man in my life to make me feel real, whole and special. So, I decided to pray daily to Jesus and asked Him to be the” Man in My Life”. That is when I realized He loved me already just as I was and was the only one I needed to fell whole, complete and loved.

    Jesus saved me from a life of sadness, despair and wanting not to live if I would never have a home, a family the life I thought I had to have to be a real woman, a real person. He told me He loved me and was all I ever needed. That is when I gave my life to Him totally and completely. I will never forget how wonderful and loved and so special I felt for the very first time in my life. I will l never forget that day. Thanks for sharing your feelings, how lost, ugly and alone you felt. I cannot wait to find one of your books and read more of your thoughts and feelings.

    A Sister in Jesus Precious Name, Mary Kaiser

  76. Valerie says:

    Emily’s story brought tears to my eyes! I too was anorexic when I was younger, when I was a happily married wife of 3 years; suddenly everything seemed too good to last and I was scared of everything and nothing. A counselor helped me to overcome my feelings, and soon afterwards I got pregnant with my beautiful daughter. Six months along, after studying the Bible with my wonderful husband, I developed a real, deep, lasting love with the Savior I thought I had always known. God is so good; so many trials have happened since then, but He is still here, still loving, always.

  77. Oh my. Sitting here in tears. I’m still busy trying to fill up on things that are fleeting. Wanting to feel that love she talks about. Would love to read about her journey. Thanks for sharing.

  78. Wow, this book description has touched my heart so deeply. I can see how the Holy Spirit is using this book and Emily’s story to speak truth to so many women! I have a similar past filled with pain and the “good girl on the outside looking for love for a broken soul inside” and the way you described dousing yourself with exclaim perfume struck a chord since I did the exact same ritual…along with neon pink lipstick and blue mascara. Now I’m made whole in Jesus! All glory to him and I’m relying on Him and his truth as I raise two beautiful daughters ( ages 8,7)

    Can’t wait to read this book and share it with my circle of women who love Jesus! Thank you for sharing your story Emily!

  79. This sounds like a wonderful book! I can’t wait to read it.

  80. I have tears in my eyes from reading this blog. Wow! What a powerful story to share. Thank you!

  81. I would love to own a copy of Atlas Girl!

  82. Amy Parra says:

    Amazing! Thank you for sharing about Emily. I recently had an Aha moment when I also found myself thinking that all good things come to an end. I can relate to her story. Thank you. I enjoy reading stories like Emily’s and would love to own her book.

  83. Marilynne says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I would love a copy of your book to share with a friend who has had similar struggles.

  84. Cindy W. says:

    I am looking forward to this one!

  85. Jacqueline says:

    I haven’t heard of this author, but would love to read her new book! I’m searching to find that love of God. My head just won’t get through to my heart.

  86. Anita C says:

    Emily, it is funny that you used to swing high to touch God because that is something that I used to do also. I so desperately wanted to reach Him that my mother was afraid that I would swing totally around the entire swing top! I would love to read to read your new book! Thank you for sharing it with us!

  87. Melanie Sparks says:

    This sounds like a fabulous book!

  88. GInger M. says:

    I can relate to this. I would love to read her story.

  89. Elaine Segstro says:

    What a captivating story! I would love to read this book. We yearn for love and along the way become so hurt and disillusioned. Thank you for reminding us that we have a daddy who loves us NO MATTER WHAT!

  90. JOY Tuggy says:

    My dad was also in ministry – and I missed him. I really look forward to reading your book, Emily. Thanks so much for sharing your life with the us, too.

  91. I would love to read this book, rather it be by me winning it or purchashing it from you. I am excited to see what God has placed in your heart to write.

  92. Thank you for sharing this with us. I feel this book is a must read and look forward to it!

  93. I cried when I saw the picture…It is me…. Just waiting on God to bring me someone to love me….Not understanding why no one does but trusting in God to give me flesh and bones to love……Telling Jesus everyday I still trust in You!!!

  94. Terri Marsh says:

    So many of us have feelings of being unloved, unwanted, undesirable, abandoned…and we feel alone with it. It always surprises me to read when other gals write about that too- and yet, it shouldn’t. We just LIVE so deep in our own stuff that we get covered up with the darkness and desolation of it to realize that we are NOT ALONE! Wonderful, always, to read and hear of the break through times! Our challenges are so EVERYDAY because the evil one KNOWS our weaknesses and seeks to puncture our hopes and dreams! So, YAY for our HUGE sisterhood in Jesus!!

  95. Toni Martinez says:

    Terri Marsh, I couldn’t agree more. I feel so unworthy of God’s love in fact of any ones love. I am always searching for the fulfillment in my heart but I don’t let God fill me up. Sometimes I feel so very alone and I am not alone at all. The enemy sure does know our weakness’ and he loves to take your mind back to it. I am a fighter and will continue to try and open up my heart for my Lord and Savior. Love seeing so many women longing for Jesus.

  96. Kristen Wirth says:

    Wow what a story and this would be a book to read!!!

  97. Wow. I’m 50 years old and you just described my life. I need this book. I’m scared to eat. All the time. And I’m tired of it.

  98. KellyS91709 says:

    I’m so glad I read this, and obviously this is touch many other women. I’m so excited to see that. I commend you for giving the profits to charity. I love to see that thank you. I hope it helps many! And the blessings come back to you and your family a thousand fold! That’s a sincere prayer. I hope that God intends for me to read this book, it feels like a fit!
    Blessings,
    Kelly

  99. Margaret says:

    To feel that God loves me … what a treasure. I know it in my head but am having trouble feeling it when life can be so lonely.

  100. Sounds like a wonderful book that many women like myself should read whether we suffer from anorexia or not.

  101. HAVE SPENT MOST OF LIFE FEELING INVISABLE ESPECIALLY TO PEOPLE I MOST WANT TO SEE ME

  102. Joyce K Halbert says:

    Emily,

    I would so much like to read this book. What little girl hasn’t just wanted to be loved as they are? I am raising 2 daughters by myself. I tell them daily that I love them but is that really enough? I spend time with them, I tuck them in at night, we say prayers together and I am trying so hard to instill in them that God will always love them no matter what they do or how they feel. I also want them to know that I love them unconditional as well. Thank you for writing a book like this. So, hope that I am picked to receive one of the free copies you are giving away.

  103. After reading just a little bit and just losing my father just saying how girls just want to be loved this brings tears to my eyes. My father was an alcoholic and we grew up fighting anorexia and depression it has taken Gods love and mercy to show me I have value. The picture says it all.

  104. Megan Featherston says:

    With all of my heart, I want such an encounter with the lover of my soul! Thank you so much for sharing!

  105. Megan B. says:

    I believe any girl can relate to Emily’s story even if her story is a little different at the ore it is the same!!

  106. Susan G says:

    Such a huge explosion of this horrible disease in our society today…my 16 year old daughter battled it as well. She is now 35 and healthy and serving God. God is our only hope! For anything…and everything…
    Thanks Emily for this post.
    Thanks Renee!
    Bless you both!

  107. “So I spent my life trying not to feel because it ached too much when I did.”

    Many of Emily’s words struck a chord with me.

  108. Sometimes I still find it hard to believe that God intentionally made me, Karen, for Himself. I belong to Him, even when I don’t know sometimes where I belong in life. I would love to win a copy of your book.

  109. Alice Redmond says:

    So much of this hits home. Looking, crying, dying for daddy’s approval; shutting down to avoid the constant hurt and turmoil! Well, let me tell you, God began a huge work in me just over a year ago and while there is still lots to do, the changes have brought me more peace then I ever expected, even though raw emotion is now a very real part of my life. I implore all of you that have hidden your hearts to let God in – really IN! To absolutely know His love is the most amazing thing, but you have to let Him in!

    God bless you all, in your journeys!

  110. Kristen Barkdull says:

    This book sounds so good! I just ran across the name about ten minutes ago and had added it to my wishlist!

  111. Beautiful post, Renee…thank you and Emily for sharing it with us.

  112. Crystal says:

    This looks like a very inspiring book. Thank you Emily for sharing your story. I am sure it will touch many lives and I am very interested in reading it!

  113. Wow! What a gift when we walk in the Truth of God’s love for us. So exciting to see this offered & would love to have the book!

  114. Janet Daniel says:

    That is one book I would love to read. What you shared really touched my heart. Thank you Emily for being couragous by sharing your story.

  115. Wow this book sounds very personal and powerful. I am sure her story will bless so many! I would love to read it.

  116. Elizabeth says:

    I know the feeling of wanting to be perfect like you think everyone else is, wanting what you think is a perfect life! Thanks for this devotional!

  117. Sharon Reed says:

    Thank you so mich for sharing this. I’m now 63 and sti.l struggle with my weight and my feeling of being unlovable.

  118. I think I need to read this book! What a message!

  119. Juanita Stevens says:

    I realize the love we are all searching for. I have come to realize that God loves me more than and human ever can. Recently, I learned about God’s Hesed love. His I’ve got your back kind of love. That was just what I needed at this time in my life and has kept me going and allowed me to share that with others.
    God wants to be our true love. The one we hunger for. I am so thankful for the opportunity to know that love and experience it.
    Thank you Emily for sharing your story.

  120. What a great article about this upcoming new book release! I was touched by it and will definitely be reading this book!

  121. Melissa D. Davis says:

    I have been divorced for almost eight years and felt unloved from my marriage. My dad died of cancer almost two years ago. I find it really hard to let people in. If I do I seem to limit how much and for how long. I would love to read more from your book. I also am a single mom to an autistic daughter who is 13.

    • oh Melissa. your journey is a hard one sister…. you are not alone. i pray you would feel Abba’s loving arms around you, holding you and your precious daughter…

  122. Heather Carrington says:

    ✫✫¸.•°*”˜˜”*°•.ƸӜƷ “Go where you are celebrated
    not tolerated.
    If they can’t see the real value of you,
    it’s time for a new start.”
    – Unknown ****************************************************************************************************************** I saw this poem the other day, it made me realise how one must let go of others who neither love you or care for you. How I am praying for a fresh new start.. away from this loneliness, away from lack of finance, away from lack of quality health, away from those who do not have a heart of God within their pitiful souls. I am at the end of a very long and tired road and now need the Jesus I have trusted for so long to come and get me, to raise me to heights that I can only dream about, to be loved as I’ve never known and painfully was robbed as a child, a woman and now in my middle years, searching for someone to belong to; that someone who will have the heart of Christ within his own heart. I want to belong again and be filled up to overflow.. it is time for me to come home.

  123. Katherine G says:

    I have not read any of Emily’s books, but I am going to read Atlas Girl. I could see me as a young girl with the same hunger for love. Only difference was I battled with being the ” chubby girl” that was always on the sidelines wanting so much to be excepted. It’s taken years for me to realize that I am wonderfully created by a God who loves me for who I am.

  124. Thank you for that article-i can relate to that since i have battled an eating disorder since i was 12 years old. The LORD has been so good to me and i am thankful that He is patient and faithful! I would be totally hopeless without Him!

  125. Emily, your story is very touching. I ran as far & as fast as I could when I was 15, after my father was murdered. There were so many things going wrong in my life. I finally found God when my youngest son became a heroin addict. (Thank God, he’s left that world). There have been so much of me broken all my life. But I get stronger everyday. Your story is quite an inspiration.
    God Bless you & your ministries.

    • oh Patti, life has thrown you some incredible hard curve balls… and yet, you stand, and you encourage me … thank you. I’m moved by your story and your heart friend. bless you, e.

  126. Wow. I struggled through another hard day and then came home to more bad news in the mailbox. I’m a faithful believer and try so hard to help others out of my love for people. I pray for a break and lately gave wondered if God can even hear me anymore. Then I opened my email and opened Renee ‘s daily blog email… and I sobbed. Emily quote truly hit home… I must somehow afford to buy this book as it sounds like just what I need right now.
    Thank you both for sharing …

    • oh Ramona… praying for you sister, hoping you win this book. I’m so sorry for those hard days, for the bad-news-days. Wishing I could sit and have tea with you. Bless you, e.

  127. Denise Hale says:

    Sounds like this will be an awesome read going to add it to my wish list. Glad to hear of yet another wonderful writer!

  128. Renée Cornelius says:

    I would love to share this book with my daughter who constantly struggles with self-image and worth

    • My heart aches for your daughter Renee… it’s so hard, growing up in this world, and yet, God is faithful. May she know how beautifully and wonderfully made she is… e.

  129. Pat Wronkowski says:

    This ministers down deep.

  130. I’ve seen so many posts about this book. It would be a blessing to read!

  131. Faith Wainwright says:

    I have always had just the opposite problem, I have always been overweight and I have always felt unloved and treated differently because of being fat all my life and being made fun of. Now my two grown daughters deal with the same problem, in fact they both weigh more than I do. I know they also deal with not feeling loved especially since their father is now gay.

    • oh Faith, this resonates deep …. while we have different struggles, we’re all on the same journey, longing to find an everlasting love that will never leave or forsake us… praying for you and your girls. thank you for sharing sister. all my heart, e.

  132. Emily what an inspirational story!! I love how you describe how Jesus saw you !! It made me cry. That little girl in all of us need that so badly’!! Thank you for sharing .
    Congrats on working or the Lulu Tree. Those precious children need all we can hove them. God Bless you for all you do!!
    I recently went to Haiti with my husband and church friends. The needs are great all over!
    Sue K.

  133. What a beautiful testimony you have, Emily. Your book sounds like a must read!

  134. I would like to express my thanks to you for having the courage to open your heart, mind, and life for us to connect with. I beleive that this book with be a blessing to many people and I can’t wait to read it but more importantly, I can’t wait to give it to someone that shared with me today. She is truly hurting and she expressed to me everything that the picture says. Your book is the answer that God shared with me.

  135. Sounds like an encouraging book — something most of us can use. Your story brings back memories – alone – don’t fit in.

  136. Wow. Just that short entry brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for sharing your life. I don’t have that kind of courage.

  137. Julie E. says:

    I can relate as I never felt good enough (and still struggle with that today). I too had anorexia years ago- I was never thin enough or pretty enough. Even though I have overcome anorexia, I still struggle from time to time with an eating disorder. I’m learning that God loves me the way that I am and that I don’t have to be perfect.

  138. Teresa R says:

    This is the first time I’ve heard of Emily, but her book is one I want to read. I was the opposite as a young girl/teen. I was overweight and giving myself to any guy who would speak nice words to me. I got pregnant and had an abortion. I was raised in the church, but never really knew God intimately until many years later.

    Now I am still overweight, but I see myself through God’s eyes and I am not embarrassed by my weight now. I am married to a wonderful man who loves me just the way I am

  139. Loretta Soto says:

    My Sweet Em,

    How my tears are falling from my face, In your past life living so alone within your inner self.
    Brings so much pain to my heart, It brought so much memory back to where I was that little girl.
    I felt your words living so deep in my heart, as I was reading my own story.
    It took me many years to learn how to love myself, to learn that I was special.

    That I was not that ugly little girl like I had been called ever since I was born.
    I felt no love because I did not receive love, I felt like I didn’t matter if I was dead or alive.
    I carried this for so long, that I also ended up in the hospital for five months because I didn’t eat.
    I starved my self nearly to death, I had to learn just to put a spoon in my mouth with out
    spitting up my guts.

    I use to ask God why? Why was I even born in the first place? Why didn’t God take me
    when I was that tiny little baby girl who just weigh four pounds.
    My life was like a rag doll who just laid around for days, and not being picked up to be loved.
    I knew there was a God at that time, But I didn’t really know any thing about Him.

    Took me a life time to get on my own two feet and face life and to learn life from the beginning.
    All Baby Steps! One day at a time.
    Very hard work just to learn whom God had made me.
    Now I can look in the mirror and say look at yourself, God made me Beautiful.
    God loves me so much that He gave His only Son to die on the cross for me.
    Jesus loves me, Wow!

    Now I love me! Now my Brothers and Sisters in Christ loves me.
    Even my gift that God gave me, My one and only son loves me so much.
    My little dogie loves me that God had gave to me.

    I know when I read your book “Atlas Girl” I will have my box of tissues right at my side.

    God Bless You Sweet Em, And Your Beautiful Family.
    You are always in my Heart and Prayers,

    Sending Warm {{{{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}}} Love You! ( Loretta )

  140. Boy I can relate. It’s so hard sometimes to wait. It’s easier to believe the lies of the enemy. I didn’t starve instead I ate more. Trying to use food to fill my void. Very good post. Definitely a book I want to read. Thanks.

  141. Trish Woodson says:

    Tears sprung to my eyes as I read this. That hollowness I knew and felt until I realised my hollowness was empty like the tomb…it was empty because only Christ awakening in me could fill me. Now I ache to be near Him and to radiate His light to the world but I still need Him daily to stop the world creeping in filling me with darkness and doubt. Thank you for this.

  142. Leonora says:

    Ive heard so much about the release of Atlas Girl, and now I can see why. This article was so simple and short and yet so powerful. Very rarely can I say that i get choked up reading something, but this did it. I remember my first revelation with Jesus was when I too was feeling unloved. And when God shows up, He shows off! 🙂 Congratulations on the book release and God bless your beautiful mind!

    • oh Leonora, this is so encouraging–thank you. You nearly brought me to tears. It’s been a long road, but I’m grateful to be sharing my journey with others. Bless you sister!

  143. Jill Miller says:

    Wow, what a powerful message that everyone can relate to in one way or another. This sounds like a great book…thank you for sharing your story!

  144. Pam Gentry says:

    Loved this excerpt – sounds like a great book, can’t wait to read it!

  145. Paula Collins says:

    Oh Emily, I understand your pain and what you went through. I experienced the same thing in middle and high school. The anorexia and bulimia were so bad I too was hospitalized. It was on a retreat that I met Jesus, I mean really met Jesus for the first time. Some girl (don’t even remember her name) had just finished her witness and followed it up with the song El Shaddai. The words to that song saved my life. God spoke to me so clearly I cried for three hours.

    Thank you for being transparent and willingly sharing your story with others. Know that many young ladies and women will heal through your truthfulness. Praying God will continue to hold you close and surround you with his unconditional love and grace. I would love to read your book.

  146. I would love to be part of these pages, walking through life with Emily. Relating and see what the Lord has done in another sisters life.

  147. What a beautiful way to portray the average young girl, whose shoes we have all been in. Hooray to Emily for being able to overcome anorexia! I too remember being in high school and starving to death while taking diet pills. Thanks for the wonderful email.

  148. Such a touching story–I want to read more! Thank you for sharing!

  149. This book sounds excellent – and something that I can relate to 🙂

  150. Sounds wonderful…I could see so many women benefiting from reading the book as well as a Proverbs 31 online bible study…hint, hint, hint!

  151. What an amazing testimony – thank you so much for sharing!

  152. Thank you sharing your story. Anorexia is a terrible disease, close to our family, but God is greater!

  153. Lorraine says:

    Emily’s story sounds amazing, can hardly wait to read her book!!

  154. Would love to read Emily’s new book and share it with others!

  155. Latrelle Cyree says:

    I believe there is a little girl in all of us women that is hungry to be known & loved.

  156. Cindy Woodham says:

    As women we all desire to be loved for who we are on the inside, not what we look like on the outside. God gives us this love….I am an x-pastor’s wife and raised my children probably a lot like you were raised. My daughter has dealt with OCD and I would love for her to read your book. This came about when her dad and I went through a divorce when she was a teenager. Divorce wrecks so many lives, but God is there through it all. So glad he loves us just the way we are and leads us to come to know him like we never have! He does make things turn around 180 degrees!

  157. I love, love, love each of you with all my heart!!! As I read your comments all throughout the day, I prayed for you and for Emily. Thanking Jesus for you both. I know how God takes broken and makes beauty. I know what it’s like to search and someone be found. I know what its’ like to want to end up somewhere and realized where I wanted to be was never where I thought I’d end up. Yet it’s exactly what and where my heart needed God to take me.

    I am so grateful for you and our beautiful, authentic, vulnerable, honest, loving, encouraging, wanting-to-have-all-of-Jesus community here.

    You are LOVED!! You are CHERISHED!! You are PRAYED for!!!

    I believe with all my heart God has a purpose for each of your lives and Im so honored and thankful HE gives me this space to encourage you towards it, but more than anything to help you experience the depth of God’s love in the looking and finding.

    Love,
    Renee

    • oh friend, THANK YOU for opening up your space and allowing me to meet these incredible women. I’m so touched by their transparency and their courage… by Jesus, shining through all of the cracks in our stories…. May God be given full glory through our lives! Bless you sister. e.

  158. As I struggle with depression and a struggling marriage, I’ve turned to God, really for the first time in my life. It’s hard to accept His love when I have such low self-esteem… I look forward to reading your book for some encouragement.

  159. Adreana C says:

    Wow! I ‘m already in tears, I want to read this book!

  160. I would love to give this book to my granddaughter, Courtney, who is turning 18 this year. This is a great message for teenagers to help them through those hard years.

    thank you so much.
    Gwen

  161. Linda N. says:

    Can only imagine the power of her full story. The little bit she shared here is wonderful – so tender & real.

  162. Sharnita says:

    Would love to read the entire story. Wonderful!!!

  163. Shelley Shrader says:

    Emilie, Your story looks absolutely fascinating to me. I believe all of us are broken in some way and have a story to share. I admire your bravery. I have shared the trailer on my Facebook timeline. I pray I can be blessed enough to win a copy of this insipiring memior. In addition to being an avid reader: I am bravely stepping out in faith as a writer so I can one day tell my story and share with others what God has shared with me. His love truly is amazing. God bless you.

  164. Debi Schuhow says:

    I never wanted to “go back home”, perhaps your book would be healing in this area?

  165. Whoa! wasn’t expecting what I read to bring old feelings, memories and tears to my eyes…. and I’m at work! what a fabulous writer. Touching deep to our hearts. I would love to win a book. Thank you 🙂

  166. I am looking forward to reading your memoir and being emotionally touched by your sincerity and transparency. Thank you.

  167. Jill Joiner says:

    I can’t wait to read this!

  168. Hi Emily
    Oh dear wheree do I start, I feel abandoned by God, I pray for the sale of my house which is a burden to this family, I pray for extra support to help me raise my family as my mum as passed away, I pray for positive thinking to be a good role model for my children, yet I continue on receiving no answers to prayers, I feel abandoned by God and feel like my faith of nearly 20 years has been a complete waste. I don’t know or understand and I feel powerless to create change to the point I can’t help but feel desperate

  169. What a HUGE issue for women today… acceptance, love, unconditional love for who we are and what we look like. I struggled with an eating disorder in my early 20’s (now 57). Although I no longer purge or starve myself, the woman I see in the mirror is never “just right”. I wear clothes that hide who I am and worry myself sick about what others think. I spent my teen years/early 20’s looking for love in all the wrong places…trying everything but the Lord. One of my daughters has also struggled with purging, exercising too much, running her legs off (not literally of course)… she is now carrying my 4th grand-daughter and is struggling with that weight gain. I can’t wait to read this book and share with my daughter!!! Thank you Emily.

  170. Tami Tipton-Fletcher says:

    Renee … a big Kudos to you for having Emily as your guest today. And to “e” … I have had the privilege of working and serving the youth of my two churches over the years and have heard your story – or a very similar rendition of the same – so many times. Thank you for your candid insight and ability to put it to paper and pen for others to have the chance at a better understanding of their own story … or the story of the ones they love but are unable to reach … or those who they long to reach out to with an understanding gesture of grace. I have followed your writings, blogs and publications for years … for the insight into the darkness of another’s world, but also for the promise of hope that our Lord and Savior eternally offers with His enduring, unconditional, and “no questions asked” magnificent love that is there through the ages if only we ask for forgiveness by turning our sin over to Him, and by believing that our precious Jesus died on that Cross, shed His blood – for you, for me, and for all mankind. What a beautiful Saviour we have in Christ Jesus! So again “e,” thank you for being bare, raw and truthful so that others might see a path of hope and love through your story. May God bless. ~T

  171. Miss Mary T says:

    Renee and Emily, I read the P31 devotion today which brought me here and to Emily’s page where I immediately subscribed. Dont want to be repetitive with my comment so I will just say thank you and God bless! Sharing all posts and sites with my daughter who needs to know how much God loves her for who she is, His daughter, created to fulfill His purpose for her, according to His Divine plan, to give her a future and a hope!

  172. Hazel Blackstone says:

    Sounds like a thought-provoking book born out of painful experiences. Definitely goes on my to-read list!

  173. Patricia says:

    Powerful words and feelings that so many of us carry in our hearts. I know I belong to Him, but still find my mind seeking to find ways to excell in looks, friendships, and other areas. He gently pulls me back to Him, but oh to be free of the insecurities life gives. Thank you for a book so many relate to!

  174. So excited to read this book! Thank you for sharing your story.

  175. I used to not eat out of fear. Now all I do is eat out of fear. I have gone from being skinny to being obese – all through fear. And I am walking this path to letting go and it is painful and scary and I wish it was done. Reading that God can love me and see me – that little girl inside – brings me to tears and I want to run from it. I don’t feel good enough. And yet, I know that I am because He loves me. Could it be even possible that this God who created the world in six days can be mindful of me. It scares me and all I want to do is hide. Stories like this give me great encouragement that one day I, too, can eat normally and healthily, that I, too, will be past this.

  176. Tracie Lowrance says:

    New to Emily, but am happy to see a book that reflects the intimacy that Jesus loves each of us with. I am looking forward to reading it. Thank you Emily for sharing.

  177. Sherrie Murphy says:

    I, too, suffered with knowing Jesus but not knowing Him. I wanted to just fit in with the “popular” girls and when they all made fun of me it broke my heart. I have suffered for years from lacking self esteem, always feeling not good enough or not pretty enough for them. I truly met Jesus when I was 16 at a youth convention and then the Holy Spirit came upon me one day at church soon after that. The doubts creep up on me every once in awhile but now I know that I have Jesus’ name to protect me from those thoughts. His Love is forever. All you need do is accept what he has to offer and you can live at peace with yourself.

  178. This brought tears to my eyes! I can’t wait to read this book! 🙂

  179. What a very raw and touching story, I use to teach eating disorders as a Psychology teacher but the theory can never prepare you for the reality of it. So thankful you found your peace and fullness in God Emily. I think ‘Eating Disorders’ come in many shapes and sizes and for many different reasons. Many women (myself included) who may not feel they have an ED use food as a form of comfort and escapism but as the title of the posts shows, it’s only a ruse to fill our deep seated desire for Abba’s love. It’s a beautiful freedom to know that we do not have to be dictated to by food or anything else when we know or begin to know who we are in our Lord and Saviour.

    Thank you for your beautiful story.

  180. Donna Spitzer says:

    Sadly @ 60yrs old, I’ve devoted my whole life to having, caring for and being the everything for my 10 children, my 13 grandchildren & 1 great granddaughter & husband, I think I lost me a long time ago…Not even sure where to start to find the Lord or me again… 🙁

  181. I am new to Emily. Sounds like her book will be a real inspiration to anyone. Thank you for allowing her to share her testimony.

  182. Helene Walkowsky says:

    When I was about six years old God gave me a dream I saw a dark sky full of rolling clouds in which two
    Huge medallions appeared. One was full of radiant light, in the other I saw Jesus on the cross. From the
    light I heard God’s voice: “Your life won’t be easy, but I will always look after you.” My young years were
    dominated by a father who resented me being a girl firstborn, he tried to sell me when I was just a few days
    old. and I always had to earn his “love”. I was continuously told how ugly and worthless I was. Yet, it never
    did me lasting harm because God had promised me that He would look after me. Over the years I had some
    very serious “near misses” (I think I could fill a booklet with the stories of how my Heavenly Father prevented
    me from falling by the wayside), but God showered me with His blessings in the form of loving friends and
    wonderful teachers, a good brain, a heart full of love and compassion for my fellow humand beings, for
    animals and nature, discernment a gift from the Holy Spirit, because we are human and need continuous
    correction. I had a wonderful marriage and four beautiful children. Now I am a secular Franciscan which
    has given a totally new direction to my life, it is so beautiful. God has given me a decent voice and I sing in
    our church choir. Our choirmaster always emphasises that we sing to praise God, to His glory. There’s
    nothing I’d rather do. I have often wondered what would have become of me if God hadn’t spoken to me
    when I was so young. If He hadn’t accompanied, guided me my whole life. I am 77 now, so I am close to
    Going to my heavenly Family. But until that time I keep walking with Jesus and St.Francis by my side
    and thanking my Father for His blessings.

    Your story was so moving and at the same time so uplifting. God has a plan for each of us, but I think that
    each plan has one thing in common with all others: we must share what we learn from our walk with the
    Lord so everybody can become a son or daughter in a His Kingdom. In the meantime we must keep growing
    in our prayer life and keep learning from God’s Word.

  183. This is such a timely post! I wish I knew how to be helped when those feelings of guilt and condemnation come over me. Usually mine are about my kids and how as a younger unsaved mom, poison was poured into them frequently. I look at what I could have been doing and what I did and it seems to open the door to these two! I know that I am forgiven and I know that God had a plan the entire time, I just feel I wasted time and as a result still sometimes waste time. I would love some guidance on this! Thanks for the transparency!

  184. Christy Duncan says:

    The book sounds intriguing!

  185. Can’t wait to read the book. Bought one for my good friend too so we can read it together and be blessed.
    JJ

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