About the Author

Emily T. Wierenga is an award-winning journalist, blogger, commissioned artist and columnist, and the author of six books including the new memoir "Making It Home: Finding My Way to Peace, Identity and Purpose" (Baker Books, 2015). Proceeds from Emily’s books benefit her non-profit, The Lulu Tree. She lives in Alberta,...

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  1. This is so very touching. I have a friend that survived an aneurysm and all her natural inhibitions vanished. It completely rejuvenated her marriage. What I’m struck with is the length of time that your mother was sick and then recovered. Eight years! I would call that a bonafide miracle. But you already know that.

  2. It strikes me as such a paradox how sometimes we have to go through the ugliness of this world (i.e. cancer), but through this, we find ourselves surrounded by moments of beauty that perhaps would not have risen any other way. And this, it seems, is God’s grace.

    • SO, so true Jen… Yes. God’s grace. I really appreciate you finding this post and commenting on it even though the link was incorrect. You are a good friend! xo

  3. I can so identify with this, “but I was too hungry for love to be fed by religion.” The choices I made when I was young, in college, all came from this. I am so thankful for God’s love and grace.

  4. There’s always such redemption in your stories, Emily. Thank you for sharing this one. It’s wonderful to see you here sharing your message of hope! XO

  5. I found out that anything is beautiful as long as you are happy. Some tell me fat is bad, but it isn’t. When you cannot gain weight, and bones stick out everywhere and your husband asks why.
    I’m glad your mum recovered. It must have been hard. It’s important to hug those you love. A hug is a very important part of everyday life. Glad your mum finally told you you are beautiful.

  6. Thanks for these touching words. I love hearing about that plaque your mom put up :).
    “And in the face of death, life – no matter its size or shape or details – becomes excruciatingly stunning.” So true. Much love Emily….

  7. Emily, I am so encouraged, so emboldened to see this day with new eyes. I am so grateful you write down your life, in these glimpses. They stay with me. Oh, you as a teenager, your leaning over your mom . . .and her swimming! Just glorious.

    • this makes me teary-eyed Michelle. I love my mum so much, and am grateful to be able to share her story with you. Love you friend. e.

  8. This story gives me chillbumps, Emily. How good God is to give such redemption. I’m so grateful your mum is doing well and that you are healthy and fed by the bread that never leaves one hungry. Love to you, lady.

  9. Emily,
    I’ve been following your blog 2 months ago. You were featured on Holly Gert blog’s. I enjoy your writing a lot. I’ve been bless and encourage every time I open your site.

    Thank you for being honest while sharing your personal life. Your mom testimony is uplifting.

  10. Crying. I’m so glad she tells you how beautiful you are. I’m so glad for the lost-and-found hugs. I’m glad for her glorious return to life and I’m glad that you are well and speaking to those who need you. This post made me glad all over – that’s why I’m crying. Grace does that.

  11. Truthful beauty. As a 15-year cancer survivor I so get this and nod my head a huge “yes” to miracles and being vulnerable~ swimsuit and all.

  12. dear ember,
    it is SO good to think back and thank God for the way He brings us through each struggle and lack, meeting our needs and showing us how to open up our hearts to each other.

    I love picturing Mom’s joy and freedom during August’s family vacation; I’m pretty sure she was in her element, with her hubby, kiddos & grand-kids around! 🙂 I’m looking forward to getting some more sister-time with you & Mer later this year!! woot!

    Thank you for caring for her (and us) the way you did and do, and for your hugs 🙂 Words & touch are powerful.

    P.S. I still remember you saying, “Hey, beautiful!” to me when I was in grade 8 or 9! That meant a LOT! Precious words.. gracias!

  13. Such an amazing story, Em. It’s so wild the way God works–and this? How He used your moms illness to heal a whole family? It’s amazing and beautiful–and so like God to be so generous. Mi am so thankful for your willingness to tell the stories. Love you.

  14. oh my, thank you for sharing your history. I have to wake my kids for school, but I must simply say. You are a Blessing to me through revealing your history and all the ugly behind the beautiful mask that you wore every day. And may I say, “Bravo, for acting out, for creaming in your way that you need… That you were not ok”
    My almost 6 year old is strong willed, steel willed is more accurate, she acts out when she can’t say “I need help and I don’t even know why”
    Blessings. TYJ 🙂 GIG

  15. My mom had a brain tumor removed about 6 years ago. It was the size of a golf-ball. They said it’d been there growing, maybe 10 years – and it explained so much – and I was able to let so much go. Now, six years later, she’s happier, copes better – believes Him better. Sometimes forgiveness is only given – never taken – just stops cold in the giving. I like what you said, “no amount of anything mattered for the way she suddenly did” – the forgiveness received and restoration growing –