Joy’s Story

Hola friends!

My name is Joy Skarka. For more about me, click About Me, but this page includes the most important part of my life, how Jesus redeemed my brokenness. My story is a story of failure. I tried to gain fulfillment on my own, and every time I was left searching. Once I realized that my story was not about me, but was about Jesus, only then did I find satisfaction.

Jesus gets all the credit. Jesus has to be center stage, not me, but it took many failures to realize that.

In high school I began a search for fulfillment. I was a happy person, and I had great friends and parents who loved me, but I just felt like there had to be something more. I turned to guys and friends seeking love and approval, but nothing was enough.

I was told religion would satisfy me, so I went to church and tried to be a good person. I thought being a good person would get me into heaven, but really, what is good enough? I tried to be a good person, and failed miserably.

I was doing it all wrong. Nothing satisfied me.

Yet, Jesus kept pursuing me.

I entered college still looking for fulfillment. I searched, but I never found it. I again turned to guys, but this time was sexually abused. My heart broke. I was depressed and filled with shame, but Jesus saw the situation differently. Jesus kept pursing me.

Jesus never gave up on me. He used my broken heart to turn me to him, so he could repair it.

God brought me to a point of utter dependency. I was a freshman in college, in a different state, without close friends, and Jesus used all of this to get me to reach out to him. My whole life I went to church, but I lacked the heart of Christianity, a personal relationship with Jesus. I was not living a fulfilled and satisfied life because I was looking for love in all the wrong places.

Friends, do you see how crazy this is? I went to church, but I did not know Jesus! I did not know that his love would be the only love that could satisfy me! I had never before experienced the life change that he provides.

I began to finally understand that only through a personal relationship with Jesus could I find complete fulfillment. After realizing this, I learned that God truly loves me, even with my brokenness, and has a wonderful plan for my life. I learned that I was broken and searching, but God was perfect and holy. I learned that I can know 100% that I will spend eternity with my savior, and it had nothing to do with being good enough!

God desired to be with me, but in between us stood a wall of all my sins, my past, and my failures. Since God wanted so badly for us to be together in a relationship, he sent his son Jesus to die for my sins, so that I could know God.

Before college I knew about God, and I believed in Jesus, but not until college did I make the individual choice to make Jesus the king of my life. Before, everything was about me. I was the king of my life, but now Jesus is king. I no longer only give God my Sunday mornings, I give him my whole life.

Today, I still fail. I still make myself king. I put myself on the throne every time I do what I want instead of what God wants. Thank goodness for grace and forgiveness! I am learning that relationships are not one time decisions, but are lifelong journeys. I am on a journey to try and make Jesus the main character, and that everything I do would be about him.

I believe that Jesus will use me and my story to help women. I invite you to join me on this journey. Check out my posts. Invite other women to join us on this journey.

Experience Jesus. Experience His joy. Experience His freedom.

My name is Joy Skarka and I’m eternally grateful for Jesus Christ.



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21 Comments on Joy’s Story

  1. amygking
    May 15, 2014 at 11:19 am (8 years ago)

    Joy, thank you for visiting my little space on the web! A little slow moving these days, but still my heart and soul. God is doing some great things in your life! Love your reference to Proverbs 31 Ministries. They are special to my heart as well. May God bless you as you make Him Known!

    • Joy Skarka
      May 15, 2014 at 1:26 pm (8 years ago)

      Don’t get discouraged Amy! Keep up the blog, because you have a gift for writing. Thank you for also checking out my page, and my story. I would love to one day do ministry with Proverbs 31 Ministries! Thank you for the blessing!

  2. MandyPMandyP
    May 28, 2014 at 4:08 am (8 years ago)

    Hi, Joy!

    So I am sitting here a little blown away by how God works. I got a notification that you replied to my comment on Pinterest, which was on a pin called “Share your story; 3 radical ways to Jesus will bless your obediance.” I’m not sure if you were replying to ME or if you were commenting to the original poster, but here I am, reading your blog and smiling while I shake my head. Not only are you from Monroeville, a mere 30 minutes from where I live now, but I just opened registration for a conference I’m planning called “What’s Your Story?” Women’s Conference 2014. It’s based on 2 Cor 1:3-4 and the theme song is Matthew West’s song “Story of Your Life”. You can see how I am chuckling at God? 🙂 I’m wondering if you will be home in October and able to attend? If you’d like more info, check out our Facebook page:

    It was great “meeting” you and I pray you will continue on in your ministry!


    • Joy Skarka
      May 28, 2014 at 4:19 am (8 years ago)

      Mandy, I am so glad I found you on Pinterest! God is so cool! Your conference sounds amazing and perfect for me! I love that song and Matthew West. I actually saw him in concert last year! Sadly, I will be back in Tampa to finish my senior year of college. If I would have been in Monroeville, I would have for sure come! But I look forward to continuing to read your blog and keeping up with your updates! Thank you for praying for my ministry! I hope to stay in touch. -Joy <3

  3. Jacqueline F. Holmes
    May 30, 2014 at 3:46 pm (8 years ago)

    Joy, Thank you so much for following my blog. You continue to radiate the Love of Christ to all. Many blessings to you and your ministry.

  4. Husna
    July 26, 2015 at 2:21 pm (7 years ago)

    Wow Joy…a very inspiring story. It really hits home where you talk about belief in Christ as compared to a personal relationship with the King of Kings. I used to be there for a very long time. Always attending mass, being a good person and doing all of the ‘Christian’ things to do. I still felt a deep void. An un-explainable feeling. However, only when i completely turned my life around did i feel relief. I’m a new born again and i feel refreshed for sure. For sure, building a relationship isn’t easy at times. But i’m ready for all the trials that may come around. For i trust that He is always there.
    Thank you Joy for always inspiring me and many others. God bless you.

    • joypedrow
      July 27, 2015 at 8:17 am (7 years ago)

      Thank you for your comment Husna – I’m so glad you found my blog. I’m so glad God opened your heart and allowed you to find him to fill that void. I know how scary and sad that void is and what a difference life is when Jesus is in the center. I’m glad to have you be a part of this community.

  5. Mayra Villarruel
    August 29, 2015 at 11:49 pm (7 years ago)

    This is the best thing I have read!! Thank you for sharing!!

    • joypedrow
      August 31, 2015 at 5:09 pm (7 years ago)

      Thank you Mayra! I’m glad God led you to the blog =]

  6. Sharlene
    March 9, 2016 at 9:26 pm (6 years ago)

    I don’t know how I stumbled onto your page but I was looking for fun activities for my club members to get to know each other. Somehow it got me here and I’m so glad it did, it seem to nudge me here at the time I really needed to be. I am a sophomore in college and reading your story made me sure that I am not alone in my faith and walk with God. Thank you for sharing your story, you are right that we are not perfect and still do fail with putting God first in everything. Our relationship with God is definitely a lifelong journey!


    • joypedrow
      March 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm (6 years ago)

      Hi Sharlene!
      Glad you found the blog! Have you been able to read some of the college blog posts? There are some helpful tips for how to follow Jesus in college. We are glad to have you in the community!

  7. Jackie Sue Fowler
    March 21, 2016 at 7:56 am (6 years ago)

    Hi Joy!

    So I just read your story and this past year I have felt like God wants me to put together a book of people’s testimonies. I’ve received about 3 or 4 testimonies now but am trying to keep asking until I get enough for a book. I am telling people that it can be long or short, broad or detailed. They can be labeled as their real name, a fake name, or anonymous. However they send it to me is how it would be in the book. I want to make this book because I want to share with others testimonies that may be similar to theirs and that they are not alone and anyone can be saved. So, I was wondering if you’d like to have your testimony in my future book? Or if you know someone that would?
    Thanks so much!

    • joypedrow
      March 22, 2016 at 12:20 pm (6 years ago)

      Hi Jackie!
      Sure, you can use my story. You can use my name and list my blog so readers who relate with my story can find me here. =]

  8. J M Campos
    March 11, 2017 at 11:40 am (5 years ago)

    Hey Joy, I found your blog through Sam from recklessly alive. Thank you for sharing your story and your ministry. I am well past college age but I remember the turmoil of those years and it was during that period that I abandoned my faith. I wish there had been women like you around for me then. Never the less the good Lord never gave up on me and I am now totally His. ? I find your honesty so brave and encouraging you will help so many young women (and some of us older ones too). Keeping you and your ministry in prayer!

    • joypedrow
      March 14, 2017 at 10:37 am (5 years ago)

      Thank you for that sweet comment. When I was first saved in college, I had a hard time finding resources about sexual abuse and addiction. That is part of why I started this blog: to write about the things people are afraid to talk about. I’m so glad God didn’t give up on the both of us. And now, you can use your story to minister to other women!


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