#YourStory: Suzie Eller + A Devotional Giveaway

It’s my joy to introduce you to an authentic Christian, a woman who’s real in her relationship with Jesus and people. Suzanne Eller (Suzie) happens to be a writing mentor with COMPEL, the Christian writer’s training branch of Proverbs 31 Ministries. I consider her my own mentor as well. I hope your faith is bolstered through these beautiful words Suzie shares with us today. ~ Kristi

Dime-Store Girl

by Suzie Eller

I’m a dime-store girl at heart.

I love finding something at a good price. If I can spend half for something similar or off-brand, I’m tempted to choose the less expensive version every time.

That’s why I almost want to hide my skin care products if you walk into my bathroom. They are costly, and there is no option to pay less than full price.

For years I struggled with skin issues. As a young girl, doctors had my mom pour liquid coal tar on my skin and wrap me in Saran Wrap to help with psoriasis. My sister and I shared a bed. There were many nights she wanted to throw me out of the bed, because I made crinkling noises with every move. I also smelled like coal tar.

I learned to hide my skin issues, which meant that I didn’t go swimming, but wore long sleeves when everyone else was splashing in the pool.

When I was an adult, I was diagnosed with rosacea, which produced redness on my nose and cheeks.

All I could think was, seriously? Two serious skin issues? I felt like a dermatologist’s dream.

Much like the woman with the issue of blood in Luke 8, I went from doctor after doctor. Nothing worked. I tried elimination diets. I tried different products. I took medicines that had tons of side effects, and tried to ignore warnings on the label that made my stomach turn.

Then one day I tried something that a friend suggested, and it worked. I was shocked, because nothing ever had. I eventually I threw away most of my medicines, and stopped trying to hide all my skin issues under cover-up makeup.

The first time someone said, “Hey, you have really great skin,” I looked around to see who she was talking to. Because I had never heard those words – not one time, in my entire life.

What does this have to do with anything, Suzie?

For months, even though I could see the difference, I struggled to pay the price for the very thing that was helping me. My dime-store mentality told me there had to be something somewhere equivalent that required less investment on my part.

Sometimes we do the same with a gift that Jesus offers us. He said He came to heal the broken hearted. He said He would break chains that we couldn’t break on our own. He knelt with women who felt abandoned and ashamed, and called them “sister,” when everyone else called them broken and unclean.

Jesus paid the price for all of this.

Yet we often shrug it off. After all, it’s too costly. To receive this, we have to believe that we are loved. That Jesus sees something inside of us that we might not yet. That He is big enough to overcome and heal what we cannot on our own.

There’s the investment Jesus made, but there’s a cost for us as well. He asks that we do the hard work, with His help. That might lead to hard paths like forgiveness, or fear as he asks us to climb out of a comfort zone.

A dime-store mentality is great when bargaining (and I love a great bargain!) but not so great as we follow Jesus.

We exchange his gifts for lesser substitutes like comparison. We hold on to the old, because we aren’t sure if we are worthy of the new. We see ourselves as damaged, when Jesus promised to make us whole. We set ourselves up for failure with impossible expectations, and beat ourselves up when we don’t meet them – even as Jesus holds out forgiveness, growth through our mistakes, and relationship with Him as we walk with him day by day.

I’ve been a believer for a long time, and I’ve finally realized that Jesus doesn’t want us to live with anything less than what he offers. We don’t have to cover up anything, but hold it up to him. He sees the surface stuff. He sees what everybody else has pointed out, or that we’ve tried to hide. He sees the cheaper substitutes that leave us unfulfilled and still a bit broken, or the easier route that we’d like to take when He’s offering purpose and destiny.

Jesus invites us to real change. The kind that is transforming, and will never have a substitute.

That invitation for real change is for each of us. We may be holding up a situation, a person, a feeling, an outward reflection of an inward issue, but He’s looking so much deeper.

He sees each of us, and he’s offering a gift of the highest value. When we say yes to that invitation, real change begins and it’s worth it.

“Don’t just ask me to change your situation, invite me to change you. ~Jesus” @SuzanneEller Share on X

About Suzie ~

Suzanne Eller (Suzie) has served Proverbs 31 Ministries for 10 years. She’s an author, international speaker and Bible teacher, top 100 Christian women’s blogger, and popular media guest. She loves nothing more than watching God work in the heart of a woman.

Connect with Suzie at her blog, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Suzie’s publisher is giving one KristiWoods.net reader a FREE COPY of her new Come With Me Devotional. Comment below for 1 entry. Share on social media (and comment below to let us know) for 1 entry. Contest open to US adult residents only, please. Contest deadline is Sunday, Oct. 8 at midnight, central time. The winner will be notified on Tuesday’s post, and if you connect an email address, we’ll be certain to email the winner as well.  Learn more about the Come with Me Devotional here.

I entered the #giveaway for the Come With Me Devotional by @SuzanneEller. Have you entered? #comewithmedevo Share on X


Like this testimony?

Read more #YourStory testimonies at the bottom of the Free Christian Resources page. 

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    1. Suzie – you’ve always been an inspirational author, speaker and beautiful person. I’m blessed to be a part of all you share.
      Some days I feel not worthy. Wondering why God gives me my most beautiful days. I think if I did not have Him walking with me I would be a mess. I feel He is the only One that makes me feel like 1mil! Being frugal for me is a blessing but to share my most valued treasure (Jesus) is priceless. Always following, Lisa ????

  1. I love the point you make about Jesus changing you Suzie. That is were it all starts…in the heart. Once God begins to transform your heart, you can begin to see things through His eyes. I;m thankful God has chosen me to be a part of His family. He continues to strengthen and transform my heart Thanks for giving us a glimpse into your story, and thanks to Kristi for sharing. I hope you both have a wonderful week and may God bless you in all your endeavors..

    1. It’s my honor to share space for testimonies like these, Horace. 😉 You never who will find encouragement amid the words. Go Jesus!

  2. Thank you, Suzie, for the reminder there is no substitute for the grace Jesus offers. He wants nothing less for us but to receive all that He has for us.
    Thank you, Kristi, for sharing Suzie’s story!

    1. Thanks, Crystal. I love these Tuesday testimonies. They offer such encouragement for our faith, don’t they?!

  3. I would love a free copy to share with a dear friend miles away, who is having a touch time with the passing of her husband due to Alzheimers. He was an amazing retired pastor and she pours out to others but now needs refilling. Thank you for sharing your story!

  4. Your words Suzie speak to my heart! My hubby is having open heart surgery tomorrow morning and there is no one better to speak to than Jesus! He will see us through this and the many more challenges to come. Your words reminded me whose we are. Blessings on your continued ministry and thank you for sharing Suzie’s words today Kristin!

  5. Although I’ve known the Lord for quite a few years now, I’m so thankful that He is constantly transforming me & my way of thinking. Your words have always been a blessing to me. I would love a copy of your devotion!

  6. Love, love, love this post, Kristi and Suzie. I already have a copy of the devotional, and it’s a treasure. If my name is drawn, please give someone else a chance. 🙂 Sharing this on FB and Twitter!

  7. I know I’m at least one of the women in your life who exclaimed about your beautiful skin, Suzie! And yes, while we are so much more than what is seen at the surface, we are treasured and loved far greater than we often accept. Jesus invested His entire life for our sake. I believe He absolutely loves when we invest in ourselves for His sake — even right down to tending to these bodies which are His vessel. While I knew a little bit about your skin troubles, I had no idea it caused such pain in your childhood. My daughter suffers from a terrible skin condition on her hands and feet. It’s rare. It’s hereditary. Most physicians wrongly diagnose it as eczema. One day she will have a loving spouse who tends to her raw, peeling skin the way I tend to her daddy’s. I love your heart, Suzie. Jesus knows where you invest your deepest desires — and He loves that you are celebrating freedom from a thing which has held you hostage for far too long. Praise God for dime store deals, and for expensive products when the cheap stuff just won’t do. Love this in so many ways! Thank you for sharing Suzie’s story, Kristi!

  8. Beautiful words, Suzie. So glad to see you at Kristi’s today! And you DO have beautiful skin, but I know Jesus loves your heart. This is a great devotional! Kristi, like Sarah, since I already have a copy, I’m commenting not to win but to respond to Suzie’s words today. Thanks, friend!

  9. Love this analogy and story, Suzie! I’m a dime-store gal too, so I can relate to that and the ongoing battle with health issues. But oh my! What God teaches us through them. So glad you are finding something that helps your skin and learning at the Master’s feet so that you can bless us all with these wonderful insights! Thanks to Kristi as well for sharing your story with us today!

  10. It’s so easy to pray for the changes to be made to situations but I know that I don’t pray for me to change. Thanks for the encouragement.

  11. I so need to remember this: “Jesus invites us to real change. The kind that is transforming…” So often I’m looking for a quick fix to get out of my situation. Jesus wants to transform me.

    How beautiful to see Suzie’s message here, Kristi. Keep up the good work!

  12. Beautiful words reminding me of the grace of Jesus. His beautiful grace. Thank you for sharing, your words are an inspiration, “Jesus doesn’t want us to live with anything less than what he offers.” Amen.

  13. I love this post. We so often try and fix things on our own when Jesus has the perfect remedy for our need. Thanks for the encouragement! ( I also shared on Twitter) Thanks! (Your neighbor at #HeartEncouragement)

  14. I’ve never considered this “cheapening” of His best. Such a rich analogy. (oops, no pun intended, haha.) The hard work is worth the price He paid, isn’t it? Beautiful message. Thank you for sharing, Suzie and Kristi. Love y’all. (P.S., this has been on my mental wish list of sites to visit for the last two weeks, I’ve been in heavy writing mode & haven’t made to it most of the places I want to visit lately. xoxo)

    1. P.S., I’ve already ordered the book, so feel free to leave me out of the drawing. Should be here soon, it finally shipped. Look forward to reading. 🙂

  15. What a beautiful story to hear the testimony of Suzie and to relate it to what Jesus offers us. Loved it???? Thank you Suzie for sharing your story with us and Kristi for hosting her! I am so grateful to have the book already????