Your Filter Free Story Has The Power To Set Others Free!

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These are the stories of real women, sharing their honest struggles. Women just like YOU. 

To every woman here who has shared, thank you from the bottom of my heart!❤️ Walk a little lighter knowing that your filter free story will set another woman free today. Thank you for your courage to be vulnerable. I want to honor that!

And if you came to this page feeling lost or broken.  If you’ve given up hope and you’re tired of feeling alone in your pain.  If you’ve started to believe that nobody will understand….I hope you find as much encouragement here in this space as I have.

Please know that you are loved and YOU❤️ARE❤️NOT❤️ALONE❤️.

-Jenny

If you’d like to be set free too, learn how to share your story HERE.

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Shirley shares her story…

“Being a middle child isn’t easy, especially if you were born into a traditional Chinese family.  There are many things I appreciate about the rich Chinese culture, but also despise some of the other ones.  One experience many Chinese children have in common is the lack of physical affection from their parents.  In my case, it was my father who didn’t give much of that to me when I was little.  To him, I was a cry baby and wasn’t very bright compared to my older sister.  I was also not the precious “son” who would carry the family name.  I was just a plain girl in his sight.

I remembered being disciplined very strictly whenever I did wrong, no matter how small the mistake was.  I was fearful of my father, and not in a respectful way, just fearful.  At the same time, I wanted desperately to be “seen” by him.  I wanted him to see me as the smart and obedient daughter.  So throughout my school years, I tried so hard to do well in school so that he can be proud of me.  However, what I received from him was a Chinese idiom, which means “you are working hard to make up for the lack of intelligence.”  That hurt me deeply and even though I fought hard to shake that off, I wasn’t able to for many years.

I carried this deep wound into my adult years and always lacked confidence in the things I did.  Whatever things I did accomplish, I always asked others for approval to make sure they were happy.  I became a people-pleaser.  I am always worrying about what others think of me.  This impacts the different areas of my life like homeschooling, parenting, and church ministry.  I’m always checking to make sure that my husband, my in-laws, my children or ministry members are happy with what I’m doing.  Sometimes I even feel fearful to discipline my children because I’m afraid it might ruin our relationship.

Despite of all this, I am NOT defeated.  One day many years ago, I reached a very low point in my life with my relationship with my father.  I heard so many negative comments and guilt trips from him that all I was able to do was cry.  I don’t remember how long I cried, but then a voice spoke to me.  He said, “you have a heavenly father who would never abandon you.”  That’s right, I do have a heavenly Father who would never leave me nor forsake me.  From that point on, I no longer lived to please my earthly father, but slowly tried to get out of that shadow.

It hasn’t been easy, and I’m currently going to Christian counseling to seek healing from all of this in my past.  I just want to be freed from this and not let Satan use this as a stronghold against me anymore.”

-Shirley

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Ashley shares her story…

God redeemed me from a spirit of insecurity!

It was a Sunday after a pretty rough week. I was deep into cooking dinner! I’d had a day full of moments where God was reminding me I was exactly where I needed to be. I was all set to curl up on my couch, with one of my favorite teaching Pastors on the TV and crochet.

And that’s when it happened. The most obnoxious mental intrusion to what was an otherwise peaceful evening. A thought that was so far into left field, it almost tripped me up. You see, I was thinking over a hard conversation I had recently had with the man I was dating. I was wondering if I had made the right decision, we were choosing celibacy, I was choosing celibacy. (It was a God decision and I knew he was pleased) but there was something, a low-light reel in the back of my mind, trying its hardest to get my attention. Little glimpses of past insecurities threatening to surface.

What was this intrusion? It was a simple thought, but it touched one of my deepest insecurities. The thought? “You don’t have the right to make this decision. You aren’t one of the pretty girls who can say and do whatever you want. You should be more reasonable. He will never stay now.”

I was floored! Like seriously??? What a low blow! How dare he use this against me? But this is the enemy we deal with! This is his M.O. His grand plan. To find you when you may be vulnerable and take his shot!

How does he do this? Well the bible says he roams around like a lion, looking for whom he can devour. If you can imagine the stalking lion, hungry for his next meal, watching a herd of antelopes, trying to find one to corner and attack. This is the same way the enemy operates.

Does he read our minds? No! Because he can’t read our minds. He has no idea what we are thinking, what plans God writes on our hearts, but he is opportunistic, and he has been watching us.

I don’t say that to be eerie, or scary. But it is truth. He is an enemy and this is a war we are in. He is on a mission to steal from us and that which he can’t steal from us, he wants us to sacrifice to him. He watches our habits, our proclivities, our desires, and then uses them against us.

My habit was daydreaming about cooking for my husband one day.

That habitual daydream imprinted a desire that when unchecked left me with discontentment. The discontentment was the door that the enemy used, more times than I could count to decrease my affectiveness.

This, luckily isn’t a story of defeat. That night, I made the choice that I was ready to fight those negative thoughts instead of allowing them to send me down a path of depression like usual. What was so different about this spiritual attack you may ask? Well I was tired of it. I had literally had enough, and when the thought crossed my mind, my spirit immediately recoiled against it.

I believe in my heart this is because my mind has been so completely focused on what God is doing in my life and what he will do, my Spirit man was full and both the Word of God and the enemy’s lies cannot hold ground in the same space. The Word of God will win EVERYTIME!”

-Ashley H.

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Crystal shares her story…

-Crystal Russell

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Stephanie shares her story…

Hi,

Here is my Current Situation. (aptly titled, current situation) 

He comes home, and doesn’t say much.

Or when he does, it is asking why something is in a certain place or left a certain way. I’m never greeted when he comes home or shown much attention.

He plops himself on the couch while our toddler starts acting out, desperate to get attention from her daddy.

He loses himself in his phone, scrolling through, oblivious to what is going on around him.

The baby cries as the toddler continues to try to get his attention. His fuse is short and his patience is thin.

He is upset with our toddler for crying and screaming within minutes of him getting home, and annoyed with our baby because he also is fussy and in need of attention.

I ask him to get a bottle to feed the baby, and he looks at me like I just asked him to spare his kidney (a cross between I don’t want to, and how dare you ask that of me).

He is seemingly fed up with me, and with our family. Like he would rather be back at work or be anywhere else but here.

He is depressed, and he doesn’t like to talk about it. He is going through a tough time right now. He is searching for direction, for purpose, for meaning in his life.

He has told me that he feels stuck, and that compared to his peers he has nothing to show for himself (umm, what about our two beautiful children… ouch!) I say nothing, instead I just swallow hard.

He is chasing happiness and fulfillment in all the wrong things, I see it and he doesn’t.

I want to connect the dots for him, but I can’t. I want to reorder his priorities for him, but I can’t.

I want him to desire God, to love God and to know God the way I do.

I want God to transform his heart and mind and set him free from striving to be perfect and successful all the time.

But his heart isn’t willing. He nods his head when I express my concern for his well-being, but nothing changes.

I try to encourage him to open his bible, and to talk to God about his feelings and concerns.

Again he nods, but brushes me off.

How long can we keep going on like this? We are on two different pages, and I yearn to be on the same page again.

I watch him and I want to help him, but I don’t know how.  How do you support your husband as he searches to find himself and find a foundation with God?

I sit, I wait, I watch and pray. I’ve decided that I will focus on being his safe space. The place for him to come to when he’s ready to talk about it.

I will no longer to tell him what he needs to do or should be doing. I trust that God loves my husband even more than I do, and I entrust his heart to Him.

I sit, I wait, I watch and pray. But I pray with hope and trust, fully confident that God has my husband in the palm of His hand.

I pray for God to captivate his heart and transform him from the inside out.

Sweet friends, if you’re going through the same thing and watching your husband wrestle with depression or uncertainty, please join me in this prayer:

Heavenly father I thank you for my husband. I thank you for the gifts, talents and abilities you’ve given him to love you by serving you and our family.

I thank you that you’ve provided all of our needs for us, the ones we know of and ask for and the ones that we’ll never know because you take care of them long before we recognize it as a need.

I thank you that your Word says that if I ask anything in accordance to your will you hear me from heaven. Father I know that it is your will to save the lost and have meaningful intentional relationships with all of your children. 

I come to you now, of behalf of my husband asking you to open his eyes to your wondrous deeds, soften his heart towards you and open his ears to receive the truth of your Word.

I pray that you meet him right where he is at emotionally and spiritually and lead him to your grace and everlasting life. I pray you give me wisdom as his wife to support him with mercy, kindness, grace and understanding.

I pray that you do a mighty work in his heart and mine too, one that becomes a testimony of your goodness, one that weaves us closer together and closer to you as your word says, “A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” 

Let this season in our marriage grow us closer to you and closer to each other. In Jesus name. Amen.

-Stephanie Miller
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Arrica shares her story…

I had a back surgery at the age of 20. They did not get me to physical therapy after and it left me with scar tissue and lots of muscle weakness. 17 years later, I have more herniated discs and lots of pain.

Living in pain and being a mom of 4 is not easy. I have moments of guilt that some days I can’t move around with them. I have days when my patience wears thin due to pain.
But, I also have days where I rejoice because God has given me a good day and I know what it means to be grateful for good health.

More than anything, my pain has taught me how to have compassion and empathy for others and how to rely on God as the source of my strength. I know my Savior suffered and He has promised that my present suffering can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.

-Arrica Hess

https://achildshallleadthemblog.wordpress.com

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Mervicks shares her story…

While growing up, I suffered really bad from esteem, it was all about me shuttling through the Journey of understanding myself and the journey of why people probably lashed out at me at every slightest opportunity given.
While I was much younger ( I don’t know why I still remember this, but I guess sometimes we easily forget the good things that people do and allow the bad ones stick with us).
Well, my pastor’s son looked at a poor 6 to 7 year old girl at that time and said to her, why are you different from your peers? Why are you ugly? I can’t fully remember the story, but his words shattered my fragile heart then.
Words are indeed seeds that gradually germinate.
While in high school my classmates gave me a nick name, they said I had a ‘big head’, I believed, and it followed me every where I go.
Every time I walked down the street and saw people laughing, I had the impression that it was my ‘big head’ they mocked.
It was bad that even at home, I never really received complement, I was called ‘ugly’ by the closest person that should bring me comfort.
I never felt loved, compiled with the fact that I was always falling sick while I was much younger, it went on and on like that.
One thing humans fail to understand is that the moment you tamper with the identity of a child, you have tampered with all areas of their lives.
I use to be a very brilliant kid, I don’t know what happened, that too was shattered.
My confidence was shattered, I just wanted to know someone loved me and that I was valued.
The word ‘beautiful’ was a very strange word to me, I hardly or never hear it.
I became wayward, I mixed with several people out there, did a lot of bad stuff.
I knew there was God, but I never really knew how to communicate with him.
I sat on my bed one day and wept profusely, I told God that I wanted to go to college like the rest of my friends and that I would serve him, if he fulfilled that, I wrote the entry exams that year after several attempt the previous years and guess what! I passed.
God is faithful, indeed he is, I still had the wrong mindset or motive even after I promised to serve him, I just wanted to change environment and breath fresh air.
In 2015, a year I will never forget in my lifetime, something remarkable happened to me, a very cute guy stayed at our home at the time, and this guy loved Jesus, then I use to wonder why a handsome guy will choose to follow God instead of mundane things.
The guy sat me down one day in the midst of my affliction and told me ‘I was beautiful’, it sounded very strange to me, like really strange.
How on earth can someone say Mervick is beautiful, is he blind.
Apart from him stating that I was really beautiful, he talked to me about Christ, and I accepted the life of Christ in me.
My life was transformed, I began studying scriptures and I discovered that the word of God has the ability to reshape, restructure the life of a man.
The word of God gradually transformed my life, it changed my mindset about a whole lot of things.
The word told me that I deserved anything good because Jesus was my worth, no man is as good as Jesus, and Jesus gave himself to me even when I was unloving and undeserving, he still did.
The Word taught me not to settle for less that there are great plans God has in his store for me.
I don’t know what happened, but as I read the word I was transformed both spiritually and physically, I am a beautiful woman irrespective of what people say.
I am beautiful, you are too.
Lessons learned
1. Low self esteem makes you settle for less
2. Low self esteem makes you vulnerable by allowing you believe in lies
3. Low self esteem prevents you from mingling with people
4. It makes you feel worthless and devalued
5. Low self esteem prevents you from achieving a lot of things
6. It makes you feel you are not good for a particular position or opportunity
7. Low self esteem ruins.

Jesus paid the price by giving us his life, accept him today.

-Mervicks

mervicksblog.com

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Julie shares her story…

Raise your hand if you have family problems. 

I bet if we were in a room together, most of you would quietly nudge your hand in the air while looking around to see if anyone else is spilling the beans. However, many of you wouldn’t dare admit you had family problems for fear of exposing yourself. 

Let’s face it. If you grew up in a toxic family, you were probably taught that dirty laundry doesn’t leave the confines of your four walls. Perhaps that mantra was enforced in scary ways. Sadly, this is how family dysfunction is passed on to the next generation. I know firsthand.

I grew up in Dallas, Texas. My family owned an Italian restaurant from the 1960s to the 1970s called The Italian Village and Gringo’s, the first nightclub in Texas. After about ten years in the business, my father accepted Christ. 

Eventually, he left the restaurant business and moved into ministry. Most of my growing up years were spent as a preacher’s kid. My father was the associate pastor at two megachurches in Dallas, Texas. My mom, the pastor’s secretary at one of the churches.

We looked like the perfect Christian family. At home, things were different. There were unresolved issues from generations past, anger, and unforgiveness. I was filled with hatred and bitterness. Slowly it ate away at my soul. 

In 2008, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. I would have to have a bag attached to the outside of my body for the rest of my life, an ileostomy. The doctor informed me it would be irreversible because of the extensive damage.

After the diagnosis, I vowed to leave my family because I felt the turmoil was making me sick. In 2009, my husband, children and I left my family of origin. I became estranged. Leaving the family was not easy, but we felt it was necessary to save my colon. 

While away, I learned how much God loved me. He became real. I knew I was saved, but it always felt like it was performance based on my part. This time I was a mess. I could do nothing to earn His love. Thankfully, God met me where I was at and healed my heart over a seven-year period through counseling, diet, and forgiveness. I reprogrammed my mind to the truth. 

After seven years, my husband and I felt God calling us back to my family. So many bridges had been burned that I thought it was impossible to go back. Since I couldn’t speak to my father, I decided to pray for God to speak to him in a dream. I fasted on a Tuesday and Wednesday (January of 2017), and my father called two days later–Friday. And the reason he called? God spoke to him in a dream.

This was not the only miracle. There were seven other miracles that happened over exactly a one-year period. The biggest one is that I no longer suffer with Crohn’s disease. My colon is completely healed. 

Forgiveness has been the key to everything. Our family is a testament to what God can do when there is no human way across a broken bridge. If He can do it for us, He can do it for you.

Most of all, I would like to invite you to pray about your family situation. Ask God to show you what to do. Perhaps you need to fast to get a breakthrough. Many times, family conflict is a generational stronghold not easily broken. God can work in even the worst situations, if you will allow Him. 

If you would like more information, check me out on my blog or go to Amazon and read the complete story. I give my personal testimony plus biblical advice on how to find healing for even the worst families. Some of you may not go back to your family, but you can choose to forgive.

-Julie Plagens

julie plagens

Blog: https://momremade.com/

My story: https://momremade.com/my-story-julie-plagens/

My book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Estranged-Finding-Family-Falls-Apart/dp/1798206668/ref=sr_1_1?crid=AJ0UFN7TMQNQ&keywords=

 

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Jessica shares her story…

I’ve always wanted to be a wife and mother. That’s what I “wanted to be when I grew up.” But I also felt like that was the wrong answer. Like I had to be more than a wife and mother. Like I needed to name a “profession” when telling people what I wanted to be. I don’t really know why I thought that. Maybe it was because everyone else would name a profession, and as a nine on the Enneagram, I forget my preferences and merge with the viewpoints of other people. But now I’m learning that it’s okay to have my own aspirations and that my answer isn’t wrong. It’s good enough. In fact, it’s more than enough. Being a working mom is hard. It’s noble. But so is being a stay at home mom. And I’m still learning that. 

In the early days of staying home with our son I’ve said to my husband, “ I feel like I’m not contributing.” I’m sure this feeling is influenced by the thinking that making money is what matters when contributing to a household. But my sweet husband reminded me that I do contribute. A lot. He let me know that the things I do with our son throughout the day are important and valuable. That I am important and valuable. That our son being able to be with me and cared for by me is invaluable. And sometimes I still need those reminders. But I’m working on it.

I’m learning it’s okay to answer with “I’m a mother” when someone asks what I am or what I do. And to not be ashamed that I don’t have anything else to add to my answer. So, this blog is my way of reminding myself, and encouraging other mamas, that it’s okay. It’s okay to “just” be a mama. And it’s okay to be a mama and have another profession. Whatever your version of motherhood looks like, it’s okay. It’s more than okay. It’s wonderful.

Thank you for joining me as I share my version of motherhood. I pray you are encouraged throughout your journey and that you are reminded that you are enough. You are valuable. You are loved. 

-Jessica

Moments of Mamahood

Blog: momentsofmamahood.com

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Stacy shares her story…

A journey of Pain to a Life of Faith

Ten years ago, I started on a journey that I never imagined. As a parent, my hopes, dreams, goals, and aspirations for my children began to fade as they age. This was especially so for my younger child Daniela.

A simple little game on the computer altered my daughter’s life forever. At age nine, she was naively swept away from a child’s game (that had parental control settings) without our knowledge by a 13-year-old, into a chat room. Within a year’s time, he became her best friend and in one day threatened her life as well as our family if she did not follow through on what he asked of her. ​“Strip or I will kill you,”​ he said. From that moment on, her life took a turn to the dark side starting with self-harm and porn. With controlled passwords, she was able to break the code one by one since she was taught how to hack by others and get into places we did not allow.

Between the ages of 11-13, and again unbeknownst to us, Daniela saw two teens kill themselves over the internet chat room. As time went on, her behavior became more depressed and erratic. Little did we know that she was being bullied by her peers and struggled with identity issues. She lamented the color of her skin and tried to bleach it. She expressed how she despised being a girl and wanted to be a boy. Emo and Goth became the new sub-cultures she desired.

As she aged, the problems in her life were more destructive, distorted, and spiraling out of control. A young beautiful girl lost and vulnerable, she soon searched witchcraft and atheism. She didn’t want to talk about God, believing only that she was too bad of a person to be loved or forgiven. So, she made the decision to continue her suicidal ideology and anger to hurt others who caused her pain. When she wasn’t thinking in that mindset, she was desiring after a guy to give her a child so she could repopulate the world with her own kind. The efforts of counseling were sporadic. We didn’t have health insurance and money was limited. She healed from some aspects of her life, but not all.

By the time she was 16, I was down to 95 pounds at 5’4 and chronically depressed. Crisis after crisis, I isolated myself off from the world, church, friends, and family. I felt shame, fear, embarrassment, loneliness, and left a complete failure as a mom. I was living a double life. Most knew me as the Type A personality, leader, teacher, creative, outgoing, and dedicated Christian and mom. Instead, I was barely getting through each day. Throughout the years I prayed. Silence was all that was returned.​ “Where are you, God?”

Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever. Why do you hide your face and forget our misery and oppression? Psalm 44:23-24 NIV

 

By the time Daniela reached 17, I knew I was headed for more trouble, especially with boys. All of them were toxic. Daniela nearly died from laced drugs. Six months later I found out that the man in her life was associating with a gang, and became a huge problem in disrespect and aggressiveness. Stepping in multiple times for my daughter to break off this relationship, my husband and I cried out to God for help.

Have you ever prayed to God and said, ​“Whatever it takes God!”​ I often wondered if I should have prayed differently that day. Before I knew it, I was down at the police station and seeing my daughter getting booked for robbery and other charges. I cried all the way home after hugging her goodbye. I was left with a tsunami of emotions rolling with waves of yearly crises that came to a head.

In one aspect, I was relieved. She was safe. In a juvie cell, but safe and away from the man who nearly had her killed.​ “What now God,” ​was my next question? I had no idea what was yet to come and how God was going to deliver my daughter.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Psalm 41:10 NIV

Being appointed a public attorney for my daughter by the judge, the attorney pulled me aside and said, “This is pretty bad. She is looking at twenty years in prison.” Talk about being positive! We needed a private attorney. STAT! But we had no money and we were going to lose our business/house in several months. No mortgage company wanted us. Then several angels came to our rescue and gave us enough money to retain an attorney. Prior to this attorney working for the defense, he actually worked as a prosecutor in juvenile court. God was opening the doors.

More miracles were to come. The charges were more serious than we expected. This was a time of building my faith like never before. Would I be able to trust God in this? As much as I loved God, I couldn’t in the past release the control of my daughter over to Him. Now I had no choice and this is exactly where He wanted me.

During those days and months, God continued to not only minister to my daughter but also to me. Being in juvie was difficult for both of us. I spent most of my time praying with her over the phone when I was not able to see her. Drives to the destination points gave me time to reflect, pray, and pour my heart out in a way that I had not in the past. My spiritual life was evolving and for the better.

The emotional toll from all these years of crises finally hit. However, I had a peace that I did not experience before until now. God was doing a new thing. I became humbled as I answered to His voice. Listening, I drew closer, allowing myself to be molded into a ​woman and mom of faith and endurance. The Word of God was my only source as I prepared for what was about to come.

 

Faced with the thought of my daughter being in jail for 20 years was overwhelming. In the midst of this, we were going to lose our house in 23 days. God, however, had other plans. He sent Christian officers in juvie to minister to her. He gave us a mortgage company and extra money to pay for the attorney completely. While Daniela was in juvie waiting for trial, we got the news that there would be no trial and she would go to a program. The prosecutor was hairs away from moving her to an adult jail. You see, at the time of the arrest, she was three days away from turning eighteen. That was their opportunity to push her through to adult jail. Thankfully, God is sovereign and merciful. He stopped that from happening.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9

The day she was released from the program brought many tears of joy. She was redeemed. Set free. Thankful. She found God in the depths of her despair. She came back to church. Does this mean that she no longer struggles? No. In fact, daily she wakes up and must confront her PTSD, anxiety, depression, and borderline personality disorder, along with her short-term memory issues. God is faithful. He reminds her that He is near. She has a family of her own now. She is still young and still makes mistakes, but don’t we all?

My life has dramatically turned into a mission. A mission to help other parents who are hurting, pained, broken, and alone. Looking back, I am thankful for what I went through. My spiritual life would not be the same if I did not look to God to rescue me and my broken child. He can do the same for you. So whatever pain, worry, fear, or other emotion you are going through with your child, know this. God IS ABLE!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 NASB

-Stacy Lee Flury

Stacy L Flury

Blog: www.anchorofpromise.com

For more of Stacy’s story, find her book HERE

❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

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