Fear of the Unknown

I remember the first time I went to a bible study group. I was a new Christian and was very nervous. I hardly knew any of the books of the Bible and had no idea which of them was in the Old Testament or New. But my friend pressed me to go and I wanted to make her happy. When I arrived, I immediately became nervous, fearing that someone might ask me a question and I wouldn’t know the answer. Everyone welcomed me and although I didn’t speak much during our time together, by the end of the evening I knew that I would return. I have been with that same group for almost five years now and the women are some of my closest friends. What if I had let fear prevent me from going that first night?

Sometimes doing something new or unfamiliar can be scary. We like to be comfortable, so the idea of switching things up or trying something different can lead to fear. We don’t like to feel unprepared for fear of being judged.

But what if we never tried anything new?

What if we didn’t take that first step towards a new goal?

How many times have you allowed your fears to get in the way of your dreams?
In Isaiah 41:10, we can find the comfort that only God can provide when we are full of fear.


Imagine a life where you fully trusted God and turned all your fears and worries to Him.

What would that look like?

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!

Lead Me

It must be you God,

leading me down this path.

l-301503Sometimes slowly,

other times at a lightning pace.

It must be you God,

leading me to be a voice for others.

Years ago I couldn’t have,

but now I feel your grace and love.

It must be you God,

encouraging me to to push ahead.

I feel your presence now,

guiding me when it gets tough.

It must be you God,

trusting me with this task.

You’ve shown me how to forgive,

to leave my hurt in the past.

It must be you God,

giving me this courage.

I’ll do my best to make you proud;

you’ve given me so much.

It must be you God,

Filling me with this joy.

I feel a sense of urgency,

a new found purpose.

It must be you God,

leading me down this path.

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

Your destination is straight ahead

Do you remember life before GPS? Ok, there was MapQuest (is that still a thing?) but I mean before that? Remember using a map?!

I am directionally challenged. Seriously. I rely on my GPS to get me everywhere. The worst is when it doesn’t give you enough time before you need to turn and then you hear the obnoxious….RECALCULATING. My husband often teases me about it. He says, “what if your GPS didn’t work?” I laugh and shrug. Being a woman, I would ask for directions!

It got me thinking….what if we are truly lost and have no idea where to go?  I’ve been in this situation before, not just on the road, but in life. I’ve needed direction and been scared that I would make the wrong decision. Have you? Who do you turn to when you need direction?

What if we trusted Jesus as much as we trust our GPS?


Can you imagine?

Imagine being a young child trapped in a seemingly hopeless situation with a sexually abusive father and alcoholic mother- with no one to tell and no place to go.

How would you survive?

Imagine hanging onto a faith that you haven’t been exposed to, hoping that there is a God who will help you.

How would you pray?

Imagine spending every day of your life pretending to be someone who you aren’t.

How would you keep smiling?

Imagine being determined enough to keep searching for freedom when all you feel is trapped.

Where would you find hope?

Imagine if survival required denying and avoiding the past.

Would you be able to forget?

Imagine the joy in finding what you searched for your whole life?

Would you feel worthy?

Imagine feeling called to forgive the two people who hurt you.

How would you respond?

Imagine having faith strong enough to get past a lifetime of hurt….

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 5.53.40 PM

To be able to come out of the darkroom and into the light.

I invite you to come on this journey of faith and forgiveness with me.

Available November 23

Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com

You did what?!

Have you ever been scared to follow what God is telling you to do? To go outside your comfort zone, make sacrifices, and be truly obedient to Him? It can be scary!

I taught special education history classes in a public high school for eight years. Last June I hung up my teacher hat to do what God was calling me to do. Since then, I’ve had several experiences where I have seen someone that I haven’t seen in a while and they ask me how the school year is going. I kindly explain that I’m not teaching anymore.

Then I get the questions…cliff_wide-054d76bca17db78df42b4c95905b64cdc48bfe2a-s6-c30

How come? So what are you doing now?

At first I wasn’t sure how to respond….

“Ummm….God called me to write a book, so I quit my job and did it.”

Oh, what is your book about? 

At first I worried that people would think I’m crazy when I told them that I’m working part-time so that I could write a book about my horrible past and how I got over it.
Once I realized that, I got over my insecurity and now I look forward to seeing old friends and telling them about this incredible journey that God has taken me on. And guess what? Everyone has been kind and encouraging!

So next time God tells you to jump, don’t worry about not having the time, money, or courage. Your response should be, “How high?”

It’s so shiny!

Could it be? The UPS truck at 6:30 pm?20151027_205921

It’s here! My author copy arrived and this is the first time I held my book. So many emotions…..

The greatest part was the anticipation on my family’s face as I opened the package. They have seen me write, re-write, and pray over this book. My husband has seen the pain and fear. God has seen me through all of it.

Out of the Darkroom, Into the Light: A Story of Faith and Forgiveness After Child Abuse will be available to the public very soon!

Courage or Faith?

When I started this blog I was in the beginning phases of writing my story. I was too scared to use my real name. I felt ashamed of my past and had hidden from it for many years. I was scared of how my decision to share my past would affect my family.

During this time, I felt God pulling and pushing me towards Him. Every day he gave me more confidence. I began trusting Him more and more and my fear slowly started to melt. I have told some friends and my sons about the abuse from my parents and have been met with kind words and a lot of support.

Now I am preparing to share my journey of faith and forgiveness with others. The words are written and I will be speaking about my abuse. My courage to step out in faith is a big decision, but I believe that He is with us in every detail that we entrust to Him.

I am keeping the title of my blog because I know that I am a reflection of God’s grace.

I am grace; my name is Tracey.


A thing called courage

What is courage?

Courage is taking a leap of faith when you have no idea what is beneath you.

Courage is choosing to trust God, no matter what.

Courage is letting go of what you can’t change.

Courage is having enough respect for yourself that you realize when it is time to say goodbye to anything that no longer makes you feel happy, whole, or has the potential for growth.

Courage is doing all of the above and feeling great about it.

I did, can you?

Phillipians 4:13