"We are confident Amanda can help women in their process of Christian discipleship
because she is not just sharing facts or scripture; rather she is speaking about her own personal struggle
as she faces the pain growth entails."
Milan and Kay Yerkovich, Authors of How We Love and How We Love Our Kids
Hi! I'm Amanda.
I used to love and receive love like I had little T-Rex arms.
I realize this is an odd metaphor, but stay with me.
For decades, I wanted to love God and people with my arms outstretched and an open heart. But spiritually and emotionally, I was built like a T-Rex. My arms were weak and ineffective.
Meanwhile, I had a huge head filled with anxious thoughts. I carried the weight of an intellectual form of Christianity that was not at all comforting. I over-trusted in my own flawed intellect. I lived with depression and dread.
I had big, strong legs that could run fast and serve hard. I tried to make myself essential in every area: as a volunteer at church, professionally as a journalist, as a friend who always showed up, as a wife who kept the perfect house, and as a mother who was fully present and baked themed birthday cakes.
And I had a big tail dragging behind me, a weighty mass of undiagnosed issues. Perfectionism. Childhood trauma. Clinical depression. Codependency. Addictions. Shame. Striving. As I moved through life, my tail broke relationships and undid my hard work.
Then a mental health breakdown, a season of Christian recovery, and getting to know the true heart of Jesus transformed me.
That story of transformation is a long one and you can read some of it here. But this is where I landed and the place I’d like to take you:
I am now a wholehearted follower of Jesus. I am rested, creative, free, aware of my purpose, and at peace with my life stage. I’ve learned to receive the comfort and peace of God with my arms fully outstretched; to embrace my emotions instead of numb them out; to live in grace-filled, encouraging, authentic relationship with others; and to love with more knowledge and depth of insight.
I’d love to come talk with your groups. I’d love to see God grow your arms to receive abundant life!
This T-Rex to transformation moment was captured at the
Wholehearted Women's Retreat in Lost Canyon, Arizona, 2021