About the Author

I am standing in the void of what my life was a year ago. It isn’t an easy place to be, but God can create amazing things from voids. Just watch.

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  1. Thank you so much for sharing. All of those feelings I have experienced. It’s a difficult thing to go through, yet Christ gives strength for the journey! God bless you!

    • Kathy,
      Christ is faithful, isn’t He? One thing I have come to know to the very core of me in all of this is His love and faithfulness. He is amazing. Blessings to you, too!

  2. I just have to say – I have read (in)courage since the beginning, and this is one of the best pieces I have read!! I’m saving it to my computer just to send to friends who need it, now and in the future. Thank you, and God bless. 🙂

    • Joanie,
      Humble gratitude for your kind words.

      Oh, Joanie, tell your “friends who need it, now and in the future” who they are. Keep reminding them until they remember. It is a gift beyond words when someone gives the gift of who you really are back to you.

      God’s blessings to you.
      Jerri

    • Tammy,
      Humble thanks for your words of encouragement. You bless me greatly.

      God be with you and strengthen you with the courage to be all you desire to be.

      God’s blessings to you,
      Jerri

  3. So, so, perfect for this morning; tears are streaming down my face as I re-read your words. Thank you for sharing. I’ve been fighting and fighting all week with these same feelings. I need those love letters right now….and this is certainly one. Bless you!

    • Becca,
      I’m hugging you from here, handing you a kleenex, willing to listen.

      Okay, I have to tell you how much of a love letter this is for you. This was accepted for publishing *6 months ago*. I found out the week my mom was in the hospital, right before she died. The amazing ladies at (in)courage gave me grace to take time to heal and breathe. (If you visit my website and read “The Void”, you’ll understand why it took so long.) I can point to life circumtances, but God knew YOU would need this TODAY, and He held it for you. He adores you, beautiful lady. He absolutely adores you.

      Father God, I lift up Becca to you. I pray today you would bless her with love letters from the heart of you in whatever way you want to send them, whether they be notes from others, a phone call, a pickle in the shape of a heart, a soft rain, the perfect verse…I will not tell you how to love your beloved. The relationship you have is so personal I could never try to tell you how to love her, but I ask that you would love her, that you would pour out your heart of affection and affirmation on her. Give her joy amidst the pain and laughter with the loving. You are so good. Thank you for how you are so faithfully pursuing your beloved. I praise you, Lord, for your goodness! Amen

      My heart and prayers are with you.

      Jerri

  4. Wow. You spoke straight to my heart. Karen is a friend of mine from college and she just sent me the link to your blog.
    My husband and I just separated on Tuesday, and I am raw, numb, and overwhelmed. And it felt like no one understood me. And then I read this, from a complete stranger, and you spoke to my heart all the questions and doubts and insecurities I’m struggling with. If you don’t mind, I think I’ll follow your journey here, as it sure feels good to know I’m not alone. Heidi

    • Oh, Heidi, I have no words. If I were there, I don’t think I would even hug you. I would just stand or sit and be there with you because you so pefectly desribed it, and “raw”…wow, there is no pain like it.

      Have you visited my website? If you visit “I’m that Jerri”, you’ll see a section entitled “Backstory”. I was still writing on the “Jerri Phillips” blog when we separated. A lot of the journey is under “Jerri Kelley” and “Remaining Hopeful”. Please feel free to read through any and all of it. If you want to talk through any of it, email me either via email or through the comment box. If it is private, just note that, and I won’t publish it for the public, just make sure I have contact information for you so I can respond.

      And, yes, there are days that simply breathing is a big enough accomplishment, dear one.

      Oh, my dear, my heart and prayers are with you.

      Blessings of tender love and compassion be yours from our King,
      Jerri

  5. Dearest, Jerri! Thank you for sharing this today. You are a blessing to me in your courage to stand in front of us and say that you are hurting. God is there and you feel His hand which is so important. When my prayers for a healed marriage were not answered and God lead me to the end of it, I thought for a while that maybe something was wrong with me. Instead, I learned I always took responsibility for the wrong-doings of others. My strength enabled their weakness. I have seen my now ex-husband find God in the midst of this change in our relationship. I got to plant the seed, was part of its food and water as were many others, and God got to see it bloom in him; this was God’s victory not mine.
    It is a blessing for our children and for our shared-parenting relationship. Unfortunately, it left me feeling like something was wrong with me as my ex soon found love and will be getting married next month. I was hurt, lost and angry in the midst of this. I had lost my two best friends, my sense of belonging, my partner, and saw my job turned upside down. God needed me to seek Him. He needed me to depend on Him. He needed me to trust Him. Hard lessons for a do-it-yourself kind of girl!

    • Oh, Heather, such truth! Thank you for your courageous honesty.

      I can relate in so many ways!

      I couldn’t believe when God said let go. In fact, I think that shocked me more than Rob actually leaving. I knew Rob was unhappy and didn’t want to be here, but for God to say it was okay to open the door and let him go? I was stunned, and yet, NOW, I can see God’s hand in it and His mercy, for both of us, at work.

      And I say it again, He is amazing.

      And, please know, when I laughed at the “taking responsibility for others”, I wasn’t laughing at you. I was laughing at myself. It is something I have had to lay down…along with friendships that were not healthy and views of myself that were lies…and this really warped way of life called “codependency”, which is just another word for “prison.”

      I applaud your courage! And I weep with you. The pain of his moving on and the questions about what is wrong with you is heartwrenching beyond words, so I hand you a kleenex, look into your eyes, and heart-speak, “I know.” If I were there, I’d hold your hand or give you tea or whatever helped you understand that his choice does not make you less than worth-the-effort to others. You ARE worth the effort, Heather. You are. If you forget, let me know. I’ll tell you again and again until you remember.

      Blessings, beautiful woman.

      Jerri

      • Thank you, Jerri! When I walked out of my pastor’s office almost 2 years ago now with the peace only Jesus can provide, I knew I had God’s answer. The time since has been a lot of having to learn to trust God and not rely upon myself. He’s upended my apple cart a lot this last year, but I don’t regret a moment of this journey because my relationship with Him is so much more than I could have asked or imagined!

  6. First, I hope no one is shocked that a man is reading and responding. Contrary to common belief, we aren’t all bad . . . or should I say horrible?

    Jerri, I couldn’t be happier for you in getting this published. However, I have to admit, it is the responses you recieved, and I’ve read, that really move feelings and emotion. You truly presented your personal and ongoing experience in such a way that I see many more in your predicament and those of the several who’ve responded leaving you heartfelt words of thanks and, more importantly, admiration for getting through it all.

    After all, it is better to be going through tough times than it is to be stuck in them.

    Love you Girl!

  7. Hi Jerri. Isn’t it amazing how putting your hurt out there is helping so many others. What about the ones who haven’t responded? What a powerful message! There is so much brokenness out there trying to get us to turn away from God. It is very moving to see that in your pain you cling to Him. This is what we all should do in our hurt. Your example is very moving and I can just imagine God holding His arms out to you. God bless, Tracy

  8. Jerri,

    I was looking for something tonight that would help me through some of my own pain. My husband asked for a divorce several months ago. I have dealt with abuse from him for quite awhile from him and though I have had a lot of support from my family and my church, I was hit with a bombshell a few days ago when he got very mad and threatened to take my young daughter away from me. She doesn’t know him and she is afraid of him. Though I know in my mind that he cannot take her, my heart is breaking. Your words helped me to remember all those who are placed in my life right now to help me. I am searching for who I am and it is great to know that I am not alone in the pain. Thank you.

    • Tiffany,
      Thank you for taking time to share your heart. I cannot imagine how scary your husband’s threats must be.

      When Rob and I first separated, and even before, I asked the Lord for a word for me to stand on, one I could always go back to when things were hard. He gave me several, but one that always kept coming back to mind is Isaiah 43:1–But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “DO NOT FEAR, FOR I HAVE REDEEMED YOU, I HAVE SUMMONED YOU BY NAME; YOU ARE MINE.”

      “Redeemed” means, “I chose to pay the high price for you instead of leaving you in slavery.”

      “I have summoned you by name.”–I KNOW WHO YOU ARE. This is personal. You didn’t slip in with someone else or unnoticed. I SPECIFICALLY LOOKED FOR AND WANTED YOU.

      “You are mine”–You are MINE. I am the King Eternal with all power in my hands. Do not think I will not use everything at my disposal to protect my own.

      Tiffany, I’m praying the Lord gives you a verse for you, one that you can go back to over and over again that helps you get your footing when the threats come and when the enemy of your soul tries to terrify you.

      You are not alone, dear one. You have an earthly group to support you, but more than that, He has summoned you by name, and you are His. May you see and know the true power of those on your side.

      Praying for you.
      Jerri

  9. Again…..my sweet friend you’ve shown that you are so in touch with God’s pupose for your life…your gifting is a thing of true beauty and He smiles when your words flow. I feel so incredibly honored to be your friend.