My name is Valerie Riese. I’m so glad you’re here and I’m pleased to meet you.
I’ll be honest, I’m horrible at small talk, so I really struggle with introductions. I’m kind of more of a one-on-one, heart-to-heart kind of girl. That’s one reason I fell in love with Candidly Christian the day I found it – the authors all write right from their heart.
But to show you my heart, I have to tell you about Jesus.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.John 3:16-17 NIV
I’d always believed in God and I knew about Jesus, but my heart was full of anything but life. I was consumed with anxiety. I finally understood why one day at church when the choir sang:
“Let your faith run free across the raging sea and walk across the water to Me.”
I realized my relationship with Jesus was on the shore, and I needed to find freedom in the Living Water He talked about.
But seriously, I already believed in Jesus. Why wasn’t that enough?
Believing in Jesus is about more than head knowledge, and that’s where I was. I mean, even the devil knows Jesus is real. Believing is about flooding your mind with so much Jesus that His peace surges into your heart. It’s about knowing Him so intimately that you put your faith and trust in Him.
An intimate relationship requires investment; you have to make the effort. That’s the knocking and seeking the Bible talks about. Fortunately, Jesus doesn’t play hard to get. He’s waiting for you in prayer and Scripture.
Sounds kinda scary, huh?
Afraid of being played the fool?
Getting set up for another let-down?
Why should you trust Him, anyway?
Because Jesus went to the cross and back to prove He’ll never leave you. All the while knowing that you will let Him down, again, and again, and again.
I’ve learned that freedom through Jesus means stepping out in faith and trust, especially during the storms, to surrender my control by His feet at the cross.
Victory comes only through surrender to Jesus.
That’s my message. It’s a lifestyle I walk out by holding Jesus’ hand every single day.
A Little More About Me
I was raised Catholic as the oldest of five kids on a traditional family farm in Wisconsin. I attended church in a 250-year-old chapel that was only recently updated with the luxury of a port-a-potty that locks. Kinda Little-House-on-the-Prairie-ish.
Speaking of Little House, I read all of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books the summer before 3rd grade, and that’s when I first dreamed of becoming an author.
I’m 4’9” and I lost a fingertip in a farm accident when I was 13.
I got a tattoo of Garfield hugging his teddy bear on my ankle in my mid 20s. And I don’t regret it.
I hate coffee. But I’m never without a cold can of Diet Mt. Dew.
I’m slightly obsessed with tigers.
What About You?
Before I started writing, I’d get a little star-struck when a writer replied to my comment. Now that I’m an author, I can tell you we love nothing more than to hear from our readers. Writing requires a certain vulnerability, especially in the faith niche. But we do it out of obedience to our calling, trusting that God will use our heart’s sacrifice for His purpose.
I tell you this so you know it’s not just social etiquette when I say, “hearing from you will make my day.” But if you never reach out, that’s okay. Either way, I pray that when you come to Candidly Christian, you will always leave knowing this:
You are not alone.
You are loved.
There is always hope in Jesus.
Valerie is a wife, mother, blogger, and breast cancer survivor. After suffering years of debilitating anxiety, she learned that victory over anxiety comes only through surrender to Jesus. Now Valerie writes to point women to the Prince of Peace as co-director of Candidly Christian (as well as our Prayer Team Liaison) and Grace & Truth co-host), and as a NACWE blogger. You can read more about Valerie’s story on Medium @VictoryThroughSurrender