Tracey Casciano Featured on #WSATV Women Leaders’ Interview

Woman Speakers Association (WSA) is THE go-to place for innovative leaders, change-agents and women with a message to connect, collaborate and grow their visibility worldwide in order to fulfill their mission. As the first-ever global community for women speakers, WSA provides a platform for women to get seen, booked and paid AND be part of a growing network reaching women in 120 countries on 6 continents. Whatever her “stage”…be it the classroom, a boardroom, the floor of the U.N., WSA is dedicated to empowering women to authentically express themselves, build a thriving, prosperous business and cause serious transformation in the lives of their clients, companies, communities and the world.

I had the opportunity to be interviewed on Women Speakers Association TV last week with two other amazing women and wanted to share it with you. WSATV interview

“Never give up hope. We often don’t understand why things are happening when we are in the middle of it, but once you get to the other side, you often discover your purpose.” Tracey Casciano





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.

A sign from God?

A year ago I met a wonderful Christian counselor at a women’s retreat. I was in need of a therapist and called her when I got home. Shortly after that, I began meeting with her weekly and I told her all my “stuff.”

As we were speaking one afternoon, she said that I had a story that could help others and then she asked me if I could ever see myself sharing it. I began laughing nervously, but couldn’t ignore the growing excitement inside of me. As I left and went to my car I found myself considering this crazy idea. I kept it to myself for a week and then received an e-mail invitation for Christian writers and speaker to attend a conference called She Speaks in Charlotte, NC. It confirmed that this was something God was calling me to do. I was too nervous to tell my husband in person, so I e-mailed him. Being a logical, no-nonsense, lawyer, I was waiting (hoping?) for him to ask me how much it would cost or tell me that it was a silly idea. But instead he wrote back, “Go for it,” confirming that this was not something I could ignore.

I flew to the conference feeling very nervous and unprepared. I had a skeleton of a proposal and brand new business cards and felt overwhelmed to be in the company of incredible women like Lysa TerKeurst, Renee Swope, and Christine Caine. However, I was relieved to find that I was in the company of a lot of women just like me and had an incredible weekend. As we broke into small groups at the conference I was uncomfortable telling strangers what my idea for a book was. However, I found that the more I told people about my idea, the more positive reinforcement I received. As I left the conference, I was sure that God had given me this purpose. I headed home with a mission to write a book!

In the last year, I have been writing and struggling to know if this is really what God wants me to do. I’ve prayed and asked him for confirmation. Today a friend sent me the promotional video for this years She Speaks conference. I’m in it!! I remember waiting in line to meet Lysa TerKeurst and have her sign my book. I can’t help but wonder, why out of all the people who were there, did they choose me for the video?FB_IMG_1431108812747

Is this the sign I’ve been waiting for?

Check it out!

She Speaks 2015



Forgiveness- the path to freedom

One Sunday morning I was sitting in church listening to my friend lead the band in worship and although I am far from a good singer, I did my best to join in. I listen to Christian music on the radio and knew most of the songs they sang that day. My husband was smiling and singing next to me and as I scanned the auditorium I recognized many faces. When the worship music ended, I sat down and looked at the program. Before the message even started, I saw the title and could feel my heartbeat quicken. In large letters it said FORGIVENESS. As the Pastor began speaking, I felt as if a spotlig69722d4ebad0ea7969ce6a63006d2481ht was on me. Nothing else was in focus; he was talking to me. He said, “If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you.” (Matthew 6:14 NLT) I started sweating and felt like I couldn’t breathe. I quickly broke my stare and looked around to see if anyone was looking at me. I gave my husband a weak smile and thought to myself, “How could I possibly forgive my parents for all the pain they’d caused me? They don’t deserve it.”

I began to fidget and move around in my seat. After years of carrying my burden and hurt from a life with an alcoholic mother and abusive father, I didn’t want to forgive them. I felt that they were going to get off easy. As we walked to the car with our four sons, my husband noticed my silence, and quietly asked me if I was ok. When we got home and had some privacy I told him, “I think the Pastor was talking to me. I am supposed to forgive my parents.” I asked him, “How? Why?” He could sense that I was struggling and suggested that I go talk to the Pastor. My gut reaction was no. I said, “Then I’ll have to tell him everything.” I was panic stricken, but knew that I had to ask him how I was supposed to forgive the two people who had caused me so much pain.

As I sat in the Pastor’s office and told him about my complicated relationship with my parents, I asked him the questions that were burning me up. “How do I forgive my parents? Do I have to go see them? After all these years how was I going to even start this conversation?” My Pastor was very sympathetic and told me something that immediately made me feel better. He said, “You’re not alone.” He then explained that by forgiving my parents, I was releasing my pain to God.

My Pastor suggested that I talk to a woman in his office who had a similar past. Telling my story again wasn’t easy, but it was refreshing to talk to someone who had faced a similar past. So after all the years of keeping everything bottled up, I told my story twice in one day. After I came up for air, she gave me a hug and thanked me for sharing. As I wiped my tears, she told me about her parents and while our stories are not exactly the same, we both ended up being hurt by the people who were supposed to love us the most. I asked her what I should do. We both agreed that going to see my parents was not a good idea, and I wasn’t comfortable calling, so I decided write my dad a letter. I felt better as I left my familiar church on that sunny day with a plan to finally forgive my parents. It sounded easy enough, but I must’ve started, stopped, and reworded my letter thirty times. In the letter, I explained that he and my mom didn’t deserve my forgiveness, but that I was tired of suffering from their actions. I emphasized that I didn’t expect anything to change between us. I referenced the Bible and made it clear that the real reason that I was forgiving them was because I needed to put my past behind me. I put the letter in the mailbox and didn’t sleep for two days.  My mind raced. Did I put a stamp on it? What if gets lost in the mail and he never gets it? Will he call me? Are we finally going to talk about everything?

As I realized that it was up to my Dad to respond, a sense of peace hit me. The woman who had encouraged me to write the letter called me to see how I was doing. I responded, “I am free.” I felt that the burden of my past was finally released. As days and weeks passed by, I never heard a response from my letter to my dad, but am confident to this day that I made the right choice by sending it. Six months after hearing the message on forgiveness, my father, (age 74) died from an infection following surgery to fix his broken ankle.

I can’t help but think how different my life would be today if I hadn’t chosen to forgive.



I’m in the process of writing my story with the hope of helping others. It took me a long time to get to this point and when I am asked the question, “why?’ I smile.

I believe that God is using me because of my past and my faith in Him. I want others who may be struggling with something in their life to have a sense of hope and know that God is always there. It may not feel like it at times, but he is. You are worthy of his love. Your faith will make him proud and in your weakness, His love will shine through you. Trust that God will show up and use you. Believing in this will give you courage and strength.

Have courage!

Looking Back, Moving Forward


Here I am Lord
Face down
On my knees
I feel your presence
Leading me

I want to please you,
be an obedient servant
So please Lord
Let me know
do I have this right?

Here I am Lord
Face down
On my knees
I feel your presence
Leading me

I’m unsure
Wanting to trust
I love you
You’ve led me this far
I’m so thankful

Here I am Lord
Face down
On my knees
I feel your presence
Leading me

You’ve helped me see
Beyond the hurt
Helped me forgive
Looking back
Moving forward

I have a (God Size) Dream

After spending most of my life trying to forget my past and hiding from the truth, I realized it was time to stop. It was time for me to stop lying and making excuses for my dysfunctional relationship with my parents. It wasn’t easy, but now I see that sometimes we must look back to our past be able to move forward in our lives. It can be hard to go back into a dark, unhappy time. Especially when the Bible says that we are asked to forgive those who have hurt us and caused so much pain. I didn’t want to forgive because I thought it meant that my parents would no longer be responsible for my pain. After understood that wasn’t what forgiveness meant, I chose to forgive them for ME. I needed to let go of the pain and begin to move forward. I believe that God has had a plan for me for a long time and wants to use my past for a purpose.

My God Size Dream is to provide hope to others who have been hurt in the past as I was. I am writing a memoir about my life as a young girl who was abused and broken. My story is messy, but has a constant theme; my hunger for a relationship with God. I believe that it is this relationship that helped fill the cracks in my heart.

As I have been reflecting on my past, I find myself shaking my head wondering how I ended up where I am today. I’m happily married, a mother of four wonderful sons, and surrounded by wonderful friends. I know that God’s love and guidance led me to all of this. I believe that God has helped me look back at my past, remove my mask, and He wants me to share my story.  My God Size Dream is to help others get to the place where I am now; a place of peace and joy.

New Years Resolution: It’s Ok

For years I made a New Years Resolution and was proud of being able to say that I met my goal. One year it was to balance my checkbook (and keep it balanced). Another year I resolved to run a half marathon. I am a motivated person and take pride in getting things done when I say I will do them. Nothing feels better than putting a check in the box- I DID IT!to-do-list

It’s said that you are more likely to meet a goal if you say it outloud and tell others. That sounds good if your goal is to floss more regularly, eat less junk, or start an exercise routine. But what if your goal is emotionally tough? What if you find yourself avoiding your goal because even thinking about it makes you uncomfortable?

This has been happening to me the last few months. I have a personal story to share and truly believe that it will help others. Writing a book and finding people to help along the way is not an easy task. When you combine that with the fact that the subject is personal and painful, it’s easy to say, “I’ll get to that later.” That would be fine if I hadn’t told people that I was trying to write a book. They ask (with good intentions) how it’s going. Then the negative thoughts enter my head. I feel like I’ve let others down and given up. But I haven’t given up, I’m just…….waiting. Waiting for what? Will it get easier to re-read a dark story where I am the main character?

I don’t know when it’ll get easier (or if it ever will), but I do know that I’m going to resolve to give myself the opportunity to wait until I feel ready to dive back in. God has put it on my heart to share my story, and I trust him to equip me with the strength to do it.

So my resolution is to allow myself to be ok with waiting. Anyone else?