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May 2, 2014

What's New?

  • Give Her Wings: Give Her Wings is an organization that helps women who have gotten out of abusive situations. Women like "Hope Brown", whose husband left her and her 5 children. This month, if you purchase this bracelet or donate any amount, all funds go to help "Hope." To find out more about Give Her Wings, visit their website.
  • New Group Coaching Starting Soon: Moving Beyond People Pleasing: Learning to Speak up and Set Boundaries. If you are interested in this group, please visit this link and submit your name and email address to be notified as details are finalized.           
  • CORE Focus Group: Due to popular demand, there will be another CORE Focus group in June. Watch for an email with more info.

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Who Do You Say That I Am?

When you look in the mirror who do you see? Do you see a woman who is attractive, competent, valued, and loved? Or, are you more likely to see yourself as flawed, ugly, inferior, and unloved?

Our internal picture of ourselves begins at birth when we look into our mother (or caregiver's) face and take into ourselves what is reflected back to us. Does our mom smile when we coo? Is she attentive and soothing when we cry? Do people clap when we take our first step?

In a healthy environment, infants see themselves as loved, wanted, and valued. Being raised by loving parents gives us a solid foundation for a good self-image, but no one escapes childhood without a few scars. Those who did not have loving caregivers are more deeply wounded.

When I was a child, I never liked being me. I wasn't pretty enough, smart enough, or skinny enough. I was never invited to the birthday parties of the popular girls in my school, and I always saw myself as inferior.

Sometimes I tried to become someone else. I'd copy one of the more popular girls' laugh, or outfit, or hairstyle, hoping that if I could look or become more like her, people would then like me. But I never felt cared about or secure in my relationships because I knew that the person they liked wasn't the real me. I saw myself as a fake.

As adult women, we still battle these same feelings don't we? We tell ourselves that we're not as pretty, or as together, or as spiritual, or organized, or loving as other women we see. We compare and contrast our lives and our thighs and ask ourselves, "Do I measure up? Am I good enough?" In addition, we're constantly scanning the faces of those around us, silently asking, "How do you see me? Am I loved, worthy, and valuable to you?"

The foundation for a healthy self-concept rests in the assurance that we are loved, but human love (no matter how good) will never be enough or without some pain. It is only God's infinite and unconditional love that can correct and heal our faulty self-image.

When I began to take my eyes off myself and my flaws and imperfections and put them on God, I began to see myself differently. I stopped looking at myself through my mother's eyes, which told me I was unloved and unwanted. I stopped looking at myself through other people's eyes, which sometimes made me feel wonderful, but more often reminded me that I was inadequate and flawed and never enough.

Seeing myself through God's eyes gave me an entirely different picture of who I am and what I was made for. I discovered that God doesn't want to change me into another person, but he does want to change me. He wants me to be the best possible me so I am free to serve Him without fear and morbid self-consciousness. He wants to heal and transform the lies, the wounds, and yes, even the sins that have kept me from becoming the person he created me to be.

If you're struggling with a negative self-image, the ultimate makeover isn't done at the cosmetic counter, the gym, in a fancy department store, or by a plastic surgeon, but by God. Psychologist David Benner writes, "Genuine self knowledge begins by looking at God and noticing how God is looking at us. Grounding our knowing of ourselves in God's knowing of us anchors us in reality, it also anchors us in God."

The apostle Paul tells us because of what Christ did for us on the cross, God sees us as "holy and blameless before him, presented without a single fault." But he cautions us not to forget who we are, because when we do, we'll feel those old insecurities creep back in (Colossians 1:21-23).

Here are a few things you can do to help you see clearly.

1.  Meditate on God's Word. Despite your perceptions, the truest thing about you is what God says about you.

2.  Since Jesus is the exact representation of what God is like (Colossians 1:15, Hebrews 1:3), look at how Jesus interacted with people. Notice how they changed the way they saw themselves when they looked at God looking at them. (For starters, read the story of Zacchaeus in Luke 19:2-10, and the Samaritan woman in John 4:4-30).

3.  Stop the negative self-talk. When you become aware that you're comparing yourself with others or putting yourself down or allowing someone else's gaze to diminish you, tell yourself to stop it. You are no longer going to be controlled by those habits. Instead look up and see God looking at you.

P.S. I want to warmly welcome ALL new subscribers who have joined our community since last month! You are going to love the resources you find to help you grow. I'm thrilled to have you here!

P.P.S. Don't keep this to yourself! Forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues or send them to www.leslievernick.com so they can register for themselves.

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Leslie Answers Your Questions

My Husband Is Willing To Go To Counseling, But How Does That Work?

Question:  In the past, we had a few different marriage counselors who did not have experience in abuse situations. This morning, I was calling a few different ones – asking for specialty in verbal / emotional abuse.

Praise God I found one who has seen your videos. I hope the counseling will work for my individual counseling.

My husband said he will go to a counselor. Do you suggest that we go to the same person at different times during the week or should he go to another counselor?

I heard you say in your video that these are Evidences of the fruit of the repentance.

1. Accept full responsibility. No blaming and be responsible
2. Recognize and have compassion for the hurt and pain that he caused
3. Accept the consequence of sin – without excuse, demands
4. Make Amends for damage caused
5. Show that he has grown in a healthy relationship

When the above steps are in place, am I the one to say I feel we are ready to have marriage counseling together or the counselor or both?

Is it best to have us come together at that point, my husband with his counselor and me with mine?


Add your (or view other) comments to Leslie's answer to this question by clicking the link below.


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Who Do You Say That I Am?


Coaching Spots Available



Take a look at the upcoming events to watch for from Leslie.



The Emotionally Destructive Marriage (2 DVD set): Counseling Strategies that Work for the Emotionally Destructive Marriage & The Five Common Mistakes People Helpers Make  Plus see the winners of the previous giveaway!



My Husband Is Willing To Go To Counseling, But How Does That Work?


For more information on Leslie's coaching program, please click below.

Coaching Programs



The Emotionally Destructive Marriage (2 DVD set): Counseling Strategies that Work for the Emotionally Destructive Marriage & The Five Common Mistakes People Helpers Make 

God warned the prophets of Israel to not superficially heal the wounds of His people by promising “peace, peace’ when there was no authentic peace. Abuse in a marriage always breaks peace, and biblical peacemaking involves much more than tears of remorse and the words “I’m sorry.”

If you are a pastor, lay leader, marriage mentor, or Christian counselor, this 2-part DVD set will give you a biblical roadmap that provides a clear route to genuine healing and restoration of an emotionally destructive marriage.

In it you will learn:
  • The four essential phases of counseling necessary for healing to take place
  • When marriage counseling is contraindicated and may even be dangerous
  • What emotional abuse looks like and what God has to say about it.
  • Why God does not value the sanctity of marriage over the safety and sanity of the individuals in it.
  • What the fruits of genuine repentance look like.

To win, please use this form to submit your name and email address by midnight on Sunday, May 11th.

The winners of The Emotionally Destructive Relationship (2 DVD set): Seeing and Stopping it
are: Tricia A. and Laura W.


May 10 Overcoming Powerlessness Banquet, Lancaster, PA

May 16-17 Women's Conference with Pennsville Baptist Church. Mt Pleasant, PA

Invite Leslie to speak at one of your events.
Call us at 1-610-298-2842
leslie@leslievernick.com or
visit www.leslievernick.com



"Leslie Vernick helped me gain perspective of my situation.  Although I came from a great family, I am educated, and in a leadership type profession, I began to believe over the many years that I was an awful person or just plain crazy.  In many interactions with my husband, I would walk away feeling confused, bad, sad, mad, guilty and crazy.  Leslie helped me to see where there is truth.  I also brought up other personal challenges I was going through and due to experiences in my marriage, I expected to be judged or criticized.  Instead, she was very supportive and non-judgmental and in turn helped me to not be so judgmental on myself.  She has helped me through a very dark place in my life and I’m very grateful!"

— Cheryl K., Phoenix, AZ


Leslie wants to help you grow in your personal and relational effectiveness. Send your questions about dealing with difficult people, stress, or relationship issues to:


Then, visit Leslie's Blog as she posts her responses to one question per week.

Note: Due to the volume of questions that Leslie receives, she is unable to respond to every question.