Over-Joyed, Under Control

Meet Sonnie! She grew up in the Lafayette area, went to Purdue University, and currently lives with her husband, David, near Faith West and Purdue. Sonnie definitely takes after her name-sake, always wearing a joyful smile on her face and ready to dive-in to the next adventure God brings her way. For now, this “adventure” includes interning at VOH. This is how the story goes…

While at Purdue, Sonnie double-majored in dietetics and fitness/health. It took her 5 exhausting years to complete her degree, and was in her words “really hard and exhausting.” Originally, Sonnie pursued dietetics and nutrition as a sort of freshman whim. While she enjoyed fitness and nutrition, she didn’t realize how much the workload would actually be! In God’s sovereignty, He orchestrated her “whim” into what was His Will all along, preparing Sonnie to work with some of the girls at VOH who struggle with unhealthy eating and lifestyle habits.

Sonnie didn’t just study while at Purdue, she served; both at Faith Church and in other avenues. As she involved herself in ministry opportunities, she met David (her now husband) and they began dating. THAT’s another story for another time, though…. What’s important now is Sonnie recognizes how God used her time dating (and not dating) David to help her trust in God and not the relationship.

After David and Sonnie got married, Sonnie talked with her mentor about incorporate focused ministry into her next year, and interning at Vision of Hope came up. Sonnie knew about VOH from hearing the testimonies of some of the graduates, and through serving with them at Faith. Sonnie’s application was REALLY fast, she was actually hired DURING the January intern training week! Sonnie was ecstatic about serving with VOH. For Sonnie, the internship was a chance to “work with ladies who seriously battled sin and wanted to be redeemed.”

For Sonnie, the internship has included applying, not just dispensing, grace and truth. “God has really showed me how to be a living image-bearer. I’m constantly thinking about how I’m representing Him.” Representing Jesus, for Sonnie, often meant she was given opportunities to act like Christ, rather than acting like herself. “I’m a grace lover,” Sonnie says, acknowledging her tendency toward compassion rather than confrontation. “God gave me A LOT of opportunities to confront. He has taught me how to communicate hard things in love.” Sonnie also realized since coming to VOH how differently people show love. “Being around other interns who love differently has taught me about valuing different character qualities that we’re each strong in or weak in.”

Sonnie’s education and practice at VOH transfers seamlessly into her marriage. “The Bible gives us a lot on how to confront each other, and bottling up doesn’t work. I really had to grow in humility, forgiveness, and forbearance.”

During her time at VOH, Sonnie has meditated on Romans 8, and has been given a lot of opportunity to encourage the residents with the same truth she learned through this passage: “Just knowing I’ve been redeemed, and I can live by the Spirit. I don’t have to live by the flesh. I am free in Christ, no condemnation.”

Sonnie has also been impacted by Isaiah 40:12-25. This passage is filled with phrases and examples of God communicating to His people how much higher He is than they are. “It’s encouraging for me to know that God has all the control, I have none of it. Do I really think God doesn’t have a handle on my life? He created it!”

In the future, Sonnie is ultimately pursuing being a mom and teaching her kids to love God. In the meantime, she’s looking for a job in the field of dietetics and nutrition. Though she doesn’t know exactly what life down the road looks like, Sonnie desires to stay involved as a mentor or volunteer at Vision of Hope and in Faith’s college ministry. She wants to continue to disciple young women, and continue to grow in her relationship with Jesus.


Rachel Bailey
I began my internship with Vision of Hope in January 2013. In my current understanding of God’s will for my life, I am pursuing wisdom and experience to one day work with women with eating disorders. My desire is to plant my feet in truth, while reaching my arms as far as I can toward the broken and hurting. With God’s help and guidance, I hope to become a godly woman and counselor to provide Truth-based counsel rather than “evidenced-based practice.” My life verse is Ecclesiastes 5:7 which says, “For in many dreams and in many words there is emptiness. Rather, fear God."