Amazing Grace: My Story (Part 4)

Amazing Grace–Ruth Soukup’s incredible, inspiring story of childhood trauma, depression, self-destruction, and ultimately, redemption.

{Read Part 1: Falling}

{Read Part 2: Clouds Lifting}

{Read Part 3: Changing Paths}

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Part 4: But For Grace

In the fall of 2009, just a few months after Annie was born, we made the decision to move back to Florida. It had become clear that my 85-year-old mother-in-law, Marie, was no longer able to live on her own, so we made plans to pick her up in Chicago and bring her to Florida to live with us.

I wasn’t eager to leave our nice little life in Seattle and the transition back to Punta Gorda was more than a little painful.

The combination of caring for 2 small children and an octogenarian was trying on the best days and sheer misery on the worst. Annie, at 6 months old, kept us up for hours every single night, usually crying non-stop from about 2am to 5am. My Mother-in-law had a whole other set of issues to manage—countless pills & doctors appointments, hearing  & vision loss, high blood pressure, difficulty keeping her balance. It often felt like we had 3 kids instead of 2, and we were totally overwhelmed.

Our friends from before, all either childless or long past the baby stage, simply couldn’t relate to our stage of life, and they quickly disappeared, one by one. As the months went by my despair grew. I was sleep deprived, lonely, bored and miserable. I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself , and the rest of the time being angry at Chuck.

I coped by spending. Not surprisingly, it didn’t help. The more I shopped, the emptier and more miserable I felt, so to make up for it, I shopped even more. Chuck, understandably, responded to my out-of-control shopping habit with anger and frustration.

That spring our marriage–and our life in general–were at a breaking point and yet neither of us had a clue how to fix it, how to break the vicious cycle or improve our situation. It felt like there was no way out.

Salvation came in the most unlikely form.

Long before my children were born, long before I was even born, long before my husband or his only sister were grown, my mother-in-law Marie had dreamed that the train of her wedding dress would be made into a christening gown for her grandchildren.

But life doesn’t always turn out the way we expect. Chuck’s sister opted not to have children and when Chuck entered his 40s still a bachelor, marriage or children seemed unlikely. By her eightieth birthday, Marie had given up hope of ever becoming a grandmother.

When my oldest daughter Maggie was born, the Christening Gown–this lifelong dream of Marie’s–became a hot topic of conversation. After making her wait 83 years we couldn’t not make the dress, but obviously we couldn’t just put her in the dress and not actually have her christened. That presented a problem because Chuck and I were not at all religious.

By that point, God and I had reached an understanding, or at least I thought we had. I would try to be a good person; He would leave us alone. I was no longer angry, but I certainly wasn’t interested in a relationship.

But baptism is a big deal to church people. They won’t just let you walk in off the street and have your kid baptized. You have to be a member of the church. For Maggie’s christening we lucked out. I was technically still a member of the church I had grown up in, even though I hadn’t attended in at least 10 years. We had the very special dress made and she was baptized the day after her first birthday.

As Annie’s first birthday approached, the pressure was mounting to have her also christened in The Dress. We needed to find a church, and fast. We decided to try out the church of the minister who had married us, Pastor John, since we had always liked him. He was laid back and friendly and, most importantly, extremely non-judgmental. Besides, we were sorta desperate, so any church would do.

We started attending services for the sole purpose of  having Annie baptized. But surprisingly enough, at least to me, we didn’t hate it. The people were SO nice. Weirdly nice, going out of their way to talk to us and make us feel welcome. After having felt so isolated for so long, it was refreshing. So we kept coming back, Sunday after Sunday, despite our reluctance. When Pastor John retired and a new guy took his place we considered not going anymore. But something still kept us there.

Our very first week, a sweet woman named Angie invited us to join a small group called the Homebuilders. She explained that their goal, as the name suggested, was to help build strong marriages and strong families. We thanked her, but politely declined. Church was one thing, but we were definitely not Bible study kind-of people.

It took a whole year of almost weekly invitations before we finally gave in to her persistence and agreed to attend the Homebuilders group. Even then it was months and months before I actually looked forward to going. Every other Tuesday, Chuck and I would ponder how we could possible get out of it without hurting Angie’s feelings. We could never come up with anything, and she was just so nice, so we kept going.

God was working at me from all sides, almost like a relentless stray cat who kept coming back, nudging me, and forcing me to accept him. This new pastor, Mike, had definitely been blessed with the gift of preaching and his sermons began to rock me to the core, while the fellowship of this incredible group gave me a glimpse of what it really meant to walk with Christ.

Finally, after so many years of doing it on my own, I just stopped trying to resist.

God could have me.

And then suddenly it all became so clear.

All these events in my life, all these things that had, up until that point, seemed random and unrelated, now made sense. It was like I had been standing right in front of a big painting, staring so closely at one small section that I couldn’t see the larger picture. God forced me to step back and see the whole thing, and it was far, far more beautiful than I could’ve ever imagined.

The emptiness was finally filled.

Every single step of the way, even when I had rejected and turned my back to God, even when I thought I could do it all on my own, He was there, protecting me, watching over me, saving my life, not once but 5 times, when by all accounts, I should have died, and then always, always placing the right people in the right place at the right time, all doing their part to bring me back to Him.

All of this so that I could stand here before you now, completely whole, a living example of His precious, perfect Amazing Grace.

*   *   *

Amazing Grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now am Found
Was blind
But now I see.
~John Newton~

Don’t miss the complete series here:


Amazing Grace--Ruth Soukup's incredible, inspiring story of childhood trauma, depression, self-destruction, and ultimately, redemption.

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    1. Ruth:
      Thank you for your wonderful testimony of the Lord’s work in your life.
      I have been going Thru 3 years of ongoing depression ups & downs; prayer, Christian people God has placed in my life over the years; all places of trials & tribulations I have experienced in my 68 years of life : prove that God is faithful & true to His promises; He continues to pursue us in His mercy, grace & unconditional love!
      Thank you Lord! He keeps reminding me : “ I’m His masterpiece , He’s working on… and He’s not finished working on me.” .. as Scripture says: He will complete the work He has begun!

    2. Beautiful story and I am definitely going to continue reading the posted blogs. Sending you & your Family Blessed Holiday Greetings & More thru out the days that follow

  1. I’m fairly new to your blog (love it by the way) and I’ve been following your story.
    This is something that has been in my heart lately. One thing I’ve learned is
    instead of wishing you could re-write your own story, step back and see the big picture
    of what God has done in your life (just like you stated above). Thank you for sharing your story. It’s such a scary propostion for me because I’m either ashamed, embarrassed or don’t want to hurt anyone with my story but it is something I feel God is working on with me. I recently went to The Pearl Event II because alot of the speakers were some of my favorite bloggers and I was excited to meet them. But God had another plan. He showed me the whole weekend as these beautiful women gave their testimonys that we should all trust and share our story if it will bring glory to him.

    Thank you

  2. Oh, how I adore you!!! I’ve always loved your website but it’s just so awesome to see how real you are!! You are very brave to put it all out there. I can see why you’d be leary but honestly…it’s such an awesome testament to God’s never ending grace and love for us. A great reminder that God has a plan for us. Even when it’s not clear to us. Even when things do not make sense. You are such a beautiful woman with sich a huge heart. Thanks for aharing your storu!!!

  3. You did an amazing job in writing this article. Absolutely wonderful! I truly believe that your article will help more than just one person. Congrats!

    1. I agree. Your story gives me hope.
      I’m maybe just about at the point of searching for “normal” again in my own journey, and it gives me hope to know that you found a life that makes you happy. Maybe I can be normal again, too. (It’s scary to say that. But maybe…) 🙂

      1. Hanna…one day at a time and stay the little things as I like to say as thats what thye are..little things that most do not pay attention to..but if you will see that he is there and he will show you..all the things arent coinsidences..and you will see that. Keep your eyes open and just follow the path he leads you on one day at a time. Took me so many painful years and wasted time..but the time was right and I finaly saw it and you will too.

  4. What a beautiful testimony. Thank you for sharing. Isn’t it amazing that God’s love for us is relentless.

  5. My prayer is that the Lord uses your story to touch others heart and lead them to His love like he wooed you…

  6. THANK YOU for telling your story, HIS story. You were a covenant child of God, and he never let you go! Telling your story, His story, took courage and grace. Thanks for allowing him to use you to move others back to him! Blessings to you!

  7. Your story…was beautiful, moving, endearing, loving, and above all CHRIST centered. I appreciate you taking the time to put words to “screen”.

    I am glad to know He refined you through the fire…you are a beautiful reflection of your Heavenly Father.

    many blessings…

  8. Wow, an absolutely amazing story. You have to consider getting this published! You write beautifully and your words are so engaging. I’m so glad I found your YouTube videos early last year and continue to follow your blogs today. What started out as a couponing interest has become so much more. Thank you!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your story with us. Depression is a very hard disease to overcome. I have recently learned of a friend who has lost her fight . I wish I could have shared your story with her.

  10. You know it is so true what they say – that everyone has a story. You happen to be courageous and willing to share yours in such an inspiring way. Thank you for that. You are an amazing writer and should consider other avenues for writing as well. This could be submitted to Reader’s Digest because there is a lesson there for all of us. We are all so interconnected and
    yet can feel so isolated and alone at different times in our lives. Depression effects so many more people than any of us realize. My sister in law lost her dear brother to suicide not that long ago. It has left the family reeling to say the least. I applaud you for your open heart in sharing your story. You are indeed a special person and your story is a gift to all of us. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  11. Thank you for sharing your story of Amazing Grace with us. Besides all the wonderful money-saving tips, etc., you share, I now know you are my sister in Christ and that truly blesses me. What a journey you have had! God bless!

  12. Hi My Dear Ruth,

    I am so proud of you for sharing your story. I had know idea the extent of your trials when you mentioned them last year. Thanks for sharing so others may learn from them. You know my older brother suffered from depression (like many in my family), and lost the battle when he was 30 (father to 4 beautiful girls) and I was 18. It was beyond tragic and still hurts to think about. I am SO SO glad you made it through the darkness. xo, Jess

    Not sure why my comments haven’t been posting lately, so I switched the info to my family blog.

  13. How very brave to share your story, Ruth. God always turns our tragedies into testimonies. And it is nice to see we have so many things in common!

  14. Beautiful story, Ruth! Couldn’t wait for the next installment each week. Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. Thank you, Ruth for sharing your testimony. God’s saving and loving message is boldly written in each part of your life story.

  16. Your story gave me the chills from the first sentence I read. I just got into couponing yesterday and have been on your website non stop and came across this story of yours. First of thank you soooo much for all the tips. And second off, you’re story is amazing. I am only 18 years old but I have a story similar to the second part of yours. I was an all star athlete my entire life, top of my class, great grades, senior class president, SCA president, everything I could possibly do. I had dated a boy in 8th grade whom was the brother of my brothers girl friend, weird I know. Well we all broke up and went into a huge family dispute. But 4 years later after silence, I am back with the man I dated in 8th grade and we just both knew, just like you did. If not love at first sight, it was love at first touch. We began dating one week before school got out, chances are I would have NEVER talked to him again in my life. We dating during summer then I was off to Appalachian State University August 5th on full scholarship to play field hockey for them. Within 1 month, I was miserable. I had always been the happiest person anyone knew. And at this moment, the school, the location, the people, the hockey team, everything was making me so mad. I developed depression because of it and it blew my mind. My roommate saw this in me and knew I was unhappy. The thing is, my family, not one person understood why I didn’t like it. When I mentioned coming back home they were in disbelief because they made me out to be a quitter and saying I gave up and lost everything I ever worked for. And I saw that too, but I knew I needed to be back home to be happy. My mom and I had gotten so bad a a relationship over this that I screamed at her on the phone I wanted to kill myself. My roommate, who is also a friend from back home, freaked and I had a good 10 officers in my room making sure I was okay and not killing myself. Finally the end of the semester came and my boyfriend drove 6 hours to come pack all my stuff up. I am now living with him and his family, with little relation to any of my family which kills me. I have no car, no job, and no school. I lost everything, but for some reason I am the happiest I have been in a very long time. I am the process of having some money for a car and getting a job, and going to a community college this fall and moving out with my boyfriend by May. Everything is coming together and I’m looking for God to help me with my path of choice and the family problem. Every single person says me and my boyfriend are crazy for what we do (except his family because they see how happy we are) which makes us even happier that we are working out. My boyfriend is not a church person at all, but he’s getting there because he’s been bless with an amazing family, girlfriend, rid of his past activities, a job paying $16 an hour, and the happiest he’s ever been in his life. Thanks to anyone who read this, I just want to say….make yourself happy, don’t force a path among yourself just to make someone else happy. God has a plan in mind for every single person. Everything happens for a reason. Let him show you the different options, and one day you’ll be right where you were intended to be 🙂

  17. Thank you for sharing your story. It got me thinking about and being thankful for God’s redemptive power. How He redeems the broken. Our broken hearts, lives, minds and dreams. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Big blessings to you from Sarah at

  18. I am brand new to your blog. I’m sure I have found it for a reason………..
    You are such a lovely, courageous woman. Literally, thank God you have found your true path. What a beautiful story. What lessons you are sharing by putting all this into words.

    I’m a new fan………………….thank you

  19. Wow, what an incredible testimony you have of how God was working in your life thru all those situations to bring you to Him & show you His grace & love! I just found your whole story tonight & so appreciate your honesty & real-ness!

  20. I stumbled on your YoutTube couponing site and loved watching it so much I would sit at work and listen to you talk about couponing. I felt oddly comforted by you and now I know why. Your Story hit home with me on so many Levels. Life swings us all around but God keeps us from completely falling apart. I have had my moments with God and tried hard to keep him at bay feelong like he did more harm to me then good. But I read your Blog and wondered if maybe every bad thing and there have been horrible things that have happened to me could have been a thousand time worse but for the grace of God. So thank you for sharing your story plese know it touched me… it helped me

  21. I just read your whole story (all the parts) and you have made such a big turnaround! I would have seriously never guessed where you were in life just 10 years ago.

  22. Thank you for sharing your story. It’s important for people in a dark place to know that others have experienced the same thing and have overcome it.

  23. Wow! Your story kept me captivated. Thank you for sharing. Through GOD’s patience, he ignited a gentle spirit within you, which bought you to the day you could tell your remarkable story of bravery, strength and growth. Once again, GOD’s patience shines through.

  24. What a Blessing it was to read your story. The Lord uses us to help others. Your testimony has touch me in so many ways. God only gives you what you can handle and he knew you would make it through the storm to be a walking testimony to others. Always remember that you are an Amazing Woman and are very Blessed By the Lord.

  25. Wow! I had never read your story until today. I have a sister who has been struggling with depression and has been in the hospital several times. It has been so scary. Thank you for your willingness to share and encourage others

  26. Really enjoyed your story and so amazed at the similarities in my life even though they happened 40 years ago, like you they all came flooding back ~at the birth of my first grandchild(?). I still struggle daily with depression and loneliness and anger. I’m still angry at God and for now we aren’t on speaking terms. I have thought of the sleeping pills and still toy with the idea from time to time and hope one day to see the big picture. your story gives me hope I will. So happy you are alive and well and shared your story.
    Nana P

  27. I just found your website today. I was so encouraged after reading your testimony. We have a wonderful Savior!!! His love for us is so great!!! He has a great plan for our lives. I am so glad to see you give God the glory!!! God bless you!!!

  28. Loved reading your story Ruth. I feel blessed to have known you! So awesome to see how you turned it around and recognize His hand in your life. Hugs to you from me. 🙂

  29. wow! Incredible story! Praise God that your life has turned around for the good. I just found your site through a Facebook friend posting your contentment story with the kids toys and I hopped over to this. Both were excellent stories and a powerful testimony of God’s love and grace.

  30. Thank you for sharing your amazing story! It’s been a really tough Christmas and now I realize what was missing. I pray and believe in God, but that’s not enough. Thank you so much!

  31. Well, I found this blog after googling “extreme couponing”. Imagine my surprise after reading this heartfelt outpouring of your life. I am touched by your honesty. I admire your bravery for sharing!! You inspire me. 🙂

  32. Thank you for sharing this story. I have been trying to build my relationship with Christ and this story is just so beautiful. I’m happy you are better and you are 100% right, he was will you and protecting you the whole time! He is amazing!

  33. Wow…what an awesome story of God’s grace! You have an amazing testimony that will be remembered by many and a roadmap for those who are hurting deeply and don’t know where or Who to turn to. Thank you for sharing!

  34. Wow. That is an amazing and inspiring story. I am at a point in my life where all is looking lost and your story has given me hope. Coincidentally, my boyfriend is 22 years older than me and he is the one who made me realize that I could get off of the career path that I hated and change my life. It took a little searching but I think I have found what I want to do thanks to his help and support. Gotta love those wonderful men!

  35. I just finished reading your testimony and am so blown away at the similarities. Thank you for sharing. I am on the road to recovery. It has been a very, very long road, but I see now how God has led me to we’re I am at and the people He has put in my life, to get me back in His arms! Still a process, but I can actually see a little progress. God bless you, your family and yours readers. Your story has been a blessing to me.


  36. I just had to comment… I’ve now read all four parts and I can’t stop crying. My husband has been going through a tough time recently, and while it is not clinical depression per se, there is definitely something not right. It turns out that there is some bad stuff in his childhood, some of which he has been open with me about since we met, but other stuff which he has clearly blanked until something triggers it. Nothing as extreme as this, but I am constantly wondering what else is there and I just hope he knows that I am there for him at every turn.

    Thank you for sharing this. I how this may sound strange, but I can’t express how much reading this may have helped me understand my husbands feelings… maybe I just needed to cry too!

  37. I am a firster to your site. I believe that God brought me here on this very evening just so I could read your story. I know some many people will be blessed from your testimony, I know I feel blessed that you are still with us. I look forward to following your blog. Love goes out to you and yours from the bottom of my heart!!!! Libby

  38. Thank you so much for sharing your story. God had a special plan for your life and I’m so glad you embraced His loving arms. Are you familiar with Beth Moore? She has a similar past. I just finished reading one of her books entitled, “Get out of that pit!” and she shares her story and talks about God’s deliverance. Wonderful, encouraging book.

    I know it’s scary to share your story, but the enemy wants you to keep it to yourself. However, God uses cracked pots (if I remember correctly, that’s a title to a book!) and we are ALL cracked. None of us are complete without Him! We need each other and when we share, we learn and grow from others.

    You are loved and I so appreciate you!

  39. Thank you! From the bottom of my heart..thank you for sharing your story. You are amazing, what a courage you have . Im stunned by your strenght and you r a true inspiration. Imagine how many people youve helped by sharing your story, words, feeling and words.. Again, thank you! and please, dont you ever forget what a beautiful soul you are =)

  40. What a powerful story, Thank you for sharing your past so authentically. I am sure many lives will be touched and Hope rekindled. May God continue to richly bless you and your family.

  41. I stumbled across your blog from a link on Pinterest. Thank you so much for being brave enough to tell your story. It has touched my heart so deeply. I now have hope that one day I will be in a place in my life where I can share my story, and bless the lives of others. Thank you, thank you.

  42. God bless you! I can only imagine how difficult it was to write your story – much less share it for all to see. God will bless you and use your story to bless others.

  43. Oh my goodness, sometimes in this blogging world you can start to feel like you’re one of the few with a not-so-pretty story. Then along comes a sister who has been through the fire…knows what God’s grace truly looks like…and it feels like coming home. Thank you for sharing this, Ruth. You are beautiful and your story is too. Joel 2:25 truly.

  44. Thanks so much for baring your soul, your life, your heartaches, and God’s triumph. I’ve been a Christian since I was 19 and have never been so close to lining up bottles of pills as I was 4 days ago.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · 2 seconds ago

  45. Thank you for sharing your story. It truly is Amazing Grace…for all of us! If you haven’t listened to or read anything by Joyce Meyer, I encourage you to do so. Her story is not that different from yours in that she too was molested for nearly 18 years by her father. Her teaching reveals through the Word how much God loves each of us and has given such amazing grace to us through His son. God bless you for sharing your story and for having such a wonderful blog. I love reading your posts and will continue to be a fan. I’m so grateful for your life and thrilled to know your story. God bless you and your family.

  46. Loved your story! I am enjoying your blog posts, excellent tips…
    I have a friend in Punta Gorda named Angie who I think may be the Angie from Homebuilders….does her last name begin with an M and did she and her husband live in Georgia before moving to Punta Gorda?

  47. Wow, thank you for sharing. What an amazing story of love and deliverance. I love the way God pursues our hearts. I ran from God for years and yet, like you, He wouldn’t let me go. What a mighty and loving God we serve.

  48. I don’t even really know how to begin. I found you today through pinterest, and this is the 7th post I’ve read now. I’ve wanted to comment on each because I soooo greatly relate to you. You’ve already brought me to tears multiple times because our stories are so similar. And to find out you’re also homeschooling is just the icing on the cake because my husband (also an aerospace engineer! though he’s only 6.5 years older than I am) and I have just decided to homeschool our children too. You are now, by far, my most favorite blogger. The posts I’ve read today have reaffirmed so many of my experiences, feelings, and decisions I have been grappling with. THANK YOU for being so brave in sharing. Okay, now I’m off to read more! A million THANK YOUs!!

  49. Wow! I was looking at your cleaning puns in Pinterest then was randomly led to your story! An amazing testimony that God is so real and closer thank we think. Thank you

  50. Wow. I came across your blog from a link on Pinterest. You are an amazing, strong person. I am so proud of you and your survival. I look forward to using your site and your tips. You are helping so many people by sharing, and simply by being you. Great job listening to God.

  51. Wow. I am new to reading your blog but this post (and the three before it) just completely blew my mind. You are so strong and it is so refreshing to hear someone speak so very honestly about their past. What an inspiration you are to all of us.

  52. You are honest and true. I am so happy for you and your family. God is Good his grace is real. It helps others when you share your painful story. These things have happened to many of us. We heal grow strong and move on. Thank you for sharing.

  53. I found you through Money Saving Mom. I am at a loss for words other than to say I had a case of PPD after our daughter was born in October. Luckily, my husband helped me get treatment quickly and within a week, I felt better. I thought that was hell and I am grateful to be on the other side now. You have survived so much more and God is using you to spread his Good News. God bless you in your ministry through blogging.

  54. THANK YOU for telling your story.
    Although my story is very different, I too tried to take my own life, and I too have not always been happy to still be here. I am in a much better place now, still dealing with depression and medications, but I gain peace reading the tales of others like us. Love.

  55. Thank you for posting this amazing and inspirational story of pain and recovery! It was very inspiring and has made me even more determined to escape the darkness of my own depression. I have severe depression, am borderline anorexic and have attempted suicide two times this year alone. Now you may be thinking, “What is a 12, almost 13, year old doing being depressed? She has absolutely no idea!”. Well, actually, I do. I have been verbally and physically bullied since the age of three, when I began private school at Faustina Academy. I have bottle cork glasses (I think that’s how they call them), because of a severe case of cataracts I had at just a few months old. Now I have glaucoma on top of that. So, just imagine a little three year old girl with glasses covering up a third of her face that made an owl’s eye look small. That was, (and is) me. So, back to the point. My bullies were my best friends. I was a very trusting little girl, and even though they were doing such terrible things to me, I still loved them. They would call me names, push me in the mud, make me be the monster every time I was allowed to play with them (which wasn’t often) and all sorts of other things. People wondered why I cried so much. They had no idea. If I told anyone, they would think I was lying. So life went on until I moved schools after second grade.

    I went a public school. I was rather advanced for my age and was, after a series of tests, placed in a GT classroom. I thought all my troubles were over… But they had just begun. I was bullied constantly.

    Eventually, I moved schools once again, not because of (like at Faustina) because of money, but because of the never ending taunting and harassment I was given by my peers. So, I started fifth grade in a new public school. The teasing was slightly less, but still never ending. But, I was still as loving and trustful as I had always been.

    Then, middle school began. Sixth grade was wonderful. I was barely teased, and felt happier with the world (though by many people’s standards it was still bad). Our workload was tremendous. We were given the amount of homework high school freshman receive.. In sixth grade. But, I was immensely happy. I had real friends. It was wonderful. About then, I also started my love for the violin. Now, my parents are both musicians, so I had been exposed to music all my life. I’ve played piano since first grade. So, when I began the violin, I quickly advanced from a beginner student who could hold the violin in the correct position, could read music and could play fairly well; to a sixth grader in advanced orchestra. It was kind of weird. I just had a knack for it. Sixth grade was fabulous, but it was also when I started showing signs of depression. I have had depression since the age of three, though it was always at a very low level. I couldn’t even tell at the time. Though that was probably because I was only three.

    My parents made me move schools. “You’ll have less homework! More sleep!” they said. But tears were a common thing that summer. I didn’t want to leave all my wonderful friends. “What about Grace and Clara L. and Shivam and Ian and Imtiaz and everyone?” I asked tearfully one evening.
    “I’m sure you’ll get lots of friends at your new school” my mom said over and over, hugging me tight.

    The first day of seventh grade was pure hell. Usually on the first day, I would get one friend, or at least talk to somebody. NOPE. I was ignored the whole day. And so it went for a month or two until finally I gained some friends. And some not so much friends. From then on, I was again… constantly bullied. That was the year I became suicidal and severely depressed. I self harmed and attempted to hang myself, and took about 16 Tylenol pills along with 20 or more random things. Surprisingly, I didn’t die. And I wasn’t sent to the doctor, ever though I was writhing in pain, crying and screaming. I told my mom that it was food poisoning. She believed me… So life went on with self harming and suicidal thoughts. It was terrible. I don’t think I wanted to kill myself really most of the time. But sometimes… I also began to be borderline anorexic. Not to the point where I was really starving myself, but at the point where I wanted too. I skipped meals and ate less that usual.

    Later in the year, I had an on and off relationship (now definitely on) which really helped me. Now I know what you are saying, “You’re 12! How are you in a relationship?”. Frankly, I have no idea how I am in a relationship with a boy with mild schizophrenia. But he is amazing. He also self harmed and attempted suicide. Guess who stopped him doing both? 🙂 This little gal right here! And yes, I am very proud about this particular achievement. And I do have the right to be. I saved his life countless times this year. And yes folks, he is currently alive. And no, he is not 12, or 16. He is 13. Good enough? 🙂 I think yes. Because let me just say, I have saved him several times. He has saved me over 34 times. From self harm and suicide. Our relationship is a friendly one. No kissing, no sex. Nothing other than hugging. Feel free to yell at me for hugging 🙂 I’m kidding. Please don’t yell at me 😀

    So, when school ended my depression didn’t end. It intensified. With no way to play my violin 55 minutes a day in class, I had nothing. No friends to talk to anymore. Nada. I had been clean (no cutting) for about 3 months. (Thank you dearest <3 ). And remained blade free for about a month more. I was too distracted by practicing for a week long orchestra and band summer camp at Baylor U. I got first violin. fifth chair 🙂 It was awesome. I made many friends there and was… you guessed it. Bullied. Yay 🙁 I kept away from little miss teaser, skipped meals and made more friends. But, her dorm was near mine so once again Yay 🙁 In the last two days, I met a wonderful bassoonist called Samantha. She was also severely depressed and suicidal. But she was so inspiring. I will always remember one thing she said to me, "Don't kill yourself. Please talk to me if your sad because I don't want to come back and find you d-dead." And she said it with barely a stutter (she had a very severe stutter usually).

    About a week ago, I decided, with the faith of my dearest and my instagram followers to stop cutting for 137 days and to not starve for 136. I hope that when I have finished those many days, I will not want to ever return to those terrible habits again.

    Thank you for reading my story if you did (it's pretty loooong) 🙂

    Looking for a reason to live Clara <3

    1. Clara-you have reason to live, and his name is Jesus. He made you, and loves you and has a plan for your life. It might be hard to see right now, but if you ask him to reveal himself to you n a wonderful way, I know he will. I know because I was once in your shoes:). God Bless you, I pray Lord that you hold Clara in your arms and show her how much you love her. Bring good loving peers and leaders into her life. In Jesus name, Amen.
      MumatHome 🙂

    2. Hi Clara
      my name is Grace. I live in Berlin, Germany. You have a reason to live.
      God has a purpose for every one. Please use your musical skills to praise the Lord Almighty and you will find peace in Him. He cares and love you more than you can think of. Look for Jesus and get closer to him and he will never leave you or forsake you. He is always there for me and I know he will always be there for you too.
      Clara may the Lord shine his face upon. Stay blessed.

    3. Clara,
      You’ve got a reason to live. Jesus loves you, it may sound like a cliche but it is true. You only need to believe in Him as your Lord and personal Saviour, you will see the difference.

    4. clara,
      I am 15 and I have a lot of friends like you. One of them has been suicidal since 12 or 13, and I have saved her once or twice, but now she has moved schools, (she was bullied at ours a lot). I also have a friend who’s sister is suicidal and is in the hospital a lot, and I know 3 or 4 others who have been severely depressed and self harming. I also had suicidal thoughts myself more than once. Through these experiences (and the experiences I am still going through) I can tell you one thing. There’s only one way and that is through Jesus. I mean, He went through so much more than any of us, and He had to lay down His life for us, that we might be saved, and He was thinking of you when He did it. I might sound like I’m just preaching, but truly I want this for you, I can see you need it. My only friends that were suicidal that have made it through are the ones who turned to Him, which is why I am still alive here, and why I will never see death, because I live in Him. love you and hope you can come to this.

    5. Please talk to your parents or a school counselor. It may be scary to reach out to an adult. But, please reach out and keep reaching out until you find someone who will listen and help. You are very brave and I can tell you have a wonderful heart. But, you are very young and this is a lot to deal with. Please find a grownup to help you through all of this.

  56. How encouraging that there is hope for victims of sexual abuse. God is the only One Who can truly heal our broken, shattered lives. Thank you, Ruth, for the hope you extend!

  57. Wow, you are such an inspiration, thank you for sharing your story. Depression can be a very lonely disease and not accepted by most people. I was on pinterest and saw your 31 day post and that is how I eventually kept reading your site and found your story. Did I say WOW? I am so glad that your are happy and fulfilled now – maybe one day I will take that scary “giving in to God” plunge! Thanks again….

  58. What a blessing that was to read! I’m so happy I have found your blog and I’m excited to keep reading. Last year my spending was out of control and I had rack up thousands in credit card debt behind my husbands back. He has forgiven me but my life is very different. I’m still learning but I’m so much happier when not spending! Thanks for continued inspiration!

  59. Your story was so touching. I had one of those moments when I knew that God was watching me. I was reading Part 4 and reading the lyrics when Amazing Grace came on Pandora. What an amazing blessing.

  60. Ruth, I just want to say THANK YOU for sharing your story! I found your blog through pinterest, and I believe it was seriously a divine appointment. I have struggled with depression, experienced abuse, and found the love and grace of God as well. Your words are inspiring, and God has used your story to impact countless lives, I’m sure. And He has used it just now at 2am, in my life as well! (Also, what am I doing up so late?!) Thank you again for your courage to share your story. You have inspired me to be willing to do the same.
    Blessings, Abbi Russo

  61. His Grace is just so overwhelmingly amazing. It’s beautiful when he takes our hurts and messes and heals us and uses us to show his glory. Bless you for sharing. Thank you for walking through the pain of writing this all down. . I have struggles with depression. Not nearly so deep, but Christ is bringing me through.

  62. I am speech less. “It was like I had been standing right in front of a big painting, staring so closely at one small section that I couldn’t see the larger picture. God forced me to step back and see the whole thing, and it was far, far more beautiful than I could’ve ever imagined.” That was exactly what I needed to read! God is so amazing and I am SO incredibly thankful that He had you write that! I also struggle with depression. But it’s odd. I don’t have anything to be depressed about. I am so blessed, and sometimes I feel like I get so focused on my pitty parties that I don’t realize just how much God is truly blessing me each and every day. Thank you so much!

  63. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I am very thankful I ran across your words today. God bless you.

  64. I cried so many times while reading this….. All i can say is thank you SO SO much for sharing this with everybody. It must have taken a lot for you to do that, but i want you to KNOW it has had an extremely strong impact. After stumbling upon LWSL through Pinterest, and loving your “Why I took all my kid’s toys away” story I just started browsing through your website. As somebody who has personally struggled a lot with religion, I feel like i did NOT stumble upon this on accident, or without reason. Thank you.

    By the way, I just have to ask, have you ever considered writing a book?

  65. My brother recommended I would possibly like this web site. He was totally right. This post truly made my day. You cann’t imagine just how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

  66. We’re a gaggle of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable info to paintings on. You’ve performed an impressive activity and our entire neighborhood will be thankful to you.

  67. I know you wrote this a year or more ago, but I just came across it and wanted you to know how unbelievably brave I think you are to have posted this for the world to see and to have allowed comments to be posted as well. It is inspiring!!

  68. I cannot even begin to tell you how much your story has moved me. Those of us who have suffered from depression feel so alone even when we are surrounded by people who love us. Your story is definitely all about Grace and how God doesn’t give us what we deserve, he shows us mercy. I’m glad he spared you to share your journey with others as well as your other many talents.
    God Bless.

  69. I am so glad that the people God placed to help guide you to this point in life were there. It would have been a tragic loss for you to have missed the glory of God’s love. I know sometimes like steel we must be put into the fire again and again to bring out our strength. Just remember you are not your past. You may be who you are as a result of your past. I think this scripture Isaiah 46: 4 should give you comfort “Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. God Bless and keep walking with the lord.

  70. Your story was really heart wrenching. As an atheist, I can’t help but be unsettled by your non-commitment to figuring out what you REALLY believe, instead of just being pressured into returning to church when you felt lonely and isolated. I’m also frustrated that you didn’t possibly comprehend that the “something missing” from your life wasn’t an imaginary friend, but rather a community of people who supported you – and that can be found outside a church and outside a belief structure. It’s always disappointing to me when people choose the path of least resistance, but I suppose, in your case, it was bound to happen. I’m glad overall that you found something that gives you joy, I just don’t understand why you never searched for anything else outside of it – or did any sort of truthful survey of beliefs (maybe you did, but didn’t mention it). As an atheist, I am not mad at god – I just know he doesn’t exist any more than the 5000 or so other gods throughout history. I wish others would be strong enough to realize this, but I suppose I cant expect everyone to have that strength to go against the mainstream and create their own communities.

    1. Either you’ve had the light and rejected it and refused it, or you suppose you don’t have to acknowledge the supremacy of God. The thing is, no matter what you will die in the end, and what do you suppose will happen? that you will fade into nothing and that will be it? I mean that’s SAD. Why would believe that if you could believe that there is heaven, eternal life, and a God who loves you more than anyone could? Especially since it’s a million % TRUE!!! 🙂
      Also, a proven fact: no one has ever passed a lie detector test saying no to the question “do you believe in God?” It always comes up as a lie. If you refuse to believe anything else, that is proven scientific evidence.

  71. I felt after reading your personal story it would be rude of me not to comment
    I truly dont know what to say other than what an inspiration you are to so many, if only they could your story and see that after all there is a light at the end of the road, it may be years away but there is always hope of a better life without the dark depression
    I personally suffer with anxiety after having postnatal depression eleven years ago, I still have attacks now and feel so negative about all that I do and have

    I feel humbled to have found your webspace
    Much hugs
    Deanne x

  72. Thank you for sharing your story. I once went to a ladies retreat where they had chosen the topic “this is my story” (like the song) and instead of a single speaker they had asked many different ladies who had gone through difficult times with God and came out even stronger to share their stories with us. Each one of them had such a deep impact. The point was, that God tells a story with each one of us. A story of Grace. Thank you for sharing yours and reminding me of how powerful he is and that he has brought us from the bottom of pain and hurt to a place of amazed gratitude and deep hope. He is so good!


  73. I am so grateful to have found your website. You are an amazing person. Thank you for sharing your story. Many people go through depression and anxiety everyday. I am thankful that God is with us every step of the way. He loves us and doesn’t give up on us. He is an awesome God!

  74. your story touched my heart, I still can not believe how many woman have been sexually abused, I fall in that number and it changes you totally. You will never know who you could have been and I always say not for the grace of god that my life is where is today. thank you for your story. alice

  75. Are you kidding me? Where is Part 5? We need a little more window into what a difference Amazing Grace made in your life at that time… Thank you for bravely sharing your story… My sister just tried to kill herself (same way) about four weeks ago… her “life” partner came home and thought she was dead and went to sleep on the couch because he didn’t want to sleep next to a dead body. She is 53 and resisting a lot of advice, etc.; however, she is allowing us to love her and seems to be slowly getting better. I hadn’t thought about the suicide phone line for some reason and will bring it up to her. Thanks again.

  76. I thank God for what He has done in your life, and hope He uses this to reach others in ways we could only begin to imagine.

  77. Ruth…I just read your Amazing Grace story from start to finish. Thank you for sharing that. I can’t imagine the amount of courage that it took for you to do so. Life is so tough, but I am so glad that you have over come those horrible times and that Christ is now the center of all that you do…We can all learn from this.
    I also love your blog and look on it frequently. 🙂 You are an amazing person!!
    Take Care…maybe I will see you at our 20 year?!! 🙂

  78. Ruth…I just read your Amazing Grace story from start to finish. Thank you for sharing that. I can’t imagine the amount of courage that it took for you to do so. Life is so tough, but I am so glad that you have over come those horrible times and that Christ is now the center of all that you do…We can all learn from this.
    I also love your blog and look on it frequently. You are an amazing person!!
    Take Care…maybe I will see you at our 20 year?!!

    1. Sheri, thank you so much for your sweet comment! Definitely hope to make the 20 year….I think I was in labor the weekend of our 10 year reunion! Hard to believe we are already THAT old! 😉

  79. I am so amazed by God’s Amazing Grace in your life! What a story God has written in your life. May God use you and your path to bring others to Him also.

  80. thank you for sharing this. I was never sexually abused, but I didn’t have an easy upbringing. I have dealt with clinical depression like a roller coaster since I was 13.

  81. You are stunning. I have tears welled up in my eyes and I’m just so happy for you. I love your story and was cheering you on throughout every post. Thank you so very much for sharing.

  82. Your story is so much like mine, depression is Hell, but God is good and his love, grace, forgiveness is so wonderful. It is so wonderful to know how much he loves us and takes care of us. I know I am a walking miracle since I experienced the same pain & suffering as you have .I know we serve a great God that isn’t done with us yet. Praise God for his goodness. Nothing is too big, ugly or painful for him,

  83. What an amazing testimony of God’s goodness and love!! Remember that when it is scary to share, that God allowed us to go through suffering and hard times to be able to help someone else. Your story has a wonderful happy ending and is so encouraging! Blessings to you 🙂

  84. This story and testimony touched my heart. I am a therapist and I know the value of what I do. But I also know that true healing can only come through Jesus and a loving Heavenly Father. Thank you for sharing this story and being open about your experiences. Other obviously have benefitted from your courage to share.

  85. Been there; done that, (only my Mom said “I don’t believe you” because it was my brother in law….) I suffer from depression and am at the end of my rope. I am at the point of wondering where God is. The ONLY thing keeping me from suicide is my strong belief that it is morally wrong. Thanks for sharing your heart. I know that isn’t easy to make yourself vulnerable like that! I go to sleep at night hoping tomorrow will be a better day and wake each morning hoping I make it until bedtime. Interesting you mentioned Grand Rapids as I live about an hour from there.

  86. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story. I can identify with almost everything that you’ve gone through. I’m currently taking “classes” at a hospital in Maryland during the day after being in-patient for weeks due to sucidal thoughts. I should be in classes finishing up my undergrad degree, which a lot of time has been spent battling those feelings that you also once had. I’ve had more attempts than I’d like to admit and also felt that they were all rookie mistakes in my plans as well. I was playing for keeps as well in Augus 2013. Something in me prevented myself from doing anything and drove myself to the hospital. When I get discharged, I will also be moving away from my home to live with my boyfriend of 4 years which has stirred a lot of unwanted comments . I’ve questioned my faith for a few years now. God and I have constant “battles” where I usually win. You have absolutely NO IDEA how thankful and grateful I am to have stumbled upon your blog, looking for cleaning tips, and ended up reading a post so similar to my own life story that I’m currently going through. A lot of hope has been restored in me after reading your story and I know there’s a bright light at the end of this treacherous tunnel… Hopefull I’ll find it soon.
    Again, thank you for being brave and sharing this.

  87. Hi Ruth, I have struggled with depression at least since I was 16 and I’m now 43. I had a “down” day today (actually have had quite a few of those lately). I don’t do well with the shorter daylight hours and cold weather. I’m a blogger too…my little blog is if you would like to visit. I’ve written about my breast cancer story on my blog but not my depression. I may do that in the future because it really does help to know that we aren’t alone, especially on the darker days. Anyway, I’m your newest follower. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing your story. Have a wonderful weekend. Amy @ Home Sweet Thrifty Home

  88. First time reader. Long time Christian, raised in a Christian home
    You story of abuse then seeing God’s grace in your life left me shaking (in a good way)

  89. My first thought when reading your story was: oh great, another child abuse victim turned inspirational. (no offense) I just want you to know that there has never been a personal come to Jesus story that has EVER touched me like yours has today. You make everything make sense and feel normal. I really appreciate you being so completely open and I admire you. Congratulations on your beautiful life and your beautiful family

  90. I am feeling so happy that i found your blog,i was just looking for healty recipes and found your place that definately inspired me and your real strong story about waht you had lived with and God touched your heart on this way just maked me feel gracefull and calm.Bless you and wish you all the wonders that haven’t happened in your life yet to be bigger and full feeling!

  91. With Tears in my eyes, all I can say is “Beautiful”

    Isn’t it amazing when you finally get “there” and you look back at all the mess and loneliness, brokenness and pain, thinking God had deserted you, or at least what had you done to deserve all this; and you realize He was there all along, knocking and waiting, waiting, waiting with open arms.

  92. I relate to much of your story, but I still live in the dark. I am lost and mostly alone. I have this anger at god that I don’t know what to do with. I hate every story I read that has anything to do with god being helpful to anyone. I have no idea how to turn this life into something beautiful. I have no idea where to find that ‘something’ that makes me start to care or gives me a desire for more. More life. To get up and do something, anything. I feel so stuck. I am so glad you had a happy ending. This is no way to exist. Congrats to you. I hope I can share something similar some day.

  93. What an amazing and inspiring story! I happened upon your site fairly recently when I found your blog post about taking your kids’ toys away. I loved that. I’m also reading your book, “How to Blog for Profit.”

  94. Ruth, bless your heart. And bless your family. God does work in mysterious ways. Thank you for sharing your journey thus far!!

  95. Love, love, loved your testimony. I’m going through my second round of counseling. God is getting me through though. It was encouraging to read someone else’s story.

  96. My wife gave the recipe for the meatballs. I decided to follow your link for depression. My wife and I are going through what your dad went through. Currently, I am trying to fix my eyes on Jesus, I don’t know what else to do except trust in Him. Thank you for sharing your story.

  97. Ruth, please know how much of a blessing you are to me, and many others. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story with us all! I am deeply grateful for your honesty and commend your courage and love. Thank you for being real, especially in a world of “imposters” these days!

  98. May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your heart and mind in the knowledge and love of God, and of his son, Jesus Christ our Lord. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, be with you now and remain with you always.

  99. Absolutely beautiful. I have spent the afternoon reading your blog. Thank you for sharing your world. I am not alone.

  100. I also suffered years of abuse and depression.I tried to commit suicide 3 different times before the age of 18 and finally decided three strikes and I give up.After I married,we had two son’s who were eventually diagnosed with autism.After years of verbal and mental abuse from the public school employees and both sides of our family,I had begun having panic attacks.I had to begin homeschooling my oldest who was in 7th grade and start helping take care of my mother who is verbally and mentally abusive.It ended with me being committed to a mental institution for two weeks for a complete mental break down.When I hit rock bottom,I found God and got saved.This was 6 yrs ago and I received my healing in October of last year.I still have times that I feel the edges of panic and I start claiming my healing and thanking God for taking care of all my problems and the fear always leaves.Your story is a inspiration to all of us who has been through the valley of the shadow and made it to the other side.

  101. I just read your entire story while at my desk at work…I would have never known otherwise…thank you for sharing. We are so blessed by you! I know now, that I don’t have to have it all together to make a difference. I’ve always known it, but something about your story struck a chord in a different way. I have a daughter who deals with self harm and a husband who struggled with depression and anxiety. We struggle, and soar, hold tight to Jesus, and know that through it all, God is faithful.

  102. Dear Ruth, I just read your four-part story. I am happy to see how incredibly your life has turned around–and I’m glad this was a happy ending. However, I am angry and sad while reading your story, too. Not at you, of course, but at God. How many stories out there don’t have a happy ending? How many people’s lives seem senseless and end in tragedy? If God seems to be protecting and leading some (even against their will), why not others? How can anyone trust a God that is so inconsistent? Somehow “God works in mysterious ways and you need to trust him” is not a sufficient answer.

  103. I half way forced myself to click on the link to this story, not wanting to hear a story of ingratitude and bitterness. I found such the opposite. Your story is beautiful. Your writing is clean, clear, and refreshing (even with all that you went through). It isn’t a story of bitterness, but a story of a joy because there is and always will be hope. Thank you for sharing.

  104. Your story is much like my own. It gave me goosebumps and tears.
    I should be dead. But He was there. He has always been there.
    Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for being brave.

  105. Dealing with physical pain and the medications, and the overall not feeling normal can take its toile. When my Dr. Brought up the subject of depression I immediately said no not me. Then as time went on I began to realize I needed help. But the stigma that goes along with depression I just kept saying I’m a Christian, I don’t have lots of problems I’m blessed. Still I would have insomnia, or sleep all the time start crying for no reason. My Christian Dr told me if I heart problem and he told me I needed medicine would I take it, of course I said yes. So he explained about depression can be caused by a chemical imbalance, since I was on so many pain med’s and trying to manage pain. He really encouraged me to try the anti depressant, I very tried several I’m on one now it seems to be helping. We never know what can flip the switch in our body for something to go wrong. I’m so glad you found Christ. I enjoy your blog. I will be sharing this testimony of yours. With others I know who have and are struggling. May God. Continue to Bless you as you bless others.

  106. Ruth, That is truly an amazing story. Thank you so much for sharing, even though I’m sure it was very, very difficult. What you said about not realizing you’d hit rock bottom until you were coming out of it makes a lot of sense to me. I have kind of been in denial about my own depression, but the signs are there. I will try exercising to start. I have to start somewhere. I did have one question at the end of the story though. Maybe I missed this, but did your husband come to know God as Lord & Savior, as well, around the same time you did? I hope so! Take care and thank you for being a blessing to others!

  107. This was just what I needed to hear. I’m sobbing! Thank you for sharing your story. I’ve been in a pit alone for so long that I had forgotten to reach my hand up.

  108. What an amazing story, and what a strong women you are! I have a feeling that you will touch many lives by being so open about yours. Thank you so much for sharing! We love following your blog.

  109. Dear Ruth,
    For some reason I was drawn to my computer to google ‘how to start couponing’ tonight, and stumbled across your site. As I skimmed your blog I couldn’t help but be impressed by your commitment to organization and frugality- two of my top weaknesses. As I was about to leave the site in disappointment, believing you had mastered level of life perfection that was far from ever being within my reach, the story of Amazing Grace nearly jumped off the screen and slapped me across the face.

    Too much of your story struck a similar chord within me. Sexually assaulted. Years of pain and denial. Suicide attempts. Hospitalization. The weight loss. Feeling crazy. Judgement. Intellectualizing my pain. That feeling- that awful feeling- of waking up after attempting to take your life. And the guilt. Insurmountable guilt. Not just in the events that occurred, but the impact on friends and family, the questionable “wallowing,” the lingering feeling of failure, in everything (even suicide)… and finally, reaching the point in therapy when you just want to go forward and stop rehashing the dirty details of the past.

    One thing I have always had was my faith in God, and for that I am grateful. And yet, I continue to feel the yearning for healing… even with God at my side, *something* is missing. I am far from clinical depression and suicidal ideation, but my FEAR of that place, those thoughts, that pain… it paralyzes me at times. I am very much “stuck” in the place where I do what I want, when I want, without care or concern of its effects on me in both the present and the future. I distract myself with alcohol, men, and hours of mindless TV. I recognize my strength, the magnitude of love in my life, and the tremendous courage and commitment it has taken to come this far. And yet, the fear continues to make me feel like I’m in an endless stalemate with my heart.

    You, Ruth, give me hope. You remind me that I am far from alone. You remind me of the power in sharing our story. You remind me of the love of our Lord and the beautiful ways he brings us together to care for one another. I have spent many nights crying, praying, pleading, for direction and encouragement. You helped me to remember that having a heart at peace means being able to let go of the past and focus only on the future. To take small steps. To rejoice in every success. To reach out to my community of faith. And to never forget the beauty of the big picture, no matter how distorted the snapshot.

    Thank you for sharing your story. For being an example of what I may heal to become. You give me hope.
    From my heart,

  110. Hi Ruth,

    I recently stumbled across your blog & it’s totally awesome! I’m an empty-nester of 2 adults daughters & trust me, when I say I’ve been around the block or two in my life! Your testimony, your oh-so-bold transparency is nothing short of God’s Amazing Grace. I’m blessed by reading this blog & you yourself, my Dear are a real blessing to others!! Keep sharing & ignore any of the “mean girls” comments out there!! They know who they are, shame on them!! There’s always a critic (self-centered,tearing everyone else down but themselves) in every crowd! God Bless you in every way, Sista!! jls

  111. I could say a lot, but I will keep it short: you are a lovely person and very strong and well, simply amazing! You give me hope; while I have not experienced the pain that you have, my life is difficult, but you give me the hope I need that I can make the changes to turn my life into what I need and what I would like it to be. Thank you darling, for being a light in the dark.

  112. Wow thank you for sharing your story. God has our number from the minute we born to when we born again & His everlasting love exceeds anything we ever would search for of this world. I’m glad I met you … If you can call it that, through your blog. Will be enjoying many more posts . Thank you, Debs

  113. I am so proud of you Ruth, that courage you had to revealed to the world your personal life is really a hard decision to make. Not all people can do that because being afraid of judgement. I personally can relate your story. But i know soon things will be better. Thank you so much for sharing your story because it made me realize one thing which is to seek GOD in every direction. I may have difficulties having relation to him right now but i believe that He is always there waiting and seeking me. More power to you and to your family Ruth.

  114. I had been crying from beginning to end of your story. I am in not so good relationship with God at the moment, and have this depression over me for several years know, but read to your story is refreshing and somehow a hope that someday I will have the Amazing Grace.

  115. Thank you for your story. I love how God shows His redemptive power in our lives and in our testimonies. Healing can only go so far without His hand. What a blessing to share your story in the middle of your life of helping others organize, a true calling from The Source that creates and keeps our world and lives in order!
    In appreciation and sisterhood..

  116. God bless you for sharing your history… Thankfully, your future is bright! I, too, have been through childhood sexual abuse, by my stepfather, from age 5-11. My Mom refuses to acknowledge it ever happened, so I know exactly what you meant when you mentioned the guilt when others don’t believe you. God knows the truth, hard as it is, and has carried me through many dark times, even before I knew Him. I am so glad you have come to depend on Him, for it is much healthier than relying solely on ourselves! Godspeed, Ruth, and the many others of us who have struggled miserably through this and other horrible stages in life. I pray you all find Him and your own inner peace.
    <3, Chris

  117. I read your story after just returning from my psychiatrist’s office. I haven’t been there for over a year, but have been experiencing a lot of anxiety. You story resonated with me on so many levels. I too was sexually abused as a child, have been depressed my whole life. This will sound odd but I am a Christian. I am 65 years old, retired on Social Security. I am always struggling to make ends meet, and even trying to save money to go to my son’s wedding in North Dakota in February. And yet, I continue to SPEND, SPEND, SPEND. HSN is my favorite channel, and I just blew this week half of the money for my electric bill. I wish you could tell me how you broke your spending addiction before it ruins me. Thank you for your different articles. I was so impressed with them that I have gotten up the nerve to ask you for advice.

  118. Thank you. God is amazing. I needed a lift today as I go through my own struggles. Thank you for sharing. It was an answer to prayer to stumble upon your article.

  119. Thank you for sharing your amazing story. I believe as Christians we are called to share our life lessons to help others and give them hope! Your story really touched me.

  120. Wow, yours is an awesome testimony. I was eleven when I was saved, but have endured many bumps in my journey. God is always there for me. He has dramatically saved my life several times. He saved me from cancer. I love him so very much. Thank you for sharing.

  121. “Time after time, story after story, page after page God offers a new beginning. The circumstances change, and the stories vary, but the grace of God never wavers” – Joyce Meyer

    What a beautiful testimony! I had to step away from my computer and, literally, allow myself to cry. I’m in such awe of the love, mercy and grace the Lord shows all of His children daily.

    I stumbled upon your site (which I love by the way) and couldn’t be more grateful that I did. Thank you for you sharing. You have no idea how it has helped me.

    God Bless You

  122. Thank you for the courage to share your story. I came upon your blog from a Pinterest post. I looked around and like what I see here. I have been wanting to start a blog, but I’ve been stuck on where to start. I just ordered your book. Thanks!

  123. Hi there. Was reading you blog and its so true that when you have faith in God, the whole picture suddenly starts to reveal itself. Every event, whether good or bad, in life starts to make sense, as if it all were meant to lead us to our Creator.
    I am a single mother of a toddler, from Bangladesh, and a Muslim by faith. Its amazing how we are so different demographically, yet so similar psychographically!

    Lots of love

  124. Wow. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony.

    I found your blog through another organizing/homemaking blog and ended up on your story. Praise God for his amazing work in you. Your story reminds me of the book of Esther- no where is God mentioned in her story but you can see His fingerprints all over the place. In your darkest and most tragic times, God may not have been in the foreground but His fingerprints are all over your redemption. Such a beauty from ashes!

  125. I just sat here reading and reading your story..I couldnt stop. I do not know you but I am proud of you. for overcoming the difficult obstacles that you had to in your life.

  126. Honest, brave, real….I can’t stop crying because I know the pain and struggle of depression so well. Depression is so misunderstood, and carries such a large degree of shame to those it consumes. I often wonder how many lives are lost because it’s not something people talk freely about, the classification of mental illness being taboo. I feel blessed to have discovered your blog and story. It lessens the sting of having lost friends and of having been judged so openly. Thank you.

  127. Thank you, so much- for sharing your beautiful story. It is so encouraging and filled me with hope.
    Life is not easy, but Grace will lead us home 🙂

  128. Well, it goes to show that it’s true – you don’t have a testimony without a test. Ruth, I wept when I read your story. God’s been telling me to ‘fess up and tell people my story and like you were doing; I’ve been putting it off, so to speak. I have felt ashamed. I have felt guilty too. I, too, was abused sexually. A lot of us were/have been. I appreciate your thoughtful candidness. You’re a bold WOG; Woman of God, to have rose to the challenge of sharing your story. I applaud you for being so forthcoming and honest. Thank you. I’m sure you’ve given someone on the brink of suicide the chance to read what you wrote and realize that the choice to take your own life is taking permanent steps for a temporary situation.

    God bless you and your family. You’ve inspired me to tell my story. So, people will better understand why I, too, am broken and being shaped and molded and by the grace of God being made whole. Thank you, Ruth. There are no coincidences in life. I stopped here for one reason and got something good that I didn’t plan for; the blessing of your testimony/story. I’m so glad you made it.

    Thank you. This is a gift to everyone who stops by.

  129. Thank you SO much for sharing your story so honestly. I am sure it will continue to be a blessing and help to many. Isn’t Jesus amazing with what He can do with our lives?!

  130. I was looking for different organization ideas and found this story and although our story is not the same I have shared some of the same feelings you. I don’t know you but I have to say thank you for sharing your story it really uplifted me in more ways than one. God is so awesome. May he continue to bless you and your family.

  131. Thanks for sharing this story. I’m sure it feels good to get it all out, but I am also sure it requires much bravery. You are an incredibly talented writer as well.

  132. Thank you so much for telling your story. But please change the name of your youngest from Trouble to something positive like Persistence. Kids have a way of living up to their label. & usually the kids that drive you the most crazy are the ones most like you. again thank you so much for sharing your story. That took a lot of “conjoles”

  133. THANK YOU! Thank you for sharing your story! I too tried to end my life, I was only 16 but a bottle of my moms pain killers before I went to sleep one night seemed like my only way out of the hell I was being put through. No one knows my story except my parents, aunt and grandmother. But when I woke up the next morning, not feeling good at all, but actually still alive…i knew at that moment that God was by my side and he has a purpose for me, greater than the misery I was in. Thank you for sharing! At least I don’t feel alone, maybe one day I will have the amazing strength and courage,like you, to finally open up and share mine. Thank you!! God bless!

  134. Wow, what a testimony. Much like the responses above, I felt your story graciously gave permission for others to heal. I too have quietly struggled and those I am closest to have often looked the other way or ignored the obvious. I sat for years in a state of isolation, suffering with a disease I felt was silly and unworthy of help. Yet, our God is merciful and full of love for His children that now, only now, am I feeling His release. I shouldn’t be; the world says I should be angry and saddened by my situation. I feel victorious. Continue to share your story; lives are blessed because of the grace that was given to you.

  135. Thank you for your testimony! I’m almost 70 and started out pretty rocky, too. But God revealed Himself to me and 7 kids, 7 grand kids and a great granddaughter later, I can tell you, he has NEVER let me down and is worthy of all praise and trust. When we were in need, He has always provided? God bless you and your family. Hugs!

  136. I was never molested, but I am familiar with both depression and the wonderful grace of our loving Savior. What an amazing story! Thank you for mustering the courage to share it! I’m new to your site, very excited to start the October challenge, and think your site will be one of my favorites. Blessings to you.

  137. Perfect timing I really enjoyed your story and your honesty I have been struggeling with depression for several years, God is amazing he never gives up on us no matter how many times we turn are back on him. This is the first time I have ever been on this site no doubt God knew how much I needed your encouragement. Thank you so much and God Bless

  138. You are a very brave woman and should be proud of what you’ve overcome.

    I have to ask, is your daughter’s name really Trouble?

  139. I am completely blown away. By your story and the fact that I now that the Lord brought me to your website tonight to read this very post. I was also abused, mentally, physically and sexually as a child. I was brought up as a Christian, but strayed in my young adult years and it came back to haunt me in the early 20s. I’ve always struggled with depression. I even got married in 2004 too! Rededicated my life and I’ve never been the same. I was reading your post after breaking down and crying again tonight because my daughter, who has sleeping issues because of a sensory processing disorder, just would not go to sleep and I just couldn’t take it anymore. I’ve been so beat down by her issues and I just so related to your dealing with two little ones… just everything, even though our stories are very different. God’s been working in my family’s life and he’s been doing a lot of healing through it all.

    I KNOW exactly what you write about. All the pieces coming together to form a beautiful picture and you know that it’s His handiwork. Our lives are far from random or meaningless, and I am just so humbled and amazed. To God be the glory forever and ever. Our lives all point to Him being amazing <3

  140. Ruth,
    How brave to share your experience. Sometimes I think God is also telling me to share mine, but the words do not come quit so easily. I am still stuck in sadness most days but continue to pray to God for a change of heart. I am bound by the endlessness of not being good enough, and although I know I don’t have to be good enough or really not much more than broken person I am for the Father to love me I haven’t fully broken those chains.
    For now I will tell you my story is similar but more twisted in that it started out as neighborhood boys and then my own brother. Many years of hurt and disappointment followed and although I finally came to Jesus and surrendered to His will I am waiting for His answer on what to do with my life. The wait is not fun, and finding joy in anything let alone all things is rough. But; the dedication and determination to dig into the word, to continue to pray, and to trust in His plan is what I have until the hope returns and I have to be okay with that. My time frame is irrelevant, and God is good! Thank-you for honesty.

  141. I am a Mormon, stay at home mom living in utah. I have never suffered from real depression, but your story touched me deeply. Thank you for sharing your personal struggles. God is so good!

  142. I have read all 4 parts of your story … and related to many parts of it. One of the most amazing things I’ve learned is that we are tied to precious others with soul strings. I love Haruki Murakami’s statement: “And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. You won’t even be sure, in fact, when the storm is really over. But one thing’s certain. When you come out of the storm you won’t be the same person who walked in…” This quote is even more relevant to your story as you experienced the Hurricane. Now to find out how I can get your book… I saw that others found you through Pinterest. I probably did, too.

  143. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your story. You have no idea how much hearing your story helps me.
    I had a similar experience when I was a girl and trying to sort through the pain has been one of the biggest struggles I
    have had. Thank you so much.

  144. Hi Ruth,
    I have read your story in one shot. How amazing and painfully beautiful.
    I am happy for you that you find your path.

    Have a nice Christmas.
    Love, Raymonde

  145. Ruth,
    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. Your honesty and passion were evident throughout. I don’t read many blogs and have never commented but I truly believe your story of redemption is one that so many people need to read. So many people have given up hope, their lives full of deep sadness and pain. Many don’t know the fulfillment that can only be found in Christ. By sharing your story, you shed light on the One True Hope! Thank you so much. May God continue to use you for His glory.

  146. I read and tears feel my heart. I know I am not alone. What has spoken to me most is that if you hate something you can quit. Get on a different path. My husband has been telling me to quit my job next month, but I don’t want to disappoint people by doing so. I have had my own story of Grace and have been praying for clarity and wisdom. I think he may have sent some through your message.

  147. I have been following your blog for a bit, and came across your story when reading the article about your experience with taking your children’s toys away. Your story made me weep. I went through a lot as a child, and it is still affecting me today. I wasn’t sexually abused or anything, but I was hurt continuously by my parents. I abandoned God at the age of 10/13 and eventually had children and recently got married. I found my path, and it’s a different faith than yours, but the combination of my spirituality and having a family of my own has really helped me find direction and to fight through the depression I still experience. I just wanted to so thank you so much for sharing your story – you are a beautiful spirit and your story will help many!! I hope you and your family are continuously blessed and that your journey remains a wholesome, and liberating experience! With lots of light and love, Viktoria.

  148. Crying right now. I actually don’t know where to start but yes, Jesus Christ saved me too! Now the emptiness I am feeling before is now filled with grace and everlasting love of God!

  149. Thank you for writing this story. I finally don’t feel so alone. I share so many of the feelings you talked about and I too would appear to have it together on the outside. The brokenness within is real, your story helped me understand myself better.

  150. Congratulation! Your story is so inspiring! You are truly blessed in having the Amazing Grace. It gives me hope that maybe someday I too can straighten my life out of this depression. It’s hard to wake up every morning trying to be okay, smile as if everything is fine but deep inside you, the emptiness is killing you.
    Thank you for sharing your story.

  151. I am in tears right now. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It gives all of us a voice when those same feelings and experiences of God’s Grace have touched our own lives. I admire your courage and hope that I may always the same to share my own story of God’s grace with others. Thank you !

  152. By the grace of God I found your site tonight and immediately read your entire story. WOW!! You are an Incredible woman to say the least and I cannot Thank YOU enough for sharing.


  153. Ruth, I had similar experiences. However I remembered what happened to me a year later. After i was baptized. God is so merciful. Isn’t it amazing that we can doubt, and when people don’t believe us it is so damaging. I had nothing to gain by being raped. Right now I am in counseling, a beautiful mess because what God has started He will complete. He will heal me, i will give Him glory. The verse God lead me to Him is,”The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.” (‭Ecclesiastes‬ ‭7‬:‭8‬ NIV) that was 10 years ago. that verse commands me to never try to finish before Him.
    Thank you for sharing your story Ruth. You have no idea what it means to me. I am not the only one who forgot and remembered, and is being redeemed.

  154. I had made all my plans to kill myself but when I started to give my things away a friend intervened. After many hospitalizations, different anti-depressants, and years with a wonderful therapist, I finally came out of it, explained to my then grown children why I had been depressed, and have had many wonderful years of happiness. I divorced, made up with my children who now have children of their own and realize that God has always been with me through family and friends who love me. What a wonder God!

  155. Tears. There a tear steaming. I am so touched .Our God is so, so, so good. God bless you, your husband, and children. <3

  156. Hi Ruth
    I don’t think it’s an accident that is your name. In the bible she was a strong, faithful woman and very close to her mother in law as well! It’s a great story of redemption. It has given me a lot of hope and encouragement. Thank you. The only thing I have a problem with is the name you have given your second daughter. It disturbs me hat you have nick-named her ‘trouble’. I know it’s only a term of endearment but I think names really do have significance and meaning and I think it will effect her to be called this. Especially by her mother. Sorry to sound critical as that is not the intention. I hope you take it as one sister in Christ to another. God bless!

  157. Ruth, you surely must know the meaning of your name in ancient Hebrew is “friend”. In this amazing world of technology
    you can be a friend to so many many people. Proverbs 17:17 tells us that a true friend loves at all times. What a special ministry God had in store for you. I understand the pain of clinical depression and owe my life to a precious neuro-psychiatrist.
    God’s grace is an incredible, endless realm of peace and blessings. I thank Him for your writing and for your love for
    Him. I am so thankful he lead me to your blog. As the apostle Paul said, “I thank God for every remembrance of you”. I will
    add you to my list of gratitude and pray God’s strength and direction as you reach out to this hurting world.
    Grace and blessings,

  158. What a gorgeous, beautiful story of the redemptive power of Christ. As a believer who also has struggled with depression, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts, your story hits home. I praise God for his grace though in your life and your testimony shows how He can give “beauty for ashes”. Thank you for sharing.

  159. This was simply delightful to read. Thank you for sharing your bravery and your persistent passion to find happiness. May you and your family continue to be blessed. Looking forward to following your blog, because GIRL, I could use the tips! – 27 Year Old, Bostonian, Nabs.

  160. Wow! What an inspirational story. I was so blessed, thank you for sharing such personal details of your life. Kim

  161. Ruth, I am so overwhelmed by your story, because of similarities to my past life, that I can’t really even express it. But I want to say thank you for sharing. It has impacted me deeply. God bless you.

  162. Hi Ruth
    Greetings from sunny Singapore. I am new to your blog and love every bit of it. Thank you for sharing your struggles and journey in knowing and loving God. Amazing indeed. I am now reading your book ‘Living Well, Spending Less’. Hope you get to visit this tiny but beautiful country.
    God bless

  163. I have just read you story and though my own depression story is not nearly so dramatic, it centred on God. I was only able to recognize my own worth from the eyes of God. I had felt abandoned but God was my parent and picked me up. The story of depression is a lifelong and generational issue in my family, but with the grace of God, I and those after me (my own children) will better walk with it. Thank you for the encouragement that your story is.

  164. What a beautiful story! Thank you for choosing to be vulnerable and real and BRAVE enough to share. I just recently found you on Instagram and this is my first time to your page. Loving what I’m seeing so far and looking forward to delving more into your articles – and it will mean so much more now knowing you are a believer. What a good and redemptive God we serve. Thank you for letting Him use you to reach others with your story, your talents, and your knowledge!

  165. I have just started to page around your blog and got sucked into your incredible story. My heart hurt for you, was happy for you, and I wanted to cry (both good and bad) for you. You are an incredibly talented writer and admire your strength to open up and share your story. Thank you, thank you.

  166. I SO NEEDED your story! I am at a very low point, wanting to be homeless so I can stop hurting people. I have a great therapist, Dr,husband , kids and friends. I am going to try the challenge so I can get over my sadness shopping. It NEVER helps.I started playing the violin last year (I’m 55) and I have just started looking for the sheet music for Amazing Grace. I am not happy with God right now, but I feel these words will re open my heart. Thank you so much for all you words and courage to tell the story. It’s so hard for this around you to understand this pain , but helps knowing I’m not the nay one.
    Love Karen Keany

  167. Brave Brave Brave! It is so incredibly vulnerable to share such a deep personal story and I am so proud of you. It does truly impact SO many people! Thank you for sharing your story. Praying God would continue to bless you, your family and your ministry. <3

  168. I am currently taking the LWSZ challenge after seeing it on Pinterest and have been blessed ever since with your blog and stories. Only those who have parallel lives can truly understand what pain and suffering you endured and how amazing it is to find the joy in yourself and in life again. It took too long to get the help I needed, but it was knowing my children were seeing me struggle that gave me the courage to work on finding daily joy. Heavenly Father had a plan for you and I am very grateful you have been willing to share your talents and knowledge with everyone. I look forward to improving my weaknesses through your guidance and watching your sweet spirit help so many others!!

  169. Dear Ruth,

    I came on here to find out the best way to sell things on Craigslist…. never expecting to cry and smile and cry some more… and to end worshiping Jesus! It is so true that God meets us where we are!

    I too have suffered from horrible depression. At several points in my life, I have felt that my loved ones would be better off without me… that I was doing more harm than good; or that I just could not possibly stand the pain that came from people who I loved so much (siblings) and who I thought loved me. I think the hardest part is the feeling that noone understands, because most of the people around us really do not understand the way depression takes over. Always though, God has seen me through, only to come out much stronger at the end!

    I try to be transparent and share some of my story with others, even at church in my small groups and bible studies, but I’ve never really shared it completely, in its entirety…I’ve been too afraid that it would hurt others, scare them off, or ….. but you’ve made me realize something that I’ve only recently begun to understand, and that is that God can, and does, use anything for good! What your story has done for others (and me!!), and will continue to do for others, is nothing short of a miracle. And maybe, just maybe, my story could help others too. God keeps reminding me that I need to have courage; not in myself, but in Him, and I know that is why He led me to your story!

    Thank you, Ruth, for sharing your story with me, for making a difference in this world, for allowing God to minister to others who are hurting, through you, and for letting your light shine through! You are a blessing, and I am grateful!

    Your sister in Christ,

  170. Thank you for sharing this. So many things stood out to me, either illuminating my own life, or are tidbits to remember as I seek to love and uplift those around me. xo

  171. Ruth thank you for sharing. I think I finally understand what my daughter has gone through, her story is very similar to yours and I finally get it. Again thanks so much, I often tell my daughter it wasn’t a mistake or mistakes if you learned from it. Wow, I have an even greater appreciation and respect for you, GOD’S GRACE Is always sufficient.

  172. Ruth after being receiving your emails and now the Planner (please forgive me for my mistakes English is not my language) I read your story, thank you for allowing us to follow your life at this moment I’m having some problems that keep me all the time in the house (my 98 years old father) but your words always give me a light in my walking everyday.
    Thank you for the love you put in the planner and all the writing you shera with us God bless you and your family. Merry Christmas and a Fabulous New YeAr 2016

  173. Hi Ruth,


    You see, last October 2014, we left our sweet life in Manila to start a new life in another island/city here in the Philippines. The original plan was to put up a cake shop so we gathered all our stuff and jumped into another life, hopeful that everything will work out.

    Unfortunately, things didn’t go well as planned. The cake business didn’t prosper, we got in a huge debt (money used for the transfer and start up) and my supposed to be partners were continually bugging us that we pay them. All those stress finally took its toll, because everything I have planned has fallen apart right before my very eyes. So I got depressed eventually.

    Thank you so much, Ruth! You’ve made me realize that it is okay to quit and go back to where we used to be, and that it is okay to make mistakes, even the expensive ones.

    People may laugh at me for failing, but honestly right now, I no longer care.

  174. I want to thank you for sharing your testimony. I really spoke to me. I was sexually abused by a boyfriend for three years when I was a teenager. I am still to this day, 15 years later, dealing with that trauma. You telling your story has given me a new hope that I can heal fully from this with God’s help.

  175. So I am fairly new to the whole Pinterest thing and I stumbled on your website because of the “New uses for Old things” article. And as I browsed more and more, I came upon your Amazing Grace story. I may be late in commenting (not sure how long ago you had written it),but I was captivated and like many of your other blog followers, read it all in one shot. I am now a huge fan of yours because of how you kicked depression’s butt and have never looked back (except of course when you wrote your story!) I wish there was some way of tracking how many lives you’ve inspired to carry on and to fight the good fight and mostly, by your Faith, how many lives you may have redeemed! May God continue to Bless you Ruth!

  176. GOD’S QUILT

    As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord
    along with all the other souls. Before each of us laid our lives
    like the squares of a quilt in many piles. An Angel sat before
    each of us sewing our quilt squares together into tapestry that
    is our life. But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the
    pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was. They
    were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part
    of my life that had been difficult, the challenges and temptations
    I was faced with in everyday life. I saw hardships that I endured,
    which were the largest holes of all. I glanced around me. No one
    else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the
    other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues
    of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.
    My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together,
    threadbare and empty, like binding air. Finally the time came when
    each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny
    of truth. The others rose, each in turn, holding up their
    tapestries. So filled their lives had been. My angel looked upon
    me, and nodded for me to rise. My gaze dropped to the ground in
    shame. I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes….. I had love in my
    life, and laughter. But there had also been trials of illness, and
    death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew
    it. I had to start over many times, I often struggled with the
    temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up
    and begin again. I spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking
    for help and guidance in my life. I had often been held up to
    ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to
    the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath
    the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me. Now, I had to
    face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it
    for what it was. I rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of
    my life to the light. A gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the
    others who stared at me with wide eyes. Then, I looked upon the
    tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an
    image, the face of Christ. Then our Lord stood before me, with
    warmth and love in His eyes. He said,’Every time you gave over
    your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My
    struggles. Each point of light in your life is when you stepped
    aside and let Me shine through, until there was more of Me than
    there was of you. May all our quilts be threadbare and worn,
    allowing Christ to shine through. Please share this with someone
    you love, care about or even someone who needs Jesus in their
    heart. They may scoff, but at least the seed has been planted, and
    God will do the rest. May God bless you today and forever ….

    By angel78

  177. Ruth,
    Thank you for sharing your story. I just signed up for EBA and decided I should check out your about page. What an amazing testimony of God’s love, faithfulness, and grace. Looking forward to seeing all God has in store for you through your blogs 🙂

  178. Lovely story of God’s mercy reaching down so that He could fill you with His grace! My! How he had/has plans for you, chosen from before the foundation of the world – in Him! Thank you for the honesty, the suspense and the genuine human feelings. It is refreshing. Much more grace to you and yours!

  179. God led me to your website today, and I am SO grateful. Your honesty, courage, and faithfulness in sharing your story is remarkable. Thank you! I can relate on too many levels: childhood sexual abuse, depression, suicidality, marital break-up, and more. God’s unfailing love and grace are the bedrock on which I solidly stand now, however, and desire to live in the Light has replaced the dark that formerly prevailed. So happy to read the same is true for you! God bless you in your continuing journey

  180. Ruth, thank you so much for having the courage and obedience to God’s leading to share your story. I “stumbled” upon your blog and academy a few weeks ago, and honestly, up to this point have been a little hesitant to really dig in. It is important for me to connect with and receive guidance from Christ-followers for my home-based business venture. I asked God to open doors that should be opened and close those that I should not walk through, and he has opened a door leading to you. I admire your writing and your guidance. Please be encouraged to keep doing what you are doing. You are making a difference. 🙂 Blessings to you!

  181. What a beautiful captivating story. I understand so much of your pain, as I’ve been there myself. So thankful that you are gracefully on the other side of things. I know it was a hard battle, but it is so worth it. Thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for having the confidence and love to open yourself to others. Thank you for being a blessing.

  182. Ruth, you definitely accomplished your goal because this article helped me. You beautifully articulated so much of my own herstory 🙂 The song’s message has taken on new meaning for me. I know it will stay with me, always. Thank you so much for sharing.

  183. Wow, that was just beautiful. Thank you for sharing that. This scripture comes to mind. “11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony, and they loved not their lives unto the death.” Revelations 12:11
    Interestingly, When you were in Punta Gorda hiding from hurricane Charley in 2004, I was on my honeymoon in FL. My family lives not far from Punta Gorda and my new husband and I were driving into the storm to grab my cat and then fleeing to Missouri – where we live to this day. I’ll never forget that hurricane. The dark angry sky was so scary, I literally ran into my parent’s house, kissed my parents, grabbed my cat and ran out through giant drops of pounding rain. I’ve never seen a storm like that one. Even in all my years living in FL. We were supposed to go to a friends wedding Aug. 14th and didn’t make it because the hurricane literally chased us out of the state of FL. Ha! We were married Aug. 4th so at least we got to spend our honeymoon in the Keys. Though we never left our room…so it was a wonderful time.

  184. 2016 May 24
    I just read the whole story without stopping. I have been a mental health counselor and had a mentally-ill family member. This is dynamite. Thanks for being vulnerable, and for finally saying, Yes to the Lord. His love will never let you go.

  185. Dearest Ruth,

    Thank you so very much for sharing your story. Thank you for helping me in this very moment to feel not so very alone. I am surrounded by 2 special needs children all day every day because I home school, yet there are moments throughout the day when I feel lonely.

    Thank you for reminding me to step back and admire the beautiful life that I could have never pictured could have been mine without God being the artist, author and finisher!

    Blessings to you and your beautiful family!!

    1. Hi Linda,
      I’m so glad my story could help you when you needed it. Praying for God to give you the strength, joy and peace you need to face each day! Also remember to give yourself grace.

  186. Thank you for sharing your story Ruth! You touched my heart and inspire me to walk in God’s grace. May God bless you and your family!

  187. I applaud your courage and obedience for telling your testimony! It is truly a powerful testament of the goodness of the Lord. I too have been struggling with the idea of sharing my testimony for a number of reasons and needed to come across this story. It truly blessed me!

  188. Wow! I was mostly speechless while reading this and incredibly touched. God is so good and so faithful. What an amazing story! Thank you so much for sharing!

  189. Wow! What a story! I am really glad that you shared this story. It really helps me to see you as a three-dimensional person rather than a pretty smiling lady who writes a blog. Thank you for trusting God and your readers enough to share your story. It is really inspiring how you have built, with God’s help, an incredible life. I look forward to learning more from you.

  190. I’ve been subscribing to your emails for about five months and somehow I just stumbled across this blog now. WOW – it made me both smile and cry, for you and for others. As a customer and fan of LWSL, I’ve so admired your spirit and focus, without a clue the road that you’ve taken to get here. As a mother of a young adult son suffering from depression, my heart breaks and I pray he can find strength and faith to save himself the way that you have been saved. Thank you for sharing your story!

  191. Ruth, thank you for sharing such an incredible journey with us. God is so incredibly good and He had this big, beautiful plan for you! Look at all the lives you’ve touched with just this story alone. I’m so grateful to have you in my life!

  192. It’s amazing that when we share what we call “ our story” it’s actually “His story”! His amazing grace extended to us! He never gives up on us. Thank you for being transparent and sharing His story of grace in your life! Each of us has our own unique story, but not everyone has the courage to share it with others as you have! I was excited when you came to town and our business was called to do the lettering on your office door in Punta Gorda! God Bless

  193. Wow…just wow! Your amazing life story will reach so many people! God is using you in amazing ways. I’m thankful to have found you and your businesses. Your desire to help others is evident is all that you do, and I have had an amazing sense of peace about joining EBA and following you, now I know why 🙂

  194. Your story was painful but so inspirational. I am actually crying because your story has caused me to really self reflect. Thank you for sharing your story and I hope to see Amazing Grace on bookshelves soon.

  195. Ruth, your story is so touching. I cried like I knew you. I feel I do since I know you are my sister in Christ. I myself have attempted suicide on 3 occasions. Dealt with hallucinations as real as me typing this message. God saved me from it. I’m still kinda in you ‘part 3’ stage of your story but I can see so much beauty coming out. I know in my deepest part of my being God has a big destiny for m and I am going to live it, just like you.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your story. I pray for your continued success.

  196. Thank you Ruth, for your story. Just simply thank you. I saved the page Part 1 on my laptop for weeks (maybe over a month), I got caught up with a tsunami of things all happening suddenly in my life but I kept that Part 1 there and I was determined to read it… soon, when I could, when I found time, one day… I read it today and continued reading all the parts. Thank you. Just thank you.

  197. …and I just thought that I was looking up info about blogging and getting organized. This was a very brave step telling about yourself but this has made me feel more interested in following you and knowing more about you. Maybe it just makes you more real and not only a vendor waiting to sell me something, I don’t know. But I will look back on your site and your services with a different eye. I am grateful for your testimony and have more faith that if things have worked for you, I too can believe in them.

  198. I’m happy I got to read your whole story. It’s funny actually, because this very morning I felt compelled to pray for you more seriously then in previous months. Will continue to pray Jesus draws you closer then ever before. You have a platform to rock the world and change the course of history and eternity in the lives of so many and also for His Kingdom. Praying that will be brought to pass!!

  199. I am new to your blog but came across these posts and felt compelled to read them. I have dealt with depression for a long time and I appreciate you sharing your story. I am so happy that you made it through those dark times and are a wonderful, successful woman now! Though I am not religious, I can appreciate your journey and how finding one thing to focus you, keep you grounded, helped you through the darkness. Thank you for sharing your story!

  200. Really amazing. Where do I begin? I am shocked to know all of this about you, but not very surprised. Really anointed people usually have really difficult pasts. And you, my friend, are truly anointed. I listen to Do It Scared regularly, and I’m like, this woman is amazing… so much compassion, insight. Now I know why. I’m a wife, mother, minister and creative with a difficult past who is looking for a way to bring in income from home. I plan to start EBA in March pending finances. It actually has to work. My husband makes a good living as an engineer but we both want so much more for our life and family. My personal finances are also out of whack after starting and stopping an MBA program. I need this to work!!

    I can relate to much of this story, am so glad you found your way back to your faith and have a lot of hope knowing how it has all turned out. Your platform is just so expansive! I recently decided to turn my story, my passion into a blog and video series that will help others find wholeness and joy, the way I did. I do a watered-down version of this on my Instagram page (@happyashleytv) but have been spinning my wheels and procrastinating for YEARS and am finally ready to get some traction and results (for the sake of my sanity, self respect and my husband’s wallet).

    I’m just… wow. Thank you for sharing. God bless!
    I will put my website here but I have not yet launched.

  201. Awww I’m glad you have survived all of your past demons and even though it is taken you a long time – seem to have come out of the other side…I wish I could give you a big hug! Reading your story – struck a chord with me, Thankyou sooo much for sharing and I am sooo glad that you are now in a wonderful place. Wishing you and your family nothing but good thoughts! Take care love.

  202. I’m glad you put this story out there and you have recovered. The you in part 1 and the beginning of part 2 could be my soul sister. It’s funny how some things work out and some don’t. I keep waiting for the light to tell me why my marriage didn’t work out. Why my ex didn’t love me. Why my dad is mentally and emotionally abusive and my sisters and I were raised by him. Why men think it’s ok to rape a girl when she is begging for him to stop. Why my best friend who I spoke to everyday invited one of my rapist to her New Years Eve party and invited me. My best friend of 14 years who obviously didn’t believe me. Why I got bullied by my boss (who I trusted for years and she suddenly became a horrible person and not just to me) out of my 9 year job. A job that I loved and was passionate about. How did I end up married to a man who did give a kidney for me to get one – I asked him to marry me so I would have health insurance. It had nothing to do with love. Now he is resentful towards me bc my transplant doctor doesn’t want me working right now with Covid. No friends. People tend to run when one tries to commit suicide or is upset that they lived through having a baby when I should have bleed to death and died. I’m used to being here mentally and I’m good.

  203. This part really touched me: “Finally, after so many years of doing it on my own, I just stopped trying to resist. God could have me.” … I think that is why I’ve been struggling so much for so long too, trying to do it on my own. Your story reminds me of that concept I saw called “The Iceberg Illusion” – where you see the amazing result of someone’s hard labor, but you don’t see the foundation part that is hidden beneath the water’s surface long before the iceberg became visible to all!

    I’d like to add that I came to Christ somewhat later than many, but He has done amazing things for me too 🙂 .. The greatest being a sense of inner security even when life circumstances are still difficult. I feel happy that I found a helping hand who is a sister in Christ, here with all you have created. Thank you & praise God!

  204. Hi Ruth, What a great story! Praise God for His patient, generous, beautiful pursuit of you and yours. How merciful He is! Where would we be if He had not had mercy? May He continue to bless you in many ways, but most of all with more of Himself. Psalm 16:11!

  205. Hello, I am an international (From Saudi Arabia) student who is studying in the U.S.I just finished reading your story. Thanks for sharing the story and you are a brave person to share the story. I learned a lot from your story

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