I grew up in a broken family. My mom and dad divorced when I was seven years old and my heart was broken. Growing up, I didn't have a good relationship with my dad. I only saw him twice a month and we never connected well. I grew up with an altered image of God. If God is my Heavenly Father and our earthly fathers were supposed to be an image of Him then I was just waiting for God to find someone better and leave. It was many tears cried and years passed of God gently knocking on my heart and pursuing me to show me that He will never leave or forsake me. There are days when I struggle to believe that because of the examples placed in my life. But Sisters, God will never leave you or forsake you. He will always be there for you and will always pursue you. He is our Heavenly Father and will love us more than we can imagine. I have learned to thank God for giving me the father He did because it taught me many, many things. -Jessica Calhoun
You know what I love about this group? That we are all different! We come from different places, families, and all have different stories. Even though we are all so different, our God loves each and every one of us. Even you! You see, I grew up in Orthodox Christian home. I always knew who God was but I didn't have a relationship with Him. I always knew of Jesus but I never made him a priority in my life. It wasn't until I moved away for college when I felt like I was missing something. I was living my life with no meaning and I was getting so tired of it. I felt like I was going about my days aimlessly not knowing what I was doing, or who I was doing it for. I felt lost like I had no purpose. So, I made some changes. I left the college I was at and moved back home. Things got better but I still felt empty. An old friend of mine invited me to attend her church on Sunday and I remember being hesitant to go. I thought that there wasn't anything that could be done to fix this emptiness inside of me. BOY was I wrong. That Sunday I felt God's presence in that church. Shoreline Dallas is a big reason for restoration in my relationship with Christ. Looking back now, all those times where I felt alone and empty was my heart calling out to Him. When I needed Him the most He was there, I just wasn't aware of his presence. So my sisters, when you feel like you're alone and your world feels like it's falling apart turn to Jesus. Let your heart long for him and I promise God will show himself faithful. Ladies know that you matter, you have a purpose, and that you belong. For you are always a child of God.
I have always been raised in Christian home and have always been in church. I'm very thankful for the example and raising that I have had. I have always felt close to God but never really knew how to really work for him. I have always been a singer and that was the one way I felt connected to God. It has been within the last two years that God has placed a calling on my heart and I have began to learn how I'm suppose to serve him. I have a passion for spreading the love of Jesus and chasing after him. I can testify that when you put your full trust and faith in Him, you will experience His true power. I am currently enrolled at Asbury University with a major in Leadership and Ministry. I am so excited to see what His plans is for me. I'm even more excited to see how God is going to work through us women. Matthew 18:20 tells us that where one or two is gathered in his name, he is there with them. So I know God is going to use us women for something so great, it's only the beginning. -Lauryn Dezarn
I grew up Mormon and never had a true relationship with Jesus until I was a senior in high school. There is so much brokenness in my story, from my dad being divorced twice, to being the the victim of emotional abuse, and then developing severe anxiety. But from my brokenness has come a beautiful testimony of God's love. When i was at my lowest point, He embraced me with open arms. Since then, I've never stopped loving Him. There are times when I fail, because I am human, but He always loves me and gives me grace. I am so excited to join an incredible community of women to talk about God's love for each and everyone of us and hopefully reach others who are struggling with things we've struggled with. -Bethany Whitaker
I’ve always been a Christian, but until I was 16 I was trapped and frozen by the lie that I needed to do more and be more to earn grace. Jesus wrecked that mindset, showed me the illogical radiance of amazing grace, and redeemed me once again. I was born with an autoimmune condition called Alopecia Universalis which basically means that I am allergic to my hair, and while it’s never ideal, being so visibly different has given me an whole-hearted passion for people whom the world deems unworthy. I am growing in my journey with Jesus, trying to trust in His perfect timing instead of my short-sighted big ideas, and learning to abide in redemptive mercy. Jesus is so good, y’all. You are valuable, brave, and so worthy of love - not only so, but you are already adored and delighted in by the God who paints sunsets and hangs stars. Live loved, sisters. -Madeleine Wolfe
I am the product of many different views of Christianity. When I was younger, my parents got divorced and my mom's family was devout Catholic and my dad never stayed in the same church for too long. I learned all the lessons, stories, important people in the Bible, and even memorized the Lords Prayer. I had a very academic view of Christianity. You do what looks right, you memorize, you make sure you can look like a good Christian around adults. But I never really knew how to have a relationship with God. I really started feeling a tug on my heart to grow closer to him in college. I was finally figuring out who I was as a person and what my faith really was to me. I started going back to church with my now husband and participating in more church activities. I would say my faith has only recently became real to me. My life has had ups and downs, dark time and bright times, wonderful memories and soul-shattering failures. But what I look back on and realize is that once I was truly lost and now I am in the arms of Jesus. He holds my life in his hands and lays out a path for me. That just makes me feel warm and cozy. If I had one thing to say to all the sisters out there reading this, just know you are truly a princess and were picked especially by God to be the person you are or are becoming. -Sara Hall
I grew up in the church, which is wonderful. Oftentimes, people think that growing up in the church means you don't have a testimony, because you have just always gone to church. But this is not true at all! I can promise you that! Even though I went to church, I can't say that I really took it seriously or made it my own until I was in eighth grade. I depised church from 5th grade to 8th grade because my family just decided to move churches, right after I made my first friend at my previous church. We moved to a church that was brand new, so it was extremely small. There were no kids my age, leading me to just sit in service with my parents and pout. I didn't listen to the sermons, I didn't participate in the children's and youth ministry, I just pouted. I began to break out of my shell when I found a friend but she ended up moving churches, as well as the other girls I made friends with. It wasn't until eighth grade when I met one of my best friends, Grace that I really began to love the Lord and appreciate His love for me. Grace is one of those people who is overflowing with the Holy Spirit! She has a smile that lights up a room, and she is so beautiful that she doesn't need any makeup to prove it. She is a blessing from the Lord! She taught me what it meant to love the Lord and after meeting her and hanging out with her, I wanted to give my life to the Lord. It wasn't an extravagant prayer or anything, but I just sat in my bedroom on my bed and cried. Those were the most honest tears I have ever cried. I told God I was sorry and that I knew I needed Him. I asked for forgiveness and I thanked God for the blessings he gave me. And that's when my adventure began! There have been ups and downs in my relationship and I'm not perfect, but I am blessed to have a Savior who loves me anyway! -Megan Harmon
First of all, I would like to begin that I come from family dysfunction. I have healthy relationships with my parents and sisters, but not with my extended family. I haven't talked to my moms' parents in 18 years because they are very controlling, and they don't want to stop. My dads' parents just got a divorce, but I am still able to talk to my grandma, but not my grandpa. I am thankful for my church family who has stepped in, and treated my sisters and I like their grand kids.
I have grown in a Christian home my entire life, and I accepted Christ when I was 5 years old. However, I officially accepted Christ in 6th grade during a night at youth group. My school years haven't been the best. I went to a small private school, and the class sizes dropped as the grades increased. When I was in sixth grade, I was the only girl with 5 boys. My parents knew they had to intervene. They moved my sisters and I to my church's school, which was a great change. However, I was only there for two years since my church's school only went up to 8th grade. For high school, I attended a public high school, and that really opened my eyes to how our world is so messed up. High School was very difficult for me because I was hanging around friends that were pulling me down, instead of building me up. I was so desperate for friends that I didn't care if they were pulling me down. I wasn't very involved with my church's high school youth group because it was very big, and their were a ton of little friend groups that I couldn't really fit into. Also, most of the kids at my church's youth group went to my rival high school, but I knew some of them since I grew up in the church. As my senior year in high school came close, I was ready to be done with high school. Once I graduated, I could not wait to attend college! I knew that God had something very special for me in the college years! Currently, I am a sophomore in College, and God has truly been blessing my socks off!! I have loved every minute of college because God has blessed me with some wonderful friends, and I enjoy going to school! My faith has been growing so much due to my new friendships. I am very grateful that God has me where He wants me. -Deidre Moss
I grew up always going to church and knowing about Jesus, but it wasn't until I was about ten years old that I began to truly know Jesus. At that age, my grandfather passed away due to pancreatic cancer, but Jesus stepped into my life with His love. That was the first family death I had ever experienced, and it hit me hard. But amidst the mourning and the sadness, I felt this sense of peace. It was like the pain was still there and the tears were still flowing, but they were accompanied by a sense of calmness and even joy beyond my understanding. I began to hear the Lord say, "Child, you are okay. Come and just rest in me." Ever since then, the Lord has been chasing me with His love and showing me more of His grace. I have struggled over the years with anxiety, OCD, and depression, but He continues to show up in those struggles, bringing me closer to Him. I love sharing with others about His work in my life, which is why I'm so excited and thankful to be a part of this sweet community of disciples, dreamers, doers, and writers here at Devoted! Please feel free to contact me or any of our ladies with questions or prayer requests or anything! We'd love to talk with you. -Hope McGlothlin
It wasn't until a couple years ago that I realized how important community is. God created us to be in community with one another and in my opinion, that is one of His greatest gifts to us. Growing up, I didn't really have a sense of community. Sure, I was surrounded by amazing people daily, but the majority of them didn't have a relationship with Christ, much less any type of "faith." As I got older, I realized the vital role community plays in our lives. Life is a constant battle ground, so how can we fight a good fight without an army? Of course, God is our Guardian and Deliverer, above all. However, He designed us to support, encourage, and love one another. Until The Devoted Sisters, I hadn't really felt part of a community. I think it's really special to see women from many different backgrounds come together for the greater good... How cool is that?! -Kelsey Bajada
I grew up in church and always 'knew' who God was, and I knew the ABC's of Faith they teach you at Vacation Bible School as soon as you can talk. I walked through my life just 'knowing' who God was until I was sixteen. Then at sixteen, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder and Generalized Anxiety Disorder. I withdrew from youth group and stopped going to church a few months before my diagnosis. I realized that I didn't know my Lord and savior, and I was at a really dark place in my life. I came from a broken home, and both of my parents remarried. At the age of four my world was torn apart, and my father figure consisted of visits every other weekend, animocity towards my mom, and having to leave my little sister behind until she was older. Flash back to sixteen...I stopped going to stay at my Dad's house. I put my foot down and lived in anger and bitterness until I was nineteen. The best way to describe this season of my life is running. I was actively running away from God and His truths, because I harbored so much resentment, anger, and biterness in my heart. I didn't want any of the good, and I didn't want to be anything but angry. I am now twenty, soon to be twenty-one, and I am exiting this four-year-long dark season of my life. I have forgiven my parents and stepparents, and I have forgiven some not-so-Godly men that I gave my everything to for the hurt they caused. I know that my Savior, OUR Lord, Jesus Christ loves every bit of who I am and will never leave me nor forsake me. I know that the man God has made for me will never take anything from me and wants nothing more than to draw closer to Him while drawing closer to me. I know that God has called me into the Nursing profession to be an active healer here on earth. I know that my insecurities, innabilities, and inadequacies do not define who I am, because I Am His. You will get to know more about me and hopefully vice versa as I share my story here, but this is my life truth I want to share with you: Jesus doesn't ask for our perfect, pretty, or an extravagant purpose. Jesus asks for our broken, our ugly, and our confusion. Jesus asks for the messy and the madness so that HE can give us peace in the imperfection, and that sisters is the amazing truth of this love - His love.
I love you all dearly and cannot wait to grow with you and hear your stories, too. - Jillian G.
I am just really thankful God does not leave your side. And He for sure listens to your prayers! He has answered many of my prayers, but I have one specific one I will never forget. When I was younger, just learning shapes and how to read. We (my family) found out I had dyslexia and some other learning problems. These problems caused me to “not be able to read past a certain level!” So, me and my parents would pray each night because I really wanted to read… not just read, but read Gods word! God answered those prayer. I can read fine! And you are reading this so, I can also write! But, I still am terrible with shapes, left and right, and letters (mostly B and D)… like it is embarrassing sometimes. After everyone looks at you like you are an idiot and you being shy at times awkwardly saying “dyslexic moment” or I sometimes say “Blonde moment” with a very red face! All of that does not matter though, because everybody has flaws. Another thing I am thankful for is that He gave me purpose (He also gave you purpose!) He always new what my purpose was and now looking back I sorta new it too! This kinda goes with the first thing I am thankful for. Anyways, His purpose for my life is to write. Originally when I first got the idea to write I wanted to write a best selling fictional book with no mention of God; I wanted all the glory being the selfish person I can be at times. I thought that for me to write devotionals and bible studies was pointless. Anyways, I eventually gave up on the dreams of being a best selling author because I could not write past the first page with out the book being very lame! I believe that was God telling me “Hope, this is not what I called you to do.” Now I blog for Gods glory! - Hope Semones
"You are the daughter of the King. You are a jewel in His crown. Your relationships don't define you. Jesus does." These are the words that will leave a lasting impression on my heart and in my life. My sweet bestie whispered these to me after my hard break up senior year in college and it is these words I hope to whisper to each person who comes across this blog. I grew up in a christain home and went to a christian school and I feel very blessed by that. I have had a relationship with Jesus for as long as I can remember but my senior year in college He became more real to me. I can see more and more everyday how He works continuously in my life and eachday I am more and more thankful for a God that is so caring for every detail in my life. I am so happy you have stopped by and I can't wait to do life with you and fall more in love with Jesus and his truths together. -Ashley Whitten
I first gave my heart to Jesus when I was twelve years old. I went through the motions of what I thought a Christian should look like for years, but always felt like I just wasn't getting it. Like He wasn't yet my God. That all changed when both of my parents were killed in a head-on collision with a drunk driver when I was only sixteen.
Through that loss, I felt God asking me if I was going to get mad and run from Him or trust Him like never before. Thankfully, I ran directly into His welcoming arms. I have since learned what it really means to be a Christian, a true follower of Jesus, and the beauty of falling onto God broken and allowing Him to put me back together. Through the loss of my parents I gained a relationship with my Father that can never be broken. Although the pain of their absence will never truly leave, the comfort of His presence is all that I need. - Bethany Boynton
There are two very valuable lessons that I've learned that I'm very passionate about sharing, actually I'm probably never gonna stop learning, but I'd like to share some of the wisdom God is giving me through some very hard seasons and hopefully it can be an inspiring testimony for you too..
You gotta take care, love & change yourself first, before you can care, love & change others + the world. I learned this the hard way. I didn't know how to take care of myself. I barely knew it was necessary, but that came very clear, when I burned out. Ouch. So I said STOP! I'm gonna take care of me now, but sadly in this world promoting self-love isn't always "accepted". It's like being a rebel. But I've decided that I do this for me and not for them. So I'm gonna be a rebellious REBEL!
I also had to change and even say no to some friends and relationships that wasn't good for me. I've taken a lot of HARD choices and had HARD conversations this past year. It is hard. I'm not gonna try to make it something that it isn't, but I owe it to myself and I know my future self will thank my now self for cleaning up the mess that my past self did. Hah, got that?
I'm slowly learning my worth. I'm slowly standing up for myself. I actually deserve that. It's a long and scary process, but it's necessary. I'm doing this for me. I'm doing this for my future, for my dreams, for the little girl watching and my future husband and kids. I want my love to be dependent on Jesus and not my future husband. I want my future kids to have a healthy mummy who can teach them how to love themselves in a world that earn billions on our insecurities and self-hatred. Ugh.
God doesn't need to abuse you, to use you. BAM! this was a huuuge game-changer for me!
I did what I thought I had to do to get where I believed God leaded me to. I still believe God leaded me there, but His good will was, is and never will be for me to burn out. God is not an abuser, but unfortunately people can be.
For me it was also a bad mix of people pleasing, fear of man and leaders in my life who didn't listen, understand, cheer on or know me for who I am (people like that should NEVER be a voice in your life!!). I thought I had to do whatever I was told in order for them to "allow" me to go where I felt God leaded me to go. I just "accepted" whatever was thrown at me. Sounds crazy, and I'm a bit shocked when I'm writing this out loud, but I was numbing down my feelings while listening to so many voices who where telling me this and that (and sometimes not even matching), that I didn't hear my own - or worse - didn't hear God's voice. That's a dangerous place to be. Read more here. - Line Thybo
that it would be best if they let me grow up to believe whatever I chose to believe. Which had it's pros and cons. A pro, I got to discover the love of Jesus on my own, not just because my parents made me. A con that particularly bothered me, and kind of still does if I'm being honest, is that all of my church friends could talk about songs from kids ministry when they were growing up,or they would reminisce about the fun times they had when they were younger, all of which I am automatically left out of. I became a Christian when I was 13 after going through some family stuff, I didn't have the terrible and messy life that so many people describe in testimonies, but my life certainly would have been terrible and messy without Jesus. I was baptized when I was 14, but honestly I never really chased after God.He was always a last resort for me. It wasn't until this past year when I started serving in Jr. High ministry and started college that I started intentionally building a relationship with Him. I've found beautiful friendships through that and through my involvement at church, and I wouldn't trade it for anything. -Sam Ryan