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FREED ISSUE V

2 CHRONICLES 7:14

THEq u a r a n t i n e


Credits

EDITOR IN CHIEF Briana Ariel Green WRITER Diamond Jones

GUEST EDITOR Catrina Mehltretter COMMUNITY & BUSINESS R E L AT I O N S Carolina Aragon LOGISTICS C O O R D I N ATO R Sydney Thom GRAPHIC DESIGNER Stephen Green DEVOTIONAL C O N T E N T C R E ATO R Kayla Williams MARKETING S T R AT E G I S T Marshall Hamilton COVER IMAGARY Stephen Green www.ForeverGreenBranding.com

Created in prayer


CAROLINA ARAGON Catrina Mehltretter

IG: @carrrolllinaa

catrinamehltretter @ outlook . com

When you pick up an issue of FREED Magazine or scroll through our Online Journal, we want you to feel as if you’re sitting down with a close friend. We hope the authenticity of our stories stirs your heart. Our desire is that our vulnerability allows you to be open with those whom you trust to expose what is broken, seek healing, and have the courage to one day tell your story. Our scars are reminders of the battles we faced and our stories testify to the healing that comes in surrendering to Christ.

Sydney thom

IG: @sydtastic1

Diamond Jones

-T h e F R E E D F A M I LY

IG: @ adiamondadozen

Briana Ariel GREEN sTEPHEN gREEN

IG: @ByBrianaAriel

IG: @ForeverGreenBranding

Kayla Williams

IG: @_kaykayymichelle


/ Ä R T/

+ /ˈTESTƏˌMŌNĒ/ ART

=

TESTIMONIES

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FREED MAGAZINE E D I TO R ' S L E T T E R

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his season of quarantine appeared out of thin air. One moment I was standing at the alter with my husband Stephen, and shortly after our honeymoon, we were officially on lock down. In the midst of the pandemic, I found myself having to make some massive life choices and trust that God would continuously walk with me through them. Every expectation for FREED Magazine, my family, our new home, my career, vacations, and quality time with friends would be challenged and ultimately altered. Honestly, when my expectations aren’t met, I want to fall into an internal tantrum like a two-year-old child. The reality of my vision not materializing frustrated me at my core. However, I assumed like most people that this season would be over by June of 2020. Now as we approach fall, I’ve grown to acknowledge the beautiful blessings of this season as well as acknowledge the pain. I’ve witnessed family members and friends battle against COVID-19, as well as many prayer warriors join in unison to cry out to God for healing. I’ve seen hope fade in friends, as well as played a part in restoring their hope for their future. I’ve seen the devastating loss of jobs and the budding of new career opportunities. This season has not been easy, but I am thankful to call on Jesus Christ to walk it with me. As a team, we've decided to dedicate this issue to those who have lost their lives to COVID-19. Our prayer is that the testimonies shared in this issue will touch you deeply. We hope that you are inspired, encouraged, and FREED to allow Jesus to work the miraculous in your life. We love you all dearly!

-Briana Ariel Green & The FREED Family BrIana@FreedMaGaZIne.CoM

www.BrianaAriel.com | IG: @WordsByBriana


P hotographer //

karolina grabowska

9 // J o a n a S c h a r n a g l

// M e l o n i e J o r d a n

44

Issue V \

/ / Lindsay Walter

14 16 // D e b o r a S h a n l e y FREED MAGAZINE 6


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84

54

The Quarantine

// S h e r i n a S h a n t e ll e

/ / Zoe Patricio

All contributors confirmed that the content submitted and published in FREED Magazine is owned by each contributor respectively.

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P hotographer // S cott W ebb

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Melonie Jordan IG: @meloniebygrace www.meloniebygrace.com

Knowing God s Goodness While Pregnant & Postpartum in a Pandemic ’

M

y husband and I have two daughters, each born in my favorite seasons of the year. My oldest daughter, Raegan, was born nearly 8 years ago in the fall, when I was a single mother. Our youngest baby, Honor, was born this past spring during the second week of the COVID-19 pandemic. Like millions of other expecting mothers, all of my pregnancy and postpartum plans did not go as planned. Yet, even in the midst of great uncertainty and the unexpected, I’ve seen that the goodness of God cannot be overcome. I already faced unexpected circumstances due to another illness. My doctor diagnosed me with gestational hypertension, a precursor for preeclampsia. I suffered from intense headaches, abnormal swelling in my feet, hands, and face, and high blood pressure. I was in and out of the hospital due to this diagnosis, and endured increased monitoring for the sake of the baby’s health. This was on top of other life circumstances, such as moving cross country from Louisiana to California and studying for the California Bar Exam. I never experienced such intense physical turmoil in a short time period. FREED MAGAZINE 9


K nowing G od ’ s G oodness W hile P regnant & P ostpartum

in a

P andemic C ontinued

My doctor informed me that patients with gestational hypertension are induced 2-3 weeks before the expected due date. I was completely unprepared for that since there was so much left to do! I had been working for weeks to get the baby’s room prepared, clothes washed and put up, hospital bags packed, car seat installed, etc., but still was not done. My husband, Raegan, and I worked so hard, and yet I still had to make time to study for the bar exam. Though facing my own personal illness, everyone in the entire world now faced an illness together. The global pandemic had a very real impact at my hospital. Because of the coronavirus, our hospital did not allow more than one additional person in the delivery room, so it was just me and my husband with our doctors. I am grateful that I got to have him, as I know there are many mamas who have had to give birth alone in the hospital room without their husband or support person due to hospital policies. However, there were no visitors allowed to come visit us, including Raegan. I had dreamed of the moment Raegan would come to the hospital to meet her baby sister, and for our family to gather with us at the hospital. We also planned to have our entire family come down to help us, but that could not happen due to airlines cancelling flights into California. Pregnancy, labor and delivery, and postpartum did not go as planned due to my personal illness and the larger pandemic. Yet, I have walked with Jesus long enough to know that every hard season helps me see another facet of His character. Whenever we walk through something hard, unexpected, or painful, we have a unique opportunity as Christians to know and experience God in a new way. It’s a chance to say, “God, I have not faced this before. Yet, You go before me. You are the beginning and the end. You were already in this moment before I got here. Help me to see You right now. Help me to know Your heart in a new way.” It’s one thing to read about the character of God in Scripture, it’s another thing to experience the Scriptures as your life-lines. My time as a single mother taught me about His provision. My time as a newlywed and mother has taught me about His redemption. Now, my time spent in postpartum during a pandemic has taught me about His protection and has taught me to hide under His wings. As Psalm 91:4, “He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.”

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"Though the pandemic turned the world upside-down, the Prince of Peace righted my world by stepping in and granting me peace. Nothing went as I planned, but it was far better than what I imagined because it was peaceful. " Though the pandemic turned the world upside-down, the Prince of Peace righted my world by stepping in and granting me peace. Nothing went as I planned, but it was far better than what I imagined because it was peaceful. I had world-class care, and my husband was

willingly right by my side encouraging and advocating for me. The onset of the pandemic brought an extended paternity leave for my husband, which delayed his potential exposure to COVID-19 as a physician. We also had Raegan home for the remainder of the school year, which helped her bond with Honor and kept her from getting sick. We got to be home, together, for weeks, a blessing I do not take lightly. And though my husband has returned to the frontlines of the pandemic, he has not been ill. The most powerful portion of this season has been the fact that I have fallen into a deeper hunger for the things of the Lord. This pandemic brought a personal revelation of the Lord, and I noticed an incredible awareness of what Jesus did for us on the Cross. I was forced on my knees to cry out in a way I had not before. I experienced an incredible rest in knowing that God’s promises are not abstract, but very real and very tangible and very much for His children today. His Church has been growing stronger than ever, hungrier, and true worshippers have not been satisfied with anything less than bringing His glory to earth.

Through this pandemic, I’ve seen His goodness could not be overcome by illness - whether in the world (coronavirus) or in my body

(gestational hypertension). The good for me has not only been preservation from illness, but more of God. I would not trade what I’ve gained — a depth and an experience of God — for anything, not even a gestational hypertension or pandemic free pregnancy.

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Photographer // Rf Studio

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Created to Create FREED MAGAZINE 13


Debora Shanley IG: @DeboraShanley

T

The Road to freedom

here was a part of my past that I kept out of my testimony for many years, and it increasingly burdened my heart as time went on. Until, in 2019, God gave me the courage to finally share it with the world, and the weight I had been carrying fell right off of me. The Lord has called me to write my story to encourage others with similar experiences, so I am currently working on a book in obedience to His direction. My story is long and complicated, but it is worth every detail because I know it will be able to help others. However, I am only able to share a shorter version with you here. Before I was born, Cambodia was taken over by communists who called themselves Khmer Rouge. They killed almost 8 million Cambodians, which was 21% percent of the country’s population at the time. This was the root cause of me being born in a refugee camp in Thailand. A week after I was born, my dad was sponsored to come to the United States by his parents to seek asylum along with them. After four years apart from my dad, my mom and I finally got to be reunited with him in Texas. He had missed most of my life already at that point; we didn’t know each other. Our father and daughter relationship started off rough right away. He didn’t know it then, but the PTSD he developed from being tortured almost to death by the Khmer Rouge affected him as a husband and dad. He had a short temper with my mom, my 2 younger siblings, and me. He was physically abusive to me from when I was 5 years old.When I was 11 years old, that was when he first molested me. My mom was at work during a night shift, and my siblings were asleep, so no one in my family ever knew. FREED MAGAZINE 14


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My dad should have been a role model for me, loving me unconditionally and protecting me; instead, he was the person who took advantage of me, sexually abused and raped me, hurt me, manipulated me, lied to me, hurt my relationship with my mom, slandered my reputation to people I knew, and more. He did it for seven years. I tried so hard to look fine on the outside when I was around my mom, my siblings, my friends, and my relatives. When I was alone, I would write in my journal about my pain and anger, and prayed to God for comfort. I knew what my dad did was horrible, but because I was a kid, I was hoping he would change and the family could work things out together. The spiritual warfare in my home was never ending. My parents’ toxic marriage led to a divorce. While it was hard to see them end their marriage, it was the happiest I had ever seen my mom. I thought my childhood was rough enough, but life got harder during and after my college years. In my book, I will share more details with you, but here are some of the hardships during that time. My mom was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer, and it shocked me to the core. I was in denial for the first month. We were dealing with some hard times already, and now cancer had to come along too. My siblings and I were hurting so much to see our mom in that condition. The cancer had spread from her lung to her liver and ovaries. She lost her battle with cancer within one year of her diagnosis. It all happened so fast. My mom went to be with the Lord in 2009; she was 41 years old. Then in 2015, my little sister who was only 19 years old passed away suddenly. It took me a while to have closure because I suspected medical malpractice contributed to her death. Both my mom and sister left too soon from this earth. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss them and think about them, but I’m thankful they no longer have to face the sufferings of this world. I look forward to seeing them again one day in the presence of the Lord. For over a year, I’ve been going to therapy to heal from PTSD (which I didn’t realize I had from my childhood trauma), and it has helped me so much. This road to healing reopened my wound that was never taken care of properly. I had to deal with confrontation and acceptance on some truth about myself that I didn’t want to see. I am now seeing a transformation in my thinking, view, self-love, and relationship with God and people around me. I know that the journey I’m going through right now is crucial to my growth, so that I can be a better version of myself for me, my husband, children, and everyone around me. This was only possible through revealing the truth about my past. I am on the road to recovery and freedom from guilt and shame. The devil had plans to create downfalls in my life, but God has used those events to bring the greatest victories for me and glory for the Lord! I am no longer silent about how God has restored and transformed my life from all brokenness I endured. My husband and I are now on the front line to ending the generational curses, so our children and their children will only encounter God’s full blessings. As God has called me, I am now sharing my testimony to shine light on sexual abuse, helping others find their voice and directing others to God for hope, courage, and healing!

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Lindsay Walter I G : @ l i n ds a y h a n n a h 3

I am bald and I am beautiful “Girls are pretty when they have hair.” This is the message that was ingrained in my head from a very young age. It was what I was made to believe was true. I lost all of my hair at age 2, due to the autoimmune condition Alopecia. It left me completely bald, and because of this, I felt like I was anything but beautiful. I hid behind a wig for as long as I could remember. I didn’t know anyone else in my school or community with this condition. I felt alone, isolated, rejected, and like a total outcast. Kids bullied and teased me all the time, making comments about my hair (wig), which didn’t quite look right, and my lack of eyelashes and eyebrows, which are now tattooed on. I let the kids make fun of me because I was so insecure and felt like I deserved it. I saw nothing beautiful about myself, or my bald head. I dreaded looking in the mirror and avoided it at all costs, but the rare moments when I did, I felt hideous. I would look at the beautiful women in the media and the peers I was surrounded by daily with their gorgeous hair. I was so jealous. I thought, “If I just had hair, I would be beautiful.” I became very insecure, quiet, and reserved. Although I was a good student and kid, I felt like I was just going through the motions. I never wanted to stand out or be different from anyone else. At the time, the most important thing for me was to be beautiful, and have hair. FREED MAGAZINE 16


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was very fortunate to be blessed with athletic ability, which was my escape. I would come home and shoot hoops in my driveway for hours. I would pretend to make the game-winning shot; the crowd would go wild, chanting my name, and I never thought of my Alopecia. The game of basketball inspired me to dream big, to work hard, and it helped me receive a scholarship to play in college after a record-breaking high school career. It was my dream come true. Though I was still hiding my Alopecia and wearing my wig, I had this distraction, and it really helped me through a lot. It wasn’t until I was in college that I finally admitted to myself that I had to learn to accept and live with my Alopecia because my hair was never coming back. This was my reality I hadn’t wanted to face. I knew I had to take control of my Alopecia. This was also the time a classmate invited me to church with her one night. I had always believed in God; I knew about all of the stories and right from wrong, but my faith wasn’t something I actively pursued until then. His presence took over. I could feel Him and was moved. I got back to my apartment and began to research Alopecia, how to get involved and help others. I wanted to connect and meet other people with my condition. I knew there had to be others out there, and once I found them, I felt like I was with my people. Though I had never talked to them before, eventually when I met them, I felt like they were my family. We had this instant bond, and they understood. God has shown up BIG in my life once I started to truly pursue Him and His calling in my life. I became so inspired and wanted to learn and do more in my community, the world, and my spiritual journey. I began to pray daily, journal, read the Bible, and do a devotional to learn about our amazing Father. The doors began to open as my entire life changed. I ran a marathon on a whim, being the competitive person I am. This was a stepping-stone in another opportunity only God could orchestrate so perfectly. I fell in love with the sport and began to race marathons all over the country, eventually leading me to taking off my wig mid-run, hanging it up, and never looking back. This was a moment I had always dreamed of, to be okay with my Alopecia, to truly feel beautiful and love myself. The more I trusted and invested in my relationship with the Lord, the more my life changed in all the best ways possible. I have had so many opportunities to speak, write, and share my story about my Alopecia, about the difficulties and bullying, but also how God was shaping me into the person I am today through it all. I am someone who loves everyone, aspires to be great at everything, and is empathetic and always wanting to learn and grow because of it. I have run 41 marathons; each one is so sweet. I have started a pen-pal program for kids with Alopecia and have been published in various news sources. I used to be quiet, reserved, and riding out life in the background, but God has shown me how strong, beautiful, and tough I truly am. I now live my life out loud proudly bald, with my head out shining for the world to see, because of Him. My life has come full circle. He had the greatest plan for me all along. I just had to learn to trust and believe. He never gave up on me, no matter how upset I was or how much I tried to push Him away. It is truly the sweetest gift. FREED MAGAZINE 17


HENGELH'S H ONEY www.hengelhshoney.com iG:@hengeLhshoney

henGelh's honey n u rt u r e h e a lt h y ,

is usinG honey to

selFless communities.

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REAL PEOPLE. REAL H O N E Y. FREED MAGAZINE 19

AD


Amirah Hollinshed IG: @ami.nation_xo msha.ke/ami.nation_xo/

Flashback vs. Reality

There I was broken and so numb. Trying to find a sharper blade, thinking That’s where I’ll find emotional healing from. Blood shed tears running down my face for 4 years. While my mind was running a 300-mile race. Oh God thank you for your Grace. I just kept going in cycles, Trying to find my place.

Taking, breaking, I gave in. I gave in. Here I was face to face with the most beautiful face. Can you guess who? Because I had no clue. I was petrified… His presence, His glory, His love was something I never knew.

He’s described as a Glorious man who’s very Days after days exposing myself to women, tall. He’s a king that reigns above all, Wanting them to take my mother’s place. A savior who saves all, You see a void was created. I used to get high, hoping all the pain would He who rescues before His children fall. get faded. But truth be told without God the void only This was the day I received Christ. became more delated. Born again into a new life. I didn’t know I would be His wife. Oh God thank you for your Grace. Six years down the road, After so many young years of bleeding, And I still remain laying down my life. In Christ there’s eternal life. burning, shaking, FREED MAGAZINE 20


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So if the

SON

(JESUS)

sets you

free,

you are Ru U lL yY tT r FREE.

J o h n 8 : 36 FREED MAGAZINE 21


F OUR MISSION Empowering people

through

authenticity to live a life in the

F REEDOM

t h e y h av e b e e n g i f t e d t h r o u g h

Christ.

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Jesus


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Photography // Darwis Alwan FREED MAGAZINE 23


Chiku Nyang'wa IG: @chiku101 w w w . r i c h e s o f h isg r a c e . c o m

I

rags to riches

t was 8:45pm in Malawi on a Thursday evening, February 29th, 1996 when a big (like really big) baby girl came into the world in the same hospital where just two days before, her grandfather had died. All the nurses stared at the name “Nyang’wa” written on her arm band, and they wondered if she had any connection to the Mr. Nyang’wa who had just passed away down the hall. Her mum awkwardly confirmed "yes," that was indeed this little girl’s grandfather. The nurses looked at each other and wondered how this could have happened, that one life was taken and one was brought, almost to replace the other. The consensus around the hospital room was that this baby would be called “Chikumbutso,” which in Chichewa, Malawi’s main language, means “memory.” Even those who weren’t in the room at the time, without prior knowledge, said she should be called Chikumbutso. I prefer to be called Chiku. My birth was a little peculiar, as you can see, being born on a day that only appears every four years and showing up at a time when there wasn’t much to be happy about. I was hoping my birth was going to be the only time that my life caused a disturbance, but boy, oh boy was I in for a ride.

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I was a regular kid, raised in a Christian home with two parents who loved me, prayed for me, and provided for me, but they soon found out that that wasn’t enough for me. The year was 2009. I was 13 years old, in boarding school and dating the ‘bad boy’ of the school. I loved how much attention dating him gave me. I felt like I became 10x more attractive just by being by his side—funny I felt like that because when we were away from the crowds, he would make me feel so small. My body was the only thing he liked about me. I didn’t even know how to spell insecurity before I met him. I didn’t know I didn’t have a pretty face, and I didn’t know my innocence could be stolen from me…before I met him. I remember everybody around me running into a frantic panic when they found out I was in a relationship with this boy. My brother in Australia caught wind of the news and passed it on to my mother in South Africa, and then it came back to me in Malawi—talk about a long trip, with layovers! I didn’t understand what the fuss was about? I was young and wanted to have a good time, so all their warnings fell on deaf ears. I stayed with him long enough to realize that maybe, just maybe, there was some wisdom in everybody’s warnings. The thing about bad people, is that they come with bad friends, and even long after the bad people are gone, their friends stick around to remind you that you are just like them. So even though we broke up in 2010, I can tell you I carried that bad decision well into my 20s because every boy I met after him suddenly saw something in me they didn’t see before—I was one of them. I was ‘that’ girl, the one who partied, drank alcohol, and just wanted to have a good time, so they would approach me in clubs, bars, and Facebook inboxes with the question: “Aren’t you this person’s ex?” I would respond with “yes,” and I could see the smile on their face because they had already been given a handbook about how to treat me before they even walked up to me. They had been given cheat codes on how to handle me, but why did they all remind me of him? Why didn’t they respect me when they had just met me? Why did they know things about me that only he knew? If at this point you thought I stood my ground and walked away, I am sorry to let you down. I didn’t stand any ground. If anything, the ground beneath me swallowed up my dignity and self-respect.

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rags to riches continued

This went on for seven years after I had given my heart to this bad boy. Bad relationships after bad flings, my heart was a hot commodity. Everybody wanted a piece, but the catch was: they didn’t want to pay anything for it. It bothered me at first, but when people keep walking into your shop and stealing from you, at some point you might start to think nobody wants to actually buy what you’re selling. That’s where I was. Now let me take you to 2017. At this point, I had been introduced to Jesus on a more personal level, but I still desired a relationship with men over a relationship with my Savior. However, this time, I was attempting to make better relationship decisions. I met a nice young man; he treated me well, respected me, and opened doors for me—the whole shebang! But…. he didn’t believe in Jesus. Now usually this wouldn’t bother me, but this time, it was different; his presence made me uncomfortable. I found my heart racing and palms getting sweaty when he sat next to me (it wasn’t the butterflies) and I just couldn’t understand why! Isn’t he what I have always wanted? A man who loves and respects me? Well, again, it just wasn’t enough for me. One night when I had had enough of the sick feelings I was getting in my stomach, I called up my best friend who was saved at the time, and I told her how I had been feeling. Suddenly, she burst into tears, and God spoke these words through her, “Chiku, if you leave this guy, I promise I will make it up to you.” Hearing those words over and over again as God spoke through her broke me. I thought, “What do you mean you’ll make it up to me? You mean like you’ve been making it up to me the past seven years as you watched my heart break over and over again?” I didn’t want to believe that there was better out there because I had searched and searched, and the best I could do was a ‘nice’ guy, nothing more. I was sure of it. But then finally, on the 29th of May 2017, against my will and my better judgement, I gave my life to Jesus Christ, and life update: HE MADE IT UP TO ME! And he still does; every single day, he makes it up to me. He took my rags and gave me riches, relieved my heartache and gave me wholeness, and replaced my insecurity with the word of God. This isn’t some cute story about finding Jesus and everything falling into place; it was UGLY, and it was messy. Jesus had to scrub me clean of the scent that I had when I was in the world because although I was saved, somehow I was still attracted to, and attracting, the same type of people. Alcohol wasn’t hard to stop; I never liked the taste anyway. You know what was the hardest? Attention.

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Seeking attention was the hardest thing to fight because I was so used to walking into rooms and knowing that the way I dressed was going to capture someone’s attention. But now here I was in the kingdom of God, with Jesus trying to convince me that I had more to offer than just my body, that I was smart and beautiful and funny and anointed. Me? Chiku? Beautiful? Smart? How is that possible? How can you scrub clean something that I tattooed on my heart? How can you convince me that I am not ugly? And God directed me to His word: that’s how you can believe all those things. It wasn’t just prayer and the Bible that worked wonders, but it was practical things too, like throwing away ALL the clothes that I used to wear to the club and anything that reminded me of my past. Deleting and blocking numbers of people who refused to accept the path that I was on. I stripped myself of everything that used to make me happy so I could learn about the joy of being with Jesus because happiness is fleeting, but joy is everlasting in whatever season you find yourself in. My story is still being written, and now I don’t write it for myself. I started a blog called "Riches Of His Grace" where I talk about my journey with Jesus. My heart is for young men and women who see themselves in my story, who dare to dream of a life where they are loved, honored, and jealously protected by a big, BIG God! I am reminded of the story with the woman who had the issue of blood, in Mark 5. She was an outcast; anybody in that time who had her sickness was considered UNCLEAN. She was the “you can’t sit with us” lady. But when she heard Jesus was coming, she knew she had to do something that wasn’t ‘normal’ in order to experience the supernatural, and I love what Jesus said to her in Mark 5:34: “Daughter, because you dared to believe, your faith has healed you. Go with peace in your heart and be free from your suffering.” First, He called her DAUGHTER! A total outcast who probably hadn’t heard such an endearing term spoken to her before went from being cast out to being embraced by Jesus. He told her that she was daring – defying all odds, going against the grain, and so her daring faith was what made her well. That woman had no right to be there, she had no right to rub against all those people in that crowd, but for her healing, she chose to step out of the status quo. I am her. I had no right to be saved after the sins I had committed. I had no right to pray for a godly husband when being faithful was a myth to me. I had no right to lift my hands in worship when these same hands once held a beer bottle and didn’t let go until I was seeing double. But I dared to believe, and I want to dare to believe on behalf of God’s sons and daughters.

P.S. I will be getting married to the most amazing man of God in the next few months, so in case you were wondering how God making it up to me is going: it ’s going GREAT! FREED MAGAZINE 27


Photographer // Darwis Alwan

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Photographer // Franscesca Zama

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Julissa Debase I G : @ j u l iss a d e b a s e w w w . c ov e na n t l ov e . c o

A

the quarantine

time of uncertainty. A time of reset. A time of shaking. A time of new life and birth. A time of being afraid, yet a role of being bold and becoming free. Quarantine brought a mixture of different feelings. Quarantine was traumatic, yet it brought so much healing. In May of 2019, God put the name "Covenant Love" on my heart for a blog page that I have been wanting to start for years. On July 6th of 2019, I took a pregnancy test, which came out positive. Once we found out we were having a little girl, we prayed about her name, and the Lord confirmed it to be Amaris, which means promised by God. On March 11th, I was induced to give birth to my daughter who was due on March 12th. Amaris came right on time, born on March 12th at 3:22AM. Giving birth to my daughter was the most physically draining yet absolutely beautiful experience of my life. I gave birth to her naturally. Afterwards, I was given a lot of pain medication, as well as a cooling spray to help alleviate my pain when sitting. It was hard to walk and sit most of the time. I felt like I was forced to slow down. During our time at the hospital, our daughter’s jaundice levels were a bit high. They continued to monitor her throughout our stay; however, the levels were not high enough to keep us there longer, thankfully.

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We brought our sweet bundle of joy home on March 14th. They say the first night of bringing your child home from the hospital is the hardest—well, this is true. I think I slept maybe one hour that night. The next day, we took our little girl to the doctor for her checkup. The doctor told us that Amaris’ jaundice levels were a little higher, and she also lost one whole pound because she was not getting enough breast milk. It hadn’t fully come in. I stood there listening to the doctor explain that I would need to supplement as tears rolled down my eyes, trying to keep myself together. I felt like I was failing Amaris, and she was only three days old. That day, my husband and I also got into a really bad argument. I felt so disoriented, so weak, so undone. Little did I know, we were headed straight into a global pandemic. Two weeks after giving birth, we were quarantined for two weeks, which then became two months. I had all of these postpartum plans that did not happen as I pictured. Although I did have my mother and siblings come by almost every day to check on us, I still felt so isolated from the world. Postpartum is tough. The emotions, the healing process that your body goes through, and the fears that come with being a first-time mother are all so real. But God showed up like never before during this time. He began to speak through my personal time with him, as well as through my pastor and several others, telling me it was a time of reset—and indeed it was. I was at my lowest point. My marriage was at its lowest point. I thought several times, “How are we going to survive this?” God began working in my heart. It’s like that saying, I had to hit rock bottom so I could see that He was the rock at the bottom—the Rock of my Salvation. Salvation, I learned, is continual. God is saving us from our toxic thought patterns, from real physical and spiritual battles, from the war that wages within our own hearts, and from generational curses and habits. God began shaking things in me and in my life during the most vulnerable time of my life, so that He could reset me. God knew that in my vulnerability, He would be able to reach me. God knew exactly how to reach me to reset me and to help me re-focus on Him so that He could begin to bring to completion the good work He had started in my life. HEALING AND FORGIVENESS ARE A NECESSARY PART OF FREEDOM. God was calling me to launch this blog, Covenant Love Co., to encourage others, but He knew my heart had grown stagnant and my focus was not on Him. Through quarantine and my postpartum process, God has brought healing in me that I probably wouldn’t have been able to experience otherwise. He had to keep me still and get me to a place where I DESPERATELY needed him again. After about the first month and a half of my postpartum period, I began to seek the Lord with my whole heart. I felt God put things into place concerning my marriage and my daughter. FREED MAGAZINE 31


the quarantine continued

The anxieties I have felt regarding my return to work have subsided because God has kept me working from home until today. I am able to enjoy and witness every milestone of growth in Amaris’ life. I have spent more time with God and have included my daughter in those times. Almost every morning, I read the Word to her and pray and worship with her. During this time of quarantine, as I sought God’s presence, He began to tug my heart more regarding Covenant Love Co. At the time, I was part of a book club called Becoming Mrs. Betterhalf, hosted by Holly Furtick. I had the honor of leading a subgroup for this study and received 10 copies of 200 free books she was giving away for it. I was praying and fighting for my marriage, and God intervened. I witnessed His faithfulness yet again. Towards the end of this study, one of my friends and I stated that we wanted to continue. I then shared with her my God-dream, Covenant Love Co. Within the next two days, she built an entire website from the ground up. I was astonished and amazed, yet again, by God’s faithfulness. I continued to see His hand of favor and blessing, telling me to go forth because it was time. Now, we are on this journey, trusting God, knowing that He will do just as He promised—bringing forth of community of encouragement and unconditional love. So, what is Covenant Love Co.? Covenant Love is the fulfillment of a promise that God laid on my heart. It is words spoken in a time of a brokenness, in a time when all hope seems lost, when things don’t seem to being going your way. It is God saying, I am here, I am not leaving, and I can do infinitely more for you than you can ever imagine. See, God’s love is a perfect love, an AGAPE love. It picks you up when you are down, it gives you the courage to push through, and it allows you to look back at the fruits of God’s work in you and say, “You are a perfect and faithful God whose unconditional love can redeem anyone in any situation.” I hope that through Covenant Love Co., others can be built up to know and TRUST in God’s perfect love, just like I did. So, who am I? I am a daughter of the most Faithful God. I am co-heir with Christ. I am accepted in the Beloved. I am redeemed and forgiven. I am chosen and set apart. I am also a pastor’s wife and a first-time mother. I am a daughter and a friend. I am a social worker. I am founder of Covenant Love Co., a dream God birthed inside of me. I am an advocate for love and healing, an encourager, motivator, and a Christian blogger. My call is to help people, especially women, find healing and their identity through the redeeming love of Christ and encourage them in their walks with God. I am FREE.

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K e l ly L o t ta h a l l

I

The Designer

’m a fabric scrap artist - I mainly illustrate women and scenes, but then I top every piece off with scraps of fabric from old clothes, and just recently added to that "old and unwanted jewelry." It began with cutting my old clothes into new lengths and shapes. Afterwards, I would end up with several scraps. One day I thought to add my scraps to my drawings just as an experiment, and the rest is history. Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in everything - first God, people, places, events like fashion week, history, every day items - everything. I’m obsessed with mechanics and how things work. I love to problem solve backwards, if that makes any sense. Nothing is off limits. What does being FREED or freedom look like to you? FREED to me, means finally walking in the steps God has already ordained for you by following his instructions and completely tuning out everything around you. It means truly being where you’re supposed to be, being patient, and being truly at peace exactly where you are. What would you like our community to know about you? I would want the community to know that I’m only at the beginning of my journey. I’m always encountering difficulties, but I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else, because it’s where I’m supposed to be. I’m a constant experimenter and I never say no to a challenge.

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D e sig n e r : K e l l y L o t t a h a l l | | I G : @ k e l l y l o t t a h a l l i l l u s t r a t i o n k e l ly l i l l u s t r at i o n . e t s y . c o m FREED MAGAZINE 36


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D e sig n e r : K e l l y L o t t a h a l l I G : @ k e l ly l o t ta h a l l i l l u s t r at i o n k e l ly l i l l u s t r at i o n . e t s y . c o m

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Photographer: Katharina Medcher F R E E D M A G|| A Z I NIG: E 3 8@ inagram__


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A r t is t : A r i a d n a S a l a S o l e r | | I G : @

ariadnasala.art

D e sig n e r : K e l l y L o t t a h a l l | | I G : @ k e l l y l o t t a h a l l i l l u s t r a t i o n https://colourtalks.ariadnasala.com k e l ly l i l l u s t r at i o n . e t s y . c o m FREED MAGAZINE 39


Beverly Nina I G : @ l i f e o f b e v e r ly n i na w w w . b e v e r ly n i na . c o m

Room to Dream

Growing up in a home where a specific educational background is valued and “required” can limit your ability to dream. So, what do you do when the path your parents strongly desire for you isn’t the path that God designed? What happens when the vision God gave you doesn’t align itself to what you’ve always known was the only way? The simple answer: “Shift and change your plans to follow the will of God over your life.” But that simple answer can come with a lot of resistance, heartbreak, temporary disappointments, and self-doubt (especially if you are a six on the enneagram, like me). Well, this is my battle. Out of the strong love my parents have for me, they desire for my path to match what they’ve always envisioned for me. Though they know where my heart is, they haven’t quite come to terms with it yet. Emphasis on the yet, because I know God will make it absolutely known to them one day. But first, God has to deal with me. He has to deal with my self-doubt, where I look for support, and my constant fear of failure and of disappointing the ones that I love.

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Do thoughts like “What if this really doesn’t happen", and "I should have just gone with what seemed secure." "What if I’ll never make it?" "I can see where I believe God wants me to be, but how do I even get there?” ever cross your mind? Asking God these questions is completely normal. He will always remind us of what He has already told us. But the problem isn’t really about the questions we ask God; it’s about our limited ability to believe that something as big as what we believe we're called to is... real. Last year, my mentor at the time, asked me a simple question: “In your wildest dreams, if there was one thing you could do, what would you do?” I remember looking around her beautifully decorated office, then looking down in shame because I had no idea. I only knew what my parents wanted for me, and I struggled with allowing God’s vision for me to reign supreme over my parents’. My parents’ vision carried more weight for me at that time, and it felt like a betrayal to speak of what I thought was meant for me, especially because I felt like God’s vision was too big and didn’t seem real or attainable. Maybe you experience similar thoughts and are searching all around you for those who desire something similar to your purpose, because if there is just one person in your corner who desires the same and understands that deep desire in you, there’s a bigger possibility that it could be achieved. But is that mindset really giving you room to dream? Everyone’s God-given dreams and passions look different. Your “big” dream may look “small” to someone else and vice versa, and if you’re too busy looking around you for similarities to be your affirmation in order to move forward and break out of what you’ve always known, you won’t reach your full potential. This year, that’s no longer my battle, and I want the same for you. I’ve been FREED of the opinions of others over my life and will no longer allow God’s voice over my life to be muffled and re-recorded to fit the desires of my parents or anyone else. But even then, this new mindset doesn’t exempt me from the temporary disappointment that my parents might feel, nor the heartbreak that comes with not having their full support (yet). This position isn’t the easiest, but it’s part of my journey that has to be walked. This resistance is more for me at this moment than it is for my parents. It’s the steppingstone to my next venture and the pure motivation to keep going so that the fruit will be made known to my ever-so-loving parents, which will encourage them to see God in a new dynamic.

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R oom

to

D ream C ontinued

When you experience resistance or opposition as you follow the will of God, remember that your opposition doesn’t disqualify you, it doesn’t mean that you had it wrong (unless God has told you that you are walking in the wrong direction), and it certainly doesn’t mean that you should stop in order for everyone else around you to be happy and comfortable. Our walk with God is more than shrinking to fit the common norm; it’s meant for us to expand our differences to the world in order to bring light to different situations and to bring glory to our Father. When we are challenged, we should always hold tight to the promises of God over our lives, especially when our loved ones’ advice goes against God’s will for us. Stand firm in what you deeply believe God has called over you, even if that vision has yet to be manifested fully. Always give yourself room to dream, and never put a limit on God. Dream BIG but remember that dreaming big is not measured by a scale. It’s simply walking in the day-to-day purpose of your life and being fulfilled in the process. It’s about making goals and accomplishing them. My learned lesson is realizing that we don’t have to know everything in order to move forward. The steps we take will aid in our next step, all while building the confidence that, if for any reason God doesn’t want us stepping into something, He will direct us (Isaiah 30:21). Though we may not know the exact path God will have us go through to get to that vision, we know the One who is taking us. So, let’s always rest in that. Here’s to freeing ourselves from the shackles of limited dreams and potential. Love, your friend, Beverly Nina

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Head sh ot of Joana S charnagl

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J oa n a S ch ar n ag l The Photographer ig: @headinheaven_

I

am a visual aesthetics artist and love to express myself in all different kinds of media, but mostly in photography and videos. Often people ask me why I chose photography and I guess it's because I love capturing the world through my eyes and letting others see the beauty that's hidden everywhere. Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in my everyday life. It can be a song that makes me feel a certain way, a poster I see on the side of the street, or simply soft wind brushing on my skin through an open window. Mostly, it's the little things, the unusual, catching my attention and making me feel a certain way. What projects are you currently working on? One of my main photography projects has been simply revealing the beauty of people to the world and themselves. I always say that the greatest works of art are people and so it is my passion to capture them and show their beauty that's radiating from the inside and outside. More than just taking great shots, I really want every person in front of my camera to feel beautiful, confident, and know that they are made in God's image and are loved by Him just the way they are. What does being FREED or freedom look like to you? Freedom to me looks like being free of insecurities, free from fear of what people might think, being secure in one's identity in God. Having struggled with a sense of inferiority in my teenage years I know how it feels to be afraid to speak in group settings, to compare myself to everyone around me, wondering if I measure up and never feeling enough. Understanding who my Father in heaven is and the truths He speaks over me set me free from those insecurities and put a halt to the questioning thoughts of trying to find a place in this world. To me it wasn't about knowing more of what the Bible says, because I already knew so much, but getting to know the Author personally and letting Him set me free. FREED MAGAZINE 45


Photographer: Joana Scharnagl // ig: headinheaven_

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Headshot of Joana Scharnagl // ig: headinheaven_


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Zoe Patricio I G : @ z o e pat r i c i o

a lamentation for the homeless

Earlier this year, I wrote a lamentation. Wow. It speaks to what we need‌ help.

Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord; Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. My father is homeless. He is hopeless. He is suffering. Depressed, mocked, shamed, and looked down upon. God, no one deserves this. Is my father unworthy of a smile or a conversation now that he is homeless? He is homeless, yes, but he is worthy of being treated as a human being. Help! My father needs you, Lord! Bring strength and courage, God. Strength. Courage. Comfort. God, help my father get back on his feet. Help him rebuild his life from the ground up. Align his heart to yours, Lord. My heart aches. Day after day, my thoughts are consumed with whether he has shelter and food. Do you hear my cries, God? Do you see my heartache, God? I worry whether breakthrough will ever happen. Am I losing hope? Hope for a breakthrough? Enough is enough. My father’s heart aches. Night after night, his thoughts are consumed with whether continuing to live is worth it. Do you hear him weeping, God? Do you see him physically and emotionally suffering, God? He worries whether he will ever be stable. He is losing hope. Losing hope for stability. FREED MAGAZINE 50


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Enough is enough. He has more life in him, God. Please make this known. We need you, Lord. We need a breakthrough to happen. Thank you for taking this problem into your very own hands, Lord. I believe in your truth, your love, and your grace. I believe in your plan and your path. Thank you for seeing the depths of my father’s and my hearts and hearing our cries for mercy. Who knew what 2020 would offer? I didn’t. Although, this is not what I expected. Quarantine has been difficult for me emotionally. Several visits have been ripped away. Several plans have been changed. And the anxiety that I thought had disappeared, reappeared. My father is homeless and has been for a couple of years now. Having a homeless father has been as much of a learning curve as it has been a difficult curve to overcome. It is a learning curve in the sense that I have experienced discrimination against myself and being around my father in public. A learning curve where people who would otherwise say hello, smile, or wave in passing now clutch their purse, avoid coming near you or looking at you, or ignore you entirely, making you feel less than you are. A learning curve to not take anything for granted because there are several people, including my father, who do not have a home to go to, food to eat, places to shower, and more. In terms of the current pandemic, quarantine has impacted homeless communities drastically, including my father. Quarantine heightened the difficulty of surviving on the street and heightened one’s chances of catching COVID-19. Personally, quarantine has caused an overwhelming bout of anxiety to make sure my father is staying as clean as he can... to make sure he is still managing to find food despite so many restaurants, stores, and areas closing… to make sure he finds a safe spot to hide out while curfews are in place. While my husband and I have been safe, there are so many people who have not had the luxury of being safe and making ends meet. Getting all the puppycuddles from our Golden Retriever and embarking on a reading binge has been great; however, knowing that my father is struggling during quarantine has made this time even more of a nightmare. He has nowhere to go during quarantine but to roam the streets.

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a lamentation for the homeless continued

Personally, it has been hard to completely feel at ease during quarantine with all that 2020 is throwing our way. This quarantine has taught me once again that everyone is worthy of a “hello” and a smile. Everyone is worthy of taking the time to be kind, and everyone is worthy of help, no matter what. No one has any clue what someone else is going through and vice versa. This quarantine has taught me to continue putting others first… to stay home when you can, to wear a mask when you are out, and to leave goods for others… to put others’ health and well-being above your own because quite frankly, there is plenty to go around… plenty of kindness… plenty of joy… plenty of necessities… and plenty to get by with us all working together. We need each other to get through this. Clinging to God during this time has been my light in the dark world. Although my father is homeless and quarantine stopped frequent visits, God is providing, and He is working. God has not only helped keep my father safe thus far, but He has put specific people in my life who are in the area my father is, to help him. He has softened their hearts to acknowledge what is happening and to love their neighbor. Along with this, I have seen God working in my father’s heart. My father has acknowledged time and time again, he feels that people are looking out for him. More specifically, that people are “blessing” him. Blessing him with food, with a new shirt or new shoes, with kindness and more when he needs it most. For example, one day he desperately needed a new pair of socks, and someone blessed him with them shortly after! Knowing that God is providing and knowing that He is working through my father brings joy and light in the midst of so much darkness. My lamentation rings true today just as it did beginning 2020. What else rings true are God’s promises and His love and care for His children. Thank you, God.

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"Freedom

i s t h at b e a u t i f u l

moment when you are a vulnerable and real,

human.

When

you can feel

a n d l o v e d e e p ly , w i t h n o one to stop you."

- E ll i e F e r n a n d e z IG: @ellie__gracie

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Sherina Shantelle IG: @SherinaShantelle www.SherinaShantelleShares.com

I

Experiencing Jesus, Finally

f you told me 10 years ago that I would be a passionate follower of Jesus, full of joy, love, peace, AND celibate, I wouldn’t have believed you. But here I am, all of those things and ready to share my story. My mother and I considered ourselves to be Christians. We believed in God, but that belief had no bearing on our day-to-day life. We would visit church on Christmas and Easter and say grace before our meals and sometimes even pray at night. Then, one day I went to a basketball game as a single woman and left the game with a new boyfriend. It didn’t take long to realize that he was… different. For example, he would walk on the side of the road whenever we were walking on the sidewalk together. I thought maybe he had OCD until he shared with me that he was looking to protect me. He said that if a car ever swerved off the road, he’d be the one to take the hit. It would take a full year before I learned where his example of sacrificial love came from. Jordan (that's the name we’ll give him) was brought up in a Christian home. The kind that had family bible studies and went to church every Sunday. We were from two very different worlds.

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We met at a time when Jordan was slowly drifting away from his faith and becoming more and more drawn to the world that he felt sheltered from. After about a year into our relationship, Jordan found himself in a really rough place and reached out to God for help. In sharing this with me, he said that the Holy Spirit told him that “we were each other’s god, and it was important to let me go so that I would know God for myself.” I mean, what 18-year-old man speaks like that? Although I didn’t quite understand, in the midst of it all, I felt a strange peace and a growing curiosity about what a “relationship with God” meant. I knew that Jordan and I had a good thing… so for him to let it go must mean that a relationship with God was even better. I had a growing desire to know God and read the Bible (before I would always fall asleep when attempting to read it, but now it was starting to resonate). One evening, Jordan and a mutual friend Melissa came over to my place. We were hanging out and conversing when Melissa shared that she felt like the Holy Spirit was prompting her to pray. She asked me if I’d want to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Now, to be honest… everything in me got real tight. I started thinking to myself, “These Christians are about to be disappointed because I am not going to pretend or put on a show.” At the same time, I knew that if it was real… I wanted it. I wanted everything that God had for me. So we walked into my living room and prayed. Jordan told me to put up my hands like a martini glass and talk to my Heavenly Father. So I did. I didn’t know what to say… so I just started to thank Him. Then to my surprise, I felt God’s presence so strongly in my living room. I began to weep and was in total awe. Then the unthinkable happened—my lips began to quiver, and I began to speak in tongues! That really set me off. To me, that was proof ! In that moment, I didn’t care about what my professors said, I didn’t care that I had a party to go to that weekend, I didn’t care about anything except the FACT that God was real and present. So, I got real loud, desiring that others would hear and see the good news that I was so tangibly experiencing. My mother, who was sleeping at the time, woke up and came into the living room. Witnessing what was happening to me, my mom also rededicated her life to Jesus. God had been pursuing her and drawing her to Himself too. It was in that moment, right there in my living room, that I gave my entire life to Jesus. When I said I was no longer a “Christian” but a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ. A beloved daughter. I remember asking God that night, “Why don’t people know? Why don’t people know that you’re real?” He assured me that I wasn’t alone. That there were many many others and that I would have the opportunity to share my story and what He’s done. Here I am, 10 years later, sharing my story and testifying that not only is God good, but He is so incredibly faithful. FREED MAGAZINE 55


w w w . a n g e l aw i n . c o m

P h o t o g r a p h e r // A n g e l a W i n | @ b ya n g e l a w i n |

Where do you find inspiration? I find inspiration in what God puts in my heart to do and what I see, read or hear.


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P h o t o g r a p h e r // A n g e l a W i n | @ b ya n g e l a w i n |

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w w w . a n g e l aw i n . c o m


Traci Neal IG: @tracinealspeakerpoet www.tracinealspeakerpoet.com

Create A New Finale

Everyone faces struggles, challenges, pain, and pressure. If any of you are like me, at one point, you may have thought the easiest way to cope with your problems was simply to run away. Well, many times in my life, I felt like I could not go on. Still, God creates a new finale. I will not bore you with minor details of my obstacles because there were many. I am going to give a summary of them. I want you to walk away from my story, hopefully believing God can create a new finale for you as well. Shall we begin? In elementary, middle, and high school, I survived bullying, low self-esteem, suicide attempts, and domestic violence. In my early college years, I overcame rape. While an adult in my late 20s, I experienced the tragedy of losing a guy I thought I would marry. He died from a brain injury. Throughout my young and older adult years, I had been trying to become an elementary school teacher, but I could never pass the Praxis II Exam. I kept feeling like a total failure. My life did seem to be a crazy whirlwind, right? Yes. My breakthrough began when I learned what it meant to trust in God.

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HOW I LEARNED TO TRUST GOD: 1. Recognize I'm not the driver. (I have a lot of drive, yet God determines my destiny.) 2. Wait before moving. (I'm a naturally anxious person, but God's timing is perfect.) 3. I do not have to have all the answers. (My knowledge does not compare to what God knows.) 4. Obey what God says. (Even if it seems crazy to you or other people, just do what he told you to do!) These revelations did not happen overnight. Some took years to understand and grasp. What I did not realize would come from all of this was the benefits of trusting God. MY BENEFITS FROM TRUSTING GOD: 1. Marriage. (I did not see that one coming. It has already been over a year now. Yay!) 2. Christian Poetry Opportunities. (I learned what it means to truly serve others with my gift from God.) 3. Getting a Motivational Speaking Certificate. (I just took a leap of faith and got a 98% on my final exam the first time. God is so good!) 4. God is opening many doors. (I am in awe of all the wonderful things God has done within a few months of me obeying him.) God can create a new finale for you too. If you are a believer, he is waiting for you to move. What is holding you back from achieving your purpose? For those who may not believe, I pray you remember you are worth more than what others may say or do to you. I love you, and God loves you, too. Never give up. Keep the faith. There are no limits when you're reaching high like an eagle.

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P h o t o g r a p h e r : a n a s t a s s i a w h i t t y | | I G : @ b y s a y w o r ds t a z


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H e a d s h o t o f a n a s t a s s i a w h i t t y | | I G : @ b y s a y w o r ds t a z FREED MAGAZINE 61


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Tianna Reed I G : @ i t ss . t i a n n a a a a

Covid 19

What has quarantine taught you about yourself? How have you changed? Quarantine has taught me that no matter how hard I try, I can’t do things on my own, and I NEED God. I tend to get through life and my busy days by my own strength and stability instead of turning to the Lord when I need Him. When we were first ordered to stay at home and schools shut down, I used this as an opportunity to get a job and do everything that I wasn’t able to do while I was in college. However, things turned around for me. May 17th, 2020 was the day I tested positive for COVID-19. During my weeks off, it was a mental battle more than it was anything else. As a result, I had no choice but to be still and listen to what God has been trying to tell me. I can’t keep trying to figure things out on my own. I can’t keep filling my days up with jobs and hobbies and then only spend 10-15 minutes with God. I’ve changed by starting my day reading my devotions instead of ending my day with it. I’ve learned that starting my day reading and talking to God gives me the strength and the peace that surpasses all understanding.

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Tell a story of a time when your faith was tested. What was the outcome? My faith was tested when I tested positive for COVID-19. I had so many things going on before then. I was living out my purpose, still serving in church during the pandemic. I never thought God would put a pause on my life with everything that I was doing. But then, I thought back to prayer. For weeks, I had been asking the Lord to use me like never before and make me into a better leader. However, I never thought he’d use me this way. COVID has not only affected me, but it has affected the rest of my family’s lives, my job, and my church. Everything happens for a reason. I truly believe that God used me to influence the lives of others around me, so they could pause and listen to what God is trying to say to them. Once I got that in my mind, my faith was no longer tested.

How has your outlook on relationships changed? Because of COVID, I’ve drawn closer to my friends and family. Knowing that anything can happen to anyone at any time, I check on them from time to time to let them know that I am and will always be here for them.

Tell a story about your lowest point in quarantine. During quarantine, my lowest point was when I found out my job had to close for 2 weeks because I had COVID. It felt like the weight of my job was on my shoulders, and I just dropped it all. Even though it was the right thing that had to be done, I just know all of the workers were frustrated because that was their only source of income.

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Tell a story about your best experience during quarantine. My best experience during quarantine was when I took a walk with my mom. Even though she had COVID too, she just made everything better as she was going through the journey alongside me.

Tell a story about something or someone who made you laugh the most during quarantine. My boyfriend made me laugh the most during quarantine. We’ve been in a long-distance relationship for 3 years; however, that didn’t stop him from FaceTiming me every day to get me out of my sad mood and tell me funny stories.

Share a story about the biggest adjustment you had to make while quarantined. The biggest adjustment I had to make while in quarantine was not going to dance rehearsal. Before quarantine, I danced everyday, MondaySunday, and suddenly, I had to do all of my dance rehearsals online.

What is your hope for the future? My hope for the future is to dance on Broadway, become a Kindergarten school teacher, and own a dance studio. My advice to the world is to always put God first. It may sound so simple, but it’s something that our community sometimes tends to forget. "He will never leave you or forsake you."

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Michelle Early I G : @ G o d H a p p e n e d T o ME T w i t t e r : @ G o d H a p p e n e d T o ME

The Thief

w w w . G o d H a p p e n e d T o ME . c o m

CONTRARY to my own popular belief, I truly love my family and friends, and I enjoy spending time with them. I know that while the anxiety attacks come frequently when social events are on the horizon, as a whole, I really do love these people. The last big event was for Thanksgiving 2019. We had people over for Christmas, but for Thanksgiving, the house was super packed! I live in a condo, and every inch of the 1,200+ square feet was filled with the flowing aroma of love, laughter, and lovingly prepared Jamaican food. Oxtail, curry goat, curry chicken, fried/baked fish, collard greens, vegetable medley (for this vegan), mashed potatoes, sorrel, carrot drink, and my mother’s “famous” pineapple upside cake. If the smell of mommy’s cooking didn’t tell you that we were celebrating, then the Reggae music or boisterous voices of rambunctious children gave us away. We are Jamaican, and Thanksgiving isn’t really our “holiday,” but that year we came together because we were still mourning the loss of two dear loved ones. We had to celebrate. We had to ensure that each person felt the love that flowed from the hearts of the next person. The kids needed to know their cousins, my sister and I needed to learn to re-love our cousins, and my mom and her brother needed to rebuild their relationship. Thanksgiving was A LOT, but this home still smells like the love of family. I looked forward to the future celebrations that would occur in this home in 2020 since this was MY year, but then the thief… FREED MAGAZINE 69


T he T hief C ontinued OBLIVIOUS is the best word to describe me at times. For seven years, I did not know that he was loving me from afar. I mean, we tried to date one time in 2013, but I ran at the first sign of fear and effectively avoided him until January 13, 2020. It was Founder’s Day, and he sent me a message. His number wasn’t saved in my phone, but I had a feeling that it was him. Instead of asking my typical, “Who is this?”, I continued the conversation and confirmed my belief. Of the seven Founder’s Days that I celebrated before 2020, he had never reached out to me… but this year he did. We chatted incessantly for hours and days at a time. He shared secrets with me that caused my heart to flutter in a new way. I wanted to try again with this man that I had blown off in the past… but I was still afraid. We had a date scheduled for the week of Valentine’s Day, but I bailed at the last minute and instead sat at home in my fear. Would he hurt me? Would he be like the others? Would I fall too deeply beyond the point of recovery? I didn’t know what would happen, so I did what I do best—I ran. The next week, I asked him why he never asked me why I flaked. Like the amazing man that he is, he said that he figured something important must have come up. I told him the truth, and we rescheduled for February 21st. The date went well, but my greatest fear did come true—I had fallen deeper than I could ever imagine. Yes, in one day with this man, I saw my past, my present, and my future. I messed around and saw his heart, and there has been no turning back since. Although he’s older than me, there is so much that he has not seen or experienced. I wanted to share my happy places with him these past few months, but so many restrictions, barriers, and weather constraints limited our options. He’s spontaneous (really spontaneous, not the fake spontaneous that I pretend to be) and he just wants to spread his wings and roam free, outside of the walls of his imagination, but the thief… VIVID images dance in my head when I think of summertime. I see children playing in the street with busted fire hydrants spraying them with water, spectacular fireworks exploding in the air on July 4th, and ice cream quickly melting in the hands of passersby as they try to enjoy their sweet treat. Summer means something special in the state of Maryland. In Frederick County, it means berry picking; wanting to ride with your windows rolled down but then having to roll them up because, well, manure; and families flooding Baker Park and Carroll Creek. In Baltimore City, summer means dirt bikes and frequent trips to the Harbor to stunt. Outsiders flock to the Harbor to actually see the sights, visit the aquarium, or shop/dine, but locals go to look cute and show off their bae. It’s not summertime in Baltimore if you aren’t annoyed by the sound of dirt bikes [illegally] racing down the street or the neighborhood kids yelling outside at 11pm at night. On the Eastern Shore, summer means beach time. Sandy Point State Park, Ocean City, and other beaches along the coastline are flooded with visitors, simply seeking to dip their toes in liquid happiness. We live for the summer here in Maryland. The other seasons are cute and greatly serve their own purpose, but summer (or “summa,” as I say with my Baltimore accent) is when friendships are forged and memories are created. The woes of the colder months fade away, and we are left with the joys of warm experiences. We Marylanders planned for months the activities that we would partake in during the summer months of 2020, yet we were blindsided by the thief… FREED MAGAZINE 70


THE QUARANTINE ISSUE V

INADEQUACY fills the hearts and minds of those around me. After months of trying to provide for themselves and their families, while simultaneously navigating the new normal, many people have been driven to question if they were built for this “stuff.” I say this lovingly, but people who narrowly matriculated through school themselves have now become the instructor for their child’s coursework. Personally, my mother acquired her GED after I had graduated high school and was finishing my undergraduate degree. Respectfully, she would not have been equipped to do what millions of parents are now forced to do – teach children. My thoughts on virtual learning are a bit biased as I have worked at a middle school for the last three school years. I have seen just how those scholars struggled with proper hygiene in general and—while I love them dearly—I know those babies would struggle hard with handling the current level of required cleanliness. Bless their hearts! My heart aches for the families that face one or more pertinent issue like lack of access to Wi-Fi, lack of electronic devices, job loss, language barriers, having a child that receives IEP (Individualized Education Plan) services, lack of food, home abuse… and the list goes on! School provided an outlet for youth and an immediate ignorance to real problems that exist in this country. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave, yet so many of our fellow Americans or people dwelling in America feel neither free nor brave. They felt the weight of the world around them long before their lives were upended, and their hope was stolen by the thief… DEVOTION is the only way that we will survive this time. We must devote ourselves to our God, our Abba Father, who is especially equipped to handle every situation that we could ever face. We must devote ourselves to studying His Word and finding the answers that He has already provided in His 66-book love letter to us. For it is through our daily devotion to Him that we will be given the dosage of strength that we need to press through the dilemmas that we face. We must decide daily to fully trust the God that we cannot see, to fight the battles that we presently see. We must remember the words of Romans 8:37 and wholly believe that God created us to more than conquer the trials that plague us. Trust me, I know that that seems so good in theory but nearly impossible in reality, but I believe that that’s because we are trying to see a bigger picture than God intends for us to see at any present moment. It’s like a nearsighted person trying to see the entire world around them without the corrective lenses of God. God allows us to see what is right in our immediate purview and asks us to trust Him to show us the rest through His eyes only. What a gracious God we serve! Through His lenses, we are set free from the bonds of this world and free to take back the power that was temporarily “borrowed” by the thief. Though COVID is around, in Christ we are not consumed. We are FREED. Walk freed, Beloved.

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Arti st : M a rk Mc A l i st e r // IG : @ M ark_mcali st e r FREED MAGAZINE 72


THE QUARANTINE ISSUE V

M ar k M c A l i st e r

IG: @M a rk_ mc a l i st e r

a creator

Where do you find inspiration?

I find inspiration by searching for connections between seemingly disparate ideas, items, and materials, searching for new methods of creating, and re-combining things into something unexpected...I find inspiration in the journey of becoming who God created me to be, trusting that my ideas aren’t crazy, and developing the courage to put myself out there. What does being FREED or freedom look like to you? Freedom to me would be the feeling that I have when I’m making art—that any mistake I make is just part of the final work, that no matter what happens or how something turns out, it’s going to be beautiful, and people will appreciate it—and living it out in my daily life. I sometimes feel trapped by my fear of failure, frozen by comparing myself to others, overrun with anxiety of how events will play out. It wasn’t until recently that I realized, I am the complete opposite of all of those things when I’m creating.... I’m free when I’m creating, and confident when expressing my ideas, if I could live like that every moment and in every situation, I’d be free.

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Photographer // Cotton Bro

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Chelsea Bailey I G : @ fa i t h f u l ly c h e l s e a w w w . fa i t h f u l ly c h e l s e a . c o m

What advice would you give to someone who is struggling with fear? Fear is not a spirit from God, nor is it fruitful. I would encourage them to lean in on what God is trying to teach them during that particular season.

Share a time when you had to face fear. How did you overcome that obstacle? Letting go of my job prior to quarantine. In general, I knew God was calling me home, and I was holding on to my job. I had many confirmations about being home with my kids. So I finally decided to put my faith in God, and He continued to show up consistently. I put my fear aside to truly trust in the Lord, and my faith has definitely grown.

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P hotographer // R f S tudio

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Carrita FLIE IG: @carrItalenIece

Share a time when you had to face fear? How did you overcome that obstacle? I’ve had many times where I've had to face fear. The biggest times being, the possibility of losing my son who was born extremely premature. I had to trust that despite what I was facing, God was more than capable of keeping His promises and bringing us through the many obstacles we faced. What does being FREED mean to you? To me, being FREED means giving myself permission to live unapologetically as the woman God called me to be. There are things that God has assigned to me, that I can only fulďŹ ll if I truly walk in His FREEDOM. What has God done in your life? God has taken me through many seasons of pruning, growth, and change, to push me into my calling. I am so grateful for it all! What are you FREED from? Fear, shame, depression, needing validation, and most importantly feeling the need to satisfy people, above God! What advice would you give to someone who was struggling with fear? God created you to do incredible things. There are lives dependent upon your obedience to Christ. Fear has no place in your life as a child of God!

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Photographer // Rf Studio FREED MAGAZINE 79


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IAMWHOIAM IG:

@IameXodUstHree

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P hotographer // R io K uncoro

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Sara Lindenhols IG: @saralindenhols w w w . s a r a l i n d e n h o l s . w o r d p r e ss . c o m

Share a time when you had to face fear? How did you overcome that obstacle? I am recovering from ptsd and a few phobias. God was my ultimate helper. He provided me through a beautiful husband (and good therapy). What does being FREED mean to you? The ability to be me - to use my talents to His glory without the need to be seen. What has God done in your life? So much. He is my life. In times of depression, He waited patiently until I was ready to surrender. When anxieties took control, He was near. This past year, I had to go through heavy treatment, but no matter how dark and deep it felt I sunk: I knew He was by my side, and promised to help me get through it. What are you FREED from? I am FREED from the feeling of never being good enough. I am also FREED from the idea that I had to work and work and work more and more, and better and better to be accepted. Now I know I’m not perfect, but good in His sight. I know my talents and accept my flaws. There’s no longer the obsessive need to improve myself. What are you doing now with your FREEDOM? Enjoying it! Expressing it in my art, Writing about what God is teaching me, and using it to help my students with similar problems (I teach lifephilosophy in High school). What advice would you give to someone who was struggling with fear? SEEK THE LORD AND HIS STRENGTH! We can access His strength by seeking Him continually (by praying, walking with Him, worshiping, praising, drawing... doing everything we do for Him). God’s arms are open wide; lets focus on His loving presence instead of fear! - 1 Chronicles 16:11 FREED MAGAZINE 83


Jordyn Imari I G : @ j o r dy n i m a r i w w w . j o r dy n i m a r i . c o m

M

To the Girl Who Prefers Guy Friends

y first best friend was a boy named David. He lived right next door to me. We were 5 years old, and he gave me my very first experience with friendship. We played outside together almost every day, and we explored nature together (as much as we could in our driveways where our parents could see us). I have a lot of my first memories with David. He rooted me on as I learned to ride my bike without training wheels. He watched the dances I choreographed and would join in with me. He helped my mom patch up a cut when I fell off my bike and scraped my leg, and as we grew older, he was always there to give me advice when I had boy trouble. This pattern never changed. At every school, in every grade, and in every season of my life, I was always the kind of girl who only had close guy friends, and I preferred it that way. I had a few female friends along the way, but the friendships never lasted. In my experience, girls were nothing but dramatic, catty, and always had some kind of issue. The problem was always them. But please let me shatter that opinion right now… the problem can’t ALWAYS be the other person. This went on from 5 years old to 25 years old. I’m 25 years old now, so as you can see, I’m not that far removed from my struggle; however, I don’t believe God wants us to wait 10 years before we share about His goodness in our lives. Self-reflection is key to growth. Issues with people are a good indicator that we have issues with God. I didn’t have a problem making friends with women. I had an identity issue within myself that needed healing.

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As I sat in my pastor’s office, one day, heartbroken about a failed friendship with a guy, he asked me if I had any women friends who could support me during this time. I told him that I haven’t really had much success in friendships with women and that I’ve always just had guy friends. “I just don’t get along with women,” I told him. But he definitely didn’t let me settle with that as my answer. He told me that I could take a look around our church and see that friendship among women wasn’t the issue, because there were plenty of great examples—it was my perception of women that was the issue. Ouch. But he was right. My preference for male friends was much deeper than “I just get along with guys better.” It was deeply rooted in my inability to connect well with women because I didn’t have a healthy view of being a woman or loving one in friendship. For the very first time in my life, I had to sit back and evaluate why I struggled with making and maintaining female friends. I also had to come to terms with the fact that while I needed a solid sisterhood during this season of pain, it was my own fault I didn’t have them because I spent literally two decades neglecting them. Something had to break in my current patterns for me to fully see the toxicity of them. I secretly preferred friendship with guys because they made me feel good about myself. For whatever reason, compliments and attention from guys made me feel important, valued, and loved. In some twisted way, girls felt like a threat to my worth. I actually felt very uncomfortable around them. I had so many unspoken insecurities that I just covered up with the phrase “I just get along with guys better.” I was addicted to the way positive words from guys made me feel. It was like they had something to offer that women couldn’t. I didn’t see the value of friendship with women because I honestly thought they couldn’t offer me much. Women brought the exact same thing I brought to the table, so what did I need them for? As a child, I was also molested by a female family member, and I’m sure that trauma shaped the way I felt about women. From a very early age, my body learned that women and their touch were unsafe. So for a long time, I had been seeking validation from guys. Being a lover of words of affirmation became unhealthy, because I began to completely rely on those affirmations from men to feel good about myself. And when they weren’t given willingly, I’d figure out a way to get them—lying, manipulation, thirst-trapping, and whatever other form of brokenness I could use to feel loved. This led to ugly cycles of codependency, making men my idols, and a desperation for love that seemed beyond repair. Most recently, I had placed my worth and identity in one particular friendship, and when it came crashing down, so did my ability to see my worth. I felt like nothing, and my words and actions showed it.

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to

the

g irl w ho P reFers g uy F riends c ontinued

This is the first season of my life where I haven’t had a male “best friend,” and it’s… different. I am, by no means, completely successful in this area, but I’m learning the utter importance of having a community of women around me. I’ve been getting close to one particular group of women, and I can’t even begin to describe how loved and encouraged I feel. One girl sent me the text message below about a month ago, which completely wrecked me:

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I was completely wrong about women having nothing to offer me because during one of the lowest times of my life, it was a sister who came and loved me so tremendously with her kind words. It was a sister who rubbed my back during brunch, and made me feel like it was ok to not be ok. And it was a sister who intentionally included me in plans and made sure I no longer kept hiding in my house, hiding all that God created me to be. To the girl who prefers guy friends and only seeks friendships with them, I challenge you to ask yourself, "why?" Ask yourself why you put more energy in relationships with men than your sisters? Be honest with yourself about why you prefer the company of men opposed to women? Ask yourself the hard questions. Are women always jealous of me? Or am I jealous of women? Are women difficult, or do I just hate conflict, and friendships with guys is the easy way out? Are women too emotional, or are they just like me, and I should celebrate that uniqueness? There are always reasons for our preferences and actions that are probably much more deeply rooted in brokenness than we think. Take it from me, friend. Don’t neglect your relationships with women. They are valuable, needed, beautiful, healing, and should be protected and cherished. When I fell flat on my face, it wasn’t validation from a man that could pick me up; it was the healing love of sisterhood. And there weren't many women in my corner either; it was the love of a few. And that was more than enough. I definitely don’t get this perfect every time. Sometimes I still struggle, because I’m still learning how to be friends with women. The times I don’t feel like answering one of their calls, are when I need to make the choice to answer it anyway. The times I feel uncomfortable with one of them rubbing my back, I choose to let it happen anyway. The times we butt heads and I want to let them go (like I did in the past), I have to make a choice to engage in healthy dialogue and work through the issues. Every day, I have to make the conscious decision to fight for the friendships. It has made all the difference. I’ve learned that positioning yourself, and opening yourself up for the answer to the prayer, is just as important as the prayer itself. All I can say is, God is so faithful.

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L A N O I T O V L E A D N O I T O V E L D A N O I T O V E L D A N O I T O V E D by

K a y l a W i ll i a m s IG: @KayWillSpeaks FREED MAGAZINE 90


L L

D E VO T I O NA L

DIVINE DISRUPTION by Kayla Williams

“Now, as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, ‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.’ But the Lord answered her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.’” Luke 10:38-42 (ESV) To experience the refreshment of His presence, amid joy, and at the peaks of pain, we must come to God. His presence shifts the atmosphere and strengthens the heart, soul, and mind. When you tune into the Master’s voice, there is a beautiful harmony played in your ears as the world around you grows quiet. We learn of Him by sitting at His feet, during times of peace as well as turmoil. Often, the pressures of life compete for our attention, and we struggle to prioritize time with God over earthly commitments. The coronavirus, (COVID-19), pandemic has had a global impact that no one could have foreseen entering into 2020. Did you know illness would spread rapidly with no specific antiviral treatment? No. Did you suspect that 40+ million people unemployed would be a growing statistic? Not at all. The effects of COVID-19 have been endless, causing schools, corporations, daycares, gyms, restaurants, and theme-parks to close without warning. Then, in an instant, we moved from pestilence and panic, to worldwide protest and activism. Our focus shifted from containing the spread of COVID-19, to declaring war on police brutality, from the United States and Canada to Israel. A global disruption began happening, and I thought to myself, “But why, God?” Because it felt as though our faith was on trial, and our response would reveal who we claimed to be in Christ.


D ivine D isruption D evotional C ontinued

In this passage, sisters Martha and Mary, reveal to us the power of our response to Christ. Though these sisters were not going through a pandemic or suffering immediate loss, their story is peculiar due to their reactions to Christ. Martha was distracted with serving while Mary sat at the feet of Christ, desiring to learn more of His wisdom. As you read, ask yourself, who am I? Or, who have I been in 2020? We are experiencing a moment in history where our most significant opportunity is to learn what it means to keep our eyes focused on Christ. The growing confusion is shaking the world and starting to expose whose feet stand on the Rock of Ages. Martha, the sister who invited Christ into her home, was so preoccupied with the responsibilities of hosting, that serving the people took precedence over Christ. Is this you? Do you desire to have Christ's presence in your home, yet find yourself distracted by the physical responsibilities required of you? We often fail to realize when, our attention has shifted from Christ, to the chaos, until all the confusion becomes overwhelming. There have been many times over the past couple of months, when I had to declare, “Though my heart is sad, and I am deeply discouraged, I will remember where my help comes from.� I found that when you intentionally create a space where Christ is the center of your focus, He will work wonders in your life. After all, He is the potter, and you are the clay, which He will sculpt to become more like Him. Like Martha, you might find that earthly commitments take priority over seeking the Lord in the morning, noon, and night. Responsibilities may pull you in every direction, tempting you to bear the weight on your own; however, I urge you to look up when you feel helpless, and like Martha, He will teach you. Christ was ready to direct Martha, and although it was not the direction she expected from Him, it was vital to her well-being. Christ taught Martha that only one thing is essential: Quality time with me where you sit and listen while I pour into you; I feed you, I renew you, and I strengthen you. Do not be anxious, my child. I have your job in my hands, I have your family in my hands, and I have you in my hands. Not even Solomon was arrayed like the lilies of the field, so I tell you, my child, care for nothing. Be anxious for nothing, for I will provide for you. FREED MAGAZINE 92


THE QUARANTINE ISSUE V

No matter the weight of what you may experience in the world, Christ is prepared to relieve you of your burden and replace it with His light. Mary accepted this experience, as she sat at His feet, concentrated on His words, and sought His wisdom. When districts closed schools, and businesses shut down, God turned a global disruption, meant for evil, into an opportunity for divine reconnection with each one of His children. No longer could the busyness of life be used as an excuse, because God minimized the noise and distractions. Today He says, will your ears be listening for my voice? Martha, who welcomed Christ, loved Christ, but let the waves of life deter her from the one essential thing she needed: to hear from Jesus. Mary chose the good portion, an encounter with the Savior, and nothing could separate her from His love. How will you respond when Christ enters the room? I implore you, my brothers and sisters, to sit at the feet of Jesus, as Mary did, and allow His hope to be your hope and His strength to be your strength. Let His faith become your faith, and His comfort be your comfort. Let your heart not be troubled, for He has never left you. Open your eyes to the things God has blessed you with, the simple things, and embrace your families, friends, and loved ones. Jesus is knocking at the door of your heart; let Him come in. What does quality time with Christ look like for you? What is God asking of you this year? Take time to ponder, write it out, then choose the Good portion.

Do not be anxious, my child. I have your job in my hands, I have your family in my hands, and I have you in my hands. Not even Solomon was arrayed like the lilies of the field, so I tell you, my child, care for nothing. Be anxious for nothing, for I will provide for you.

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P R AY E R

Devotional Prayer for You to Declare Lord, you are omnipotent and omniscient; there’s none like you in all the earth. I declare that you are my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? You are the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Father, with so much happening around us, from sickness and disease to violence in the streets, I pray that you continue to be our refuge. Lord, we know that you are bigger than COVID-19, police brutality, racism, depression, suicidal thoughts, cancer, oppression, and fear. Lord, I pray that we would be like Mary, not anxious, not wearied, not worried or stressed, but focused on you and your voice. Lord, let us seek first the kingdom of righteousness and trust in you with all our hearts. Teach us to make room for you to prioritize you, and to desire more of you, so we may be transformed into the image of Christ. I pray that we learn to seek you early and that our faith will rest in your power to deliver your people. Father, let our only desire be to sit at your feet and commune with you daily, so that you may reset, organize, and renew our thoughts. Father, I trust you to mend broken hearts and restore the tired mind. For those affected by the coronavirus, I thank you in advance for their healing. For families who have suffered a loss, let your presence fill their homes and hearts. You are the God of Comfort; let your peace permeate their souls. You are a forgiving God, a longsuffering Father, and you call me Child. Father, forgive us for being distracted by the news in the morning, meetings in the afternoon, and household responsibilities in the evening. Lord, thank you for not treating me as my sins deserve, and for never leading me into temptation. Father, teach me to put you first, and in moments of terror, I will declare that you are with me in the valley of the shadow of death. I shall fear no evil, for your rod and your staff comfort me. You have FREED my heart from the chains of hopelessness and fear. Thank you, gracious Father, for being an ever-present help in times of trouble. Thank you for fighting my battles, and for making me more than a conqueror. For as you said, the battle is not ours, and vengeance is yours. Father, you are our deliverer and protector through any storm. My hope is in you, my trust is in you, and my confidence rests in the power of your great name. You are the source of my strength. Lord, let us come together as one body, one bride, and in one Spirit, as your people, to reveal your glory in this dying world. You reign in victory as our protector, defender, and redeemer. As you increase in me, even if the distractions don’t decrease, I will make room for you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen. FREED MAGAZINE 94


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Profile for FREED Magazine

Issue V: The Quarantine  

This FREED issue showcases contributors from all over the world who have bravely shared testimonies of trials they overcame during the 2020...

Issue V: The Quarantine  

This FREED issue showcases contributors from all over the world who have bravely shared testimonies of trials they overcame during the 2020...

Profile for freedmag