I believe that stories can change the world. Everyone has a story, and some parts of those stories may feel too hard to tell.  In this special mini series, nine women share their If You Only Knew.

My hope is that when your hear these stories, you will be encouraged and trust God more as you hear how God remained faithful and good, and how sharing their struggles has allowed light to shine in the darkest of places. I am so thankful for each of these women for their courage, honesty, and vulnerability in sharing their stories with us.

If you love these conversations as much as I did, I would love it if you’d share them with a friend. You can also pick up a copy of my book If You Only Knew by clicking here.

If You Only Knew #01: Melanie Dale
Melanie shares her story of struggling with an eating disorder. Melanie describes how it looked like on the outside she was doing all the right things, leading ministry and loving Jesus, but on the inside she was struggling so much. She shares the baby steps she took to opening up and I love when Melanie said “our love for one another can help us receive God’s love for us”.  Listen to all of Melanie’s story here.

If You Only Knew #02: Heather MacFayden
Heather’s If You Only Knew is how she has struggled with anger. Heather shares how she wasn’t an angry person growing up, but began struggling more and more with feelings of anger. Through prayers, sharing with community, and counseling God helped her see it wasn’t anger she struggled with, but fear. I know I was encouraged when she said “admit you’re struggling and know that it doesn’t identify you at your core”.  You can hear all of Heather’s story here.

If You Only Knew #03: Lisa Whittle
In the third episode of this series, I talk with Lisa about her struggle with shopping. I think it will sound familiar to all of us when she describes how we can rationalize what we’re doing and try to place sin on a scale instead of just recognizing sin as sin. Lisa says, “bottom line, if anything gets between you and God, it’s gotta go.”  Click here to listen to my conversation with Lisa.

If You Only Knew #04: Shawn Osmond
In my conversation with Shawn, she shares her story of how the secrets of abortion and struggling with alcoholism had kept her sick for so long. Shawn describes how she would share parts of her story, but it wasn’t until she told her story fully and let herself walk with Jesus through all of it, that she could start to receive healing. “God has used the darkest, saddest, the most horrible time of my life, and He has redeemed those things and now He is using those things for His glory”.  Listen to all of Shawn’s story here.

If You Only Knew #05: Ginger Swann
Ginger’s If You Only Knew is her struggle with social anxiety. Ginger talks about how she lost her hearing literally overnight when she was 4 years old and how she found herself pulling back and avoiding social settings. I loved when Ginger reminds us that “God’s in control of not just the big things, but the small things too… He’s the one that holds every bit of this in His hand”.  You can hear all of Ginger’s story here.

If You Only Knew #06: Alli Worthington
In this episode of this series, Alli shares her story of walking through bankruptcy and losing their home. When it happened, she didn’t want to tell a soul, and she talks about her feelings of shame and embarrassment. Alli speaks such truth when she says “when you’re in it, the furthest thing in your mind is that God is going to use it”, but that she has seen how He has used that time in her life for so much good. Click here to listen to my conversation with Alli.

If You Only Knew #07: Bailey Heard
Bailey’s If You Only Knew is her struggle with grief. After her husband passed away 4 years ago from cancer, Bailey started her life as a single mom and championing her husband’s legacy. However, it wasn’t until she was forced to be still that she realized that there were parts of her grief she hadn’t dealt with. I love Bailey’s message when she describes her realization of  “if I press into the very thing I’m afraid of, maybe there’s something there for me”. Listen to all of Bailey’s story here.

If You Only Knew #08: Jessica Honegger
In this episode of If You Only Knew, Jessica shares her story of struggling with body image. Jessica describes how body image became her reason for any rejection or feelings of isolation, and the lie we all can believe that “if I only could be this or if I only could have that, then I wouldn’t have pain or rejection”. I love Jessica’s message of how she learned to reframe how she sees herself, and that we are all truly loved and accepted by Jesus. Listen to all of my conversation with Jessica here.

If You Only Knew #09: Jenn Jett
In the last episode of this series, I talk with my friend Jenn about her divorce. Jenn talks about the stigma about divorce in the church, and her fear that people would only see the divorce and suffering and not see Jesus. She also talks about her fear that if she shared her story, people would use it as permission to give up on marriage when she so strongly believes in marriage and God’s ability to redeem and restore. I appreciated it so much when Jenn shared her commitment that “I am going to walk through this story, I’m going to lean in. This is what God has for me, and I’m going to be ok. He has covered me…He has gone before me.” You can hear Jenn’s story here.

Jamie Ivey