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...

(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. Michele,
    I would have been raising my hand too. I thought that God was just up there keeping a giant scorecard and making tick marks in the “Bad” column every time I messed up. I now know that nothing could be farther from the truth. Our wanting to be “good” and meditate upon and follow His precepts is a response born out of knowing that God loves us because He is the very essence of “love” and He cannot deny Himself. He loves us just as we are, and sent His Son for us while we were still sinners. It’s only after we accept our salvation as a gift of grace and not merit, that we are free to work out our salvation by following His commands. I had always put the cart before the horse. My children would benefit from reading about His relentless love….awesome post!
    Bev xx

  2. What an awesome message girl!! When you are raised in a straight laced Christian church like I was, I think that’s the message you come away with. Lord, help me communicate to my kids AND grandkids his grace is infinite!


  3. I feel like I grew up believing that as well… If I obey the 10 commandments and am a good person….. and then I grew up and life happened. Dear Jesus ~ Thank you for loving me and covering my sins. Please continue to humble me, guide me and accept your overwhelming love, grace and mercy. Help me to continue to grow to have a heart like yours. In Jesus name, Amen

  4. Thank you for this reminder of God’s never ending grace and love. Some ladies in my church who are recovering addicts need to hear this message.

  5. I need to hear this message; this truth often. Having been raised in a works based church and taught I needed to behave to experience God’s love is hard to overcome. It has taken me a lifetime to trust and understand mercy. Thankfully He never gives up on showing it too me. Thank you, Michele, for this most needed post.

  6. This is the second time I have heard/read something about this book this week. Each time, my heart has been comforted. I feel like my life circumstances are relentless right now and it’s hard for me to hold my head up. Thank you for reminding me that God’s Love is more relentless than my problems! Thanks for the chance to win this book! I can’t wait to read it!!

  7. This mother of four sons is breathless after your story, because I know that even if my words managed to convey the right relationship between God’s love and our behavior, there were big moments of disconnect.
    How wonderful that we can iron things out with our adult kids.
    Blessings to you as the message of Relentless is released into the world!

  8. A sister who just lost her job due to restructuring of the company. She just turned 65 yrs old, but can’t retire yet due to some large loans taken out to fix up grandma’s house, windows etc.

  9. Ohh my eyes won’t hold the tears… I know this but it hurts.. I raised children that way… yes they know now too! God’s brilliant plan for us and them cannot be thwarted! Grace & mercy undeserving.., but His mercies are new every morning
    \0/ Lamentations 3:23… blessings

  10. Being the imperfect human that I am, I give thanks and praise that God loves me unconditionally. At the age of 73, perhaps it was a generational concept to feel that you had to be good or else…

    I read my Bible daily, along with several devotionals. Thankfully, my subscription to (in) courage is one of those.

  11. My beautiful daughter needs a copy of this book — as do I! I would love for us to read it together. I know the mercy of Christ, and my daughter does as well, but she tends to fall back into legalism. She is so hard on herself. She will be a new mom in February, and I sure want her to realize the freedom she has in Christ. Every.Single.Day.

  12. As much as my heart knows the truth, my head still tries to gain approval by being good. I have been performance based since I was a small child. It was my place in our large blended family. Be good, they will like me. If I got in trouble, I would be devastated. Oh how hard it is still to quit that mentality. I’m so grateful our God is not like the judgmental God of my childhood imagination. But I sometimes wonder if I now think of God as too chummy… Taking his grace forgranted, forgetting that he is still Jehovah God! It is my struggle daily. But I know in my struggle, his love is still there. He does hear and answer many of my prayers. He works on and in my heart continually. Thank you Michele, for this start to my morning. I need to quit my balancing act and give it to Jesus. I needed this reminder. I don’t have to earn his approval. I need to just accept his love!



  14. I think that I really need to hear this message. I ended up in a bad relationship due to my poor choices, and I can’t seem to forgive myself. Intellectually, I know that God forgives me, but I haven’t really been able to feel it in my heart.

  15. Me and my children. Thank you for saying what I need to remind myself of over and over again. Yes, mercy, not judgment.

  16. My hand would have been up too. All my life I’ve been told by someone (family, peers, abusive husband) how terrible I am. A pastor once asked 3 questions in a sermon: “what do people say about you” “how will you be remembered” and “what will be your legacy”. Well, sometimes people say good things. There will be no one to remember me. I have no legacy because I have no one to receive it.
    I will soon be 55 years old. I have no husband, no children, no one really close. Any attempts to change that have failed. I have been praying for years to somehow be used of God. I have to be doing something wrong.

    • I was reading through the comments and my heart stopped and wept when I read yours, my sweet sister in Christ. Please be reassured that even though you feel invisible to the world, God sees you. A better question for that Pastor to have asked is “What does God say about you?” He loves you with a relentless pursuing love and a worldly legacy will mean nothing when you are in His presence in Heaven. So many today leave such a small imprint behind on this world but God sees everything. Don’t be disheartened my sister. Can you reach out to those around you and let them show His love? Even though I don’t know your name or story, as a sister I love you and will pray for you.

      • Thank you Teresa. The pastor was preaching about Paul’s farewell speech in Acts. When I talk about a legacy, I don’t mean material things. I mean making investments in others lives. So far, it hasn’t happened. I don’t mean to compare myself to our Lord and Savior, but despised and rejected is pretty much the story of my life. I found someone who I thought cared about me and married him at the age of 37. He passed away 12 years later and was emotionally and verbally abusive the whole time. I had to move back with my family because he left nothing and I couldn’t afford the apartment where we were living on my own. I work, but it’s still not enough.
        Anyway, it’s hard not to say “God, where have I gone wrong? How can this be right?” .

  17. What a wonderful reminder that we do not have to be good for God to loved us. He is such an awesome God that nothing in this world can measure up His everlasting unfailing love. Praise God! I have a sister in Christ who had metal disorder and I like to share this with her. Also, a sister at my church as well.

  18. I think I need this! I “knew” that God loves me, but I always felt that He was disappointed in me when I failed. Like I love my family but I don’t always “like” each one when they let me down, treat me wrong….

  19. I would love to share this with a young college student I work with who needs to hear this> Samantha is her name.

  20. God love us just the way we are. When I was growing up in my Church you had dress a certain way men had wear shirt and tie. Women had to wear a dress or skirt and nice top. Kids all had to be dressed smartly. It was like fashion parade. You could not sit in someone elses seat. Because it belonged to say the Johnson’s or the Elliotts. So if you sat there you be told sorry the Elliott family sit there. It was like a fashion parade. My Dad used to like my Mum to make us look nice for Sundy School. So she take us every so often to buy us Sunday clothes. That you only get to wear on a Sunday. My Parents only going to Church on special occasions. As not saved. Easter, Harvest, Kids Sunday if we where taking part. Which I couldn’t get my head around for all the fashion all the money people coming to Church in their big cars. Too just be seen. Not to hear the word of God or have anything to do with which now when I look back on it is very sad now I am saved. It was like fashion parade. The Methodist and the Church of Ireland are the same. Still the same today. You see all the fashion and the big money people going to them. People know not to sit certain people seats. Them in their big cars. When people in our world are starving and they don’t think that way. They have their fancy life styles. But God is watching them. They just think if I go to Church it will get me to Heaven. No it will not. It will no more get them Heaven than going to McDonald’s makes you a Hamburger. I love the Salvation Army you can if you become a member wear the uniform if you want but you don’t have too. They expect you for who you are. They don’t care if you come in your jean and top. They love you who you are. Like Jesus does. They love people of all walks of life. Jesus loved people of all walks of. Jesus showed he wanted to be with people no one else wanted to be with and he love them. His word the Bible shows that. Like the kids song Jesus love all the Children of the world Red and Yellow Black and White. We are too do the same. We are all God Children. Another song Jesus hands were kind hands doing good to All. We his followers are to do the same show his love to all people like Jesus shows his love to us. God will never stop loving you. You can never stop God loving you. John 3 verse 16 say it all. Love Dawn Ferguson- Little

  21. The part that resonates with me is the exchange between you & your son. I too let go when I should have held on to my Faith, should have shared it with my 3 sons. It was the point in my life where I felt abandoned; forgotten by God. Now I understand, know, BELIEVE…God’s silence isn’t rejection for my decisions He was simply waiting for me to be still & ready to hear His voice. Thank you for your message. I look forward to reading your book. Praise & blessings always!

  22. I would have felt the need to raise my hand, too, as I always believed we HAD to be good to win God’s approval and love.
    What I discovered, during this earth journey, was when I accepted Christ as my Savior, God accepted me. He sees me as blameless, and even though he always loved me, his creation, His love knows no end, is unconditional, and has filled me up within. I thank God for Biblical knowledge, as I grow in faith and love, through our Lord and Savior.

  23. Yes, my hand would have been up too, but God!!! Thankful for his love, mercy and grace I know better now. Thank you for these wise and encouraging words.
    I would love to share this book with my sister who has a difficult time believing she is worthy.

  24. It’s so easy to believe the stigma of ” I am not good enough to be loved like that” when people in our life and in this world try and suggest we aren’t. Thanks for reminding me that I am loved unconditionally by my Heavenly Father.

  25. I would had raised my hand as well, I sometimes think I’m not good enough, and that God is not pleased with some of my decisions. It seems I take 2 steps forward and fall back 5. I get back up and try again, always thinking will I ever get it right. That God is judging and punishing me… help me Lord as I can’t do this on my own..I need to hear from you today….

  26. This brought tears to my eyes but encouragement to my heart to know I am not alone. I have apologized to my boys several times for the same thing. I have prayed multiple times for my actions and past “beliefs” to not affect my boys. I pray that God will teach them correctly as He has me over the years. Thanks for this devotional. I think this is one I will forward to all I know so that everyone can hear the Truth!

  27. What a good reminder this is that I do NOT earn God’s love. Growing up in a pastor’s home, I have a strong foundation that I’m so thankful for but I also have a strong striving part of my relationship with God. I feel like I’m the one who needs to be reminded of God’s relentless love for me. I’ve grown up hearing it all my life and yet I have the hardest time believing it after a divorce and many lost friendships through my parents’ ministries in the past. Thank you for an opportunity to win!

    • Me too, Heidi. I have a strong history of faith in my life. But I so easily slip into performance-based Christianity, tried prove myself worthy of God’s love. Thankfully, His grace is big enough to carry me though even still. He never tires of reminding me of his unconditional love.

  28. That person would be me. I have a very hard time remembering he loves me especially when I see people who are so in touch with their Christianity. I walk around in shame most days knowing I haven’t listened to him and instead followed my own will. I’m just waiting for and wondering what the punishment will be and how I can make amends. I really need to quit that knowing that I’m not trusting in him and his love when I do that!

  29. I know that God loves me. Okay here comes the but, I have felt that could never possibly use me in any capacity or change my behaviors. I am in counseling. I suffer from mental illness. I recently have isolated myself and have withdrawn from activities. I hate it cause that is not me. I am truly working on myself and I do know that God is listening to me. He hears my cries just like he heard David’s. I know my friend Melanie could use this book cause her heart is bitter from her childhood abuse. She has so many questions and I try to help and invite to church. Her husband is less than accepting of me. I am praying for their family. Thank you ladies for your ministry. It was in fact my friend Melanie who gave me incourage Bible for Christmas last year. Hugs and Many blessings.

    • Kimber!y I so relate and I’m so sorry. I’ve been in counseling for a while myself. It’s hard to reach out when you feel like that. Praying for you.

  30. Thank you for this post! I needed to hear this, but I know others in my family do too. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of thinking I have to be good or God won’t love me. I battle this daily. Thank you for sharing what you are learning in your walk with God.

  31. I needed this post today. I am excited about this book and honestly I need to hear this message and apply it to me, so I can be a better wife, mom, and sister.

  32. Thanks for this message. The message of being “good” and earning God’s love is one that has been ingrained in so many, including me. It resonated deeply today.

    Peace and blessings to you.

  33. I would be raising my hand – though my mom became a Christian when I was 10, and I accepted Christ at 12, I thought God was just waiting to punish me for any bad thing I did…I know of several people, family members, who would benefit for your book…after I read it first.

  34. I heard your Facebook Live on incourage today and after reading… I can really relate. I would love to read this book with my book club.

  35. My hand is raised. I grew up thinking I needed to be good for God to love me or answer my prayers. But yes, he sits in mercy, not judgement. Working hard to teach my children that God loves them no matter what.

  36. Myself and my husband. This year has been a struggle especially the last 3 months. I have struggled with believing I am good enough.

  37. My sister could really use this message. It’s so powerful to know how deeply God cares for us.

  38. I grew up in a works-based family and a works-based church. God’s presence doesn’t sit in judgment, He sits in mercy. These words are so powerful, they touch my soul. Thank you.

  39. Raised on guilt, my Christian walk began as a child, and faltered as I grew, made bad decisions, and figured that, as a Christian, I just wasn’t good enough. I didn’t make the grade, and forgiveness was for those who hadn’t already become Christians. Sabotaging my own life was punishment, but never enough. Why would God forgive me when I’d promised to life His way, then gone off on my own?
    Oh boy, a lifetime of these thoughts later, I’m only just starting to be able to accept that God loves me because of who HE is, not despite what I am. The words of this message are beautiful, and believable, and I;d love to read more.

  40. Michelle,

    Oh how the devil loves to deceive us. He has us thinking that one mistake could take God’s love away from us. Nothing could be farther from the truth. He left the splendor of Heaven to come down to broken Earth & save us from ourselves. Some churches today preach & act on legalism. They are just like the Pharisees. Narrow minded. No other opinions but their is right. God turns that economy upside down. His church is based on love, respect & grace. Since Calvary we live under the law of grace. No more following all the rules. God will never stop loving you just because you messed up-again! He chases after us wholeheartedly. Paul states it beautifully in Romans 8 Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 38: And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. Let’s quit living under the auspices of legalism & come into the law of grace & mercy. Let’s bask in His love.

    Blessings 🙂

  41. I felt this way for many years until it was explained to me in a Saturday morning Bible study by my Protestant Bible study leader that God loves me no matter what I do and that I did not have todo good things to earn His love. All I needed to do was accept that God send His only Son Jesus to save me. What a relief I felt. I finally understand God’s mercy and grace. Amen.

  42. I really needed to hear this message! Thank you for reminding me that nothing can separate us from the love of God! His love is never ending!

  43. I wonder if my enneagram 1 son, who is a college freshman, could use this message. I honestly don’t know if he would’ve raised his hand in that service you described.
    It’s a beautiful truth about God that I’m still absorbing myself, after growing up in a fire and brimstone- threatening church. Thank you for the reminder.

  44. I would love for my son to read it. I grew up in an extremely legalistic congregation. I raised my children there until they were in high school. I thought every church was the same. By the time I found a church that taught the love, grace and mercy of God, my son had become jaded to Gods word. He’s been through a lot of valleys in the past 10 years. I want to help him find his way back to Gods loving arms.

  45. Michelle
    This is beautifully written and I very much needed to hear this! It brings Him closer when all felt silent. When disappointments led me to believe I may have been out of favour from something I had done or said. At nearly 40 I’m only just starting to learn that Gods love is not dependent on what I do or do not do. As you so eloquently put it:

    He doesn’t love you because you deserve it, but because His love can’t help it AND ‘His love will find you (me) ALWAYS

  46. I, too, grew up believing that God only loved me when I was good; waiting for me to be ‘bad’ just so He could punish me. How freeing it is to finally understand that he loves me regardless of my victories and/or failures! I would love to read your book!

  47. I grew up believing there was no way I had been good enough for God to love. I am so thankful I figured out that he extends grace to us!! My children have a hard time believing in God’s grace. I hope and pray my belief in it will pass on to them…very soon!!

  48. I will definitely be reading your book, Michele. Thank you for writing it. I am a former PK and MK, raised on God’s grace. But when I was 9 and spoke God’s grace into a situation and was turned away, my journey into legalism began that suffocated me. I felt like such a hypocrit, living like a whitewashed tomb that eventually I fled.

    All that time I ran, I believed I was running away from God. Until, when I was 33 and I was walking my baby girl to sleep in her buggy and I was overcome by the heaviness of grief (my Mum had been given 3 months to live and I had flown to the other side of the world to be with her). The Holy Spirit descended in power upon me and all I could feel was this blanket of peace wrapping around me. I was so overcome. I just knew it was God and yet I couldn’t understand how it could be…that day began my journey home into grace again. It’s then I began to see how I had begun to serve an idol as a little girl, believing it to be God.

    God is funny in His timing because that was around the same time my Mum sought forgiveness from my little adopted brother – the one God asked me to speak grace over, when my parents repeatedly physically punished him. They turned me away then, but now my Mum was brought to tears as God opened her heart to see and understand the impact of trauma on my little brother who had been given up as a two day old baby and spent his first 15 months in an orphanage. God brought such precious redemption right before she went to heaven, leaving my brother with such a gift.

    Sadly, I have been unable to find a church that lives out that same grace God is unveiling in me. But I am thankful for my experiences in each one. I now suffer from Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from the spiritual abuse I walked through as I followed God’s Voice to arise in the truth. But that illness has drawn me so much deeper into grace, as each triggering situation unveils more lies my heart has clung to all these years (that have sadly been affirmed in these churches) and has taken God’s love deeper into my heart.

    I’ve lost a lot in friends and community, but I have regained a living and breathing relationship with my God and beautiful fellowship with many believers who also no longer attend a physical church for various reasons. God is certainly breaking open the boxes this MK and PK put Him into. God’s love and grace are indeed relentless.