Today, Stella shares with us thoughts on how she is learning to be still, how she saw God’s faithfulness as she recovered from domestic violence, and dealing with shame and worth. Hers is an inspiring story of restoration.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him. Matthew 26:50, It baffles me how someone could be delivering me to death and I still call them “Friend”. I’m trying to use this as a tool for forgiveness in my life.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Being still is probably my biggest focus, right now. I’m in such a busy point in my life right now that even my “quiet” moments are fraught with craziness. I do believe God can speak through the craziness, but multiple times in the gospels we see Jesus retreating to be alone with God. When you’re really abiding and opening your heart to God, the atmosphere changes. My soul feels as if it is spilling over.
“When you’re really abiding and opening your heart to God, the atmosphere changes.”
Profession: I am a call center representative for Whirlpool. I work from my office in the back of home with my coffee maker handy because I start work before seven a.m.!
A one sentence bio of yourself: A broken, but loved southern woman.
When did you first encounter God? I was “born into Christianity”, I guess you could say. I’ve been a Christian since I was eleven, but I was mostly nominal till the past few months when God grabbed my attention through my son.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Pain. I was in a domestic violence situation while I was pregnant with my son. Once I left, I had stair steps towards a closer relationship with my Jesus. This past month has been so fruitful, as I have finally been able to put to rest the reality of what happened and look at my time under that as a testimony to God’s faithfulness to me.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I’m reading Captivating by John & Stasi Elderidge. I’m learning that we as women are built a certain way in that our we have the desire to be pursued, to be a part of something bigger, and to find beauty. We are built for these things, and our sinful nature perverts them. Those ideas came from such a pure place, and our goal should be to live out those parts of our nature in light of God’s intention.
“Those ideas came from such a pure place, and our goal should be to live out those parts of our nature in light of God’s intention.”
Top three essentials: Candy Paint lipstick by Colourpop, The Happy Hour by Jamie Ivey blaring on my phone, and my knock off Birkenstocks. (Even when they don’t match)
How did God speak to you recently? I find that He’s trying to show me how to deal with the shame of past and to let it teach me. Before I was under an abusive husband, I never understood why women stayed, but now I get it. I go back to a woman’s desire to be pursued and our hearts will sometimes fall into the arms of someone who doesn’t deserve it. I believe the Lord is using my past to be a voice for the girl who doesn’t feel as if she’s worth anything, because, oh my word, girls, you are worth the world!
“Girls, you are worth the world!”
Hobby: I’m all about writing. I used to write so much when I was younger and I’m finally taking up my pen again.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. Fill your mind with God-honoring things. What we put in ourselves is what we exude. So, if we put in foul language, sexual images, and crude joking, that is what will fill our minds and our speech. 2. Spend time with Jesus. A relationship with anyone requires nurturing and quality time. How much more should we invest our time with Christ?
3. Praying scripture. I find that praying the words of God remind me of what His will is.
Favorite person in scripture?Paul. He committed terrible sins, but yet God used him in such a powerful way. I have felt guilt over the fact I ran away from home when I was eighteen and lived in sexual sin before I was married. For a while, I thought this ruined my testimony. “I will restore to you the years the swarming locust has eaten.” Joel 2:25a
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? He is moving on your behalf. Even when you feel as if you’re sinking, He is there. He is fighting for you.
Favorite season? Spring: The world begins again. Spring is characterized by watercolor sunsets, open windows with fresh air flowing through, and reflection on what’s to come.
Favorite holiday? Halloween! I still love dressing up, eating candy, and watching scary movies with my friends late into the night.
A dream you have? Once, I’m through this chapter, I would like to remarry a man who loves Jesus, move out to the countryside of Tennessee, and have a few more babies. I want to have a wraparound porch where the setting sun hits the windows just right. I would for sure grow some vegetable, fruits, and have wildflower patches everywhere. Also, I’d have a horse. I’ve always wanted a horse.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Me and my family always watch Elf on Christmas Eve and eat super bowl food!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I think I would ask for the rundown of where God was moving and shaking when I couldn’t tell where He was.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Domestic violence. It is more prevalent than one can even know. People would always tell me and my husband how “lovely of a couple” we were. Little did they know that behind the scenes I was being physically and mentally tormented. Learn the signs. Know the woman. Encourage her in the love outside of the man in her life, so that she knows the he is not her god.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.?I’ve already hit the grind! If we’re slow in the mornings at work, I’ll scroll through my social media, and I’m trying to use that time now to work on my scripture memorization.
What is on your nightstand? A pen, a letter, and a tv remote.
Define Christianity in a sentence: But God.
For more Stella:
Facebook Page: Simple Truths Simple Girl
Until next time, keep witnessing!