Sarah Markley
About the Author

I'm the mother of two little girls, the wife of an amazing husband who'd rather play the guitar than anything else and I love to write. I spend my weekends watching my daughters ride horses and play soccer. I blog daily and my greatest wish is to see women healed...

(in)side DaySpring: things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
(in)side DaySpring:
things we love
& you will too!
Find more at
Recent Posts

Reader Interactions


  1. Sarah, I am struck at one thought — how we will always need Him as long as we are this side of Heaven. Just when we think we have it licked, we are tempted and challenged most and fall the hardest. And with that, I mean the hard stuff, especially in marriage. Because, His redemption is ongoing. We aren’t perfected yet. Just because we have walked some dirty roads and tasted the fruit of righteousness doesn’t mean we won’t have dust in our ears and grit in our teeth. The challenges will remain, though some may be less than. I think the moment we give up on the idea that we need to have it all together and the moment when we look at each other and confess that we are two broken people desperately in need of His moment-by-moment grace, is when we are living worship in the most profound and authentic way and when we hear the beat of His heart and know love more fully.

  2. Dear Sarah, I continue to marvel at the grace with which you write your own personal story. I strive toward a goal of being able to do that – both tell my story and write with a similar grace and transparency. Thank you. For all of it. You encourage me. Today you say two things that I need to contemplate. Thank you for all of it.

  3. Sarah
    This is so true on so many levels. We hear the stories of the marriages that don’t make it. The failure to share our struggles honestly with our community, to celebrate our victories in Christ as marriages are saved and redeemed and made anew after crisis and turmoil is a failure to give glory to the King of Kings. The enemy tricks us into hiding our struggles in shame when we should be sharing our weaknesses and praising His saving grace! Thank you for having the courage to do so!!

  4. Thx for your words of transparency. I have major depressive disorder and ptsd stemming from sexual abuse and child neglect. I’ve become and am becoming more open as i share my story and raise awareness/advocate. People crave authenticity. They want to see real people sharing their real struggles. And that’s what I’m doing. I have a psychiatrist, a counselor at times, and take a few meds so i can function. Many stigmas in some religious circles, but i am free and God loves me where i am

    • You aren’t alone, Nichole. I too have major depressive disorder and will probably be on meds to control it indefinitely. Thank you so much for sharing and being an advocate! I have to live with the reality that after two major depressive episodes, a third is all the more likely, especially, I’m told, at my age (I’m 61). It’s hard feeling that I have to hide this. But I’m trying to be more open too. So I do thank God for His very real presence. I know I am His and that the battle is His. I praise Him no matter what and know that He understands.

  5. You have no idea how poignantly God spoke to me through your post this morning. Thank you. I too have been in a marriage that needs life, freedom. Although aware of it, I’d really given up on hoping for more. It’s life crushing to do that. But our merciful Father hasn’t given up and has brought me to be willing to be willing to believe and hope – to actually act in trust. It’s painful and includes some deep grief, but it is right so I’m trusting and moving forward allowing hope to be planted instead of just going through the motions as I had come to do, even in counseling.

    I highly recommend a book I had avoided: ‘What’s it Like to be Married to Me?’ by Linda Dillow. Challenging. Grace filled.

    Praying with you for freedom.

  6. I used to think I had to keep it all together. I used to say “I’m fine”. One day, in a new community, I dared to say something else than “I’m fine” and said something to the effect of “I’m a mess right now”. The other person listened to me, shared a little of their own story and took me aside to listen some more. It was the beginning of being honest with people when they ask. The beginning of getting real with myself and with others. Now I find that speaking up and saying something about that thing I struggle with or asking that question that we know we both have but have been afraid to say it out loud…wow! It opens us up to receive God’s love and acceptance. It also opens us up to receive the nourishment we need to grow deeper in Him.
    Sarah, I want to also say that I appreciate you opening up lately about your struggles and your journey. It helps me know I am not alone and that there really is much to be gained from opening up and being real with people both near me and far away. Thanks for being brave and saying this stuff out loud here!

  7. I have been going through a crisis in my marriage for many years now, We told very few people. Six months ago, my world came crashing in because of my husband’s sin. It was time to tell. I didn’t want people to know the truth. And yes,, I feel like I have to keep it together. My kids need their mom to stay whole and sane. Believe me, there are days I just want to crawl into a hole and hibernate. After my Pastor told our church family what had happened, my church rallied around me and my kids and they have been the hands and feet of Jesus. A huge blessing. Some have even reached out to my husband, which has been a blessing to him in his recovery. We have a long way to go, but with God all things are possible. He can make all things new. There is always hope.

  8. I have just come out of one, its been a couple of months. But I was done with it all. But by Gods grace He has restored us, yet again. Thank you for being transparent and sharing your story. It’s not easy I know, ive been thee it the more you share the better your healing process.

    Godbless you!!

  9. I can’t agree more! Transparency and honesty…yes, the true beginning to freedom and mending and healing. The power of the isolation is broken when we are open with our struggles, allowing others in to walk alongside us, encourage us, and pray for us. And in turn our hearts are released to begin the healing in community God had designed for us all along. Oh Sarah I care…know I’m praying for you. xoxo

  10. Sarah, many times it takes just one person to bravely voyage transparency, honesty, confession, a request for prayer or help. As soon as that one person shares, walls start coming down. Other people follow suit. Real trust starts to happen — not the fluffy fake stuff that is based on our best impressions of ourselves. Thank you for paving the way to more vulnerability in the church and in the online space. I’m happy to call you friend.

  11. I was in an environment once where honesty was punished. If you were honest about something you were wrestling with, you were punished. Often people just disappeared for several days with no explanation from leadership as to where they were or what they were doing. And as a result we all had facades up. We didn’t really know each other. Ten years later the truth is finally starting to come out and I have learned some startling things about some of the individuals I went through this with. No wonder we were all so screwed up. It makes me so sad that everyone was so deceived that we thought we couldn’t be honest with each other.

    Pretending to be perfect benefits no one. You think I have it all together? Oh HECK no! I suffer from post-partum depression – and possibly regular depression – and need to be on medication to even function. My husband is currently down for the count with a shoulder injury so I’m caring for him and our two children. One of our cars in on its last leg and we have no idea how we’re going to replace it without going into debt. Our life is far from perfect and I don’t want to give anyone the idea that it is. But that is difficult. Because we can’t see the behind-the-scenes of everyone’s life all the time.

    I feel like there’s a movement going on in the church right now for people to be REAL. No more facades. No more pretending to be perfect. And I love it. It takes a lot of pressure off! It’s surprising how much more enjoyable life is when I don’t feel like I have to make it look perfect all the time. 🙂

    • i’m so sorry that you have been in that kind of environment. that’s no good. i have been too. thank you for your honest comment .and yes, i agree – i do believe there is a movement towards honesty. =)

  12. I love where you took this honesty in your life, God has convicted me to do the same in my life to speak the truth so \I HAVE BEEN coming up with a new blog name and \i am going to start writing about my addiction and how God has been healing my soul and body and how many women are struggling with the same thing as I am. All Christian women. I know \God can use my story to help others like He has used your story Sarah to help others and one huge thing I have learned out of all that you wrote is not to hide at anymore to keep it quiet. Satan loves secrets, loves us feeling bad because our marriages are in a season of learning and growing. We need to speak out and for me need to less worried what others think. Thanks you Sarah I want that same freedom you have in your life.

  13. Such freedom in truth, Sarah. In the last year I have become free of the fears I had all my life and all it took was asking for help from a professional, total support from my husband and finally total reliance on God. I love your posts….

  14. Sarah… I’m so deeply saddened to hear how you and your husband are hurting. I’ve been in a painful marriage (not currently, but been there) and I just have to say… I am so sorry.

    May you intimately know the comfort of the One who knows and understands your heart, down to your very core.

    Praying for you guys right now.

  15. Sarah,

    I’m not married so I can’t relate but I can pray.

    I’m so sorry that you’re going through so much, but I’m also thankful that you HAVE experienced healing before and you know the joys in that. I have been associated with a ministry that (for awhile there) was experiencing broken marriages yearly. I’m certainly no expert, but it seemed as though there was a sense of false security with ministry involvement.

    Again, I’m praying. In the name of Jesus.

  16. Amen to that. Exactly what community and our churches should be promoting. And sadly, we rarely feel comfortable being completely raw in those settings and fear the judgement. I love, “We cannot perpetuate a community culture or a church culture that punishes the honest.” Beautiful. Thank you for putting yourself out there – I have such respect when people be real and believe it is contagious.

  17. Honesty has set me on more than one occasion. The first time was the most difficult because it told the whole world (mostly other believers) I didn’t have it together. However there was great freedom when it was all said and done. Since then I have been working through a program that requires it and it is always a blessing. True community does come when we are able to be honest and open with the safe people around us. Thank you for being one of the people who chose to make the difficult choice.

  18. I completely agree that honesty is underrated in church culture. Instead of coming out of hiding and getting the actual support and healing people need, people continue to sink into the hurt of their lives. In my small group I’ve learned that creating a judgement-free environment is incredibly difficult. You can’t just say that its a place to be honest, you have to act in ways that are honest, and that means typically I have to be the first to be open and authentic with the others.

  19. “And the truth shall set you free!” True words but what they don’t say is that sometimes the truth is hard and ugly and broken yet needs to be embraced anyway. That sometimes in the midst of healing there are still broken places.

    Praying for you…

  20. Sarah, I have been away from (in)courage for quite some time so when I popped on today and yours was the first post I read my heart jumped a beat. You are a courageous wise hearted women. For years I wondered if there would ever come a place in our marriage where we could talk so openly without offended each other. After 49 years we are still not there. I have wondered, if we had been walking with the Lord when we got marriage would it make a huge difference…I have come to believe no. Till we get to heaven it is a battle for our marriage, christians and non christian alike. Some days we are pretty bloody from it, some days the battle is not so friece. So very glad there are some years or maybe just days we can rest our weary minds from all the enemy throws at us. One things is we never need to fight it alone and I am just talking about God. I read the comments, you have some very wise women praying for you. You stomped on the emeny head when you were honest. It is only by the grace of God any of us have made it in our marrages. How do I know that…we are all cut from the same cookie mold. My husband and I are New Tribes missionary, talk about people putting us on a high pestestal. We have to honestly talk about the times we fall off with others…with ourselves. Keep stomping sister, we all need to hear this kind of honesty.

  21. Sarah, SO glad you are in community where you can be authentic. For fifteen years the enemy had me believe that if I shared that had aborted my baby I would lose all credibility, my witness would be shattered, and I would be ruining our family’s life. In crisis, God broke through and whispered Isaiah 61 over me. I learned that He truly does bring beauty from ashes. And I shared my story. Now, while that was years, and years ago, what I have found is that the walls of “image” that I had cultivated began to come down. In being authentic with this terrible thing in my past, I gained freedom to live authentically in the present. Walking in the light always wins. Thank you for your post!

  22. “We cannot perpetuate a community culture or a church culture that punishes the honest.” So well put and true, but sadly we have. My daughter’s friend said it well, “The church is obsessed with completed testimonies.” Thank you for using your platform to be authentic. Our brokenness brings great glory to God as we keep turning to Him in the face of a watching world. I’m praying for you, Sarah.

    • Completed testimonies. How well put. Any time I hear one of those I remind myself that their journey is NOT over if they are alive and speaking.

  23. It does take courage to share this way and you, my friend, are very brave. It says so much about this community that you feel safe here…the trust is thick and beautiful. Thank you for making a path for us–for encouraging us to share this way too.

  24. So well said, Sarah. The Christian community needs to hear this. Thank you for your honesty and authenticity! I will pray for you.

  25. The most wonderful thing about sharing our lives with each other, hopefully in a safe and loving place, is that we can pray for and encourage one another. God is faithful and good all the time. His desire is for the best for each and every one of us and especially for our families. The devil is doing a jig of joy right about now and you have a God that has won the battle and will walk along side of you as you win yours. We will pray for God to restore what the locust has eaten and heal all the brokenness.

  26. I have just discovered that my spouse of 37 years betrayed me. I a trying to decide when to tell friends colleagues etc. It is so hard because of my own hurt. Thanks for your honesty. It gives me hope.

    • Rose, I will be praying for you this week – remember, there isn’t anything the Lord cannot heal, though it may look impossible to you right now. He can bring beauty from ashes, and He will! Keep your eyes on Him!!

  27. Sarah, I will be praying for you and your husband! The enemy comes in to destroy, but we serve an Almighty God. Pursue peace, keep committing your way, your husband, your marriage and your girls to Him! He will bring you through to a marriage that will bring you joy and glory to God.

  28. Thanks Sarah for your honesty! Your earlier post inspired me to speak up about things not being right in my marriage. I am a known “Christian Leader” due to my ministry position which involves mentoring other women, and it has been the hardest thing to have to tell (some of the) people who should be looking up to me for encouragement that everything is not ok. Especially when things are the kind of “not ok” that polite company (let alone church company) doesn’t discuss. My husband isn’t sure about church anymore and he has apparently never been attracted to me and wants to go outside our marriage. People don’t believe me for a start as apparently I am the kind of girl who “turns heads” shall we say, and, we appear perfect on the surface. None the less, walking with a select few people though this round of marriage issues is so much more healing than walking alone as I did previously though my husband’s addiction to pornography and bouts of mental illness.

    I do agree with the commenters here that honesty within the church is becoming more accepted-thanks for going first! 🙂

    I love this tongue in cheek post from Jon Acuff about giving the “gift of going second”.

  29. I don’t have anyone that I can feel completely honest with, to be able to open up so that I can heal (I think we all need someone that we can tell things to that will be kept between you and that trusted person)….I had a Pastor I could talk to who helped me, but the ministry is has taken a new (good!) path and there isn’t time for me…..and the few friends that I have want to fix it not listen, or judge me and I don’t need that I am my own worst judge…I feel no one really listens, so I have stopped talking and I feel like I am drowning in sadness…I live alone 3 of my sons live a little far away and my other son works nights , and my family (siblings, parents) I can’t talk to I am the outcast ( “too into Church”)….I talk to God, but sometimes I feel I don’t even do that right….I just go back to being what people expect me to be and be quiet and not causing any trouble and people are good with that some times I feel that I am insignificant…….sorry to write this, but I do have hope that Jesus will heal my broken heart and my wounded mind……..Thank you for your writings…..Blessings.

  30. Sarah,

    We, as Christians, should love each other imperfections and all! It is time we stopped looking for perfection. Everyone has failed at sometime or other in their lives. None of us is perfect.

    Proud of you for being honest with your community. We need people to confide in and talk to about our day to day struggles!

    Praying for you and your family! God Bless!! 🙂

  31. Sarah,
    Thank you for your honesty. I know how hard that is. I have lived it. My marriage went through crisis about 5 years ago. We were reconciled through much prayer and courage. I, too, thought it was over until a year ago when I realized I carried anger and bitterness toward my husband for what he had done to our family. In the last year I have gone through stress related illness due to this and other complicating factors. BUT GOD….yep, God stepped in and worked in my heart and changes are coming. My marriage is on solid ground and my health is improving. Praise the Lord. I lift you up in prayer as you rise to meet your challenges. Remember, because of Jesus Christ we are more than conquerors. Blessings to you –

  32. I’m so glad you are bringing your struggle into the “light”. The world tells us we need to keep things “Quiet, private… covered up. It will be better that way!” But being transparent means bringing light. And in Him there is no darkness. Thank you for allowing all of us the opportunity to come alongside you in your struggle, to pray for you, to share our own struggles, to encourage each other. It is not near so important where we find ourselves, as what direction we are heading. And God redeems these horrible emotional roller coasters to get us to run to Him! So turn your heart to your Lord, and let Him fill it with His desires for you! And soon those desires will become what you long for, what you live for. And his peace and love and joY will become where you live. You’re struggle is on my heart! And God is using you, and your struggle in big ways for Him. Be Brave:)

  33. Transparency is a very freeing thing Sarah. I spent seven years dealing with seizures and severe depression…and prescription drug addiction. I was able to hide the addiction due to the other issues I dealt with. Once I learned some necessary lessons God was teaching me during that rough time and figured out the purpose He had for me, transparency about the addiction was what completely freed me from it. Now I’m blogging and writing about addiction…among other things ;)…and working on a book. We are all broken, and Jesus—and only Jesus—makes us whole.

  34. I feel like I’m going to forever be stuck in a state of unhappiness…especially what’s currently going on…I posted this on a pray for you string somewhere else, but just realized it was for january 2012…so sorry for the copy/paste…
    I’m going thru a REALLY nasty divorce, which I filed for to begin with last May. I filed, because he was physically abusive to me. I’ve been ridiculed, looked down upon, and judged by fellow Christians because I filed. But honestly, I don’t think Jesus meant for me to be married to someone as such. We have one child together, a daughter. She’s two. Through the whole course of the last year up until now, I’ve tried to make things work, tried to get him to go to counseling, etc – he just replies with “i want it over and done with”. I must make note that he’s a momma’s boy, and she’s been “in charge” ever since we got engaged! She rules the roost, and what she says, he does…and it caused problems in our marriage as well.
    This past Friday was a bad day for me. Work was stressful, but on my 3 hour break in between shifts, my car took a dump on me, and left me stranded on the 4-lane hwy. $250 later, I found out that my main serpentine belt broke off = causing my car to basically fail! As my mom came to my rescue, she also came with bad news. My lawyer had received my ex-to-be’s proposal with the divorce and custody. I had just discussed this with him, maybe two weeks prior, and we both agreed to SHARED custody/placement. The proposal stated that he (or should I state, his mom aka ruler of the roost, and calls the shots) is going for FULL custody, FULL placement, and now whatever visitation I get (which is basically half right now), will be forfeited, and I’ll be able to see her every other weekend…so basically, 6 days in a month, if you figured there’s 4 wknds.
    I can’t even begin to explain all the thoughts that are going through my head right now. My two devotions for last night stated how I should trust in Jesus, and thank him even when I’m going thru dark times as such. But seriously, how can I be thankful, when it feels the very life of me is being torn away from me? How can I thank God for THIS?
    I feel so all alone in this. I cry at night, and most nights don’t even sleep AT ALL. I lie awake all night long, either worrying about the court date, or crying. It’s like no one knows what I’m going thru, how I’m feeling, or what to say to make it feel better. Yes! I realize that Jesus went thru some of the same things….I’ve been told this over and over again by other Christians, who obviously DON’T know what I’m going thru..but just say it, just to make themselves feel better that they at least said “something”…

    I desperately need some prayer….wish I had someone to talk to. There’s my mom, but she’s NOT a Christian! Thanks for listening to me vent…I just feel stuck…with no where to turn but God…but sometimes, and more lately, it doesn’t feel like enough…ya know?

  35. This is such a great post! Thank you so much for writing it. I love your vulnerability. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  36. I do not feel comfortable sharing honestly in my church group. I have lived with a spouse who has severe ADHD and he is in the fourth round of medication and to be honest, I don’t see the current round helping any better than the previous medications.

    Our life has been chaos and I feel isolated. Other things have happened which I won’t get in to, but I recently met a woman from another church who was visiting and completely broke down saying her life was in shambles due her husband’s ADD. Did God send this woman into my life to have someone to share with?

    I pray that I find someone that I can relate to/share one on one in person. Sadly, I have not found the church as a whole to be very comforting.

  37. “We are worried that those that have given us grace in the past will somehow run out and look at us with compassion-less eyes.”

    Yes, Yes, YES! That is EXACTLY how I feel! I want community but I’m terrified of what it will hold for me.