Elizabeth Esther
About the Author

EE is a mother (of 5, yo!), columnist, blogger, lover of mint milanos. And goats. Also? She thinks silliness is pretty awesome.

(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. My grief is different (lost 3 unborn babies in the last 4 years) but I get what you are saying.

    “And in the silence and darkness, God found me.”

    YES, YES and YES!!! I struggle everyday. When I see a baby (and I have 4 living children, I know I am blessed) and I swear I can feel and smell my babies in heaven and I just want to close my eyes and have it all be okay, fixed. But they cannot come back to me…oh how I wish they could. I do not know how He is going to fix it or when…but yes God is there!

    Wishing you hope, love, joy & peace this season and always.


  2. Is it peculiar to say that although the content of your post was difficult to absorb, it’s beautifully written? You’ve managed to speak this painful story without bitter statements of accusation, to me, an indicator that yes, God is with you in the rubble of life gone mad….

    “I had turned my back on Him, but He never gave up on me. ”

    Perhaps my favorite line of your post; because it characterizes ME…and the charitable, generous way God refuses to let me go.

  3. I cannot even imagine what his betrayal cost you. Your family. In seasons of such heaviness, we do well to remember to just breathe in. Breathe out.

    The evil one, and the world, would have us define ourselves, our worth, by our circumstances. But, Praise God, that He has declared our identity: incalculable worth! And the Lover of our Souls, our Warrior/Defender, will continue to declare His delight in us until we can hear Him, believe Him.

    By simply telling your story and declaring His Faithfulness, the darkness is dispelled. And He is glorified by the words of your testimony! Not to mention the incredible encouragement your faith is to everyone who hears.

    He. Is. Enough.

    • I have walked the road of profound betrayal and duplicity – It is so painful, disorienting and confusing. I’m so very sorry.

  4. EE
    Very well said. It’s a good thing we have such a God. I like the way you put it…”God of the rubble”.
    I too, feel the struggle.

    Thank you God…you NEVER let go!

  5. EE,

    Wow what a story!! I can’t begin to think what this betrayal cost you & the family.

    Thank you for telling your story with out any animosity & declaring His true faith & love for us.

    We all have seasons in our lives when we turn our backs on Him, but He never gives up on us. Thank God for that!!

  6. Christmas is hard for me too. My Grandma died just before Christmas. Also, had our little one come into the world we would have been celebrating a fourth birthday this month. Sometimes what God takes away seems hard to understand. What you’ve found, what my heart has come to know too, is that Christmas is a reminder of all He gives back–and all the ways He promises to restore what seems to us to have been lost. Thank you for saying these hard words, for sharing the hurt and the glory here with us.

    • It moves me to be able to call you both friends. What we all have in common is that Jesus found each of us in the rubble. And picked us up, cleaned us, lovingly restored us. And to look at you both now? My heart aches from all that beauty.

  7. “Sometimes the only way to grieve is in silence.” Time, time, and time after time God has met me in the silence. Sweet-Sweet time, for sure. Thank you for not keeping this post in the silence, EE. Someone will read this, and it will give them courage to share their words of silence. 🙂

  8. As I was reading your heart on this page, Michael W. Smith’s version of “All Is Well” came on the radio. In our world, it may not be so. But it will be well one day. It will all be well.

    Thanks for sharing so transparently.

  9. God is here…in the brokenness.
    What a powerful truth. I cannot imagine what you’ve been through. Thank you for sharing that those of us who are broken can be reminded of Gods “present help”. Praying for you!

  10. God in the rubble. So true. What struck me from your post is how brave you are. The things that have caused me the most deep pain are the things hardest to bring to light, in my own heart, and even more so in the public light. I have only touched on it in my own writing. You are brave to face your grief and even braver to share it with us.

    In doing so, you show us that there are some aspects of pain that are universal. I suspect every reader felt, like I did, known and understood in some way by your openness, just as you invited us to know and understand you. What a gift to give in the season of giving.

    I was in a prayer session once. During the prayer, I was overcome by a sense of shame. I couldn’t articulate a reason for it, but it was so powerful that I didn’t think I could stand it. Just as I was about to bolt for the door, a gentle inner voice said lovingly, “It is not yours.” Tears started streaming down my face. So many of us carry hidden, debilitating shame in our spirits. We can’t even speak it. But by going to God in the rubble, you showed us that we can carry this shame to the Lord, who will take it from us and say with unconditional love, “It is not yours.”

  11. i can’t even imagine the horror of the betrayal you must of felt…compounded by being in your family…and evidently not being discussed much with you in terms of how this related to what they had taught you up to that point re your faith.
    isn’t it great that God is able to step out of all the boxes we humans try to put Him into? maybe that’s why HE is GOD:)

  12. I have dealt with betrayal and deceit in a church, but it was underlying and never uncovered, and it definitely was not my family. Dealing with the pain for us was very diffficult, I cannot imagine doing so with it being family. We must realize that God is always holy and that it is people who corrupt His reputation. But it only does so if we allow it. May we always remember that He is there for us, even when people fail us.

  13. I really resonated with this phrase, “I simply live inside the brokenness”. The older I get, and the more trials I experience, the more fully I too find peace living inside the brokenness. Brokenness of a life that never lives up to my own expectations, a life that is rich in the little things but sometimes feels empty of important things, and life of radiant belief living alongside of crippling doubt. Life is not simple, but God is simply Love. You are courageous for sharing this, and for living out a faith that has looked doubt in the face and triumphed.

  14. This is an amazingly courageous, beautifully written post. I feel that when we share our pain, release happens. God is CERTAINLY with you. Pinky

  15. Wow. Thanks so much for sharing your story. It resonated with me on so many levels. I am grateful you chose to be honest, and thankful that incourage gave you the platform to share such a courageous and beautifully-written post. God IS in the rubble, and it’s so comforting to know that He will never, ever give up on us.

  16. Thank you for this post, it is beautiful.

    Our cult leaving took place in the month of October, but for many years Christmas was hard for all of us as it was a *big* deal in the community and we missed it tremendously. Being alone on those first few Christmases reminded us of all the friends we had lost, and the betrayals, and the feeling that we were just adrift in the world. So sad. 🙁

    I hope for you that every year to come, the grief will hit you less and less, until it is just a memory, without the pain.

  17. Esther, I didn’t know this as part of your story. Mine is similar – the fallen pastor was my father. It was a huge betrayal and it rocked my world and my faith. I understand how big that grief is, and how much it can shake your foundation. Yes, God is in the rubble.

  18. This year it was my 13th anniversary of leaving everyone and everything I knew, and although our situations are different in part, I can say (this much farther down the road) that the grief does get smaller. Someone described pain of this level to me once as a gaping wound. At first it’s bloody and messy and incredibly painful, but slowly, slowly it heals… however, you never heal just like you were before, there is always a scar there, to remind you.
    Of all of the names of Jesus, my favourite is Emmanual – God with us. In the brokenness, grief, pain and loss, He is God with us.

  19. Hi Elizabeth! This is the first time I’ve heard your story… and I feel so blessed for hearing it… straight from your heart, told with faith. Why else and how else?… Your faith is shining bright and warming my heart.

  20. Praying for you- thanks for your candor. It is so important for religious people to be humble- it is pride that makes them think they are above God’s ‘rules’