Guest Post by Andrea Merrell        @SandraALovelace       #TimetobeYOU!

I’m a sucker for makeovers, always have been. I love the “before and after” photos in magazines and on television. Even though some might be air-brushed, photoshopped, or not even real at all, the transformations can be truly amazing.

But I don’t know any of those people. How exciting when it happens to someone I know on a deeply personal level.

Meeting Sandra Lovelace a few years ago at a conference, I was immediately taken by her quick wit and enthusiasm. She was a good listener and fun to be around. But there was something else about her that caught my attention. A shyness. A hesitancy. A reluctance to put herself out there and get too involved … or too close. I thought her a lovely person then, inside and out, but wasn’t sure she saw herself the way others did.

Unaware of Sandra’s makeover, I was astonished to see her before and after photos on Facebook. She was stunning. Perfect hairstyle and make-up, beautiful outfit … but the best part was the way her smile reached her eyes. Her countenance glowed. The effect? Breathtaking.

When I finally saw Sandra face-to-face after her amazing transformation, it was as if a heavy burden had been lifted from her shoulders. She stood a little taller. Her step was lighter. Her newfound confidence seemed to shout, “Hello, I’m Sandra, and I’m finally free to shine—to be the best version of myself that God created me to be.” She was a new creation in Christ from the inside out.

The work God has done—and is doing—in Sandra is a beautiful example of what He desires to do in each of his daughters. We can spend a lifetime trying to find ourselves and prove to the world that we have worth, even when we feel as if our lives have no value. We only find ourselves when we learn who we are in Christ. When that revelation knowledge explodes in our hearts, we find our true identity and our purpose. We move from the shadows into the light, and life becomes a dance as we hold tightly to the hand of our Creator and the lover of our souls.

Sandra is an inspiration to me and to all who know her. She glows with the light and love of Jesus. May her story inspire you to seek the Lord and be all you can be—for Him.

Be free to shine.

Andrea Merrell is an award-winning author and professional freelance editor. She is an associate editor with Christian Devotions Ministries and LPC Books and was a finalist for the 2016 Editor of the Year Award at BRMCWC and the 2018 Excellence in Editing award by the Christian Editors Network. Andrea is a graduate of Christian Communicators and was a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards and the 2018 Selah Awards, as well as a semi-finalist in the 2018 ACFW Genesis contest. She has been published in numerous anthologies and online venues, teaches workshops on writing and editing, and is the co-founder and regular contributor to, a blog designed specifically for writers. Andrea is the author of Murder of a ManuscriptPraying for the Prodigal, and Marriage: Make It or Break It. Contact her at


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