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GENRE009's Photo GENRE009 SparkPoints: (22,755)
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2/17/14 1:36 P

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hi! My name is Eva. I had been going through many of life's struggles. God has always been in my life talking to me, yet I never had the Word, or real comfort. I have had many crisis, more than happiness in life. It took a broken heart losing friends to bring me to God. No stroke, no cancer, no broken bones from being hit by a car walking, no amnesia, not both parents dying within three months of each other, not even a tornado could bring my broken spirit to God. I didn't know I was lost. I am humble now, and realized that I was saved by grace. Got myself baptized again seven years ago. But now I read the bible and understand his Word. I have been in Spark for 6 months , came in because of health reasons. I didn't realize that I felt Sparked, and wanted to bring people to God's comfort, and love. I enjoy many aspects of the freedom of writing, and reaching out to others. Who are also in pain in some way. I just want to help strengthen people to see that love awaits them in their future. To become a friend they can turn to when they feel the world doesn't care, or they don't care. We are all in this world together, so let's heal, and enjoy our lives, with love, caring, and laughter. The way God intended us to feel.
So, if you are ever in my neck of the woods, I'm here for you always. eva


SHORTSTORY2 SparkPoints: (7,845)
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2/5/14 7:09 P

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My name is Eileen. I feel blessed to be asked to be a co-leader on this team. I have been praying about some way I could be of service and maybe make a difference in someone's life. I have dealt with weight issues my entire life. I was always a large child--big and tall for my age although I didn't put on the extra weight until later. I was the kid on the playground in grade school that no one wanted on their team. This was the beginning of my low self esteem which stayed with me most of my life until now. Rejection, cruelty, low self esteem all drove me to over eating to try to fill the void in my life. I know now that only God can fill that void and not family spouse or friends. Two years ago I was diagnosed with symptoms of PTSD and major depression. My weight had skyrocketed to the highest ever---206. My clothes didn't fit and I hated the way I looked. I was blessed to be sent to a wonderful counselor for talk therapy which helped me deal with my past and present issues. The weight started to come off just by talking about my problems instead of drowning them in food.
Sparkpeople was suggested to me by the nurse at my doctors office. I tried it, but wasn't quite ready to be serious. Now that I have my head on better I re-joined the group in December and have developed some better eating habits and have started to exercise. I know with the helps on this website that I will see my goal this time!
I believe God has given me the burden to reach out to other people who have walked in similar paths that I have. I hope to be an encouragement to others and look to all of you for your encouragement to me. We can do this!!!! Eileen

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RELISA4HEALTH's Photo RELISA4HEALTH Posts: 2,016
2/5/14 5:02 P

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Hello My name is Relisa. I am so thankful for the day I was invited to join this group by He is the answer. I am so blessed by the many people I have meet along the way.
I am a minister of the Gospel and the wife of a Pastor. I love to encourage and point people toward Jesus. I am a woman who believes in prayer and please know I keep the members of this team in my prayers every day. I believe God has wonderful plans for each one of you and I am here to cheer you on as you progress in your journey.


I shall take this mountain


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LACEYKYLE's Photo LACEYKYLE SparkPoints: (14,774)
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1/22/14 4:45 P

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Jae, your Spina Bifida has given you such a sweet nature and heart for others. I know you'll be an asset to your team. I am glad you're back.

Heather so glad to have you a leader! Are you and your fiance' having a large wedding? How exciting to find your love.

Edited by: LACEYKYLE at: 1/22/2014 (16:46)
He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29 NKJV

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Phillipians 2:4 NKJV


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COMIC_BOOK_MAMA's Photo COMIC_BOOK_MAMA Posts: 158
1/21/14 3:26 A

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Hello, my name is Heather. This group has been a true God send and I am absolutely honored to be asked to help co-lead this group. I’ve thought about what I wanted to share about myself because I am a pretty guarded person and don’t like to talk about myself much.

I am a rededicated Christian, who has struggled many years with my relationship with God. I was diagnosed with Manic Depression and Bipolar Disorder II after struggling with them for many years. I have been classified as “overweight” for most of my life, but in the last few years since having my son, Karson, my weight has sky rocketed from 225 to 298 pounds at my heaviest. I was a single mother for 4 years before meeting my fiancé, Brendan. We are getting married August 2nd of this year. And the next day (Aug. 3rd) we will be celebrating my 29th birthday!


"You were born to be real, not perfect"


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JAE_HENNINGTON1 Posts: 1,032
1/13/14 7:20 P

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I have decided to remove myself as leader because of some personal issues at home. I am leaving sparks at this time. I have enjoyed the time I have spent here.

Edited by: JAE_HENNINGTON1 at: 2/5/2014 (11:00)
DAVIIY's Photo DAVIIY SparkPoints: (8,355)
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1/11/14 10:23 P

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emoticon I am DAVII I joined sparkpeople a year ago, just signed up and read some articles and had not taken weight loss seriously until the fall of 2013. I decided I just can't pretend that its okay being this size anymore. When I am out shopping I see beautiful things I would like to purchase but they looked horrible on me then I realized if I don't do something about my weight its going to bring about a slow death. I begin to take things seriously by reading, researching and shopping for things that would help me with my weight loss journey. You say you can't afford that? Well I could not either I asked myself if you stopped eating unhealthy foods for a month and spent that money on health products how much would you accumulate in 6 months? I have shopped on craigslist, ebay and resale shops for workout equipment, videos, weights, books and anything health related today my gym is almost complete. I love this team because it is lead by the HOLY SPIRIT and Filled with love. I desire to assist, encourage and motivate others in this weight loss journey. Hope to see you there emoticon emoticon
THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SERVE IT IS AN HONOR emoticon WE CAN GET THROUGH THIS JOURNEY TOGETHER

Edited by: DAVIIY at: 1/14/2014 (01:37)

Acts of kindness is my legacy to others which gives my life meaning~
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Ephesians 4:17-32
Living as children of light

If youre feeling blue paint yourself a different color...


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CARMRUN's Photo CARMRUN SparkPoints: (13,862)
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1/4/14 8:37 A

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I have removed myself as team leader due to changes in my life/job. Thank you all for the opportunity. God Bless!

Edited by: CARMRUN at: 1/17/2014 (10:16)
Carmen


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SINGINGLADY47's Photo SINGINGLADY47 SparkPoints: (45,237)
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12/28/13 7:58 P

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I have updated my Sparkpage to show my newer information. If you have time, check it out. Judi(Singinglady47)

In every victory, let it be said of me; my source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone.

youtu.be/0dKzs68T4sY In Christ Alone Medly (The Booth Brothers) In Christ Alone

Team Leader: Keep Walking With Jesus

Bless the Lord, O My Soul
Worship His Holy Name


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IGNITEME101's Photo IGNITEME101 Posts: 5,309
12/22/13 11:49 P

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Karen! I love you! GOD has a plan for your life! I can't wait to see it unfold! oops didn't realize I was in this thread :(

Edited by: IGNITEME101 at: 12/22/2013 (23:51)

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HABITATVITALITY's Photo HABITATVITALITY Posts: 1,575
12/15/13 1:12 A

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Hi,

My name is Karen and I have been a born again Christian since 28 years old (I am 42 years old now). Prior to being born again I was an atheist and a horrible person. Jesus came to me one night when I was by myself and I was broken and crushed with a broken heart. I said a desperate prayer that night and the Lord Jesus responded instantly and He let me know He was there with me straight away. Within a few days I was talked through the salvation prayer with a Christian person that I'd had an encounter with not long prior and I suddenly started speaking in tongues (I only ever did this that once) and then water baptised some time in that year.

I know that Jesus has come to save the world and heal His people of their hurts. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. When I have a hurt and I am in the midst of feeling the pain I cry out to Jesus to take me to the source of that pain. It always ends up a situation in my childhood that I am taken back to - a memory or vision of when at that time in my life a lie was planted by the devil which gave me a false belief system which I then have lived with ever since. These wounds affect our quality of life and they trigger us emotionally when we don't want to be triggered. And sometimes these emotions render us ineffective, unable to function.

Jesus is alive and we can be healed of our hurts right now by Him and Him alone, if that is God's will for our lives. I see every hurt as an opportunity to heal and I embrace my hurts when they surface and go exploring with Jesus! It is an extremely painful experience but my reward in most cases is the lie that was planted is revealed and the truth sets me free.

I love what Joyce Meyer says 'I'm not where I want to be, but I'm a long way from where I used to be!' I have not married, nor had children so far! It's not on my radar but I never know what God has planned for me next so I never say never! LOL

Thank you for reading a bit more about me - if you have additional questions, you can send me a sparkmail if you like. Cheers Karen emoticon

Edited by: HABITATVITALITY at: 12/15/2013 (03:14)
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ROZEEROZ1's Photo ROZEEROZ1 Posts: 24,343
12/4/13 12:22 A

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I am letting you know that I am not in sparks any longer.
Due to problems with the Internet.
I greatly enjoyed being in sparks.

Tell our spark friends a hi from me.
TEALHAWK - Lorie


Let me know if you would like Lorie to keep in touch with you outside of Spark- Dorothy



Dorothy
www.settingcaptivesfree.com


You are more than a number.
Don't let the scale decide how you feel about yourself
SparkPeople community moderator Denise says:





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FLORIDAGHOST's Photo FLORIDAGHOST Posts: 7,970
11/17/13 3:52 A

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Hello. My name is Pat and I love this team, especially for the prayer thread. It's such a wonderful place to see how God is changing lives for some, healing for others and actually helping us to build our prayer skills. We have some fantastic prayer warriors on this team and it's great to watch thing unfold everyday. There is no doubt there is a loving and caring God for all of us. He answers prayer. He hears us.

I've been on Spark for 6 years and still have not met my goal. I will. A prayer or two would help there, I know. I am learning an entire new lifestyle in eating healthy, learning how to deal with pre-diabetes, and figuring out how to tame/kill the sweet tooth I have. Everytime I think it's beat, I discover it just as strong as before.

Learning how to cut out most of my salt, fat, and sugar is difficult, but doable. Planning is key as well as sticking to the plan. I still dislike the food tracker, but the rest of the trackers are my friends.

I am married (37 years this year) and live in Florida. I moved from Seattle 10 years ago and love Florida. Don't miss the rain at all, but I do miss the mountains, valleys, beautiful creeks and rivers, the Sound, and the breakers of the Pacific Ocean, Pike's Place Market, and the San Juan Islands.

Have a great and God Blessed day! emoticon

Author of the published novel, The Double K Ranch!

Leader:
Spark Florida - the Official Team!
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp


Question Of The Day!
www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/groups_i
ndividual.asp



 
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SINGINGLADY47's Photo SINGINGLADY47 SparkPoints: (45,237)
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11/5/13 10:28 A

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Good Morning. My name is Judi (Singinglady47) I am a new co-leader on this team and I wanted to introduce myself to you. (I was formerly Singinglady3)

I was born and raised in Nashville, TN and now live in Mount Juliet, TN. My top weight was 357 pounds. I now weigh 149. I want to lose 9 more pounds.

One morning about two years ago, I went to my kitchen and was so out of breath and my back was hurting and I leaned over the counter to rest a bit and I said out loud "Judi, if you don't stop this you are going to die!" And I prayed and made a commitment to the Lord and myself that I would lose 5 pounds. And each time I met that commitment, I made a new one to lose 5 pounds. I truly believe that the secret rests with a serious commitment. It has not been easy. It never is. But, you know, with God, it can be done.

I am excited to be a co-leader. I hope I can be an inspiration and encouragement to others who are fighting this battle.

Thank you for accepting me in this capacity. But please, be patient. This is very new to me.

Have a blessed day. emoticon emoticon

Edited by: SINGINGLADY47 at: 11/9/2013 (13:15)
In every victory, let it be said of me; my source of strength, my source of hope is Christ alone.

youtu.be/0dKzs68T4sY In Christ Alone Medly (The Booth Brothers) In Christ Alone

Team Leader: Keep Walking With Jesus

Bless the Lord, O My Soul
Worship His Holy Name


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IGNITEME101's Photo IGNITEME101 Posts: 5,309
11/2/13 3:37 P

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SRODMAN Thank you! I look forward to serving with you on this team. I like you have many things that are unnecessary to share, unless there is a need for it.


God also gave me freedom to divorce my husband, and I have remained single, serving HIM for 23 years! I praise Him for the active role He has given me to serve Him as a single born again Christian in this field and many others.


1st Timothy 1:12
And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry; 13 Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.


13



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SRODMAN's Photo SRODMAN SparkPoints: (2,769)
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11/2/13 10:07 A

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Dear Igniteme101,

Thank you for sharing your story. God is amazing, I also have experience with this as do many gazillions of other people!! I'm glad we'll be working together on this team. God bless you and keep you! Sheila

I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me!


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SRODMAN's Photo SRODMAN SparkPoints: (2,769)
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11/2/13 10:03 A

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Hello everyone! My name is Sheila,

I have been given charge over Breaking Free From Abuse and am looking forward to serving in this capacity. God has placed me in a position I know quite a bit about, but still have tons to learn. I came from a dysfunctional home and married a man who brought with him much unresolved issues from his past into our marriage along with my own. We created dysfunction also even though I have always Loved the Lord from a very young age, I was still a "baby" spiritually and am only a toddler now! BUT, I am learning from The Master now. My ex-husband was abusive for years, but it was very manipulative and I always believe the best in people until they give me a reason not to. Well, he lied and deceived me in many ways and hid things that were unreal when I found some things out that I had absolutely NO CLUE about. Like his addiction to pornography! We separated three times before I was ready to know the Truth about what I was doing also. God gave me my sight and lifted me out of the pit I was in. It has taken me a very long time to clearly see what was really going on and that I was allowing to happen because I was worshiping my marriage and not my Father in Heaven. That was a very difficult truth to take since I love my Heavenly Father so much, but I am eternally grateful that He brought me to the point in my life to be ready to hear, see, and accept this and do something about it. So I divorced my husband of 19 1/2 years and moved. ALL FOR JESUS! There are many details I won't go into unless someone specifically asks me because my focus now is Glory To God! I pray for God's strength and wisdom to be upon me as I lead my team and I pray you all will feel and know you have a friend in me to help in whatever way God leads me to help. "Greater love hath no man, that he lay down his life for his friends." Jesus is the way.







I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me!


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GODSCHILDAMYB's Photo GODSCHILDAMYB SparkPoints: (28,693)
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10/28/13 7:14 A

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That is awesome, means that you can give some input on weight loss techniques.

Jesus is my strength for I can do all things through Christ Jesus Who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13
I am not ashamed of Jesus Christ. I serve Him with all of me.
My love for Him surpasses any desires on this earth and it is only because of Him that I live.
I am racing toward the goal. I will not quit or give up.
I love Jesus because He first loved me.


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IGNITEME101's Photo IGNITEME101 Posts: 5,309
10/28/13 2:18 A

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Death
No breathe
They crucified you
That I might live
Reborn (c)10/27/2013 by del'jean

I am thrilled to be a part of this team as a co-leader! The privilege and honor is mine to help serve. I am a mother, I have 3 children and 3 living grandchildren. I have been single for the past 20 years and I enjoy it!
I am recovering from PTSD, though the Psychiatric world says there is no cure. I have read and replied to many of you and feel like I know some of you better.
As a 5th grader I weighed 150 lbs. and I was 5 ft. tall. In the 6th grade I was 5'6 and weighed 125. My weight bounced back and forth. I worked for Nutria-system and DR.s. Quick Weight Loss Clinic! I worked for a Dr. of addictionology and I also worked for 2 other weight loss clinics. I was the picture of health! But my emotions were so unchecked that I could not quit emotional eating! I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what. I completely fell apart at the age of 38, after being 'SUPER WOMAN' for so many years. I had the answers, but couldn't apply them I was a Christian with little victory.
Thankfully, at the age of 48, I had a break-thru! At 45, I began to journal, writing poetry, short stories (that were dreams or night mares), painting in mixed mediums; I was slowly waking up to reality, once again. As I untangled the web of lies surrounding my life, His spirit guided me so beautifully! (The bible says to build our lives on the rock, and because I continued in His word, going to church, He has set me free. He is the rock and He is my foundation!)
Today I choose to live in the minute, a minute at a time. These choices I help set the mode for a healthy life. You have to give it away to keep it! In Him, Your sis Igniteme

If you are interested, you may read a more detailed account of my story here at Hopeful Heart's Breaking Free From Hurts in the
FORUM: Breaking Free Threads & Inspirational
TOPIC: Breaking Free From Abuse
Thank you!

Edited by: IGNITEME101 at: 12/22/2013 (22:40)

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GODSCHILDAMYB's Photo GODSCHILDAMYB SparkPoints: (28,693)
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10/22/13 6:35 P

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Wow. I just read each and every leader story. It is amazing how God takes one situation and turns it to good. I am so tickled to be a part of this team and consider it to be an honor to be a co-leader with Katie(Mellow spirit). My story is more or less not as disturbing but certainly is a testimony. I grew up with great parents. Raised me in church. I accepted Christ as my saviour at the age of 12. Naturally as a teenager I wouldn't be the golden child but I non the less loved God very deeply. I just didn't know how deep His love was for me. I knew He loved me and I did trust Him. I slipped up a couple times. I lost my virginity to a man who I thought would love me back at the age of 14. Later he hated me. I graduated early in my senior year and eventually got a job at a convenience store. There I met my husband. We got pregnant Dec. 25 of '90 out of wedlock. We got married Feb. 4 of '91. As time went by our relationship got bad. On the day of our wedding he came early to tell me he abused speed(diet pills). I thought I could change him so I still wanted to marry him. For many years in our marriage I dealt with him abusing drugs. It went from diet pills to nerve pills and pain killers. At one point we had divorced and I hooked up with someone else who ended up being just a dirt poor nasty person. I was unhappy and in time God directed me back to my ex. We reconciled with each other and remarried. His abuse continued to get worse. I tried to escape the relationship a couple times because he acted like he just didn't care. Because I really wanted his love I tried suicide and a couple other men. I was trying for something better. If not Heaven at least a Christian man. God was not letting it happen. In reality I really did not want to lose my husband, I just wanted us to have a good and trusting relationship. I wanted him to get saved. Eventually we had our second daughter and then our son. I had to start letting God work with me so that I could deal with my husband's problems. In time I started being more gentle in how I spoke to him and I chose to allow my attitude and behavior to be an example to him. With much prayer and letting God change me and proving to my husband that no matter what he was doing or suffering from that I wouldn't go to another man. He had got saved only to back slide and did this a few times. He finally excepted Him again about four years ago and this time he is holding better. He still doesn't understand a lot but when he wants to know he asks me. He has been delivered from nerve pills and diet pills. He does take pain killers though because he has slipped disks from a job related accident. He takes them at a minimum and he is growing slowing in the Lord. So am I. Everyday I appreciate my Father more and more. I am at the same church that I got saved in and I am under a wonderful pastor who is teaching the Word in a marvelous way. I am learning just how to trust my Father and He is far from finished with me. I had been needing to lose weight ever since the birth of my first daughter. I have been up and down in weight and have gone through aggravation of failures in losing it all and keeping it off. I do belief with all my heart that God led me to SparkPeople. I thought it perfect opportunity to utilize a group for weight loss that was free. I had checked out Biggest Loser only to be disappointed when I found out you had to pay to join. God so totally had different plans. I have found great inspiration through Spark and it has literally turned from just trying to lose weight but also joining a group of Christians that reaches out beyond weight loss. This team digs deep to where the pain is. God is using this team and I am so blessed to be apart of it. I have grown to love you ladies so deeply. Everyone of you touch my heart and I hope and pray that God uses me just as well as He does you. Thank-you Ronda and Lois for inviting me to the team and giving me a chance to minister deeper then just the surface. Love in Christ, Amy Beth

Jesus is my strength for I can do all things through Christ Jesus Who strengthens me.Philippians 4:13
I am not ashamed of Jesus Christ. I serve Him with all of me.
My love for Him surpasses any desires on this earth and it is only because of Him that I live.
I am racing toward the goal. I will not quit or give up.
I love Jesus because He first loved me.


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GINGERRA1980's Photo GINGERRA1980 Posts: 2,289
10/15/13 8:49 P

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Hi there ladies! My name is Ginger Agosto,
My story is one I am still living with right now. I am trying to learn to love myself daily. I am a bit different in my approach to things. I do pray. Yet I am not a church goer. I hardly know the Bible. I do know that God exists! I believe in many things also. But I truly believe that the mind is a powerful thing. What you put out to the universe does come to fruition. I have been abused mentally, physically, emotionally. You name it I have had some sort of abuse. I was a drug addict at one point in my life and an alcoholic. The drinking was at a very young age high school in fact. Drugs didn’t come till I was about 19. For two years straight I did hard drugs. Nothing was shot up my arms though. Doesn’t make it better.
I rather not get into a huge story. But I have major self-esteem issues mixed with lack of trust in men mainly. My father was the main example of a bad man. We are okay now as far as we speak and try and give each other love. He is slowly dying of AIDS, thank God my mom never got it. He wasn’t a very faithful man to her. So there is where most of my trust issues with men start. He is by the way fine living with his new family. I do not have animosity towards them now but I once did.
I have a daughter that we live with my mom. I suffer from many things like anxiety, panic attacks, OCD mixed with phobias. My main phobia is medication, drugs, pills things like that. I don’t even drink wine! Go figure went from drug addict to a completely phobic person. I have learned through many blogs, random texts, long nights with people I somewhat trusted, and fickle moments at the therapists.
I have a very long and open story…if you want to know absolutely anything …I mean it…you can ask me anything! I feel like if I can tell my story I can help someone as I help myself!

Ginger emoticon

The good Lord gave you a body that can stand most anything. It's your mind you have to convince.-Vincent Lombardi

To conquer oneself is a greater task than conquering others.

All that we are is the result of what we have thought. The mind is everything. What we think we become.

Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.


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A_SIZE6's Photo A_SIZE6 Posts: 1,385
10/15/13 3:17 P

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Name: Katie Farmer

My story:
When I was 8 months old I was diagnosed with Epilepsy and a learning disability. Up until the age of 2 years old I couldn't talk at all. I was at a special school to teach me how to eat and catch up on the goals I was behind in developmentally. The teacher met with my mom to set up a conference for me in 2 months because I met 75% of my goals including talking.

I dealt with bullying issues in school because of being learning challenged. I was often called mean names and often beat up or spit on. there wasn't a day that went by where something cruel wasn't done to me be it putting gum in my hair, spitting at me or beating me up. I would often come home in tears. I had thought about suicide many times . When most people could escape at home I couldn't because I lived in a house of abuse so in my mind there was no escape. I grew up most of my life without grandparents. my mom's parents died when she was 3 1/2 years old. My dad's parents I did not meet until I was 4 years old. My grandmother was a satan worshipper and often abused me emotionally and physicially. she would also bring strange men in her home to have sex with on a daily basis. She also did drugs, and alcohol. My aunts and Uncles shared the same lifestyle. that was the environment I was exposed too. My grand father was a pastor but he did not want a relationship with me or anything to do with me. He was civil when we came to visit but he did not want to be in our life.
AS a child of 10 years old I was left by myself with my grandmother to handle a situation by myself to decide whether I would live or die because she pointed a loaded gun at me. there wasn't any around to look out for me. I had to rely on God to help me know what to do.

When I was 14 years old my dad was diagnosed with brain cancer so life as I knew it was turned upside down. my free time was spent taking care of my dad after school. my 8th grade years was rough as it was dealing with my dad's cancer and the death of a classmate I was close with.(I had dated him briefly in 7th grade). it was very difficult for me to stay focused and my studies suffered. I almost had to repeat the 8th grade over again but the teachers told them to pass me because I was dealing with enough already and I didn't need this on top of it. in the summer of my 8th grade year my dad got worse so we had to move to another state to take him to a special hospital and my mom wanted me to have stability to be able to stay in school. That was short lived because 3 weeks into my 9th grade year my dad died. on top of dealing with his death was adjusting to a single parent home, and moving to the town I grew up in but had hoped to leave behind. I was not allowed to express my feelings so I would express them with food. I would do one of two things either eat everything in sight when I was upset or I would refuse to eat at all. Before I knew it my once 5"4 inches tall and 125 pound girl became 5"4 and 250 pounds. I went back to the same school of bullies I wanted to leave behind . It got to much for me to deal with so I begged my mom to get me out of this school. I was so desperate a boy I went to church with who I learned was homeschooled I went up to him and asked about his homeschooling and if he would have his mom get me the information. at the time my mom was in college and working trying to support us I was only 15 years old. I told her I would teach myself just get me out of here. I did do just that. I had people from my school call me and say means things about me like I was suicidal, put in a mental hospital, was a school drop out, or I got pregnant etc. which was not at all true. even people who were " supposed to be my friends believed those things. my own friends disowned me and I was by myself.

When I was in my early 20's I went to a mission school that was supposed to be Christian I won't say the name because it was well known. the people there treated me horribly. I had the roomates from Hell in my dorm. they decided to gang up on me and cut my hair really ugly. I was in tears with no where to go. I had one guy there who looked out for me. When I went to Russia he was on my team and was guarding me from these people. the school was so bad that after break I did not come back. went home to where I belonged.

Then I married my now ex husband who was very abusive to me mainly emotionally along with his folks. they tried to take my child from me because they didn't like that I could take care of her myself and was perfectly capable of doing so. they tried to call DHS and different places to take her from my hand but it actually had the opposite outcome. after all that I decided for my daughter's safety and mine it would be better to divorce and leave. I filed and never looked back. my self esteem was so low that I became a non person like a zombie almost. no personality. I was in 8 years of counseling at a women of victory group in church. I had thought after that I was done with bad choices and for awhile I was. I went back to the same pattern with abusers dated men who would hurt me very badly. the last time was in July when some" Christians were trying to match make me with someone. He was worse than any abusers in my passed ever were. I was deeply wounded and hurt and was put through something no one has ever gone through. the people in town I do not go out very rarely because this guy was considered one of the good old boys and the people of the town feel I am the bad girl how dare me. I ended up going to a different church I had gone to back in 2008. a group of people who truly loved me. I got delivered from truma/ abuse I endured as well as asked to break the cycle of attracting men who are abusers. after that I was secure enough to talk to a guy at church who I wanted to be friends with and know we are really good friends and have a brother/ sister bond. he is the assistant pastor of my church. we are the only two single who are about the same age. God has used him a lot to help me in my Christian walk and encouraging me forward in my calling in life. I had also dealt with tragedy in my life. I had lost two friends of mine from drunk drivers at the prime of their life, and I lost my gal pal I befriended when I lived in another city she had gone missing she like me was in an abusive relationship but choose to stay, and I choose to leave. her fear was if she would leave she wouldn't be alive to see her kids grow up but it was the opposite. she was brutally murdered by her boyfriend . I choose to leave the abusive relationship and am alive today raising my daughter and watching her grow up.

Edited by: A_SIZE6 at: 11/1/2013 (14:56)

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SPARKYCARLEY's Photo SPARKYCARLEY Posts: 7,737
10/12/13 9:09 P

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Hello Everyone:

Let me begin by saying I am so honored and proud I am to be one of your leaders. I pray that I am able to do the position justice by helping and encouraging you. I also pray that I do it in such a way that Jesus' glory is shown more and more.

I feel at this time in my life God is leading me to be a person who encourages others. Several opportunities to do so have come up in my life recently, and this is just one of those opportunities. I have a couple of blog sites. The main one (called Worship Melodies) is where I write devotional messages based on my own journey toward God. It is meant to encourage others. I hope that you will consider reading it. I will share the links as I publish posts.

Worship Melodies www.WorshipMelodies.com

I've been through a lot of abuse in my life and I have mental health issues as well (Bipolar Disorder, Social Anxiety, and Major Depression). I am a writer, and I have just finished writing my first book (titled Cocoa with Jesus). It is my story, but it also includes chapters teaching people about the basics of the mental illness' that I have, and about abuse. My goal is to share the story of how God has worked in my life, and to help combat some of the stigma surrounding mental illness and abuse in the world today. I am waiting for a financial opportunity to arise that will allow me to have my book edited, and finally published. Please pray for that for me.

Instead of writing out my long story, I will give you a couple of links to videos of me telling my testimony. Let me know what you think by sending me comments or (preferably) leaving them on the YouTube comment section below the videos.

Weight-loss Testimony (11 minutes): www.youtube.com/watch?v=tyxMcb3Qb2E

Full Testimony (40 minutes) www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXs7YFeigcA

Also, feel free to friend me on Facebook, and 'Like' the Worship Melodies FB page:
www.facebook.com/mscarleycooper
www.facebook.com/WorshipMelodies

or follow me on Twitter at @WorshipMelodies

Many blessings to all of you,
Love, Carley



My Website:
www.CarleyCooper.com

My Blogs:
Worship Melodies Devotions www.WorshipMelodies.com

Breaking the Window - www.BreakingTheWindow.com

Tin Roof Sundae - www.TinRoofSundaeBlog.com

International Bipolar Foundation (Contributor)
www.IBPF.org/blog

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LACEYKYLE's Photo LACEYKYLE SparkPoints: (14,774)
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10/10/13 5:41 A

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Good Morning Everyone (literally!),

I too am honored to be involved with this ministry and it's Team Leaders. I was able to click around and I feel like I know you each a little more. It's a priviledge!! Thank you!!

My intro on the "new members" forum is about what I'm ready to share right now. I'm sure as we get to know each other I'll feel more comfortable sharing more details and Praising God that it will help others.

I've been praying for a very long time to be in a ministry that deals with our hurts and heartbreak. I thought joining the team was awesome but to be able to share, encourage and pray for others is beyond awesome. This is definitely the long awaited answer to my prayer.

I pray for each Team Leader everyday so please let me know if there's anything specific you feel comfortable sharing. I look at your blogs etc. to see what's up and pray according to you input for the day.

Oh, and would you all PLEASE pray for me. I made a 15 min walking commitment along with our newest member KATHYC58. As expressed she has a hard time due to pain comitting to exercise. So now I'm accountable. Keep me in line??!! emoticon

Also, if I'm lacking in any of my duties or if I can improve them in some way, PLEASE let me know.

LOVE and THANKS to you special ladies!!

Blessings,
Love, Dari

By the way, is there anyone who knows if there's some way we could get ahold of Christian emoticons?



He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Isaiah 40:29 NKJV

Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Phillipians 2:4 NKJV


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HEISTHEANSWER's Photo HEISTHEANSWER Posts: 1,894
10/8/13 9:16 A

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Love you guys and God bless each.

Hugs,
Lois

I am a child of the Heavenly Father, made possible through Christ Jesus who died for me. (John 3:16, John 14:6, Romans 5:8, John 5:24)

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

Co-leader of Hopeful Hearts Breaking Free From Hurts.

JANEGIBE's Photo JANEGIBE Posts: 1,238
10/8/13 9:15 A

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I am humbled at the fact of taking the challenge of being a co-leader with the fantastic Leaders that are before me.. They I am sure they did a lot of Prying for me.. I think I have been through Hell its self to be where I am today.. From the age of 9 I had been through a Children's Home to two failed and abusive marriages.. I was not a very popular girl in School and made fun of because of being a Home kid.. Everyone whispered as I walked by only to come home and then trying to get some kind of Norm in my life... It did not work.. By my Senior year of High School I had changed schools 8 times.. I tried to get back in touch with some when I got my first car.. One boy out of a whole school saw a picture of me on the front of a Church Bulletin that his Church was buying gifts for the Children there.. and he told him Mom it was me.. She made a call to find out and I did get to talk to him three time in the three years I was there.. I was suppose to meet him and two others at a football game at my old school and I was so excited I got there early and was waiting for them.. The game was getting started and I heard over the loud speaker.. Lets all stand for a moment of silence for Barry Porter who was killed in the car accident a few minutes ago.. I cried and drove home.. I had no friends and I lost the only one who did not down me and it was not my fault.. I had even lost all my cousins and had a sister and two brothers that are a lot older than myself.. Year after year I talked with Barry's mom and kept in touch.. I did not want to be friends for a long time.. I stayed alone and was very shy.. I have had many pitfalls so anyone who thinks their life was bad.. Write and ask I will be here for you.. Broken homes and hearts ..I have had them.. God has now Blessed me to the max with a loving husband and good friends.. He saved me from all the hurt and dysfunctions that had plagued me for years.. Now I have a Ministry for the Military and I do teach from time to time.. God has not let me given up anything that has come my way.. I would like to say one thing more.. Go and read some of my Blogs they go from funny and goofy to tender and loving.. If anything is going to happen it is I who is the giggle in someone's day.. God Bless this Country and those who do the job we can not do ourselves.. There is only two people that offered to give their lives to save us The American Soldier and the Lord Jesus Christ.. They both laid it on the line for you and I.. The soldier to save our Country and the other to save us from our sins.. If you need info how to accept Him write me..I will post to you the right path to the throne.. In His Love and Grace Always In His Name Jane Gibe also known as Little Thorn to some.. They knew that I would have to say this cause for some unknown reason I really thinks she loves me just for me.. God never ceases to amaze me..


He is still working on me,, To Him I give any Glory to all those who have Prayed and helped.. The sweetest thing to receive is Friendship.. a famous man of God Once said.. Faith is taking the first step without seeing the whole stair case.. Anyone..? Know..? MLK
youtu.be/nO4uIyz_d90
OFFICECHIK's Photo OFFICECHIK Posts: 174
10/7/13 12:08 P

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So as the third leader I will begin to introduce myself but I too want to give an acknowledgement of the two testimonies before mine. What truly amazing women they both are and I am sincerely blessed to be a part of this leadership team. Both Lois and Ronda are an inspiration to me. I feel that it is incredible that God has brought the three of us together when we have such different backgrounds and our testimonies are so varied. He never ceases to awe me with His greatness.

So with that here is my introduction and testimony:

I had a deep love for Christ from the time I was a small child. I remember being in Sunday school and I was a tiny little thing and listening to our teacher tell us how much Jesus loved us and me feeling so happy I thought I would burst.

I had a light in me and boy did I want it to shine. But I unbeknownst to me I was set on a dark journey for a time. One of my uncle’s began sexually abusing me. Again, I was very young, around the age of 4 or 5 and this lasted for many years. Thus, began my long, dark, twisted, and confusing walk. I knew the abuse was dark, and dirty, and very bad and very sinful. I had to keep it a secret. He was my uncle. Everyone loved him and thought he was a fine, upstanding man, a man that set a great example for the family. If he was as grand as they talked about then I must be making him do this to me. I must be bad and evil and it was me that was causing this to happen. I was going to be judged for this horrible sin and I was damned. I was far too young to be able to understand God's truth so satan had a field day with his deception.
In the midst of this sexual abuse I had a mother that I felt was cold, dominating and unloving. There were moments in my life that I believed with all my heart that my mother literally hated me. She was verbally, emotionally, and physically abusive. However, she wasn’t bad all of the time. She wasn’t cruel all of the time. But she never got credit for any loving acts. I was blinded to any good that she did. The only thing that I was able to see in my mother was her cruelty, her darkness. She enraged me. The sexual abuse made me feel dirty, ugly, and shameful. My mother’s abuse made me feel worthless, useless, and lost. Because I felt so dirty on the inside I hated my outward appearance with every fiber of my being. I hated, hated, hated, to look at my image in the mirror. I hated, hated having my picture taken. If I ever saw anyone with a camera when I was a kid I would run and hide so that they wouldn’t catch me in whatever picture they were trying to get. I hated having family pictures taken. I barely have any pictures of myself as an adult. I have hundreds or maybe thousands of husband and kids but at most, only a handful of me included in any of them. To this day it is a difficult struggle. I see the beauty that God bestowed on me but I fight the feeling of revulsion when I look in the mirror because I carried that in me for so many, many years.

With the hate of the self image I learned to strip others down so that I could feel better about myself. I learned the behavior and sin to be critical, judgmental; I was a gossiper, a slanderer, and a liar. I made a point to find flaws and pick apart everyone’s looks and personalities. If I could find flaws in them then that meant they weren’t any better than I was. I was much more critical of women than I was of men. I couldn’t develop friendships because I didn’t trust. I knew they were going to let me down and hurt me eventually so I would sabotage the relationship before it ever had a chance of growing into anything. Because I was such a horrible gossiper it wasn’t long before people learned to stay clear of me because I would be telling someone about their dirt.

I told myself that I was a loner because I chose to be. I was a loner because I didn’t trust people and I didn’t want to be let down. The truth of the matter was I was a loner because I was like the prickly cactus and if you got within touching distance of me you were going to feel my cut. My sharp tongue was like a sharp knife that cut quickly and more often than not, cut deeply.

Before I started school my grandmother would spend time with me every single day reading the bible to me. She would read and I would ask questions. My brothers and sister would be running around the yard playing but I would be glued to my grandmother’s side soaking in everything that she read and explained. I didn’t want to be any other place. I was going to begin school the next year and I told her that the first thing I wanted to do when I got there was to learn how to read so that I could learn how to read the bible by myself. When I did begin school and I learned to read -the bible was one of the first books that I began reading.

We had moved when I was 5 and my parents didn’t bother finding a new church so we stopped going. When I was 12 I asked my mother if I could start walking to the church that was about ½ mile up the road from our house. She agreed to let me go but decided that she would drive me and drop me off. I would get up every Sunday morning, eager and excited about going to God’s house to worship him. Not very long after I began attending I accepted Christ as my personal savior and was baptized the following Sunday. I was so very happy and finally felt like I was beginning to understand life in a different way and it felt like my life was about to change direction.

And it did. But not in the way that I needed. Once I was baptized my mother decided that the entire family needed to be in church. She didn’t like the church I was going to. So, her and my dad decided and we then joined as a family. Our preacher was the fire and brimstone Southern Baptist preacher and he preached a great deal about sin and condemnation. We didn’t have children’s Church so we children sat in the service with adults. I couldn’t fully grasp everything the preacher was speaking on and a lot of what he preached just simply went over my head. I was too young to understand the truth of his message. What I was learning in the bible and what he preached often conflicted with each other and I became very confused. I believed with all my heart that I was saved and I knew without a shadow of doubt that Jesus was my Savior but somehow, in all that I learned in that church was that it didn’t matter if I was saved or not, if I didn’t turn from sin then I would burn in hell. As hard as I tried, and I did try, I tried desperately hard not to sin, I always failed and so I just knew I was going to burn in hell. It seemed like every single Sunday I would go down to the alter during invitation and cry my heart out, confess my sins and try with all my might not to have a bad thought or say a bad word, or treat people badly and I would fail and so I was going to burn in hell.

After years of hearing this it began to penetrate and the light dawned. Satan truly had me fully deceived because I wrongly realized I was doomed no matter what I did. I could not confess away the things my uncle had done. I was defiled and dirty. I could never be a virgin for my husband. I could never do many of the things the preacher said we had to do in order to get into heaven. And finally I surrendered to the deceit. I was a sophomore in high school and I fell fully into sin. I drank. I took drugs. I became very promiscuous in sex. I lived the life of a sinner completely. No one who knew me would have ever have believed that I was saved or a professed Christian. I certainly didn’t look, sound or act like one.
And yet, in all that darkness I felt set apart from everyone that I was partying with. I wasn’t enjoying myself the way they seemed to be. I knew what we were doing was dark and ugly but I was angry. I was so full of rage and it always road just barely under the surface, that anger, just ready to erupt at a moment’s notice.

I dated a guy when I was 19 and he asked me to marry him. I accepted but I eventually saw a darkness in him that scared me and I knew that I did not love him. I went to my mom the day before the wedding and told her that I had made a terrible mistake and that I didn’t want to marry him. She exploded. She said I would not embarrass the family that way. I would not put shame on our family name and I would marry him. Our invitations had been put in the paper and people were coming. We had spent money on it that we couldn’t get back. I would marry this man. So I went out that night and got so drunk until I could barely stand and I showed up to the church the next day. I know that I reeked of alcohol and I probably looked like death warmed over. I trembled uncontrollably through the entire service and not because I was excited with anticipation. I trembled out of pure fear and I knew that I had just made a horrible mistake.

He was very abusive and came very close to killing me. I finally made my escape and my parents supported me leaving him. We were married less than a year and it was my parents who helped me get away from him.

By this stage in my life I was very beaten down, broken and felt I had no worth at all. But I still prayed to my Father. I begged him to give me someone that would love me. I remember lying on my face, crying my heart out, making a mess all over the floor saying, “God, I feel like I have so much love in my heart but I have no one to give it too, no one to love me back, Lord can’t you please, please give me someone who can love me just the way that I am, can’t you give me someone to pour my love out on, can’t you give me someone who can love me.”

A new
A door opened and I was accepted into the Navy. I believe God knew that I needed something in my life that would give me self-worth that would help me to see that I had the ability to make something out of my life. I realized that I was a good fit for the Navy. It had structure. It was organized. It had accountability. I learned to thrive in that environment. I became very good at what I did. I received awards, accolades and recognition. I began feeling like my life was worth something after all. I began to understand that I was smarter than my mother had ever giving me credit for. I became exposed to different lifestyles and began to understand how my home life was so utterly dysfunctional and that not all mothers were like my mother. I began to learn, and grow, and take on a different view of life and of my God.

Next to God blessing my life with the navy He then placed my husband in my life. My husband and I have had a rough and rocky beginning but as we grew together our road became smoother, more loving and a healing road for both of us. We will celebrate 24 years of married life together in December.

I prayed for God to give me someone to love me as much as I love them, He handed me a husband and two very precious and beautiful children. A first born son and a daughter. I literally poured my love all over those two and it was the two of them that brought me closer to God. Again, I will say that I was full of rage and it was barely underneath the surface and because of the vastness of love I had for my children my anger scared me to no end. I was terrified that it would erupt on them and I would cause harm to them. Again I found myself on my knees, crying my eyes out, asking God to help me with my temper. Up to this point I had never dealt with my sexual abuse. It was the dark ugly secret that I kept buried and hidden. Because so much was twisted in that darkness I couldn’t understand some of the things that I did and I thought that maybe I suffered from a split personality or some other kind of mental disorder. That, I kept secret as well. But the one thing I knew, I would rather do harm to myself than hurt my precious sweet babies and so I begged God to help me, that if I was insane that He would heal me, I begged Him to help me understand myself.
Guess what? He answered the prayer. Within weeks of that prayer, I was invited to a new Church. There ended up being a therapy group to help sexually abused women. God led me right smack in the middle of that group. I thought He was calling me to help with the group because I could relate. I had no clue that He led me there in order for me to receive healing. I was healed through the help of that group. I forgave my abuser. I forgave my mother. I forgave everyone that had ever caused me harm. I realized for the first time that I was not condemned and that God forgave and will continue to forgive me for any future wrongs as long as I bring them to Him and confess. I realized that I have a home in Glory and it is sealed.

What I did not learn to do was to forgive myself. I forgave everyone but me. I had been in a cell, inprisoned in my life of sin. God had unlocked my cell of sin when I accepted Him as my savior but my hands were still too full of all the dirt and ugliness that I was holding on to. I couldn’t open the door and walk out to freedom because my hands weren’t free.

So, over time, and because of the navy taking me on deployments and because I still sat in my cell and was still listening to satan's lies we eventually stopped going to Church and I stopped growing in my walk with Jesus.

The years passed and I began to see how critical and harsh I had become. I was something akin to my mother and I didn’t like it one little bit. So, I began to make an effort to change. I had not learned the lesson that I did not have the ability to change by my own doing and so I tried. And failed.

And then, it was as if I had been in the palm of God’s hand all along. He had been holding me in my journey. He had allowed Satan to shoot me with his darts of ugliness, darkness, lies, pain and misery. Maybe Satan had challenged God and said, “You may have claim and I cannot snatch her from you but I can make her jump from your hand and take me as her master”. And God said, “Take your best shot”. I don’t know if anything like that happened but it gives me joy to think that it did. To believe that God trusted me enough that I was strong enough in my love for Him that Satan could come at me at a very young age and with as much darkness as he could muster and I would not surrender to him. I would always claim Jesus as my Savior, my Lord.

So God said to Satan, “enough, you had your chance, you could not make her jump from my hands, you are done trying to destroy her, she is mine now and it’s time that she knows my truth.” And he wrapped his fingers around me and engulfed me in the center of His palm and the light was so glorious and bright. It began with me sitting on my bed one morning getting ready for work and as I flipped through the channels I came across Joyce Myers. Something that she said caught my attention and I stopped to listen. A few days later I found her again and I listened. And then I began listening every morning. I wasn’t purposely seeking God like I had a various times in my past. I was just going along in life, in my day to day, mundane life, honestly, and sadly, not giving God a great deal of thought at all. But God had decided my time of understanding had come and he used the Joyce Myers televised show to draw me to him. I began listening and then I began opening my bible and reading. Before long I began getting down on my knees on a regular, consistent basis to pray. God began to hound my thoughts about my need to find a church. I resisted and He persisted. He wouldn’t give my thoughts a rest. It was forever present, “you need to find a church.” So, I finally prayed. I prayed that he would lead me to the right church and that he would send me a female Christian friend.

And within days before finding the church something incredible happened. I was listening to Joyce one morning when a 200 watt light bulb went off. Trumpets began sounding. Horns began blaring. I was overcome with emotion. I stood stock still, unable to move and began a heart wrenching, deep sobbing cry. I got it. I understood. I had to forgive myself. God can’t forgive us until we forgive the ones who harm us. I had been harming myself with my life of sin. I had been harming myself by making terrible decisions. I had been harming myself with my destructive behavior. God cannot forgive us unless we forgive those who trespass against us. I had trespassed against myself. I had to forgive ME. And so I did. I laid down the dark ugly sin that I had been caring for so many years. I laid down that hurt and pain of self-hate and self-contempt and self-loathing. God had created me in His image. He had breathed life into me. He had claimed me as His own. I had worth to Him. I had beauty to Him. He had washed away the ugly, stinking, darkness and I had been cleansed, shining white and beautiful in His glory. I got it. For the very first time in my life I got it. And boy did I get it. I felt the most amazing warmth and joy fill my heart. I felt like my heart was going to burst wide open with the amount of love that came rushing in. I was overwhelmed and overcome by the Holy Spirit. My prison door had been opened all this time but until that second I had never pushed open the door and walked through it to freedom. And the moment I stepped through, all my barriers came crashing down and God’s love flooded me to the hilt.

Within days I found ny new Church home and family. Three Sunday’s later I walked into the God has restored my heart. I find gossip repulsive now and refuse to have any part in it. I see amazing and glorious beauty in every human being, but most especially in women. Saved or unsaved, it doesn’t matter, I can see their beauty. This is not by my ability but only God’s. By fervent prayer is in me constantly asking Him to change me, asking Him to help me change my behavior, my thought process, my attitude, He is indeed answering my prayers. I have a heart full of love that overflows. I have a blessed peace that I wouldn’t trade for all the money and riches in the world. It is invaluable, it’s worth immeasurable. I have a joy in my heart that most days takes my breath away. I feel like I’ve loved Jesus my whole life but the depth of my love for him seems bottomless now. He has given me the gift of encouragement and so I use my gift as much and as often as I can. I receive great joy and tremendous blessing by encouraging others and lifting them up. He has giving me the gift of writing and so I use that for His glory every opportunity that He gives me. I love talking about God. I love sharing what He has done in my heart and mind and soul. I want everyone to know that if He can claim this wretched soul that I am then He can claim anyone as His, He can be their Savior. I trust Him with all my heart. My faith is solid. My greatest joy each day is the time that I spend in His presence. I love my quiet time with Him in the mornings. I love that He continues to teach me in His word. I have learned Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. I love walking with my Savior more than anything in this world.
I love, love, love my beautiful, amazing, loving, supportive sisters that He has given to me as part of the family. I asked for one female Christian friends and He gave me a roomful in my bible study. There is no good in me apart from God. Romans 7:18 ESV says For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. I can do nothing without Christ. But as Philippians 4:13 says “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” I do not expect and easy life. I do not have the mindset that because my life has already seen so much pain and hurt that I’m free of it from here on out. I know that I will still experience trials and tribulations. I do not fear them. Psalm 27:1 The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? So I look forward to trials. Those trials or my spiritual dumbbells. They will strengthen my spiritual muscles and will help me grow. Psalm 18:32 says It is God who arms me with strength, and makes my way perfect. I am glued to my Father’s side and no harm can come to me. By harm, I mean Satan. I cannot be torn from God’s grasp. Satan will never lay claim to me. Romans 8: 38, 39 says For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Edited by: OFFICECHIK at: 10/7/2013 (13:36)
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HEISTHEANSWER's Photo HEISTHEANSWER Posts: 1,894
10/7/13 8:56 A

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(Updated February 2nd. Due to selling our home, I had to leave for awhile. Hope to be back one day; all in the Lord's timing. I will stay active as a member and will be on until our internet service is gone.)



Edited by: HEISTHEANSWER at: 2/3/2014 (01:48)
I am a child of the Heavenly Father, made possible through Christ Jesus who died for me. (John 3:16, John 14:6, Romans 5:8, John 5:24)

I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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10/6/13 9:43 P

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Ronda (HANNAHSGRAMMIE)

Using my walker, I slowly made my way to the front door. A woman who was delivering supper for my family asked, “Are you the lady with MS?” I answered, “Yes.” After she left, I went back into the bedroom, fell on the bed, and cried. I did not want to have MS (multiple sclerosis). I did not want to be 40 years old and not be able to walk. I did not want to be unable to care for my family. I did not want to be unable to return to work. I did not want to have an unknown future of not knowing if I would end up in a wheelchair or unable to feed and care for myself. I did not want to be the lady with MS!!!

But, let me begin my story by taking you back to Tuesday, March 23, 1998. I woke up, reluctantly, as usual. I taught my first 7th grade computer class, went to lunch, and went back to teach my second class. In the middle of giving instructions to my class, a “funny feeling” came over me, and I realized that my last three fingers on each hand were numb. I stopped talking in the middle of a sentence, and that got the kids’ attention. They realized something was wrong, and I told them that my fingers were numb. I thought, “That’s great. I’m having a heart attack right here in front of the kids. That’s just what I need.” By the end of the day, both hands and arms were numb, and I had a band of numbness around my waist which felt like an epidural. I kept getting worse and weaker, and I was having difficulty breathing. I made a doctor’s appointment for the following Monday. We were hosting a Discipleship Now weekend at our house where several teenagers spent the weekend at our house. That weekend, I would serve the teens and then go to the bedroom and collapse.

By Saturday night, I was completely exhausted. I was in bed, praying, asking God what was wrong. “God, is it my heart or a pinched nerve or what?” I know that God answers prayers, but honestly, his answer shocked me. In a vivid, almost audible thought, God spoke the words, “Multiple Sclerosis.” Honestly, I was so tired, that all I thought was “Where did that thought come from? What is multiple sclerosis?” Then, I turned on my left side, the only way I could breathe, and went back to sleep. I didn't mention my experience to Kent (husband) or Angela (daughter).

Sunday morning, I went to church, told the kids how much I enjoyed them coming over to our house, went home, barely took time to eat leftovers, fell into bed, and slept ALL afternoon. That night, Kent woke me to tell me that he was going to church and that he had talked to his niece who is a nurse. She had told him that she certainly didn't know, but that my symptoms sounded like MS. Right then—It hit me—God’s voice came back to me—“Multiple Sclerosis.” Then, I told Kent about the “voice.” I told him that that was it—I had Multiple Sclerosis. He asked me what I knew about the disease. I knew nothing. So, while he went to church, I decided to find out more about MS from the Internet. By the time Kent got back home, I had found out that MS affects the myelin in the brain. It’s sort of like an electrical cord that has part of the cord off to where the wires are exposed, causing a shock. It can affect every part of your body. I had a 50 percent chance of being in a wheelchair within 15 years (by age 55). I had a 67 percent chance that my type of MS would be considered in a range from relapsing-remitting to progressive (medium to awful). It took several trips to a neurologist, numerous blood tests, two MRI’s, a spinal tap, and a vision evoke test to tell the doctor what I already knew. I have MS-Multiple Sclerosis. I’ll never forget the afternoon the doctor called me at work and told me in a very matter of fact manner that I had MS. He told me that if I had another episode within six weeks, that he’d start me on the injections. To make a very long story short, I was not only back in his office with another episode in 6 weeks, but every 6-12 weeks thereafter. I was getting progressively worse.

I started the 1998-1999 school year off with another episode. On August 30, I woke up and had to rest on the trunk at the foot of the bed before I could even take any more steps. I continued pushing myself until I literally collapsed the week before Thanksgiving. By December 4, 1998, I ended up in the hospital with IV steroids and went from using a cane to a walker to a wheelchair in just a matter of weeks. It was during my hospital visit that something unusual happened to me.

After they finally got the IV started (after 7 sticks!) and Kent had left to go back to work, I was left with the silence of my hospital room. Not being a person who can be still for a long time, I decided that I’d read my Bible. Although I didn't want to admit it to myself, I was questioning God—or as I put it—I was “wondering” why this was happening to me. I had never believed in opening the Bible, letting my eyes fall upon a scripture, and considering that God “spoke” to me. Honestly, I don’t know why. God uses scripture to speak to us all the time. I guess that I was taught that it was almost like “testing” God. Anyway, I was at a low time in my life, to say the least. I decided that I’d try the “open the Bible” approach. Of course, I had already put “words” in God’s mouth. I assumed that the Bible would open to the middle, Psalms or Proverbs. I figured that my eyes would fall upon a scripture that would give me comfort by showing me that God would be with me in my time of need. Perhaps God would lead me to Psalm 18:2: “The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust” or perhaps Psalm 31:3: “For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name's sake lead me, and guide me.”----Nothing like telling God what I wanted to hear!!!

So, I picked up the Bible, and with my eyes closed, slowly started “thumbing” the pages with my left hand, from back to front. I was saying my prayer that God would show me His answer. I stopped “thumbing,” opened the Bible, and let my eyes fall to the page. I read: “But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?" Exodus 3:11 I read it again. “Well,” I thought, “that proves that this doesn't work. This verse makes no sense in my situation.” Then, I thought that I liked the story of Moses anyway, so I might as well go back to the beginning of Exodus chapter 3 and read the story. It was the story of when God got Moses’ attention by using a burning bush. God asked Moses (a murderer and fugitive) to lead His people out of Egypt. Moses’ response: “Who am I that I should go…?” Then it hit me….MS was my “burning bush.” I knew immediately that God was using that disease to open my eyes. He wanted to use me in a way that he hadn't before….but how?

Six years ago, God showed me His desire for me to write Christian literature/curriculum and to speak the words that He gives me. So, I began writing Treasures to Ponder, a monthly devotion, for my ladies’ Sunday School class and the men’s corresponding class.

You may be wondering how God revealed to me the title “Treasures to Ponder” and my slogan “The Lady with MS—The Master’s Strength.” It was over a long period of time. We were living in an apartment, waiting for our condominium to be completed. We had boxes stacked to the ceiling. One moving box caught my eye because it was an outline of a mother cat carrying a kitten in her mouth. (I like cats.) The caption read “Carey Carries Carefully.” I thought that was cute and started wondering that if I had to come up with a slogan for my life, what would it be? Suddenly the image of the woman standing at the door asking me if I was the Lady with MS came back to me. And, I thought, that’s it…I’m the Lady with MS, the Master’s Strength. I selected the title Treasures to Ponder because women tend to ponder over things, and what better subject than the Treasures of God’s Word.

I don’t know the time frame between Moses’ encounter with God and his going back to Egypt to lead God’s people to the promise land. I’m sure that I would win the world record for standing before God for years, saying, “Who am I?” But, that’s exactly what I’ve done. Who am I to be a voice of God? Fine, so you want me to write, but how do you want me to “publish” the information? Who would listen to me? Why should they?

So, I’ll answer the question of who I am. I am a regular person—wife, mother, grandmother, retired teacher—a sinner saved by God’s precious grace. I am a terrified woman who has a fear of someone thinking…who does she think she is? I’m a woman who finally decided to step out in faith to share with others. Now for the real answer to the question when someone asks, “Who are you?” I proudly say: I am a lady with MS—The Master’s Strength.

Ronda, the lady with MS (The Master's Strength)
(\o/)
./_\.


Edited by: HANNAHSGRAMMIE at: 2/5/2014 (15:24)
Blessings,

¸¸.•´¸.•*¨) ♥¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆¸.•*´¨
`*♥☆ Ronda, the lady with MS (The Master's Strength)
¸.•´¸.•*¨) ♥¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•´ .♥ (¸.•*´¨`* ♥☆¸.•*´¨`*♥☆¸.•*´¨
`*♥☆

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