About the Author

A three-time tongue cancer survivor and mama of children from “hard places," Michele Cushatt is a (reluctant) expert on pain, trauma and the deep human need for connection. Her most recent book, "Relentless: The Unshakeable Presence of a God Who Never Leaves", wrestles with the dogged presence and affection of...

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  1. Love this…. and would love this book for the ‘villians’ that have entered my life and the silly fantasy that I too had of being the ‘perfect’ wife and mother.. who was I fooling ;-)! God bless you ~

  2. Yes, I had a fairytale idea about love and marriage. It has been a long and hard road, but then I realized Jesus has always been there.

    • Oh, me too, my friend. Me too. And the fairytale mentality almost robbed me of the gift my marriage actually was. Thank heavens, God saved me from myself.

  3. This struck me “A God for me. With me. Close enough to touch. He knew a day would come when I’d need more than cliches, cute stories, and neatly packaged feelings.” Amen. He is Good and He is Love. Isn’t it good that He doesn’t share our whole story with us but enables us to have a remembrance of His goodness in the past so we can trust Him for the future.

    Thank you for sharing a bit of your story and also for the giveaway.

  4. I can identify with the confusion of growing up BUT when I asked for God’s presence in my life he was always there with his loving, peaceful arms. Simply amazing

  5. 🙂 I can relate to very real experiences with Jesus- He pushed me on my swingset around the age of 5 {many decades ago}…He is so real and so precious to hearts young and old alike!!

  6. to see my need for presence over perfection- what a powerful statement!

  7. I sometimes want the fairy tale life and especially when I am doing what I feel God wants me to and where He has placed me. But then something happens that was s to tear away my faith and peace and makes me question my ministry. I am struggling with a hurt from someone who we have called friend and helped numerous occasions. Now she hurts those who have supported and I’m crying out to God that it isn’t fair and I am so trying to cling to His grace and mercy.

  8. I loved this:

    I kept holding out for my happy ending, but missed the fact that I’d already received it.

    A hero who pushed past my fear with the reassurance of His very real presence.

    Jesus is the hero of our story.

  9. I would love this! To have peace everyday and less perfection and striving. I need rest with this. I need to rest in Him. I’d love to read this!

  10. Thank you, I had my first “God Moment” that I remember in similar situation. I love how He hears little children

  11. Peace isn’t a payout at the end… I love that thought. Can’t wait to read this book.

  12. God has given me moments of being able to sense that something is going to happen. It starts out as an overwhelmingly, uneasy feeling, then at some point, not always immediately after my feeling, something will happen, and then, all is well. I don’t always remember the details, but the feeling of premonition” stays behind. On reflection afterwards, I’m left with a sense of peace, a feeling that I was being protected. The outcome of these experiences turn out fine, but it could’ve been otherwise. It is on these occasions that I feel God’s presence physically in my life and there is no better experience than this for me!

  13. You have caught my interest, I would enjoy reading the rest of your story.

  14. I’ve heard this book recommended several places! And I’m sure I could learn from it as I feel I really need to surrender my dreams to the dreams God has for me!

  15. This book sounds so good! I love reading about God working in our lives!! Memoirs have become my favorite!! Blessings to you!

    Tori

  16. I love hearing how that simple desire of a 5 year old was answered and it helped her see God as real. I also love that she mentions that it doesn’t always work that way, but that we can hold on to the times it does.

  17. Going through a hard pregnancy and having the reality that so much of our life is out of our control. Truly learning to surrender and trust. Praying to find comfort in His presence, despite circumstances, as she did.

  18. I’ve been wanting to read this book! I love the excerpt shared here. One of my favorite verses is Job 42:5 “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” I’ve seen evidence of His love even when I couldn’t understand His hand. I would love to win this book! I’m also a fan of Michael Hyatt. I love the podcast videos Michelle does with him. 🙂

  19. So beautifully written. I loved the true story of how God answered your five-year-old prayer. I thought it was so neat that you were able to know to pray specifically even at that age. And I don’t really think it was a selfish prayer — after all, you wanted to be able to apologize. That was an honorable desire — and God honored that prayer.

  20. This book sounds really good – I really like the part about praying as a five year old and realizing that God was there – such a good reminder that God is in everything.

  21. I can identify with the confusion of growing up, Sounds like a wonderful book I need to read!

  22. “I kept holding out for my happy ending, but missed the fact that I’d already received it.” Oh what a heart – changing / life – changing statement!

  23. oh my goodness! I remember the same feeling of being so very thankful that God had revealed himself to me and nurtured me so that I my trust in Him would be natural when I had cancer. Even when my cancer recurred, I knew that God had a plan and that HE would never leave me, cancer or no cancer. What a blessing that God cares enough about us to give us what we need YEARS before we need it!
    Love your heart! Thank you for sharing!

  24. Love and resonate with her discovery that God’s presence meets us even and especially in the unexpected circumstances.

  25. What I found to be the most powerful at this moment was when she said: “All it took was the presence of Jesus for terror and tension to flee. Not a change in circumstances. Not a reassurance of how the rest of the story would play out. Not even a solid answer to the question of why.” The only thing the disciples needed at that confusing, unexpected, heartbreaking, frustrating, irritating, etc moment was Jesus’ presence. That made it all go away. And then look at what they did for Christ!! I want to be at a point where with so much confusion and fear and stress and heartbreak — the presence of Jesus will be enough. I desperately want to be like those disciples.

  26. I am learning the peace of just being with God and letting Him speak to me through every situation.

  27. I am learning that his presence is more important than my circumstances, because all though they may not change, he has promised to never leave or forsake me in them and that gives me so much peace. I would love to read this book, after several years of my life becoming undone, it seems like the perfect read for me.

  28. “A hero who pushed past my fear with the reassurance of His very real presence.”This is so amazing every time it happens.

  29. “even fairy tales have villains and hardships and unexpected twists in plot.” Something that I forget all too often. And a reminder I needed this morning!

  30. Her story and the touch that God provided is a reminder that He is ever present in our waking and sleeping. Giving it to God is a every day challenge and one that he willing offers to us each and every day to join Him.

  31. For so long, I believed (and still fight the belief) that peace is a by-product of control, just like the author states. Whenever something happened that I couldn’t control, I immediately lost peace and then I would do the craziest things to obtain control in order to obtain a sense of peace again. This book sounds like it could be very eye opening to me.

  32. Peace is the infiltrating, life-giving presence of a very real God. One who loves nothing more than to step into the middle of darkened rooms and impossible circumstances, close enough to touch.
    Such a breathtaking message. Having darkened moments, God is there with me(you)! Need to always realize that, instead of the opposite. Thank you for sharing, God Bless

  33. Thank you for the reminder that we don’t have to continue looking for a hero! It’s funny how as we grow, we hold tonight to that idea of happily-ever-after and search for the fairytale life, but we struggle to let our child-like faith be enough. In reality, they should go hand in hand.

  34. My daughter is given to temper tantrums, and I choked back tears as I read of the emotional battle that sent you crying to Jesus. Many times I have stood outside her door, heartbroken, as she slams the door, locks me out, and sits alone in the dark. Her cries are silent, but I know now that they happen. And in the midst of white-hot tears no one will ever see or hear, she too is drawn to Jesus. Sometimes it take a minute, sometimes an hour, sometimes several hours – but she always emerges with an an apology. I know that it is in these moments that God is becoming real to her, and Jesus is rescuing her from sin and shame and doubt. And He is doing the same for me.

  35. What I identify with is the fairy tale or fantasy life that I imagined when I was first married and then had children. Real life is no fairy tale,it’s hard work to be married and raise children! Would love to read more! Thank you for the opportunity to win!

  36. In all the trials and tribulations, she knows God’s love is real. I have heard so much amazing things about this author and would really like to read this book.

  37. “Peace isn’t a byproduct of control, the payout of a happy conclusion. Peace is the infiltrating, life-giving presence of a very real God.” Yes!! Love this!

  38. I am convinced of God’s presence in my life every time people tell me how patient I am with my children, or how “laid back” I am. This can only be God’s presence, covering me with what I need. I am convinced God has met me where and when my faith shook the most (the death of my baby, a diagnosis of a percentage of a chance of living), giving me hope for a future of walking with him.

  39. “Peace isn’t a byproduct of control, the payout of a happy conclusion. Peace is the infiltrating, life-giving presence of a very real God. One who loves nothing more than to step into the middle of darkened rooms and impossible circumstances, close enough to touch.” — so good!

  40. Amazing words Michelle! This is a “keeper” in my favorites, so I can read it again and again!
    Can’t wait to read the whole book!
    Blessings!

  41. Over and again I am amazed that we can experience real truths as very young people, and then life gets in the way, leaves a hazy veneer on top of our heart-knowledge. I’m glad you could reconnect with the truth God had put within five-year-old you.

    “presence” has been my word this month.

  42. That “…belief wasn’t always that easy. Real life turned out to be far more complicated…” is quite a statement – and something I have been living the past 5 years since my husband of 22 years walked out.

  43. Making peace…it sounds so easy but man when it happens, a weight is lifted.

  44. I’d love to read this book–agreed that real life isn’t like our Disney princess ideas…and how do we skip the bad guys in our versions in our heads?!?! 🙂

  45. “All it took was the presence of Jesus…” Yes!!! This is exactly what I know to be truth. I have chronic illness and am disabled, and have been through the confusion she speaks of… sometimes I revisit there. But this beautiful truth always woos me back. <3 Heart Hugs, Shelly

  46. Unexpected doesn’t even begin to touch the life God has led me to…would love a copy of this book

  47. I can relate to having an undeniable experience with God that helps you keep going during the times when you feel distant from Him, whether that’s really the case or not.

  48. That was great. The part that really got to me was the connection to Jesus’ disciples, and how they struggled after his death and prior to resurrection. That is where I feel most lost, waiting for God’s plan to take effect, to see the evidence that yes, He will make everything right in the very end. Trusting that I haven’t been forgotten.

  49. My story finds me smack in the middle of “Prayers didn’t always get answered. Sometimes it seemed God stayed far away.” When my baby girl died 4 months ago, it started me on a path of unanswered prayers and a “far away” God.

  50. Love this story. A 5 year old recognizing God. I think that is amazing. I recognized nothing at 5 years old. And I’m always looking for the happy ending. I have to realize I’m not at the end yet…..I do have a happy ending….It’s eternal life with Jesus!

  51. The thing that resonated with me is that God answered her heart when as a child she wanted to say she was sorry and know that she was loved and forgiven anyway. He gave her that chance right then. I look back and remember that God seemed silent and I floundered for decades feeling unloved and shut out – was I just blind to His grace? Now I am in one of those dark “rooms” and I desperately long for the light from the hallway to enter my life situation. I know God loves me, I have been given the grace of relationship with Him at last, but this life situation shows no sign of ever ending, and I long for the relief of His warmth. Sometimes, I know, He wants us to trust that He is there even when there is no Light to be seen, and I know it is also grace to walk with Him in the dark; perhaps this is one of those times for me.

  52. So much of this hit home for me – especially “I kept holding out for my happy ending, but missed the fact that I’d already received it. A hero who pushed past my fear with the reassurance of His very real presence.”

  53. I can totally relate to that little girl connection moment with God that Was held in my heart all these years… My blog post coming out tomorrow happens o be called “undone” and I’m amazed by the connection in this today.

  54. This was lovely! I can’t wait to share this with my Grandmother. She had breast cancer several years ago and just had total hip replacement surgery.

  55. I can relate to experiencing God’s presence during my teen years. Seems as I’ve grown older, he seems more distant which I’m working on.

  56. Needing a God without the clichés and pretty packaging and realizing that your fairytale life had to have villains as well. YES!

  57. Fairy tales and happy endings… I love reading good inspirational books. Thanks for the opportunity to win a copy.

  58. The part that resonates with me is the “presence over perfection.” Knowing that He is always here with me no matter what I go through is so much better than getting everything that I want without Him. I don’t even want to think about what my life would look like.

  59. The part of this post that meant the most to me was knowing that God was real and was right beside her always. I need to know that presence. I have been battling late stage chronic neruologic lyme disease for many year. Have been in intense treatment for 6 years. Lyme has taken my life, can’t drive – vision issues. Can’t work – cognitive issues. Days spent in bed. Some days can’t hold a conversation. An abusive marriage (now divorced) has left me in a hard place. But I have turned to God in this and am counting the many good things He has given me in my live. I would love to know more about the true peace and the presence of God that she knows.

  60. What a wonderful reminder of the all a encompassing compassion a d mercy of the Saviour! Praise Him!

  61. I know this book by Michele Cushatt will be an inspiration and encouragement to my faith in the Lord. To experience His presence in a personal way such as Michele has, helps me realize that this is possible in my daily experiences. Her book would be a great catalyst in my journey.

  62. I like how she differentiates between being bitter and being confused. I’ve found myself confused several times in life and God has proven faithful.

  63. This is so good…waiting for the happy ending but realizing that it she already had it…what a beautiful concept! #truth <3

  64. I kept holding out for my happy ending, but missed the fact that I’d already received it.
    This spoke straight to my heart. Thank you for allowing God to use you powerfully in the lives of others!

  65. Experiencing and then clinging to God when life was hard – “A God for me. With me. Close enough to touch.”

  66. “Light spilled in from the hallway”….such a powerful image from my childhood: warm, comforting, safe, banishing my fears & bringing peace.

  67. I can so relate to her fairy tale life feeling & hadn’t I done everything right??

  68. Such lovely writing. So important the idea that we have already received the happy ending.

  69. All of my life has seemed like striving for the unattainable and dealing with the unexpected! I don’t feel like I do either well. I would love to read more about making peace throughout these circumstances.

  70. This book would be great for me! I’ve read about you on Crystal Paine’s site and I truly admire your strength and courage. Perhaps in the future I’ll get to hear you speak in person at an event. Bless you!

  71. I would absolutely love to win this book. I have a co-worker who has had a few bad years and could use this book very much. She’s gone from empty nester to almost full house, her aging dad fell and broke hip-he lives in AZ she in TN, hubby and her both have medical issues, plus she had to put one of her dogs down yesterday! I don’t think this is the kind of life she expected to be having at this age.
    Blessings 🙂

  72. What resonates with me is that Michelle’s book has encouraged me to be “real” in my writing, to really get into the good, the bad, and the ugly so that I can truly encourage others in their walk with Christ. A friend lent me Undone and I love it – would be so awesome to win a copy of my own! Be blessed!

  73. “But belief wasn’t always that easy. Real life turned out to be far more complicated. Prayers didn’t always get answered. Sometimes it seemed God stayed far away.” I completely get this line. Real life is hard and there are times I have felt God was on another planet, but He was there with me all along. He never leaves us. He may not always answer our prayers in the time we want Him to answer them or how we want Him to answer them. We just have to trust He’s got this and let go, but it is still hard. Thanks for posting.