By His Grace
Ronne Rock: Church Hurt

Ronne Rock: Church Hurt

Ronne Rock and I have a far-reaching conversation about church hurt and the love of the body of Christ. She believes that you are hand-crafted by God for a life that is rich and vibrant and filled with stories. She travels the world to find hope and restoration in the midst of brokenness, and she invests in the lives of women to provide encouragement and wisdom for faith’s journeys. 

Connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or on her website at

Unexpected Events

Unexpected Events

We all face trials in life, some big ones, some small ones, and others that require a healthy dose of longsuffering. Today I welcome my friend Karen Smith to the blog. Karen has faced many difficult struggles in her life and has put her faith and trust in God to see her through her darkest days. Nothing is wasted in God’s Kingdom economy. Please welcome Karen Smith to the blog today.

Unexpected Events

By Karen Smith

Unexpected events sometimes happen in our lives.  We are caught off guard. I don’t know about you, but when unexpected events occur, I often feel that I am not emotionally prepared to handle such circumstances.  Sometimes my eyes leak tears, or sometimes my mouth spills not lovely words. Other times, I’m left speechless.

As I shared with you, I had an unexpected event that brought many tears to my eyes.  I had a 9-year-old and an 11-year-old. The diaper days were completed and the baby items sold.  Until….the unexpected pregnancy came and brought much surprise into my life. I had been sick and couldn’t seem to shake the sickness, or so I thought.   Then one evening we walked into a fast food restaurant and that all too familiar morning sickness hit my stomach with a vengeance. The stop at the store for a pregnancy test soon confirmed my suspicions–my illness wasn’t a virus; it was a baby.  Not just any baby, but an unwanted baby! What made matters worse was I had a friend that had been unsuccessful at conceiving a new baby, and now I was pregnant with one I didn’t think I wanted. The tears began to flow. For two weeks, I cried almost non stop before the realization that life would go on began to settle in.  

Unexpected events can bring sadness into our lives and cause tears to spill from our eyes. Click To Tweet

A few years ago, my husband’s health had been declining.  He had been on short term disability as he was recovering from a difficult chemo season.  He was preparing to go back to his job as a physicist. As he was getting ready for his first day back at work, he took a fall in the bathroom.  It was soon evident to me that he had a leg that would not hold any weight. A trip to the ER was in his future, and not the day at work he had planned.  It didn’t take long for us to discover he had a broken hip. This season of chemo recovery, a broken hip, and ALL three of my children came down with head lice I was not prepared for this season of unexpected events.  Yes, some tears leaked from my eyes, but more than tears were the ugly words that raged out of my mouth.

Where was God?

Was He even looking at me?

How much more did He think I could handle?

I think there were many words that I shall not repeat as well. My son stated it so eloquently one night, “Mom, I’ve heard you say more curse words in the last few weeks than I have heard you say in your entire life.”  Unexpected events can illicit undesirable actions!

A few months ago, I had a doctor insist that I attend an eating disorder treatment center.  In a week and a half, my life went from what I thought was reasonable to unraveled. It felt like I was walking in a cloud.  Everything was moving forward, but I was oblivious to its movement. The paperwork, the medical tests, the saying goodbye to my family, the arrival at a treatment center were all a blur.  Even though I was the primary participant in all these events, it did not seem real. Two weeks into treatment, I begin to start to feel again. I remember scratching my head thinking how in the world did I get here?  How did I agree to this? Unexpected events can paralyze us and make us a spectator to our own life.

We all have stories.  Every single one of you could take different situations and plug them into mine.  Unexpected events that have left you with tears or questions and not lovely words or situations that have caused you to be a spectator to your own life.  

Your stories are different, but the result is the same.

The more experience I have, the more I am learning to do three things that help me walk through unexpected events better.  When I can remember to do these three things, it allows me to have a much different response to unexpected events.

  1. Remember God’s faithfulness in the past.  When circumstances steal my joy, recalling the times in my life that God has been present and carried me through help bring a calm assurance into my heart.  It brings confidence that God hasn’t left me in the past and He will not leave me in the future. Our God is steadfast in love and faithfulness. Psalms 86:15 states,  “But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.”


  1. Sing loudly.  Go ahead and laugh now, but I mean it.  Sing His praises. My God is a big God and is worthy of praise.  No unexpected event is bigger than God! So go ahead and sing loudly about our awesome God.  For real, He determines the number of stars and gives them a name so He surely can handle my unexpected storm. “He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names. Great is our Lord, and abundant in power; his understanding is beyond measure.”  Psalm 147:4-5


  1. Hold hands with a friend.  This number three is harder for me than number one and two.  I am a do it by yourself kind of girl. I like to hold my struggles close, not allowing others to enter into my world.  However, Scripture says in Galatians 6:2, “Bear one another’s burden and so fulfill the law of Christ.” Allowing others to enter our world encourages us to keep going.  Allowing others to hold our hands gives us the security to face unexpected events. Hold hands with a friend, let a friend bear your burden.


When unexpected events come raging into your life, I challenge you to remember to claim God’s faithfulness, sing loud and hold hands with a friend.  These three things will surely help you navigate the next unexpected season.


Karen lives in Huntsville, Alabama with her husband and three (20, 18 and 9-year-old) children.  She has served as Preschool and Children’s Minister and Women’s Ministry Leader.  When her older children were younger she directed a MOPS group.  She has also taught 2nd grade at Freedom Project Academy.  

Currently, she homeschools her youngest as well as caregiving to her husband.  Karen’s husband suffers from a debilitating disease known as Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Karen loves to minister to women in crisis.  She spends many hours in hospitals alongside those who need to know they are seen and loved. Karen speaks at Women’s Conferences and has a passion to help women learn to connect with one another.  She has come to understand that much of aloneness in life is not someone else’s fault, rather it’s each’s own inability to receive.  She also teaches women that in their brokenness, they are not disqualified from serving God and others.  In fact, in the middle of brokenness she teaches women the secrets of what she has learned in order that they may live life with more love, grace, and gratitude in the middle of brokenness.

Karen regularly shares glimpses of their faith and struggles with others, via her blog.  She has encountered what it means to be stripped of everything that seems normal to her all the way down to what she puts in her mouth.  But after being stripped down, she sees how God is using some of the darkest places in her life to comfort others in their darkest moments!  

Karen blogs at

You can find Karen online:


Unexpected things may take us by surprise by God is never caught off guard. He has a plan for our lives, and it is a good one. We can trust him with the unexpected events in our lives. I sure enjoyed this post by Karen Smith today, and I hope you did too!

I have some exciting news to share with you today!

Karen Smith and I are both contributors to a ministry called A Wife Like Me  We wrote a book to address the need for wives wanting to grow deeper in connection with their husbands. The book is called Dear Wife and it comes out May 1st, but is available now for pre-order on Amazon at Dear Wife Book.

Dear Wife provides you with twenty-six heart changing invitations to discover how Christ desires connection with you and how through connection with Christ, you’ll develop a deeper connection with your husband. In this book, you will: Replace boring and busy with building deep intimacy and love, Swap ongoing complacency with an intentional connection, Spend guided alone time with your husband and God, Experience more depth in your marriage relationship, Restore and build a connection with God and with your husband. For more information visit Dear Wife Book.

Thanks so much for joining us here today! Remember, you are never alone in your struggle, and God is always there to see you through!

Much Love,



Misty Phillip

Karen Smith: Unexpected Struggles

Karen Smith: Unexpected Struggles

When Karen unexpectedly becomes pregnant, she didn’t respond with the typical joyful response you might expect. Listen to find out how God used this unexpected blessing in her life.

Karen lives in Alabama with her husband and three (20, 18 and 9-year-old) children. Currently, she homeschools her youngest as well as caregiving to her husband.  Karen’s husband suffers from a debilitating disease known as Primary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. She also teaches women that in their brokenness, they are not disqualified from serving God and others.  In fact, in the middle of brokenness, she teaches women the secrets of what she has learned in order that they may live life with more love, grace, and gratitude in the middle of brokenness.

Karen blogs at

For more information about the Dear Wife book


Staying Awake – Rachel Bruno

Staying Awake – Rachel Bruno

Sometimes in life, we are going along just fine, and then out of nowhere, our world is turned upside! It may be a phone call, a job loss, an illness or any number of things can derail us. It is during those times that our faith in God is the lifeline that can sustain us and see us through. My guest today Rachel Bruno life was completely turned upside down when her baby suffered a head injury from her nanny, and the story that unfolded is truly unbelievable. You will definitely want to listen to Episode 12: Rachel Bruno – When Your World is Turned Upside Down.  Today Rachel shares encouragement about staying spiritual awake. Please welcome Rachel Bruno to By His Grace today.

Staying Awake

by Rachel Bruno

Shortly before his last Passover meal with his disciples, Jesus taught his disciples about his second coming (Mark 13). Then he warns them three times in the next five verses to “stay awake” since they couldn’t know when Jesus would return (vv 33-37).  He concludes with the direct, “And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.” Think he’s trying to tell us something?

Then Jesus returned to the disciples and found them sleeping. “Were you not able to keep watch with Me for one hour?” He asked Peter. “Watch and pray so that you will not enter into temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.” Matthew 26:40-41

Luke 22:45 says they fell asleep “out of sheer sorrow”, not because it was late and they were tired after a long day, not even because of the wine they’d drunk at the supper. They fell asleep because they were disconsolate, disappointed, confused, depressed. And, because of that sleep, they missed the lesson they were supposed to learn from watching Jesus in his prayer.

I can truly relate to the disciples right now, as 2018 ended on a very disappointing note for me. I’m writing this devotional to myself. Many of you know the legal (mostly spiritual) battle that has engrossed my life for the past 3 years. It was all supposed to come to a glorious end at trial in 2019, with justice being served. After 18 months of preparing for trial, my husband and I ultimately decided to settle the case out of court. I won’t get in to all the legal mumbo jumbo that led to our decision, but I will say it was not the “desire of my flesh” and I did it purely out of obedience to God. Over the next few days after our decision, including Christmas Day, I couldn’t cast off the feeling of utter failure, disappointment, confusion, and depression much like the disciples after Jesus prophesied about His death.

Mark captures the failure of the disciples to hear and obey Jesus’ teaching to stay awake. Click To Tweet

Mark captures the failure of the disciples to hear and obey Jesus’ teaching to stay awake. Of course, Jesus was talking about more than just avoiding falling asleep while we pray. He was giving instruction about our spiritual awareness. With the repetitive command to stay awake, Jesus spoke to all his disciples throughout the ages about the need to remain alert. We fall asleep out of sorrow whenever we become so confused and overwhelmed by some kind of disappointment that we begin to act out of hostility rather than love, paranoia rather than trust, despair rather than hope. We fall asleep out of sorrow whenever we sell short what’s highest in us because of the bitterness of the moment.

So what have I learned through all this? Jesus’ passionate praying before his betrayal prepared him to receive God’s will—even in suffering and death—with power and grace.  If I am to stay awake in the midst of a world in spiritual numbness, then I need to be diligent in prayer. Also, as shown in the Garden of Gethsemane, the intrinsic connection between suffering and transformation and the necessity, in that process, of being willing to carry tension, disappointment, and unfairness without giving into despair. Okay. So, now, I will stop venting and start praying because I don’t need sympathy, I need strength. My new year’s resolution for 2019 is to stay awake.

Thanks so much for joining us today! I have some exciting things in the works that I can’t wait to share with you! Make sure you sign up to receive the latest!

Much Love,


Misty Phillip

Rachel Bruno: When Your World is Turned Upside Down

Rachel Bruno: When Your World is Turned Upside Down

Rachel Bruno: When Your World is Turned Upside Down

Rachel Bruno is a wife and mother of two young boys. Everything seemed to be going according to plan until the unimaginable happened. Her calling is to educate, and edify others who may be experiencing what seems like a hopeless situation, yet someway, against all odds, God always shows up.


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