I Used to Be ___

How to Navigate Large and Small Losses in Life and Find Your Path Forward

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Navigate Through Grief with Biblical Mental Health Tools

When you suffer a loss, you enter the realm of "used to be." You used to be married. You used to be employed. You used to be pregnant, secure, healthy, sober, thin. You used to be a son or daughter, a brother or sister, a mother or father. And in that used-to-be space there is deep emptiness, loneliness, and sorrow. It's a place we all dwell for a while. But it's not a place in which we are meant to remain.

The path forward includes exploring the unseen elements of grief. With this book, pastor Chuck Elliott and counselor Ashley Elliott light the way to a better future. Sharing biblical advice and proven mental health techniques, they help you learn how to fully feel and face your grief, hold onto your faith, and develop healthy ways to see yourself, your life, and your loved ones. They offer coping strategies for when moving forward seems impossible and guide you toward building new thinking patterns that will result in true healing and growth.

Maybe you "used to be" something--but there is a future waiting when you "will be" once more.


"Loss, which comes in many forms, is sometimes very unexpected and can target the heart of our relationships. Without properly managing our hurt and disappointment, our emotions can take us down a path of even greater pain. Chuck and Ashley, because of their own deep pain and loss, offer a plan to push through fear and restore and rebuild our emotional health. It can be done, and there's a plan of hope in these pages."

Gregory L. Jantz, PhD, C.E.D.S., founder of The Center: A Place of HOPE

"Throughout my career as a board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, I realized pain and loss were the two primary components that brought people into my private practice. We can't escape loss--either we've endured it, are going through it now, or will experience its ravages in the future. I Used to Be ___ is a valuable resource for those navigating large and small losses who want to come through their experiences better, not bitter. Chuck and Ashley provide thought-provoking questions and useful tools to process our losses in life and heal from the pain that threatens to consume us and harden our hearts."

Dr. Michelle Bengtson, board-certified clinical neuropsychologist, host of Your Hope-Filled Perspective podcast, and award-winning author of Breaking Anxiety's Grip

"This highly practical and insightful book helps readers as they navigate the losses they face--no matter how big or small. I am thankful to see Chuck and Ashley contribute to this important field, teaching new tools and techniques to help people hold on to their faith while healing from loss so they can strengthen others down the road."

Dr. H. Norman Wright, MFCC, author of Experiencing Grief, and traumatologist

"Loss recalibrates us. Moving through that recalibration and learning to carry the loss are major tasks for those who grieve. This book wisely and gently guides you on that journey and helps you embrace your unwanted 'new title.'"

Ron and Nan Deal, authors, conference speakers, and featured presenters on GriefShare®

"Grief. The silent companion to all of us in one way or another. Chuck and Ashley know this companion intimately and help us give voice to the silence--a most necessary step in healing. They show us how to face and embrace inevitable grief with courage and strength. While they can't and won't take away your pain, they will lock arms with you on your healing journey."

Dr. David B. Hawkins, director of the Marriage Recovery Center and bestselling author of When Loving Him Is Hurting You and When Pleasing Others Is Hurting You

"Not only have I been blessed by the teaching of this book, but I have also been blessed to know Chuck and Ashley personally and can attest to their characters and compassionate hearts. Their book is an extremely valuable tool for anyone looking to process grief from a biblical perspective. I'm grateful for this resource, the framework they outline in it, and the authentic way they have chosen to address this sensitive subject."

John Stange, author of Dwell on These Things and host of The Chapter-A-Day Audio Bible podcast

"The unavoidable fact is, grief changes you. The way it changes you, however, depends on how you engage with it. In I Used to Be ____, compassionate counselors Chuck and Ashley Elliott invite us to take a journey to the hopeful side of loss--to the place where we're changed for the better because of it. With Chuck and Ashley as our guides, this is a journey worth taking."

Mike Nappa, bestselling and award-winning author of The Prayer of Jesus and Reflections for the Grieving Soul

"When we experience loss and enter into grief, it is hard to predict how we will find a way forward, in part because grief is far more complex than we think it will be. The people in our lives may not understand, and we ourselves may be disoriented or confused. Chuck and Ashley Elliott have faced loss multiple times and have a heart for those who are grieving. Their book offers many keen insights about the nature of grief, including wise practical advice for finding a way forward."

Mel Lawrenz, author of A Chronicle of Grief

"This is a book I wish I'd had a dozen times throughout my life and one I will come back to often. Chuck and Ashley have coupled with the Holy Spirit and pulled together their head and heart knowledge to pen a work dedicated to your grief. They give you the space to go there, to that place of hurting, and remind you that God is present in the loss you feel. A must-read for the difficult places in our story that God wants to heal."

Brittany Rust, pastor, Bible teacher, author of Here I Am

The Authors

  1. Chuck Elliott
    James Helm

    Chuck Elliott

    Chuck and Ashley Elliott are content creators who have partnered with YouVersion, RightNow Media, and an array of other national organizations. They serve as advisory board members for the AACC's International Christian Coaching Association. Frequent speakers...

    Continue reading about Chuck Elliott

  2. Ashley Elliott
    James Helm

    Ashley Elliott

    Chuck and Ashley Elliott are content creators who have partnered with YouVersion, RightNow Media, and an array of other national organizations. They serve as advisory board members for the AACC's International Christian Coaching Association. Frequent speakers...

    Continue reading about Ashley Elliott