About the Author

Holley Gerth is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author, counselor, and life coach. Her newest release is The Powerful Purpose of Introverts: Why the World Needs You to Be You. She's also wife to Mark, Mom to Lovelle, and Nana to Eula and Clem.

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things we love
& you will too!
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Reader Interactions


  1. So strange that this popped up on facebook when I was checking the news for the latest storm tracking as a actual storm passed through my area. It is so true that walking with God through a storm is so much better and safer than trying to struggle alone. Thank you for sharing this.

  2. This is a beautiful picture. I need to put this visual in my mind during this time. God is with me in a rain storm. We walk together under His umbrella. His arm around me in love. This is a picture that I need to see and remember. Thank you Holley.

  3. I love the thought that the closer you stay to the One who is holding the umbrella, the drier you stay! “When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown”. Isaiah 43 v 2
    Thank you Holley x

  4. Beautiful Holley! I think that umbrella may be the shadow of His wings. He is so good!

  5. Holley, thank you so much for this sweet, amazing reminder! My family is going through a storm right now. But I have such peace and sweet intimacy in/with Jesus. I’m taking shelter under His umbrella! 🙂

  6. this same thing happened to me when i read captivating! it was 2am and i heard an owl outside my window. an OWL. i LOVE owls. always have! and suddenly there was one in my neighborhood!

  7. Oh, I needed to read this today! I’ve been so discouraged this week. Ironically, I needed to write an ‘Encouragement Letter’ the other day to about 100 women in my church Bible study group. I was tempted to wear a mask as Susie Sunshine hiding Debbie Downer, but God told me to be authentic. So I just let my tears fall all over the page. Then someone wrote back that normally doesn’t even read these weekly letters from leadership. In fact she literally rolled her eyes when another one arrived in her inbox. She figures they are written by someone who has it all together and they don’t have a clue what she’s going through. Thus, she usually just clicks the ‘delete’ button. But this time she didn’t. She thought it was from a friend of hers! Someone she knew and trusted to be real and authentic. She read it and wrote back that she had no doubt it was ‘sent from God’. She said, “rest assured, even with your ‘heavy heart’ sister, God used you today.” I wept. God used me to encourage someone else who ended up encouraging ME! Wow. So cool. God’s love was so evident to me that day. I will continue to write from my heart, no matter how broken I feel. God’s light always bursts through the cracks of our brokenness. Amen?

    • Oh, that’s such a beautiful story, Karen! I love the ways God uses us when we least expect it. Yes, through the cracks of our brokenness. Amen!

    • Great encouragement to keep letting people see the “real” about us. That’s hard to do sometimes, but God blesses others in that and also blesses us. Thank you so much for sharing about the letter. That specific example is speaking to a situation I’m dealing with, so I feel like it’s just for me!!!! (I’m putting off writing a fund raising letter for a ministry trip my hubby and I are making in August to Ukraine. We have a heart-son there who’s too old to adopt now, but who we’ve adopted in our hearts, and we’ve come to know the workers and other kids at the Christian Center where he still lives, and we know the Lord’s sending us there to spend time ministering in person after the past year and a half of doing so from the States. But I HATE asking for help, and I also felt that I needed to master some “formula” for such a letter, and really it’s a very intensely heart-thing for me, this trip, and your comment here blesses me. God’s using it to remind me to put aside what I think it “should” be and make it authentic and let Him be the One who determines the way it is received! Thank you!

  8. Beautiful illustration. My own life is so full of walks through rain, and the Lord is so faithful to hold that umbrella! My biggest challenge has been to walk at the pace He is and not to dart out from under that covering to tackle the storms on my own, but He’s faithful to keep allowing rainfall, so I can grow into a woman who’s willing to work in His timing and walk only at the speed of His will. Thanks for sharing this reminder with me!

  9. Holly,

    Thank you for sharing. While reading I could visualize that intimate relationship with God as He holds the umbrella and we walk along side him walking in unison – not ahead or behind Him.

    I recently experienced this in a great way. My father passed in December and he was at home on Hospice and we provided care for him. The day of his funeral I went in my bedroom in great dread awaiting to go to the funeral and I just cried out to God stating I can’t do this… I just can’t. I felt the most awesome peace come over me. I felt as if someone was holding me and actually rocking me as you would do a little child. I made it through that day and the days to come resting in God’s arms and His strength.

    May we run to get under God’s umbrella as we see the storm approach.

  10. He shows me His unfailing love sometimes by another’s words or a verse. Before I punch the send button on a blog post that shares a failing of mine to encourage another mama, I hold my breath. I send out words that speak of personal fears but a belief in Him to help moms live an authentic life with Jesus. Yet, after I press send, the Lord gives me a verse like Psalm 39:7, “And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in You.” Or a dear friend shares her doubts and we can talk together for a few minutes of His great love. He reminds me that He is always near.

  11. Holley, our youngest just moved over 5 hours away (joining her brothers in distance–one is 6 hours, one is over 8). Dealing with all of them living so far away is so difficult. Definitely a storm for a mom who wants to continue to be involved with her grown kids.
    All of those fun little things that are so easy to do when they live close become so difficult to do when they’re far. I finally picked up your book b/c it’s been so hard for me to deal with. I know that the grief is part of the journey, but it’s tough. God is helping me to realize that this time of transition for me is really important, and though difficult will move me forward. I actually read Day Three in the book today! It was so cool to see this here!
    The last part esp. encouraged me. “This may not be what you would have chosen but it will be a journey you’ll always remember.” It’s true…I never would have chosen for our grown kids to live out of the area, but God knew what He was doing when He led them, and He is with me too. Thank you for writing your book. It is really helping!
    : ) Denese

  12. This is so sweet…..love it…..what would we do without God’s umbrella?!?!? Please pray a friend will really “feel” His umbrella in an upcoming meeting re job!
    Thanks, Holley, for being such an encourager!!

  13. My dear Holley,
    This is an awesome encouragement which I and my family needed right now. We are in the middle of a heavy rain now, but taking refuge under God’s wings (the umbrella)I got tears in my eyes thinking about God’s love for us. I was born on an Easter day and my middle name is following that. God took me from my mother;s womb on Easter day, the day which He had risen from dead as ‘Victor’.
    Thank you Jesus for not letting me down and bless this amazing sister in you, to me ‘Holley’.

  14. Holley,
    I’ve been thinking about storms for a few days now. . .it is a very good word to describe what happens! And to tell you the truth, it was awfully reassuring to read on so many levels!. I look forward to reading this book- and sharing it with a friend who is in the midst of her own storm.
    Thank you!

  15. Never thought about God in that way! Yes He does walk with us through all storms, in fact some storms are there to build us up and teach us a life lesson.

  16. Holley, my name is Janet. I read your posts everyday and so much of the time I feel like I could be you or you are me. It’s such a huge encouragement.
    I’d like to ask that you pray for me. I’m a single mother of four small children standing for a miracle healing/restoration of my marriage. Today I’m too weak to move! I need to huddle up next to Him under His umbrella, but I can hardly pray. Can you pray for me today on this day that I just can’t do it for myself? He said He’d be a father to the fatherless…. My husband in this time. I so desperately need to FEEL this manifestation of His promises.
    Much thanks.

  17. Thank you Holley. Your words are always so encouraging to me. I just was diagnosed with gastric cancer. I am 38 yrs. old, healthy, active, with a wonderful husband and four hi-octane boys. Needless to say I am still in shock. But more importantly I have only a grateful, peaceful and calm heart. The Lord is so faithful! He allowed the pain to persist so I would go back to the Dr. ,I have the best doctors money can buy to treat me, a loving family to support me and the best part…the strength and joy of the Lord! I am amazed at how much strength and joy He so generously gives and truly praise him and thank him and know as surely as I write these words that this experience WILL glorify him!!! :O) Keep me in your prayers, it is a long road to recovery and I need all the prayers I can get for continued strength, joy and love for myself, but more importantly for my husband Alex and four boys: Alexander, Nicolas, Sebastian and Cristian.

    God bless you!

  18. Thank you Holley for your encouraging words. I needed them today. Life for me has been a continual set of storms for the past 10 years, hard to imagine it’s been 10 years and the storms just keep on coming! But God is with me, sometimes I think He maybe asleep, just like Jesus in the boat with His disciples, but I know that He will never abaondon me, He will be my covering & sheild. Bless you and have a wonderful Easter!

  19. Thank you Holley for all of your inspiring words. I look forward to reading them every day with great anticipation.
    I have shared an umbrella with Him many times. We are closer then. What a treasure!!
    I have come to hold dear “the peace that passes all understanding” when my loved one go home to be with Him. I love Guy Penrod’s song: “Knowing What I Know About Heaven.”
    The Lord blesses my life every day. He walks with me and carries me when I feel I can go no further. He is a Wonderful God!!!

  20. I love this post Holley. I love the umbrella story and will hold it close. So many storms, and the intensity can bring such doubt, kind of like John the Baptist in prison sending a disciple to ask Jesus if He is the One. John was starting to doubt because of his circumstances. We do the same. But thankfully, in His mercy and grace, He still holds the umbrella up for us to walk under. I am thankful for His love!

    Thankful too for your encouraging spirit Holley.
    God bless You!

  21. Carolyn, please know that you are on my prayer list!! Blessings on you and your family~

  22. So true, Holley. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone else…and yet, some of the sweetest times with my Abba God were when we knelt by my baby boy’s hospital bed, begging God to save him. Yes, in the fiercest storms, He was so close, so comforting, weeping with us, sheltering us from the bitter rains.
    Even now, years later, the smell of hospital antiseptic soap brings back feelings of bittersweet, Holy-ground nostalgia.
    He didn’t make the storm go away, but He was there, that we might shelter with Him.

  23. Praise God for you, Holley. Thank you for sharing these very meaningful words with us. I also appreciate the other comments. I prayed for some of the gals as I read through their comments. The comments are very moving, too. Whew!

    I often encourage people with the words, ” Jesus is with them every step of the way. ” The thoughts of getting close under an umbrella add to that nicely. God is so good!

    God bless you richly!

  24. I like so much the umbrella’s story. I’m so happy with all your post that I read every day. My family likes when I talk to them and explain in Spanish the message. God Bless all my sisters and brothers in Jesus Christ . I’m praying for the peace and specially for those who are far from God. Blessings!!!!!!!!!!

  25. There is a song written by the Issac’s that so fits your beautiful post.

    Lightening flashes all around
    Rain wash away the ground
    But still I am safe and sound
    For your love like an umbrella covers me

    Sands of time have burn my feet
    Sun so hot I could not breath
    But you bring my soul relief
    And your love like an umbrella covers me
    What would I do without you

    People change and season end
    Dream scattered in the wind
    But you are my constant friend
    And your love like an umbrella covers
    What would i do without you

    Lightening flashes all around
    Tears wash away the ground
    But still I am safe and sound………………………………………………………………………