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Heather disarro: good v. grace


It can be hard to truly grasp that a testimony often doesn’t mean a full-fledged life story, but rather the open acknowledgement of a particular fact.  This fact in my life is my story of grace; the one that has always been true, but that I only truly first acknowledged a few years ago.

The beginning of the story is basically this: I have always defined myself as being a “good girl.”  The girl who never drank before 21, who never had sex until marriage, who went to church every Sunday and who served on the leadership team at her church in college.  All outward signs pointed to being a “good” Christian, but inwardly I was lost, confused and hurting.  I was trying all the time to better myself, but never felt like any of it was enough.  Luke 18:19 was totally lost on me: “And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.’”

Around the same time I got married I also moved to the Dallas area.  My husband and I started to attend a church, and the hearts of the people there were clearly transformed by the grace of Jesus.  For the first time I saw people who did not care about the right church answers, but who truly trusted and acknowledged God’s truth in their lives.  I began to question motives in everything I did – was it for me, or was it to glorify God?  The scary thing was the answers all lead to my own self-glorification.

No wonder I felt unfulfilled.

Fast forward a few years.  My husband and I had suffered a terrible miscarriage, both of my grandfathers passed away, and the church plant we had poured ourselves into was closing down.  I was pregnant again at the time, and scared every day that I was going to lose this baby too.  I was working full-time and writing my blog religiously every day, in addition to active engagement in every social media medium you can imagine.  I was exhausted and scared, and once again relying on myself to fulfill the desires of my own heart.  Looking back now I was once again working to glorify myself, a mission that was yielding empty results.  The desires of my heart were not in sync with the desires the Lord was placing on me (Psalm 37:4), and the struggle again that only exhausted me more.

I can’t pinpoint a specific turning point; God was using several relationships and instances in my life to gently guide me back to him.  However, when my son was born I started to view the world very differently.  It became easier to name evil for what it is and to stay away from things that suck the life out of me.  I also realized that just wanting him to have a relationship with God wasn’t enough – my husband and I were going to have to live that out.

I started to dive back into the Bible with the amazing She Reads Truth community.  Rather than trying to be “good” and do the right things, I saw once again that true fulfillment can only come from having a relationship with God and nothing else.  If I really wanted to be happy I had to give it to God.  I needed to glorify him.  And I needed to acknowledge and accept the grace that He so freely gives – that he DIED for.

It can be hard at times to root myself out and allow God to plant the seeds of His desires for my life, but I find that when that happens are the times that I overflow with joy.  I feel like I’ve finally begun to truly live!  I know that hard times will continue to come, but trusting in the hope of Jesus and living Romans 12:12 (“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction and faithful in prayer”) are where my heart has found its new home!



// Heather’s Blog //

  • Heather Disarro

    You guys are all so sweet and encouraging – thank you! The most amazing part for me is just that this isn't my story – it's God's. I am so thankful that I'm not in control, and even though it's not fun to remember that, I just love how the Lord always pulls me back.

    Thank you all for being such amazing sisters :)

  • What an inspiring read! Thanks for sharing Heather :)

  • Ellen MR

    Thank you for pointing out that it’s not always about being “good”. Coming from opposite ends of the spectrum, I was one who did whatever I wanted to do. I didn’t stop and think if it was pleasing to anyone, except maybe my parents,
    let alone God! But now that I’ve committed my life to the Lord I can understand wanting to glorify Him! As I grow in my walk, I’ll be sure to question
    myself on motive. For now all I can do is give Him all the glory for all the positive changes in my life because without Him, none of it would’ve happened!!
    Thanks Heather! Blessings to you! :)

  • I think that whenever we do things in life which are aligned with our true relationship with God, the one that we create…we are spot on. At the end of the day, the relationship which we harvest with God is our own, and we are held accountable for that.

  • Thank you for your testimony and the reminder of our motives. Relationship is what God desires; He looks at our hearts.

    You have made me remember the importance of why we do things; it is all for His glory!

  • Urban Wife

    Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us! It’s always such an encouragement for me to hear about how God works in others’ lives. Praying continual blessings for you and your sweet family, always! :)

  • Thanks for sharing, Heather! Great question to ask myself in regards to any action or activity I’m taking–Am I doing this for God’s glory or my own? Blessings, all! Good night!

  • This is such a powerful reminder that it's not by works, but by faith alone. It doesn't matter if we spend our whole life doing "right" if we don't have that personal connection with Christ. Great post, Heather!!

  • Lynda Clarke

    Thank you for sharing your testimony. It made me take a look at why I do the things I do for my church. For His glory or mine? I'm always quick to say when complimented on the work I do "He get the glory for my story" do He really? hmmm,

    I have gleaned so much from She Reads Truth, my faith and knowledge has grown (I still struggle) however, not like before. Now because of the many testimonies, and Heather's I'm learning how to build my character and self image, which daily is being renewed! I desire to live a life pleasing before God fist, in doing so I know everything else will be added to my life by God.

    Again thank you Heather for sharing your testimony, may God continue to bless all the works of your hands.


  • jesusgirl71

    I, too, was raised in the church, in a works-based church. I read today that for tohse raised in the church, it can be hard to recognize and be grateful for what god has done for us, and I think that's true. thanks for this.

  • Lauren C

    Right on, Autumn Dawn Leader. I think what really matters is our pure relationship with God. Not what other Christians are doing. Not what other Christians think we should do. Not what any specific church tells us we should do. Not what our people-pleasing personalities falsely tell us to do. As Debbie wrote yesterday, being still & silent and just letting God be God to us… that's the place to be. I think it pleases God when we work for Him and serve for Him, but it's just way too easy to get caught up in the "doing" for God rather than "being" for God. I want to glorify Him by first being still and silent for Him – so that I can really listen to Him – and then let Him show me how He wants me to serve Him. And then go forward and act in His grace.

  • elbriedekock

    I am being totally blessed by this season of sharing in testimonies. I've been asked to share my testimony at a ladies event at our church next Friday and I have been putting off writing it out, because I really didn't know where to start or how to put it. It is wonderful to read each and every story and even though all the stories are so different, there is one constant – the Love and Grace of our Heavenly Father! Thank you #shereadstruth for what you are doing!

    • claire

      Praying for you to find the right words to share- remember God is in control and will use you to bless many just as these testimonys have!

  • What a great testimony Heather, thanks for sharing! As I read your words I started to think back to a time, not so long ago, in my own life. I wasn't feeling like I was living like I should, I had these standards set for myself but I felt like I was falling short on them. I tried to be "good" but I kept feeling like I wasn't good enough. It brought me great grief and anxiety. I even went to therapy for the way I was feeling. There were other events in my life at the time that therapy helped me with, but through all that I think God spoke to me. I was at a rough place in a relationship and He gave me the words to communicate what I needed to say in a way the other person could understand. I also believe he called me to this site and is continuing to call me back to His light; a relationship I really need to strengthen.

  • Katie Unger

    Beautifully written, Heather. God’s grace and glory truly shine though your life! Your dedication to put Him first is always inspiring to me. Blessings to you and that sweet family of yours.

  • Candacejo

    Beautiful Heather….so many times as a Pastor's wife people would tell me they were trying to get everything cleaned up in their life and then they would serve God. Well you don't "get good" to "get God" you "GET GOD" to "GET GOOD"! And then He receives all of the glory. It truly is all about relationship! And that doesn't mean we are perfect, just that we are forgiven and there is no more condemnation. Romans 8:1.

    Thank you for a beautiful reminder of His grace and living in His joy today! It is so much easier than trying to do it on our own!

  • AmyKelly213

    Thank you, Heather!! I see so much of myself in your words!! And thank you for the blog, Faces of Beauty!! I've just checked it out and love every post!! You do a good thing with that blog… And I am better for having found it! Thank you!!

  • What an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness and presence in ALL the seasons of your life! Thanks for sharing!

  • wow! thank you Heather. your testimony makes me question if the desires of my heart and in-line with the desires of His for me. i am praying for clarity, wisdom and direction that i may glorify Him.

  • Autumn Dawn Leader

    It’s all about grace and relationship, relationship and grace. Joy and peace aren’t found in dos and donts and religiosity; real fulfilment isn’t found in being (doing) good (stuff), but in depending on God, surrendering our good (which is never good enough) to get His best.

    What a blessing this week of testimonies has been. I love reading what God is doing, reading of His faithfulness, reading of His great, amazing, abundant GRACE!

  • Thank you so much for sharing Heather, I think what you have said is so true and so relevant. I find it so easy to think what a good person I am and list things I am doing for the church etc but actually am I doing them for Gods glory or for my glory? None of those are bad but I think my mindset is. Thank you.

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