By Karen DeArmond Gardner—

I expected an interesting season as I walked through my 59th year, heading towards the next decade like a bullet train. The last thing I anticipated was to walk back through my past. Yes, my past. The ugly past. I have walked through so much healing, but quite frankly most of it was done without emotion. Sounds impossible, but it is possible. Feelings are fickle and untrustworthy. Who needs them anyway? Not me. I lived for most of my life without them.

It is only in the last three years that I have discovered my feelings. When I was living in an abusive marriage it was safer to hide my feelings. I stuffed and buried until I was dead inside. Through the last eight years of deliverance I dealt with the facts of the pain, but not the deep hurt inside my soul. Who knew my soul needed to be mended? God did. He sent a book my way called, Mending the Soul by Steven R. Tracy. This book tore open the wounds of my soul. And now I am embarking on a new journey.

Despite all the freedom I have experienced in the last eight years, I had not looked into the deep recesses of my soul. My expectation was to help other women through their past to healing. Instead God decided He is not done with me yet.

I am a relator; I am supposed to like intimacy. I am missing true intimacy with God and the people around me because my soul is still wounded. It should be no surprise it would take eight plus years to heal 50ish years of wounds. So I am taking another step to freedom by joining a group of women, sharing my deepest secrets in order to mend my soul. I am ready to look at my past without shame and condemnation. To grieve the loss of a marriage and yet rejoice in my new marriage. To learn to feel again, in a healthy fashion.

Am I nervous? Yes. I don’t like the old Karen. She was weak, lacked courage, was a doormat with a capital D. She was shrouded with shame. Her best friends were fear and terror. She was insecure and mousy. She had secrets. I am not thrilled to go back and visit her.

I am in anticipation however, of a new level of freedom. Expecting to see a change in my relationship with my husband which will trickle down to family and friends. I also believe it will transform my writing. I am choosing to look to the other side of this journey. I expect I will feel more, be less defensive, and liberated. Freedom is ongoing, it never stops. .

God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul (Psalm 54:4). How about you? Is there something from your past you have been avoiding or hiding? Maybe it’s time to bring it out in the open and let the finger of God to mend your soul.




Karen DeArmond-Gardner: I found myself in my early 50′s shattered, divorced and without a job – moving to a new state to begin over again. There were times I thought the “start would stop me.” I had no clue what my purpose was and quite frankly thought I had messed up so bad that even God couldn’t put my life back together again. Within the last 6 years I started a new career, enjoyed being single, became a grandmother, reconnected with my family and at 57 I married the most amazing man ever. Because God never does anything small, He asks me to step out of my box and begin writing. Only God….if He did this for me, He will do it for you. Join us on the journey to discover Your Purpose Now.


  1. 4-15-2013

    Karen, I discovered the same thing a few years ago. Freedom is there — to be the person God created, in His strength, in His beauty, to His delight. Freedom is there, but WE HAVE TO TAKE IT. Or the better word is CLAIM it. WE HAVE TO CLAIM IT. I guess the Lord knows that when we do claim it, we have to be strong enough to hold on to it, so He lets us walk and stumble and crawl and run down whatever paths are necessary to find the strength He gave us, and to learn with absolute certainty that we can always fall on Him. Good for you for setting out for the HEIGHTS! I’ll be praying. KB

  2. 4-15-2013

    Thank you for your encouragement Kathleen. It is so much better to walk in freedom rather than remain trapped in our past pain. I walk in freedom thus my surprise when God say’s, Let’s go another level. How can I refuse to let Him touch and heal my soul.

  3. 4-15-2013

    wow. it just amazes me how much damage one person can do to another. and, in this case, damage was done to more than one, but you are the one who was almost destroyed. God did look after you, and He still does, healing you and molding you into something new every day. my opinion is that you were very strong for those 30+ years. you had to be strong in many ways to be able to live through them. in the end you will come out shining like pure gold, just as Job said he would (Job 23:10). i’m so very proud of you, Karen, my dear and precious friend.

    • 4-18-2013

      Shirley I never thought of myself being strong in those years. Thank you for your perspective & encouragement. Love you my dear friend.

  4. 4-15-2013

    Oh, how I have been to yesterday and back. You will NEVER regret the choice to look deeply into the past and God will bless your courageous journey with a deeper sense of wholeness in Him. The intimacy from His Spirit as He heals your heart will be unprecidented. Cheering you on from the east coast, Karen!

    • 4-18-2013

      Penny after 3 days at Pink (Kari was there for most of the sessions!!) God showed up & off. I had the constant reminder – he uses the broken who are submitted to him to bring glory to his name. I signed up!! Thank you for cheering me on!!

  5. 5-26-2013

    Karen, I am always excited when I find other women who are brave enough to keep inching forward into all that God has for them. I wasn’t aware of this book, but I’m be looking for it. I am in a Rapha Circle group myself. We are a group of women who refuse to let anything hold us back from our destiny. Going deep is required, and yes, God is always faithful in the healing and clean up! Thanks for sharing this resource!

    • 5-26-2013

      You are so welcome! Just to warn you the book itself is pretty heavy. The workbook is another tool you may want to pick up.


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