Today, Anjelica speaks to us about how God radically changed her life, how the church needs to talk more about anxiety and depression (and be a safe space), and how we must go to the Rock that is higher than us.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “But the Lord stood by and strengthened me, so that through me the message might be FULLY proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. So I was rescued from the lions mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil deed and bring me safely into His heavenly Kingdom. To Him be the glory forever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:17-18
The more I walk with Jesus, the more I realize He wants ALL of me, the FULLNESS Timothy talks about in this scripture. In all of my hardships and shortcomings, I’m reminded by this scripture that HE alone will stand by me, strengthen me, and rescue me so He can get the Good News out through my life.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Taking every thought captive and to bring it in submission to Christ. I have always struggled with my body image, so God has been so gracious to lead me into speaking more Truth over my life, than believing the lies of the enemy.
Profession: Retired hairdresser, now a stay-at-home mommy.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I am a worshiper, disciple, a wife, a mother to a 16-month-old boy, and just recently moved to a city I never ever thought I would live in, Sacramento, and I’m actually loving it.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? LONG story short, I just got out of a 4 year abusive relationship, I was heavily addicted to drugs, and I had no purpose in life. I never been to church nor had any sort of belief in God.
Circumstances lead me to finally end the 4 year relationship and quit drugs, cold turkey, since January 1st 2011. That April, a personal trainer I had been working with invited me to church. I laughed and told him I would not go. He was persistent and told me that “God told him to tell me to come,” I thought he lost his mind but after 3 failed attempts on his part, I finally said “Okay, okay, I’ll come.”
I went to a Bible study soon after and that’s where God started becoming real to me. I would pray and He would answer, and honestly, I didn’t believe it at first, until I had prayed for this girl I actually hated in high school. I asked Jesus to help me remove the hated I had for her form my heart (side note, I hadn’t seen this girl in 5 years) BUT the very next day she was standing right in front of me in line at a store, and I just couldn’t believe it. I knew God heard my prayers, I knew He was after my heart.
“I knew God heard my prayers, I knew He was after my heart.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? COMMUNITY. I can’t emphasize enough how much community has helped, encouraged, and steadied my walk with God.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Gay Girl, Good God by Jackie Hill-Perry. If you haven’t read it, you should. I see so much of God’s heart in the testimony of others, and this book just made me love God more. It’s so amazing what He can do with a heart that surrenders to Him.
“It’s so amazing what He can do with a heart that surrenders to Him.”
Top three essentials: Water, coffee, good food.
How did God speak to you recently? He is constantly telling me “Come to the Rock that’s higher than you.” Meaning… when I want to think negative thoughts about me or others, “Come to the Rock that’s higher.” When I want to compare my life to some else, “Come to the Rock that is higher.” When I want to gossip, “Come to the Rock that’s higher.” He reminds me daily, if I want to follow Him, I must die to myself daily, sometimes every hour. But its so worth it.
Hobby: Reading, working out. I love the Gym.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: 1. Immerse yourself in Scripture, in every situation, in every season of life, it’s my steady anchor. 2. Community, I can’t emphasize that enough, when you are weak, the other parts of the Body will be your strength, they will help you heal and learn to hope again. 3. Prayer, it seems so simple, but it’s the foundation of everything! It should not be out of obligation, It’s about staying in constant communication with your Father. The good, the bad, and ugly.
Favorite person in scripture? I’ve always loved Joseph. I love studying his life and seeing Gods favor upon him. His patience is something I admire, He knew the calling that God had on his life but jealousy, false accusations, and time lost would try to get him to lose hope. Even in the midst of all his mess, God was with him, always reassuring Joseph he was not out of Gods will. It’s a story of God’s Redemption, and it is just beautiful.
“He knew the calling that God had on his life but jealousy, false accusations, and time lost would try to get him to lose hope.”
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I hope that when people look at me they see someone who was a drug addict, a person with no purpose or dreams, a person who walked around with a chip on her shoulder, someone who was so lost in her identity… and wonder how does she look so different now? And I will tell them… Jesus gave me a new heart. I want people to see a life completely changed by God’s amazing grace.
“I hope that when people look at me they see someone who was a drug addict, a person with no purpose or dreams, a person who walked around with a chip on her shoulder, someone who was so lost in her identity… and wonder how does she look so different now?”
Favorite season? FALL. I love seeing the colors on the tress change, I love wearing leggings and boots and jackets. I just love everything about fall
A dream you have? To start a VLOG with my husband. It’s actually in the works right now. We are going to be interviewing people from all walks of life who have struggled with anxiety and depression. Our dream is to unite people through our stories and create a space for people to receive encouragement and help.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My mom every year for Christmas buys everyone in our family matching PJ’s. Its such a fun thing we do and everyone looks forward to it, every year.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Did my Grandpa David make it in? It makes me cry just thinking about it, He died when I was very young. I pray when I get to heaven I get to hug him for a very long time
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Mental Illness, especially within the church. My husband has suffered from anxiety and depression his entire life, and was born and raised in the church. I have struggled with postpartum anxiety and panic attacks. I think it’s so important to keep conversations going about these topics and more so people feel less alone and our hope is that the Church would be the first place people would want to go to feel less alone in this.
“I have struggled with postpartum anxiety and panic attacks. I think it’s so important to keep conversations going about these topics and more so people feel less alone and our hope is that the Church would be the first place people would want to go to feel less alone in this.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? On a good day, spend time in the Word and prayer, feed my son breakfast, and head to the gym. Did I mention that’s on a GOOD day? *laughs*
What is on your nightstand? Books, phone, a sign that says “Don’t be a hard rock when you really are a gem,” it’s from a Lauryn Hill song (Favorite female rapper), and a fake succulent because I would kill a real one.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Reckless abandonment of who you and the world thinks you should be, and living fully for the glory of God.
For more Anjelica:
IG: @licalou11 & @zionheartstories
Until next time, keep witnessing!