I grew up on Galveston Island in the great state of Texas. I was not raised in a Christian home; however, my parents instilled "good morals" in me at a young age. Church was never a part of my life nor, was it for any of my friends. I cannot ever remember a time where I heard about Jesus or the Gospel (although I'm sure I did somewhere). Looking back now I would say that I lived most of my life as an agnostic. I never denied that there was a God but I didn't know who that God was, nor did I want or have a relationship with Him. It was my belief that "good people" went to Heaven and "bad people" (people who murder, etc.) went to Hell. For me, Christmas was about Santa Claus and lots and lots of presents. Easter was about the bunny and of course... lots and lots of presents.

        For the most part, my childhood was very blessed and filled with wonderful memories. We were the typical "all American" family, we ate dinner at the table every night, took vacations every summer, and our home was filled with love. Things changed drastically once I got into middle school, my parents started fighting a lot more and life at home became very hard. By the time I got to high school my parents were divorced and this took a major toll on my life. I began to feel as if everything was falling apart and my heart was in a million tiny pieces. My escape at the time were my extracurricular activities like soccer, dance, cheerleading, etc. I tried to stay as busy as possible because I hated being at home with the constant reminder that my family would never be the same.

        My escape was soon taken away from me when I broke my pelvis going into my freshman year of high school in a cheerleading accident (and people say it's not a sport?!) The accident changed my life forever. Not only was it one of the most physically excruciating experiences but it took an emotional toll on me as well. I endured 2 years of painful physical therapy where I had to learn to walk all over again. I was no longer able to be involved in any sports and this began my downward spiral into despair and depression.

        I became a broken, angry, empty shell of a person who was furious with God (if there even was a God). Why would He allow so many horrible things to happen to me? Why was He taking away everything that I loved?

What did I ever do to Him? 

        I soon began abusing the prescription pain pills that I was given for my injury. I quickly realized that they not only took away the physical pain, but the emotional pain as well. I was able to not feel for a short period of time and just become numb. Once the prescription expired I turned to alcohol. My life over the next four years was a blur of intoxication, horrible decisions, an on again off again battle with an eating disorder, deep depression, and a constant desire to end my life.

        I was great at playing the "part," on the outside I was a happy girl who had a lot of friends and who loved to have fun, but on the inside I hated myself with a passion. I felt as if every breath that I took was a waste and I loathed the person that looked back at me in the mirror. I lived my life with no inhibitions, not caring if I lived or died, after all... what awaits me in death has to be better than this life?! Right?! By the time I was 15 I was clinically diagnosed with depression and the thought of suicide became a regular part of my daily life. The fact that I survived high school is completely God's grace and mercy on my life. I now know that He had big plans for me in the future.

        After high school I began my Biomedical Science degree at Texas A&M University. I continued my self-destructive behaviors in college; however, I found that College Station, TX was a very different place. I felt like I moved to a foreign planet... it seemed like EVERYONE went to church. Every time I went to Starbucks I would see at least one person reading their Bible. I saw people praying over their meals at restaurants and I was constantly being invited to someone's church. However, I wanted nothing to do with church, or God for that matter. I thought church was for "perfect" and "good" people, not for people with problems like me.

        So you can imagine my absolute disdain when my best friend and roommate Sarah started going to church. I remember she started to change and I resented it. I had no idea that God was changing her heart into one that loved and worshiped Him.

Sarah Beth and I have been best friends since we were kids!       
        It was just a matter of time before she was dragging (and I literally mean dragging) me to church with her. I remember making fun of all the people, especially the ones who would lift their hands during the songs. I thought they looked like freaks, but a big part of me was also curious to know who they were singing to?

Who were they worshiping? 

Who did they love so much that they didn't care what anyone thought of them? 

        That curiosity and the Holy Spirit's drawing of my heart, kept me coming to church. I heard the Gospel for the first time and had no trouble believing in it right away. However, I could not fathom how it could apply to me. How could a good and loving God ever forgive me for all of the horrible things I had done? How could He ever love someone like me, who didn't even love herself?

        After about a year of attending the church, a miraculous thing happened one night. It was October 8, 2005... I'll never forget this day. In the middle of the worship service while we were singing a song about grace, something clicked. I finally understood that this "grace" applied to me.

Me... a wretched sinner... was actually worthy of such forgiveness and love. 

        I was overwhelmed at the thought as the tears dripped down my face. Suddenly, with no thought at all, I watched as my hands began to rise in worship and full surrender to the Lord. I finally saw my need of Him and I cried out for Him to save me... and He did.

My life and eternity were forever changed in an instant.

        I became a new creation! My friends and family no longer recognized me... Over the first several years of being a follower of Christ, the Holy Spirit began sanctifying me and I saw freedom in several areas of my life. I saw my depression vanish as I began to put my worth in Jesus and not in myself. My sole purpose in life was to bring God glory and to make His name known. I had to really reevaluate my life after I became a Christian and learn to seek God in every decision I made.

        Towards the end of my time in college I began applying to medical schools with hopes of someday becoming a pediatric oncologist. However, God quickly showed me that becoming a doctor was not His plan for me. Giving up this dream was so hard and scary for me at first because it was "my plan" and something I had always wanted to do. If not a doctor, then what? I had no clue! One day I finally trusted God enough to surrender it... and can I just tell you the freedom I experienced after that?! I didn't know what I was going to do with the rest of my life but I trusted that God was in control!

       At this point in my life the Lord began calling me to be a missionary in Africa. I have an incredible testimony of how He did this! Click on these links if you would like to read that testimony and about my time in Africa. 

        While in Africa, I was a counselor for 14 beautiful little girls who had experienced some of the most horrific things a human being could ever go through. Everything from severe neglect, abuse (both physical and sexual), hunger, loss of family members to diseases like HIV, demonic torment, having to raise younger siblings when they were yet little children themselves, homelessness, etc. I got to see the Lord bring about the most miraculous healing and salvation in each of these girls' lives through me, it was one of the most powerful things I had ever witnessed. It was through this experience that the Lord revealed to me that I was to go into counseling as a profession.

Here are some of my beautiful girls from Zambia!
        In the fall of 2007 I began my Masters degree in Marriage and Family Counseling at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, TX. On the second day of my first semester I met Jarryd Foreman... my future husband and the man of my dreams.

A pic from when we were dating in grad school!

Read our Love Story here
        After graduation I began counseling part time in the private practice setting, specializing in children/adolescent, family, women, and marriage counseling. My husband and I have been married since January of 2009 and he currently serves as the Worship Pastor at our church. In February 2012 we welcomed our first child Liv Monroe. We had several miscarriages and fertility struggles before the Lord blessed us with Liv.

Click on these links to read those stories. 
Our Liv Love Story 

In April of 2014 we celebrated the birth of our son Landry Reid and he has been such a source of light and joy to our family.

My two beautiful babies





       Currently what the Lord has been teaching me is how easy it is to slip into apathy after walking with Christ for a while. ESPECIALLY in the Bible Belt where it so easy to just "play church." I had let the busyness of life rob me of making time with God and reading His word a priority. I was also relying on the victories that God had done in my past to sustain my faith, I had stopped looking forward to what He wanted to do with me in the future. I had fallen out of regularly devoting myself to being in His Word. I no longer delighted in it. I would still pray throughout the day but always felt a disconnect and a distance from God.

Without regularly being in the Word I was spiritually starving to death. 
I had let the cares of this world take my focus off the One who gave me life. 

        Thankfully, the Holy Spirit relentlessly convicted me of my complacency and kept my heart longing for what it was missing... Intimacy with God. Being a mom of two poses several challenges to getting alone time with the Creator of the Universe and I have come to the conclusion that, for me, if my time with Him does not happen before the kiddos wake up... it doesn't happen at all! I got accountability, made a plan (which consisted of choosing a reading plan, figuring out a scheduled time, implementing journaling, Scripture memorization, and intercessory prayer) I started getting up at a time I knew existed but never really saw it for myself (I can now truly attest that 5am is a real time) It took about a week for me before I fell in love with God's word again. Now it is something I delight in again. I look forward to this sacred time with Jesus, siting at His feet, listening to His words and sharing my heart with Him.

        I am far from perfect. That is the most common misconception about being a Christian. That Christians are just "perfect" people or people who think they are "perfect" and who look down on others who live life differently. Can I just tell you how much of a lie that is? It was a lie that I believed for a long time before I understood the truth.

I am a sinner in need of God's grace every day of my life. 

        The church is not for perfect people because there are no perfect people. You don't have to clean yourself up before you come to faith in Jesus. It's that relationship with Jesus that will in turn naturally, painfully, and slowly clean you up. But even with that, we will never be perfect and that's why we need Christ.

        If after reading my story you have any questions about God, faith, or the Bible I would LOVE to talk with you more. There are no dumb questions and nothing could ever offend me. Please don't hesitate to send me an email!

Romans 8:1


CONVERSATION

3 comments:

  1. WOW, sometimes a person just has to say WOW!

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  2. I am so thankful the Lord brought me to your page! Your story is an amazing testimony of Christ's awesome power. Thank you for sharing!

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  3. It's amazing how our God works. I actually stumbled upon your blog and by that I mean God completely led me to your blog. You have such a beautiful testimony. You are so brave for sharing this post. I am 26 and my husband and I suffered a M/C 9 months ago and I was just completely broken tonight as our due date approaches this week. Your statement of making the baby bump and idol is so spot on. Thank you for being so transparent and letting God use you as a vessel, and I have such hope after seeing your two beautiful children.

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