The email landed in my inbox, only days ago. My heart nearly broke in the reading of it.

Why? Because Nicole’s story was once mine. A long time ago, but not so far that I can’t remember.

The shame.

The loneliness.

The anger.

And, worst of all, the certainty that my life was over.


Foremost, thank you! I recently finished Undone and was deeply touched by it…

I first heard of your book from Ann Voskamp’s blog. Your post struck a chord in me, and when I read your bio of being once divorced, I knew I had to get my hands on anything you’d written.

You see, I’m currently separated moving towards a divorce of my husband’s making. We’ve been married nearly 10 years with him serving in full-time vocational pastoral ministry all the while. The past year has completely undone me as truth of his long-time addiction and lies came to light. The man I vowed my life to wants to move on from me. I know you’ve walked similar…while trying to hold it together as a mom (our children are 4 & 6).

How did you get through the soul-sucking grief? How did you get past your anger? I never dreamed this would be my path nor my children’s. Having grown up in a divorced home, it feels like my worst nightmare coming true … Are there any resources you found helpful in your healing journey?

Thank you again, Michele—for your transparency, your courage, and your time in reading this email.

~Nicole {*name and details changed to respect privacy}

Nicole’s email is just one of hundreds that I’ve received in the last three months since Undone: A Story Of Making Peace With An Unexpected Life was released. Initially, when the cold, hard facts of my story—my family’s story—were out there, I experienced “vulnerability regret.” I felt terrified at having exposed the dark, ugly places in book form. What would people say? Would they throw eggs and tomatoes?

Now, more than three months later, after hearing from you and reading YOUR stories, I know it’s our joint vulnerability that gives both of us strength. Only God could create so many connections and cultivate such a deep sense of hope through our mutual suffering.

Thank you for teaching me that.

At the end of her email, Nicole asked me two important questions, questions many of you have asked:

“How did you get through? … Are there any resources you found helpful in your healing journey?”

I love her questions, for two reasons:

  1. She demonstrates a desire to grow through her undone story.
  2. Her questions imply HOPE, the possibility of peace and healing, even while she grieves.

She wouldn’t have asked these two questions if she didn’t want to “get through” and didn’t believe it was possible. I love that kind of humility and courage.

Her questions also opened my eyes further to the need for practical, follow-up resources to Undone. For those who are living in an unexpected story, we need ongoing presence and practical help through the journey. Although I’m still very much in progress, I have learned a thing a two that have helped me along the way.

That’s why I put together a new e-series called “The 7-Day Challenge to Making Peace With An Unexpected Life.” For those desperate to find a measure of peace in the middle of the chaos, this 7-day resource will give you:

  • The presence of someone who understands the pain of an unexpected life. No cliches. No trite answers. I promise.
  • Honest, current, real-life examples of how I’m navigating my ongoing unexpected life
  • Daily, faith-based encouragement for finding peace even when it seems impossible
  • Practical helps for navigating the common land mines hidden in nearly every hard place
  • Daily practices that will help you learn a new way to view and experience your undone story
  • Bible references and resources for ongoing life support, long after the series is done

Let’s be honest: In most cases, 7 days isn’t nearly enough time to “make peace with an unexpected life.” In fact, I believe we won’t be fully at peace with our stories until we stand at the throne of God in heaven and feel his fingers wipe away our tears. Forever. But until that day, while we wait and wrestle and try our best to live, I believe this 7-day series will help us both reclaim the beauty right here, right now.

7-Day Challenge To Making Peace With An Unexpected Life

To the thousands of Nicole’s who find themselves completely undone—to you—I hope the “7 Day Challenge To Making Peace With an Unexpected Life” will give you both the desire to grow in the middle of your undone story AND a deep sense of hope that it’s even possible. To sign up for this series, just click here.

One more note: I’m guessing a friend or two came to mind while you were reading. If you know someone who needs practical help to walk through their own undone place, would you consider sharing this post and series with them? Click on the “social media” buttons above or below to share.

I’m cheering for you, my friend.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how desperate are you for peace? What are you willing to do to find it? 

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