About Christina: Hmmm... I like wine A LOT. No but seriously, I am a mom of two; Peyton is 3 and Teagan is 21 months. In my "spare time" I really enjoy cooking and trying out new, fun recipes. One of my favorite things to do is hang out with girlfriends eating and laughing in the kitchen.
A Beautiful Mess, what a perfect theme for moms. Our lives are one big mess at times! Our clothes, our house, our past, and our kids. But what makes those things beautiful? The way we rock our yoga pants and messy buns, the fact that our kids won't always be small hurricanes in the house, how a messy past can be a beautiful story to someone else or the fact that when the kids actually get along they laugh and love one another so much? There are so many different pieces to who I am but I think as women we can all relate to what I'm going to share with you. Worry, anxiety, and acceptance. These three things have eaten me alive everyday of my life for as long as I could remember. Picture into my childhood- parents divorced when I was 9, my mom worked two jobs, I didn't talk to my dad for two years and "big sister" turned into "little mom" when I was young with a one year old sister and six year old sister. On top of all of that I didn't have a faith to turn to. I only got glimpses of Jesus when my grandparents came to visit or when we would spend the summer with them. Through middle school and high school I was labeled a mean girl. I hung out with the in-crowd, hurt a lot of people’s feelings and built walls around my heart so no one knew the real me; my feelings, my hurt, and my struggles. Worry, anxiety, and acceptance were my demons growing up but were mirrored to the public as snottiness, intimidation and the perception of a perfect life. Back then I had anxiety and worried I would never know my dad, I worried if I didn't make certain choices with friends and my boyfriend that I wouldn't be accepted by them anymore. I thought being accepted by the cool kids would fill a void that I wasn't getting at home.
Fast forward to college where I was coming out of an emotionally abusive relationship of 6 years, partying all the time with once again "friends" who didn't know the real me. I made everything look like it was perfect in my life when inside I was a bundle of nerves and just wanted to be loved for the real me, waiting for someone to peel back the layers. I laid in bed one night looking at the ceiling thinking to myself "There has to be more to life than this" My junior year I found that answer in my management class. His name was Scott- he was charming, respectful, funny super handsome and there was something different about him. He loved The Lord and so started my journey into knowing Jesus more. Through Scott's love and wealth of knowledge of the Bible and Jesus my love for Jesus grew like wildfire and all I wanted to do was learn more about Him. Scott showed me that love and acceptance can really only be obtained through knowing Jesus and relying on His strength in times of need. My eyes opened to what real, true friendships looked like. I had to be vulnerable, I had to share my life with people, I had to stop judging and be the real me. I said goodbye to the old ways and asked God into my heart and to lead my life going forward. I stand here today not perfect by any means- I struggle daily with worry, anxiety and acceptance. I worry as a mom about how I'm raising my children, how I'm leading this group, what's for dinner that night; I have anxiety when Scott is out on the roads training wondering if I'll get a call from the hospital or police, I have anxiety about being on time and needing to vacuum my floors; and I long to be accepted by others for who I am right in the moment. There are plenty of times where I just feel alone or unrelatable. But to combat these demons of mine I have Jesus to turn to now and it’s not a hindrance to me as it once was. Through His words and reading devotionals and praying I can combat the demons that creep to the surface at times when that mean girl with high walls wants to come out again.
These are just a few scriptures that speak to me and comfort me in my bottomless pit of worry and anxiety at times
Worry- Psalm 37:23-24: The Lord makes firm the steps of the one who delights in Him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the Lord upholds him with His hand.
Matthew 6:34- Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of it’s own.
Anxiety- Romans 12:12- rejoice in hope, be patient in affliction and persistent in prayer. Psalm 94:19- when anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy
Acceptance- Romans 15:7- Accept one another just as Christ accepted you.
I love The Lord with all of my heart, I trust Him with where my life is going although I don’t always agree on the way. His plan is always better than mine! Did I ever think I would be standing up here one day sharing bits of my story and heart? Absolutely not but God did and He knows that my struggles will speak volumes to someone else out there. If you feel an emptiness inside and wonder why, each of us has a spot in our heart that only God can fill and I am more than happy to pray for you and to share the love of Jesus with you. I promise if you accept His love you'll never look back. It’s a comfort to me to have Him by my side in this crazy messy time of life! Thanks for listening.
Over the course of the next year we look forward to bringing you posts from members of our steering team, our mentor moms, MOPS Volunteer Staff and the MACC pastoral staff!