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I’ve learned that I really enjoy getting to know a person’s story, to kind of step into another person’s life and get a glimpse for what it’s like to walk in their shoes. We’re really good at giving people a glance over of our lives, the highlights, the good stuff, but the real us beneath the surface, the real story, the hurts, brokenness and fears, we’re skilled in leaving that stuff out. So, I’m grateful by the complete rawness and truth of the people we’ve been featuring in Angelic as they share the stories of their lives with us and with you. I’m honored that they trust Angelic Magazine and our platform to share the dark and painful stuff they’ve gone through as they disclose the vulnerable aspects of their real self with the world. I’ve grown to appreciate the complexity and individuality of everyone’s journeys with Jesus.

My self-discovery as the editor of the magazine has been the realization that we’re all broken in one way or another but the glue that keeps us from falling a part is Jesus. Life has a funny way of trying to chip away at us but Jesus has a greater way of restoring us. This month is Fourth of July and I’m thankful to be an American. I have the freedom to express my faith in Jesus openly, create a magazine where the tagline is Jesus. Music. Fashion. and as a collection of people choosing to believe, we have the ability to share Christ in our own creative way without fear of being punished for it. This issue is for the men and women, past and present who defend our freedom to believe.

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Iand wasreal sothatyoung, and yet to this day I can recall how raw time was for me: it took me three months to

leave that hope untouched by worry, trusting that Jesus will refine me as the time passes. battle my heart for salvation. I wanted to do the right thing With this theme of refinement in mind and this photo and repent so very much, but as anyone who has been truly assignment to plan, I set out to pull together clothing pieces saved can attest to, it is the greatest struggle to die to oneself that modeled a transition from darkness to cleanliness and and live for Christ. grace, a process that defines the Christian walk. It was a moment of complete spiritual exhaustion as I was Courtney’s (my model) transition from dark, somber pieces cleaning out my closet in my room that brought me to my to a light and airy gown speaks of freedom from sin and knees. I repented honestly and sincerely for the first time, escape to forgiveness. and the wave of peace that washed over me is fresh in my For location, we first chose a confining space to hint at the memory to this day. bondage that sin brings to our lives; the ribcage-like tunnel It was more than a feeling; it was actual life flowing into encloses her and shuts out light. She then moves on to an me for the first time. I was, and am, no longer dead to God, open field, wearing a very light Christian Dior bodice that but alive in Him. portrays gracefulness, with a softly billowing skirt. Photography is the merging of two great loves for me: As I look at these images now, I of course saw beautiful people and art. As a kid growing up, my parents inserted me fabrics and a lovely face. But as I look even closer at the into all sorts of social circles that opened my eyes to the meaning behind it all I begin to see my own walk with Jesus complexity of the human personality, and ever since I have in this shoot. been busy asking people who they are, what they do and There are the dark days before I became a Christian, why they live life the way that they do. marked with depression and doubt. But now, I am filled I have yet to meet a single boring person. When I picked with joy and free from the sin that used to hold me down. up a cheap point-and-shoot camera as a teenager, I found the I still have low times, and moments when I ask God how perfect way to celebrate faces and light. It was like coming He can still love me, but I know that I am free. I am no home for me, so I adopted it as part of my study of the longer a slave to sin, but free to live as God intended. And people around me. when I do fail, He is quick to remind me that I am still As I grow into my adulthood as a woman, I also have loved and still made clean. found myself gravitate towards themes such as grace, I am being refined with each falter. We are being made new. femininity, and soft lines. One thing I have learned as a designer and photographer: chase after what your heart I am thankful for the years that I have been given to reaches toward. It will often be your strength as an artist, so cultivate my skill as a photographer, and I look forward to why not perfect your eye for it? many more years with my camera in hand. I hope that my The more I have chased after these things, the better I can work will point to a greater work that God has done for all see God’s design in them! I see His graceful, artistic hand in through His Son. the way He has shaped the human face; His desire for There is release from darkness and the dullness of life complexity in the many personalities that I meet as I through Jesus’ blood, and new life to be had. I sure am one photograph; and I see His humor in always surprising me; grateful recipient of that gift. just when I think I’ve mastered an understanding of people, I am humbled to come face to face with a new person who is unique in their own God-given way. In this, my work as portrait photographer is rewarding. It is my way of understanding the world and my Creator. It is my hope that my subjects see the Holy Spirit shining through my flawed and sometimes weary face, and I will leave that hope untouched by worry, trusting that Jesus will refine me as the time passes.



By Savannah Corcoran

he other day I was thinking about my “calling in life.” I started to instantly become anxious and worried and I realized that fear is something I have always struggled with especially when I think about my future. I know that there isn’t any benefit in worrying about the future because either way I will be okay because God’s purpose for my life will play out according to his plan. What if we stopped choos­ing the safe route in life just because we are afraid of taking a risk? What if we did take a risk and then succeeded? I think sometimes we are too consumed with the fear of failure and so often we don’t even try because then we don’t have to worry about failing. I understand that playing it safe is comforta­ble and easy but God doesn’t call us to an easy life. He calls us to something much different. He calls us into situations that may be really uncomfortable and scary but in those times God has never left me or let me down. I have realized the times that I have grown the most in my life is when I have to fully rely on the Lord to guide my feet to take the next step. I get this image of God walking next to me in the dark of night and he is holding a flash light out in front of us just enough to take the next step but not enough to see too far ahead to know what’s coming, but I have to trust Him leading me. I don’t think being a Christian is easy, it is actually really hard, but its worth it. It gives me comfort in knowing that no matter if I fail God’s love is never ending and He won’t give up on me. I wonder how my life would look differently if I stopped making decisions out of fear and started making them through God’s guidance. I want to believe that I obey God and listen to what He wants for my life but I’ll be honest that most of the time I just do what I want to do to make me happy.

I’ve started to learn that I can’t be full of joy unless I include Jesus in my big life choices. What if we actually started living life like Jesus did by not making decisions unless it fell into God’s purpose for our life? If I never try to reach my wildest dreams than I’ll never know. I would rather fail at trying something I really love than failing at something that I did just because it seemed like a practical deci­sion. So many of us make decisions that we think are practical but we really are making those decisions out of fear. I am completely in awe of people who have careers that they are absolutely in love with and that they bless others around them because of their joy. I fully believe that in all different careers that we can show Jesus to others by leading by example and being a genuine person who cares. I want to be a person like that who is so in love with my work that I can shine Jesus through what I do in every aspect. We can spend our whole lives worrying about the future but the only thing that matters is the choices we make in this moment. Sometimes the hardest part is just believing in ourselves that we can succeed if we just risk it. Jesus is our number one fan cheering us on to be bold to reach our passions and dreams. Well I say start believing because it isn't worth spending your life wasted away doing something you hate when you could be living your life doing something you love. Jesus rejoices with us and wants us to use the gifts He has given us to better this world in giving glory to His Kingdom.

WHY DO YOU FEEL CREATIVE ARTS ARE IMPORTANT IN REPRESENTING JESUS? The first thing God did was create. He created the earth, landscape, animals, and us- He was being an artist. Because we are created in His image I believe He has given us all artistic abilities. It is our job to express His glory in the earth through the artistic talents He has given us. The creative arts is just one way to do this! WHAT IS YOUR VISION FOR SEEING LAS VEGAS


The church that I lead at, along with many other churches in the valley, long to bring the church onto the strip and into hotels. Through building relationships with the entertainment industry of Las Vegas and through the favor of God, I believe the creative arts of the church could become the "entertainment" attraction that bring tourists to Vegas. That is why I think it is okay for believers to work, without compromise of course, in the entertainment industry of Las Vegas, in order to bridge the gap. Because of prayer warriors we are beginning to see more and more worship gatherings, prayer meetings, and church conferences hosted in the center of Sin City, at hotels and casinos. Exciting! WHY DO YOU PERSONALLY CHOOSE JESUS? I personally choose Jesus because His love is better than life! The moment I began to encounter Jesus' love for me I knew I had found the one thing my heart and soul had always longed and thirsted for. He is always near and will forever be my lover, best friend, and comforter. 10

IF YOU COULD ASK JESUS ONE QUESTION AND HE HAD TO ANSWER IT, WHAT QUESTION WOULD YOU ASK AND WHY? I would ask Jesus, "How do you choose who is born with a physical ailment/handicap and who is not?". When I go throughout my day I see people with ailments that they were probably born with. When I see this I ask Jesus, "Why them and not me?". My heart breaks and I want to heal their ailment through the power and authority of Jesus. I wish I had the courage to do so. This question still bewilders me, but I remember that God is sovereign, faithful, and good. WHAT CREATIVE ART ARE YOU MOST PASSIONATE ABOUT AND HOW HAS IT IMPACTED YOUR WALK WITH GOD?

Although I was a dancer long before I was a singer and pianist, I would say worshipping God with my voice has impacted my life the most. I have found refuge at the piano, singing out to God with just Him and I.


Aubrey Peterson went on a mission-trip to Indonesia last month and what she discovered was more than a new land, but her way back home to Jesus.


s a young girl I grew up with a very simple faith and was blessed with a family who showed me Christ daily. My life and faith seemed fairly easy until my junior year of high school when I found out we were moving from Arizona. My dad knew God was asking him to leave the church he had pastored for 18 years. After a few short months we were in Missouri and for the first time in my walk with Jesus I felt so abandoned. I found myself spending more nights alone in prayer on my bed than ever before, making every attempt to keep my heart soft towards Jesus despite the pain I felt from Him. When I look back at those two years in Missouri I realize how pivotal it was in my walk with Jesus. I had always had an "easy" faith it felt, never questioning God much. For the first time it was just Jesus and me. I wanted to be angry and wanted to question why God would allow such pain into our family and home church. However, for the first time in my life I learned that God brings us through valleys not to leave us alone, but to meet us there. And that's exactly what he did with me. In Missouri I began to trust Jesus deeper than ever before and I became content with loneliness in order to be pushed closer to the Lord. Looking back, those few years in Missouri have become a sweet memory rather than one filled with tears. Now, four years later I've found myself in Indonesia for a month and in yet another "valley" of my faith. This last year I lost a lot of my foundation of who Christ was to me. The simplicity of my faith began to fall through the cracks and I had become more confused

about God's character and who He had made me to be than ever before. But as I had learned before, God uses the valleys to draw us nearer. My fear of being ineffective to the people of Indonesia began to dissipate as I saw God move despite the place my heart was in. Over the last four weeks I saw God's love in a way I've never seen before. I saw it in the babies I held in the orphanage, the people who had church underneath a bridge, and in the eyes of those He healed right in front of me. Day by day God began to heal my heart and remind me of who He is. He is a God who never leaves us alone and who makes every part of our lives beautiful, good and bad. One of the sweetest things he reminded me of on this trip was where He truly laid the foundation of my friendship with Him. In Missouri. The exact place I thought had been my biggest valley ended up being the foundation for the next time I grew questions in my faith. Through this month in Indonesia I found my home in Jesus again and saw the purpose of the valley I had gone through just a few years before. I always think of my story with Jesus as pretty simple, but when I focus on the bigger picture of the Journey I’m amazed at the detailed story He has for each of us as we trust and walk with Him. He brings us into valleys just to bring us back to a place where we see his faithfulness and grace more than ever before. I am so thankful for my trip to Indonesia. It brought me back to seeing God's simplicity in his love for us and I found my home again in Him because of it.


By Sara Sloan

ver the years I have been told by various people that I am rare. While this is respectable according to God’s word, it is not always expressed to me as a positive thing by those who see me as a goody two-shoes simply because I do not live like everyone else and desire to live for God. Everywhere we turn, we hear or perceive messages about what society believes it means to be a successful woman or man. I believe it is important to understand the differences between the secular worldview and the Biblical worldview. Coming from a woman’s point of view who wants to follow God’s word, I have noticed that society tells us that Christian women striving to live for Christ are voiceless, boring, prudes. Instead, I believe women that follow God’s word can be the most powerful women in the world because they know Jesus Christ, are walking in His ways and in return can be used by Him in great ways. If Christian women strive to be a woman of valor as in Proverbs 31, this would mean they are women of strength and confidence who are hardworking, creative, resourceful and rare! Far from weak and far from what society thinks. In Proverbs 31:10 it says, "Her price is far above rubies." Why are precious stones like rubies so costly? Because they are so rare. This woman is not like everyone else: her moral strength and character and inner beauty make her like a rare gem that is very valuable.

The “Proverbs 31 Woman” is an example of what it looks like to live in steadfast commitment and devotion to the Lord. When we take a look at the Hebrew translation of Proverbs 31:10 the first two words translated as ‘a wife of noble character’ in Hebrew is, ‘eshet chayil’. Eshet is the Hebrew word meaning “woman”. Chayil is the Hebrew word typically meaning strength, especially moral strength. Many translate this phrase into English as ‘woman of valor.’ A woman of valor who can find? Several Christian women assume that the Proverbs 31 woman is in fact a great example of a godly woman but believe she is too perfect and unattainable to become like. The truth is, a godly woman isn’t perfect, rather she’s learning to open up and trust in her Savior and commit to Him. She is a product of a woman that places her trust, love and purpose in God and everything else she does shines because of it. She is rare, the real deal and not a fake. She is a diamond not a cubic zirconia. I am different from the world because I believe in the traditional Biblical roles of men and women, taking a stand for the truth in God’s word, and not living a double-life. To do this it takes knowing Christ, courage, boldness, determination and bravery. To be this way we must become like women of valor.

Why do you choose Jesus? Answering this question in a few sentences isn’t easy because there are so many reasons why I choose Jesus. For starters, He is the only constant thing in my life. He never fails to show up, provide, or comfort me, and- no matter how many times I fail- His love never ceases. Although I will never be able to comprehend His love, I know I am in need of it. I cannot live without Him because my soul would die. I would be empty. Why do you choose music? Music is so many things to me: my passion, an outlet, a means to feel something, and a way to connect with people. Music is powerful! I consider it a tool that I can use to connect with God. It is a gift he has given me and, in return, I worship him with it. When I worship, I give God permission to invade my space and change my circumstances. It is in these worshipful moments that I feel closest to him. To someone who doesn't know Jesus, what are they missing out on? LIFE! Jesus himself said, “I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.” (John 10:10) I mean, you can’t beat that! I have tried living a life without Jesus and all it did was leave me broken and empty. Coming to know Jesus is the best decision anyone can make and I guarantee that once you have experienced Jesus and the love that He has for you, you will never want to go back to a life without him.


If you could ask Jesus one question and He had to answer it, what question would you ask and why would you ask it? I would ask ”What do You want from me? What is my purpose here?” Even though those are two questions, I feel like they are one in the same. I believe that there is a purpose for everything and everyone. I believe that out of everything, Jesus can make it work for His good and for the good of those who love him. There is a bigger picture to life that we as Christians, and humans, tend to lose. Everything that we do will be accounted for on the day that we meet Jesus and I want to make sure that I fulfilled my purpose and did everything I could on Earth to make Jesus proud. What's your personal message to the world? Like most of Americans, I come from a broken family. There are many terrible events that took place in my life and if it wasn’t for Jesus, I would have turned out a hot mess! With every terrible and heart breaking event, I faced a crossroad. I was met with a choice to either forgive or to become over taken with unforgiveness and bitterness. My personal message to the world is: choose forgiveness. The reality of life is that crappy things are going to happen to you. You are going to fail and you will fail often. You will be hurt and let down more times than you can count but, you can be free from all of those things if you just choose to forgive. Forgive others and forgive yourself! It is one of the most freeing and wonderful things that the Lord has given us so we should- in return- give it to others.



WHY DO YOU CHOOSE JESUS? The Holy Spirit stirred in my heart and I responded. So do we choose God? Absolutely. We make a real choice to repent of our sins and choose to follow God. But, scripture is also clear that God chooses us before we choose him.

WHAT DOES PHOTOGRAPHY MEAN TO YOU? Photography is very life giving to me. It's my passion. Being able to capture something beautifuland then turn the camera around to show the subject their beauty is one of the most gratifying things.

WHAT DO ASPIRE TO ACHIEVE THROUGH PHOTOGRAPHY? I hope to always be mindful and thankful of any gifting I posses. I also think it's really important to bless people through that. I'm growing into a patience and an understanding that I don't always have to gain to succeed. Being a photographer doesn't mean elevating myself, it means glorifying God and others through my work.

HOW DOES MODESTY INFLUENCE YOU AS A WOMAN? It's always important to know yourself and your own style. When I think about modesty and fashion, I have to remember that God adores me not my adornments.

IF YOU COULD TELL THE WORLD ABOUT JESUS' LOVE, WHAT WOULD YOU say? He loves you. Not because of anything you have done. It is a crazy intense steadfast love that he died for. It's better than anything else you can find here.



remember being a young girl watching a group of teenagers tell their testimonies at my church one time. People coming out of sexual pasts, substance abuse and victims of self-destruction because of the saving love and grace of Jesus Christ. Hearing their stories was encouraging but also made me concerned that I didn’t have a testimony. I cried to my mom that I would never be able to move people because I’ve never been through anything. I was eight, being raised in a house of pastors, growing up extremely sheltered, living in a small Northern California town where the main attraction was a Taco Bell. Of course I haven’t been through anything. Not long after, my parents moved us to central Iowa, per the call of God. My dad was taking on a church that had some past wounds, making this a very time consuming job. I was starting middle school as an awkward, sheltered ‘Jesus Freak’. I was the poster child for stereotypical ‘homeschool kids’ even though I was never homeschooled. I invited everyone I saw to church and told my classmates they were going to go to hell because they didn’t know Jesus. Not the best way to get people to go to youth group or make friends. The more I ‘witnessed’ the more I got bullied. I begged my parents to let me transfer to the private school in my town, but they told me as a Christian, I was going to be bullied, just like the disciples and that one day, God would honor this time of my life. Instead of embracing this, I changed. I started to become more and more introverted. My classmates were exposing me to things I’ve never even heard of and the bullying became worse, and I started to believe the things they were telling me. I was fat. I was ugly. No one actually liked me. I should just die. At the beginning of my 8th grade year, I became suicidal. And from 8th grade until my senior year of high school, several times I tried to kill myself, harm myself, and avoided the feeling in my gut that I needed God.

I wanted nothing to do with my family or the help they were trying to provide me. I just wanted out. Time passed and before I knew it, it became time for me to apply for college. Instead of applying to a ton of schools, I just applied to the school my sister was at, North Central University in Minneapolis. It’s a private, Assembly of God college in the heart of downtown. I didn’t care about the school, I just liked the idea that it was away from home. I moved to the cities in August and made incredible friends right away. I felt like I could tell these friends anything, but not that I didn’t believe in God. Being the girl who doesn’t believe in God at a Christian school is uncomfortable. You feel like a black sheep everywhere you go. I would pretend to worship and pray in chapel and when I had to write papers for my Bible classes, I would just use spark notes to find the meaning in the scripture. One night, as all my friends and I sat in a hallway in Clay Commons (a super public area), we all started sharing our testimonies. It was crazy hearing what these people went through to seeing who they were now. They had so much passion in their stories, so much life because they found Jesus. I wanted so badly to relate, but I couldn’t. I was stuck on the idea that God was fake, a myth, and Christianity was nothing more than emotion. When it became my turn, there was a long awkward pause. I had two choices, either make something up or tell them that I didn’t believe in God. “Well, um…I. I don’t think I really believe in God. Like, I was raised in the church and I’ve seen it fail too many times. I’ve seen the negative side of it, and I just think it’s an emotional thing” is all I could say. My friends just stared, two of them cried.“Why, it doesn’t make sense, you’ve encountered God, right?” I’ve experienced God’s presence multiple times. I explained to them the self confidence issues, the depression, and even the suicidal war going on inside me. 19

They all wanted to pray with me, then and there, that I would experience a shift. However, I told them no. I didn’t want prayer, I just wanted to go to bed. I stood up, and walked away in tears from embarrassment. Little did I know, my friends prayed for me for weeks. They prayed for me to feel God again, to feel love, and for the chains of depression to fall off of me. They kept inviting me to all school prayer and to church, and eventually I started going. It was awkward at first, because nothing clicked, but one Wednesday night in October of 2012, something happened. I felt this rush in my spirit, like this longing to be connected to someone. It was like my heart was telling my mind to let go and give in to what was being prayed over me. I started to cry and fell to my knees, begging God to make me come alive, to feel joy and peace. This was the moment when I finally answered the door God was knocking on. From then on, life has been crazy. I was on such a ‘Jesus high’ after re-dedicating my life to Christ. I thought everything was perfect and that I was called to be in ministry and that I never wanted to leave North Central. And then, after a few months, I was freed from all depression and anxiety. Life was the best it has ever been for me.

In April, however, that ‘high’ came crashing down. I found out I no longer could afford to go to private, Christian college and that I was going to have to transfer to a community college in Iowa and live with my parents. This sounded terrible, because in this that little Iowa town is where I fell and was the furthest from God. Then, an opportunity happened. My parents introduced me to an idea to intern at a church in Las Vegas that a family friend pastored. I looked into the program and called the intern director with a million questions that I demanded be answered perfectly before I committed to moving my life across the country. After getting all the answers I wanted and praying and fasting, I knew that God was calling me to Vegas. So, I saved up all the money I could and move to Nevada in the fall of 2013. I started my internship in the fall and was hired on staff before Christmas. I was able to work as a creative in an environment that was focused on following Jesus and fulfilling His mission. God elevated me to a place where I could be a voice for Him, and it was incredible. Now that I’ve been working at the church for a while, and that I’ve experienced God day in and day out, I am so excited and in love with the plan God has for my life. It’s so beautiful to see that He could take someone so broken and lost to a place of serving and living out their calling in just a year. You see, it’s not about the testimony that you have. It’s not about where you’ve been or how you got there, but it’s about being with Jesus and meeting with Him daily, building a relationship. It was when I realized I was nothing without God, that I was depressed because I wasn’t allowing myself to feel the love he had for me and when I surrendered, and never looked back when my life truly started. In just a short time, God completely changed my life and I know and believe He can do the same for other people.



Carpenter's Daughter felt like a natural choice. I had bounced around with a couple of other names but landed on this one. Partly because my dad is a carpenter by trade, which makes me a carpenter's daughter, but also because Jesus Christ was a carpenter before he stepped into His ministry, which also makes me AND you a carpenter's daughter. WHAT MESSAGE DO YOU ASPIRE TO COMMUNICATE THROUGH YOUR COMPANY? I grew up hating myself because clothes never fit my 6'1" frame properly. I desperately wanted to fit in. I was told growing up that I "looked awkward around other girls my age". I had an epiphany that it was never me, it was the way the clothes were designed. Never with my tall frame in mind. I want to share this new found knowledge with other women (and men) and I want them to own it. I've been there crying in the dressing room, standing in front of the mirror, pure disgust type feelings. It needs to end and we need to revel in the fact that we were made by a creative God who constructed us without error. WHERE DO YOU SEE CARPENTER'S DAUGHTER IN 5 YEARS? There is so much I am dreaming and praying on for CD over the next 5 years! I would love to have our tall woman's clothing line established. My hope is that our ministry aspect is running full time as well. Who knows maybe even a tall men's clothing line is in the not too distant future! WHY DO YOU PERSONALLY CHOOSE JESUS? I choose Jesus because he first chose me. Through every high and low in my life, Jesus has remained consistent. Without Him I wouldn't have the hope and guarantee of eternal life! That's not to say that choosing Him has been easy. I've lost friends, I've been judged and I've been teased, but I can't imagine my life without His unconditional love, unending grace, perfect peace and freedom! AS A WOMAN AND AS A DESIGNER, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON MODESTY AND FASHION? I believe modesty is an issue of the heart. I don't think it means that you have to dress like a nun or steer clear of garments with bold designs. God created us to be creative and I think that totally applies to fashion! Our obedience to God isn't measured by what we wear but by our walk in the Spirit. I think if we are truly Spirit lead then we will probably be convicted before walking out the front door. But if we are led by our insecurities, are competing with other women and whatever else then we probably won't know the difference. CARPENTER'S DAUGHTER IS CREATED BY ALISHA HEGLUND AND IS BASED OUT OF CANYON LAKE, CA. YOU CAN FIND CARPENTER'S DAUGHTER ON ETSY & INSTAGRAM @CARPENTERSDAUGHTER

Carpenter's Daughter took part in a photo-shoot for this feature. The models featured are Claire Hosinski & Arika Johnson. Photo-shoot location: Malibu, CA

A s a child, my family and I attend the Episcopal Church down the street. As I

Indiana. That summer I broke up with my long-term boyfriend, lost my uncle, and grew older, my family went to church less moved to a new state nearly across the and less. Eventually, we stopped going to country. My first month at Purdue, I was a mess. church completely. Shocked from the loss of my uncle, feeling Between my basketball tournaments to my brother’s baseball games, we didn’t alone after four years with my ex-boyfriend find the time to make it to church on and uncomfortable at a huge school with Sundays. Throughout high school, I thousands of strangers. It was that month that became more and more curious about God I reread the serenity prayer. and the teachings of the Bible. Because of This prayer has been continuous on my mind this curiosity, I chose to attend Westmont throughout my struggles this year and in my College (a private Christian College) to growing relationship with the Lord. I have been amazed at how strong I have been this play basketball my freshman year. So in August of 2010, I drove up from last year, especially given all I have gone Orange County to Santa Barbara to begin through. I can truly say that at this point today I do my college experience. I only stayed one not think I have ever been happier with my year at Westmont but I still enjoyed my time there and treasure the relationships I life and who I am as a person. With God’s help, I have begun to enjoy life one moment made there. I also learned a lot about myself and my at a time and I know my relationship with him beliefs. Through my mistakes at will continue to grow. Westmont, I discovered a passion of mine Though my path to finding myself has been and chose to continue the rest of my time rocky and very untraditional, I would not change one thing in my journey. He has given in school studying Biology and animals. I attended Saddleback Junior College for me serenity to accept the things I cannot two years working as a full time student, change, the courage to change the things I an eyelash extensionist at a salon and a can, and the wisdom to know the difference. I have been extremely blessed to have such volunteer at a local zoo. I became more open and loving people in my life to support passionate about the field of Biology and enjoyed putting some of this knowledge me and encourage me in all my questions into practice with different animals at the about life and Jesus Christ. zoo. I was also seeing first-hand how to run your own business and eventually I began teaching monthly classes at the salon. During this time, I still questioned what I had learned about Christianity and Jesus from Westmont. After my second year at Saddleback, I decided to transfer to Purdue University in




uring my senior year of high school, my biggest fear was that of the unknown, of the future, and feeling like my life was completely out of control. On June 10, 2010 my mother was diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. I vividly remember feeling like the only sense of security left in my life was being ripped away. Reflecting back on who I was before my mother’s diagnosis, I discovered my faith was very little and close to nothing. I was living my life for all the wrong reasons and wanted nothing to do with rules or restrictions, nor the way I was raised. Though I grew up in a Christian home, I was quickly heading down the wrong path. I began to sacrifice both my morals and individuality merely to “fit in.” My outlook on life then was completely selfish and ignorant. The turning point of my downward spiral of bad decisions was the news of my mother’s illness. I took a leap of faith and began trusting God in order to help me endure, while still providing support for my mother through countless rounds of chemotherapy. Just as my sense of security started to seep back, God posed another challenge in my life. Six weeks after my mother’s diagnosis, in August of 2010, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer. That day brought an ocean full of mixed emotions and dreadful deja-vu. I couldn’t see how I could possibly overcome the challenges faced before me. I didn’t want to be strong anymore; however I had both parents who needed me. I graduated early from high school and became my parents’ personal caretaker. Amidst the chaos and confusion of having both parents with cancer, I was battling an illness of my own. The first of my many trips to the doctor’s office began in 2008. After countless blood draws, MRI’s, medical tests, and evaluations, the doctors came up empty with a possible diagnosis or explanation for my symptoms. 26

" I was living my life for all the wrong reasons and wanted nothing to do with rules or restrictions, nor the way I was raised. Though I grew up in a Christian home, I was quickly heading down the wrong path. I began to sacrifice both my morals and individuality merely to “fit in.”

With the news of my parents’ illness, searching for answers was placed on hold. After my parents’ recovery I was offered a full ride scholarship to play volleyball out of state. I left everything behind for I was so thankful for my first blessing after years of trials and tribulation. However God wasn’t finished with me just yet. In September of 2012, my health snuck up on me and quickly became increasingly worse. I lost 40 pounds in 3 months and constantly felt weak and miserable. I felt as if my body was shutting down. After almost 9 months of medical tests, blood draws, and countless appointments; I was diagnosed at Stanford Hospital and Clinics with chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyradiculoneuropathy (CIDP) with autonomic tendencies. The doctors gave me the option of oral chemotherapy for treatment or a new form of treatment that had just been FDA approved. Our family prayed for days and took the risk of trusting God once again and chose the treatment IVIG; which had fewer known side effects. God always prevails, for this June marks 11 months of treatment. Almost all of my symptoms have completely subsided and my blood tests prove that I am on the right path to a healthy life. After these past six years, I am a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason,” for ultimately God is in control. I may not yet understand why I had to endure so much and why it had to occur all at the same time, but I know God has a greater plan for my life and I can’t wait for what he may have in store.

July 2014 Issue  

Jesus. Music. Fashion. San Diego - Phoenix - Las Vegas. The stories of real people seeking to live for Jesus.