Today, Marcia speaks to us about a powerful moment where she encountered God, Jesus as our friend and some great books to add to your list.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a broken home. My mother and father had me very young and due to many troubles in their relationship, my mother left right around the time I turned 4 after meeting another man, who became my stepfather. I lived with my father and spent much time at my aunt’s home as my father remained mostly single. There were women who came and went throughout my childhood which presented a lot of challenges for me, and my father. I visited my mother’s home on the weekends consistently. The only exposure I really had to God was in my aunt’s home, and my grandmother’s home. They were faithful Catholics and brought me to mass here and there. I was surrounded by troubles and addictions pretty much everywhere except at my aunt’s home. I spent my high school years a writer and artist, very lost and dark in my thinking. I experienced a lot of depression and viewed my identity through the mistakes of my parents and didn’t know how to deal with any of that.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: All of John chapter 13, the washing of the feet of the disciples, even Judas.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: At this time in my life, I am focusing on growing through processing pain, struggle, and suffering God’s way so that I can be used to help others walk through similar things I have been through. What the enemy has planned to use to destroy me, I am laying at the feet of Jesus to be used for good.
Profession/Mission: My current profession is that I am the secretary for a HVAC company that my husband and I own and run. I homeschool our 4 older children (ranging from 16 down to 10) and always have, and manage the growth of my boisterous two-year-old. I have a background in nutrition and wellness and hope at some point to be able to use those hard-earned skills in a more professional setting, but for now time just does not allow for it. My main mission in life is to know God and make Him known.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? This is such a hard question! Not sure I would ever do this, but it may be titled Running with Bucket. The quote that best describes my testimony is “Lord, I crawled across the barrenness to you with my empty cup. If only I had known you better, I’d have come running with a bucket.” – Nancy Spiegelberg.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? Although as I look back and can see where God was present and protected me in situations where I didn’t recognize it was Him at the time, the first time I can really say I encountered God was when I actually became a Christian. I accepted salvation and within a moment I was weeping and being led by God to repent of my abortion.
I felt such a comforting forgiveness fill me and I hadn’t realized until that moment how much that decision and the regret I was carrying was actually torturing me. Looking back on that moment, I can say it very much gave context to the line in the hymn… “Burdens are lifted at Calvary..” From there, I learned a lot about dealing with being surrounded by addiction my entire life and the spiritual warfare that was needed to combat the things I came away from when I left the New Age movement. I had been a Licensed Massage Therapist for years and a teacher at the school where I graduated. I let go of my license after I met Jesus and realized what I was involved in. I suffered from many challenges due to being involved in those things, astral projection being one of them. Jesus delivered me from all of that and I’ve never looked back.
How would you describe Jesus? I would describe Jesus as a friend that sees every ugly part of me and loves me anyway; a friend who knows how to communicate every way I need to change in order to look more like Him, someone who never changes, and who is always truthful. I also describe Him as my advocate, pleading to my Heavenly Father for me as I navigate this walk here on Earth. He is my healer, deliverer, my banner, my beloved, my Savior.
“I would describe Jesus as a friend that sees every ugly part of me and loves me anyway”
How has your relationship with Him changed you? The most profound way my relationship has changed me, and is still changing me as sanctification is lifelong, is to teach me what real love is and looks like and how to love others like he does. I haven’t arrived, I am still learning.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? The darkest time in my life has been navigating deep challenges in my marriage. I see God as my rock in it, whom I can trust no matter what.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Drawing nigh to God and His Word has been what has helped me to grow in every season. When I wander, my growth tends to stop.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Aside from daily Bible reading, I am currently reading: It’s Not Supposed to be This Way by Lysa Terkeurst, Praying Mom Brooke McGlothlin, Gentle and Lowly Dane Ortlund, and Live Not by Lies.
These books have all helped/are helping me in different ways and I am so thankful for them. They have helped me process disappointment, a lack of prayer, knowing God in a deeper manner, and also to be able to see deeper into the cultural lies that are plaguing our society right now.
Top three essentials: Bible, essential oils, adaptogens.
How did God speak to you recently? God is speaking to me recently about the absolute importance of forgiveness, loving others better, and discerning and rejecting lies that challenge my identity in Christ.
Hobby: Studying and implementing health and wellness, with a little crochet and reading tucked in.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: a. Be in God’s Word every day, before reading commentaries or other books. b. Prayer. Constant prayer. There are times I don’t even know what to pray so I just start listing things I can thank Him for. c. Surround yourself with things, people, music, etc., that point to Him. (Philippians 4:8) and ask for discernment on anything you are reading, listening to.
Favorite person in scripture? Aside from Jesus, it would be John, or Jospeh in the Old Testament. Hard to pick one! I also love Ruth. Her story is similar to mine in some ways.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That Sanctification is life long, so be kind to those who are struggling. Everyone’s process is different.
How do you engage with your community? I engage with my community through our business, but also through social media, and meeting/praying/reading/fellowship with other like-minded women who edify me more than they will ever know.
Favorite holiday? Christmas
A goal you have? My lifelong goal aside from knowing God and making Him known, is to grow in grace and raise my children to love and follow God.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Friday family movie night with homemade popcorn or a special dessert usually. Sometimes, this becomes Saturday night if my husband and I decide to have a date.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Where are Adam and Eve? I need to have a word with them. (LOL) Just kidding, kind of…. Truly my question to God would be whether or not He will let me see the foldout of creation as it happened. I have always been so curious as to what it actually looked like as it was happening. I’d also love to be able to view the linear timeline that consists of all of history from Genesis to Revelation in a way that helps me see all of it as it worked together harmoniously with humanity and God’s passionate love for man.
For more Marcia:
Until next time, keep witnessing!