My Story

I do not have a guest writer lined up for today, so I decided to begin sharing part of my own story.

Last week, I reconnected with an old friend and asked if this person would be willing to share their story here on the blog as part of the Your Story series. My friend politely declined. What happened in the past was still all too fresh.

I am still living with consequences of patterns learned from then and the years since then, and I’m doing all I can to move forward, but it is not as easy as it sounds. Continue reading

Advertisements

Your Story: Joy McMillan

Note from Alana: Joy and I met through the pre-marriage program Josh and I participated in. Joy and her husband Joe were the leaders of our group. This was almost 7 years ago! I have greatly enjoyed the development of our friendship and I’m honored to share Joy’s story here today. 

I Once Was Lost
shared by Joy McMillan

I’m sure the longing to live in someone else’s skin started long before the awkward puberty-stricken days of 7th grade, but that is when I recall the daydream beginning.

And the dream always unfolded in the exact same way: me, in all my spectacled, short-haired clumsiness, standing alone on the playground.  Some sort of chaos would inevitably break out amongst my classmates and the distinct need for a hero would arise.  This is when my fragile heart would practically beat out of my chest with excitement – it was my cue, my moment to shine.  Even if it was painfully nonexistent. Continue reading

Your Story: Cassandra Holmes

Bedtime Stories That Paved The Road to Redemption
shared by Cassandra Holmes

Every child knows what bedtime stories are. Sometimes parents read them from books, other parents make them up as they go. My favorite bedtime story was “The Man & The Woman Story”. Basic as far as stories go, but this one is special. This one is mine. Continue reading

Your Story: Abigail Livingston

Note from Alana: Abbie is a dear friend of mine. I have known her my entire life – our parents have been friends since before Abbie and I joined this world. I am blessed and honored to be able to share part of Abbie’s story here. I love you, lady!

Sexuality Redeemed
shared by Abigail Livingston

I grew up in what I’d call a “Christian Bubble”. My parents loved (and still love) Jesus, and they tended to raise my siblings and I on the overprotective side (their intent was out of their love for us). But this created in me a level of ignorance about how the world was in real life. Part of that ignorance was about how to have or pursue healthy relationships with boys. I was taught that “true love waits”, meaning that I should not have sex until I get married. There was not much else shared about romantic relationships as I was growing up even in church-and I was definitely not allowed to date. Continue reading

Your Story: Kim Lincoln

I Can’t Give Up
shared by Kim Lincoln

per·se·ver·ance
1. Steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement.
2. Theology . continuance in a state of grace to the end, leading to eternal salvation.

Kim Lincoln

Hi! I am Kim, and I have been actively engaged in my journey toward holistic health for the past four years. Four years ago, I began to take a very assertive and conscious look at how my story and life circumstances contributed to my lifelong weight issue. More specifically, I had to acknowledge how sexual abuse played a part in how I perceived my body and in what I have done to protect myself at all costs, including how I have used food and my weight to both shield my emotions and keep people at bay.

Kim in her earlier days

When I decided to embark on this journey, I did not know what I was getting into. Not really. I knew it would be hard. I knew it would be painful. I knew I would have to confront all of the ugliness within me. Although I “knew” this, I only knew it on a superficial level. I had no idea what this really meant. If I had, I am not sure I would have stepped into the journey. It is far easier to view your life from a victim perspective, where nothing is your fault, and you “can’t help” being 300+ lbs. If only those awful things had never happened to me. If only I had had a perfect childhood, where the heart was cared for in the best possible way, where divorce and anger were not present and where sexual abuse never happened.

If only.

Continue reading

Your Story: Amanda Whitehead

Reclaiming Lost Identity
written by Amanda Whitehead

Amanda pictured with her Mother.

No one is a stranger to hurt and pain. While the causes vary, the feelings are experienced by all of us. My story is about my flawed attempt at handling my emotional life, the aftereffects of that attempt, and the journey of finding real healing and learning to walk in wholeness. My story is a Jesus story.

I came to believe certain things about myself as I navigated my school years, unwittingly attempting to find definition. None of them were spoken over me by my parents or loved ones; I picked up and accepted them as I learned the ugly art of comparison. Carrying these falsehoods around like a heavy dark shroud, I spent the bulk of my teens and twenties trying to be perfect…to be extraordinarily productive…in order to earn value. I hid myself in busy-ness. I navigated a few significant broken relationships. I arranged my world to foster the delusion that anything lacking was lacking because I simply didn’t have time for it. Every choice I made, every motivation, was silently influenced by my warped identity. I was set up for surface success, but it was all built on a foundation of failure and misery.

Continue reading

Your Story: Carissa Woodwyk

I am honored to begin the ‘Your Story’ series with friend, author, speaker, marriage and family therapist, Carissa Woodwyk.

Finding Me.
written by Carissa Woodwyk

I remember the moment that I found out I was pregnant. My heart…it leapt, it soared. That dream so many women share, had come true. I was going to give life to someone…someone who looked like me.

After two years of “trying” and fertility meds and injections and ultrasounds and blood draws and prayer and cautious hope, we saw the + sign on the stick. The celebration and elation and dreaming began. The months of all-day sickness, an ulcer that led to Darvocet, months of numb taste buds, the gradual weight gain that every woman despises, the restless and ever uncomfortable nights, and the waning energy all ended with a sum of 40 weeks growing the life inside of me.

Mysterious, miraculous, unbelievable.

As an adoptee, the journey of becoming a biological mother didn’t come without reflection…reflection of my life in my birthmother’s womb. What was she contemplating? What was her heart feeling? Did she want to give me up for adoption? Was she forced to give me up for adoption? What were the voices around her telling her to do? Was I a secret? Was I planned?

Continue reading