[about she]

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.  Matthew 5:15

Hi, friends! My name is Janice and live a glorious life with my husband of almost five years, our lovely little cat, and two rambunctious dogs. We are expecting a little baby girl in August and feel so incredibly blessed for the opportunity to grow His Kingdom through this precious miracle child. My husband is an avid entrepreneur and after graduating college, I departed my full-time nursing position to work for our company. I love spending time with my loved ones, shopping (mainly online), and doing all kinds of crafts. I was baptized into the Catholic Church when I was an infant. Though I now attend a wonderful non-denominational church, I don't have a moment where I can recall I was technically "saved" like a lot of my friends do. My heart belonged to Jesus as long as I can remember. Through hardships and trials, my faith never wavered; I knew He was going to get me through it. He had so many times before. One of the earliest memories in my love for The Lord, I remember feeling Him so warmly when I prayed. As a little girl, when I closed my eyes to pray, I saw the warmest glow of light; I saw sparks. This incredible warmth and love that surrounded me when I talked to God became incredibly comforting and I found myself talking to him frequently just to see these "sparks" and feel that comfort envelop me.

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I typically steer clear of talking openly about the incredibly painful parts of my childhood, but for the sake of testimony and transparency, here goes... My beautiful mother was called to Heaven when I was five. My father in turn became increasingly sick with depression and alcoholism which led to many years of heavy mental & physical abuse to my brother and me. In my early teens, I was transferred to the care of the state. After a round of shelters and foster homes, I was placed with my very strict paternal grandmother. I love her dearly but her love for her abusive son came first so my teenage years were ridden with betrayal and continued abuse. During this time I found my comfort and happiness in a boy and his darling family. Aside from The Lord, they were my safe haven from the storm in my life. It was a short-lived period of happiness as he was critically injured in an automobile accident and five months later was called to Heaven too. His blessed family continued to care for me, reminding me that "just because he's not here to love you doesn't mean we stop loving you." Those words will forever warm my heart. When I was 18, I enrolled at our local university only to drop two years later due to an electrical defect in my heart which required frequent medical attention and hospitalizations. I wound up living out of my car, attending a technical school to obtain my LPN license to make more money and working full-time to pay my increasing medical debt. I was reckless in my relationships with friends and boyfriends. I was in severe emotional pain and made decisions that I am not proud of. I allowed so many people to treat me in ways I should never have been treated.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged,for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. - Joshua 1:9
While I didn't lose my faith or question The Lord in this painful time, several friends showed me love by lifting me out of the mud. Their love reminded me that if I had these people who loved me so much here on earth, how much more did my Heavenly Father love me?

So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. - Matthew 10:31
So I pressed on, held faith, and turned my life around. I stopped being a victim of my circumstances and chose to live openly as a survivor from His Grace. I was never public about my love for Jesus until a few years ago. I always loved him behind closed doors but never knew how to express my faith and love. I had a long run of rebellion during those teenage and college years. I was not living by faith but by pain. I still loved The Lord but regretfully did not lean on Him and acted carelessly. I thought, "so many people will question me based on my past." I prayed on it and with lots of God-given courage, I began sharing His love story with friends. I'm still growing in that aspect but there were so many people that helped push me to be more confident in my faith. I read a beautiful book by Angie Smith called Mended. In the book she relates our past imperfections to that of a broken pitcher put back together. Our sins are the broken pieces and it is Jesus that put us back together. The cracks, gashes, and imperfections allow the light of love that He fills us with to pour out onto others. It's a beautiful book that reminded me that it is in the imperfections, the trials, the pain, that I am where I am today. I am still imperfect. I still trip and fall. Trials will continue and hardships are inevitable but through His grace and love, we are refined and made whole again. God often calls us to use the pain we have experienced to help lift others in similar circumstances.

As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens another. - Proverbs 27:17
I once read that every Christian should have a North, East, South, and West. North is the person who feeds you spiritually; a leader. My incredible husband, whose knowledge of The Word is beyond my comprehension, reminds me daily of His love and faithfulness. He is my North and whenever I have questions or need direction, he nails it every time. East and West are the people who walk beside you in Christ. These are the friends who you hold accountability with and meet us right where we are at. They are my "iron sharpens iron" sisters. I treasure my East/West friends so much. Then there is your South. South are the people that you pour your teaching and sharing of faith into. And by teaching, you are growing as well as they are. 

So to wrap up, His grace allowed me to heal, allowed me to let go of the pain; to leave my past at the cross, and follow Him. The memories I choose to hang onto from that darker time are the good ones. I hang on to precious moments with my father. I hang on to happy laughs with my grandmother. I hold tight the love that friends gave me when I hurt so bad. I treasure the memories of those who have been called to Heaven too soon. I learned to love where those broken roads led me. It shaped my heart and mind to value and appreciate every miracle that much more. I have an incredible husband, a challenging and rewarding job with our company (even though I finally became an RN - which was a childhood dream), and friends to journey this life with and I am beyond thankful for His unending grace.

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. - 2 Timothy 4:7

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