I grew up in a loving family who serve and love the Lord with all their hearts. I gave my life to Jesus when I was 4. I’ve been involved in church from nursery to young adults. When I was younger my family moved around a lot. This made it hard to fit in and make friends. Not only was I the new kid, but the tall, overweight new girl. I was often made fun of for being overweight and taller than everyone else. This happened all throughout middle school and continued into my early high school days. 

Going into grade 11 I had lost a substantial amount of weight. Then the boys started noticing me and the girls wanted to be my friend. It started this vicious cycle of finding my self-worth and identity in others and I acted out in rebellion. Gaining their approval meant everything to me, so much so, that I was willing to do whatever it took to gain that approval. In my senior year of high school this all became so overwhelming and unsatisfying. I truly felt there was no purpose to my life and I really didn’t know how I could change it.

Thankfully, I was given an opportunity to serve with a missions team at the Dream Center in Los Angeles for a week. Halfway through the week, I had an encounter with the Lord that has completely shaped and changed my life since. He turned my world completely upside down, revealing Himself and His plans and purpose for me. {Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you”, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a Future and a Hope.”} 

Knowing what the Lord had done in my life in that one week, I went back to the Dream Center for two years. I knew I was ready for Him to change me even more. So I packed my bags and moved to LA and went through the Leadership School there. The Lord took me down a path of re-defining my identity through Him and through His eyes. I also walked through the process of forgiving those who had spoken negative words over my life. 

This is all a process, but God continues to lead and change me. I’m striving to be more like Him each day.

- JULIE

 

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