Blog


22Mar

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 a very popular children's book called "In the Butterfly Kingdom There Is Love". 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.


“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 uncovered 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, hat 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—He wants 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 a synopsis of “In the Butterfly Kingdom There Is Love" on YouTube.



Consumers can purchase “In the Butterfly Kingdom There Is Love” at traditional book and mortar bookstores or online at Amazon.com, Apple iTunes Store, Barnes and Noble, or Kobo.


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15Mar

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. 


Click on link or book cover to purchase Felicia's book.


 


 


 


 


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10Mar

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)


Abby's story was written in a book by her mother, Felicia.--Please click the link or the book cover to purchase.







 








 




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03Mar

Tonijean Kulpinski, struggled for many years with many health issues including kidney cancer, but a visit to a health store one day changed her life forever!


"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)

Tonijean Kulpinski, CBHC, BCHP, AADP, is a Certified Biblical Health Coach, Board-Certified Holistic Drugless Practitioner,  Owner of Heaven on Earth Healing Center, Inc., and the Author of the Best-Selling Book: Stop Battling Disease & Start Building Wellness: Your Guide to Extraordinary Health.

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.


Tonijean Kulpinski, CBHC, BCHP, AADP, is a Certified Biblical Health Coach and a Board-Certified Holistic Drugless Practitioner, and owner of Heaven On Earth Healing Center, Inc.


In May of 2017, Leon Smith Publishing released Tonijean's, first book, which became an immediate best seller Stop Battling Disease & Start Building Wellness: Your Guide to Extraordinary Health. The book can be purchased on Amazon. 



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22Feb

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 dad)** 

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 Heaven.”


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 bonojoe@gmail.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. Amen.


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. 

Step #3:  Pray (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 Hebrews 4:16).

Step #4:  Tell others about your decision. Share how God has shown you the way to get to Heaven (see Matthew 10:32-33).


God bless you! 


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12Feb

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) ~Rusty S. Frye Janesville, Wisconsin

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)


When I was a young boy, my father and mother were missionaries moving back and forth from Mexico, to Wisconsin. Witnessing the power of God move through my father was an eye-opener for me! God called my family back to Wisconsin, so my dad could start a church. Seeing the Holy Spirit moving through the church was exciting! But, for me—I wanted more in a physical sense, because everything that I was taught for some reason wasn’t clicking. It felt as though that my relationship with Jesus was for my dad and church family. When you don’t have a deep personal relationship with God that’s genuine, it’s hard to show anyone that it’s Jesus shining in and through you! That’s not what the love of God is about! So, when I was in high school, I ran into people who smoked pot. I never knew that side of the fence and it pulled me in quick.

I started smoking pot, drinking alcohol, and hanging around with the wrong crowd. The attention that I was getting was enough for me to go deeper. The deeper I went, the more I pushed everyone that I cared for away. After a little while, I started selling drugs and would drive down to Rockford, IL, every other day to pick up. Meeting new people made me feel like I was one of the most popular kids around. I was making money, drove nice cars, had all the women I wanted—I was digging my own grave! Things continued to spiral downhill as I started getting into trouble with the law. Along the way, I started doing heavier drugs which lead me into wanting to make more money—I went from selling drugs to supporting my habit. Man, even thinking about it makes my skin crawl! 

When you live in the “drug world” you don’t think for yourself anymore—the drugs think for you! I was in and out of jail, lost friends and family, and I began to grow bitter seeing everyone walk out of my life. It’s crazy how fast you can drown yourself in this world. 

After the things I was going through, my heart grew cold, and I put walls up so nobody could hurt me anymore. That’s a very scary thing when your heart becomes cold! I began to meet gang bangers that taught me how to pimp girls in the strip clubs—Taking girls and turning them into something they were never meant to be. Because I didn’t care about anything—I dated girls that were toxic for me and I to them. I then, started to do heroin, putting needles in my arm. That is something I don’t wish upon anyone! Do you want to know what darkness looks like? Look into the eyes of someone struggling with heroin! I found myself on the doctor’s bed nine times, and nine times, I almost lost my life! My life became like a roller coaster—up and down and then, straight into the trap of the devil!! 

Knowing the truth and knowing that I lost total sight of what I was raised to be, I found myself alone, broken, depressed, angry, and lost. Everything that started out fun was a delusion and over and over again, I almost lost my life. My probation officer put me in a program called “Recap” back in 2011. That’s where I started coming back to my senses. I believe God has you meet people for a reason. He gave me a bible and told me to seek God for seven days with my whole heart. So, I did and God pursued me as I drew close to Him. Everything that was taken away from me started coming back to me slowly, but surely. 

I was released in 2013, and no matter what happens I would not let go of God’s promise for me! Soon after being released—I started going back to church, I met a beautiful soul and lead her to the Lord, and was blessed with a job. God’s love for us is deeper than we could ever think! God kept on calling me to go even deeper in my relationship with Him. Yes, going to church is a good thing, but if we are just going to church and not learning to become all we can be in Him, we lose all focus on why we go. He is looking for a humble-hearted people, so He can use His children to reach the lost! A relationship between you and God is extremely important—He desires to be more than a friend to you—He wants to become your Father. God’s love for you is never-ending, and if we could grab a hold of truth, this world would be a lot more peaceful! 

No matter what your downfalls are—God turns around our mistakes and trials for our own good. 

Anything is possible with God! All glory to Him!!



 


 


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08Feb

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.


(Click link) Dawn-Marie's TV Interview with Lisa Buldo


Dawn-Marie's Testimony on Channel WBPH TV 60 (Pastor Larry Burd)  


Dawn-Marie's Testimony with Lisa Buldo (Victorious Life TV)



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