Can anything good come out of litigation?

NO and YES.

Exactly 8 years ago my memoir, ‘On Unclipped Wings’ was accepted by a major Christian publisher, but then threatened with litigation. And 4 years ago today, I self-published it. That threat was meant to silence me and it almost did.

But, all things do work together for good to them that love God (Romans 8:28). I learned that each of us has a voice, unique to us, and that God wants each of us to speak. I learned that no one can thwart God’s will in my life, or anyone’s life, for that matter. I learned that I was an expert at accepting failure, but now God wanted me to learn how to succeed.

My memoir is still barred from traditional publishing, but God is my constant comfort. For, even though he chose not to protect me from the threat of litigation, he is and always will be good.


On occasion, my adult children recount stories from the past. ‘Oh, by the way, Mum, I never told you about the time I nearly cut myself in half, bicycling through a field in the night.’ Or, ‘Remember the time I came home late? I was walking along the top of that cliff, but I never told you that I forgot to take my torch.’

I have come to learn – 1) that these are confessions, but not ones of penitence. 2) that I don’t need to forgive, for these are the wisdom-growing adventures of independence.

But when these confessions do surface, I always turn to God in thanks for his promise concerning my children: ‘The Lord will keep you from all harm – he will watch over your life.’ (Psalm 121:7).

(photo by Lucas Pezeta –

Friends, Failure and that DAH Moment

Maybe this is your story as well… I grew up having to be ‘perfect’, to be intuitive and figure out how to please. So for me, failure causes intense agony, even now.

But it took me a while to realise that those who demanded my perfection never lifted a finger to help. And those who pointed out my failures didn’t actually care for my success. Was there a way out?

Slowly, I learned that, ‘Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labour. If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up’ (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10).

My true friends are those who help me be my best, and who let me do the same. DAH!

(photo by Yaroslav Shuraev:

From bricks to forgiveness…

This past week, I spent hours upcycling old bricks, chipping off old cement. But I also spent those hours thinking about Nelson Mandela. As a prisoner, he too chipped away at stones in a quarry, and after 27 years, he still could forgive.

If he had the courage to do that, so could I. So, I chipped and prayed about a painful situation… Then it dawned on me – God is above every manipulation, and no one can ruin his plans.

I finished that pile of bricks and late that night, I stopped fretting about my apparent ruin. I was still on track in God’s eyes. I could forgive. I could leave bitterness behind, because God is above all.

(photo by Magda Ehlers:

Some DON’Ts and DOs when comforting others

  • Don’t yawn or fall asleep, even in a midnight conversation. A griever is fragile.
  • Don’t interrupt them to tell about something good in your life. A griever is vulnerable.
  • Don’t say that others have had it worse. A griever can easily be silenced.
  • Don’t think that comfort is only hugs – it could mean taking them for a walk. A griever needs variety.
  • Don’t promise that everything will turn out alright. A griever deserves honesty.

Some DOs…

  • Do respect their emotional boundaries. Grief can only be carried by the griever.
  • Do remember that as your life goes on, they will grieve in silence. Grief is ever-present.
  • Do keep it confidential, because it is their story to share, not yours. Grief is private.
  • Do promise that you will support them as best you can. Grief is overwhelming.

Yet, there is an even greater Comforter, the one who actually makes us better – God. ‘He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds’ (Psalm 147:3).

(photo by Karolina Grabowska:

Our everyday resurrections…

My great comfort is this – our emotional deaths don’t have to be permanent. The privilege to speak, to choose, to work, to love, even if we have lost them, can be regained. The only thing is that in our experienced darknesses, we will change.

One of my frequent go-to verses is Isaiah 45:3, ‘I will give you the treasures of darkness and the riches hidden in secret places, so that you may know that I am the LORD, the God of Israel, who calls you by name.’* For it is in our darknesses that God opens our eyes.

The words I once wanted to speak, I don’t have to anymore. I have different words. My choices are different now. How I work and love changes… Emotional deaths, to put it simply, reposition our lives.

*Berean Standard Bible translation

(photo by Alex Azabache:

Our daily deaths…

The beauty of being human is that each of us has inherent privileges. In the beginning, God lavished Adam and Eve with ones which gave them emotional life. Love and friendship. To make their own choices and speak their mind. The privilege to learn from mistakes and grow wiser. To work creatively and have faith… Each one is essential in God’s eye.

Now, if any one of these was forcibly removed from our lives, the way God created us to function would die in that area. And this is a death. It will affect every other area in life.

If my freedom to speak is torn from me, it affects my friendships, choices, and my opportunities to grow. It affects my decisions…

How can we/I regain these stolen privileges?

(photo by Felipe Vallin:

This Crown of Comfort – a blog by my publisher – BRF

Posted by: Eley McAinsh at 19 June 2023

In May we published Eva Leaf’s This Crown of Comfort. Eva searched the Bible for years to discover places where God spoke to women and one rainy day in a tent, she reread Isaiah. ‘I finally found it,’ she writes, ‘I read an outpouring of God’s heart towards a city called Jerusalem. He called her a beloved woman!’ Many years, and 33 drafts later, This Crown of Comfort was completed. ‘With each new draft, I saw a bit more clearly that even in our brokenness we can be whole with God, and that whatever our grief, he is there to comfort us.’

‘I read an outpouring of God’s heart towards a city called Jerusalem. He called her a beloved woman!’

Drawing on the seven calls of God in the book of Isaiah, Eva writes out of searing experience – her own, and that of the many women who spoke to her for the book – and concludes, ‘Despite everything we go through, God’s seven calls are relevant today. For in his tender love, he shows us our beauty and worth. In his powerful love, he gives us strength.’

One of the women who generously shared her story with Eva is known as ‘Becks’ in the book. She has written this blog:

‘In This Crown of Comfort, Eva Leaf takes us on a personal journey through one of the most difficult and incomprehensible realities of existence: the pain and suffering that we encounter and experience in our lifetime. Society today may emphasize the responsibility for us to create happiness by following our hearts to the point where we tend to feel guilty when we are unhappy. This book, however, tells another story: life can be breaking us, circumstances crush us, people hurt us, feelings of sadness, pain, anger, and loneliness completely overwhelm us.

And yet, this is a book of hope! 

And yet, this is a book of hope! Eva shows us the reality of pain and brokenness, but also the reality of a life-giving Companion. In Hebrews 12 the writer says: ‘Let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.’ The word ‘race’ in Greek is Agōn, which means ‘struggle, conflict’. This book looks that reality squarely in the eye: yes, life is hard and there is serious struggle going on, and the many stories are witness to that. But thank God, there is another truth: we are not alone, someone has gone before us, loves us and – in mysterious ways – is able to use our brokenness and pain to draw us closer to himself.

God called Jerusalem a ‘beloved woman’. And when she was badly broken, He draws her into a process of healing. She is to take seven vital steps in her journey of recovery and renewed intimacy with Him. As his children, we are also God’s beloved (wo)men. Through many personal examples, stories from friends and everyday encounters Eva shows us how to use these seven steps as we turn away from patterns of lies and dysfunction and embrace the truth that we truly are God’s beloved. And it all starts with comfort…

This Crown of Comfort is an encouragement for people who are confronted with pain and hardship as they go through life, for we are not alone. Suffering does not have the last word, Jesus does. This book is also for those who are looking to make sense of the journey they are travelling. Eva challenges us to look inward, make an honest inventory for ourselves, and choose the right path going forward. And this book is for those who have a friend or loved one going through crises and are wondering what to say and what to pray. Give them this book as a gift, and if you are able, offer to go through it together, perhaps an even greater gift for the both of you. This Crown of Comfort allows us to discover the love of God in a deeper way, the amazing intimacy with Jesus, our big Brother, and the presence of the great Comforter.

And it all starts with comfort…

£9.99 / Buy nowemail sharing button


As a charity, we rely on fundraising and gifts in wills to deliver Anna Chaplaincy, Living Faith, Messy Church and Parenting for Faith. Your gift helps us impact thousands of lives each year. Please help more people to do the same. +44 (0)1235 462305

© Bible Reading Fellowship 2023. Bible Reading Fellowship is a charity (233280) and company limited by guarantee (301324), registered in England and Wales.

There is hope…

“A few years ago, I conducted a survey of women at various stages in life and with different beliefs. I wanted to know which felt more important to them – faith, hope or love. I figured every single woman would say, ‘Of course, it is love.’

The answers astonished me. They all said, ‘Hope.’

‘Why?’ I asked one woman.

She explained it well. ‘Faith comes and goes, and I have learned to live without love. But hope – if I didn’t have hope, I would die. There would be no reason to live.’

How I identified. If hope didn’t exist, I would have crumbled in impossible situations. If hope meant nothing, comfort could not have comforted me. Romans 15:13 says, ‘May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.’ For us to find comfort, God gives us hope.”

(story from ‘This Crown of Comfort’)


Imagine wearing a 2 kilo crown. King Charles III will on his coronation day. But that crown is only used on royal coronations, so he will switch to a lighter one later. He is a very important man.

Yet there is someone with more crowns than King Charles – the King of Kings – Jesus. He wears many crowns because he is King of the whole earth.

But each of us can wear a crown as well. We can choose. When we are sad, God can give us a crown of beauty. When we need rescuing, God can give us a crown of joy. When we don’t give up, God can give us a crown of life.

God doesn’t mind that we aren’t royal. If we stay close to him, he will give us some crowns as well.

– Mrs Leaf 


‘Always wear your invisible crown’ – author unknown                   

(from a ‘Chaplain’s Chat’ I wrote – photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)