NEW! The 7-Day Challenge to Making Peace With an Unexpected Life

Jun 17, 2015

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.

Michele,

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? 

20 Comments

  1. Wayne Stiles

    Thanks for going above and beyond to minister to your readers, Michele–including me! Can’t wait for the next seven days.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Thank you, Wayne. I pray it meets a real need, gives hope. Thanks for your constant encouragement!

      Reply
  2. Susan White Webster

    Michele, I am so looking forward to this – I was divorced two years ago (a month before my mother died) after my husband, a Christian, finally acknowledged that he is gay. He has never acted on it; in fact, it repulses him. It was a very, very difficult period of my life, but the Lord gave me His strength to get through it. This is not to say that I sailed through – far, far from it. Anger, resentment, grief, and copious tears occurred daily, not once, but constantly. I still don’t understand how he, as a committed Christian, could do this, but I have found peace with him. In fact, despite much advice to kick him out, he still lives with me as my very best friend. I don’t agree with it at all, but I know he loves God and God says to forgive. I have. But there is still a large element of stress at home (from time to time, plus with two curtain-climbing kittens who love to break Lenox vases, lamps, and ceramics!), and at work, and I so need the peace that passes understanding. This is not the life I planned. I only wanted to be married and have children. Now I have neither, and no mother as well (I took care of her for 10 years). Sooooo, as you can see, I really, really need this!
    With much love,
    Susan Webster

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      Oh, Susan. What a road you’ve walked. ARE STILL WALKING. Your heart and commitment to love and forgive and honor God above even your own comfort is so Jesus-like. Thank you for challenging me and inspiring me today. I pray these 7-days give you some joy and peace even in the middle of the hard. With you.

      Reply
  3. Linda

    Thank you for this Michele. Your book was also for me a great blessing in the midst of an unexpected life. I have been divorced for 6 months after an ongoing 8 year cycle of a Christian husband cheating on me and me believing he was truly repentant every time. I didn’t expect to be divorced and caring for 3 little ones, while carrying on with my home business, plus homeschooling through it all, but God has see us through. I love how vulnerable you were in your book and I even feel like I know you! 😉 Looking forward to this as well as continuing to hear about your life, I wish I could meet you someday!
    Blessings,
    Linda

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      My heart aches for you. Your journey is a hard one, day after day. What a brave woman you are! But there IS life and peace and joy, even there. I know. Such an honor to walk this life with you, Linda.

      Reply
  4. Julie Nott

    Michele — I loved your heart many, many years ago when we were “real life” friends and young brides…but even more so now as we’ve reconnected through the www and you’ve shared your life. May God continue to strengthen and uphold you as you continue pouring out to others from your sacred places of vulnerability, brokenness and desire to share HOPE. ❤️

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      What a beautiful and kind thing to say, Julie. So grateful we’ve reconnected. And your prayers are precious to me. Thank you.

      Reply
  5. Lauren Gaskill | Making Life Sweet

    YES! Thank you for this post. In Jesus, there is always HOPE and the possibility of peace and healing, even while we grieve. I am excited to see how these seven days unfold.

    Reply
  6. Lisa

    I am longing for peace… with absolutely no energy to look up. Numb. Brain fog. No strength even to question where God is anymore. Sorry. I’m really sorry, but this is where I am.

    Reply
  7. Melanie

    Hi Michele,

    Hope you are enjoying a pain-free relaxing weekend with your family.
    I read your book and began following you several months ago.

    This morning, I signed up to begin your 7 day challenge. Thanks for this resource which I am sharing with others through my blog and Facebook.

    Here is part of what I shared:
    “Huge shout-out to Michelle Cushatt. I hope that it is an encouragement to you to know that you are “comforting others with the comfort you yourself have been given.” (2 Corinthians 1: 3-7)Thanks for keeping it real!”

    I only pray that as God directs, my blog may also become a place of refuge and safety.

    Grace and Peace All Because of Jesus,
    Melanie

    Reply
  8. Patty

    A beautiful post. Thank you, Michele.

    Reply
  9. Victoria

    I’ve just bought a copy of your book and I’m looking forward to reading it. I’ve also registered for your 7 day challenge thank you.
    Many aspects of my life have not gone according to my plan, the most painful one though was when my 16 year old daughter Leah died last year from the side effects of her cancer treatment.
    I write about my journey through grief in the context of my faith:

    https://victoriawhyte.wordpress.com

    Reply
  10. lisa

    Thank you so much for your book and sharing your story!!! What a huge blessing and relief to find other women forced into this situation. I discovered my husband of 16 years had started having affairs. 2 in the last 18 months. I never imagined I would ever deal with this type of betrayal or pain. I always had a plan A,B,C and contingency plan D and affairs were never even on my radar. I always worried our marriage would be cut short due to circumstances beyond our control, cancer, car accident etc. Never once did I ever imagine my husband would turn to alcohol, drugs and other women. I prayed for him and cried out to God daily while believing he would fix whatever was broken in my marriage. It has been a roller coaster since March when I found out. His lies and deceit knew no bounds and I immediately made him leave our home. He has found God again, is repentant for his actions and is remorseful and regrets the devastation he’s caused. He’s taking steps to be better, addiction treatment, attending church, having a church mentor and receiving counseling. I was proceeding with divorce because I thought that is what you do when your vows have been broken and you’ve been betrayed. I have the divorce papers ready to be signed and filed, but I feel God pulling me to forgive and allow him to work in our situation. I know God truly knows my husbands heart and he wouldn’t lead me into an unhealthy situation. My lesson through all of this is to trust God always and trust him first because humans aren’t perfect and can fail. I will build a new foundation built on God because he is my rock.

    Reply
    • Michele Cushatt

      I ache for your losses, your grief Lisa. It’s so hard, and at times I’m sure you wonder if it’s possible to have joy and life after this. And yet I LOVE your open heart to God’s leading and possible healing! It’s admirable. And wise. Keep trusting Him, keep waiting on Him. I believe He will give you clarity at exactly the right time. You inspire me, my friend. xoxo

      Reply
  11. Stephanie Hutton

    I am blessed to have stumbled upon this amazing site. I am a pastor’s wife and I am always looking for outlets or words of encouragement without trying to find someone to talk too. May God continue to bless every assignment and endeavor you have been called to do. Waiting for the 7 day challenge…. ☺️

    Reply
  12. Sheila

    I don’t know how to reach “Nicole” from your post, but I think the programs at this place can help her. http://www.affairrecovery.com

    Reply
  13. Char Michalek

    Dear Michele,

    I just signed up for the 7 day challenge and today have day 2. Not sure where day one is….could you send it please?

    Char Michalek

    Reply

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