Built Myself Up Layer by Layer

I’m happy to welcome multi-published author Pamela Thibodeaux. Today, Pamela shares her inspiring reinvention story and her novel, My Heart Weeps.

Here’s Pamela!

Thank you, so much Joanne for hosting me on your incredible blog! I absolutely love the idea of reinvention. So many times in our lives we have to start over or ask for and take a second (or third, or fourth) chance for a do-over. Reminds me of those movies of people trading places so popular in the 80’s.

I guess you could say my first act, after being born into a great family with three brothers was marrying at the tender age of sixteen (yes, 16!). That union lasted ten years and sadly ended in divorce which brought about my first need for change. Five years later I married a wonderful man who died a short seventeen years afterward, throwing me into my 2nd second act and time of reinvention.

For most of my adult life I was someone’s wife or mother. After my husband’s death in 2009, I began the long and arduous journey from wife to widow to individual.

When I separated from my first husband (with no self esteem intact), I adopted the motto, “What you see is what you get. You like it? Good! You don’t? Hit the road, it’s your loss.” This was out of self preservation, not a sense of self worth or self love. With my second husband, I always felt beautiful and worthy in his eyes, but never in my own.

Years after being thrust into the dating scene—something I never felt comfortable with anyway—I learned the true meaning of self worth and self love. Now, when I say that motto, I know what I bring into a relationship, therefore I mean it on a deeper level.

Today I am happy with myself, my life and my relationships!

If anyone planning to pursue a second act would ask my advice, the first thing I would tell them is to work on their inner self and internal dialogue. After all, you’re going to take you into every aspect of your life so you might as well love and appreciate yourself! I built myself up layer by layer by writing and repeating positive ‘I Am’ affirmations….

I am love and I am loving. I am forgiven and I am forgiveness. I am healthy, whole and complete. I am beautiful. I am peaceful. I am joyful. I am happy and others are happy with me. I am (YOU fill in the blanks).

Read books like, You Can Heal Your Life and Mirror Work by Louise Hay, The Power of I Am by Joel Osteen and other similar titles. Positive affirmations are one of the kindest and most rewarding things you can do for yourself in any situation, but especially when you are in need of, or in the midst of change.

My Heart Weeps is Melena Rhyker’s second act—her journey from grief into new life and parallels my own.


After thirty years married to the man of her dreams, Melena Rhyker is devastated by her husband’s death. Relief comes in the form of an artist’s retreat at the Crossed Penn ranch in Utopia, TX. She rediscovers a forgotten dream as her artistic talent flourishes into that of a gallery-worthy artist. Will she have the courage to follow the path she was destined to travel?

Garrett Saunders has been on the run most of his life. Abused and abandoned as a child, he escapes the clutches of a past filled with pain and shame, and hides from his calling as a Native American healer. His years as a CIA agent aid in overcoming his childhood and honing his talent and skill as a fine art photographer.

Follow their journey as two people who come from totally different backgrounds, but share gifts of gigantic proportions, find meaning and purpose in the Texas Hill Country.


At 6 p.m., she pulled into the carport, turned off the engine and laid her head on the steering wheel.

“Well, I’m home again. Made it through another agonizing eight hours or so, now to get through another night.”

Gathering every ounce of courage she could summon, she disembarked from her vehicle, retrieved the mail from the box beside the door, and entered the house. She thumbed through the envelopes and advertisements, then laid them on the table and poured a glass of juice. She reached for the bottle of over-the-counter pain reliever and froze.

It would be so easy to end this pain.

Oh, what an enticing thought. Just take a handful of pills and end it all. Would she wake up in heaven? Would Jesus meet her there? Would Jonathan? What about the kids or Mama—would they understand? Or would she destroy them? Where was the faith she claimed to have? Why was it failing her now?

Buy Links

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU

Author Bio

Award-winning author, Pamela S. Thibodeaux is the Co-Founder and a lifetime member of Bayou Writers Group in Lake Charles, Louisiana. Multi-published in romantic fiction as well as creative non-fiction, her writing has been tagged as, “Inspirational with an Edge!”™ and reviewed as “steamier and grittier than the typical Christian novel without decreasing the message.” Sign up to receive Pam’s newsletter and get a FREE short story!

Where to find Pamela…

Website | Blog | Newsletter | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Amazon Author Page | BookBub | Instagram


28 responses to “Built Myself Up Layer by Layer

  1. Pingback: Eleven More Second Acts |

  2. What a wonderful and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing your journey. I’m so glad you’ve gotten to the point where you are now. You’re a great person and you deserve the best of everything! Your books sounds fabulous. Congrats!

  3. So true, Pam. Seeing ourselves as God does is so key to being content and having the abundant life Christ desires for us. I’m so glad you’ve found that in your second act!

  4. Boy, I’ll say. Affirmations and mottoes have gotten me through many a tough patch in life. Still need them, even now when things are pretty ideal for me. Thanks for the post. Lida

  5. You are so right about the importance of internal dialogue! My natural tendency is to go negative, and I have to purposefully pull myself back from that. I enjoyed the post an getting to know you better.

    • Yeah, it does seem easier to go negative, doesn’t it, Alina?!
      But God is a Positive God so I make the effort to pull myself back before I spiral when the negative thoughts start.
      THANKS for your support!

    • It does seem easier to go negative, doesn’t it Alina?
      I try to catch myself before the downward spiral when those negative thoughts start.
      THANKS for your support!

  6. Hello, Pam (and Joanne)–

    This is a lovely post, and the “layer by layer” metaphor is very apt. I appreciate you sharing this, Pam! What an inspirational message!

    • THANKS Audrey!
      I believe layer by layer is a metaphor for God’s “glory to glory.”
      I appreciate you stopping by!

    • THANKS Barbara!
      If what I experienced helps one person, I’ve done what God called me to do.
      Isn’t that true for everyone though?
      I appreciate your support!

  7. Lovely post! So many become bitter after a contentious divorce. I’m so glad you were able to turn it into an opportunity for self-knowledge and growth. I love your attitude toward dating!

    • Yeah, it was a long process, Sadira and a rocky road and my husband helped me so much get over the nastiness of divorce. I believe self-growth is a lifelong process though and I do my best to cooperate with God for continued improvement in every area of my life.

      I appreciate your support!

    • Thank you SO much Jo for hosting me. I apologize to you and your readers for not being here on Monday. I had company from out of town and appointments with my attorney and this slipped my mind.

      I appreciate you!

    • Thank you SO much Carol!
      I pray readers of My Heart Weeps are BLESSED
      I appreciate your support

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