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Stories of Lives Liberated

Mandi

Mandi

Once a lost girl, like a pinball bouncing from place to place to find the winning prize of happiness. Now, a daughter of Christ who has found a home with her heavenly Father “who does not change like shifting shadows.”

 

Who I Was Before Christ:

I was raised in a Christian home. My parents accepted Christ as their Savior when I was two years old. I went to a Christian school, had Christian friends, and an overall great childhood. I was happy, but I felt lost. Having a more shy personality, I always felt like I was watching other people live life. I had friends, but I wasn’t “popular.” I knew my family loved me, but I wanted that acceptance from others-people to think I was special and to validate who I was since I felt lost in the shuffle. Overall, there were times of great joy, which led to times of great sadness when they were over. My senior year of high school, my parents separated and eventually divorced. It was a pretty big deal being in such a small Christian school, so in my laid-back way, I shrugged it off without too much emotion and dove into enjoying my last year. The final championships of our class of 26, having a blast with my friends, a new boyfriend, it seemed like nothing was wrong. When the year was over, those things were gone and I felt empty. I went to Bethel to find a new exciting path, but felt completely lost as to God’s will. I moved back, feeling lonely in a big new school. I tried new things in my hometown- a new college, a new church. I was terrified of making the wrong choice and missing God’s will. I wanted my security back because it was in happiness, not God.

What Changed?:

I met God in that brokenness, and he gave me Isaiah 30: 15, 19-21.

“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength..People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

I knew that God was telling me He had my life in His hands. I didn’t need to feel lost. I realized it was ok to do what I wanted to do-what I had peace about. I stayed instead of going back to Bethel (which some thought made more sense). I randomly went to culinary school to be a pastry chef in Mendota Heights, with very little details or planning. God used that experience to refine me in a new place, again feeling alone. He brought me a great group of friends at the school, who I still know today. I had many chances to be a light with some very broken friends. He brought me to The Rock through an ad in the Yellow Pages. He gave me a job at my choice bakery with a dear classmate the day I was going to accept a position somewhere else. Lastly, He introduced me to the man who sought me out and became my husband.

Who I Am Now:

I am now married with two beautiful children. I feel content in knowing that this is exactly where He wants me. I am not lost. It was ok to follow this path because even where I made mistakes, He always brought good from it. I still struggle sometimes with feeling left out and know I need to guard my heart and trust in His promises. I can see His faithfulness throughout my past, leading me to where I am today. The easiest decisions I made were the ones that didn’t make sense, but I had peace, and God had a plan. He kept me from a dangerous path, which I could have easily gone down for acceptance, because He said “this is the way” and not that way. I am so thankful He did. His will for our lives is not complicated, it just requires taking your mind and emotions out of it and doing the right thing based on His word. I am so thankful he cares about every detail of our lives.

 
 

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