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Jordyn I.

Today, Jordyn speaks to us about a turning point in her life, a book you will have to add to your list if you haven’t read it yet and praising God in depression. Thank you for your vulnerability, Jordyn!

Jordyn I.

Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a small town, raised by a single mother with two younger sisters. My mother really did everything in her power to give my sisters and me a good life, even if we didn’t have much. I’m the oldest of the sisters I grew up with, so a lot of responsibility fell on me to help out with them. I think it made us super close, though. We have an unbreakable bond. I saw my dad once a week growing up and have 3 sisters and 2 brothers on his side.

It was kind of hard coming from a broken home, and I think it made me question my identity a bit. I often questioned which side of the family I fit best with. Obviously, I spent most of my time with my mother and 2 sisters, so I would say my foundation, shaping of who I’ve become, and my beliefs come mainly from that. To this day even at 25 years old, I don’t know much about who my father is as a person. I just know him as someone I visited every Saturday until about 11th grade.

I would say that my grandmother on my mom’s side who has since passed, was the missing puzzle piece to my idea of family. She filled in and played a second parent in my home, and I’m so grateful for that. She took my sisters and me to everything we were involved in and helped my mother in every way that she could. I hope to be half the woman both my mom and grandma were.

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: To be transparent, I’ve struggled with depression for many years. And in almost every season of my life, I always come back to Psalms chapter 42. Verse 1 is one of my favorite scriptures of all time, but the entire passage inspires me because it lets me know that it is ok to have those wavering moments when things don’t look so great. This passage inspires me to always remain honest with the Lord, and let Him know my afflictions just as the author of this chapter did.

Even in those moments of depression, I know that I can still praise and worship God. Depression and worship aren’t mutually exclusive. I can be both sad and bow down at the feet of the Father. In fact, He invites it.

“Depression and worship aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I’m not sure when low self-worth started for me, but somewhere along the line, it crept in, and I’ve been struggling with questioning my worth ever since. So right now, I am focusing on completely learning and loving who I am in Jesus. I’ve been spending more time developing my relationship with Jesus and allowing Him to speak life into me and love me the way I was created to be loved.

I had to learn the hard way that God often doesn’t just take the pain away. He’s waiting for us to invite Him into it. The moments I’ve experienced the fullness of God are the moments I was hurting beyond measure. He continuously places His nail-pierced hands on my aching soul, and I’ve never felt a love like that anywhere else.

“The moments I’ve experienced the fullness of God are the moments I was hurting beyond measure. He continuously places His nail-pierced hands on my aching soul and I’ve never felt a love like that anywhere else.”

Profession: I am currently Content Marketing Coordinator for a small company based out of Cleveland, OH. One day, I hope to be a best-selling author and a content creator full-time. God has really placed in my heart to draw people to Him through my words and content. I feel so full when I’m doing that.

I have a heart for millennials because our age demographic is saying goodbye to religion and leaving the church in droves. The numbers are higher than ever, but I think it’s because the relationship piece is missing. Many look around church and see something they don’t like –– hypocrisy, fakeness, ugliness. But many have yet to actually experience the fullness of Christ Jesus and what it means to be in relationship with Him. I write, host a podcast, and create content so I can share my faith in hopes that people will want to come and know the Jesus that I know and love.

If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? The title would definitely be “And Then My Wings Grew.” All my life I’ve lived in metaphorical boxes. The box of fear. The box of rejection. The box of people-pleasing. The debilitating box of PSTD, depression, and anxiety. The boxes have especially been suffocating because I’m an adventurous person. I don’t belong in a box.

But I think with each box, label, rejection, and hurt, God has been preparing me to sprout wings and fly. The wings represent freedom and freedom comes from letting go. Freedom comes from realizing that the only validation you need comes from God. God never intended for us to live in boxes. It has always been His plan that we accept the freedom that comes from knowing Him intimately.

When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I’ve always “known” about God since I was a little girl, because I grew up in church and in a Christian home. However, I didn’t truly learn who God was until I broke up with an ex-boyfriend in college. I was so broken, suffering from a soul tie, dealing with the aftermath of abuse, and drowning myself in alcohol to make me feel better.
God asked me so many times to give my heart over to Him and I was so reluctant, because I thought I was too much of a mess and I was afraid of being disappointed. I was afraid he wouldn’t be able to “fix” me. Once I gave my heart over to God and intentionally sought healing, I was able to embrace God’s unconditional love. It was like I was a crying little girl getting rocked in the arms of her sweet, protective father and I had never felt that kind of safety before.

How has your relationship with Him changed you? I used to be a self-righteous, Bible-toting teenager who thought she knew everything there was to know about being a “good Christian”. I stayed out of trouble, excelled in academics and music, followed all the rules, and thought my “good deeds” were my golden ticket into heaven. You would’ve thought I had gone to Calvary and died for everyone’s sins by the way I acted. Then, suddenly everything came crashing down. I was struggling with purity, drinking way too much, seeking worth and validation from my exes or other guy friends, and battling severe mental health issues. After a suicide attempt, I knew I was carrying too much by myself –– things that God never even asked me to carry.

I think my relationship with God started to change me when I started being honest about my actual need for a Savior. I was so broken and couldn’t do anything for myself. It was such a humbling experience that taught me I am not my own Savior. I never have been and I never will be. Jesus died on the cross for me because there was no way I could’ve ever reconciled with God and paid back the debt I owed for my sin. My relationship with him has forced me to see how messed up I am and how much I NEED Jesus.

I learned that the very essence of knowing Christ has nothing to do with walking around with my nose pointed in the air. But it has everything to do with love, humility, and obedience. I’m still in awe at His beauty, and I keep falling deeper in love with Him.

“It was such a humbling experience that taught me I am not my own Savior. I never have been and I never will be.”

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Therapy, spending time with God, disconnecting from social media, and writing. This has been a pretty solitary season for me, which has driven me to be more intentional (and aware) about the way I spend my time and where I focus my attention.

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I just read Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst. If you have not read this book, I highly recommend it! It taught me to seek God’s truth when the sting of rejection and loneliness knocks at my door. I can either believe the lie or jump head first into God’s truth. Choosing the latter has always been the better option.

“I can either believe the lie or jump head first into God’s truth.”

Top three essentials:
Journal
Houseplants
Therapy
Can I add a fourth? 🙂 — BOOKS!

How did God speak to you recently? God has spoken to me recently through a song called “Not in a Hurry” by Will Reagan & United Pursuit. Some of the lyrics say “I’m learning to listen, just to rest in your nearness, I’m starting to notice You are speaking.” These words are so powerful to me. If we just make a decision to be still and draw near to Jesus we’ll start to notice He hasn’t gone anywhere. He’s always waiting for us, arms open wide, excited to speak to us. I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel so special.

Hobby: I love reading, writing, and content creation. One of my new hobbies is going out in nature and being my own photographer for my IG photos.

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
A solid, consistent prayer life;
A solid community of Believers for support and accountability;
No hiding from God –– always talking to Him about every thought, concern, sin, decision, etc. (this cultivates relationship intimacy).

Favorite person in scripture? Peter, hands down. Peter is so beautifully human in scripture. And what I mean by that is, he’s such a great reminder that God chose us in spite of our brokenness. Peter earnestly followed Jesus; he had faith in Jesus; he defended Jesus; but then he denied ever knowing Jesus, and finally he ended up dying glorifying Jesus.

Peter kind of went down in history as the man who denied knowing Jesus 3 times. But I remember him as also being the man who cut off the ear of a soldier in defense of Jesus when they came to arrest Him. Yes, Peter messed up sometimes, but you could tell he really loved Jesus, and that is how I want to be seen –– “She can be a mess sometimes, but she really loves Jesus.”

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? When people look at me, I want them to learn that becoming whole only happens in Christ. He’s the answer to everything you’re searching for.

“He’s the answer to everything you’re searching for.”

How do you engage with your community? I engage with my community mainly through church. I am a worship leader on the praise and worship team, as well as a leader in our church’s young adult ministry. I also engage with my extended community through my blog, podcast, and Instagram.

Favorite holiday? Definitely Thanksgiving. I love getting to see my family and eating until I can’t anymore.

A goal you have? I want to publish a book in the near future.

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My mom, two sisters and I take turns hosting brunch and an activity at our homes every 3 months. I love spending time with them, and I always look forward to enjoying whatever they prepare.

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I would like to ask God why He felt I was the best person to give my personal calling to.

Thing you want to raise awareness about: I want to continue to raise awareness about mental illness and how it intersects with faith/Christianity. The two can coexist and it doesn’t make you any less of a Christian.

What does your morning routine consist of? Since working from home, my morning routine has consisted of showering, brushing my teeth, washing my face, eating breakfast and doing a morning devotional with prayer before diving into work.

What is on your nightstand? I have a book, oil diffuser, salt rock lamp, a bottle of water, a pen, and usually my phone on my nightstand.

Define Christianity in a sentence: To me, Christianity is a community of people who have all decided to live their lives for the One true King through personal relationship with Him. Each relationship looks different, but the God we serve remains the same.

“Each relationship looks different, but the God we serve remains the same.”

For more Jordyn:

Instagram: @jordynimariwrites
Website: http://www.jordynimari.com
My podcast, “Unveiled”: http://www.buzzsprout.com/368450

Until next time, keep witnessing!

XX

 

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