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God's Grace and Grit

Guest Blog by Tiarra Tompkins

Relationships. We all have them. Sometimes they are the easiest part of life, and sometimes they are the hardest. When the place you are supposed to feel the safest turns out to be the scariest and most dangerous, it can be easy to give up on ALL relationships. Why bother when all that I end up with is pain and loneliness?

If this is where you are today, we understand! Not only that, there is still hope! When Carolyn (my co-author) approached me to write a book for caregiving spouses, I knew she was onto something big. I encouraged her to expand her audience to include all women in all stages of their relationship journey, and immediately, she was all in.

See, Carolyn and I both lived through abuse that ended with divorce. Our stories were packed with wrong princes, evil witches, burnt bridges, and, eventually, a knight in shining armor. Even though we walked through years of pain and fire, happily ever after was still accurate and within reach.

I don’t know your pain, but I am familiar with my own. I spent 14 long years being what someone else needed and not understanding who I was. 2010 was my wake-up call year. I was turning 30, my eyes were open to the abuse happening in my home, and my prayers for repair and respite felt ignored. Instead, my hope in my marriage being saved became the hope that I would be able to care for three girls all on my own. 

When I sat down and told my ex-husband that things were over, he said something I will never forget. “You’re teaching our girls how to quit.”  Recognizing this for the manipulation attempt that it was, my only response was, “No, I am teaching them what isn’t okay in a marriage.” With that, I walked away from the house, the RV, and the money. It was just me, a little ghetto two-bedroom apartment and three of the cutest little girls you ever saw. 

God was still working, though, and I managed to get a job at Starbucks and balance kids and work. I focused on Him instead of dating and worked on healing myself. I believed that I would just be forever alone and that Christ would be my prince charming, and I was okay with that. God knows when you are ready, and one nerdy Starbucks coworker later, it was apparent that Prince Charming was real, and he was wearing a green apron for me. Allowing healing to happen changed my world.

As a ghostwriter, author, and literary advisor, stories are not just my livelihood but part of who I am and how I serve God. I didn’t know when Carolyn brought me along as her co-author that we would be in for a crazy ride. See, you can’t write about healing if you aren’t healed.

We approached each Survival Tip head-on for ourselves and not only faced the magic mirror at the end of each chapter but also faced the word of God to understand better how He was working in our own lives. Our book, God's Grace and Grit, may be full of stories of hardship, love, and hope, but everything always comes back to God. 

Healing is a choice, one that takes time, pain, and bravery. Remember that God is still for you if you face pain in your life or relationships. And if you ever find yourself facing the giants and the witches of this world and you are wondering how to slay them and move forward, remember that God gave us the armor and the sword. Nothing can stand in the way of God’s truth and the healing that comes when we give over the weight of the world and lay it down at Christ’s feet.

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