From Lost life to Big Calling
I grew up around here in Texas, and there is no shortage of churches. The locals always boasted that the city nearby has the most churches per capita in Texas. It has the largest number of churches per capita in the entire country. Bible Belt, indeed. Having said that, I had a difficult, if not well-rounded, experience with churches.
In my youth, my father and stepmother took us to a Baptist church. My maternal grandparents took us to a Methodist church. While my paternal grandparents took us to the Church of Christ, my aunt took us to a Pentecostal church. I always enjoyed going to church. However, I was never shown or taught HOW to have a personal relationship with the LORD. I had a lot of confusing and conflicting examples of what a true Christian looks like.
I grew up in an abusive household. It confused me how a person could be so wholesome, giving, and kind on Sundays and Wednesdays, yet so very cold and calloused outside of service hours. My eighth birthday gift was a broken cheekbone. We attended a church in Joshua, TX. In 1999, a couple of weeks after a church Super Bowl party (that ended in me being knocked out by a cordless phone), I was “saved” and baptized at twelve years old. I did it because my abuser told me to.
Right before I turned 15, I moved in with my mother, and started going to the church she grew up in. I discovered a community. I discovered friends. What I did not discover was Jesus. I tried to commit suicide at 16, we swept it under a rug. I grew up, went to college, and made all the stereotypical bad decisions young adults make.
Spiritual Warfare Struggles
One night, in a moment of clarity, I decided once and for all that I would clean up my life and start living for God. The attack from the enemy was sudden and soul-crushing. I was physically attacked in my dorm room that night. I reported the incident to the police, went to the hospital, and had tests run. However, nothing happened— I had to see my attacker every day until I dropped out two months later.
A year and a half later, in 2009, my daughter was born. One year and two weeks after that, my son was born. I was engaged to their father, but we never married. My broken mind said we could have kids together, but I wouldn’t marry someone who was always unfaithful and as abusive as any other “meaningful” relationship I’d had. We were two very broken people trying to play house in a broken way.
We went to the church he knew, which was Catholic. My kids were both baptized in the Catholic church. I went through Catechism before I realized I was acting out more rituals than I was committing to any sort of faith. I had a gnostic belief in God at this point. However, I never took a Bible study opportunity at this time.
In 2013, I gained the courage to leave the abusive relationship I had with him. I came back to Texas after having lived in Iowa, isolated from everyone and everything I knew for two years. However, coming home wasn’t what I’d thought. I was still traumatized and felt alone. Further, I was trying to raise two very young children and work a full-time plus job without any help.
First Encounter with God
It took its toll. In 2014, I tried, again, to commit suicide. This is where I met the power of God, and also where I had my first encounter with the work of God. My best friend, who had passed away in early 2012, came to me while I watched my lifeless body on the stretcher in the emergency room. He told me I had to go back, that it wasn’t my time, and that there were bigger plans than I could see. I, of course, argued. Turns out I had been dead for 7 minutes.
Second Encounter with God
Two weeks later, as a patient in a psychiatric facility, one of the behavioral techs was talking to us about struggles and God’s presence and grace. I said, “God doesn’t see me anymore, and if He does, He thinks I’m a lost cause.” He gave me his Bible, and told me, “I’ll make you a deal. If you sit quietly in your room and pray…REALLY pray… ask God if He sees you, to SHOW you in scripture if He sees you, and if He doesn’t show up, I’ll buy you a carton of cigarettes.” I was broken, broke, and thought, “Well, I’ve got nothing else left, and I could use cigarettes.”
So, I did what he asked, prayed over the Bible, and opened it. The passage I saw was Psalm 139:7-12. You can’t stop God from seeing you, and you can’t stop His plans. It was a Bible study opportunity for me.
After some intensive therapy, trauma therapy, counseling, and the help of some medication for a time, I was the happiest I’ve ever been. However, I felt an absence in my life that I tried to fill with partners, with friends, with the occult. Then, I met my husband, and very quickly, everything made sense.
In 2018, I became a member of the church he was attending, and I was truly saved and baptized in 2019. We both felt the call to minister. I felt the call to witness to other survivors. As soon as we had a plan and set a wedding date, the enemy set to work again. My husband came under a very deep and long-lasting spiritual warfare, and I was dealing with the death of my #1 mentor and supporter, my grandfather.
Through his warfare and my grief, I prayed. I went to church. Then, I prayed some more. I never lost faith that my God would carry us through this so we could emerge on the other side, stronger and more faithful than ever.
We married in 2021. We found a spiritual home at Old School Ministries. The Holy Spirit ignited us and revealed some of our spiritual gifts. Praise God! I have started the process of bringing my children back to Christ. My husband, my best friend, her husband, and I started a weekly Bible study. I read my Bible for hours each day. Often, God directs me on what lesson, devotional, or sermon to write, and I share them with a group of women from the church as they’re written.
Bible Study Opportunity at CLI
I love the love that the LORD has given me, I love that the void that I felt for 31 years of my life is finally gone. God has exciting things in store for my life. I have realized that His plans for me must be pretty big if the enemy had to try so hard to break me for so long. “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me” – Philippians 4:13.
However, I also know I need Bible and ministry understanding to prepare for my ministry calling from God. I found the Christian Leaders Institute and am grateful for this Bible and ministry study opportunity.
Register a Study Account
Register for a free study account that automatically enrolls you in the Getting Started Class at the Christian Leaders Learning Platform. The Getting Started class will take you less than an hour to complete.
When you log in to the Learning Platform, you will notice that the Getting Started Class automatically appears on your dashboard.
The Getting Started Class will orientate you to the Christian Leaders Learning Platform and the Programs offered, including:
- Ministry Awards, Certificates, and Diplomas with the Christian Leaders Institute.
- College Degrees with the CLI’s Leadership Excellence School.
- Minister Credentialling (Ordination) with the Christian Leaders Alliance, including local Soul Center registration possibilities.
Note: You can enroll in tuition-free courses or mini-courses immediately without finishing the getting started class.
Find out more about women in ministry here