Today, Grace speaks to us about how God has healed her from a destructive relationship, the book that helped her believe that God speaks to each of us, and how to remind yourself that you are never alone.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: ‘Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you. Again I will build you, and you shall be rebuilt, O virgin of Israel! You shall again be adorned with your tambourines, and shall go forth in the dances of those who rejoice.’” Jeremiah 31:3-4
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Considering the above Scripture, my area of growth is twofold: one, to endure the healing God so desires to work out in my heart, and two, to be fearless in spite of the struggles I’ve had in the past.
I am healing from an extremely unhealthy and dysfunctional two-year relationship, a year and a half of emotional abuse. It bred much pain, agony, dread, fear and feelings of inadequacy and unworthiness. I became very good at ignoring God for fear that I would lose everything, as I was waiting on hope that the man I fell in love with would come back to me. Coming out of that relationship and healing from the destruction has been harrowing and scary and freeing, all at the same time. And the verses from Jeremiah give me assurance that I will be healed and rebuilt, no matter how long it takes. And in the meantime, I am enjoying being right where God has me. It’s only by His grace and love that I can say that.
“Coming out of that relationship and healing from the destruction has been harrowing and scary and freeing, all at the same time.”
Profession: Copy Editor for Turning Point, the Bible teaching ministry of Dr. David Jeremiah.
A one sentence bio of yourself: Just a woman trying to live in the redemption God has so graciously bestowed, and live her life fully, as that is what God wants her to do.
When did you first encounter God? I was raised in a Christian home, so I always knew who God is and who Jesus was and what He did on the cross. I was also homeschooled, so I didn’t have much in the way of things challenging my faith. While I asked Jesus into my heart at a young age, I didn’t really encounter Him until I was about 14. I was reading a Karen Kingsbury novel, and she likes to give God a voice in her books. I thought that was quite interesting because up until then, I never really believed when people would say, “Oh, God spoke to me,” or “I heard God say this.” So, when I read that Karen Kingsbury novel (“Redemption”) it clicked in my head and heart, and I never turned back.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? My community. For a long time, I isolated myself and didn’t really let anyone in, which is unusual for me. But my dysfunctional relationship kept me closed off. So my community has helped me pick up the pieces, and they’ve each brought so much joy to my life in this season of healing. God is so evident in each of my relationships, and I know in my heart He’s using each of my dear people to minister to me, and the coolest feeling is knowing God is using me in their lives, too.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Radical by David Platt. It has taught me that faith being truly and biblically applied isn’t always what you think it should look like. And more than anything, it’s important to be serious about the power of the Gospel.
“It’s important to be serious about the power of the Gospel.”
Top three essentials: Journal/Bible, Chapstick, my dog (her name is Lottie and she’s a wiener dog, and I love her).
How did God speak to you recently? By reminding me that it’s okay to be in the gutter, in the trenches of life, because those are the moments He’s using to prepare me for the even better things ahead.
“It’s okay to be in the gutter, in the trenches of life, because those are the moments He’s using to prepare me for the even better things ahead.”
Hobby: Hmm, walking my dog at the beach, reading, writing, cooking, conversing, laughing.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
(1) Read your Bible as often as you can, but don’t make it into a chore; ask God to being out your curiosity when reading His Word. (2) Serve others fearlessly; don’t let a false feeling of being unworthy or not having the right words stop you from being there for someone else.
(3) Journal; sometimes the only way to make sure something really finds its way into your heart is to write it down.
Favorite person in scripture? Tie between David and Ruth. Both are very relatable people for me.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That He is so gracious and there’s nowhere I can run to get away from Him… and I thank God for that. Deep down inside, I never want to feel alone ever again, and knowing He is always there, and I can’t outrun Him gives me an enormous amount of peace I can hold onto when things get crazy.
“I never want to feel alone ever again, and knowing He is always there, and I can’t outrun Him gives me an enormous amount of peace I can hold onto when things get crazy.”
Favorite season? I live in California so I don’t really have intense seasons, but I do love fall and winter because I get to wear jeans and sweaters and hats.
Favorite holiday? Christmas. It’s usually the one time of year I get to be with both my siblings and their families and my parents at the same time. And I just love Christmas in general, a beautiful reminder of Jesus’ story.
A dream you have? To be a writer who can encourage people right where they are. To live a full life. To say at the end of my life that I never let fear be a deciding factor for me.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: On Christmas morning before we open presents, we get a cookie (it’s called a buckeye, as my parents are from Ohio; just google “Ohio buckeye cookie” and you’ll know what I’m talking about), stick a candle in the center, light it and sing happy birthday to Jesus. We’ve had this tradition as far back as I can remember.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why did You have to create orcas and lizards? Because those are two animals I could live without.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: The internal struggles we all encounter and are afraid to talk about. Most of believe we are alone or we believe that because there is no outward/physical evidence of a struggle that it isn’t a big deal and we need to move on. But the reality is God has us in different moments throughout our lives for reasons and we have to give voice to those struggles to overcome them. Be brave, be fearless, trust God, be encouraged.
“Be brave, be fearless, trust God, be encouraged.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I wake up, feed my dog, drink my coffee, do my devos, get ready for work, go to work and eat my breakfast while working.
What is on your nightstand? A jewelry box that looks like a miniature chest. A jewelry box resembling a vintage book on top of that. A handmade picture with handmade stitching from China that says in English and Chinese characters (I wish I knew the exact words) something along the lines of a joyful heart being good medicine. A set of three globes. A lamp. A clock. A ring dish where I keep my watch, ring, and recently-worn earrings. And pictures: three relatively new and one very old one. It’s a cluttered nightstand, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Define Christianity in a sentence: The intimate relationship that exists between an imperfect human (me) and the perfect Savior (God), the success of which depends on His sacrifice and my choosing Him.
For more Grace:
Until next time, keep witnessing!