Author, Speaker Esther Fleece Shares of Abuse & Her Difficult Path to Forgiveness on I Am Second

New short film available on IAmSecond.com

PLANO, Texas, March 16, 2017 – I Am Second, a storytelling movement meant to inspire others, today released the newest White Chair Film on IAmSecond.com featuring Esther Fleece, speaker and author of “No More Faking Fine.”

From the outside, Fleece’s life looks ideal. She has enjoyed a more than decade-long successful career writing and speaking about faith and family issues. CNN called her one of “Five Women to Watch in Religion,” USA Today named her one of the “New Faces of Evangelicalism,” and Christianity Today deemed her one of the “Top 50 Women Shaping the Church and Culture.”

Yet, in the midst of success, Fleece kept quiet the past details of her childhood abuse and abandonment. “I didn’t want to bother anyone with my pain. I thought I was supposed to leave my past in the past,” Fleece said.

Growing up, Fleece’s family regularly attended a suburban church, despite the dysfunction and violence occurring behind the closed doors of their home. This juxtaposition led to confusion about God and religion for Fleece. “I remember the police being at our house so frequently that I thought they were friends with my dad,” she said. “I just started seeing those violent episodes more and more … it was like my hero was becoming the most unsafe man I had ever been around.”

Fleece was often summoned to court to testify, sometimes finding partial reprieve, though simultaneous grief when her father was sentenced to jail. As she approached her teenage years, Fleece’s entire biological family was no longer in the picture.

Though she found success in her career, Fleece’s past caught up with her nearly 20 years later in 2010, as she was speaking at a conference on marriage and family. She received word that her biological father was actively stalking her, and his already unstable mental health, had further deteriorated.

Fleece abruptly stepped aside from her thriving international platform of speaking and teaching to make sense of what was happening and find healing.

“The nightmares were terrible and none of my coping mechanisms worked anymore. Busyness didn’t work. Being performance-driven didn’t work anymore, because I just didn’t even want to get out of bed in the morning,” she said.

Fleece’s story is ultimately about forgiveness – of herself and others – and one that is still evolving. “There’s just not a Tiffany’s bow at the end of my story, but in the midst of the heartache and in the middle of it all, I’m okay,” she said. “I have this incredible hope that my story isn’t over yet, but that’s so not dependent on me.”

She hopes to encourage others to be honest in their pain so they realize they are not alone.

Her first book, “No More Faking Fine: Ending the Pretending,” invites readers to be honest about their pain. One of Zondervan’s major releases for 2017, the book reached the top 25 on the Evangelical Christian Press Association (ECPA) bestseller list.

To watch Fleece’s short I Am Second film, visit http://www.iamsecond.com.

About I Am Second

Headquartered in Plano, Texas, I Am Second is a movement centered on raw, authentic and transparent stories of living Second to inspire others to do the same. For information, visit http://www.iamsecond.com.

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