Coming Out of the Fire

I had the opportunity to talk with crisis coach Faydra Koenig on her podcast recently. You can join Faydra, America’s Crisis Coach, on iTunes as she interviews high-achievers who faced unimaginable obstacles and came out on top. She presents a bold approach to crisis management. I hope you’ll take a minute to listen!

Grab your listen here:

A Journey to Heal

I am so excited to introduce you to Crystal Sutherland and her newly released book, A Journey to Heal. Crystal and I met as a result of our similar journeys and her book is a wonderful resource for anyone who has been affected by sexual abuse. Journey to Heal is a path of hope and healing for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse.

Book cover

In this book, a woman who was sexually abused as a child is confronted with many internal questions: Am I worthless? Will I get past the pain? Do I matter to God? These and similar questions can carve a deep hole in an already wounded soul. Too often, the lies of worthlessness are believed, the pain becomes too much to handle, and survivors find themselvesmaking choices that lead to more heartbreak. With over 42 million survivors (both male and female) in the United States alone, the need for a clear path to healing is great.

11143532_10208014282210795_3670148504723465899_oCrystal Sutherland-herself a survivor of CSA -knows that while the recovery process iscomplex, healing is possible with God’s help. For women who want to progress from simply coping to living abundantly, this book guides readers through seven essential steps to recovery found in Scripture.Candid and open about her personal journey of healing, Crystal comes alongside her reader as a friend who understands. Infused with biblical truths, stories of hope from other survivors, and practical wisdom, this book leads women to discover the life of wholeness God has for them.

Me too!

Isn’t it reassuring when you find out that someone else has a similar situation or problem as you? When we are filled with doubt or concern, the words ME TOO, can make us feel less alone. Perhaps it’s a situation at work or difficulty in a relationship. Maybe it’s something from the past that we’ve been nervous to share. We begin to wonder if it’s just us and when we make that connection it is a relief! Finding others who have a similar past or current situation is comforting. This is why it’s important that we share our journey with others.

When a counselor who I had been seeing suggested that I share my story, my initial reaction was to laugh. I had kept my past, my secret, for all these years, why would I share it?


But something kept nudging me and her words kept replaying in my head, “What if you could help someone who is suffering like you did for so long?”

I remember the sick, scared feeling I had in my stomach the first time I shared my story of being sexual abused with others. I feared being judged and feelings of shame and guilt from the past flooded my thoughts. When I finished, I was surprised to find that audience members were coming up to thank me for sharing. And then something that I hadn’t expected happened. The guests, people I didn’t know, starting telling me that they had a similar past…..what? Women told me that they too had never told anyone. As much as it comforted me, I also felt angry and sad.

How is it that in a culture of tell-all, reality TV, there are so many suffering in silence? We donate money and time to help others in foreign countries, but aren’t addressing the serious issues that are in our own churches, neighborhoods and schools.

We need to come forward, get past the shame and guilt and help each other heal. The more we do, the more we can bring attention to this all too common issue and prevent it from happening to others.

This is why I share my story.


I recently had the opportunity to appear on Real Life and Real Life 360 on Cornerstone TV in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. I shared my story with the hope of helping others realize that they aren’t alone. God loves us…messy past and all!

What does it mean to “Rise Up with Our Words”? {Linkup}


As a Christian writer, I feel a sense of responsibility to use my written words to encourage others. It all started when I decided to share my personal story of overcoming abuse. I didn’t want to do it at first, and thought of at least 100 excuses why I shouldn’t, but realized how much it would’ve helped me over the years to know that I was not the only one. I had suffered in silence for many years and felt scared, ashamed and very vulnerable. The more I thought and prayed about it, I knew that God had called me to break my silence and encourage others who may feel alone, lost or unsure of what the future holds. So I followed a new path with His word as my compass.

I wrote a book and began speaking to different groups. As I began sharing my story, more and more women approached me and told me how much they could relate. After years of being silent about my past, I was shocked to learn that there are many who share my story.

I believe that the more we rise up with our words, written or spoken, and share what is on our heart, the more we can help each other. Whether it is our testimony, struggles or just the honest truth, we can all benefit and help someone else feel less alone. We can see God working in us and through us as we share from our heart. As we do this, we are glorifying our wonderful God.

Bloom In the Dark

Today I am super excited to have my friend Paula Mosher Wallace on Grace. She and I have the same passion to help other women who have been victims of sexual abuse. She has published an amazing book, “Bloom In the Dark” that is helping many. I had the opportunity recently to ask her some questions about her book and the vision for her ministry.


Q: What was your motivation for writing Bloom in the Dark?

A: God made me write it. He cornered me and told me He wouldn’t open any other doors for me until I obeyed on this one. I know that sounds dramatic, but that was my reality. I’d had the nagging feeling in the back of my head for over a year, but had fifty excuses for why I couldn’t write a book—especially not one as painful as this one. Besides, who would ever let me tell her most painful experiences? Like the intro, “Naked on Stage”, I already knew how difficult it was to go public with your shameful brokenness. But God. The same God Who inspired me to share some of my story in the book, inspired all the other women to share their stories. I feel humbled that they entrusted me with their darkest pain.

Q: Who should read your book?

A: Everyone. Of course. LOL. It is written specifically to the woman who’s still in denial, still feeling isolated and alone, still thinking she’s stuck and has no hope. Women who’ve been healed, should read it to inspire them to share their testimonies so they can help and inspire others. Women who are in abusive situations should read it to give them courage to get out. Women who haven’t been abused should read it to develop more compassion for broken women and to be grateful for the life they’ve had without abuse. Women leaving home at eighteen should read it as a preventative tool to help them understand how to avoid dangerous situations. Women in counseling or ministry positions should read it to understand how the women they minister to think and feel. Men should read it to better understand women and darkness.

Q: What was the hardest part of putting the stories together?

A: Coordinating with all the women who had lived the stories. They are from all around the country. They come from different generations, different socioeconomic backgrounds, different ethnic groups. I already knew some of them, but some of them God brought my way just for this book.

Q: What are your goals for your book?

A: My goal is to get this book into the hands of every woman in prison, every woman in battered women shelters, every woman in prostitution or sex-trafficking, every woman on the street, every woman in church, every woman in college, every woman in business, every woman in counseling, every woman in ministry, etc. In 2016, my goal is to get 10,000 books into the hands of hurting women.

Q: What does the future hold for Bloom in the Dark?

A: Right now, my team of ex-victims is helping me form a 501c3 charity called Bloom in the Dark. Our goal is to raise funds to give away books to charities helping hurting women, to raise awareness about abuse and brokenness of all types, and to create a hub for resources around the country available to help hurting women. I want to join all ex-victims in amplifying our voice to give awareness and hope to others so that we can drive away the darkness and BLOOM to our full potential.

Wallace_June 07Born in the jungles of Peru to missionary parents, Paula’s beginning in life was anything but typical.

Raped at the age of 5, Paula was caught in a cycle of damage and abuse which lasted into her thirties. From sexual abuse to later mental, emotional and even spiritual abuse, Paula developed a victim mentality, which fueled decades of continued abuse. The trauma she experienced caused her to develop a variety of psychosomatic illnesses which, at times, left her bed-ridden.

Broken beyond endurance and suicidal, Paula cried out to God for help. He miraculously intervened, faithfully walking with her through a dramatic healing process. Along the way, Paula learned to stand up to her abusers and stop attracting predators. She now knows, from personal experience, the healing, deliverance, and hope that only God can bring.

As an ex-victim, Paula’s passion to help others resulted in her writing Bloom in the Dark, a compilation of true stories shared by women who have walked through personal darkness and abuse. Each story tells how God met, healed, and restored an ex-victim. Readers discover that they are not alone and that there is lasting hope and healing! To learn more about Paula and her book, visit her website


My story is not just mine.

When people read my book, I often hear, “Wow, you’re brave.” Telling a personal story that involves pain is scary and makes you vulnerable, but I feel strongly that it is important in order to help others. I kept my secret until I was 43 years old. Scared of being judged, I was full of guilt and shame. Today I am able to tell my story as a testimony to God’s grace. I will continue to share in order to help other women understand that they are not alone. My story may shock some, but it is one of many….

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN):

Victims of sexual assault are:

3 times more likely to suffer from depression.

6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder.

13 times more likely to abuse alcohol.

26 times more likely to abuse drugs.

4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

I am one of the lucky ones. Thanks to God’s grace and my ability to forgive my abusers, I am able to live a life full of love. As you can see from the statistics above, many aren’t as lucky.

My goal is to help others find freedom and healing through God’s grace. This is why I chose to share my story.

My story is about much more than just me. l-298041