Free shipping on all orders over $75🎄

I sometimes look and don’t recognize her.

She is not who she once was, the woman in this picture. Not even close.  

There are lines where there used to be none. I know so intimately the long war she went through that carved them—forevermore a reminder of the battles hard-fought.  Forevermore a reminder of how she survived.  

RELATED: The Scars Remind Us We Lived Through the Pain

There is bright red lip stain outlining a set of lips that were once too self-conscious to be seen with that much color. It was too much. Now? Bring on the brightest of red. Even better, pair the red lips with all the dresses I love. Dresses that were once avoided because my 5-foot frame did not produce the world’s version of a beautiful set of legs.

But, these legs I was once so ashamed of have carried me.

They have put one foot in front of the other when I didn’t think they could so much as stand. They have not failed me but instead kept walking, walking toward freedom. And goodness, how they love a good dress.

There is a heart hidden beneath the black dress that is scarred but more tender because of the scars. This heart, it is walled off mostly, but when able to be opened, it is opened fully. Without abandon. It is a precious thing, this heart unseen in this woman I never expected to meet. But one I am so glad I did even if the road to finding her nearly killed me.

The woman I once knew didn’t know what she was worth.

She didn’t know how big of a gift love was. She didn’t know that real strength had to almost kill you in order to be unearthed. She didn’t truly know what mattered or what she was capable of.  

RELATED: I’m Learning To Thrive in Who I Am

Now I look at her, and this sometimes barely recognizable woman makes me proud. She is still growing and learning and failing, God knows she is failing.

But I know what she went through to no longer care about the red lips and the dress.

I know what she has been through that allowed her to find the heart that will stand on and fight for the precious gift of love because she knows all too well the abuse that is anything but.

I know what gave her these lines, and I know how she overcame it.

I know that the woman in this picture is more capable than she knows, and I am so glad I met her. 

Originally published on the author’s blog

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our new book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Kalan Krueger

I am a momma to three minions and a very patient dog. A perpetual over-cooker of every single piece of chicken but can bake a mean banana pumpkin chocolate chip bread. I have lived some of life's darkest moments but choose to write about the light that God always provides. You can find me over at

I Hardly Recognize Myself Sometimes

In: Motherhood
black and white photo of mother crying in bathroom

Hi, my name is Kate and I am 36 and I’m having a serious case of lost identity. Or maybe it’s a midlife crisis. Or a little postpartum depression. Or maybe I’m just tired, overweight and mentally drained. Who knows which one. I have three boys, a husband, a home, and a job I love. I am beyond blessed. I have devoted my life to the humans in my life. And again, most days, I am happy to do it. But some days, some weeks, I don’t feel that way. I feel like I have lost myself along the way....

Keep Reading

Dear Younger Me, You’re Going To Love Who You Become

In: Living
Smiling woman in sun

Some days I don’t even recognize the face staring back at me in the mirror. Where did these wrinkles come from? Why are there half-moon circles under my eyes, making me look like a not-so-cute, middle-aged, soccer mom/baseball player? At times, I feel so weary from life’s struggles that I simply cannot believe I am barely 42. Other times, I feel fresh and energetic, enough to stay out until . . . at least 9:30 p.m. on a Friday night (only because I can sleep past the 5:30 alarm clock from each preceding weekday).  Life changes a person. I have...

Keep Reading

To the Woman Who Doubts She Can: Hold On

In: Living
Stressed woman close up

I know someone needs to hear this. I need to hear this. It’s a simple two-word phrase: hold on. You may be sick. You may have lost someone. You may be full of grief and despair and think that it will never get better. It will. RELATED: There Is Not One Face of Depression Count the minutes, and remember you’re still here. Count the hours—you’re still here. Count the days. You’re still here. And while you count, remind yourself why you’re still here. For your child, your husband, your father and mother, your friends. For you. Because when this passes,...

Keep Reading