Shared with permission . . .
December 9th, 2008………I was pacing anxiously in my hotel room after arriving at Best Western in Lafayette, Indiana. I’d made a huge decision…..to move myself here and go into a program called Vision of Hope. I had no idea what to expect; I was afraid; I wasn’t sure I’d made the right decision; and all I knew was that a sweet lady named Janice would show up there the next morning to get me.
Well, it’s been one year since I came to Indiana and my life has made a complete turnaround. God has been faithful, gently showing me (often through the staff and interns at Vision of Hope) where I needed help in making changes. He’s showed me that by myself, I can’t be anything but sinful and selfish, but with His grace, mercy, and forgiveness, I can continue to grow in the faith. I can love others and serve others because Christ loved me first. My purpose in life is not to please others, please myself, or strive to be someone others admire. My purpose is to live a life that brings glory to God.
It’s not been an easy road, by any means. I’ve dealt with many health issues and uncertainty in that area. I’ve had to learn that being independent or living a life of ease cannot be my idol. I’ve learned that God never brings trials into my life without a reason. Also, pleasing God isn’t all about what I “do” or what I can accomplish in a day!
Not only did God bring the amazing women (staff, interns, and residents) of Vision of Hope into my life–he also lovingly brought me into a godly family here in Lafayette. I can see now that everything that has happened in this past year has been orchestrated by a loving and powerful God and I am SO thankful.
Thank you all for being a part of my life this year. Thank you, Vision of Hope–staff, interns, and girls! Thank you Janelle, for instructing me and loving me….and for getting out your shovel to shovel me out when I needed it…..and getting out your big boots when I needed a kick in the tush. Thank you, my local family, for opening your home to me and showing me how a Christian family lives and loves!
I’m excited to start another year here and continuing to grow!
Blessings and love, Stephanie Joy