About the Author

Deidra is a national speaker and the author of Every Little Thing: Making a World of Difference Right Where You Are, and One: Unity in a Divided World. Follow Deidra on Instagram @deidrariggs

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  1. Deidra,

    You said it-do you fight hard on the inside, but with a smile on the outside?-
    Yes, Yes, Yes!

    The people closest to me (2) know the struggles in my head and my heart. They know the depression that is stealing every ounce of my energy and desire. Others, even some really good friends, see the smile on the outside, see me taking care of my kids, see me taking my kids for fun activities and ice cream. What they do not see are the tears at night, the headaches, the panic inside all from this depression.

    I am working on it. I am in counseling, weekly. But my doctor just informed me she is closing her practice Dec. 1st to move her family to Alaska! I cannot commute there from Ohio. So I have 7 more appointments with her. I need prayers that God will move this mountain before me so that I will completely open up to my doctor. Putting it all out on the table so that we can do some seriously hard work the next 7 weeks because going to a new doctor is not an option for me at this point. I am not willing to put myself back out there for a new doc. It takes me too long to get comfortable before talking again, so I need to work through this NOW.

    God is already working, he had kicked it into overdrive just in the last week and man oh man does it hurt. But its work that needs done, its memories that need processed, its hurts that need to be felt. All with the understanding they will NOT cause new wounds–this is my struggle. I’m afraid of getting hurt again so I cannot separate the idea that processing old memories and hurts will not cause new wounds. So I struggle letting myself go ‘there’.

    Deidra, I love the pictures. I am a nurse by day and I love photography on the side. I love taking pictures of God’s backyard. Skies are my favorite next to anything with water!
    Lisa

  2. I fool myself into believing the outside is all there is; because it hurts too much to look at and feel the inside.

  3. See, I went to church earlier, and kept the lump at the back of my throat, and the smile on my lips, and even though I remind myself that God loves me, so much, sometimes it seems like the mutterings of a deranged person, speaking to herself, because no one else speaks those words, even though they are Truth… Thank you for speaking them, and reminding me, and letting me know that I am not crazy (yet;))

  4. “I caught my breath as God waltzed out a love letter in the sky. I didn’t want to miss the dance.”

    I just love this, Deidra! This post is a perfect Sunday dance invite in itself! I am trying so hard to slow down and not miss those or His personalized love letters. My to-do list can distract me as well.

    And that Zephaniah verse? It’s one of my absolute favorites! Thank you for this, Deidra!

    • I remember when I first read that verse. It was so perfect, I thought it must be a mistake. Funny how I could doubt that God would rejoice over me. But He does! He dances and rejoices and whoops it up – over us all!

  5. Deidra –

    Thank you so much for allowing God to speak His truth through your words. This weekend has been one of the hardest I’ve experienced in a long time, filled with tough decisions, loneliness, and doubt. But last night I had a dear friend pray similar words over me. It’s amazing how much God uses other people to turn our faces towards Him, isn’t it? Thank you for encouraging us to slow down and let Him sing over us, even when His singing causes us to surrender our pain to Him.

    Because He loves,
    Karissa

  6. I love your post. I am struggling with loneliness. I am a single mom and my oldest just left for college. I really needed to read these words and remind myself how very much God loves me. Thank you.

  7. I have lived this way a long time. I sometimes think I am two people. The one that God knows and the one that others think they know. This was a beautiful post. For some reason God has brought you to my forefront. I just found @dukeslee blog as I was looking for Iowans with blogs. And now a few days later you talk about her in your post. I wonder what God has planned. I know I am suppose to start reading both of your blogs but I am curious what else will happen. Thank you for sharing your heart!

    • God is always at work around us and in us and through us.
      You can trust that.
      I hope you’ll let us know what God allows to unfold in your life!

  8. Deidra, your words are as gorgeous as your heart. Thank you for this reminder that we are loved more than we know, more than we can even imagine. I’m so grateful for you and all you bring to the world, and especially this place.

    • Holley – Your gift of encouragement always blows me away!

      You are a sweet, sweet song in this world. Thank you for singing the melody that God places on your heart so that we all can join in.

      You bless me.
      Always.

  9. Deidra,

    Beautiful….just beautiful. We walk our silent pains and tuck them down deep so no one can see and sometimes our body betrays us when the tears can’t be contained.

    And then you receive this gift–one you are certain is a gift from God to you alone, but that others can enjoy–and you know He knows you better than you know yourself. He supplies your need.

    And you write to display His glory, so we, too, can see and know.

    What a wonderful story, received and told.

    xo

    • This God who knows exactly what we need and delivers it right when it’s needed the most – this is the God who loves us beyond measure. More than our hearts can hold. God who walks the silent paths…right beside us.

  10. This was wonderful post. I sometimes find myself wishing someone would say to me they are praying for me. But as I read your words I realized God is right there. He knows me inside and out. I see him all around and he reminds me to slow down…not to miss his song to my heart. Thanks so much! I needed these words

    • Inside and out. Yes!
      He knows it all. And still He rejoices!
      That just makes me smile, every time I think about it!

      Inside and out. Tammy, you are so right!

  11. Isn’t God so amazing, that in his bigness he loves even little us, every one of us?

    And then he sends his love through those here on Earth…just as Jennifer lifted you, YOU have lifted me along in these long, hard weeks. Thank you, Deidra. Your writing, your love, YOU, are a joy!

    • “…even little us, every one of us…”

      Michelle, you bless me, friend. You shine and move through this world with such grace. It is a joy to behold!

  12. Beautiful! Sunsets! God inspires praise in my heart using sunsets more than anything else, I think.

    Yes, I would love prayers. The past few months have been a season of pain and struggle in several ways for me. And now, as I believe I am emerging, (THANK YOU, LORD!!), I am struggling to embrace the JOY in the NOW and the good gifts that I seem to have forgotten that He gives. And I so badly want His joy. His peace. To live the life He gave me. Just like He called me to.

    I hope that makes sense. I know it does to God. 🙂

    Thank you for your beautiful post. And for your prayers…
    Truly.

    • Yes. This makes sense!

      Sometimes embracing the joy after a long struggle is like having someone turn on all of the lights after I’ve spent the year in a dark closet. I have to squint and cover my eyes until they adjust. And then I slowly start to make out shapes and colors and see the difference between light and dark.

      Rejoicing with you that the light is on! Praying for you as you adjust to the Light…

  13. You write with your heart Deidra, and it always moves me. I find such connection. I am deeply humbled whenever someone tells me they’ve been praying for me. It is a blessing beyond measure. How amazing that the Father gave you a special glimpse of His love for you. He does love you – so very much.

    • It’s a gift to know that someone is offering up words to God on our behalf, isn’t it? And those glimpses are a gift…

      I glimpsed a gift just last week when I sat at that table with you, eating chips and salsa!

  14. Dear Deidra,

    Thank you so much for this reminder that I needed so much today. I am going through a really tough time right now. Dealing with some bad news we received from our vet. You reminded me that God knows my heart and cares so dearly. He knows everything I’m feeling even though I can’t adequately express them. He understands even though most people don’t. As I looked at your picture there I can see “the dance”. You also reminded to look back at my blof/poem called my dance with Jesus.

    God Bless you my Sister. You have put a dance and song in my heart with this message from God.

    Thank you for serving us here on InCourage with your blessed talent of writing from God.

    In Christ’s Love and Prayers
    Sis in Christ
    Tina

  15. I felt this way recently…with you by my side. And a kazillion stars above us. Yes. A love letter. That’s what He gives us.

  16. I just love it when God stuns us with His presence at just the right time, taking our breath away and leaving us speechless and on our knees. He is so faithful to swoop us up into His arms when we’ve thought for sure that we are completely alone. I’ve been living the “dual” life these last few weeks, but He has “shown up” again and is healing…..He will rescue you….

    For His glory, Denise in GA

    • Yes…these words about rescue. God – our salvation and refuge. An ever-present help. I’m so glad God is healing and rescuing you…

  17. As I’m reading this, Deidra, I feel witness to God’s Holy Spirit flowing from soul to soul: from prayers poured out in Iowa and pondered in the grocery while you pushed wobbly cart, to these words you’ve poured out for us–a prayer for us that we now can ponder today–and then we pray…and it flows on…

    • It still amazes me! Yes…the Spirit of God flowing…across the country, in the sky, in words and wobbly grocery carts. Soul to soul, indeed…

  18. I don’t think I could eek out words verbally, what with this lump stuck in my throat. So it’s a good thing I can type my thoughts instead. 🙂

    I’m in awe over the Truth that He aboslutely, unconditionally adores us. Can you imagine what that must sound like — the sound of God singing over us? Glory!

    Your words are beautiful, and Michelle’s pictures are fabulous, too.

    Love you both. And love this place, where the message of God’s love is simply contagious.

    • I want to add one more thing … A few months ago, a dear friend Lyla sent me a similar email — reminding me of God’s great love — and it touched my heart deeply. So, truly the message really is contagious! 🙂

      • Sweet Jennifer!
        Your prayer, your words, your sitting down to type them out… I am still amazed.
        And here it continues…

        Yes…it is contagious!

  19. Beautiful!! How blessed we are when we see through eyes of Gratitude the way He is constantly revealing Himself to us. When we listen to His wooing, gently calling us to Himself, we fall ever more deeply in love with Him!

  20. Yesterday was a very hard day.

    Hard days come for us all. They strap on the brass knuckles, stand in the shadows of the alley, and yank us in, using the fists of metal to see how low they can make us cower.

    I am not deceived. I know that “every good and perfect gift is from above”. That my King cannot be the author of anything but beauty. No darkness is in Him at all – He is LIGHT, abundant. So even as I found myself curled in a ball on my bed, weeping in pain and weariness, I spoke the truth: “God I know this pain is not from You. I am told that you mourn when I mourn. Is Your heart, then, breaking too? Because I am so tired. You give beauty for ashes. Father, can I be bold? Can I please ask for this season to come to its end? Give me joy in the morning – and hope through the mourning.”

    It’s not been easy. The fists are still flying. I need to feel His presence. I NEED so badly, and pant for ceaselessly, to FEEL His arms wrapping around me, stroking my hair, in a hug so tight, whispering in my ear that everything will be ok….here come the tears again…that everything will be ok. That He sees me. He’s got me. Unspeakable beauty will come from blackened lungs filled with ashes. I know this because He tells me. And He is who he says He is. So I know that I am who He says I am. I am His. And no height, nor darkest pit of depth, nor any force imaginable, will separate us. My hand is grasped firmly in His, as we navigate this valley together. I am NOT alone. I am not alone! Lord, my God, stay with me and save me.

    • We used to live in NC, in the foothills of the mountains. Every day I’d look at the mountains and say to my kids, “Look what Jesus did!” Then, we moved to PA where there were amazing sunsets and I’d say to my children each evening, “Look what Jesus did!” What great love!

  21. Thanks, Dee, for your wonderful words and photos! Thank you also for allowing God to use you and your gifts to encourage so many. Your words are so beautiful and so true. Your readers’ comments and your responses back to them demonstrate the incredible way God gives His love and grace to people and through people — like you. You truly are a gift!

    • Jan! It’s so good to see you here, friend. God is a giver of rich and wonderful gifts. You are one of those gifts in my life.

  22. Deidra,
    I couldn’t help but thinking of a little cloud lit with gold hanging down below the gray ceiling a few weeks back. God’s little “hello, good morning!” to me after a tough week. My husband says it’s a cold-air funnel, but that sounds too mundane to describe how directly God funneled his WORDS right to my heart. “Love you, can’t wait to spend the day with you, really – you’re going to be okay with ME here!”

    Thanks for your post – you’re livin’ up to the blog name! 🙂
    http://turquoisegates.blogspot.com/2010/09/cloud-breaks-free.html

    • And YES – you can stand with me. I have cancer, my daughter was struck down by a brain infection and now has seizures everyday that have changed our life forever. I speak with Job (in 6:14), “For the despairing man there should be kindness from his friend; So that he does not forsake the fear of the Almighty.” Yet, in our darkest hour, we have been persecuted even by our very own church, and now find ourselves looking for a new church home when we are most in need of support, love, and kindness. I would covet the prayers of any dear saint who would be so kind as to offer us up before the Mercy Seat!

      • “…creation is [God’s] way of eroding disbelief…”

        I hopped over and read about that beautiful, beautiful God cloud. It reminded me of the cloud that led the Israelites through the wilderness by day. God is so very faithful to us.

        I am praying…