Ticcoa Leister
About the Author

Ticcoa is a Carolina girl transplanted to Texas. An introvert who survived her Worst Best Year on a 23,461-mile road trip with an extrovert, she writes with the hope that her story of owning her brave and learning to live in her own skin will inspire others.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Ticcoa,
    What an awesome blessing to have a friend like Anna. She is literally the hands and feet of Jesus to you right now. I’m so sorry about the loss of your sweet sister, Jess. Grieving is a process we all go through differently and there are no points for stoicism. That’s why God gave us tears. You ARE worth fighting for and I’m so glad that message is getting through. God is big enough to handle your anger, but He’s also loving enough to give you a gift like Anna. She stands in the gap, but ultimately, God wants to embrace you in His loving arms and comfort you. Despite the world, God is good and He is love and He cannot deny Himself. I am praying that He will woo you back to Himself through His constantly pursuing love. When you look in the face of Anna….you are seeing the face of God. Thank you for sharing from the heart. I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you. (John 14:18)
    Bev xx

    • Anna’s friendship, among that of others, is a direct reflection of God’s divine intervention in my life. Thank you for reading and sharing these thoughts.

  2. My heart aches for your loss, but rejoices in the gift of your friend.
    May we trust God for courage to be that friend who stands in the gap and who speaks hard truth when necessary for the good of a much-loved sister in Christ.

  3. I am sorry for your loss. This grief is hard to deal with and like you mentioned, it rears its ugly head in without notice. It is so wonderful to have a friend who will be there to encourage you, to lift up your spirits and to remind you that you are loved. I never understood what impact loss could do to a person until I too had lost my best friend in January. You are right, the pain is so raw and no matter how long or how much time had passed or will pass, I truly think the pain of not having their very presence is what is hardest to deal with. Praying for you and know that one day, you will see her again. Until then, laugh, cry and celebrate all the goodness she had brought into your life. Thank you for sharing this.

  4. God hears your heart’s cry Ticcoa ❤️ and He sent Anna to you for you season of wilderness. Be blessed dear daughter of the Risen King! He has conquered death and pain. Walk in His goodness.

  5. Words fail me. Your friendship with Anna is a true and precious gift. I am blessed just to read of it.

  6. Beautiful…the words…the love…the shared vulnerability. Thank you for sharing yourself and Anna with us. May the blessings of God’s love wash over you both today.

  7. Ticcoa,
    It’s a beautiful thing to see God orchestrate the beginning of a beautiful friendship. You literally never know if today you will get to meet your new best friend! Or vital friend as I call them.
    I’ve seen first hand how you have been an incredible gift to Anna and she has been to you. A match made in heaven. May your story inspire many others to lay down their life (their time, their ears, their treasure, their selfishness) for their friend(s).
    I pray that you are comforted each day by God’s Holy Spirit. And that you experience His love all around you in this season of grief for Jess. Thank you for sharing this experience ❤️.

  8. I’m a weepy mess this morning, Ticcoa. My heart will continue to grieve the loss of our beloved Jess along with yours…UNTIL.

    • Love you, friend. What a ride, huh? My heart is overflowing and my eyes are leaky.

  9. What a blessing you are to so many of us. Today’s post touched me in deep places I tend to ignore. Thank you for reminding us that we often need someone to “stand in the gap.” I love your sweet spirit and your transparency. Please keep writing and sharing with us!

  10. Hi Ticcoa, Thank you for your message. I am very sorry about your little sister. That sounds extremely painful.
    You have blessed me in that your message is so real and honest. You have gone through such a difficult trial and yet you think of how to show me Jesus through the pain.
    Many blessings to you. Love Maggie

  11. This is such a beautiful picture of how God wants us to live in community. Thank you for sharing this raw moment with us, Ticcoa. God sent you and Anna to each other at just the right time.

  12. Oh, how I can relate to your pain. My sister passed away a little over a year ago and the pain is like none I’ve experienced before. I totally understand how difficult it is during these times to believe that a loving God would allow things such as this to happen, but I have to keep reminding myself that He knows everything and I don’t.

  13. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet little sister! . This really touched my heart and the tears just started to flow… I am so thankful for Anna in your life, God is surely using her to love you during your darkest times.

    But I wanted to let you know that, yes God is using Anna, but He is also using you and your story (and your sister’s life!) to touch the lives of hundreds of women right now! Thank you for sharing your heart and for being so raw and real. I pray Jesus surrounds you and your family with His gentle love and uses each tear in redeeming ways only He can orchestrate.

    Again, I’m so so sorry, Sister. You are loved and so very beautiful to the heart of your Father. Continued prayers coming your way…


    • Thank you so much, Becky. It’s been a rough year, but He is still here and has provided Anna and others to walk alongside me.

  14. Ticcoa,
    I am deeply sorry for the loss of your sister. Your friend Anna must be the comfort that God knew you needed.
    Blessings to all,

  15. It is such a beautiful thing to have a true friend in your life like Anna. Thank you for opening up and being vulnerable to a bunch of strangers. Thank you for sharing.

  16. Reading this article today felt like deja vu. It’s been 6 months since I lost my younger sister and the pain is still there. But like your Anna, God has brought people my way to Stand in the Gap. He will not leave us without a comforter and the pain will lessen with time. We just need to let ourselves be held by Him.

    I’m Standing in the Gap with you and all those who are hurting and grieving this season. Bearing and sharing the burdens makes it lighter and easier to bear.


    Susannah x x x

    • Oh, Susannah, my heat aches with yours. The one-year mark is approaching for me. It’s a wound that I will always carry. I’m so grateful that He sees fit to sends heart-friends to help ease the pain. Thank you for sharing your story.

  17. Beautiful, Ticcoa. You have spoken of the power of friendship with such eloquence. Thank you for sharing part of your healing process. You are a strong woman!

  18. Ticcoa, words aren’t coming, because I’m just feeling. Reliving when my little brother died. The heart’s topography is forever altered by grief. May the tears you share with those mourning with you speak depths that words can’t reach. May you be given the strength to feel the pain. May the God of comfort hold you and Anna close. Hugs.

    • “The heart’s topography is forever altered…” Yes. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for reading and sharing your story.

  19. Sorry for your loss, Ticcoa. Thank you for sharing this message with all of us. God bless you and your friend Anna. How special to have such a dear friend. Hugs and prayers for you as you go through the healing process.

  20. My heart grieves with yours on losing your sister. God gave you Anna, and vice versa, for exactly a time as this. Despite being on rocky speaking terms with God, He has placed your feet on this path and is walking it with you. Praying you feel His gentle presence in the weeks ahead. He wants you to walk in the freedoms that Anna is always shouting about!

    • Oh, Beth. So grateful for you, friend. Thanks for believing in and seeing me. You’re an Anna, too.

  21. So thankful to have an “Anna” of my own. Tell those special friends how much they mean to you and be a friend to someone today. This world needs more friends.

  22. I am so sorry for your pain in the loss of your dear sister . Thank you for having the courage to share where you are at in your journey. May you be blessed with peace as you journey forward.

  23. Beautiful! Beautiful! Beautiful in the brokenness.. but how God redeems it by providing extraordinary blessings in friends like Anna. Thank you for sharing. I love you both even more now <3 <3 What a way to celebreate a book-birthday partnership!!!

    • Thank you for reading, Diane! We were both amazed when we realized what day it was being published. Couldn’t have been more perfect!

  24. We have the Holy Spirit as intermediary, thankfully He uses people too. Everyone needs a friend with a heart for God. Loss is a terrible thing, I recommend Dr. Michelle Bengston, Hope Prevails, she deals with grief and depression.

  25. That was so beautifully written! So thankful you have someone who sticks by you and reminds you of Christ’s love. Praying for you sweet friend!!! Miss you ❤️

  26. So beautifully written in the midst of your brokenness. The friendship that you and Anna share is a treasure …. such a joy to experience on those two days we had together on your epic road trip adventure! Such a teary eyed read for me as I remembered August 9th and my own missed phone calls from my niece. Thinking that something had happened to my Mom, never imagining that it was my baby brother that had died. Having to call my Mom in the early morning hours to tell her that her son had died is by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I am so grateful for Anna. For her innate ability to be the friend you need and the way she listens to the gentle nudge from the Holy Spirit on how to reach others in the places we all go to hide. I have prayed for you many times since hearing of the loss of your sister. Anxiously awaiting your epic road trip with Anna in the passengers seat! It is your time to shine!

    • Thank you for sharing, Janine. It was still so fresh when we came through California. So many moments of that epic trip are mixed with bittersweet memories. The prayers of so many people gave me the strength to press on. (That and the fact that mys sister would’ve kicked my rear if I’d given up on that trip!)

      • You did an amazing job of pushing through for Anna. For you. For your sister. In my journey of grief, it’s the little reminders that ease the sadness. This month on the 7 month anniversary, I was texting someone and kept trying to type “do”. It kept changing to Doug. Messin’ with me from heaven is what he was doing. Your words in this blog were a balm for my soul. Thank you for that. Looking forward to your next one!

  27. Omg girl! You’ve been on my heart so much and I’m so happy to read this ! You have to know that God had you in the right place at the right time! Thank you Anna for being there for our girl! God bless you and know even though we don’t speak often I’m one of your biggest cheerleaders! And you know how loud I can be! Love u! Wendy

    • Thanks, Wendy! You can be on my launch team and shout it from the rooftops! Love you!

  28. Hits home for me as I have been struggling with a loss for the past 7 months. My friend, Faith is praying for me but the wound is deep and she and my sister are the only ones who know what I am going through.

  29. Ticcoa,

    Praying for you now sweet sister. So sorry for the loss of your beloved Jess. May He send comfort & peace to your weary soul. Jesus needed someone the night before His betrayal. He asked friends to stay awake & pray with Him. How much more do we need someone to stand in the gap? Praising God for the friendships He sends to us at just the right time. God asks us to be the hands & feet of Jesus while on earth. We need to do what we can when we can & give encouragement to others often. May He woo you back to Himself & help ease the pain of loss. You are a beautiful child of God made in His image. You are important & worth fighting for-don’t listen to the lies, but the love of God & Anna.

    Blessings 🙂

  30. I’m so glad you shared your story of Anna. You’ve encouraged the encouragers, Ticcoa! Praise God for the support he provides through our friends and family. They become “Jesus with skin on,” as I heard one pastor describe the encouragers’ ministry. God bless you richly for sharing honestly and humbly through your painful grief. He WILL grant you to be the kind of friend to someone else that Anna has been to you. Such an unselfish desire of your heart God will undoubtedly award (Psalm 37:4)!

  31. Dear Ticcoa
    I am so sorry for your lost. I cant imagine what it would be like to loose a sister. But one thought I leave you with is this. Is Christ enough alone or should we lean on man so we don’t have to lean on God. I do believe God bring people along to help us on our way. But we have to be careful that we are not relying on them too much and not God. Will be praying for you during this time. I know God will get you through this. Take care and God bless.

  32. Thanks for your testimony of encouragement and love! Bless you two strong, warm wonderful women! ((hugs))