Here to heal – and La’Porsha’s story from American Idol


But in the real world that lies beyond all this, we all have the same job: to minister to human hearts. All of us are here as ministers of God.
– Marianne Williamson

We were lying in bed, catching up on the latest episode of American Idol on the DVR.

La’Porsha Renae, one of the two contestants from Mississippi, was telling her story before she sang her final song for the night.

As we watched, Jeff accidentally bumped the remaining spot on my stomach that’s still sensitive from my gall bladder surgery. I flinched. He immediately pulled his hand away and profusely apologized.

It was no big deal. I know he never wants his hands to be a cause of my pain. And they aren’t.

But that’s not true for everyone.

We continued listening to La’Porsha. When she was 18, she met a charming guy.

But he didn’t stay that way. He became abusive.

For awhile she took it, feeling she was no longer human, no longer a woman anymore. She felt dead.


Until new life birthed through her. Becoming the mother of her baby girl, she found the courage to change her situation. She took her daughter and moved into a shelter.

And she started to remember again who she was.

Now she was saying, “I went to feeling below dirt to feeling like ten feet tall and I don’t want that feeling to ever go away.”

I cried.

Not many weeks ago, a friend wanted to donate her old washing machine to someone in need. We discovered a local shelter for abused women could use it.

As Jeff and I drove up to the shelter, we had to get buzzed in to enter the gate. Once inside, we had to be permitted to enter the locked doors.

Women roamed around inside, watching TV, folding clothes, tending kids.

Safe. At last. For now.

What had to be born in them to give them courage to change their situation and move into the shelter here?

I don’t know.

We didn’t stay long. Jeff hooked up the washer, we told them we were finished, and they opened the gate to let us out.

It was such a small thing for us to drive into and then off the grounds.

But such a gigantic thing for the ladies who were living there.

Walking away from abuse takes a leap of faith, a hope that life can be better.

  • May women like La’Porsha who have been there keep reminding us that these stories are real, are ongoing, and are all around us, even if often hidden behind locked doors.
  • May those of us who haven’t experienced it be more aware of others’ stories, believe their pain, and open our hands to help it go away as we are able.
  • May faith in the power of God’s healing presence be stronger than belief in fear and doubt and sickness.

As we are healed ourselves, may we help heal others.

It’s our mission from God.

The entire world is blessed by the presence of healed people.
– Marianne Williamson

* * *

Watch La’Porsha perform “No More Drama” after her story was told on America Idol last week.
[click here if you can’t see the video]

Whose story of healing have you heard recently? Who would you love to see healed? Please share in the comments.

38 thoughts on “Here to heal – and La’Porsha’s story from American Idol

  1. Kristine Brown

    Thank you for sharing this. Sometimes in our little worlds surrounded by loving friends and family, we forget that there are those who are hurting and scared. I will pray for the place where you and your husband took the washing machine – and for the women there. Thank you also for the reminder to pray for opportunities to help. Blessings to you:)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thank you for praying for the women in the shelter, Kristine. We never know what God does in response to the prayers we offer up on the behalf of others! Yes, I know I definitely can get so absorbed in my own little world that I can forget that there are others out there who are going through excruciating things that I can’t even imagine. 🙁 Lord, have mercy.

  2. Betsy de Cruz

    Thank you for sharing this. We live such sheltered lives. It’s good to remember, to pray for, and to serve the hurting. My daughter got to volunteer in a homeless shelter several days two weeks ago and was changed by the experience. You’re reminding me that I need to look for more opportunities to serve.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      How awesome that your daughter got to serve in a homeless shelter. Those kinds of experiences are priceless. I wish I hadn’t waited until adulthood to discover the beauty in our homeless community. Fear often kept me away, and blinded eyes to opportunities….

  3. Barbara H.

    That was so emotional – both her story and her performance. I’m so glad she got the courage to leave and that there are safe havens. May we be sensitive to hearts around us and their hidden sorrows.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Every time La’Porsha sings I find that it’s emotional to me. She sings from a place of depth that some of the younger contestants don’t have yet. I hope to continue hearing more of her story because I sense she has a rich heritage of faith that she draws upon too. They’ve shown glimpses of that here and there this season, but I know there’s more.

  4. Horace Williams Jr

    First let me say it is nice to meet you Lisa and thanks for the visit today. I hope you are healing well. Secondly, I have set my DVR on Thursday to see American Idol. Third, I would ask for prayers for my family as my uncle is in a coma from brain cancer. I’m not sure if he will last the week.
    My mother ministers to women in a shelter every 3rd Sunday after church. It is incredible and inspiring to see the strength of some of the women. It is my prayer as God continues to heal my body from the stroke that I can be an inspiration and encouragement to those I come in contact with. Have a wonderful Easter weekend and may God bless and yours.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It is nice to meet you as well, Horace! I’m encouraged by your optimism after surviving a stroke. I can’t imagine how tough that journey must have been. I pray that your uncle is receiving healing, either here or in heaven.

      What a blessing your mother must be to the women she ministers to! May God bless your whole family as you spread God’s love to those around you.

  5. Mary Geisen

    My heart was immediately taken by La’Porsha and her little girl when she was trying out. I could feel the strength of this woman even before I heard her story. I imagine that God equips us ahead of time with the strength he knows we will need in the future. I believe that strength is what helped La’Porsha to leave the relationship and go to a shelter. Sometimes we never know how one small kindness can impact another person. I pray that I don’t think about the glory but instead share the kindness knowing that God will get the glory. Thank you Lisa! Praying you are feeling better.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Yes, La’Porsha’s initial audition is when she and her daughter stole my heart as well. You could just hear that her faith had been strong to help her get where she is today.

      Thanks, Mary, for your prayers for my own physical healing; I have definitely felt much better the past 2 weeks, praise God.

  6. Kathy

    Amen Lisa! There’s nothing like seeing a woman rise from oppression and violence. Her power will never be held down in the name of God. May we as women continue to support other women to claim their right as God’s children, in God’s image. This is a beautiful post!! So glad I was next door at #testimonytuesday today!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks for your powerful words, Kathy. I agree with you that we should all rejoice when another sister makes it through by the power of the Lord! Blessings to you.

  7. Tiffany Parry

    What a powerful testimony, Lisa. I didn’t know that part of La’Porsha’s story. Such a beautiful thing to be able to encourage with the encouragement we have received – it really is a powerful part of the healing process. Thanks for sharing, Lisa.

  8. Karlene Arthur

    Beautiful and so glad I got this post. I did not see her performance until now. Wow! I have never, ever regretted reaching out to make a difference in someone’s life. We are called to serve those in need. (Visiting today from #TellHisStory where we are neighbors today.)

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad you got to watch La’Porsha’s performance online, Karlene (I do love that about the internet!). It was so powerful.

      You share a beautiful truth: “I have never, ever regretted reaching out to make a difference in someone’s life.” Amen!

  9. Dawn

    I was crying right along with you, Lisa. 🙂 And she has the voice of one who has been blessed to speak to our hearts with an anthem of hope through the life she has lived. It is beautiful.

    Praying for you as you heal. I had my gallbladder out and it took a while to feel like normal, but God is always good and always faithful. May His healing anointing touch your body.

    Thanks for sharing such inspiration and for being a reminder of how God uses every day things to bring hope to special hearts.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Glad I’m not the only one crying through La’Porsha’s song. 🙂 Thanks also for sharing about your own gall bladder removal. It’s always encouraging to hear that it worked for others! It’s taken longer than I thought for the original pain to go away, but after about 6 weeks I finally can tell a huge difference, praise God.

  10. Sharon

    How beautiful a story! Those of us with loving husbands sometimes forget that there is a world of hurting women out there – living with bruises and brokenness, both inside and out. And you’re right, Lisa, I cannot begin to comprehend the courage it takes to step out and away from that abuse. May God keep them safe.

    As to the bigger issue of healing, I pray today for the people of Belgium, as yet another senseless act of violence has rocked the lives of so many. I pray for healing for the world. I know it’s a big order, but it can start with us being the hands and feet of Jesus reaching out.


    1. LisaNotes Post author

      You’re so right, Sharon; those of us who have not experienced this can easily put it out of our minds. 🙁 May God continue to bring to light those people that we can help, and those that can help us. I love your prayer that healing for the world begins with us!

  11. Crystal Twaddell

    What a wonderful testimony to how God can rescue us in the midst of our pain and suffering, even when we can’t find a way out. Thanks so much for sharing this and for being an online voice also. Visiting from Jennifer’s…blessings!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, Crystal. I really love that La’Porsha has such a wide audience now to share that she has overcome (and is still overcoming) such a hard past. It gives hope to so many!

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      It definitely is too easy to forget that we are here to also help others, not just for our own healing. Thanks for all you do to help me remember that with your own stories, Floyd. You’re such a spreader of healing in your corner of the world!

  12. Betty Draper

    Great post Lisa. I grew up in a home where my Dad abused my mother, an us kids. It took her 24 years to finally leave him for good. She would leave him but always go back. We three children would have been better off if she had left him for good. Because of that background, I vowed to never let anyone abuse me and thank God I married a gentle kind man. There is a great book out there called, “Destructive Relationships by Leslie Vernick”. It’s a great resource to give to anyone you know who is in any kind of abusive relationship.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      My heart hurts as I read your words, Betty, that you grew up seeing and feeling abuse yourself. 🙁 I know it gives you a whole different level of empathy for other victims of abuse. I’m so thankful that you’ve seen the cycle of abuse stop in your own family.

      Thanks for sharing the book title; it’s good to know because I wouldn’t know where to begin on recommended reading!

  13. Lori Schumaker

    I used to always watch American Idol but have given it up the last few seasons! What a beautiful story I missed! I am so thankful she was able to share that story and I pray women in need will continue to hear it and find the courage to believe … and to hope.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Blessings and smiles,

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      I’ve missed a few seasons of American Idol too but I didn’t want to miss this final season. Overall it’s been a very positive one with several good stories coming out of it (not to mention good singing! ha). Yes, I hope too that other women will hear La’Porsha’s story and be encouraged that they too can break free. Thanks for stopping by, Lori.

    1. LisaNotes Post author

      Thanks, June. There are SO many stories out there; bunches of stories for each person alive. I realize that there are some stories we aren’t supposed to believe because they aren’t true, but I’d rather err on the side of grace and believe someone when possible versus disregarding what they’re saying. I think that is done too often with people’s stories. 🙁 Thanks for being a believer in stories too!

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