before and now…

i didn’t choose

this path,

i was placed on it;

not apologizing

for scars

and tears

from wars unknown

to you

cause i’ve always

been on my own,

in my own mind

and i know you

can’t read it

cause you bleed ignorance;

i look in the mirror

telling myself

my past doesn’t define me,

but has only made me stronger

for all the fire i went under

and yet survived for a reason

i yet do not know;

other minds think thoughts

that aren’t real

cause they’re not in tune

with wars and blood,

miles and miles of pain

wrapping ’round their heart,

causing them to feel




my mind can’t wrap around

the thought of just being


i try and fail to,

but i never quit

no matter how many

bullet holes my heart

is found carrying

cause i am a fighter

when there seems

to be no cause;

i tell myself that i’m

worthy without believing,

that i’m not alone

although i feel so

detached from every

single molecule that is not

my own;

i live a lie…

i tell you by the way i live

that i love myself and

my life,

but i don’t…

i care for others in a way

i can’t for myself,

it feels like i’m stuck

in a deep, dark hole

inside a world that isn’t

the one everyone else

breathes upon…

i feel so detached

as if i can only bleed

silence screaming

so loud no one can hear

a thing…

the pain that’s so real to me.

~Bethany Anne


Hold On Pain Ends

Since I was a child I always wrote poetry as a way to process my pain. I stopped for many years and in 2006 I started again as I processed my brother Toby’s sudden death with a piece called An Unfinished Life.

These days I write many things – but rarely do I write much poetry anymore although I have such a deep love for it.

Today, I again wrote poetry to help me process my pain.

Hold On Pain Ends

The enemy will convince you

there is no hope.

That the restoration process is pointless.

It’s taking too long …

It’s too hard…

When will it ever end?

The mundane seems meaningless.

But the mundane is where the

miraculous is birthed.

The day in… the day out…

The baby steps

The big steps

Acts of obedience


The small

The big

One next choice

Made moment by moment to

Live. Breathe. Love. Keep Going. Forgive

Surrender to the process

Surrender to His will

Surrender to His timing

Trust not Toil

Rest not Resist

Wait not wail

Remain in His presence

Amidst the pain

That is the only place

for the pain to subside

No more





Abiding not Answers is where it all lies

Hope is alway there…

Hope is the choice we must make

Hope is the method not the means

Hope is relying on His Grace

Hope Is His Saving Grace






~ XXOO Michelle Bollom

Rest In Peace Beautiful Girl!

You will be greatly missed.

Restoration Stories – Audrey Lee 

There were times I would feel so unsure about my life, and I would often question God. I would ask God time and time again “why me?Why were all of these things happening in my life? 
It seemed like every time I turned around something bad kept happening. 

I often remember thinking to myself, all I wanted was to have the typical life: the American dream. Get married, have children, a beautiful home, a nice car, and a decent job. 
I really felt like I wasn’t asking for too much. 
It seemed like I started out going in that direction and then suddenly there was a change in plans.

I remember asking God to use me to be a blessing to His people and His Kingdom. 

I didn’t realize what was going to transpire in my life, in order for God to do what I had asked Him to do. 

I’ve always had a heart for families and marriages. I never liked hearing about divorce and families being broken up. I told God how tired I was of seeing the devil destroy marriages and families.  

With that being said the devil launched a serious attack on my marriage and my family.

I experienced so much pain and hurt in my marriage. I’ve had to deal with infidelity, trust being broken, having un-forgiveness, and communication being totally shut down. 
I’ve also experienced several deaths back to back. 
One of the hardest deaths I’ve had to overcome was the death of the man who was my spiritual leader, my mentor, my confidant, and my uncle, we shared a bond like no other. 

For the first time in my life I felt my heart truly break. I just couldn’t seem to recover. It took me a long time to bounce back spiritually because I leaned and depended on him so much spiritually.

I tried so hard to work on my marriage, fix my husband, and recover from a devastating loss all at the same time. It seemed like the more I tried, the more I failed at it. I felt like all the fight had just been completely drained out of me. 
Notice I said “I”, I had to finally come to the realization that it was going to take God to change the situation not me. 
I also had to come to the painful reality that I went about everything completely wrong. 

I did not do any of it the right way which is God’s way. 

I remember being filled with so much hurt, pain, anger, regret, guilt, and shame. I felt like such a failure in life because my American Dream had turned into what seemed to me a nightmare, I felt so helpless and defeated. I remember my grandmother telling me “you’re not going through all of this for you, you’re going through all of this to help someone else.” 
Then she gave me the scripture Romans 8:28 “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.”

I remember asking my grandmother and God, “How could anything good come out of all of this? How am I going to be able to help someone?”

In the midst of all that was going on I can remember hearing a small still voice saying “I’ve called you to greatness”. I was so confused, (because again looking at my circumstances) I just couldn’t see how that would be possible. I’m so grateful to God for His love, His grace, His mercy, and His strength. I had no idea of what God was about to do in my life!

The first change that began to happen in my life was my relationship with God, it got personal. Through the death of my uncle I began to realize I had completely relied on his relationship with God and did not have one of my own. The same relationship I had with my uncle, was the type of relationship that I needed to have with God for myself. 

So I started to learn about God and His ways for myself. I also found out my true identity in God and I began to get a deeper revelation about God’s word and His promises. 

Then I came to the realization that my circumstances did not determine my destiny, they just played a role in me moving towards my destiny in which I’ll get into later.

I also realized, that had it not been for everything that I was going through I wouldn’t know God like I know Him now, which is definitely a beauty!

After the shift in my relationship with God, I was truly a changed woman. I was so broken, but God stepped in and started putting my broken pieces back together again. I no longer felt weak and defeated, I began to feel whole and complete. This time God was responsible for it, not my husband or my uncle

Now I realized my uncle’s death or my husband’s actions could not change or alter who I am in God, and that it is God who keeps me together in times of tragedy or adversity. 

Now I was able to deal with trials and tribulations in much better way than I had before.
Next, God started dealing with me about love, His unconditional love! This is what caused me to really want to forgive my husband. You see everything that was being done to me in the natural was exactly what I was doing to God in the spiritual realm. This painful realization had given me a completely different outlook on my relationship with God, my husband, and my children.


There Was Beauty Birthed Out Of My Pain.

One day I was sitting in my Bishop’s office sharing with him what I had spoke on at a women’s conference I had attended the week before. Bishop Miles said “Sister Lee people need to hear this, will you teach Marriage N More on Friday?” I said “sure Bishop!” I taught it about two more times after that when Bishop Miles came to me and said “Sister Lee I’ve prayed about it and God told me to place you over the Marriage N More Ministry.” All I could say was “wow” I went home that night and I prayed about it and that’s when God brought it all back to me.

It was that night everything that I had gone through, my grandmother’s words, the scripture Roman’s 8:28, and the still small voice calling me to greatness all came flooding back to my mind. I began to just cry and thank God. 

I didn’t understand it then, but now it had become crystal clear. I had finally gotten the answer to my “why”. I had finally realized why my “American Dream” had gotten interrupted, because it did not line up with God’s plan for my life. 

It was clear that God had a greater plan and purpose for my life, than my “American Dream.” 

I then realized when God calls you to greatness there’s a lot that comes with the call. 

That’s when God gave me a scripture Isaiah 61:3, To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the planting of the Lord, that He might be glorified. 

It’s the pain of those trials and tribulations that fuels my passion for the Marriage N More ministry.

I’m so humbled that God has given me the awesome privilege of being a vessel for Him to use to equip His people with the tools they need to build healthy successful relationships with Him, spouses, children, co-workers, extended family, and friends.

                          ~ Audrey Lee

Connect with Audrey and Marriage N More on Facebook
Tune into her radio show each Thursday at 7:30 pm CST  on Blog Talk Radio

When Your Heart Doesn’t Feel Big Enough 



I found myself feeling alone in the endless chatter banging around in my mind.

After offering help to a loved one, everything turned upside down and I felt defeated.


I felt the sting of pain in my heart. My hope was crushed. Evidently my hope was not the same hope my loved one held for himself. It was out of my control. I wanted so badly to help him, I just couldn’t.


Have you ever felt lost in the circumstances after you tried to help someone in need? Maybe a family member? Friend? Children? The church? Even a stranger?


Some of my greatest experiences have resulted from freely giving of my heart. It has brought joy in abundance, not only for the recipients, but also for me.


However, sometimes giving of my heart has left my heart grieving. I have felt abandoned, as if my heart wasn’t big enough to soak up the pain left in the aftermath. It is especially painful when I dearly love the person who could not, or would not simply receive.


Our relationships were not designed for pain and disconnection.


“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus. Phil 2:5 NIV


God built us for relationship. It was demonstrated in the humbleness in Jesus. Our hearts were created to love as a reflection of Jesus’s love. It makes sense that affliction comes to the brokenhearted. That our heart would grieve at a lost victory for someone we care about and love. Even in our pain, Jesus is the only answer for what is left unspoken. He is the way to restoration. 

His heart is wider and deeper than the one we have to offer. My hope lies in the lesson that Christ alone is enough and that His perfect love will expand our hearts and richly bless us in the depths we have yet to discover.

~ Baring His Beauty,

       Tiffany Thomas 

Sorrowful To Soaring 

Behind the Smile: I Decided to Jump!

It was a sunny day, the trees were green, the wind whispered softly through the leaves. The birds were chirping, soft music was playing from the apartment. I can remember the smell of my grandmother’s perfume and the scent of her freshly cooked Asian inspired vegetarian meal offered. This was the scene. Well this is what I saw with my physical eyes; but not what was seen with my emotional eyes. 

Emotionally, it was raining, the skies were grey, the music was daunting, the home smelled like rotten food, and a scent of cheap cologne gave me a headache. 

Why did I see life this way? To me, there was no reason to live. I wanted to die.

When a child is suicidal, they have lost all hope-they blame themselves for the neglect. When a child is suicidal, they are in a spiritual warfare with the enemy- they just want to escape the pain. When a child is suicidal, they isolate themselves- they do things like lock themselves in closets. When a child is suicidal, they suffer from depression- they have morbid thoughts of how to harm others. When a child is suicidal, they wish there was an alternative to death; but can’t see one- they just want to feel loved. 

Well as a child, I felt unloved, unwanted, unaccepted, uncertain, uncomfortable, unhappy, unnoticed, undesired, and unattractive. Since, I could not see a reason to live; I climbed on top of the building and I JUMPED! When asked what happen I said I accidentally fell. No one ever knew exactly how I felt. I hid behind my smile.

At that moment of life, I decided that there was no reason to live; but the CREATOR had a different plan. Most people considering suicide truly do not want to die, they just cannot see past the pain. GOD changed my perspective I went from feeling SORROWFUL in the valleys to the experience of SOARING high skies. I was called to SOAR! I was called to live! I was called to share this story. I was called to smile.This is why I smile. ~ Lereca Monik 

#11AMSmile #LearningToLoveYourself #anewme #anewyou #lerecasmiles #itstimeforachange #liverestored #maven2016 #youreign


How do you look pain in the eyes and ignore it?

Pretending not to see inner cries drowning

The victim in their skin

They breath out reasons

To end the beginning of a chapter unwritten 

Before knowing who they are, not to others, but to God

And they will never know unless we show them

How it feels to be loved unconditionally

Without judgment

Binding their wrongs

Diluting our image of them

As if we are perfect

But we’re not

So take the scales

Off the eyes 

And see them the way Christ does.
                          ~Bethany Anne 




Pain can be defined as physical or emotional suffering due to injury, illness, or torment.



2 Corinthians 7:9 “Now I am glad I sent it, not because it hurt you, but because the pain caused you to repent and change your ways.”



A couple of weeks ago, my pastor helped me redefine how pain is important in our lives. In short, he told a story of how he got into a car accident years ago. He spoke on how he was paralyzed and that he could not feel his limbs for a few weeks. During this process; however his brain was still functioning and he could think, he just could not move. During this time frame, he let GOD know that he did not want to live in paralysis for the rest of his days. Little did he know, GOD would deliver him from being paralyzed and in his delivery he would immediately feel excruciating pain! That is exactly what happened; because his body had been battered, bruised, and broken- he felt real pain. My pastor shared with our congregation that had it not been for the pain he would not have started seeking GOD’s promise for his life. GOD’s promise for his life was for him to pastor a church with his brother and he has been ministering to others for over two decades.


After my pastor shared his story, I realized his story was my story, and my story is your story. Just think, in life- we experience pain to help push us to GOD and His promises for our lives. Because of pain, we cry out to GOD to help us get up from moments of paralysis so that we can navigate through our problems to walk into our purpose. Can you imagine being in a moment of paralysis forever? I can’t. I personally know how pain feels and maybe you do too- it does not feel good; but is it necessary. In hearing my pastor’s story, I can say I am so grateful for the painful moments in my life.    

I have learned that pain:

1. Will encourage you to cry out to GOD.

2. Shows up in your life so that you can grow.

3. Forces you to reexamine everything.

4. Helps you realign yourself with GOD.

5. Causes you to reassess your relationships.

6. Will appear as a life test- something for you to pass.

7. Inspires you to reevaluate your life’s purpose.

8. Helps you learn how to prioritize your life.

9. Is only temporary.

10. Will not follow you to heaven.


God does not allow physical and emotional suffering to hurt you, he knows that you will repent and change your ways. When you are faced with a moment of pain- just know the pain is a temporary place. Trust me you will be positioned in your place of purpose when you experience pain because your prayers will force you to declare GOD’s promises for your life.

Enjoy the journey!




Dear God,

Thank you so much for showing me that pain is temporary. Thank you for helping me understand that pain will help guide me to my purpose in life. Because of the pain my life will never be the same! I love you. ~Lereca Monik


#lerecamonik #restoredministries #itstimeforachange #anewyou #mydearestsister #Idareyou #LiveRestored 

If Tears Left Scars 

Crying sometimes hurts the heart to remember pain

Forgotten within remains pushed underneath ashes

Once buried, now dug up while reminiscing the past

Dealt never with the emotion to let go and move on

From the effects of sinister plot’s removing life found

Deep within the ocean containing happiness in life

There, left to die, beyond the surface trapped in a wound

No one can see, for it has left the presence of conformity

Given to at birth, somewhere lost in the experiment and burnt 

Further than winds might carry the soul still hurting, now dying 

Are the remains left as time consumes the right to carry-on

Thrusting once again, the shame and pain, back into the corpse

Attempting life once again, but feeling drained of itself

As if the ocean carries a different tune to break silence of use

Returning upon the final chapter of pain instilled for tonight

Life must endure more for a cause greater than words could burn 

Into the skin to display ignorance and hatred, breathing out

One last request -to remain here, upon the war grounds

Spilled out, the contents, upon the desolate face to taste

And devour the past, allowing oneself to continue falling

Still standing on top of the remains, the lies, the threats

And becoming something more than believed before the future

Thought came to be more than a memory fought back

To forget what happened for the pain was too great a chore

Words bouncing off ignorance’s walls, wrapped inside the instrument

Playing words into music, ringing inside the mind to demonstrate

Melancholy notes into phrases written upon the heart felt

With a fragrance more powerful than clothing the heart to rest

To reminisce inside outer lies, believing them not as truth

But as they are, and trying to erase the smudges never left

Even thoughts mirrored are the lies and half-truths formed

Within the mind to reuse the type of light shattering the life

First breathed, now finally seeking fire to release the emotion 

As if to be is never enough, to breathe is not a talent given

To society’s myth built upon waters moving 

that life is a gift.

                   -Bethany Anne


That wound is so deep

Inside your soul

From long ago…

& it keeps you 

Locked up like a gun

Ready to shoot off your mouth

At anyone 

Standing in your way

That wound is so loud 

Always telling you what to do

Where to hide

Running away from

That deep, damn pain

Look into that mirror child

See that pain

Face that truth

Don’t look away

Kneel & pray

The God who made you

Can Save you 

From the hide & seek

Game you play

Putting that punk face

On display

Instead of the




For His

Saving Grace

All those ugly wounds




Angry Words

Stolen Youth

He can mend

Your broken heart

He can heal the wound

& dispel the darkness

Bend your knee 

Cry out to Him

Forgive all your enemies

& forgive yourself






❤️Krystal Lynne 

I Don’t Revisit Painful Places


It was a reoccurring dream from my childhood. 

I was standing in the foyer of my great grandparents home in the dark. 

It was night time and the wind was blowing the white sheers in the long windows of each bedroom.

 I was pulling out a fleshy rope from out of my mouth. 

It was so long and it kept coming out as I wrapped it around my hand desperately trying to yank it out but there was no end. 

I was in elementary school and it was very frightening. 

It was bitter and it was choking me. I will never forget the texture or the taste. 

There was no one to help me or explain what was happening. 

My teeth felt like they were loosening and coming out. 

What a weird dream?!? 

Never understood it and 

I don’t revisit painful places 

but….this heart of mine is being provoked and tilled and the light is exposing darkness. 

The darkness has to leave and light always overcomes. 

The foyer is gone. 

The house no longer exists. 

My memories of question are not answered by bitterness! 

Oh taste and see that The Lord is Good!!! 

His sweetness and shining are triumphing over that place I stood battling that unseen force …..I’m dying but only to those lonely places…

It is time to rest and not fight. 

Bitterness will not be my plight. 

I’m learning, listening, leaning on the Lord of Life.
❤️Krystal Lynne