Emily's, dark past included many failed relationships, an abortion, addiction, welfare, and single motherhood.
She became so hopeless, that she came up with a suicide plan. However, a chance meeting with a stranger, changed her life forever!
"Neither is their salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:12)
This is the story of how God intervened in my broken life and turned my past into purpose.....
In 2012, I was a single mom on welfare, unemployed, and addicted to drugs and alcohol. I was hopeless and in despair with a suicide plan, when a chance meeting with a stranger changed my life forever. I met a woman who invited me to an addictions program called Reformers Unanimous at her local church. It was there, that I was faced with the most important decision of my life.
I grew up in a very religious home with a large family. My mom was loving and attentive, but unfortunately both of my parents came from abusive childhoods, and so that cycle continued. My dad drank alcohol every night, and was violent and unpredictable. His unfaithfulness toward my mom affected our family greatly. There was no moral compass or guidance for my siblings and me. My childhood (and eventually adulthood) was marked by fear and mistrust of everyone. I was taken out of the family home several times as a child, living in various institutions.
I spent adulthood trying to escape the pain of my childhood. Failed relationships, abortion, drugs, alcohol, regret, guilt, shame, 10 years of counseling, multiple 12 step groups, false religions, self-help books, and the list goes on. I needed an identity, but couldn’t find one. What was missing? Why did I feel so empty inside? These questions haunted me every day.
By 37, life had come undone. I couldn’t handle one more failure, and the only way out that I could see...was death. I made the decision, that I was going to kill my daughter and then myself. It was no coincidence that shortly after this, I saw a news story about a woman in Florida who had the same idea, however...her son died and she survived. For that reason, I delayed my actions for several weeks and that is when God intervened by putting the Christian woman in my path. She showed me a kindness and acceptance that I had never known. She didn’t judge me, and wasn’t afraid to jump into the mess I had made of my life. If that wasn't enough...she held my hand through the darkness. For the first time, I saw the love of Christ through another person! Curiosity got the best of me, and one night I attended the program. There was a preacher there named Mitch Zajac, who shared his incredible story of redemption. He was as hopeless as I was before he too, was faced with a decision to make. He explained why Jesus came to the earth over 2,000 years ago. He came to seek and to save the lost! I knew I was lost! And, I knew I was broken! He asked me this question with urgency: "If I were to die in a car accident that night, would I go to Heaven?" I thought I would go to Heaven, but according to the Bible I was wrong. I realized I was a sinner in desperate need of a Savior. I had been wrong about many things, but I knew I couldn’t be wrong about that. My whole life hinged on whether I would accept Christ or reject Him! I chose to accept Christ's payment on the cross for my sins, and in that moment...a burden was lifted from me that words can’t describe. Shame and guilt vanished and although, I still had the same problems, I now faced them with a new hope.
Within a year, God blessed me with my best friend, Andrew, and we have been married 5 years! Our marriage is happy and healthy because God is the best matchmaker! I have been completely clean and sober for 6 years as of 2018! Through Biblical counseling, the Reformers Unanimous program, weekly Bible class, and church services at Valley Forge Baptist Temple, in Collegeville, PA,...I have experienced complete victory over addiction! Most importantly, God gave me a clear conscience after forgiving my sins. The one who made me is the only one who could fix me. God was the missing piece!!
***Mitch Zajac, had the opportunity to share his testimony on CBN's The 700 Club this past year. Today, Mitch is a traveling evangelist, spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Feel free to contact Mitch for prayer and questions about Jesus and salvation***
Through years of physical and emotional abuse, Surya Nycole, has allowed God to use all that she has gone through for His glory. Today, she has a recovery ministry helping others overcome their life trauma's. Surya is also a worship leader, speaker, and author.
Please take some time to listen to Surya's videos. They will encourage you and those you love and care for.
(Mark 8:34-38) "Then he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul? If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels.”
God uses us! Even in the midst of our sin, our pain, and especially in our sorrow. He uses ALL things for good, not only for those that are hurting, but also for those doing the hurting. Today, I am going to encourage you with one of my many testimonies of how God carried me through, healed me, and helped me grow in my relationship with Him!
It’s no secret that I am a single mother—I never married my son’s father however—my pregnancy was a medical miracle. In the past, I had many woman issues that left my ovaries scarred, and even experienced cancer scares that brought on several surgeries which took half of my cervix. My odds of pregnancy became 50/50—50% chance I would get pregnant, and 50% chance that I would get pregnant, but with extremely high odds of not carrying full-term or miscarrying. I left that appointment filled with sorrow—grieving my dreams of becoming a mother. I knew God, but as any immature Christian, I believed I didn’t deserve to be healed and/or blessed, and that I was the one in control. I began to gather paperwork to start the adoption process for a special needs child and MY plan was to mail it out on my 30th birthday. But even in the midst of my sin, God had a different plan!
Unmarried and in an unstable relationship, I became pregnant in December 2009. Needless to say—I had a high risk pregnancy. I was excited to become a mother, but I feared losing my baby, especially knowing that I did not become pregnant in a way that pleased God. The father of my child was in and out of my life, coming back with temporary positive gestures that sometimes lasted only a few hours. Often he would leave after horrible actions of cheating and verbal abuse. I was about 4 months pregnant, when I prayed about getting back together with my son’s father. God showed me two roads that I could chose to take—The first road would lead to a dark and heavy-hearted path with a terrifying forest—The second road would be breathtaking, beautifully bright, and like open and clean fresh air. While God showed me the 2 choices that I could take—I chose the dark path. I wanted my child to have a family—I’m sure you are thinking—Why didn’t you choose the sunny road!?!? But, I had already had years of false Biblical teaching at this point and in my mind, I was going to do whatever it took for us to be a family even though, his father was abusive, struggling with substance abuse, and would cheat—I thought I could fix it all!
At the time, I became pregnant, I was a worship leader. Yes, even those in ministry struggle with their flesh. I was in serious emotional pain and confusion, but I led worship every Sunday and I praised God! This is truly where I deeply learned how to praise Him during the storm, and let me tell you—I praised Him! I never missed a Sunday—I kept moving forward and put on a smile that I call “Gods smile”, because without Him, it would not exist!
About a month after I had my son, his father became physically violent on top of all the verbal abuse. He didn’t want to be home, sober or faithful. Every weekend, I obtained a new bruise to replace the one that faded from the time before. His face would literally change and I saw Satan in his eyes. In the midst of Satan trying to break me down, I got right back up. Literally, he would throw me across the room, and I would just stand right back up. I didn’t hit back, I just kept getting back up to face him. Maybe it was a mistake, because it angered him even more, and made the situation worse. But, I had been in abusive relationships in the past where others often blamed me for not standing up for myself. I didn’t know what to do, but I knew I wasn’t going to just lay there anymore.
Well, yep—even 6 months later—I still wanted my family to work, but the abuse continued to get worse, and as it did— I did my best to hide what was truly going on in my life. It did help that he wasn’t home much though. Months after the birth of my son, I started going to therapy because he started making me believe that I was crazy and needed help. I sure did need help, but not the kind of help he expected. I didn’t admit to the physical abuse because I knew my therapist would have to report it, and—I was beginning to believe, that I provoked it, therefore—in some way, felt I deserved the way I was being treated. My therapist was a Christian woman, and she helped me see that I shouldn't blame myself because it wasn’t my fault. It took me about 2 more months to kick him out for good—not because of therapy, but because my son got hurt. Most of the time I got hit, my son was in his bedroom, or—I wasn’t holding him at the time when his father became violent. However, this time—he pushed me hard while, I was holding him and his 6th month old little head, flew into the door, leaving a bump that swelled. My thinking at this point was, “It’s one thing for me to be abused—I can take—but for my son to get hurt, it is not OK!” It was extremely difficult because no matter how much you don’t like being abused, you’re so messed up mentally you don’t know up from down. But, I kicked him out and got an order of protection. It has been almost 8 years since that day.
Unfortunately, we still have to deal with him, but thankfully—it’s from a distance. He still continues to struggle with his flesh, and we continue to pray for him. He’s not very involved father which, is a blessing because he’s not healthy enough even to be a part-time father. I forgave his father years ago, while I was still healing, because it’s not about how I feel—that’s the key to growing spiritually. I want my son to know God is the reason for the path that we are on in life. With all my heart, I want him to know God the way I have come to know Him, so he doesn’t waste his life floating through the world encountering or causing pain because of his own pain or confusion.
God has taught me that forgiveness is not only for me, but also for my abusers. He showed me how they were at one-time victims too. I have learned such a depth of forgiveness with understanding that I never knew before. God has given me strength to realize why I got into abusive relationships. He has healed me, and now uses me to help others! All of the evil that I have encountered, and participated in—He now uses for the good of strengthening me spiritually and others! Today, I not only minister to my son, but also to those in recovery from all kinds of traumas. He uses me as a mind, body, and soul coach to all. He has given me the ability to relate in ways that many cannot. This trial was painful on many levels, but it brought me closer to God, has become part of my purpose, and is one of my favorite testimonies!
A story of hope and inspiration---Marcus Stanley, was touring with a major recording artist when they decided to stay at a hotel on the west side of Baltimore, Maryland for the evening. Marcus, left the hotel to get some food and a drink at the nearest gas station however---it was on this walk into the night that Marcus's life changed forever.
Marcus's amazing videos of his testimony on YouTube and CBN's The 700 Club can be found after his written story--- as well as links where you can purchase his worship music.
Your life is a gift. Everyone that is still alive has a testimony. The purpose of this message is simply to share hope. Hope that no matter what you are facing in life--you will survive.
I was in Baltimore, MD touring with a major recording artist when all of this happened. We were supposed to stay at the Hyatt Hotel downtown by the harbor, but all the rooms were taken because of a sporting event that was happening the same night. So, we had to stay in west Baltimore in a rough area of town. It really didn't make a difference to me because, I've been in hotels all across the country good and bad. When I check into a hotel, I kind of have a pattern of doing things no matter where I am. I drop off my luggage---I joke around with the band for a little bit and---I go to the nearest gas station to get some junk food (Gatorade, Waffle House, IHOP)---Whatever is open and then, I come back and relax. This day was no different.
I walked outside and headed towards the gas station which was about three blocks away. As I walked through the second block, I could see six guys standing on the corner talking to each other looking in my direction. I really didn't even pay them any mind, I just kept walking towards the store. Just then, I realized that I left my wallet in my room and turned around to head back to the hotel to get it. My best friend Lydell, who was a drummer in my band at the time, told me to stop going places by myself. I told him that I was good---like I normally do and went back to the store. I went past the same group of guys and they were watching me again. I continued to the store and got my usual Gatorade, candy, junk food, and headed back to the hotel. I came past the same block, and the same guys, immediately came towards me. Strangely, the whole street was clear and no one was on it like I saw just a few minutes before. By the time, I figured out that they were a gang, the leader came towards me and said, "What you doing out here homie"? I just turned to him and said, "I'm chillin' bro" and kept on walking. They circled around me and asked, "What's up with that phone"? At this point, I knew it had nothing to do with the phone or nothing that I said or did, had anything to do with what he was asking me. I figured they were going to rob me, so I didn't even respond---I just told them it was off and put it back into my pocket. Really, it was off though---Sprint had cut me off for being over my account spending limit.
He walked closer to me and...right to my face said, "Well, you got to roll out homie". At that point, he pulled out a .45 caliber gun from his jacket, and pointed it directly at me point-blank range. I didn't even have time to react. I heard the first shot---ONE---and saw a bright light from the gun that blinded me, and I fell immediately to the ground. Then, he stood over top of me and said, "Peace out homie"! He fired seven more shots into my body---TWO---THREE---FOUR---FIVE---SIX---SEVEN. Instantly, I saw an angel appeared in front of me. The angel looked transparent, and it was kneeling down with his arms crossed in front of me as if, every bullet was going through the angel. I knew it couldn't have been a figment of my imagination because, I had no time to even think about this. I had no time to think about anything other than the pain that I was feeling from every single bullet that was going in my body. When he finished shooting me, his other boys picked up the shell casings that had fallen to the ground around me and they laughed and joked with each other about how they just "smoked" me. Right then, I heard God speak to me..."Do not move"! It was really strange because, I wanted to yell---I wanted to scream---I wanted to breathe---I wanted to know if I was alive, but I couldn't do it. They were still looking at me, so I just laid there & didn't breathe. My eyes were still opened, but they were fixed---even though, I felt pain all across my body. For the first time in my life, I felt no pain from even not breathing which, was the strangest feeling I've ever felt. That's how I knew, God was right there with me. As I continued to hold my breathe waiting for them to leave, I felt the blood all around me. When they finally ran to the car, they drove off at full speed---it was then, that I was able to take my first breath. I remember softly yelling--"OH, GOD...GOD". I looked around me and saw the pool of blood and holes in my shirt. I tried to stand up, but couldn't. I couldn't feel my legs, so I dragged myself off of the street and onto the sidewalk---literally crawling. I tried to flag down cars to stop and help me, but nobody would stop. People slowed down and kept going. It was literally only me and GOD!
I had a moment where I had my life flash before my eyes. I thought about everyone that loved me---I thought about my own funeral---I thought about the things that I should've said to my family and the friends that I didn't tell---Just then, I remembered that I had my cell phone still with me. My hand was completely covered in blood, but I still managed to dial 911. When the operator came online, I told her that I had been shot and she asked me where I was. Thankfully, I was lying right next to a street sign, so I could give her an idea of where I was. She tried to keep me talking, but I really couldn't because I was losing my breath every minute that went past. Eventually, about five officers showed up. One walked toward me and asked me my name and how old I was. After that, they drew lines around me and put up police and crime scene tape setting up a perimeter. This is where my faith really had to step in though. Even though, all around me it looked like death--I had to SPEAK LIFE. I began praying for there was nothing I could do, but that. The ambulance got there about seven minutes later, and loaded me in. Immediately, they began cutting off my clothes and hooking me up to all kinds of machines. This was actually the first time that I saw the gun shot wounds. At that moment, tears started to flow from my eyes---my body just looked dead---like I shouldn't be alive, but I was. I heard the EMT say to her partner, "I don't think he's going to make it". It hurt me to hear those words, but I tried to hold onto life. By the time I got to the hospital, they rushed me down the hall into surgery. When I arrived in the room, it was the strangest scene that I've ever seen. The room was lined with nurses, doctors, police officers, and other hospital employees looking at me in disbelief---almost as if, all that they heard on the radio about my condition---they were stunned that I was still alive. The lead doctor whispered in my ear..."I'm about to give you some anesthesia to put you asleep for the surgery. Can you sign this paper for me"? Oddly enough, I was able to sign it---and did pretty good---I did so good, that the doctor joked and said, "For someone who's got shot all these times you sure do have a good signature". Right at that moment, I looked in front of me and saw people standing at the door, people surrounding all around me, and then I saw the same angel that I saw on the street---He was standing in front of me with his arms folded looking at me nodding his head as if to say---"Everything is going to be alright". Right then, I felt a peace upon me---I relaxed my breathing and fell asleep. When I opened my eyes, I saw tubes all around me, I heard beeping, and sound from all the machines. I saw bandages across my chest. I thought to myself---I'M ALIVE! The first thing that I thought was---HOW IN THE WORLD WAS I ALIVE? There was a nurse standing to my left and she looked at me right in the eye & said, "YOU MADE IT---YOU MADE IT MARCUS"!
A doctor came in the room, and told me that I was lucky to be alive. I knew "luck" had nothing to do with it. He proceeded to tell me that he performed an eight hour surgery on me and removed half of my stomach, my whole spleen, half of my small intestine, reattached my colon, removed half of my pancreas---I just looked at him in disbelief, but I believed him. I found out later that my doctor FOUND GOD THROUGH MY SURGERY---HE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE THAT HE DID THE SURGERY BY HIMSELF.
TODAY, I CAN WALK---I HAD TO LEARN THAT OVER AGAIN.
TODAY, I CAN PLAY THE PIANO---EVEN THOUGH, I LOST THE FEELING IN MY RIGHT HAND.
TODAY, I CAN WALK IN PEACE BECAUSE GOD GAVE ME PEACE DURING THE MOST CHAOTIC TIME IN MY LIFE.
TODAY, I KNOW THAT GOD IS A HEALER!
Psalms 30:2 "O Lord my God, I cried out to You, And You healed me".
And, Mark 9:25 says, "Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony," (Revelation 12:11)
Do you believe? I know that I do! I encourage everyone that reads my testimony to DO GOD NOW--NOT LATER! A common misconception is that you need to clean yourself up before you come to God, but the truth is, you just have to come to God and He will change you.
God bless you all. God keep you and remember that GOD IS SOVEREIGN. GOD IS BIGGER THAN EVERY PROBLEM AND EVERY SITUATION!
Laura Thompson, learned from a young age that words can shatter one's self-image. For 40 years, she held onto a secret that tried to destroy her, but with God's help the lies were uncovered so she could heal.
Today, Laura, is the author of two popular children's books called "In the Butterfly Kingdom There Is Love" & "In the Butterfly Kingdom There is Kindness". It is Laura's passion that children learn from a young age that not only does God love them, but they can make a great difference in the world with God's fruit of the spirit called love & kindness.
Laura Thompson “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us." (Ephesians 3:20)
This is my story of how God took a shattered little girl and transformed her into a Mighty Woman of God. It is my desire to bring encouragement and healing to a hurting world one person at a time through the transforming power of His Love.
When we think of the 11th hour—we often conjure up images in our minds of what the 11th hour represents. The 11th hour depicts a variety of feelings such as desperation that you are being backed into the corner or that you are running out of time and hope. This is my story of how God took my 11th hour and transformed it into what I now call my brightest hour.
When I was 11 years old,
there were words spoken about me by a trusted family member while I was there.
This moment, shattered my world! These words had such a negative impact that they greatly
affected my self-image and thought-life. This in turn, determined my
actions for most of my life.I learned
at a very early age, the power of the tongue and how it can either build someone
up or tear them way down.From the outside, it
appeared that I was fine and everything in my life was great, but on the inside
I suffered greatly. For 40 years, I kept this a secret even though it should
have never remained so hidden and covered. It was all a lie from Satan who
thought he could destroy me. At 50 years old, God helped me uncover the lie
that was spoken over me. It was then, that God began a “new work” in me to heal
my mind—heal my soul—and begin a transformational journey of healing.
I have learned, that secrets are crippling and can lead to a slow and painful death of oneself.
I also learned that God loves us too much to leave us where we are—Hewants
His best for each of us. God will transform our thoughts and actions for His
purpose and will for our lives.I
have come to realize, that our past does not determine our future. What the
enemy means for harm—God always, turns around for good.Our value is not in whom man says we are, but
in whom God says we are according to scripture verse Proverbs 139:13-18.
I am thankful for God’s grace and mercy in
transforming my life! It is because of this, that I can now help others through
the gift of encouragement. God has taken the deeply hidden gifts and talents in
me—the ones that were so deeply covered—and revealed them so I can help
others. I have always had a passion for helping people and a tender heart toward
children. I have recently become an author of an inspirational children’s book
titled, “In the Butterfly Kingdom There Is Love. “ This is a story about a
royal family of butterflies who live in a garden. God has given them special
fruit to eat from the Blessing Tree so that, they may be wise in God’s ways, to
help others, and to be an example to others who live in the garden. The theme
is about the fruit of the spirit love, and I have paired it with the story line
of adoption. I want children to know that God loves them, that each and every
child is special, and that each child may know that they are never too young to
realize that they can make a difference in the world.
I believe if we plant seeds of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control we will always produce good fruit. The other wonderful part of my book is that God has provided a platform in which, I use as a ministry tool—to help children not only as they read my book, but in return—give a portion of the sales to a variety of Christian children’s ministries to help children in need.
My prayer for everyone who reads my testimony is that they may know God loves them and He has a plan and a purpose for their life. Don’t give in, don’t give up, keep pursuing Him and in due season—He will turn your sorrow into joy—your tragedy into triumph to glorify Him and bless others. God wants to bless you so you can bless others. Do not let the pain of yesterday hold you back from the promises God has for your future. The best is yet to come!
View “In the Butterfly Kingdom There Is Love" and Laura's new book "In the Butterfly Kingdom There is Kindness" on YouTube. Both books can be purchased at traditional bookstores or online at Amazon.com, Apple iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo
Felicia Dopico's daughter, Abigail, shared her testimony last week called..."God's Chosen Warrior Princess". This is Felicia's "God-story" told from a mom's perspective of that terrifying night Abby was airlifted to the local trauma center.
"Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45)
The night of the tragedy was an ordinary night for
my husband and me—we just finished dinner; made a fire in the family room, and
sat on the couch to watch TV. In the distance we heard a helicopter, but didn’t
think anything of it at the time. All of a sudden, I got a very strange message
on Facebook asking me to call the local police department. The rest is a bit
blurry, for as soon as emergency personnel said, “Is this Abigail Dopico’s
mother?”—the room began to spin. They proceeded to tell me, that she was being
airlifted to a local trauma center with a severe head injury and we needed to
get there as soon as possible.
The ride to the hospital was eerily quiet for my
husband and I were stunned and speechless. I remember praying the entire time
for God to restore Abby’s health completely. I also reached out to my prayer
warrior friends who stood in agreement with my prayers. I had a sense of calm in
the car as I prayed and somehow knew this would all be for the greater good.
Upon arrival, the ER doctor had tears in his eyes when he told us, that he
wasn’t sure if Abigail would make it, and if she did—he didn’t know she would
be the same child that we knew. Although, this news was devastating, I trusted
in the peace the Lord filled me with in the car as He consistently told me, “Trust
me Felicia, I will restore her—just put one foot in front of the other”. Abigail
survived the surgery and went into an induced coma for three days. The doctors continued
to convey to us that they still didn’t know if Abigail would come out of this. At
this time though, I was just grateful that she was alive and knew God would
continue to provide for us and her. As the three days progressed, and we got
closer to the time that the doctors were going to wake her up, they warned us
again of all the terrible things that can happen—Abigail may never walk, never
talk, she might not be able to swallow, breathe on her own, etc.—Fear gripped
me again, but then, I was overcome by the words placed in my heart, “It won’t
happen, trust me.” None of those terrible things happened—praise God! Abby,
woke up asking us what happened? She told me soon after waking, “I was fine the
whole time. I went to the penthouse with the man, the very large man.” I asked
her, “What did you do there?” and she responded, “He made me all better.” With
tears in my eyes, I knew it was all going to be OK and that she spent time with
her heavenly Father. As the days went on, we realized her left side was very
weak, to the point of having no movement. Again, I just knew this would be
resolved in God’s time and slowly movement returned. By the time she got to the
rehab facility, most movement had returned except in her left ankle and toes.
The therapists told me that she had a dropped ankle. It may return or it may not.
They made a brace for Abby that she might need to wear for the rest of her
life. Again, I thanked God she was alive and knew this was all in His hands. Lying
in her bed one day, Abby said to me, “Mom—look at my toes” as she moved them.
As of today, all movement in her ankle and toes has been restored and the brace
is in a closet.
Throughout this journey and the subsequent surgery,
I had many moments where fear tried to steal my faith. It wasn’t easy. I will
tell you that every single time fear said, “This might happen…” it never did.
God remained steadfast in His promises to me and continues to do so to this
day. Abigail is a miracle, God’s miracle! There is simply no other explanation
for her survival and recovery.
What has this done for me? My faith has been exponentially increased, and I was a believer in Jesus already. I always prayed and thanked Jesus daily for favor in my life, but this was a whole new level of my walk with Christ! I believe God chose us for this reason. Abby’s healing has amazed all the doctors and seeds of what Jesus can do have been planted.
A couple of months ago, Abby Dopio, had a severe car accident---It was on this day, that her perspective on life changed forever.
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God." (Numbers 15:41)
On December 28th, of 2017, my life changed forever. Before then, I was so happy—so excited to go back to college. I have met some of the best friends I have ever had at college. So let’s just say my life was pretty awesome. Today, I know that I shouldn’t be alive. On that horrible day, I had angels surrounding and protecting me. The odds were not in my favor. The impact of the car accident caused a massive blood clot on the right side of my brain which, caused it to shift from the center a great deal. The days following the accident, I was in a coma and my parents had no clue how I would wake up. I could have lost the ability to form sentences—I could have lost my eyesight—I could have had no recollection of my family—I could have not been able to sit here and compose my testimony right now. The list goes on and on. I cannot even imagine how terrifying this was for my family. When I awoke, I was confused for a few days and had no memory of what had happened. Eventually, I was told that I had a car accident and was airlifted to the local trauma center. When I heard this, I knew that my life just got a little more difficult.
These have been the worst two months of my life. I was depressed and cried everyday because I couldn’t fathom all that had happened. Most of all, I didn’t understand why God would pick me to survive this. I thought there are so many people out in the world much more special than me. But somehow, despite my sadness—I had the strength to move forward and go to physical therapy everyday even when, I would have rather just sat on my butt and cried. I continued to move forward and found strength and motivation even though, I felt as though I had none.
Fast forward to today. I still get sad sometimes. But I am so thankful to be here and get a second chance at life. People always say “live life to the fullest” and that statement never truly hit home until now. Now, I understand how important it is to live life to the fullest and be happy in the present. Life can truly change in an instant! One day you’re alive and thriving and the next day you could be clinging to life. Life is so precious to me now. And, my new found relationship with God is something that I hold true inside my heart. I have never felt stronger in my life—I have never truly felt more beautiful inside and out, even with a bald head! I found strength in myself, my family, and all of those that prayed for me since the very beginning. I know that I wouldn’t be here without all the prayers and love! I have been given the gift of a second chance of life. I want to encourage you not to waste your first chance—live everyday like it might be your last. Be spontaneous and happy in the present. Yes, life is short and the world is tough sometimes, but with God and prayer we always become tougher!
***Abby's story behind her favorite scripture of Numbers 15:41***
"When I was airlifted to the hospital, the trauma doctors gave me the nickname, "Egypt" until they knew my name because, I did not have an ID with me at the scene of the accident. It is now my favorite scripture!"
"I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt to be your God. I am the LORD your God." (Numbers 15:41)
"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20)
I remain humble as I learned the message of health the hard way. I was one of those teenage girls that struggled with my weight. I would starve myself to fit into the latest fashion all to regain it all back from nutritional starvation. I would yo-yo diet as a way of life, climbing up and down the scale which would cause me to lose bone and muscle mass. As I approached my 20's and 30's, this pattern of life continued and my health suffered.
At the age of 18, I became a hair stylist and continued these unhealthy dietary patterns. By the time I was 28, I owned a beauty salon and worked as a heavy-duty colorist, breathing in many toxic chemicals and not eating properly. I had panic attacks, severe digestive issues, thyroid problems, migraines, dizzy spells, bone loss, severe blood sugar issues, and kidney cancer.
The diagnosis of kidney cancer was definitely the icing on the cake. Medical treatment was all I had known at the time; therefore, I was scheduled on March 11th 2008, to have my kidney removed. Thank goodness the cancer was all encapsulated, which meant that the tumor was not anywhere else. The pathology report indicated that there were traces of hair dye in my kidney that caused the cancer—a direct result of my profession.
I was so scared not knowing where to turn and just prayed that God would give me my life back. I continued to suffer from many of the symptoms as were mentioned above. Two days after the surgery, I began praying for God to give me a sign that would lead me to what He believed would heal me. I knew that just by removing an organ was not removing the “cause”. Days later, my husband and I had gone to a local health food store. Well, the klutz that I am, I bumped into a bookshelf and a book had fallen to the floor. As I bent down to pick up the book, I felt an intense heat that radiated off of it and into my hands. I knew as soon as I touched the book that it was a sign from God that would lead me to my new life. The book is called The Maker’s Diet by Jordan S. Rubin. It changed my life forever and began my healing journey. The Lord showed me guidelines and principles through Jordan’s book on how to heal my body which is clearly stated in scripture. I never knew that the Bible was actually a manual for health—I thought it was just for spiritual needs. I started consuming 100% of biblically based food as well as a lifestyle program.
My body totally began to heal from all the various health issues that plagued me. Once I was totally disease free and living this level of extraordinary health that I never knew existed, the Lord then told me, "I have restored your health, and I want you to dedicate your life as a vessel to guide my children to restore their health." I was so empowered to receive such a command from my Lord and savior. I then, wanted to share this message to others and help transform this nation and world the way God healed me.
I began by studying from the Biblical Health Institute and was certified as a Biblical Health Coach. I incorporated these life-giving services into my new wellness practice that was once a chemical-laden hair salon. I now guide people in life-giving paths to health and wellness—God’s way. I took as many holistic health programs that I possibly could that relied on Biblical Nutrition. I then, studied at the world’s largest nutrition school, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition, in New York City. It was there that I learned well over 100 dietary theories, the connection between nature, the human body, and mind—all to take my practice to a level beyond what I could ever imagine.
I have not only been blessed with total restoration in my body without drugs, but to be able to share this information with many others and see their transformation. I also teach holistic nutrition at a local college for adult enrichment. God has used me as a transmitter of health and wellness where I unlock people’s God-given ability to heal themselves—I do not encourage my clients to battle disease. Instead, we must stop battling disease and build wellness. So, when I asked the Lord to give my life back He never did—He gave me an entirely new one.
Today, I am 100% disease and drug free, and each and everyday I reap the blessings of extraordinary health the way we were truly designed. I am the proud owner of Heaven On Earth Healing Center, Inc., where I place anyone that God sends me, with any form of sickness on the path to total health and healing. I have also appeared on TBN's Joy in our Town and Doctor-to-Doctor. I would never change my past because it was a reflection and journey to what my present and future holds. Thank you Lord, for not giving me my old life back! I live my passion simply because it is my purpose. I do not treat disease—I restore the body's ability to completely heal by itself.
An inspirational story of a father remembering his son's suffering as he battles brain cancer.
“God is our refuge and
strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1)
**This testimony has been prayerfully written by Joseph Bono—(Jordan’s
In the early-morning,
my heart was broken. I was in a room alone with my son Jordan, watching him
suffer the aftereffects of brain surgery. Just days earlier, he had been
diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor. During those terrible hours at the
hospital, I sensed that God was teaching me an incredible lesson.
I’m Jordan’s dad, Joe,
and I want to share with you how God changed my perspective about a suffering
son. A few hours after Jordan’s surgery, I wrote down my thoughts, expressed my
emotions and poured out my heartache about what my son was going through. Here
is a summary of what God taught me.
The Suffering of My Son
As a father, I felt helpless. Jordan was in so much pain. Hearing him cry out and seeing him in such agony was heartbreaking. Jordan’s eyesight was temporarily darkened, and he was experiencing short-term paralysis on his right side. I thought he didn’t know I was there, until he called out “Daddy.” When Jordan felt my touch and heard my voice, he said—“I just want you here.” Later, I wrote: “The anguish that I have seen my son in tonight has broken my heart. I have no strength. It is not in me. I must rely upon God.” Psalm 46:1 says—“God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”
The Suffering of God’s Son
In the anguish of those
hours spent at the hospital, God reminded me about how much suffering His Son,
Jesus Christ, endured as He hung on the cross. That evening, I began to
understand the pain that Jesus suffered, yet Jordan’s pain in no way compared
to what Jesus went through. Even so, this one thing I knew:the pain my son was suffering was necessary for his healing, and it was essential for his body to be restored to health. God’s Word, the Bible, explains that the pain of God’s Son was necessary for the healing and restoration of our souls. Isaiah 53:5 says—“But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
Who was this Jesus and
why did He have to suffer? The Bible clearly states that Jesus is God himself
(see John 1:1-14). God willingly humbled himself to enter the world in human
form and be born of a virgin. He came to earth to be the perfect and only
sacrifice for the sins of the world. That means He came for you and for me
personally. Jesus lived a perfect and sinless life, something no other human
being has ever achieved. He was nailed to a cross to suffer a horrible death,
but then he rose again on the third day. Why? He did this to provide
forgiveness for the sins of the whole world. The Bible explains in Romans
3:23—“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,…”. Just a few
chapters later, in Romans 6:23, the Bible tells us that—“For the wages of sin
is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Salvation
through Jesus Christ is the greatest gift ever to be offered and the best gift
you could ever receive.
A Place of Rest
Watching my son suffer
was the deepest heartache of my life. But God used the events of that evening
while Jordan was in recovery to prepare me for the most profound victory of my
life. What has been your deepest heartache? Can you say that it has brought victory
into your life? God desires for you to have victory! Your trial may be
different from mine, but it still brings you anguish and pain. God offers you
rest from your trouble and peace for your pain. These are provided through the
pages of the Scriptures, the Bible. Matthew 11:28 says—“Come to me, all you who
are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
Victory, peace and rest begin with a call—your call to God for salvation, for the healing and cleansing of your soul. Just as Jordan called out to me “Daddy—I just want you here,” God wants you to call out to Him with the faith of a child who longs to have his father by his side. That call can be heard only through God’s Son, Jesus Christ. Romans 10:13 assures us, for “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If that is your heart’s desire, you can apply this truth of the Bible to your life right now. You can call on God. The first step is to pray a simple yet sincere prayer. By trusting the Lord, you can know that when you die, you will have a home in Heaven.
Jordan received the
gifts of salvation that God offers you today. At age 5, he knew he was a
sinner, and he humbled himself. He realized he needed the forgiveness that only
Jesus Christ has the power to give. Jordan’s mom and I had the privilege of
leading Jordan to his Lord. Just one year and eight days after his initial
diagnosis of brain cancer, Jordan was instantly healed as he went home to
Heaven to be with his Lord. People ask us how we deal with the loss of our son.
Although, we dearly miss him, my response is, “You can’t lose something if you
know where it is. We know where Jordan is, and one day we will see him again in
My wife, Michelle, and I sincerely desire to minister to those who are hurting. If our testimony has made an impact on your life in any way, please contact us at email@example.com
We have a ministry of
tears, but each time God chooses to use our tears of sorrow—He turns them into
tears of joy. God does not waste trails that He brings into our lives. We want
to encourage you by sharing what God has done for us. He promises to comfort
and sustain all who love Him (see Romans 8:28). God bless you. Remember a great
burden offers an opportunity for great victory!
Pray This Prayer for Salvation
Dear God, I know that I
am a sinner, I believe that Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose again on the
third day. Right now, this very hour, I place my faith in Jesus Christ and what
He did for me on the cross. Dear Jesus, please forgive me of my sins. Come into
my heart and life as my personal Savior. Help me from this day forward to live
a life that honors you. Thank you for saving me and giving me a home in Heaven.
If you have sincerely
prayed this prayer, you have just made the best decision of your life.
Congratulations! Now it’s important for you to go on from here. The Christian
life is not just saying a quick prayer and then continuing to live the same way
as before. Here are four important steps to follow as you grow in your
Christian life and in your new walk with God.
Step #1: Get
a Bible. Begin in the New Testament with the book of John, and read a least one
chapter each day.
Step #2: Find a church that teaches and loves the Bible, and begin attending faithfully.
(talk) to God daily. Ask Him to help you find a church that He wants you to
become involved in—one that will guide you in your spiritual growth (see
Step #4: Tell others about your decision. Share how God has shown you the way to get to Heaven (see
Dawn Marie Woroniak's story has been shared on TV and radio programs to help others overcome their struggle with depression caused by PMDD--Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder. (Please visit the "About" section of the site to find out what programs she has had the opportunity to share on.)
Embracing Victory Over the Storm of Depression
“And they have overcome him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word oftheir testimony” (Revelation 12:11)
Most of my life, I have struggled with depression . . . a dark and hopeless place that was numbed by binge drinking when it became too much for me to handle. At the time, I thought it would help ease the pain of the emotional and physical abuse that had occurred during childhood. At an early age, I became insecure, lonely, depressed, and a perfectionist . . . all in the hopes of overcoming, but never overcame.
Even after saying “yes” to Jesus, I struggled with binge drinking. Knowing, that I needed help, I began to receive counseling. Unfortunately, within a couple of appointments, I would convince myself that I was okay, only to discover the harsh reality that I was not—a cycle that lasted longer than it should have because of my stubbornness and unwillingness to work through the pain. Working through pain brings healing, but at the time I was not cooperating with God’s healing plan for me. Condemnation and shame consumed me. After all, how could I be a Christian and still struggle like I was? I doubted God’s forgiveness because of the prison I kept myself in. God gave me the keys to break free when I said “yes” to Him, but in my absolute foolishness . . . I did not use them. In essence, I was oblivious to the free gift of salvation He had given me.
During my healing process, I have learned that God has a very good sense of humor. At times, when God calls us . . . it can be in the “midst” of our pain and darkness. For it is in the “midst” of things that God shows up in greatness!
When He called me to write VictoryEmbraced . . . I was not only cleaning dishes . . . I was still in the “midst” of struggling with depression, which I have discovered is partly due to heredity. However, I now know I have God’s DNA . . . and because of this, I will always be victorious!
While collecting testimonies for the book, I began to experience symptoms of PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder), which is a major mental depressive disorder and definitely has a few extra edges than regular PMS, occurring only to 3 to 8 percent of women. I have been told many times that I am quite unique . . . not only in my sense of humor but also in how I process and see things in life. Now there is indisputable evidence that what has been said for years is true! Yep, this definitely proved it . . . not only to myself but also to those closest to me.
PMDD usually makes its ugly appearance in women who are in their late 30s or mid-40s. Mine showed up when I was 36. With all the hormone shifts, I also started having simple-partial seizures, which are rarely noticed by others. They begin with a feeling of deja vu followed by staring that can last a few minutes.
In my potential for perfectionism, I happen to have all of the symptoms of PMDD . . . not just the four or five that classify the disorder and help to make a diagnosis. Symptoms of PMDD include anxiety and a feeling of being on edge, memory issues, severe moodswings, crying for no reason, extreme sensitivity to abandonment and rejection, anger and increased conflict with the ones you love, decreased interest in usual activities, feelings of being overwhelmed as well as feeling out of control, joint and muscle pain, weight gain, insomnia, and headaches. Yes, a long list of symptoms, but nothing God cannot handle. Sometimes one month can be worse than another. During the more intense months, I pray for it to be over quickly and at times have felt as if I am holding on to Him for dear life. I have a neurologist for the seizures, which are now under control with medicine. After two years of being seizure free, my doctor can begin lowering the dosage until I am completely off of it. My psychiatrist is to help take the edge off of the PMDD. Through it all, I have the most renowned doctor in the world by my side overseeing things . . . my sweet and precious God.
I am learning there are things I can do to help relieve the symptoms of PMDD such as hormone therapy, taking nutritional supplements, antidepressants, exercise, drinking less caffeine. My hardest to follow through on is eating less chocolate, cheese, and carbohydrates. Yes, it is true . . . sometimes chocolate is a girl’s best friend.
I have learned that with any disorder—not only in my life, but with others as well—there is hope because God has the power to take any disorder and create order out of a total mess, He can create beauty. And because I have learned the character of God and who He says He is, I have absolute faith that He will provide the avenues for my healing even if that means He balances all my hormones through early menopause. A miracle in itself! I do not put anything past God . . . He can do all things! Being in the process of healing does not mean failure because obtaining victory is a continuous motion of moving forward.
We are a work in progress . . . always under construction. With God, seven months of intense counseling has helped transform my life. I have learned to put God first in all I do . . . and to depend on Him for all I need. I am blessed to have a very loving husband who has been supportive, understanding, and patient with me along my journey of Embracing Victory Over the Storm of Depression.