Her Story

A real-life story of a woman’s life. Will include those within the category but may not be entirely in story form, but tell a large portion of her story to establish the premise.

The Relieved Widow book on wood table

My Story of Becoming a Relieved Widow

Why The Relieved Widow? A single gunshot shatters the quiet early morning, and in an instant, transforms a wife into a widow. However, upon discovering her husband had taken his own life, shock and dismay quickly gave way to something truly surprising: relief. Amanda-Lee retraces her 15-year marriage through a lens of grief to uncover the truth: Her marriage was tumultuous and unpredictable, thanks to his undiagnosed mental health battle, and it looked a lot like caring for a terminally ill partner. Coming to the surface allows her to breathe the air she had been choked off from and relearn the importance of boundary setting, giving grace to herself, and the building the courage to imagine and embrace a better future. For […]

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the good christian girl who struggled with porn

The Good Christian Girl Who Struggled With Porn

I was 13 when I found pornography. Understand my family was super conservative. I was raised in the church. My mom and I never had the talk. I’m almost 32, and we still haven’t had the talk. The most I knew about sex was that it was something my public school classmates were starting to do, it was all boys thought about, and God didn’t want me to have it. That was the extent of my knowledge, until the day I was researching for school and came upon a porn video. I’ve always been a learner. I like exploring new things and learning new information. Finding the porn video, as graphic as it was, felt like a clue in my life’s quest to

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Womens History Month Be Inspired by Strong Women of the Past

Women’s History Month: Be Inspired By Strong Women of the Past

In celebrating Women’s History Month, I had to go back in time. To a season I first learned about the great women who paved paths before us. I grew up in a tiny Indiana town where generations of families worked their farmland or found employment in the factories for union wage. You knew the names of almost everyone in the community and also knew their “business.” As in cities large and small, there were classes of citizens, from the bank president to the school janitor. You held a position, and it was there you stayed. In the summer, we rode our bikes for miles to the local swimming pool or dropped them at the side of the road to explore the woods,

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I Lost My Mom and Found My True Strength

I Lost My Mom and Found My True Strength

I’ve heard it said that life is the sum of all the choices you make. I get this, but what about the things we don’t choose? Don’t those things still shape our lives and set a course that we may not have “chosen” for ourselves? Growing up, we all hear phrases like, “You’re in the mistake zone,” referring to young adults between the ages of 18-22, and, “You never know what you have until it’s gone.” Being well out of my 20s now, I don’t know if I’ve ever heard or experienced more accurate phrases. I’ve made a myriad of mistakes along the way, and I try to live each day with no regret, but there’s one choice that still haunts me.

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This Is My Story of Domestic Abuse

This Is My Story of Domestic Abuse

There was a time when I never wanted to talk about it, at least not publicly. I never thought I would. In fact, several years into my journey, the majority of people around me saw nothing but smiles. Truth was, my world was unraveling into devastating chaos. It was never due to shame and not even due to denial. But in today’s world, it seems that everyone is desperate to have a cause. Everyone wants a platform. No matter the scenario, there is always someone looking to somehow identify themselves with the pain of a situation or a cause to gain sympathy. And quite frankly, it cheapens and leaves those that have actually walked the dark paths of pain silent. Women and

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God’s Comfort in the Heartbreak of Anencephaly

This was it, exactly what my heart had secretly desired. I was pregnant! We had just received the results of our genetic testing to find out the gender. I had been quietly praying and wishing for a baby girl. One that I could put big headbands on and all things pink. This baby was a surprise, one I didn’t think I’d have. Just six months prior, we decided that if we adopted a sibling group of four we had cared for in the past the dream of having another biological baby would need to be sacrificed. Having the four come back would mean that we would be at 12 children, and that was a big number for us. I prayed about it

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As a Mom, I Want You to Know This About Down Syndrome

“We suspect the baby has a genetic abnormality that is causing the birth defects.” Right from the first suspicion that there were issues with the baby girl growing inside of me, the doctors switched from referring to my baby as “your baby” and “she” to less personal terms like “the baby” and “it.” It was my first taste of how our culture views and treats people who are born, for lack of a better term, different. At 20 weeks gestation, we knew our little girl, Fiona, would have Down syndrome. The diagnosis came a few weeks after we had found out she also had a life-threatening heart defect and bilateral clubbed feet. We were heartbroken and scared. Life was never going to

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My Dad's Suicide and the Hole in My Heart

My Dad’s Suicide and the Hole in My Heart

I knew my father was having a difficult time in life. It was so very unlike this man, whose smile warmed the hearts of perfect strangers, to see that smile so infrequently. But at the age of 50, having left his position as an accountant, he could not find a job in his field. There were challenges he was facing that he kept to himself, and the depth of depression that descended upon him was not fully known to those who loved him. That is until the day my mother found him in the garage having taken his life. My father had committed suicide. I was a 23-year-old newlywed living in Nashville, Tennessee when I received the call. This was my daddy.

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profile of female airline attendant standing next to a plane with eyes closed remembering September 11

Remembering September 11: Overcoming Anxiety as an Aircrew

When I first started flying as a flight attendant, I was sent to New York as the last batch of attendants hired as JFK crew. My first day of flying? September 11, 2015. Joining one of the major airlines used during the terror attacks on that fateful day, my first day of work was to be a lesson in the necessary skill of overcoming anxiety as a flight attendant. When faithfulness triumphs over fear, true bravery is born. The flight crews who kept working in the air after those tragic crashes told us something with their lives: We must remain faithful to whatever it is we’re doing, despite our fears, or we might freeze. A Lasting Impact I was a new hire,

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a strong woman shows grace and is not weak

7 Female Inventors Who Solved Life Problems

Every year, the month of March brings a celebration of women’s history. But I think it’s a disservice when we highlight female innovations only one month of the year. Since delving into human history is an exercise that I love, I delight in what women have accomplished! Yet searching what women have achieved, one often finds the most current writing focuses on a single note in the rich melody of women’s achievements—the strides made by women in advancing equality. Ladies, we have done so much more than that! It’s not a single note; instead, it’s a whole orchestral arrangement. What I also love is that not only is exploring our gender’s achievements much more than a reflection on how far women have

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It’s a Wonderful Thing to Fall in Love Later in Life

It’s a Wonderful Thing to Fall in Love Later in Life

Our children and grandchildren met each other for the first time over pizza on a Friday evening. A bonfire was built later that night. Marshmallows were toasted and paired with graham crackers and chocolate, and grandkids were sent back to their cabins sugared up (because this is what grandparents get to do). Dan and I planned an outdoor wedding weekend, having fallen in love later in life. We were surrounded by our adult children, children-in-law, and the grands. Each family occupied their own tiny cabin near a wild and clear river. Grandpa Dan flipped pancakes on Saturday morning at a cook station set up on the deck of a woodsy house. Here is where the bride and her junior bridesmaids, pre-teen granddaughters

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this is what i would say to the man who raped me

This Is What I Would Say to the Man Who Raped Me

The cutting cold of the night numbed my cheek as I lay against a pillow of snow. My head was heavy—I could not lift it—but my eyes could still look around from my quiet place on the ground. No one. Silence. Maybe the faraway hum of traffic. Maybe a street light casting a yellow shadow on the parked cars. Maybe the taste of acidic peppermint in my mouth. I was glad to be alone. The crowd had become too suffocating. Someone’s parents were gone for the weekend, so a bunch of us decided to have an older brother buy alcohol. The one who smoked Camels and drove a Camaro. Boys in puffy coats sat around a kitchen table and played cards, and

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behind my pretty life my struggle with alcohol

Behind My Pretty Life: My Struggle With Alcohol

I slowly lifted my index finger parallel to my eyelash and blinked. My auburn lashes were clean. No leftover mascara remained. That meant I had washed my face and possibly pulled it together before falling into bed. The perfectly appointed midnight blue monogram on my J. Crew pajamas, wrinkled against my tired body, was a positive sign that my faux façade was in place. The bow on this sloppy package was neatly tied. Thank God I gave up wine for Lent. Substituting vodka seemed to be going swimmingly. The light peeked into my bedroom through the half-drawn shutters. It was deafeningly quiet, which meant it was early on a Sunday morning. I squinted to see across the room to the quiet cove

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How My Husband and I Survived My Affair

How My Husband and I Survived My Affair

“How did I get here? This can’t be happening,” these words raced across my mind as I sat in a room with our pastor and the seeming stranger I was married to. But there I was, a church-raised, young woman in the throes of a nasty adulterous mess… but my affair was what got us there. Never in my wildest dreams did I think that I could slip so far or that divorce would seem like an obvious lifeline amidst the chaos. I so badly wanted to flee this moment of accountability, wanted to flee this marriage, and by doing so, escape the mess I had made. That summer, almost 11 years ago now, things had come to a head. But the

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My Parents’ Murder-Suicide and the Road to Forgiveness with Tracy Brandt - 208

My Parents’ Murder-Suicide and the Road to Forgiveness with Tracy Brandt – 208

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreHow do you forgive the unforgiveable? This week’s guest, Tracy Brandt, did just that after losing her parents to murder-suicide: Her father took her mother’s life, just before taking his own. Tracy joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender to share details of the dysfunctional and tumultuous upbringing that preceded the loss of her parents. They fought often, held bitterness toward each other and seemed incapable of communicating in a healthy way. After learning the news, Tracy had no intention of forgiving her father. About a year later, however, she felt God place it on her heart. In this episode, she recalls the emotional back and

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Your World Just Turned Upside Down—What Now? with Marlys Johnson Lawry - 197

Your World Just Turned Upside Down—What Now? with Marlys Johnson Lawry – 197

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreYour world just turned upside down. What do you do? Marlys Johnson Lawry has been there. Her and her first husband, Gary, were not only partners in life but in servitude to their community. Gary’s cancer diagnosis came on the heels of unemployment and financial strain—and for Marlys, an overwhelming sense of stress and uncertainty.  She joins Darlene and Julie on this week’s podcast episode to share details of her rollercoaster ride through dating as a widow, and more importantly, the coping skills that helped her press on through the unexpected life changes and find hope and happiness again.  Marlys Johnson Lawry is a speaker, award-winning

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How Do I Begin to Heal from Past Emotional Hurt? with Elizabeth Bristol -186

How Do I Begin to Heal from Past Emotional Hurt? with Elizabeth Bristol -186

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MorePart of growing older—and being human—is learning how to recognize and manage our emotions in a healthy way. Our emotions have the power to help us grow, but they can also hold us back, especially when we’ve been hurt by others in the past. Elizabeth Bristol joins Darlene Brock and Julie Bender on this week’s podcast episode to share how she overcame her past emotional hurt. Elizabeth dealt with heartache and traumatic situations, including rape and drug use. After years of feeling stagnant in her pain, God prompted her to write down her story. It was only after she faced the pain of her past

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