Saturday, February 18, 2012


When Christy as me to be a guest writer on her blog, I was simultaneously excited and terrified.  Excited by the opportunity to share my testimony with others but terrified at the thought of putting my testimony into words…and conveying all I wanted to say in a few short paragraphs nonetheless.  My testimony is one to which many women my age can relate; but I had no idea how to put it into words.  I spent weeks brainstorming about this post but hadn’t written a single word.  My story was still just random thoughts floating in my head, waiting for a spark of inspiration that allowed me to piece them all together.

Then, I heard Britt Nicole’s new song “All this Time.”  Christy, myself, and another of our friends had a blast on a recent road trip to West Virginia to see Britt Nicole and Brandon Heath in concert!  So, I was pumped to hear Britt’s latest single!  As I listened to the following verse for the first time, tears rolled down my cheeks:

Ever since that day
it’s been clear to me
that no matter what comes
You will never leave
I know You’re for me
And You’re restoring

Every heartache and failure
every broken dream
You’re the God who sees
The God who rescued me
This is my story
This is my story

I feel no truer words have ever been spoken.  And so…this is my story.

Until 8 months ago, I never openly admitted that I suffered from a debilitating depression.  I was 27 years old, I had a great job, I was physically healthy, my family was close-by, well, and loving beyond words, I had great friends who cared about me, I was well-educated, and I had dreams of one day being married and having a family.  What on earth did I have to be depressed about?  But there it was…this constant, empty feeling that kept scratching at my soul telling me that something wasn’t quite right, something was missing. 

I often felt like I was born without a particular gene, or that something went wrong when I was developing and that I was just hard-wired to be an unhappy person.  Despite the many blessings in my life, I was never happy.  Ever.  Sadly, I couldn’t recall a time in my life when I felt like things were going my way, according to my plan.  Most days, I was miserable.  If something didn’t go my way, I felt cheated and like life had let me down yet again.  I snapped at people and changed moods at the drop of a hat.  I’m surprised I even had friends because I was not fun to be around!  My cynicism was my defense mechanism, and I had a pessimistic view toward literally everything. 

But most people in my life never knew about any of this.  I plastered a smile on my face and played the part of happy, successful, energetic, 20-something that everyone expected me to play.  However, inside I was slowly dying.  At one point, my depression was so bad that I started skipping work, I began abusing alcohol, often drinking alone, and I often found myself curled up in the fetal position, crying.  Sure, medication and therapy helped a little bit.  But neither of those things really filled the void inside me. 

Because of the stigma surrounding a mental illness, I never wanted to admit that I was suffering from depression.  I convinced myself that I just hadn’t found the right things in life that would make me happy.  To me, being happy equated to being in a loving relationship with a man.  So I spent years trying to find that “perfect guy.”  I was tortured by failed relationship after failed relationship.  Each time, I feel deeper and deeper into that black hole when a man didn’t live up to my expectations. 

It was after the last break-up that I reached out to Christy.  I was upset, lonely, and desperately looking for answers about why my relationship ended.  Christy and the guy who had just broken up with me were friends and I thought, in a very 7th grade kind of way, that she might be able to provide some answers.  Instead, she advised me to look to God, seek Him out, give my heart to Him, let Him heal me and restore me, and let Him take me where He will. 

For someone who wasn’t religious, this was certainly not that answer I was looking for.  I expected sympathy but instead was encouraged to stop feeling sorry for myself.  Christy shared Jeremiah 29:11 with me: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

God was not a part of my life back then, but for some reason this verse stayed with me during the following weeks after talking with Christy.  I knew something had to change.  I knew I could no longer keep living life the way that I was.  If I continued down that abyss, it would surely swallow me up eventually.  I had dreams of a happy marriage, children, and a good life.  Those things would surely never become a reality if I continued to live in a depressed state.  I had to live differently.  I had to change. 

Christy advised me to seek God, but I admittedly had no idea how to do that.  Where did one start?  I assumed it started by finding the right church, so at a friend’s suggestion, I started going to North Way Christian Community, in Oakland.  I really didn’t know what to expect but I was a little culture-shocked by the worshipping, praising, and clapping.  Despite feeling a little uncomfortable, I was impressed by the amount of people my age, the unity among the worshippers, the smiles on everyone’s faces, and how welcome I felt by complete strangers.  I went back the next week…and the week after that…and the week after that. 

Little by little, God’s grace softened my hardened heart.  The words of the songs resonated with me all week, and I began to see God in everything…the sunshine, little things that made me happy, spending time with people I loved.  I started talking to God more, praying, expressing thanks for things.  I finally recognized that I had been living completely wrong.  I had wanted everything exactly when I wanted it and on my terms; it didn’t work like that.  God had plans for me, better plans than I could ever have for myself, and He knew the exact perfect moment to unveil them.  Only God would heal my spirit, only He could fill the void, only He could give me everything I had always been looking for.  I was never going to find it elsewhere; that’s why I had always been disappointed.  But after realizing God’s immense love for me, I knew I didn’t need anything else.  I was complete and fulfilled simply by accepting His grace and by knowing that I was given the most perfect gift of absolute, unconditional love by Him. 

Even though I was completely broken and so imperfect, the Lord embraced me and rescued me, which is why Britt Nicole’s lyrics touched my heart.  I once felt like I had no one on my side and that I was a failure because I had so many unfilled dreams.  But I feel differently know.  I know I have the Lord on my side and he will never leave me or forsake me.  He will never disappoint me.  He will never lead me astray.  Once I stopped trying to control life and instead I threw my hands up to the Lord and said, “Take me.  Do what you wish with me.  Lead me where You want me.  You know best,” I experienced true freedom.  I am a child of God!  I can do absolutely anything!  The Lord has promised great things to me, and I look forward to each day as I see His will unfold more and more. 

After accepting Christ into my life, it was like a switch was flipped.  My view on absolutely everything has changed.  I literally had a change of heart; I’m no longer cynical or pessimistic.  A few months ago, I was baptized.  I was to make a vow and publically declare that my old life was over, my old ways of thinking were dead.  Christy even came to support me!  I see each day as a blessing and another chance to give God glory for his infinite wonder.  I am happy, fulfilled, positive, hopeful, and oh-so-ever-grateful.  To Christy, and to “the God who rescued me.”


Wednesday, February 15, 2012


HE will never leave you nor forsake you, no matter how far away you fall… HE will always be there; ready to FORGIVE ALL your sins!

I had a long lost friend contact me the other day (out of the blue) wanting to know how to bring God back into her life. Lately, she decided to live a life for herself, making wrong choices which ultimately destroyed, what she thought, were her hopes and dreams.  Well my friend, it is NEVER too late to start over!
It is true God created us to live a life on purpose and develop a relationship with HIM. BUT because of our own selfishness, often times, we forget all the blessings that God has given us. We turn our back to Him because we want to experience the world, and what is in it.  We want to do things “our way and in our timing.”  We may even go as far as seeking things that give us pleasure, keeping us very far away from God, destroying our lives.   That’s when you find you’re quickly sinking and eventually end up so far from Him that you don’t know if you can ever make it back.

BUT it's a very great thing to know God is still with us, EVEN when we neglect Him. He is still waiting for our come back and without any hesitation He will accept us again and will protect us because He loves us so much. He lovingly welcomes us with open arms.

I don’t know if you have seen the skit or video to the song “Everything” by Lifehouse, but it is a very powerful drama!  I used this as one of my weekly bible lessons to the senior high students (at our church) a few years ago and they were blown away. I wanted to share a little bit of info on the message and the passion behind “Everything.”

The drama focuses on the spiritual warfare being fought for our souls.
At the beginning of the skit, the young woman indulges in the pure joy and innocence of finding her first love in Jesus, as He shows her all the wonderful things He has done and has in store for her.

But this moment becomes tarnished by seemingly harmless distractions, which turn into temptations and ultimately into deadly sins.

The fallen spiritual forces at work begin their relentless attack on the young woman, who takes her eyes off Jesus and sets them on the world.
She finds herself overcome by all the vices made to look so attractive in life: sexual impurity, greed for money, drinking, bulimia, and cutting.

The lies that she has been told about her worthlessness and inability to measure up lead her into depression, attempted suicide, and ultimately into a desperation that spurs her to once again seek her first love.

Only after the woman hits rock bottom does she remember the true source of her joy -- a relationship with Christ.

But she's not alone as she battles to regain the abundant life Jesus has given her. Unable to fend off the enemy's spiritual attack on her own, she puts her eyes back on Jesus, who is waiting for her call for help.
Eager to step in and fight the battle for His bride, Jesus fends off and defeats the demonic attackers who are after her very soul and life.

We are reminded that Christ already won the battle for our souls on the cross, and that we have victory over our sins through our hope and redemption in Jesus.
It affirms I John 4:4: "You dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world."

God is so amazing.......this video really touches my heart! Check out the link below along with the lyrics to the song!

(try the first link, if doens't work then try second)

Everything by Lifehouse (lyrics)

Find me here, and speak to me
I want to feel you, I need to hear you
You are the light that's leading me to the place
Where I find peace again
You are the strength that keeps me walking
You are the hope that keeps me trusting
You are the life to my soul
You are my purpose
You're everything
And how can I stand here with you
And not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

You calm the storms and you give me rest
You hold me in your hands
You won't let me fall
You steal my heart and you take my breath away
Would you take me in, take me deeper now
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this

Cause you're all I want, you're all I need
You're everything, everything
You're all I want
You're all I need
You're everything, everything
You're all I want
You're all I need
You're everything, everything
You're all I want
You're all I need
Everything, everything

And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better-any better than this
And how can I stand here with you and not be moved by you
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this
The skit was originally performed at the 2006 Smoky Mountain Winterfest in Knoxville, Tenn. It packed 30,000 into the Tennessee Volunteers' Thompson-Boling arena each night, and has deeply impacted God's Kingdom ever since.

In a society caught up with Oscars and Golden Globes, those involved in the production of the "Everything Skit" received a much greater reward than any golden figurine could ever deliver -witnessing changed lives!
John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that He GAVE His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

No matter what you’re facing in life depression, hatred, suicide, abortion, rejection, addictions….God gives you victory over your sins and your life! HE wants to wipe your slate clean, all you need to do is call out and reach out to HIM! He is all you need. You are never too far from God.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Prov. 31 woman

My hearts desire and longing is to be a woman after God’s own heart; for other’s to see Christ in me. I know I am only human and make many many mistakes, but it’s always good to have goals, things to strive for in life. For me, I have many things I would like to accomplish before I leave this earth, however knowing who I am in Christ and how I can impact others, is something I ask God for everyday when I wake, and is how I want to lead my life… More of HIM and less of me! I ask God to give me opportunities each day to be a witness, and let me tell you, if you ask he provides! It’s soo cool!! Like I always say, “You only get one shot at this life, make a difference, make it count, live beyond yourself.”

So what exactly does this look like????? Who and what is a woman after God’s heart??? I’ve gathered some thoughts that I think every Godly woman should pursue….

A woman of spiritual principles is one who knows who she is in God’s eyes. She understands her worth.  She sees herself “seated in Heavenly places” (Eph 2:6) with a rich inheritance.  She knows she’s a valuable jewel.  She is not only a woman of unsurpassable character, she’s got it going on in every way.  She is a person who draws others to her. She has a certain joy of life that comes from being comfortable with who she is.  She knows the promises of God concerning her and keeps them close to her heart.  She will not settle for less than God’s best. She is a well-kept lady and keeps herself reserved for those things that are deserving of her attention.   She “guards her heart above all else” (Prov 4:23).  She knows where she is going and what she wants and doesn’t land until she sees her destination and gets clearance from God. She knows she is never alone. Her primary concern is God’s will in her life. She is a true woman after God’s own heart.

I truly believe that every woman should see themselves this way! God loves you for YOU! Remember that YOU are God’s masterpiece. He created YOU just the way you are and if you think otherwise then you are dishonoring God.

One of my favorite scripture verses says it all! Check it out….

Proverbs 31:10-31 (Contemporary English Version)

In Praise of a Good Wife

 A truly good wife is the most precious treasure a man can find!  Her husband depends on her, and she never lets him down. She is good to him every day of her life, and with her own hands she gladly makes clothes. She is like a sailing ship that brings food from across the sea. She gets up before daylight to prepare food for her family and for her servants. She knows how to buy land and how to plant a vineyard, and she always works hard. She knows when to buy or sell, and she stays busy until late at night. She spins her own cloth, and she helps the poor and the needy. Her family has warm clothing, and so she doesn't worry when it snows. She does her own sewing, and everything she wears is beautiful. Her husband is a well-known and respected leader in the city. She makes clothes to sell to the shop owners. She is strong and graceful, as well as cheerful about the future.  Her words are sensible, and her advice is thoughtful.  She takes good care of her family and is never lazy. Her children praise her, and with great pride her husband says, "There are many good women, but you are the best!" Charm can be deceiving, and beauty fades away, but a woman who honors the LORD deserves to be praised. Show her respect-- praise her in public for what she has done.

The model woman described in Proverbs is a portrait of ideal womanhood. BUT the main focus of this is a woman’s relationship with God, and not her specific abilities or marital status. The Proverbs 31 woman realizes that regardless of her natural talents or acquired skills, or all her accomplishments, her strength comes from God. The ideal woman of Proverbs 31 should encourage all women everywhere. This woman’s God-inspired character shines brightly.

You can be single, married, widowed, divorced and this scripture is for you! You can be all these things, mentioned above, as a woman and more! HE truly loves you and thinks you are beautiful. Next time you are having a not-so-good day, remember that God thinks the world of you and wants the best for your life, no matter where you are, what you’ve done, what state you’re in, or how many things you’ve done wrong…you are valued and loved, you are God’s handiwork! You too are a Proverbs 31 woman!