Michelle Stiffler
About the Author

Michelle is the trauma specialist and content writer for a Phoenix non-profit that addresses the holistic and relational needs of women in poverty and crisis. She’s a fitness enthusiast, rogue chef, amateur poet, and a big fan of bike rides at sunrise. Her biggest joy and adventures include her husband...

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

Reader Interactions


  1. OH! You set an alarm to watch the sunset!!
    That alone gives me so much hope for your daughter! Thank you for finding the gorgeous sunset hues in what must have been a grey season.
    And thank you for sharing the story of it here on a windy Saturday.

    • You bet I do! Creation keeps me grounded and alarms keep me awake to the Creator’s surrounding presence. I need those reminders all the time!
      Thx for reading and reaching out, Michele!

  2. Praying for your daughter and for you & your family. Raising a tween boy (me) is difficult enough to navigate as a parent in the society our kids are growing up in. I have two girls under 10 to follow so the years ahead will be interesting to say the least! The only hope I have, that we all have is putting them in Gods hands and ourselves also through prayer. May God work in your daughter life and heart and that she will see of herself the truly wonderful person she is…after all she is his masterpiece. Thank you for sharing and giving inspiration here x

    • You’re exactly right, Jas – prayer. Always. The Father knows His children and we can entrust them to Him. He’s been doing amazing work in my daughter’s life (and in my life!) and I’m thankful. Thx for connecting!

  3. Oh this touched me—with tears I loved your story—because I can soooo relate! I have a beautiful 16 year old daughter and watching her grow, change and seeing choices/decisions change within her so frequently is so tough. I instantly cried when I read your daughter asking you to carry her! What joy that must’ve been to hear that! I ache when I think of the things our daughters endure, see, hear throughout a day and they often choose to or have to mentally process it and work through it—often never even sharing one bit of that with us as mothers. Thank you for the scripture that reminds of the burdens we don’t have to carry….but oh the love we have for our beautiful daughters!

    Blessings and prayers for you and your daughter. It’s a beautiful, painful, kindred relationship!

    • I sooo understand and know our God is faithful! He delivered my three to have faith filled spouses and now 11 grandkids to show the world! Never ever stop praying and playing

    • So true, Andree! Our children face so much in a short day, and although my son has his daily opposition, my girls seem to question themselves even more. Very thankful we women have a filling place like Incourage, where we can remind each other to hold hope, hold true, and hold on! Great example for the growing girls who are watching our responses and composure. Thx for reading and for your prayers!

  4. I loved every detail of your story! I wish I knew how you got her to open up to you about her “secrets”. My relationship with my 17 year old son has been getting better but I have been unable to get him to let his guard down and truly share what it on his heart. I may never know what troubles him and as long as he’s talking to God I know he’ll be fine. I just wish he felt the same freedom your daughter now has by no longer hiding her battles from you. Praying for all of our children …. that they may move through this dark period of adolescence with the freedom that comes from God’s love and grace!

    • Monty, thank you! Secrets are work for the Holy Spirit, honestly. The best I can do as a human and parent is listen, love, speak truth, and extend grace – sparks of Light for dark places. Continue praying, observing, and if possible, build relationships with your children’s friends and their families. I’ve found those relationships to be essential.

  5. May God bless your daughter and your family with hope and peace during this time. Praying your daughter feels the presence of Jesus and knows that she is one of a kind, beautiful, loved, and never alone. May she hold onto the truth that Jesus died so she may live a rich and satisfying life. You all are never alone. Blessings and love to you both ❤️

    • Much appreciated, Stephanie. We have certainly felt His presence, as has my brave girl who’s facing her battles with dignity and grit. She’s come a long way, by God’s grace! Thanks for reaching out today.

  6. “Jesus, protect her from herself.” “Carry her and us.” Michelle, this is beautiful, honest, and from the heart. I am praying these prayers for my 20 year old son, we’ve been in the valley a long time now and I ache to leave it but may have to content myself with looking up. Thank you for your words that resonate today.

    • Kerry, I’m so glad these words resonated with you today. Honest, from the heart prayers usually sound like a whisper, don’t they? Keep looking up and keep enduring in heart whisper prayers. We have a God Who hears them all. Peace to you.

      • You are most welcome for the prayers. I wish I could share with you the experience I had when I went out to view the sunset and pray for you. I took some pictures and was just amazed at what God did. We’d had an overcast day, so the sky was a bit different than usual. There was not much to see to the west, to the north and the south, however, there were quite a few storm clouds that were tinged pink. But in the few minutes leading up to the exact time of sunset, a cloud was taking shape directly in front of me to the west. At exactly the moment of sunset, which was 6:47 p.m., I was looking at a pink heart-shaped cloud! It just looked and felt like God sent confirmation of His love for you and your family!!! If there is a way to show you photos, I will. I am continuing to pray.

          • Hi, Michelle. How are you? I have continued to pray over your family. Today I posted a new blog on my website along with the picture I had mentioned to you (the pink heart cloud that God sent at the moment of sunset, when I prayed for you the day I first read your post). If you would like to see the picture, it is at https://franceestrain.com in the article called “A Change of Heart.”


  7. I have made it through a lifetime with problems and am “ old” as my 7 year old grandson pointed out. My daughters who are grown are at the age when I first was diagnosed. I pray the Lord spares them of the affliction. But if not, I will be here to answer any questions and support, love, and just listen. And turn to God and pray, every day. Bless you for your honesty and
    Psalm 39: 5-7 is a beautiful scripture I will hold close to my heart.
    And I would “carry them also” 🙂

    • Yes, Kelly – we pray God spares, ‘but if not’… If not, we still trust, we still hope, we still find He is there. Keep loving and listening, because that is the carrying work. Thanks for sharing.

  8. Good relationships are so needed … Godly relationships between a mother & a daughter are so miraculous! Thanks Michelle for being a mom carried by our faithful Savior and led into His glory – both outside in His Creation and inside your hearts and home. Moms, keep up the hard work, never give up, never give in, always give more. You know it’s worth it … because His Hope never disappoints. I pray for many good alarms to be set. The church and the world needs you all!

  9. Michelle,

    Praying for you & your family. I thank God your daughter felt safe enough to talk with you about her problems. Raising children in this world is super hard these days. It seems there is more out there to harm them both emotionally & physically. The best a parent can do is pray & pray hard for their kids & hope for the best. More people need to set alarms to see God’s greatness. We rush through life so fast that we miss His love & splendor. We ALL need to slow down daily to notice the sunrises & sunsets. God’s gift of glory & color. Take time out of your busy day to just be still & acknowledge Him & His presence.

    Blessings 🙂

  10. Michelle,
    This was such a beautiful thing to read. I don’t always get to read the (in)courage emails as I sort through my overwhelming inbox, but this morning I am so grateful I opened this one with your writing. I so related to your description of your teen daughter becoming a different person and how the creative, nature-loving, fun-loving girl was still in there. It is so difficult trying to break into their world and to get them to open up. I praise God your daughter shared with you what was going on.

    Thankful our Heavenly Father loves them more than we ever could -which seems impossible, doesn’t it? Thank you for sharing.

    • Well, I’m so grateful, too! And I agree – a Mom enters a completely new season when a daughter loses touch with herself. Lord, please help us moms in our own transitions. May we model health, sincerity, and grace with ourselves. Thanks for commenting, Jenn!