Andrea Smith – RESILIENT A.F.: Stories of Resilience


After my divorce, I embarked on a journey of rebuilding my life, navigating through the challenges of starting a new job, establishing a new home, and rediscovering my identity as an individual; it demanded time, reflection, conversations with God, and faith, yet within that safe space, I not only persevered but emerged on the other side thriving.

In 2018, my marriage ended, and I started over. It was a time of dealing with being rejected and struggling with self-worth, but also a sense of relief that I was now finally removed from the situation. Over time, in order to adapt and keep the peace, and for fear of having my needs go unmet, I became a shell of who I was. 

After it was over and now going through some major changes (moving and a new job within  two weeks), what really helped me regroup was having my own place as a safe space to allow God to remind me who I was, a steady job that I enjoyed and paid enough for me to live on my own and having a community of good friends nearby who could be that listening ear, sounding board and those people who could speak life back into my life. It was a period of relearning to see and love myself for who I was. It was a time of learning that I am loved and enough because God says so, and nothing matters more than that. I have been a people pleaser for years, having the idea constantly reaffirmed that love is conditional based on what I do and what I can produce. 

I have believed for years that I have been both too much and not enough at the same time for people, making it hard to not only express my own needs but also meet the needs of others. Slowly, over the years, I have also learned that external validation is not where my worth comes from, although it is easy to fall back into that way of thinking sometimes. This new beginning also put me in a position where I couldn’t rely on someone else to support me, whether financially or emotionally. It allowed me to see what I was capable of and deepen my relationship with Jesus. He showed up for me in people, in my personal devotions, in circumstances that could not be humanly organized, and led me into a brighter, hopeful future. As I rebuilt my life over the course of 5 years, I could once again look past myself and have characteristics like serving, leadership, and loving people through outreach and relationships come back to life. 

I started my own charity in 2021, focusing on poverty reduction and human trafficking prevention. That has always been a major life goal for me. 

I found my place in my church through involvement with youth and leadership. I started volunteering again and doing the things that I loved. I am not totally healed from my feelings of being rejected or insecurity at not being enough, but healing is a process, and it’s something that I need to work on every day. And it’s not all intense. For me, healing has included learning what it means to have fun again and putting myself back out there. I’m learning to love the process, the daily activities, and the life that I am working on building. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if I had chosen to give up before or at any point in my life when things have unraveled. I have learned to actively look for the good even when things are less than ideal.  

Throughout my story, I practiced resilience by digging deeper into my faith and relationship with Jesus, self-care, consistent and stable work, building a community of people who could love and support me through my healing journey, and doing things I loved.  

If I leave you with one piece of advice when faced with challenges, it would be to take it all to Jesus. He loves you and is the safest space to go through any situation. He is the source of hope for a brand-new future.

Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.