At the beginning of 2018, my perceptions about faith and the word of God were completely turned upside down by someone I trusted, and thought was a very close friend. I was made to believe that everything was spiritual including my mental health. She had me believing that my diagnosis of bipolar disorder was actually a demonic possession and that my family had negative spirits, or demons in them causing them to push me away from God or what she thought was holy when in fact she was trying to deceive me with false teaching.
The fact that we really do not know all there is to know about God, we tend to have our own perception of him fueled by what we hear or see about Him. For example, as we listen to pastors who preach false gospels like the “prosperity gospel” or "word of faith" gospel, we will have a different perception of God and how He wants us to live. When we are in a negative environment that teaches us falsely about what the Bible says, although we want to believe that a pastor knows what the bible says and will speak the truth, we will form a false belief or perception which will, in turn, keep us from seeing the truth or the true God in our daily lives.
In my own experience, I was pulled in by someone who claimed to have great knowledge about God and claimed she was the Holy Spirit in flesh. I wanted so badly to have a closer relationship with God, so I believed every word she spoke. My family knew better after meeting her and could see I was blind, but I was so far into this perception, I had placed walls up against the truth. I was made to feel very loved and cared for by this person who convinced me that my family was the enemy and that they needed healing to see the truth (her perception of the truth). Because this person had some deep-rooted issues of her own, she believed what she was saying and felt superior in bringing others to her side to build this “church” she was constructing to lead. “But the Lord said to Samuel, do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Samuel 16:7, ESV). Her issues which I later found stemmed from her childhood, caused her to have to be in control of everyone and every situation around her as well as a constant need for attention.
After the scales were finally lifted from my eyes, I learned that if there is no peace to be found in any situation, then it is not of God. The turmoil that this person caused within my family and the lack of compassion she displayed, allowed me to see more clearly how the enemy works. I understand that there are trials and battles to overcome, sometimes on a daily basis, but there is also peace within the storm if God is there, “And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, ESV), otherwise I run because I know now that within the enemy’s lair or in enemy territory, there will be no presence of peace, only darkness that sets in, creating blindness and confusion. I have since been using scripture to test against the word of man with the Bible as my guide. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2, ESV).
I now live every day trying very hard to discern darkness from light living only by the word of God. “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world, you will have tribulations. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:13, ESV).
As I look back on my life, I cannot say I was always certain there was a God or that I believed in God, but when I am confronted by someone asking why I believe in God today, I can share much experience and the knowledge I have obtained while searching for the proof I needed the moment I discovered I am not here by accident. As long as I can remember there has always been this inner feeling of wanting to know why I am here, why I was born into this world, but I never actually perused those thoughts until a moment of great panic and fear came over my life. I now feel strongly that there is a natural inner longing for something more than science can comprehend. “This inner longing was described by Blaise Pascal, the great 17th-century mathematician, as "the God-shaped vacuum" in every human being” (Little, Galli, & McAllister), for “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.” (Ecclesiastes 3:11, NIV). My thought process and worldview had completely changed one dark and fearful day back in May of 1992.
After many years of feeling like worthless damaged goods and not being able to look at myself in the mirror for as long as I could remember, I had taken a handful of many different types of prescription pain pills and immediately got into my car and drove to a bridge. I sat in my car for several minutes eventually going in and out of consciousness beginning to feel much regret, when a sudden panic and fear set deeply in. I cried out, not necessarily to God (since I hadn’t any relationship at the time), “please save me, I don’t want to die!” and exclaimed how sorry I was. I then proceeded to drive my car back to the house, where the last thing I remember is seeing an ambulance. The next thing I remember is waking in a hospital bed with tubes going in through my nose and into my stomach to pump charcoal in an attempt to rid the toxins I had digested many hours before. After I was cleared of any harm I was placed under observation and released. I was brought home by my parents with deep regret and shame, but also with so much gratitude to be alive. It was shortly after that day I gave my heart and life to God. I learned in my selfishness that my life was not mine to take, but God’s creation and it was His grace that gave it back to me, so I set out to search for Him to give back what He had given me. I needed to share His love the best way I could, but in order for me to do that, I had to get as much information possible about God and proof of his existence to be a competent and confident source to all.
I started with the Bible, where I found so much about the life and love of God and how He came here to save us, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV). Although I found much about God in the bible, it still was not enough and I know there are people like the person I once was, nonbelievers that have not opened a bible in their lives who will need to know proof or be convinced to open a bible, so I looked further into knowledgeable sources including scientists who in their own studies to disprove God have often found themselves in the opposite position. Scientists point out weakness in their own studies disproving God’s existence. “As biochemists discover more and more about the awesome complexity of life, it is apparent that its chances of originating by accident are so minute that they can be completely ruled out. Life cannot have arisen by chance" (Hoyle, 1983), or as Dr. Robert Jastrow, founder of NASA's Institute for Space Studies, says "science has proven that the universe exploded into being in a certain moment." He further explains that this sudden explosion points to a truth found in the very first sentence of the Bible: "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth." Just as King David proclaimed,” The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands" (Psalms 19:1). I was completely blown away by all of this information I was reading about and it gave me a great sense of peace and filled me with the knowledge that I was definitely not here by accident.
Fast forward to today as I embark on a degree in biblical studies which has given me the opportunity to study more about God’s existence. I have seen him work in my daily life just about everyday of my life since I have been given new eyes to see Him. In my studies I have learned this in an ontological view as Sire states “the focus is not on the role of human experience in apprehending God, not on our grasping after the knowledge of God, not on our search for God. God is already there. The focus is on our receiving from him the gift of the knowledge of his constant, eminent presence” (Sire, n.d.). We are all born with a purpose, and it gets lost when we focus on the things of this world. Our identity gets lost as soon as we get caught up in our environment and become who others say we are or what our negative thoughts tell us we are, which is not the truth. God placed each one of us here on earth to fulfill His work and to be a unique version of Him to bring each other home to build His kingdom. I for one want to fulfill that work here on earth rather than not feel like I belong. I know I am a daughter of God because He gave me a second chance at this earthly life, and He wanted me to tell you about it.
Hoyle, F. (1983). The Intelligent Universe. London: Michael Joseph.
Jastrow, R. (1984). Until the sun dies. New York: Warner Books.
Little, P., Galli, M., & McAllister, D. (n.d.). Why Believe in God? Retrieved from https://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf/hottopics/defendingyourfaith/why-believe-in-god.html
Sire, J. W. (n.d.). Naming the Elephant: Worldview as a Concept. Retrieved from https://platform.virdocs.com/r/s/0/doc/276434/sp/11540511/mi/41357908
I don’t fit in. Never have. Maybe never will. And while the "outside" can often be a lonely place, there’s also lots to be relished about being a rebel.
It means I can still don polka dot skirts, bright red petticoats, and the faux leather combat boots with lace ruffled socks.
I have a tattoo that fills the inside of my left arm proclaiming the love of my Savior and one on the adjacent shoulder that speaks of an attempt at suicide.
I color my hair the darkest shade of brown to give the red streak that frames my face a more striking presence.
I'm direct and opinionated, and some of the things that come out of my mouth surprise even me! (I can also sometimes be tactful, though some people might find that hard to believe...)
I love to sing even alone in the car at the top of my lungs. I don't always do my hair and go without makeup in public (which took many years to confidently do.) Most people don't know I wear glasses because I seldom have them on (I'm in denial that my sight is poor)
I believe in the way a song can turn a mood upside down, or downside up. I believe in the love of my God & my family. They are who I give my heart to.
I do what I want, when I want, where I want (within reason), with whomever I like. If anyone else wants to join in, fine. And if they don’t, so be it, I do it anyway. That means I'm often alone. I've become OK with that.
I'm insatiably curious.
I fail A LOT more than I succeed (or so it would seem to the casual observer in me). I stumble. I fall. I get up. (OK. Sometimes I crawl for awhile, but eventually I DO get up, a little bruised and battered, but not broken.)
I dance with joyful abandon, and once I start, I usually don't stop for a long, long time.
I work hard; I play hard. I wish my body didn't need sleep.
I have a wide diversity of interests, and I'm a wannabe geek.
I don’t answer to anyone or anything but my Savior and my own conscience.
I'm joyful, tearful (on a daily basis), happy, sad, lonely, and connected. Or not. I'm ordinary and extraordinary. Just like you are.
My mind and my body are inextricably connected. The health of each depends on the health of the other, so I stay fit in order to stay sane and vice versa.
I cry in most movies, and I don’t care who stares.
I seek inner peace amidst the chaos. I surrender defiantly.
Only in God's eyes do I ever expect to be a 'Rockstar' or famous.
I aspire to be crazy. I'm a misfit, a rebel, a troublemaker, a round peg in a square hole. Or a square peg in a round hole. Depending on which day of the week it is 😛
I want to celebrate and emulate the craziness of the crazies, in tribute to the wonderful magic they/we/you bring to the world. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do....
This is how God created me and I do my best to be who He wants me to be; I am His beautiful mess!
To be placed on earth as part of something bigger than we can even imagine, by our most powerful and almighty God, is the greatest gift we will ever receive here on this planet. We are uniquely and intricately designed to fit perfectly in place within the earth, each having a part or a role to play in the building of God’s kingdom. Our role is not completely revealed to us at birth because we are born into sin, but as we grow, gaining information from our surroundings and environment eventually seeing that we were in fact created for a purpose, it becomes evident that there is so much more to the world around us than we first thought. Our view changes and becomes more vivid giving us the ability to see how God’s hand is in every single part of everything we feel, see, smell, taste and touch. We begin to not only see God in everything, but we question everything we personally do, placing Him in our decisions, work and how we value our lives and the lives of others.
When I became transformed into the life of a Christian it became important to me to follow God on a more intimate level. I knew that I would be called to do the things God had already chosen for me, which meant I would not be in control, but surrender whenever and wherever He led even if it didn’t feel right in my messy flesh. Learning how to hear what He was instructing me to do or where to go, was my first endeavor, trusting Him would be next. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight” Proverbs 3:5-6 (New International Version).
My biggest call thus far is finding myself at Colorado Christian University. God has spoken to me in many different ways, through written word, people and dreams to name a few. Having been through a very troubled past that I victoriously overcame by the Grace and Mercy of God, I have been able to help others like myself get through their own battle. As a ministry leader alongside my husband, we have had the opportunity to meet, counsel to, pray with and for many people from many different walks of life dealing with all sorts of struggles. After hearing so many of their stories, God placed it on my heart to dive more deeply into those lives to give them a better sense of hope and healing so they could recognize and accept the gift that is in their futures. I was called to go back to school to learn and gain the tools needed to become a licensed counselor, but not just your average clinical counselor, I am called to bring a more spiritual healing to people who are unaware of their God given gifts. This was to be my vocation, to work for God in excellence, truth, diligence and generosity (Smith, 2011, p. 111).
During my search for the right school to begin the journey of this important call, I was pulled tightly in a specific direction by what I would interpret as God calling out in a loud voice to me over the airwaves. As I sat in my car listening to a Christian radio station’s paid advertisement about Colorado Christian University, I knew in that moment I was going to be a student whether in that next semester or in the future, and here I am now in the midst of a new transition in the Bachelor of Psychology/Clinical Counseling program at Colorado Christian University.
As an online student at the university, I have had the pleasure of engaging with fellow Christians within the classroom discussion threads encouraging each other with our own stories of faith. Because of the great communication and Christian values emphasized throughout the school’s guidelines and strategic priorities I have discovered the importance of that communication with others and the way we must view the world in accordance with the school’s first strategic priority “honor Christ and share the love of Christ on campus and around the world” (Strategic priorities at Colorado Christian University, n.d.). I plan to continue to give encouragement and instruction in this manner where there needs to be, in order to help others and myself be successful. Another one of the school’s strategic priorities, “Teach students to trust the Bible, live holy lives, and be evangelists” (Strategic priorities at Colorado Christian University, n.d.) shows another important part of the way we must view the world, with social action. “Social action is an important facet of evangelical activism. People converted from inwardly selfish to outwardly loving do things for other people, particularly for those who are in distress and need” (Session 5 Biblical perspective, n.d.). I have found this to be very impactful to me as I have been made to use the bible more frequently and intimately throughout my courses here at the university. I am seeing God’s word in a whole new perspective as I use scripture as my guide to write assignments.
In the end, the way we view this world, or our worldview, determines who we are. My hope is that everyone I encounter here on earth will know that we are all God’s children with a purpose, instilled in us by our Father to be an example of His love. Each one of us possess gifts from God to use as tools to build His Kingdom here on earth. We must be active evangelists sharing the good news helping each other find their own way home in the Fathers loving arms.
Our identity is such an important and serious part of what determines how we view the world, with that said, the majority of us don’t really know or understand our identity because it has been lost from all the negative experiences we have dealt with throughout life from childhood; bad parenting, bullying and all of the horrible thoughts that were placed in our minds to make us feel less of who we are. The Lord designed us in His image and with a purpose. It became lost when unfortunately, all of those lies we believed, shaped us into somebody we are not. Those lies became our personal truth, therefore forming our worldview in the same negative way.
When we read God’s word and understand why He created us, we begin to see that our lives are not technically our own. "We are a fallen people who can only be redeemed by Christ on the cross, who gives us forgiveness and righteousness in faith” (Slick, M. 2008). We are God’s children and He first instilled in us the will to save not only ourselves, but each other with the example of His love on the cross; it’s up to us to share that good news to everyone we encounter giving them the same chance to know the truth and their true identity. When we are able to see that our true identity is in Christ through a Christian transformation, our view changes, and we get to see everything with God goggles. With new eyes, we find ourselves placing God in every decision and task placed before us changing our goal toward the gift of Salvation. “Light in a messenger’s eyes brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones” Proverbs 15:30 (NIV).
Slick, M (2008). What are some Christian worldview essentials? Retrieved from https://carm.org/what-are-some-christian-worldview-essentials
Living a transformed life is the greatest form of worship we can achieve. To be one with God and understand how our lives revolve around Him and are for Him in all that we set out to do and accomplish is the goal for eternal life. “And this is the testimony, that God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” 1 John 5:11-12 (NIV).
We are all born with a purpose and in God’s image, but our lives move away from our creator as soon as the environment we enter here on earth encapsulates us.
My story doesn’t start the same as yours, but I’ll bet it hasn’t always been roses and sunshine. I grew up thinking I was worthless damaged goods up until I turned 19 and was given back my earthly life after an attempted suicide. I’d still walk in my messy flesh desperately holding on to the word of God as a new Christian trying to figure out why I was still here, until the birth of my first child. At that moment as I watched new life come into to the world, I locked eyes with, and my heart bonded with the spirit of the Lord. It was as if Jesus was in the room holding both my son and I, opening a door to a new world. I felt more love in that moment than I could comprehend, so I went back to the day I was saved in my flesh to those words I held so tightly to, “By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also” 1 Corinthians 6:14 (NIV). “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” Galatians 2:20 (NIV). And I was made new!
From that day my life has been about serving the one who gave me this life for a second time. It is such a gift and I try my best to treat every part of it as one. No matter the task or issues I face, I try to focus on the outcomes. When we place our trust in God and do everything for His glory, no matter the outcome (how it may look, feel or seem to us) it always works for His good when we follow His lead. There have been times I thought I made some pretty bad decisions or didn’t do well on a job or task that was placed in front of me, but when I look back and see where God placed His hand in it, it really wasn’t as bad as I thought it was in my moment of self doubt, simply because I gave it to Him to guide me through. We will all make mistakes and always be tempted by sin, but as long as we walk with God in our hearts, letting His spirit guide us, we will see victory. I like to look at life as a “beautiful mess” because no matter how bad things may seem, there is always beauty in it when God is there.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:24-26).
It can be very hard, downright heart wrenching to let go of something that was gifted to you, gave you a sense of purpose, something you care very deeply about and would not know how to function without, but God is giving you the most beautiful opportunity to gain the most valuable gift that can NEVER be taken from you. He wants you to have EVERYTHING your heart desires and all you have to do is let go. Let go of yourself, the life "you" created, your ways and all those thoughts that consume you (Isaiah 55:8-9). You must loosen your grip on all worldly things: "Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever" (1 John 2:15-17). Those desires of the flesh are what keep you from receiving the true love your heart so longs for.
Even when we do not know what our purpose is, or who we are, one thing I've learned, after an attempted suicide (More about that in my future posts), and hold on to today, is that no matter where I am in life, how hard I fight to get through the day or how deplorable life may seem at the moment, I am His and He breathed this life into me, therefore I must cherish every moment I wake giving ALL the glory to the One who chooses me every second of every day for eternity. Life is a blessing in whatever battle we face or wherever we are placed throughout. We could be having the worst day, week or year ever, but within it we are always blessing somebody as we spread His word and carry our cross. So ALWAYS remember to carry it well!
We are all worthy of God’s unfailing and everlasting love, but sometimes we are unable to see it or feel it. For many, myself included, there are walls we place in front of that love due to numerous issues we face every day. I have battled depression and found myself doubting my faith in people and in love (God) because of an abusive childhood. I’ve met many people who became angry at God because of an unexpected loss, a painful hurt or abuse by others. They somehow found a way to blame the very One who not only loves us unconditionally but makes ALL things good for our good in every way. Fortunately, in the past 10 years I found true love in my Lord and Savior which has caused a strong need in me to share it with all I encounter the best way I can.
Being a musician alongside my husband is truly a gift. Together we have been a team, a band and a ministry. Although it didn’t start out as a ministry, the music we were writing and performing had a message of love that became evident the more we followed God’s call. I found myself not only as lead vocalist but also a speaker to thousands from the stage, as I shared stories about the songs we’ve written that coincided with my testimony, I started to receive wonderful messages from those who were somehow touched by my strength and vulnerability to be able to share my walk with Christ. It wasn’t always easy for me to share my life so privately, but the Lord placed a gift of songwriting on my heart and the only way I could share His gift to as many possible, was to write about my life in those songs. After reading message after message, listening to people’s stories of their own pain through life’s battles, it saddened me to know how many hurting souls there are. This led to countless opportunities to pray for and with many people that were searching for the same love I found in Him. I felt even more loved the more I put myself out there and talked about how to receive love and be love.
I still minister today to everyone I encounter, from the stage to the grocery store and beyond. I will never stop, and now feel I have been called to help those on a more intimate level as I was years ago. After listening to the Holy Spirit and searching for guidance, I am back to school at Colorado Christian University, working toward a degree in Psychology / Clinical counseling. I feel there needs to be more emphasis on the spiritual side of life when it comes to healing people. We are all placed on earth with a purpose and our identity is in the Lord who placed us here. I want to give glory to God for all He has done and continues to do by sharing everything I can!
Welcome to my life as I know it!
I have decided to write about my life on a more personal level with God, and share His love with all of you through this new page (personal blog). For anyone who needs inspiration, help getting through the day, or to see how God can change a heart, please check it out and share!
My life is about love & trust, peppered with a past full of heartache. I attempted suicide at the age of 19 because of sexual and physical abuse. I once thought I was worthless damaged goods, living in constant darkness and anxiety for many years. I now know that my past is not my truth. There is so much more written for me than what I have lived through. And I am here to let God continue to write my story living out what He has planned for me till my days on earth are through.
I live to share all the love He has given me with everyone I encounter. You are NOT what anyone says you are, but who God created you to be.
This is my attempt (through posts, audio and video) to change hearts and open minds to the greatest love you will ever know.......
© 2011 * VERACITY * ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.