Many women have faced the terrible trauma of sexual abuse and rape. How can a woman heal and recover from such deep pain? In this episode, I share my personal story of sexual brokenness and how the grace of God intersected with my pain to bring lasting healing and freedom. Wherever you are in your journey, may my story bring you hope and courage.
Archive of ‘The Journey’ category
Will God use my story in a powerful way?
Do you believe that your story is powerful?
Maybe you were saved at a young age and you fear your story isn’t as powerful as others. Or maybe just like me, you struggle believing that God could use your broken past for his good. I want to share with you that no matter your story, it’s powerful.
My story began in college when Christ softened my heart through a horrible experience. God had been pursuing me all my life, but it wasn’t until college that I finally realized my need for a Savior.
During my freshman year of college, on day three, I was date raped. I became depressed, I lived in shame, and I hated my life. But God pursued me. God used rape to bring me to my knees and allow me to see my need for a Savior. That year I was beginning to experience a love that I had never felt. My freshman year of college I became a follower of Christ, but it would take years for me to start sharing my story with other women.
At the end of this post, I will share with you one example of how God used my story in a powerful way. For now, I want to dive into a passage that talks about how our stories are powerful. (more…)
This Father’s Day, Get to Know Your Heavenly Father
Our view and relationship with our earthly dad is reflected in our view and relationship with our heavenly Dad. For this reason, I believe it is incredibly important to turn to scripture and learn about our heavenly Father this Father’s Day. If you don’t have a great relationship with your earthly dad, I pray that today you would spend extra time getting to known your heavenly Dad. One way to do this is to begin understanding the names of God, which will help us understand His character. (more…)
10 Ways to Keep Your Relationship with Jesus Fresh
Do you feel far from God? Like any relationship, our relationship with God requires work. In order to feel close to God, we have to know God. In order to know God, we must spend time with him. (Would you like to know God personally?)
Think about a car. Eventually, a car runs out of gas and needs to be refueled. Our spiritual lives are just like cars. If we don’t refuel our hearts, we will be empty tanks unable to function.
Get real with yourself. How are you and God doing?
Trusting God During Transitions
This summer, I packed up all my stuff in my Subaru Forester and traveled half way across the country from Tampa, Florida to Dallas, Texas. I left what I knew for the unknown. I left a community that truly loved and encouraged me every single day. The decision I was making did not make sense. Why would I leave my college community and church family to go to a city where I knew not one soul? (more…)
4 Tips for When You Fear the Future
Q: “What should I do when my world is falling apart? What should I do when I’m scared of the future? So many things are happening in my life and I don’t know how to comprehend it all.” – Anonymous reader.
A: Dear reader, I want you to know – you are not alone. I’ve been there. I’ve reached points where my world was falling apart. (Read my story.) I feared the future because I could not control my current situations or what would happen. If this is how you feel, you have reached a scary moment. I promise you, something beautiful is about to happen. A beautiful gift happens when you allow God to have control of your life. (Click to Tweet.) My freshman year of college, I was depressed and believed absolutely nothing could heal my broken heart. That was the moment I gave God control. In the pain, brokenness, uncertainties and lack of control, God worked miracles and brought healing to my life. He can bring healing to you too. (more…)
Q&A with Joy Skarka
If you are new to JP Ministries, let me introduce myself. My name is Joy and I am a 22 year old, curly haired brunette who is madly in love with Jesus. Today I’ll be answering a few questions about my journey of believing the gospel, surrendering my life to Jesus and living for God. If you have any additional questions for me – leave them in the comment section below! xoxo Joy (more…)
How to Know God and Have a Personal Relationship with Him
The concept of knowing God can feel so abstract that it seems impossible to ever understand. Growing up, I went to church every week, but I had no idea that God wanted to know me. I had no idea that God wanted a personal relationship with me. I was missing out on the heart of Christianity. And because I was missing out on knowing God, I turned to other people and things to fill my emptiness. I was told religion would satisfy me, so I tried to be perfect. I thought being a Christian was about going to church and being a morally good person. As long as I was acting morally better than other people, I believed my Christian life was on track.
Lies. I believed so many lies because I never had the truth fully explained. Growing up not fully understanding the Gospel caused many problems in my heart.
As I strived for perfection, I failed over and over again. This view of “Christianity” was all wrong. Sadly, I think a lot of people have this view – that they have to be perfect and “good” people. Personally, I hate the phrase “good” Christian girl. (Read why). We are not good. I had to come to that realization in order to surrender my life to Jesus. (To read my full story, click here).
Lacking the truth – I had no idea that being a Christian was about realizing how broken and sinful we are, so that we realize how desperately we need Jesus. God had to break me in order for me to see my sinfulness. He had to bring me to my end, show me that I will never be satisfied in this world, and break my heart – for me to turn to him. As painful as those moments were, I can now say they were worth everything, because now I know and believe that Jesus is the only answer. A guy will not complete me. A perfect body will not give me hope. And a friend’s approval will not make me feel good enough.
Only through Jesus and the Cross will we ever find completion, lasting hope, never ending satisfaction, and eternal life. (more…)
Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Daughter’s Day!
To mothers and non-mothers alike, enjoy this beautiful YouTube video created by my church Aletheia Tampa. I hope you have a wonderful grace filled day. A special thank you to my mom, for loving me so well and always being my number one fan. I’m so glad God decided you would be my Mom. Additional thank yous to all my spiritual moms, for always pointing me to Christ and encouraging me in my walk with God.
As the video states – You are loved. You are valued. You are forgiven. I could not have said anything in a more perfect way. I hope you enjoy the video and share it with all the mothers and non-mothers in your life.
Happy Mother’s Day, Happy Daughter’s Day! Love, Joy
Special thanks to:
Amy Young | http://www.messymiddle.com
Elyse Fitzpatrick | http://www.elysefitzpatrick.com
Can I have non-Christian friends in college?
Yes! Yes, you can. Christians ask, “How can I socialize with people that have different beliefs than me and not be lead astray from God?”
People tell you to be careful not to let non-Christians influence you negatively and say, “Don’t be “un-equally yoked” with a friend.” This can be good advice in some situations, but it can also stop us from loving and befriending others. I have many friends that I love who aren’t walking with God. That doesn’t stop me from loving them or being friends with them.
If we don’t befriend non-Christians, how will they hear about Jesus?
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