Stories of Grace, Hope, and Restored Faith
Hope and inspiration from women like you!
You’ll find comfort, inspiration, and wisdom in these 34 stories from women just like you. Every encouraging account shows hope and renewed faith as they have come through trials and tough times, including family struggles, infertility, health challenges, doubt, fear, human trafficking, depression, heartbreak, loss, and more.
In these examples of forgiveness, starting over, renewed joy, fresh faith, love, healing, acceptance, and refined hope, you’ll be inspired to experience your own story of transformation.
Plus, thought-provoking questions to use on your own for reflection or for group discussion.
Authors: Amy Marcoux, Amy Moin, Annette Warsaw, Becky Hofstad, Betty Predmore, Christina Ryan Claypool, Daphne Tarango, Darla S. Grieco, Diana Leagh Matthews, Dr. Marlene Carson, Alba Corva, Joanie Shawhan, Jodie Cooper, Kathy Carlton Willis, Kolleen Lucariello, Linda L. Kruschke, Maureen Cresencia Kambarami, Maureen Hager, Meaghan Jackson, Meg Glesener, Michele Morin, Nancy Graves, Natalie Lavelock, Ree Boado, RLSeaton, Robyn Mulder, Ruth Black, Sarah Buckland, Shannon Anderson, Sue Donaldson, Susan Macias, Teresa Janzen, Terri Prahl, Tracey Russell
Foreword by Jane Rubietta
Jane Rubietta writes about hard stuff with hope and a whole lot of honesty. Through her many books and speaking, she helps people find value in seemingly senseless difficulties, moving through transition into transformation. Thankfully, she’s hilarious; otherwise, this wouldn’t be any fun. Books include her debut novel The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis (Surprise! It’s about repurposing the past!) and Brilliance: Finding Light in Dark Places.
More at JaneRubietta.com
Compiled and Edited by Michelle Rayburn
Michelle Rayburn appreciates how life’s difficulties can turn out to be opportunities to learn and grow. She’s the author of hundreds of articles and several Christian living books, including Classic Marriage: Staying in Love When Your Odometer Climbs, and The Repurposed and Upcycled Life: When God Turns Trash to Treasure. Michelle hosts a weekly podcast called Life, Repurposed to encourage women to find hope in life’s trashy stuff. She enjoys dark chocolate, iced coffee, and a breezy afternoon in the hammock with a good book—preferably all three together. www.michellerayburn.com
Meet the Authors
Christina Ryan Claypool is an award-winning journalist and Christian speaker who has been featured on Joyce Meyer Ministries TV show and CBN’s 700 Club. She is a four-time Chicken Soup for the Soul book contributor and has also authored several Christian recovery books. Her latest inspirational, Secrets of the Pastor’s Wife: A Novel, is available at all major online outlets or through her website at www.christinaryanclaypool.com.
Becky Hofstad lives with her husband, Mike, and two adopted daughters, Naomi and Tutu, in a suburb of Minneapolis. Becky loves to write about the ways God has worked in her life. One of these stories is published in Short and Sweet: Angels in Disguise? Her writing has been recognized with awards from the Minnesota Christian Writers Guild and Faith Radio. She is currently revising a memoir and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maureen Hager is an author, inspirational speaker, and blogger. Her book, Love’s Bullet: A Wounded Victim in a Biker Gang War Transformed by God’s Love, chronicles her misguided search for love and acceptance that lured her into the life of an outlaw motorcycle gang. She suffered two gunshot wounds from M16 rifles in a violent gang war. When Maureen heard the gospel, she surrendered her heart to the Lord, and her restored life began. www.MaureenHager.com
Annette Warsaw is a Jesus girl, farmer’s wife, and mother to a beautiful daughter. She loves to collect and create in her Illinois home. A photographer and graphic designer by trade, she adores big hugs, belts out pretty much any music she may or may not know the words to, and is obsessed with flowers, food, and a good campfire. Annette enjoys crafting motivational words and is a Scripture-reading kind of girl!
Ree Boado has been pursuing inner healing for over twenty years. Having shared about hope after childhood trauma with various nonprofits through songs and art, Ree is now currently writing her first book about trusting God through tragedy. As a volunteer with child loss organizations, former foster parent, and vocal coach by trade, Ree is a natural born encourager. She and her husband presently live in Dundee, Scotland, with their two fur babies. www.reeboado.com
Meg Glesener is the host and producer of the Letters From Home podcast, where she publishes every other week for your encouragement, “Everyday Extraordinary Faith Stories.” Her podcast can be found on Spotify, Amazon, Stitcher, and all of the places podcasts live, including most social media platforms. She and her husband, Mike, and their youngest three kids live and serve in Seattle, Washington. lettersfromhomepodcast.com
Kolleen Lucariello is the author of #beYOU: Change Your Identity One Letter at a Time. She is Co-Executive Director of Activ8Her, Inc., a ministry passionate about helping women activ8 a personal relationship in Christ and then live empowered from their identity in Christ. She and her husband, Pat, make their home in Upstate New York. She is the mother of three married kids and Mimi to six beautiful grands. Get to know her at www.speakkolleen.com
Teresa Janzen—writer, speaker, and teacher. She engages big issues and extends an invitation to thoughtful dialogue. Her experience in non-profit administration and global ministry ignites a passion for missional living and drives her to share stories, inspiring people to action, joy, and gratitude. Teresa is married to Dan, and together they serve as missionaries in South Sudan. They have a blended family of eight adult children and eleven grandchildren. Connect with Teresa at www.teresajanzen.com.
Betty Predmore is an author, speaker, and ministry leader who enjoys connecting with and loving on women through the love of Jesus and the beautiful Word of God. She is a wife and a mother of seven darlings, including biological and adopted children. Her ministry, Mom-Sense, Inc. reaches women across the country with a motto of Mentorship, Connection & Service. You can visit her at www.momsenseinc.org or www.bettypredmore.com.
Kathy Carlton Willis is God’s Grin Gal. She writes and speaks with a balance of funny and faith—whimsy and wisdom. Over a thousand of Kathy’s articles have been published, and she has several books in her Grin Gal brand. Kathy graduated with honors from Bible college and has served 30+ years in full-time ministry. Check out her Grin & Grow Break video devotions on social media. www.kathycarltonwillis.com
Joanie Shawhan is a Selah Awards Finalist for In Her Shoes: Dancing in the Shadow of Cancer. She is an ovarian cancer survivor, registered nurse, speaker, and media guest. She speaks to medical students in the Survivors Teaching Students program and co-founded an ovarian cancer social group, The Fried Eggs—Sunny-Side Up. When not attending her book clubs or writing critique group, Joanie enjoys swimming, knitting, and playing the autoharp.
Michele Morin is a reader, writer, speaker, and gardener who does life with her family on a country hill in Maine. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for thirty years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, and three adorable grandchildren. Active in educational ministries with her local church, Michele delights in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles.
Dr. Marlene Carson, SurThrivalist, survivor of domestic minor sex trafficking, member of the U.S. Advisory Council on Trafficking, minister, author, and inventor of the Peerpreneur Movement, is one of America’s foremost authorities on sex trafficking. Many may have a textbook knowledge of the perils of exploitation, but Marlene knows from her own personal experience. At age fifteen, she became one of the tens of thousands of girls and young adult women who are exploited daily. www.marlenecarson.com
Alba Corva is a therapist who works to try and rid others of their darkness. She has been writing for many years and has authored books mainly for young adults and children. These books are designed to examine the darkness within and around us and combat it. Miss Corva lives with her cat in her home in Florida. She is a devout Catholic who hopes to one day inspire others to find inspiration within her writing.
Darla Grieco has published in Guideposts Angels on Earth magazine and in various Chicken Soup for the Soul editions. In the spring of 2021, several of her devotions appeared in a compilation titled Wit, Whimsy & Wisdom. You can read more from Darla at dsgrieco.com.
Diana Leagh Matthews has numerous stories to share, often from her job as an activities director, where she wears many hats, including Bible teacher, vocalist, historian, and event planner. She has four prayer books scheduled for publication in 2021 but is a novelist at heart. Check out her hymn stories and Bible studies at www.DianaLeaghMatthews.com and her hymn-votions on social media.
Terri Prahl is an aspiring author whose greatest desire is to encourage believers to make every effort to pursue Christ and love Scripture. Terri is an introverted and introspective, creative soul who loves walking in nature, studying Scripture, reading non-fiction, perusing flea markets, and mentoring young women. She writes about her faith journey of resting and wrestling at www.terriprahl.com. She lives in the beautiful Ozark Mountains with her husband and young adult daughter.
Sarah Buckland is an award-winning, freelance Jamaican Christian writer with experience spanning technical and creative genres. She is an only child, preacher’s daughter, and has been a Christian for over nineteen years. Sarah is also a Spanish language enthusiast, nature-lover, and a doctoral student in geography. Sarah’s drive for Christian advocacy has led her to produce her own ministry series (God’s GLOW web show) aimed at reaching youth with Bible. Over a dozen of Sarah’s articles have been published in Jamaica, Trinidad, and Guyana. sarahfaybuckland.wordpress.com
RLSeaton first published this story in a longer format as Facing Loneliness. She is a published author, Bible teacher, adversity coach, and speaker who is passionate about sharing God’s power in the midst of our struggles. You can find her writings and photography at www.rlseaton.com and on Instagram @rlseaton. Her message is simple: “Jesus invites you to seek him in your adversity. For only in him will you discover life and hope beyond your wildest imaginings.”
Linda L. Kruschke writes candid memoir and fearless poetry and delves into hard issues others tend to avoid. She aspires to show women that God’s redemption and healing are just a story away. If she could spend every moment talking or writing about Jesus, she would. She blogs at AnotherFearlessYear.net and AnchoredVoices.com and has been published in Fathom Magazine, The Christian Journal, Bible Advocate, iBelieve.com, WeToo.org blog, The Mighty, and several anthologies.
Tracey Lynn Russell is a story inspired author, speaker, and coach. She is the founder of The Art of My Story coaching groups that help women discover their story, determine their passion, and direct their influence. You can always find her at The Heart of the Story podcast with Tracey Lynn Russell on iTunes or blogging at traceylynnrussell.com. You will rarely find her at the grocery store, much to her family’s dismay.
Natalie Lavelock RN-MSN, founder and CEO of Natalie Lavelock Coaching & Consulting, is a sought-after program development specialist and online business strategist with over fifteen years of experience specializing in program development and professional training. She works with coaches, speakers, and health professionals who know they can be making a bigger impact but don’t have the training products to make that happen. Connect with Natalie today to create programs with impact! Natalie@NatalieLavelock.com
Daphne Tarango comforts others with the comfort she’s received from God. Her work has appeared in magazines and anthologies, including Just Between Us and Mentoring Moments for Christian Women. Daphne has published praise journals, recovery helps, and devotionals for those with mental illnesses. She has co-authored three short story collections. Daphne enjoys solitude, the arts, and spending time with her husband, her three children, their three dogs, and their two cats. Visit Daphne at DaphneWrites.com.
Nancy Graves is a freelance writer and editor. She is the author of print and online articles, a blog contributor, and a member of several book launch teams. As an adult student, she served on the staff of her college newspaper, The Tartan, eventually stepping into the role of editor in chief. She is the recipient of several ICCJA awards. She writes fiction and non-fiction in various genres. Nancy can be reached at email@example.com.
Robyn Mulder grew up in Michigan but married a good-looking farmer in Iowa after college. She went on to live in Michigan, Minnesota, Iowa, and now South Dakota after her husband felt his call into ministry. She and Gary have four adult children. Robyn is an editor and writer who also loves to turn scrap pieces of paper into works of art in her craft room. www.robynmulder.com
Ruth Black is a wife to Matt and a mom to James. Together, they live in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky, where her husband is on staff at a Bible college. Ruth desires to help women see the beauty of the gospel in everyday life. She writes for a variety of Christian publications. She also enjoys writing her thoughts at her blog: littlemoments-bigdreams.blogspot.com.
Amy Marcoux is an energetic adventure-seeking writer, mentor, wife, and mother of three girls in a home full of personality. She is a strong-willed perfectionist who tries to do it all and wants people to think she has it all together. She is learning, through the unexpected, to let go and to share her real life so that she can point others to the hope she has found. You can find her blog at goletgo.org.
Sue Donaldson and her husband, Mark, live in San Luis Obispo, California. They’ve raised three daughters who keep them at the bank and on their knees. Sue loves connecting people to one another, to God, and his Word, and has been speaking for over twenty years. An author of four books, Sue blogs at Welcome Heart: Knowing and Showing the Heart of God and hosts a weekly podcast, Make it Count: Living a Legacy Life.
Meaghan Jackson of Joyful Mud Puddles is a gentle Christian parenting coach. She has taken her passion for bringing peaceful calm to family life and pairs that with her background in education to help parents become more confident and well equipped. What better way to describe the messy, fun, and exciting life of a mom with three boys than joyful mud puddles! www.joyfulmudpuddles.com
Jodie Cooper is an incredible sinner saved by a more incredible God. After years of painful misunderstandings about the Christian life, a crisis in her marriage finally led her to understand the gospel and its power to change lives. She now produces kid’s books with resources to connect faith to daily life, and her YouTube channel, the Gospel Led Family, provides biblical encouragement for parents on their family discipleship journey. good-news-in-the-gum-trees-1.jimdosite.com
Shannon Anderson is an award-winning teacher, author, and national speaker from Indiana. She was named one of the Top 10 Teachers who inspired the Today Show, and one of her recent books made it to #1 on the Amazon best-seller list. You can learn more about Shannon and her books at www.shannonisteaching.com
Susan Macias writes and speaks to train up an army of women in the second half of life to serve the kingdom, confidently follow Jesus, and fight offensively in prayer. Her award-winning book UNCEASING: A Parent’s Guide to Conquer Worry and Pray with Power is available on Amazon, as is her prayer devotional, 31 Days Praying for My Daughter. Find Susan at her blog, susankmacias.com, or on her podcast, We’re Not Done Yet!
A portion of the royalties from the sales of this book goes to Destiny Rescue, an organization that is committed to rescuing kids from sexual exploitation and helping them stay free. Since 2001, this organization has rescued more than 5900 individuals enslaved around the world, helped keep hundreds more from entering the sex trade through various human trafficking prevention programs, ensured justice for those who have been wronged, and raised awareness.
Readers are welcome to make additional donations or help to spread the word about the fundraiser.
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