I grew up on a farm in Minnesota. I spent my childhood on that farm and have lots of great memories there. I remember dad taking the bucket tractor and making a huge mountain of snow that was taller than the house. All 4 of us kids got to spend hours out there making tunnels, playing king of the hill and whatever else our little minds could come up with. Come spring, summer, and fall brought with us the work seasons. Dad would be gone most of the time out in the fields, and so would we. We spent our whole summers rock picking and weed picking the many fields dad owned. We used to own the field that was right next to my school, I often would wave anxiously at my daddy during recess.
School was great, I had one really close friend. She lived on a farm about 2 miles away from us. We often spent so much time together. I remember going to her house and just playing and playing and playing. She would show me all the new animals that were born, and we'd feed the bunnies. We'd have sleep overs and talk about horses, she'd read a few chapters of her book and we'd fall asleep giggling. I still try to keep in contact with her to this day even though I moved away in 5th grade, after all we've been best friends since preschool.
After passing 5th Grade my parents found a really nice house in town and we decided to take a wild adventure and leave the farm. It was an interesting place, we had neighbors that were right next to us. At one point my neighbors consisted of a doctor, a pastor, & a sheriff. My mom often joked that if anything happened, we'd be in good hands. As I kept growing older, I grew more in love with music. My mom, sister & I often sang trio's at our church. I had picked up on learning the flute, and piano. I watched with envy as my sister entered high school and was in the marching band. I dreamed of the day I could be old enough to be in that marching band. I remember going to my sister's concerts and counting down the years. Our high school was known for having a great music program. I'll never forget that day as I passed 8th grade and was finally able to go to high school and join the marching band. Yet, my parents had a different plan, my dad found a job in South Dakota. That summer we were on our way towards another adventure. I honestly didn't want to move, but I kept my mouth quiet as I secretly said goodbye to the high school and marching band I had dreamed about for so long.
South Dakota was another interesting place. I spent my high school years there. We met a lot of good people and we had awesome neighbors. I was quickly known around the neighborhood as the babysitter. High school was high school, which meant there were the ups and the downs as my teenage self quickly tried to adapt to growing up and the social pressures that came along with it. When graduation day came, I had been asked to sing a solo during the ceremony. I was so excited. I'll never forget that day as I stood up there in front of all my peers as they watched me sing. I looked at some of the guys who seemed to be extremely shocked I had a voice. Yet, as I looked at some of the girls who were crying from the song, I knew right then and there why I loved singing. I was able to reach people in a way I never could normally and touch their lives through singing. I graduated, and decided right then and there I wanted the big city life in Minneapolis. I moved 3 months after graduation to live with my aunt. She hooked me up with a staffing agency and I started my life in the corporate world.
Throughout my life, I had always been overweight. I didn't seemed to be as heavy as I thought myself to be, but every year I seemed to get just a little bit bigger. I had all the tendency's a typical emotional eater has, hiding and sneaking food, eating fast to avoid people seeing you eat, fast food, you name it. When I lived in Minneapolis, It seemed to get worse. I was a full-blown food addict by 2006. My mother saw what was happening and referred me to a christian place called, Mercy Ministries. It's a place where girls ranging from 13-28 can get help for their emotional needs and addiction. It took me a while to really get myself to go. I kept applying partially and backing out. It wasn't until my 3rd time applying that I finally realized how much I needed this, how my life had been out of control. I was eating myself to sleep every night, I couldn't pass a fast food place without stopping. I was trapped under the misinterpretations of my own thoughts. I thought everyone could only see how big I was, and not who I was. I could have sworn that if someone saw me eat, they would judge me. I tried and I tried, and I tried even harder to break free on my own but it kept leading to failure. I was at the highest weight I had ever been. So, in 2008, I gave up everything to go to Mercy Ministries. I gave up my job, my apartment, my friends, and my family to get help.
Mercy was amazing. We were on strict routines daily, I liked to say we were "spoon fed" Jesus daily. I loved it though, I loved who it made me be, happy. I loved what I learned there, how I have worth, that I am beautiful, and how amazing God truly is. That He loves me. It was the happiest I had ever been in my life. My mercy sisters are girls I will never forget and pray for consistently. I love them with all my heart, and we share a special bond having been through Mercy together. When I graduated after 6 months in that home, I came back to Minneapolis a conquered woman. I suddenly had victory over my life, and Jesus by my side. God gave me something while I was at Mercy, it was Him. I realized for the first time how much being a christian is actually a relationship with Jesus. Not just acquaintances, or that void of space you pray to once in a while. Since Mercy, He has shown Himself to me in so many ways. The trials he has brought me through, the victories He led me through, and the everyday moments I soon cherished. Everything good I have done, was because of Him.
I admit, I still dabble with the emotional eating. There seems to be seasons. Yet, God brings me through every time and shows me something new, another vital revelation that brings me one step closer to ultimate freedom. It's close, I can feel it, and for the first time, I believe it. God has never left my side, not for one second, so I am here with hands wide open waiting for the next step, the next journey life brings me through and God delivers me through. I can say with 100% complete honesty that if it weren't for Jesus Christ, I would not be here today. Oh, how I love Him so.
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