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Hi, my name is Carolina Mejia, I am 28 years old and I was born deaf. My whole life I have communicated through sign language. My parents both sign pretty fluently and so does my younger sister; Alejandra. A little back story about my childhood; is that I was born with many complications. The doctors told my parents that I had a medical condition that they had never heard of; they told them to be prepared for the worst. For 2 ½ years my parents went back and forth with me to the hospital. When I was 2 ½ years old I had heart surgery. And after that, I was finally healthy enough to go home. My life is a miracle! Where doctors had many opinions and thoughts about my condition, God knew the facts and the fact of the matter is that I would live!

Who I was before Jesus came into my life is hard to remember. It’s pretty surprising that after your life has been changed for a while, you quickly forget what you were once like. Before Christ, I was a depressed teenager who was addicted to playing video games. I would play from the time I woke up until the time I went to bed. (With a few breaks in between, food, restroom, etc.)

I was an angry person and fought with my younger sister often. I learned to tell lies so I wouldn’t get in trouble and also found myself stealing things that I liked. The anger and depression I once felt, I believe came from being bullied at school. It mostly happened in the 7th grade. I remember looking for answers and wanting to believe in a higher power. A Jehovah’s Witness teacher used to come to my home a few times a month to teach me their beliefs. For years I thought I knew God, but I never felt complete. It wasn’t until December 5, 2012.

My friend Raquel invited me and my friend Karina to a Spanish church to hear a preacher. My friend Karina’s sister interpreted what the preacher was saying. I remember responding to the altar call and the preacher praying for me. I was crying so hard! Never had I felt what I did that night! There was no denying of how REAL GOD was to me at that moment! And still is! Jesus took all my anger, my depression, and my addiction to video games, and my fear! I will never forget that night!

Something very close to my heart was the day my cousin Landy reached out to me. I was in college getting out of an art class when she text me. She invited me to a church conference and interpreted every part of the conference for me. I was a new believer at the time and I didn’t even have a bible. A few days after the conference she came to my house and brought me a small purple bible with my name engraved on it. I was so scared to have a bible because my parents are atheist. They weren’t exactly thrilled of my new found faith. For a while there I had to hide my bible and anything related to Christianity. My dad was convinced that I was brain washed!

BUT!!!

My parents learned to accept my faith in Jesus even though they don’t believe. My prayers remain the same, and I stand firm in believing that one day they will come to know Jesus!

Today in Christ, I am a business owner! I paint bible covers, notebook covers, occasional canvas art and I will also be offering wooden signs! My business is called paint and bibles! I have always had a passion for art and spent years taking art classes in college. I never knew I would be using this for the glory of God! I’ve never had a job and for a good while there I wasn’t sure I would. My family definitely didn’t expect this! I had a lot of help from my cousin Landy; she has believed in me every step of the way. She has prayed for me, with me, encouraged me, and driven me a little crazy but mostly has been a huge help! A verse that has hit home so many times for me is Jeremiah 29:13 which says, ‘You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me.’ (NCV)

Many times I have gone to the Lord and He has always met me where I was at! I believe God can and will do the same for you! I am an ordinary girl, with health problems and stories for days, but most importantly a servant of the Lord.

Lastly, my prayer and vision for paint and bibles is this, to encourage people to stay in their word! Encourage creativity in the church worldwide! Spread the gospel one bible at a time! And pray for every single person that orders a bible or anything else on our site!

Carolina Mejia

Long Beach, California

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/paintandbibles

Site: COMING SOON (Follow my instagram for updates)



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Hey! Here’s my testimony. Please feel free to correct anything you need to. My favorite flower is a Daffodil because it’s sunny. my verse is Ecclesiastes 3:11. Attached I have a picture, and below is my testimony.

Even a year ago I couldn’t imagine sharing my testimony, but God has been too good for me to hold back. My name is Kelsey Mitchum. I’m 20 years old from Anderson, South Carolina, and this is my story.

As many children, I grew up captivated by stories, told by my mom, told in movies, and told at church. I was wasn’t just in love with princess stories, but stories of underdogs had my heart. As odd as it sounds my favorite story was The hunchback of Notre Dame, and later on Edward Scissorhands. I loved them because they were different, and I wanted to be their friend.

This carried over into how I met Jesus. I was six and I kept hearing about Jesus at church. He seemed different, too. I heard the story of Him going to the cross when He didn’t deserve it. I heard how He treated people. But one day His story wasn’t just a story to me anymore.

On Super Bowl Sunday 2003 at six years old I realized Jesus could be my personal savior. I was at a super bowl party at my pastor’s house with my family, and many others. I shot up the stairs heart pounding because I knew I wanted to follow Jesus and ask Him to live in my heart. I tapped my mom on the shoulder and told her what was going on. And that night I told God I realized I am a sinner, Jesus is Lord, and I want to live life with Him. And where my real life started.

No, my circumstances didn’t get easier. In fact, they got worse and quickly. Fast forward seven years and what I thought to be my world was falling apart. My brother, three years my elder, was headed into the tenth grade and a major drug addiction. My parents who I imagined were perfect were barreling ahead into a divorce. Everything dark was coming to light, as scripture promises. I felt like I had a rug pulled from under me.

At thirteen, I was dealing with things most kids my age didn’t know about. The truth is I wasn’t actually dealing with them at all. I kept suppressing everything. I pushed, pushed, pushed everything down deep into my soul. I was a seventh-grader who wanted to have perfect grades and a normal life. So I hide.

Even then when I had no clue what to do God continued to show me hope. A verse He used to speak to me was Ecclesiastes 3:11. “He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart, yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.” What this means is we’re made for forever. It also means God doesn’t see time the same way we do. In fact, He holds it all. He has a plan and He is able to make thing more beautiful than we could imagine, and it’s in His timing. This reminded me that this momentary affliction was just that, a moment.

Flash forward 7 more years. I’m 20 now. I’ve been through counseling, praise God. Yes, I still have memories I wouldn’t wish on anyone. I still remember the years no one in my family was on speaking terms. But God has done a work in me more beautiful than I could have imagined.

During this whole time, God has been speaking to me. He has been guiding and growing me. I’m a girl who grew up in chaos who God molded into a peacemaker. He has given me perspective and wisdom I can only give credit to Him. He took a girl who thought she wasn’t anyone and made her into a leader. I’m that girl. He did it for me. As I look back I see his goodness. On nights we didn’t know where my sweet brother was or what substance was sucking the life out of Him my God was present. He spoke peace into my heart. On the night I didn’t know if I’d ever see my dad again because He was moving four hours away, my Heavenly Father was right there showing me hope. Even in the moments I felt joy God reminded me that He has more.

There’s not a moment He wasn’t there. And now because of the work God has done in my life I have a heart for people like my brother. People who have lost their way, and sought to self-medicate. This past November, God started pointing out the city of San Francisco. I really tried to ignore it and tell God I wasn’t strong enough to do ministry there. But it didn’t work. Turns out He knows I’m not strong, but He is in me. So this November I’m moving to the city. I definitely don’t have all the answers, but I’m excited to see how God continues to show Himself to me there.

In all of this, I can say God did it for me. He has turned everything into beauty. Not just circumstances, but in my heart. He has shown my soul His face.
When I see more of Him, I know more about myself. The “authentic me” is thoughtful, silly, passionate, creative, and free. I blog at www.kelseyamandamitchum.com and I LOVE it.
Now I know that no matter what His name is stronger. He is my best friend, my adventure partner, my hiding place, and the one my soul loves. I no longer have to search far and wide for an answer. Now I search deeper into Him, who is the answer.
-Kelsey.



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I remember being captivated by butterflies when I was little. I loved how they were so effortlessly beautiful and free.

Wherever they flew I always ran as fast as I could to catch them, I guess I wanted that beauty for myself. And one day, I remember watching intently as a monarch butterfly landed on a flower in front of me. I crouched down and slowly reached out a shaky hand, and as fast as I could, I closed my hand around this beautiful creature.

I was so excited to have finally caught one of the most beautiful things that I had only ever had glimpses of.

I opened my hand slowly, anxious to awe at my prize.

But my excitement quickly faded when I opened my clenched  fist to reveal the butterfly lying still in the palm of my hand.

I remember poking at it, trying to wake it up, and then I saw it- a broken wing. I remember frantically trying to put the butterfly back together and ended up placing it back on it’s flower hoping that would erase the damage I’d done.

I later learned that if a butterfly ever breaks its wings, it will never fly again.

Thinking about it now, this is how I can best explain my story.

I was free, a beautiful happy growing girl until people that I trusted most, made choices that eventually broke my wings.

I was separated from my family, my mom, and my brothers between three and four.

My mom’s battle against substance abuse and the physical abuse I experienced by her boyfriend at the time, eventually led to child services intervening.

After being seperated from my home, I was put into the system for a little while where I experienced sexual abuse and a disheartening separation from a family I really loved and became attached to.

After that, I was placed with my paternal grandmother who selflessly took me in and raised me up in a Godly home.

Everything was great for a while, but as I got older, my scars started to take control of the very forefront of my life.

My dad played a big part in my life at the very start, but then as I got older, I saw less and less of him. And the promises he made to take me home with him began to carry less and less weight.

Somewhere along the way, I started to let my brokenness define me. I thought that because of all the loss and pain I’d experienced at such a young age, that it had to be my fault.

I must have been a bad kid.

And this is what became my label up until high school.

So I made poor choices that put a strain on my grandmother and I’s relationship.

My home then became a place that felt like a warzone. Always filled with arguments and frustration. I never felt comfortable in my own skin and I felt like I couldn’t do anything right.

So, I graduated early to escape. That’s all I wanted. I wanted to escape the labels, the pain, the brokeness.

But, I quickly learned that by running away from your problems, you end up running smack into them. Which is exactly what happened in my first semester of college.

Coming from a strict household, the freedom of college was like a candy store.

And I indulged-in everything. The parties, drinking, sexual promiscuity, all of it.

But then one day I woke up and I just remember crying. I felt so lonely, so ashamed, so broken. Again.

I remembering asking God to make me whole.

I didn’t want to live my life that way anymore. I didn’t want to live out of pain and brokenness because I knew that it was only making things worse.

So, I started to pursue God in private again. Praying to him and listening to worship music, trying to reconnect with His love and mercy.

And slowly but surely God started to restore me. He started placing people in my life that cultivated my relationship with Him. He placed someone in my life whom I respect and love so deeply, and one day hope to marry.

It seemed the more steps I took towards him the more Jesus healed me. He even reconnected me back with my siblings (who I hadn’t seen in 12 years) and they have become such an important part of my life.

I never could have imagined that by taking that one step towards God that my life would completely change.

And of course, I still struggle with things like self-doubt, insecurities, depression, and fear of abandonment- I’m not by any means, perfect.

I’m still growing, and learning, I mean after all, I’m only 19.

But I can honestly say that because Jesus caught me in the palm of His hand… I can fly again.

-Anastasia.



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I accepted Christ at the young age of six. So I think my life before that was mainly Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, and those old plastic vacuum cleaners that used to have the balls in them that would pop when you pushed them. But I had something that happened in life that really challenged my faith, so we’re going to talk about that.

While I accepted Christ at the wise age of six, and grew up a Pastor’s daughter in Fort Worth, TX, that doesn’t guarantee I never had a crisis of faith. My parents divorced when I was young, while my dad was the pastor of a church, and that kind of decision never comes judgement- free in a religious setting. All my friends I thought were there, their parents stopped letting them see me, we moved, went into children’s therapy to deal with the divorce and started a life where dad wasn’t a pastor, but the leader of the home, with his ministry being his children. My dad remarried when I was eight years old and I grew up well loved, in band, and choir, playing piano and basketball. I left home at the age of 17, and moved to College Station, Texas to begin the next chapter of my life. While I was there I went through really finding out who I was independent from my family. I found out what music I liked, what I looked for in friends, what work I enjoyed, what my interests were, and where I thought my life was headed. I moved up to a management position at the job I was at and I began training for the position I was asked to fill. While I was there, my training manager raped me. I was nineteen years old. Coming from the background I had, having limited exposure to male interaction, maintaining my faith, and service in the church, my reaction was anger with God. I stepped out of the training program and just began managing, volunteering Sundays up for work and quitting on God. My life was a mess here, well at least if you look at it from a Christian perspective. I was working 80+ hour weeks, making great money, putting myself out there, growing my social life, finding parties, and doing everything I could to hide what I was feeling. I was still helping people, loving people, and building relationships, but Christ was no longer someone people could see just by watching my day to day life. I left management and moved to San Marcos, thinking a change of scenery could heal my scars. Instead I fell into a deep depression. God surrounded me with a community to care for me, he put me in a town with my younger sister, and blessed me by meeting my current best friend, Emily. But I still refused to fully open myself up to him. I had lost my GPA, and by the Spring of 2015 I was in the hospital for two weeks, because everything I refused to let surface had caused cysts and a rupturing appendix. What I didn’t want others to see had wrecked the inside of me. I moved once again, to Denton, TX on a whim, thinking I could get life back on track and get back into school in a place that was fresh, with only my best friend there. Since we had friends down in San Marcos, around Christmas 2015 we decided to go back and visit one of our favorite places, the Austin Trail of Lights. The problem was, the night we decided to go, it rained. While we should have gone home, we decided to stay in town for a few hours and catch up with a friend. Since we were all of legal drinking age at that time, and I was no stranger to alcohol by this point, we decided to go to Walmart and grab some ciders and just have a night where we caught up. Unfortunately, the friends we met took illegal substances, mixed them with alcohol and that led to me being raped a second time that night. A week later I got a call from my dad, who was preaching at Riverside Baptist Church. He told me that the associate pastors and the minister of music had all been called to different places and he felt that God had laid on his heart that I should step into ministry there. Y’all… we’re really lucky I didn’t laugh and hang up. I told him I would pray about it. God really brought some issues to surface through that. Never have I felt so unqualified, such shame, and guilt in my life. But instead of looking for a quick fix to those negative emotions I didn’t want to feel, I sat in them. I sought the Lord’s will and direction, and in the end, He brought me back from my path of self destruction, to a place where I could find my strengths and use them for others.

Life now is finally purpose-driven. In June of 2016 I met my wonderful husband, Esteban, when he came to help with a team from San Antonio, TX as I coordinated my first Vacation Bible School. We were married April 14, 2018. In January, I will have been serving at Riverside Baptist Church for four years. I am working in two community centers throughout the month of July and beginning of August, with a team led by our Children’s coordinator where we get to share the gospel with kids of all ages. I work with Youth and do music for the church every Sunday and Wednesday, and on July 11, I just gave my first message to the church. After years of keeping my story, my pain, my fears, to myself, I’ve begun allowing God to present opportunities to use them for His Glory, and He is so faithful y’all. From the moment I stopped trying to solve my problems, and gave my brokenness to Him, He has never failed me and I couldn’t be more grateful. Not every day is perfect, but I am striving to make every day better than the last.

Fort Worth, Texas.

-Hannah.



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Hello, dear brothers and sisters. My name is Sarah, I run Kingdom Work Blog and am soon moving from my small town roots in North Carolina – flying across the pond to Stourbridge, England for a year. I’m passionate about encouraging others through words and stories, which is why I am about to share my story with you.

I’ve been greatly blessed to have been raised in a loving Christian home my entire life. I grew up in a family of regular church-goers, my brother and I homeschooled Kindergarten – High School Graduation. He hasn’t reached that point yet, but I graduated high school in 2017.

I made my decision to ask Jesus Christ into my heart when I was about five years old. I remember it pretty well: my dad was reading me a bedtime story about a little girl whose grandmother had passed away, and the little girl was asking her father about Heaven. I remember talking to my dad about it, and I wanted to go to Heaven when I die. We prayed together, with my mom, and I was baptized soon after.

I remember steadily going to church with my family, being involved in my Sunday School class, AWANA, and the children’s choir. We went to the same church for many years, not moving churches until the Lord called us to the change as I was going into middle school. That was a difficult time, leaving all of my friends and familiarity (remember, I was homeschooled!), but looking back, I’m so thankful for the adjustment.

This time of transition and going into middle school was tough, but the changes that the Lord sprung from it triggered the series of events that strengthened my faith and really made it so much more personal and my own. He brought me out of a potentially dangerous and controlling relationship with a guy friend I’d had a crush on for years and years – this was a particularly painful and dramatic change, and I will never forget the lessons that the Lord taught me, and the mercies He showed me through cutting those ties. I joined the youth praise team, where I learned teamwork, leadership, and the significance of worship. I was a part of the praise team from 8th grade until I graduated high school, playing guitar and singing, organizing events and learning administration.

The summer leading up to freshman year, our youth pastor had us to a quick exercise to practice true listening for God. He told us to go to separate corners of the youth room, as secluded as possible, and get on our knees. He said to clear our minds of any distractions in our lives, and just seek out what God has for our futures. It could be near future or far future. Mind you, this was when I was probably about 14. The things that were really important to me at that time were boys, being liked by everyone, and probably some other distractions. It was hard to clear my mind from my own concerns so that I could hear God… but when I did, it was very evident that He was calling me to go on the summer mission trip that year to Belize. My passion for missions and ministry had been cultivating for a long time, but this is when I was able to really see it happening! This is the moment where I felt like I was in a rocket ship that had been preparing for takeoff my entire life, and God just pressed the ‘blast off’ button.

I obeyed God, even though I was terrified. I had never even been on an airplane before! The Lord truly worked in my heart that week.

The next couple of summers, we only had stateside mission trips, where I was able to learn about the cultural differences between my southern hometown, and towns in the north (more specifically, Ohio). The Lord really had me focus on the worship team, and put me in a leadership position on the team. This was my favorite part of all of my high school years, learning how to be a good leader, administration skills, and most importantly – the importance of worship. The impact that leading worship had on me, and seeing the impact that worshiping the Lord through song had on others, was an absolutely beautiful experience. In fact, it still is.

I reflect now because of the lessons I’ve learned throughout the years leading up to this moment, being a 19-year-old typing out her life for you to read and maybe even ponder. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.

I’ve lost friends to arguments and differences, I’ve been angry at the Lord when He called my grandfather home on Father’s Day last year. Loved ones have left, trust has been betrayed, sickness and disease have taken over. But the Lord has enriched the soil in which my roots grow through those wildfires.

He will use your story, no matter the amounts or nature of your ups and downs, or your moments of being a blind and hard-hearted human being. No matter if you have a story similar to mine, or the complete opposite. God is the Ultimate Redeemer, and if you are His child, then he will use your story.

I have two life verses that I hold very close to my heart, the first being Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”(ESV)

This has meant different things to me over the years, but the lesson remains: if you are focused on the Lord, then the desires of your heart change to what He wants for you. So this verse doesn’t mean “if I obey God, He will give me _____” – this is a worldly perspective. No, it doesn’t mean He will give you the raise you want, the good grades you want, or the partner you want. It means your wants will change to something from a godly perspective. This is very similar to saying, “Your will be done, O Lord.”

This is something that has helped me discern God’s will throughout the years – taking me on some of the greatest adventures that I’d never, with my limited human imagination, dreamt to be possible. In fact, it brought me to England the first two times and is taking me back there, as I mentioned earlier. (Here’s a link to a more detailed post on my blog about that: https://kingdomworkblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/3814-miles/

It’s also brought my heart together with one of the most wonderful, caring hearts I’ve ever known, and we have had many adventures of our own.

The other verse (well, quite frankly, I adore the whole story of this Biblical superwoman) is Esther 4:14, 16 – “Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this… If I perish, I perish.” (CSB)

This woman shows us what it means to boldly obey the Lord, even if it means death here on this earth. Her story shows me that things happen when they happen for a reason – and the Lord works all things for the good of those who love Him.

With that, I bid you ado. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and may you be emboldened through this story.

Hello, dear brothers and sisters. My name is Sarah, I run Kingdom Work Blog and am soon moving from my small town roots in North Carolina – flying across the pond to Stourbridge, England for a year. I’m passionate about encouraging others through words and stories, which is why I am about to share my story with you.

I’ve been greatly blessed to have been raised in a loving Christian home my entire life. I grew up in a family of regular church-goers, my brother and I homeschooled Kindergarten – High School Graduation. He hasn’t reached that point yet, but I graduated high school in 2017.

I made my decision to ask Jesus Christ into my heart when I was about five years old. I remember it pretty well: my dad was reading me a bedtime story about a little girl whose grandmother had passed away, and the little girl was asking her father about Heaven. I remember talking to my dad about it, and I wanted to go to Heaven when I die. We prayed together, with my mom, and I was baptized soon after.

I remember steadily going to church with my family, being involved in my Sunday School class, AWANA, and the children’s choir. We went to the same church for many years, not moving churches until the Lord called us to the change as I was going into middle school. That was a difficult time, leaving all of my friends and familiarity (remember, I was homeschooled!), but looking back, I’m so thankful for the adjustment.

This time of transition and going into middle school was tough, but the changes that the Lord sprung from it triggered the series of events that strengthened my faith and really made it so much more personal and my own. He brought me out of a potentially dangerous and controlling relationship with a guy friend I’d had a crush on for years and years – this was a particularly painful and dramatic change, and I will never forget the lessons that the Lord taught me, and the mercies He showed me through cutting those ties. I joined the youth praise team, where I learned teamwork, leadership, and the significance of worship. I was a part of the praise team from 8th grade until I graduated high school, playing guitar and singing, organizing events and learning administration.

The summer leading up to freshman year, our youth pastor had us to a quick exercise to practice true listening for God. He told us to go to separate corners of the youth room, as secluded as possible, and get on our knees. He said to clear our minds of any distractions in our lives, and just seek out what God has for our futures. It could be near future or far future. Mind you, this was when I was probably about 14. The things that were really important to me at that time were boys, being liked by everyone, and probably some other distractions. It was hard to clear my mind from my own concerns so that I could hear God… but when I did, it was very evident that He was calling me to go on the summer mission trip that year to Belize. My passion for missions and ministry had been cultivating for a long time, but this is when I was able to really see it happening! This is the moment where I felt like I was in a rocket ship that had been preparing for takeoff my entire life, and God just pressed the ‘blast off’ button.

I obeyed God, even though I was terrified. I had never even been on an airplane before! The Lord truly worked in my heart that week.

The next couple of summers, we only had stateside mission trips, where I was able to learn about the cultural differences between my southern hometown, and towns in the north (more specifically, Ohio). The Lord really had me focus on the worship team, and put me in a leadership position on the team. This was my favorite part of all of my high school years, learning how to be a good leader, administration skills, and most importantly – the importance of worship. The impact that leading worship had on me, and seeing the impact that worshiping the Lord through song had on others, was an absolutely beautiful experience. In fact, it still is.

I reflect now because of the lessons I’ve learned throughout the years leading up to this moment, being a 19-year-old typing out her life for you to read and maybe even ponder. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away.

I’ve lost friends to arguments and differences, I’ve been angry at the Lord when He called my grandfather home on Father’s Day last year. Loved ones have left, trust has been betrayed, sickness and disease have taken over. But the Lord has enriched the soil in which my roots grow through those wildfires.

He will use your story, no matter the amounts or nature of your ups and downs, or your moments of being a blind and hard-hearted human being. No matter if you have a story similar to mine, or the complete opposite. God is the Ultimate Redeemer, and if you are His child, then he will use your story.

I have two life verses that I hold very close to my heart, the first being Psalm 37:4 – “Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”(ESV)

This has meant different things to me over the years, but the lesson remains: if you are focused on the Lord, then the desires of your heart change to what He wants for you. So this verse doesn’t mean “if I obey God, He will give me _____” – this is a worldly perspective. No, it doesn’t mean He will give you the raise you want, the good grades you want, or the partner you want. It means your wants will change to something from a godly perspective. This is very similar to saying, “Your will be done, O Lord.”

This is something that has helped me discern God’s will throughout the years – taking me on some of the greatest adventures that I’d never, with my limited human imagination, dreamt to be possible. In fact, it brought me to England the first two times and is taking me back there, as I mentioned earlier. (Here’s a link to a more detailed post on my blog about that: https://kingdomworkblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/24/3814-miles/

It’s also brought my heart together with one of the most wonderful, caring hearts I’ve ever known, and we have had many adventures of our own.

The other verse (well, quite frankly, I adore the whole story of this Biblical superwoman) is Esther 4:14, 16 – “Who knows, perhaps you have come to your royal position for such a time as this… If I perish, I perish.” (CSB)

This woman shows us what it means to boldly obey the Lord, even if it means death here on this earth. Her story shows me that things happen when they happen for a reason – and the Lord works all things for the good of those who love Him.

With that, I bid you ado. Thank you for taking the time to read this, and may you be emboldened through this story.

North Carolina

-Sarah.



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Here’s how this testimony begins;
Going all the way back to when my parents got married, my father was a Christian, raised in a Christian household. My mother carried the title of a Catholic, God was just another image sitting beside her idols. My parents had many arguments due to their religious differences, as time came for them to be married they agreed to be married by the Christian church, something my mother’s side of the family wasn’t so happy with but still had to respect. Keep in mind that my mom only accepted to get married by the Christian church because of my dad, God was still just another god to her.

Moving on,
my parents got married and my grandparents gave my dad (their son) a house close to their own as a wedding gift. My mom was now stuck with my grandmother one of the Godliest women I’ve ever met, and someone who had a HUGE impact in my life and the life of not only my family but so many others. My grandmother began evangelizing to my mom, she spoke to her, not about converting to Christianity but about turning to God. My mom held tight to her religion, and continued the practice of worshiping other gods (the 1st Commandment given in Exodus 20 says not to have other god’s before God).

My parents were un-able to have children in the beginning of their marriage, the first year or so. My mom would look down at a pregnancy test that read negative time after time, it left her heartbroken. However, deep inside she had the desire to trust in this God her husband’s family talked so much about, that maybe He could give her that child she wanted so much. Her hope began there. Some time passed by and she began to have morning sickness very often, she kept her hope, that maybe this God could and did hear her prayers. She tried a pregnancy test once again, the results? Negative. Since the tests always failed to come out positive and my mom’s monthly cycle had stopped, the doctors offered her a shot that would force her cycle to happen, my dad told the doctor yes hoping the shot would help my mom feel physically better, yet my mom didn’t have a good feeling about it because if she was to be pregnant the shot would force the baby out along with the cycle. She ended up taking it, shortly after, she went BACK to the doctor because her cycle had still not happened, they did one last test (ultrasounds were not common in this place, at this time) and they gave her the news that.. she was pregnant! She was going to have a baby!! My mom was so thankful that the shot didn’t hurt her baby, she thanked God!

My parents didn’t know my gender, (again, no ultrasounds) therefore that was a total surprise. My dad named me “Ruby” because my skin was slightly red when I was born, sooo he thought it’d be cute to name me “Ruby.” Clever, I must say. The awesome part is that he named me Ruby AND since I was born on July my birthstone is a Ruby. Not so bad of a choice dad, not so bad.

My parents were in love with meeee, I was the first baby their love created. My dad was head over heels, I was his little princess. He tells me that since the first time he had me, I have always been his treasure.

Well, at the age of five he almost lost that treasure…
It happened while our neighbors were having a get together and my family was invited. I still have flash backs about this moment.. I was in our back yard which was in front of my neighbor’s house after crossing the street. A street that I nearly lost my life on. I was playing ball with my little cousins and the ball went rolling to the streets, I went after it.. and was hit by a car. The car didn’t stop after being aware of what he, this man had done. Everyone heard what had happen and rushed outside only to find me, with blood gushing out my ears, and my mouth… My mom was going crazy, she couldn’t stand on her feet, she fainted time after time before she could reach me. I was losing so much blood and I began shocking on blood clots, my grandfather managed to get to me and pick me up, he put his hand in my throat and pulls the blood clots out..

By now almost all the neighborhood were surrounding me, the street was full of screams, and cries.. The car that had run over me was stopped by another person, a woman who blocked his way before he could go any farther and she called the cops, if it wasn’t for this woman it’s possible that this man would have got away. My parents tried thanking the woman but she was never seen before, they announced it on the radio trying to find her but no, she did her job and she was gone, no one knew who she was and until this day we see her as an angel sent from God.

They took me to the hospital but the hospital said nothing could be done, I was practically dead. They rushed me to another hospital, they said the same, they weren’t going to waste their time… As my family was beginning to lose hope they finally got accepted in a hospital who though they couldn’t promise them anything, still took me in.. My dad was so bad that he was banging his head on the hospital walls..  This was his little girl, his treasure.. My uncles (his bothers) tried calming him down. My dad was broken… My family started praying and churches began getting involved… The doctors came out and told them there was a very small percentage of me living and if I did I’d be in vegetable conditions; I wouldn’t be able to walk, talk, hear, or see.. My parents were devastated.. Another problem was, I had lost a lot of blood and I needed some quick! That’s not the only problem though, the other problem is that I have universal type blood, a type of blood that is very rare to find. This blood allows me to give to any other types of blood BUT only able to receive from another universal type blood. No one in my family had this type of blood. It broke their hearts knowing that as much as they wanted to give blood and keep me alive they couldn’t! They tried different people over and over, but no. No one… Keep in mind that since this tragedy hurt my dad so bad he had to go outside of the hospital to have some space to calm down and not get kicked out. He comes back in, and they checked him.. HE HAD THE BLOOD!! My dad was who gave me the blood I needed, it was really God who kept me alive but He used my dad as an instrument. Today he tells me that he would have drained his whole body out of blood if he had to, to save his daughter’s life. That’s why I love my dad so much, I literally carry his blood!

My two uncles who are the only brothers my dad has, made a promise to each other that if God did this miracle, that if God spared my life, they would not keep quiet. They promised they would share the power of God to others! My mom told me that her and my uncle went in the room because my dad was so weak that he couldn’t see me in those conditions. She said she saw me and I could barely open my eyes to look at them, I was living my last moments. She said that when she walked in with my uncle I saw them and told her “mami hold hands” (with my uncle). Her and my uncle looked at each other, confused.. My mom asked me, “why sweetie? Why hold hands?” Again, I told her to please hold hands, that I was leaving with Jesus. Her and my uncle joined hands terrified at what I was telling them, and even during this time, she was not fully devoted to God. My uncle told my mother, “give her to God, come to the understanding that her life belongs to Him, not you, not us.” She went crazy, crying, screaming, she asked my uncle how, how in the world could she ask God to take me from her! At this time I was still badly injured but she said I managed to sit up I continued to tell her that I was leaving with Jesus. That’s when it hit her, that’s when she saw how little control she actually had of anything in life, she couldn’t save her baby girl if she wanted to! She started crying even more. She then falls to her knees filled with tears and confessed to God that now, finally, she believed He was the ONLY real living God, and if His will was to take me, then so be it.

My eyes began to close, I told them that I loved them… She grabbed my hand and I died… Yes, died. My heart stopped beating and my mom saw me die.. The doctors rushed in… My family thought they had lost me, it was over. But God said it had just started. A couple of minutes later I came back to life! The doctors said it was a miracle; we know it was God. Slowly but surely I began to recover, day by day I made more progress. I began to speak, and walk.. I could see and hear.. So what did this mean? My mom was right, God IS real, He’s a living God!!

I was out of the hospital and after everything that’d happened, my mom gave her life completely to God, due to what had happened she became a Christian and to this day she’s still one. One of the most humble and faithful servants I’ve met if I may add to that. Many people in my neighborhood were able to witness that God is real, people who doubted His existence before, they saw what happened, and had no other choice but to believe that there must be a God, and not just like any other God.

My uncles, they didn’t forget their promises, when I recovered from my accident they organized a revival, a revival where they would share my testimony, a testimony that most people there were witness of… The praying church came, the neighbors came, the family, invited guests.. This revival was held on the same street where I almost lost my life, the seats where they were seating was where my body laid almost lifeless.. My uncles called me up, and at only roughly 5 years old, with the smallest squeaky voice, I gave thanks to God for giving me life. A lot of people believed in God that day. My uncles went around sharing what God had done for our family and today, those two uncles are pastors. God is AMAZING.

At such a young age they taught me not to be quiet about the good works of God and not to keep my thankful heart hidden away. They actually have this video taped, and when watching this small version of myself speak, I agreed that it was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Live to give glory to God. Being a light in a dark world.
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16.
But, I say this now at age 22,
it wasn’t always this away.
Though you may say, “wow, that’s a beautiful testimony!” I would agree now, God is good! I didn’t think that years ago, the older I got the harder things became. This accident literally changed my life forever. It left me with physical scars that I have to see and battle daily. The accident affected my vision and my hearing, I lost almost all of my vision from one eye and almost all of my hearing from one ear. Imagine not being able to take notes in school because your vision fails you after a certain distance, and failing tests, getting left behind in school work because of it.. My class mates thinking I was dumb because I couldn’t read the board right due to my sight. I couldn’t understand every word the teachers told me if they were far. Imagine always having to hear music from just one ear, talking on the phone from just one ear, I don’t have the option of switching the phone to my left ear.. So even now that you’re reading this, take a moment to thank God for the breath you just took, thank God for the vision He’s allowing you to see this with, and the ability to hear whatever is around you right now. Count your blessings. Too often we fail to realize that the biggest blessing are the ones we take for granted..
Remember, a blessing is a gift given by God which should result in us giving Him praise, acknowledging that every good gift comes from above. James 1:17. Both good and bad things happen for the glory of God, He deserves our praise when things are bad, and He deserved our praise when things are good.  If you want to please God, His will is not a secret to us, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you..” 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18
I went through a hard and painful process to accept what had happened to me.. Many times I cried, looking in the mirror, asking God, “WHY? Out of all the people in this world, it had to be me…” I hated myself for not being like everyone else, for having flaws other people didn’t have. As a child there’s many things you don’t see, that’s actually the beauty behind a child’s innocence, but as you grow people point those different flaws to you and you start questioning why you aren’t the same. Why your legs are different, why your eyes are different, why your missing this or missing that; I asked Him, “God if this was your plan, then why didn’t you allow it to happen but after, leave me the same?”
As a teenager I was blind to the sovereignty of God, His supreme power and authority over everything in life. The Bible says everything was made THROUGH Him and FOR Him, Colossians 1:16.  Everything including me.
BUT I couldn’t understand, I wouldn’t understand.. Did God not know everything I would go through because of this accident? Did He not know the struggles I would have? Did He know I would be made fun of? He did. He knew exactly what I was going to go through but what I didn’t know was that so many people would see His glory through this. Mannnnn can I relate to Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9, BEGGING God to take my burdens away!! Only for Him to tell me, “My grace is sufficient for you.”  IT’S AN HONOR to be part of anything that brings people to glorify God!!! I don’t deserve this; I don’t mean my accident, I don’t deserve to be part of something so good like His plan.
I now see this in a whole new perspective, my scars, I see them as a reminder of what God did for me, as a reminder of my victory in Christ. I know that everything I went through in life wasn’t in vain, my God isn’t a God of coincidence, He’s a GOD OF PURPOSE! And as I get older, I begin to see that purpose clearer and clearer. The more I grow, both spiritually and physically the more I fall in love with my Creator, because regardless of who I am, or the way I appear to others, He continues to love me unconditionally. His grace continues to carry me. He has turned my grief into joy. I know that God kept me on earth for a reason, my purpose continues.
It’s true, that every person does have a story behind who they are, this is mine. Thank you for taking the time to read it, I pray with all of my heart, that you got something out of it. Remember, God is a God of purpose, everything that you’ve been through and are going through has a purpose behind it, a purpose that God will reveal in His own timing (but this purpose does include bringing others to see the glory of God and praise God for who He is, I can tell you that much!).
Texas.
-Ruby.



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There’s no story that I have more struggle with beginning than this one.  This is where you get to know me right? So I guess I’ll just start with the easy stuff and work from there. My name is Courtney Adelle and I am a quirky 20 year old musician from Arkansas who loves her cat and her husband and her tiny apartment two floors up with a welcome sign that she meticulously wrote, and rewrote in her chalk marker to get it just right. I’m a perfectionist.  Not in the neat and tiny kind of way, although my mother definitely wished that were the case in my teenage years.  I’m a perfectionist when it comes to party planning, dinner presentations, and hand drawn signs such as the one strung to my front door.  Unfortunately,  life has a cruel way of driving perfectionists crazy because, as I continue to keep learning: life is not perfect, people aren’t perfect, timing is not perfect, and I am especially not perfect.

My mother is a perfectionist just like me but completely unlike me all the same.  She’s an accountant who values even numbers and straight lines.  Her and I were like two south ends of a magnet. Many times, we would, and still do, fight about the dumbest things because we are so alike and yet so different.  This definitely made me wonder if there was something wrong with me.  As I have grown up study human nature and different personalities, I now can see that there are different kinds of crazy.  Because let’s be honest, we all feel crazy in our own way.  So growing up I felt like I was alone in my own mind.  Thats when I found an escape that allowed me to express my hurt or anger or whatever my little pre-teen heart needed to express.  Music created a safe space to be myself.  For once in my life I didn’t feel like I was too much or not enough. I had found my calling.

Here’s the thing, when you find what God put you on this earth to do, the enemy really hates it and loves to discourage you in that in any way, shape, or form.  For me, since I had found it at the young, spry age of 9, that meant a lifetime of mind games and rejections I never signed up for. On top of physical set backs such as bronchitis for 3 months every winter during Christmas recitals or being kicked out of choir, I battled anxiety, fear, frustration, disappointment, confusion, anger, and the big kahuna: depression.  I let my emotions run me over like a school bus full of my worst nightmares.  Though I grew up in a nuclear family (mom, dad, sister, half-brother, dog, horses, cows, cat, fish, turtle, and at one point even a bird-yeah thats right, I’m from the country) I constantly dealt with loneliness.  I let the enemy whisper his lies about how unloved and unwanted I was.  I saw myself as the black sheep of such a great Christian family.  I seemed to be the only one who couldn’t keep her emotions in check, I gave up sports which my family practically worshiped, and my schedule really slowed down while everyone else picked up-which left me feeling left behind. I separated myself from them often and hid my feelings because, up until I was old enough to understand where some of the hormones came from, my mom did not know how to communicate with me when I was at my worst.  Now that I am studying social work we have had very constructive conversations where she and I have both learned how to talk to each other without overwhelming the other person.  However, as a thirteen to seventeen year old, if felt like music was all I had to run to when I needed to let my crazy out.

You know what happens when you let your emotions sit in your heart for too long without opening up about them to your community? For me it lead me down the road of depression.  Just like an untreated sinus infection: what God created as something natural (ie mucus) our emotions can get infected and turn into something that can only be treated once you see someone about it.  Many nights I cried in my pillow or in the shower, unsure of how to reign my thoughts back in and unwilling to ask for help, until I had become numb to all things. Now don’t get me wrong, I had an incredible childhood and I understand that I was and still am privileged.  The problem is, it doesn’t matter what our circumstances are, we are all vulnerable to losing our hope.  I was bullied in Jr High for being developed at a young age which led me to homeschooling for a year to get my mind right, but that didn’t cause my depression.  My brother, my best friends, my short lived romantic relationships, even my family at times all failed me and made me feel unwanted.  Rejection cut me deep and I loved playing the blame game.  However, none of those people or situations had the kind of power over me to bring me to depression.  Only I had the ability to spiral myself into that kind of distress.  I sat myself down in that hole and I thought it was my job to climb out.

There is hope and light and love to this story.  I wanted you to see the darkness, wanted you to feel the discomfort of wondering if I would ever get it, ever seek God through this.  I read this and remember the hurt, the pain, the loneliness, but feel the hope.  God was there, though it all.  As cliche as that was to type it is so incredibly true.  I read old journals where I begged God for just one friend, one person who would listen to me and not tell me I’m too dramatic or crazy.  Of course he eventually gave me my freaking awesome husband who is everything I need and more, but he answered my prayer before I met Seth.  He gave me His son.  I met Jesus as my brother and friend in those years and learned to talk to Him.  I would stay up late at night crying out, laughing, or just talking like He was sitting right next to me.  He showed me how to write real music. Music that helped me think through and solve problems rather than just sit and vent (though those are good too).  I found my hope in Jesus Christ and everything good that was already around me came to my attention.  I was finally able to be thankful, and trust that God really had my back.  I fell in love with His character.

A few years later I moved to Memphis, studied songwriting at a tiny college in an old bank made of all windows.  Six hours from my family, four hours from my boyfriend, and right next to the God who lead me there.  It was terrifying, it was invigorating, it was living.  I had no intention of ever living so far from home if it wasn’t Nashville, but it was an adventure with many amazing characters.  I found community for the first time in my life that I was so compatible with I didn’t know how to handle it.  I was the outcast in high school and here I had made friends with every student (it wasn’t that hard, there were only 60).

I moved back to my hometown in Joplin, Missouri after a semester because God called me back.  Ironically, that was a harder move than the first one.  I had to go back, face my fears, confront the rejection I had built up in my mind.  In the long run, I’m glad I had that spring semester to revisit the old wounds.  I found two jobs, enrolled in online classes, and got engaged to that boyfriend I now only lived two hours from.  The time flew by and soon I was loading up another moving truck, only this time the whole family was coming with me.  We said goodbye to the house I grew up in.  It felt like a death in the family, but it was a necessary change that only grew us.  That whole summer was like trying to swim through a wave pool (because in the midwest we don’t have oceans with the real things). We said goodbye to a whole life, and we started up a new one, then Seth and I said “I do” and I had to start an even newer life with fewer stuff and a less people under my roof.  We grew up that summer, a lot, but it was perfect.  I still don’t know how to balance my checkbook or how to properly fold a sheet but I can get to it eventually when I’m a real grown up with a 401k and stuff.  Until then, I get to keep growing up with the guy who lived five minutes down the road.

We found a home church, I joined the worship team, I got promoted at the bakery I work at to pay the bills, my EP “Ship Go Down” was released, we got a cat, and now we are about to move into our first real house.  I figured out that there’s such a thing as settling and being settled.  I love my life, I love that it’s not perfect because if it was it would look totally different from what I have.  I still strive for success in my music career but the slower pace is just what I need for the season I am in.  I still struggle trusting God, but I found time to spend with him each day and I grow more and more in my faith every minute.  My story is far from over, I still have some mountains to climb, babies to have, songs to write, friends to make…but I’ll get to that. Until then, I’m content with who I am and the God I have.



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“We know all things work for the good of those who love God (Romans 8:28)” “He has called us according to his own purpose (2Timothy 1:9)” 

When we grow up in the Christian faith we learn that God has a purpose for each of our lives. What may seem an abstract concept to some has always felt like a very real and tangible to me. He has saved my life so many times its hard not to feel that I have a purpose to serve. 

The first time Jesus saved me He died on a cross, 2000 years before my birth.  

4 months before I was born he saved my life when a teenager decided she didn’t want me.

He protected me on New Years eve 1999, at 14, from a man who would have raped me.   That night I sat outside in the dark and the cold and had a conversation with Him for the first time. 

He saved my life at 16 when a semi truck pushed my car down the interstate at 70mph and I walked away with out a scratch. 

God saved my life the first time my husband held a gun to my head, the first time I blacked out from him choking me, and ultimately from the Hitman he wanted to kill me. 

2012 was the year I died.  I got divorced, My husband went to prison, I went to Haiti for the first time.

“It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me (Galatians 2:20)” “ I put on a new self in the likeness of God (Ephesians 4:23)”

I no longer experience life as my own.  Each day is an amazing and precious gift he has given me, and I wont waste it.   Each day I live to serve His will as faithfully and completely as I can. 

When I went to Haiti for the first time I found a group of His children exploited and then discarded by the media.   Images splashed across our news of terrible tragedy and unimaginable suffering, completely void of the joy and Hope in Christ that keeps most Haitian’s optimistic of the future.  When I was in Haiti taking images, God told me “you can do better for them”.  I had no idea how.  I had no expertise.  I had no idea I would return to the US to find my own name plastered on the front page, as the lead story on every local news program.  I had no idea I’d get a first hand look into what its like to be explored by the media.  

It gave me a perspective none other could have.   Jesus showed me in the midst of my own sin, in the midst of my own struggle, in the midst of my own mess, in the midst of my own imperfection how to see with eyes of love.  How to see people the way He does.  How to see past their circumstances and find His joy and hope radiating within every person I meet.   He continues to teach me every day how to responsibly care for the stories He has carefully and lovingly crafted for each one of them. 

 

Always Know Hope,
*Allison Mayer*Humanitarian Photojournalist
Witness – Storyteller – Artist
www.AllisonMayer.com <http://www.allisonmayer.com/>Call or Text: 317-306-1940
Skype: AllisonMayerWSA
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​Hi, I’m Kristin.

I hope that my testimony can inspire you to live as God commands.
I grew up in a Christian home and knew from an early age that God was who He says he was. There was never any question and I believed that he was my God.
My parents did as well and we were the typical family at that time that went to church twice on Sunday and on Wednesdays.
I loved God with all my heart and was baptized at the age of 9. So pretty young still to know and fully understand the extent of God’s love, but I wanted him in my life forever. I loved singing him songs of praise and learning of the wonder of his creation. But as I grew up, it became harder to continue.
I struggled a lot growing up with anxiety and anger issues. We moved a lot and I was always the new person and felt like I was never a part of anything. I always knew God and prayed and loved Him, but I started to hold onto this anger and fear of things greater than I held onto Him.
This lead to an ever increasing feeling of not being good enough and searching for things that would make me feel happy and that I was good enough.
Despite God telling me I was His and everything he created me to be, I kept searching for things of the world to make me happy.
Eventually, I wasn’t even sure that happiness, that feeling alone was something I could ever regain. I wished I could go back to the innocence of my youth, but even then it was tainted by anger I had held onto.
Teenage years were terrible as we moved in the middle of my high school years. I kept going to church and praying to be happy, but was selfish in my desires and started to fall away from reading the Bible and praying. I searched harder for acceptance in the world when in reality God had already accepted me, I was just blind to it and refused to see it.
A hard stop in my life was when my boyfriend died while I was in high school. I couldn’t understand why God would allow something that tragic to happen to me. I thought he wanted me to be happy. I couldn’t see at the time, the lesson he was trying to teach me–to run to him. But instead I chose to pull away, to not listen to his soft knocking and try to do everything in my own power to make myself happy.
I got married and very quickly had a child during college. I thought for sure this was the answer to everything and I would certainly be happy. We both were Christians and went to church but we both were not putting God before everything else and happiness was still looming far in the distance.
When my marriage was at a breaking point, when I thought that God would not allow something else horrible in my life to happen—it did.
My husband cheated on me and we went through a process up to the point of almost divorce. We separated and it was in this time that God did his best work in me.
I ran to him with the open arms as I should have done long before, and he showed me the path to Him. He showed me once again how much he loved me and wanted me to be all that I was crated for and that this experience would be something that I could share with the world to show how His Glory alone can mend a hard heart and restore a broken love.
By God’s power alone I was saved again. If it weren’t for Him, my husband and I wouldn’t be about to celebrate our 16 year wedding anniversary together with the addition of two more kids after everything. We wouldn’t be able to speak of how much His love for us has changed our paths, our hearts and how I long to show others how to be free of the hurts of the flesh, and find true hope and joy in the Lord.
Still, sometimes I struggle in feeling good enough, or worthy, but in my Bible studies, I am reminded that God has “redeemed me and called me by name. I am His.”-Isaiah 43:1.
I created a blog, Life From These Ashes, because I wanted to share everything I’ve learned through my experiences with grief, marriage, anxiety and hope in God. I want others to know the redeeming Grace of God and be given Freedom in Him. I want to help guide and encourage your walk with God. Please join me.
With all my love,
Kristin
Website/Blog:
Instagram:


landy

Hi, my name is Landy De La Hoya, I’m 26 years old and I was born and raised in Long Beach, California. I grew up in a family, where I was taught that I needed to be financially successful in order to have a good life. A good portion of my family is atheist. I was always told to stay away from any form of religion because I would get brain washed. That didn’t stop Jesus from sweeping me off my feet though!

Between the ages of 5 and 8 I was sexually molested by two people and verbally abused by a few family members. Their words stayed with me for a long time. And for years I hid what those men did to me. I wore fear like chains and because of that I pushed people away. I was in a few relationships in high school, hoping that someday prince charming would come and change every bad thing that I thought men to be. It never happened; because the love that I was looking for could only come from Jesus!

When I was 19, I accepted Jesus into my heart. He wiped every tear away, restored all the shattered pieces that was my heart. He gave me the strength to forgive those men who took advantage of me, (and I mean really forgive them.) He changed the way I saw men, he helped me to see them as His children. I was able to forgive those family members that used words to hurt me. He took my fear and turned it into boldness! He took away all the twisted thoughts I had about myself, thoughts of unworthiness and that people would only see me as damaged goods.

Today in Christ, I walk confidently in Him! I’m a Christian blogger! My blog name is mourning into dancing after (Psalm 30:11). I’m a worship leader and one of the young adult’s bible study leaders at my church. I have a HUGE heart for missions! And I am currently working on a book that shares the struggles of a single godly woman pursuing the call of God. My aim is to encourage all the single godly women out there that are struggling with singleness. And to encourage them to answer the call of God on their lives in their singleness!

There is one scripture that has truly rung true not just for my testimony but also other things I have faced as a believer. That is Psalms 30:11, You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy!

It’s been one heck of a ride with Jesus as the driver and me as the passenger. I can’t say my life as a Christian has been perfect, no one can! But Jesus has completed me in every way! Lastly, my prayer is that I would reflect Jesus’ character in every area of my life; that I would always point people to the Father. That whether I keep on blogging for 3 years or 10 years, or I write 2 or 4 books, that people would be encouraged to follow hard after Jesus.

Writing to you from, Long Beach, California.

-Landy

Blog site:

mourningintodancing.org

Instagram:

http://www.instagram/unapologetic_joy



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My name is Kayla, I’m 19 years old and I run ‘The Psalmist’s Passion’ blog. I am a Memphis, Tennessee girl through and through! Growing up, my mama was the most devout Christian woman you’d ever meet and through my love for her, I came to know Jesus. At the tender age of four, I accepted Jesus into my heart, (although a year later I decided I needed to “rededicate” my life— I felt I’d told too many lies and needed to, ahem, recommit. Ha!)

My mama had told me so many wonderful things about Jesus and the fact that He was God’s son would sort of make us siblings made me so excited! I had so many brother figures come in and out of my life by that time and having a father who was often absent or rude added onto the rejection that I didn’t know I was feeling.

Being adopted into God’s family gave me brothers, sisters, and even a Father. I was a child thrilled by the idea of being loved. At age nine, I was baptized, and I was so happy to have made a public announcement of my dedication to Christ, but life was still rocky back at home. I was a creative child, I loved to sketch family portraits (stick figures, really), I loved to write, I wanted to dance and I loved to sing, (still do!), and my family portraits always depicted a happy family, but at the age of nine, my mom, sister and I were living in an extended-stay hotel. My sketches went from a picture of a happy family of four to a happy family of three; my dad was even more absent than before. We lived in that hotel for a few years and I picked up habits I didn’t even know about yet.

The trauma of having an unstable childhood started slowly seeping in through the years and by the time I was 13 it had manifested itself in the form of depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and I was struggling in certain subjects in class. I had fallen so low, but looked like I was so high. I had made the Varsity cheer team, I was living in the suburbs and I seemed like I was so smart, but behind the scenes I was a wreck and so, so far from God in my heart. Did I love Him? Yes. Did I trust Him? No, no I did not trust that God was crazy about me. I did not trust that He would provide for me. I did not trust that God loved me. I thought that I was always the one giving out love and never getting it back and it made me so lonely and bitter. I wanted to be loved and the spirit of rejection was overwhelming, following me everywhere. I was caught up in darkness, dark music, dark thoughts, and my desire for friends to accept me lead me to a bad connection. I met a “friend” who was anything but. She came in the guise of friendship, sowing seeds that said “You know, I’m the only one who loves you. Besides, who else would want you? You can’t even love yourself.” And I believed her.

One day, when I was 14 my family and I had a sort of intervention. I was crying, my mother was crying, my sister was crying, but to heal— we had to first acknowledge that there were wounds. The road to recovery was long and short all at the same time, but to know that Jesus never left was all I needed. My family looked after me as we all look out for each other now. “And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand— a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12

Bad company corrupted my good morals, but a lot of my bad company came in the form of negative thoughts that overrode and poisoned the good ones. I still have my days, lonely days, but in the midst of those days I know that I am Loved by Love. When you think you haven’t done enough, look at where you’ve come from! I used to be wrapped up in needing people to want me, but I trust that God will bring me who I need when I need them and that is enough. I have been adopted into a loving, imperfect family of brothers and sisters in Christ, and though it can be difficult, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’ve come a long way from darkness to light and I have big hopes for the future— To be a speaker, a teacher, a mentor, a worship leader, a writer, but more importantly, I want to be a friend, a voice for the voiceless, and relentless in my pursuit to love like Jesus does.

Memphis, TN.

-Kayla

Blog site:

www.thepsalmistspassion.wordpress.com

Instagram:

http://www.instagram/ThePsalmistsPassion

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/ThePsalmistsPassion

YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC71S24u35E3hYGuosOjx3hw


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My name is Shaneen, and I run The Hoot & Howl blog from my home in Canada. I grew up in a wonderful Christian family, and I didn’t ever really have a time “before Jesus”. I always had a strong belief in God and His love for me. I asked Jesus into my heart one night at bedtime when I was four years old. My grandfather had just passed away, and I wanted to be with him in heaven.

After that, I was a pretty good Christian girl. I was a-okay with following the rules and going to church and doing all the things that I was supposed to. My faith was strong and I was eager to follow Jesus with my whole life. I was baptized when I was seven. I had many moments of growth and learning throughout my teen years. I never had any crisis moments in my faith or had to decide if this was really real. It was always real to me.

But then, in my young adult years, a boy came along. As I was growing up, I hadn’t been allowed to date, which wasn’t a problem because no one ever asked me.

So when I was an adult and a boy finally showed interest in me, I fell and I fell hard. And what a dangerous relationship I fell into. He was a Christian, so I thought nothing could be wrong with dating this guy. But (for reasons I won’t get into) we had to hide our relationship (which really should have translated into just not dating, but we were dumb). We had to hide our relationship from our friends, and I had to lie to my family. And, boy, do I wish that’s where the disobedience ended. That relationship also made me start to question my convictions about sex, and I was eventually worn down and gave in.

That led to two years of actively running from God. I still went to church and read my Bible and prayed and tried to be a good Christian, except for in this area (which kind of negates the “good Christian” thing).

I refused to listen to God about anything He had to say about that relationship. I tried so hard to justify and rationalize my actions. I knew without a doubt that what I was doing was wrong and I was so miserable. But I thought I was still having a good time, and that it was worth it to turn from God if I could have this relationship.

That one initial act of disobedience had led me into a spiral of a very sinful life. I was going to do my own thing, and I didn’t care. I still knew it was wrong, but I was growing to numb to it.

But God never once stopped pursuing and drawing me back. He called me to attend a Discipleship Training School with YWAM in Thailand, a 5 month school to learn more about God and missions, grow in my faith, and participate in outreach. While in such a spiritually saturated environment, surrounded by supportive mentors and friends, God finally broke through.

I had an amazing time of confession and prayer with an amazing mentor. She spoke so much truth over me. I knew that God had forgiven me, but I still wouldn’t forgive myself and allow myself to come back to God. But during that time I was given an image of God calling me back, washing me clean, and asking me to just be with Him again. It was the homecoming of the prodigal daughter. This is a moment that I cling to and always come back to when I start to stray or forget.

When I got home, things were not suddenly perfect. I still stumbled into my old ways and struggled to keep on track. I often felt like a failure, and like I was really letting God down. I thought He could only forgive me so many times, when I kept doing the same thing wrong. But God is so good, and He always drew me back.

I definitely do not deserve the incredible love and forgiveness God has extended to me, but I am so thankful for the freedom and joy He has given me.

God has blessed me so abundantly – every good thing I have comes from Him. I can see His hand at work in my life in both small and huge ways, from answering my prayers to get a good parking stall at the store to bringing my wonderful husband into my life. Now, because of all that He has done for me, I long to bring glory to Him in everything I do, whether that’s through my writing, or however else He would choose to use me.

I feel free to walk in my calling – to write and share all I can about God’s love and freedom, and to show God’s love to everyone I come into contact with. Because of what happened in my past, I am able to know and share the message that God can redeem and restore anyone in any situation, and He longs to love us and be with us. All we have to do is come.

Canada.

-Shaneen

Website: https://www.thehootandhowl.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/hootandhowltales/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hootandhowltales/


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Hello, my name is Valentina Sánchez Bohórquez and I am 19 years old.

My heart has been conquered by Him… not because I am a pastor’s daughter, but because to know Him has been the best experience I have ever lived.

When I was 12 years old I began to feel an immense passion to share the gospel (the Word of God.) It all started with me sharing with my friends from school. After while, I began to feel the need to take it further. God helped me set the fear I felt aside and share the gospels where ever I went and with whoever I came across.

Today I am willing to go where He sends me. I am more than sure that is His calling and purpose for my life, to take the gospel anywhere and everywhere.

To live this experience in another country at such young age… it has been only because God has allowed for me to do so. The mercy He has given me is immense, I only have an attitude of gratitude… I have gotten to know God not only as my creator but as my friend and Father.

I am joyful with Him! I love Him with all of my heart and with Him I know I have it all. He is enough for me.

He has exceeded all expectations. His dreams and plans for me are bigger than mine for myself. He is magnificent.

Colombia.
-Valentina.

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My name is Kendra and I want to share with you a little bit about my testimony. I grew up in a house full of love but at the same time it was emptiness in every room, a lot of anxiety, missing pieces and hearts with many scars. Even though I know that I was a loved child. I remember how strong my character was because I felt alone most of the times, I just kept everything inside and I did not want to talk with anybody about my feelings. As I grew up I was told that my dad left when I was in my mother’s womb. That destroyed me, but nobody knew how I really felt, only God. I saw my dad maybe once or twice a week I remember that every time that I was with him I felt pain in my heart and as a kid I rejected him a lot of times. Later, as a teenager I understood things better but very deep in my heart I knew that I had negative feelings for him for what he did in the past. Even though in my hurt my mom always encouraged me to love him and to forgive him as God had already done with me. 

At the age of 13 I started liking boys and I was impulse by my “friends” to have boyfriends and I started jumping from relationship to relationship. No relationship wasn’t enough for me, because I was unconsciously looking a masculine figure to fill the hole that my father left in my heart. I was already a Christian and serving the Lord, but I had not really let Jesus restored that area in my life. After 4 years of having boyfriends here and there. I had two beautiful relationships that helped me to served the Lord in a better way and that made me feel that that whole Christ will fill it in his time. Although those relationships did not work through I learned from them how to be free from a lot of things and I would never forget what they did for me. When I met Daniel, I was very vulnerable about having a relationship. I was very hurt and sensitive, and I did not want to love or to be in a romantic relationship again. I remember that one of the first times that Daniel and I talked, he told me that he knew that he could not fill any emptiness in my heart that the only one who could do heal and restore every hole in my soul was God.  Daniel told me that God is the only one that know my needs in a perfect and deep way and he created me, thus, he knew me and know me better than anybody else. When he told me that, I knew that I was going to marry him someday. God used him to make understand something very important: JUST GOD CAN MAKE A PERSON HAPPY AND BEAUTIFULLY WHOLE. 

I forgave my father at the age of 17 and through the years our relationship has been better and better, no either close of what I wish because sometimes I still thinking on how my live should be if I have a complete family serving the lord together with a role model father. However, like 1 year ago my dad told me “I love you” for the first time in 22 years. That was the greatest feeling that I felt in my whole life, because that was all that I needed all these years to know that my dad does loves me and that he just did not knew how to show me or tell me that.  Now I get it, nobody is perfect, he is not perfect, he did what he knew, and I understand him now.  

 I have to say that no having a full-time dad made me feel miserable, rejected, insecure, not enough for a man, incomplete, and alone at some point in my life. However, God used this in some way to give me the strength to keep going and fight for a better life, to learn how to forgive, how to be independent and how to manage my emotions in a better way and in a mysterious way to push myself to be a better person. Living that aside, I know now that I have a loving and perfect father that knows everything about me and that created me with the purpose to serve and honor him with my life. Now, after all those processes and years of pain 2 weeks ago I am got married to the love of my life (Daniel) and I will continue to serve the Lord with him forever.

 

El Callao, Venezuela.

-Kendar.

 



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Hi, I’m Hannah and I am 28 years old.

Reading through all of this I am excited to be part of it, but also feeling utterly inadequate to tell my story. It’s something I have always struggled with – my story doesn’t feel worth telling. I fear that it seems prideful, unrelatable, or whatever other word the devil uses to keep my mouth shut that day. But a few months ago I hesitantly told my testimony to a new small group of women, and one amazingly godly woman – wise beyond her years – told me afterwards “your story gives me hope”. I cling to that now when I otherwise would want to keep quiet.

I grew up with wonderful Christian parents who had accepted the Lord shortly after my older sister was born and turned their lives around. I grew up going to church, AWANA, and knowing the name of Jesus. I remember asking him to come into my heart one bedtime with my mom when I was 5. I believed what I had heard of him, knew he loved me, and wanted to do what he asked. I was baptized at 8, understanding a little more the decision I had made. This is a VERY common start to Christian testimonies. But from so many friends I hear “but I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t truly accept Christ until _____.” Those words cut deeper than people realize, because it quietly whispers to me “you didn’t know what YOU were doing either.” Of course I didn’t realize the depths of love and of sin; the true power of Christ and what it means to lay down my life and pick up my cross. I don’t think I will ever fully understand it until I am standing face to face with my Savior. But I do think my heart belonged to the Lord that day and I have been walking with him ever since. There have been mountains and valleys, times of doubt and unshakable certainty – but I hardly remember a time before Jesus was Lord of my life. I used to wish I had a rebellion and a subsequent powerful turning back to Christ – a story that was filled with power and transformation and radical proof of what he can do.
You know what that friend said to me that day with the small group of women? “Your story gives me hope. Hope that my son can have a story like yours. Hope that not everyone has to turn away from the love of God in order to come back to him. Hope that not everyone has to have a story like mine.” Her testimony is an incredible and beautiful one flowing with redemption and healing. But those words meant more than she will ever know.
However, even though my story isn’t made up of abuse, addiction, or loss I think there is still a story to tell and encouragement to share. I struggled with being enough, with trusting in God’s plan for my life and trust in his timing. I wondered why guys didn’t seem to like me, what my purpose in life was, and how to hear from Jesus. There are so many little stories looking back now where I can see God orchestrating everything for my good. Now, at 28, I have been married for almost 5 years. I am passionate about community, building up younger women in the faith (especially newly married women), as well as taking care of the bodies we have been given through health and fitness. I am learning what it looks like to be a Proverbs 31 women, how to be a prayer warrior and tap into the power that we are promised through Christ’s name, as well as my utter need to be filled daily with the Spirit in order to pour out to others. I am currently wrestling with Sabbath and what it means to rest in a way that refreshes every part of me. I am learning how to balance a healthy lifestyle with knowing my true worth.
But through it all of one thing I am certain: I want to be radically changed by Jesus and live intentionally serving others. My desire to create a kingdom community and to honor Christ in all that I do.
Spokane, WA.
Hannah McLeod.

 



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Hello, my name is Anna.
I grew up in church. I’ve known Jesus my whole life since I was a little girl but I didn’t have a relationship with him like I should have.
I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 15 the day I got baptized.
Now my life with Him is so beautiful, there’s has been moments were I don’t understand His plans for me but when I saw His plans happening I understood why. God has been so patient loving caring with me. I’ve failed Him a couple of times but He has never left my side.
He has done so many miracles in my life and my kids life that I’m so thankful to Him, for everything He has done and that He will continue doing in my family life.
God is a God that sometimes we won’t understand the “Why, How and When.” However, I’ve learn that all I can do is trust and have faith in Him, no matter the circumstances. God has always been first in my life and will continue being my first.

 



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Hi, I’m Tiffany, aka Lavender Vines as I am known online. I am excited to share my testimony with you, and I hope that my path and what I have been through helps and inspires your own walk with God.

Let’s just start at the beginning, shall we? I am very fortunate and blessed to have been raised in a Christian home. I grew up going to church and with a family who held their faith close to their hearts. Despite this, I started to really question things around the age of 15 or 16. I desperately wanted to believe in what I had been raised to believe, however I just couldn’t shake this feeling that I needed to dig a little deeper and discover the answer to some of the questions that lingered in the back of my mind. God always moves in beautiful ways, and around this time my school was reading through C.S. Lewis’ Mere Christianity as part of our religion course. 

This book had a huge impact on my faith. I began to see God and Jesus in a new light, and I was able to confidently put my trust in Him. Of course, I continued to have questions (don’t we all?) however, they no longer created stumbling blocks for my faith. 

Fast forward about 10 years, and at this point I am in my mid-20’s and am happily married. Something happened to me that shattered everything I knew to be true about myself, my identity, and my life. My husband (who I considered to be my rock) was leaving me, and I later discovered he was leaving me to be with another girl. I don’t think words could ever adequately describe the pain I felt during this time.

I was beyond crushed. I became riddled with panic, anxiety, fear, loneliness, insecurity. I didn’t know what to do anymore. I didn’t know who I was. My entire life and identity was wrapped in “we”, but now it was only “me”. Desires I used to have like shopping, travel, even the pursuit of money had disappeared. I felt like an empty shell. I hardly ate, I couldn’t sleep, and it was a struggle just to get out of bed. No earthly person could comfort me. My family, friends, co-workers were all at a loss of what to do for me.

It was during this time that I ran straight into God’s arms. God provided a comfort that is beyond comprehension. One day during a church service, I was praying and silently crying out to God. It was then that I felt God’s amazing presence, and felt Him say to me, “I see you, I know you’re in pain, and I love you”. I was in complete shock. I couldn’t believe that out of all of the people in this world, God saw me. And He didn’t just see me, He knew I was in pain. And He loved me. I felt God telling me that He was my rock, my true rock that I could always depend on. 

I began to read the bible more and more, and it was as if God’s words and promises were flying off the page and God was speaking directly to me. I would read passages like Isaiah 43:2 and it provided me with so much comfort. 

“When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” Isaiah 43:2

I decided to give my entire life and heart over to God. Keep in mind I was already a believer; however, I was holding back. I knew there were areas I needed to fully surrender. I began to lean in and depend on God more. I sought God’s will in everything I did and kept Him close to my heart. 

God began to strengthen my faith and test me in the most amazing ways. Namely I felt God working on my heart regarding my finances and the tithe. I had never tithed before, however, I felt a strong pull that I should start. I began to tithe 10% of my gross income, and it forced me to depend on God for provision, instead of my own. I also felt God stretching me with how I treated others. Specifically, those who did not treat me very well. I felt God teaching and helping me to be kind to them, forgive them, and not be bitter even though that have wronged me. 

These lessons are not easy, and they came with a lot of frustration on my part. But honestly, it’s incredible how God uses everything for good. For instance, when I finally started tithing, I felt God’s blessing because by the end of the year I was able to save the most amount of money in one year that I’ve ever saved before. The same goes for people who had wronged me. Despite their efforts to “screw me over”, I still managed to stay on top. I give all of that to God. I promise guys, He knows what He’s doing.

I also felt God calling me to create my blog, Lavender Vines. Lavender Vines is a Christian blog centered around sharing the unfiltered truth of what it is like to follow God. The amazing times of breakthrough and rejoicing in God’s love, but also the struggles of unanswered prayers, unanswered questions, and the times we feel far from God, or like He doesn’t care. My goal is to guide, encourage, and inspire you and your walk with God. I would love it if you followed along.

All my love,

Tiffany

My blog: https://lavendervines.com

Instagram: http://instagram.com/lavendervines/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lavendervines/?ref=bookmarks



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My name is Amber. I’m 27 years old and I was born and raised in Texas.

While knowing I’ve always believed in Christ it was not until my mid 20’s that I actually accepted Him into my life.

Hitting rock bottom at a pretty young age. I was fighting addiction, I was fighting for a relationship I had no business being in, I had been arrested, just felt like there was no one on my side. Had totally pushed God out of my life. I began blaming my problems on Him saying, “if He loved me He wouldn’t be letting these things happen to me!”

It’s one thing to know God and one thing to truly accept Him into your life. One thing I’ve learned recently is that God doesn’t promise us an easy life, but we are promised that He will always walk along side of us.

After meeting my husband and having children I got my life together. Looking back now, I know that I couldn’t have done that on my own. At that point I really turned to God and The Bible. Still didn’t have a church that I felt like I could call my own. So, prayed hard about finding a church when we moved back to Texas. Then, randomly met a man named Jeff. My husband and I actually met him at our gym. Eventually he invited us to his church, where turns out he’s the preacher.

I’ll never forget the first day I attended the church, which was about a year ago. Truly feeling comfortable and I felt like I was where I was supposed to be. At the end of the service, he recited a prayer we could repeat to ourselves to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior. I had no doubt in my mind that I was ready to take that step!

At the end when he wanted all the people that prayed the prayer to look up at him I can remember feeling at peace in my heart.

I did so many things I wasn’t proud of and every day I remembered those things like I had done them just yesterday. Had constant anxiety and was depressed. But after that day, I truly felt a change in myself.

My relationship with my husband is the best it’s ever been. I’ve always known I was blessed with an amazing man, but once we allowed Christ to come into our marriage it truly flourished.

I see now that my life is nothing without Him. I’m here because He has a purpose for me. I could have easily killed myself in the process of hitting rock bottom but He had a plan for me. Now I have two beautiful children, a wonderful husband, I’m healthy and happier than ever.. And it’s all because of Him!

Texas.

-Amber.



33784230_1900944903269417_1734370990273593344_nI was born in Kenya and I was raised there till turning 12 years old. Kenya is where family is from and has always had strong believes. In 2005 when me and my family moved to the USA and well, life became interesting. Moving to the USA was different and soon I learned that if you didn’t have the right things then you didn’t belong or fit in. soon enough I fell into the trap.

I was cute, have a cute accent. so when boys asked me out I would say yes. However, early on when I had made a promise to the Lord that I will not have sex till I was married.

Whenever I would tell the boys that I did not want to have sex, they would try, I would say no and soon enough they will leave.

Throughout middle school and high school my identity was wrapped up in boys and it was horrible.

By the time I hit college I was ready for something different. I met my Nathan ( now husband) and he just rejected me. That lead me to look for my identity in the Lord. Christmas of 2012 I said yes to the Lord and never looked back.

It has been a bumpy ride, but I wouldn’t take it back one bit.

I am more joyful, peaceful, extremely happy and just enjoying life. Life with the Lord is beautiful, there is days when I become frustrated with Him when things don’t go my way. However, I also know that He is cooking up something beautiful and He can’t wait to share it with me.

To be known and Loved by the Lord is everything.

Kenya.

-Winnie.



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Hi friends! My name is Hope McGlothlin, and I’m super thankful and excited to get to share a little bit of my testimony with you today. I was so blessed to grow up in a family that attended church every week since before I was born, so I knew in my head from a young age that Jesus loved me. But it wasn’t until I was about 10 years old that I really began to understand this truth in my heart.

At that age, I lost my grandfather to pancreatic cancer. It was the first family death I had ever experienced, and it hit me hard. I remember coming home from the funeral and crying in the shower. My tears fell…but so did my worries, concerns, mourning, and pain. It was the first time I ever really had to cry out to God; it was my only response.

Yet amidst the mourning and the sadness, I felt this indescribable sense of peace. It was like the pain was still there and the tears were still flowing, but they were accompanied by a sense of calmness and even joy beyond my understanding. I began to hear this small voice in my head say, “Child, you are okay. Come and just rest in me,” and I knew it was the Lord. It was like I could feel His tangible presence for the first time, I could sense His Holy Spirit, and it changed my life and relationship with God forever. I began to understand that He was not some faraway deity judging me from the sky; He was a loving Father who was close to me, always with me and wanting to comfort me.

In the months after the funeral as I learned to continue processing the grief and sorrow that came with the loss of my grandfather, I knew I could turn to the Lord for comfort. Whenever I started to feel the pain again, I would start praying, and just like that, I’d sense this peace beyond understanding surround me, a peace from God. I would come to the Lord at the end of each day, just talking to Him like He was my friend. As I spent more time with Him, I realized how loving He was, and I began to try to seek Him in every action, just wanting to please this good, good God I had come to know.

In that time He provided so much growth, revealed so much of His love, and gave me so much peace, but there were definitely moments of difficulty too. As I began to know and love Him more, Satan tried to step in, and for the next few years, the love that Christ had filled my life with was also combated by overwhelming fear and anxiety. I struggled with fears of robbers, terrorists, ghosts, cancer, natural disasters–you name it–and I worried about my grades, performance, and identity. While His love never changed for me, I began to distort it in my own OCD/anxiety way, and looking back, I can see that I started to mistakenly and unconsciously view the Lord as more of a judging, stern God, not as the loving Father He truly is. I knew He loved me, but I forgot what that meant, and instead I condemned myself for each and every mistake or sin I made and busied my brain trying to think of ways to please Him. I didn’t realize it then, but I was burning my little heart out with the heavy expectations I had self-inflicted, meanwhile missing out on the love and GRACE of God: the pure, unearned favor He had for me simply because I was His child.

But where these struggles increased, God’s grace increased all the more. He was pursuing me during that time with His love, just waiting for me to turn around and run to Him. He was working through my wonderful friends and family as they cared for me, through my counselor as she helped me navigate my mental health, and through my church. Over the years I struggled with anxiety, I also slowly but surely found healing and peace. God broke down every lie that Satan had tried to make me believe and replaced it with His Truth, and I have found more freedom in Him than I ever thought possible.

In the years since, the Lord has continued to lead me out of anxiety and into the most incredible adventure of faith. I am still a work in progress, and I still struggle sometimes with anxiety. BUT GOD. He has never stopped pursuing me, never stopped chasing after my heart and bringing me back to Him. Even amidst my struggles, He shows me more of His love, and He teaches me everyday that falling in love with Him is truly the most incredible thing. With each struggle has come a greater understanding of Him and growth in my faith. I love that in each part of my life He’s shown me this constant story of turning the broken into beautiful, the bad into good, the pain into wonder, the ugly into awesome. This is what He does, it is the heart of who He is. God makes all things beautiful, He makes all things new. I am by no means a perfect Christian or a perfect person. But I serve a good, good Father, and I love that He does not measure me by my own performance or attempts at perfection. He loves me so much. He sees me as His daughter. And He has made my brokenness beautiful.

Now that I’ve experienced so much joy and freedom in Jesus, He has given me this deep passion to share it with others. It’s certainly not something that comes from me but rather from Him, from a natural overflow of His love in me. With that kind of love, He just naturally makes you want to share it with others. Through lots of prayer and searching, He’s shown me that He is calling me to do so vocationally by working in a ministry or nonprofit setting. And after more prayer and discerning, I have decided to pursue His call by studying Social Work and Intercultural Studies (Missions) at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky. I am so indescribably nervous about this big transition coming so soon, but I am also so indescribably excited and expectant for all God is going to do. He has never failed me before–rather He’s done so much more than I could ever imagine–and I know He will do the same here.

As I’ve been writing this post and reminiscing on this crazy journey of life He’s brought me on, God has reminded me of these two verses in my heart:

{Psalm 30:11} “You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy.”

{Psalm 34:5} “Those who look to Him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”

Through Christ, this is the TRUTH for US! We get to claim the abundant and incredible life Jesus has already purchased for us. It’s already waiting for us, all we have to do is say yes. Then we just get to stand back and watch all He does. I can promise you we’ll be in awe.

San Antonio, Texas.

-Hope.



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My name is Karla Magana, and I am from Guadalajara, Jalisco. I am 20 years old and when I was 14, I got the opportunity to know about Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He did for me at the cross. I received Him as my Lord and Savior, but I wasn’t really letting Him take control of my whole life. My mind and my heart didn’t realize how worthy and valuable I was in the eyes of the one Who created me. I was trying to find ways to fill my heart and trying to be happy with parties, friends, and relationships. Definitely that’s not the way!

I came to the United States when I was 17 years old and I turned 18 a month later. I started a relationship that I thought it going to last forever. I got so attached to that thought that I didn’t realize the toxic relationship I was into. I was refusing to let go of a relationship that was hurting my heart, that was breaking me down and was making me fall apart from God. When was in the point of feeling not worth at all, when I thought I was the only person that was going through that kind of situation and I could not find a way of getting out from it, God made a way for me! God is mercifully, kind and full of compassion because when I was in great need He saved me. Psalms 116.

On February 17, 2017, God gave me the opportunity to hear the testimony of Krystell at Shine Girls Conference. Her testimony of how God took her out from the broken relationship she was, gave me hope. I realize that I could not do it by myself, I need to let God take care of my situation, but above all, let Him take care of my life. It was a long process, but God is faithful! He took me out from my brokenness and filled my heart with completely love, joy, peace and worth again. I was already chosen by Him, even before I was in the womb of my mom. I was chosen to get up and share the same love that God has given me through my whole life, even when I was not aware of that. God can use broken people, and the light of God will shine on them wherever He sends them.

This year, at Shine Girls Conference 2018, God called me again to leave my desires and my own plans aside and follow Him, but this time not for my own benefit or save. It was not easy for me to do that, but I decide to obey Him, and trust Him completely. God give me the calling to be a missionary and go reach out to the nations about the Love, Hope, and Grace He has for each one of us. This summer I am going on a mission trip to Spain! He has been providing everything that I need to fulfil His calling; with the money, my language, and all the gifts with what God has created me! I can tell you that it is God’s will for us to be saved, make us new again and have a filling life in Him. The thing is to believe that He is our Father, He loves us, and He gave His life for us! He knows who we are and what we need. We are chosen to do great things in His name. He has called us His daughters; our father is the King of kings and He call us Princess! Definitely, I am not worthy of His calling, but His Grace and Love endures forever in my life!

Fort Worth, Texas.

-Karla.


 


Many wonderful women aren’t giving an opportunity to share what the Lord has done in their life, and what He is doing now.

In this site, you will met many wonderful and fearfully made women from all over the world with authentic and incredible testimonies.

The enemy does something to all of us at one point of our life or the other, even though we do know the Lord and we have freedom in him, fear creeps in.

When fear creeps in, it paralyzes us and tells us that we are not good enough to do what we are called to do. That we are not worthy of Jesus sacrifice on the cross. Fear and shame eliminates all possibilities of speaking about our testimonies, preaching and teaching the word of God. The Gospel. Eliminating new doors of hope for women to walk through.

Many times experiences in our life also lead us to believe that we are not good enough to share our testimony, that’s when shame captures us and traps us in a glass box. We believe everybody’s looking through it and that everybody is focusing on only all the negatives.

God has other plans. Plans to lift you up, taking you to places that you would never imagine, a safe place of freedom, a safe place of love, a safe place of acceptance, a safe place where you can be all that you dreamed of being through Him.

God dissolves all of the lies from the enemy, God gives us strength to defeat the giants that are in front of us, just as He did with David, throwing the rock in confidence of knowing that God was his strength. Through the faith David had of trusting God, the giant was defeated.

God will dissolve all of the lies the enemy told you about yourself, they will evaporate with the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, of who God is, what He did. God will reveal to you who He created you to be.

Sister in Christ, beloved friend, today I want to remind you that no matter what it is that you are shameful of, No matter what you are afraid of, no matter what has happened in your past, no matter what someone else did to you, no matter what you have done to others, no matter how dark, deep, or ugly you pass is… God will make the sadness into an ocean of joyfulness.

He will make the ugliness into beautiful testimony that will elevate His name and bring freedom to other women, He will make your past sadness into a hopeful future of deliverance.

You will read testimonies of women and young girls who boldly stepped out in faith, fulfilling their calling, sharing their authentic testimony and shining the authenticity of who God has created them to be. Shining the light for those women who live in darkness. Their voice, Spirit lead, will speak for those who have no voice.

 

My prayer is that through this ministry of story telling truth, of the powerful testimonies of other women, you allow God to deliver you from strongholds you may be suffering in silence and loneliness. I pray against abuses going on right now or abuses from your childhood that no-one knows about, depression, sex abuse, drug addictions, divorce, alcoholism, eating disorders, abandonment, abortions, misscariages, abusive relationships, prostitution, stripping, cutting yourself, being a pastor’s daughter with issues no-one understands or whatever it is that you may be going through.

I pray you may realize you aren’t alone sister. I pray the boldness of other women help you also step out in faith and allow God in, repent of your sin and accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. I pray against the shame and fear of rejection the enemy has planted in you. I pray God delivers you from the fear keeping you paralyzed to see how extremely loved you are. I pray you come to the place of freedom.

In Jesus name I pray all these things. AMEN!!!