I am a Christian Woman I am a Wife I am a Mother I am a Writer I am a Leader I am a Teacher I am a Daughter I am a Sister I am a Aunt I am a Cousin I am a Friend

I remember days that what was happening around me would control my attitude, my emotions, my actions, and my words. Every memory I have, even as a child I was this way, controlled by my surroundings. Waves of problems, loss, abandonment, abuse, hopelessness, and low self esteem would engulf my every move. As you can imagine this caused havoc on many relationships and it definitely did not reflect a relationship with a loving & living God.. For 33 years I lived this way. My faith was a roller coaster experiencing all kinds of twists and turns, ups and downs ... I had no foundation to keep me grounded in what I should have.

At the age of 24 I was diagnosed with depression and was placed on medication. Tho this helped me gain some assistance over a few emotions it did not make a difference in the way I lived my day to day life. I continued to struggle with a negative outlook on my life and the world around me, I continued to struggle with anger and anxiety, I continued to struggle with not being able to trust people nor allow them into my "real" world, and I continued to say things that would tear down instead of building those up. Bad things continued to happen to me & my family and it continued to cause problems in my relationship with God, my husband, my children, my family, my church, and my friends.

At the age of 32 I became very ill after the birth of our daughter. During this time the doctors and surgeons told my husband that their is a possibility I would not survive. (Read that story here) At this time my husband and I chose to follow God no matter what happened. We knew that if I had life that is all that would matter. We knew that all the small stuff, even tho at times was pretty big, was so very minuscule incomparision to this life and death matter we were experiencing. I received a miracle from my very Big and very Powerful God.. I walked out of the hospital that summer. Even tho I grew up in the church, I accepted Jesus into my life, I believed in Him and His love and I committed to the best of my ability, that day I as well as my husband knew that God was real

Now this changed alot of how I lived each day, I loved those around me more, I became more involved in the church, I enjoyed my life more... however I was still struggling inside. I harbored a darkness within me and within that I kept a big wall around that darkness not letting anything inside. Protecting me from all the things that have damaged me in the past.. I was not going to be treated that way again.. I continued to struggle with the inability to live life to its fullest.. but I did my best to pretend like I was...

Well at the age of 33 I had a panic attack that sent me to the hospital via ambulance. My world of darkness that I was withholding on the inside bursted on the outside for all to see. .. This happened because even tho I dealt with life differently I still did not have the ability within me to actually do this. During my hospital stay I was diagnosed with anxiety and clinical depression. Something that cannot be controlled with my actions, words, & thoughts alone.. I needed medication in addition to all of my efforts.

With this medication I began to see life in a completely different way. All the things that engulfed me within my mind was released. Over time I noticed a clearer vision on the way I saw things. With that ability I was able to begin connecting with others in a way I have never been able to do. God began to place a passion within me. God began to give me the desire to love those who are in similar situations as me. I began to write and share bits and pieces with those on my blog... People would read and let me know that they to felt the same way. This was all so very exciting, all this time I thought that I was alone, that no one else felt this way. But I wasn't. .. this passion grew within me and I felt led to begin a LifeGroup within my church... this led me to other opportunities of teaching, leadership and writing in what I believe God is calling me to do.

Yet deep down I still had this wall. This wall that I began to say was something that I was taking down one brick at a time. Baby steps.. within my comfort ... I was in control of taking that wall down. October of 2011 God revealed to me that no one was doing any good by me keeping that wall. I surrendered and I gave God permission to bulldoze it down!

I feel that I was created this way so that I would know how to speak, to listen and to love those that struggle with issues of anxiety and clinical depression.

I am afraid that if I don't I am not being obedient to what God is calling me to do. I am afraid that when I do share others will not accept me.

I have known that I have been given a boldness within me to do what I have been called to do. A month after I received my miracle, friends of the church came and prayed over me. During this time she spoke of a boldness and of courage that I have in order to fulfill His purpose.

I believe it is time for me to tap into that boldness and courage that has been given to me.

I pray that I do not do this on my own strengths, I pray that I will continue to surrender all to Him and give Him the control of my life. I pray that I will have opportunities to tap into the boldness and courage that He has given me.

I try to turn to Jesus deny myself and take up my cross and follow Him daily.

I dream that I will be able to reach out to women who have been in this darkness, I dream that I will be able to speak to those who have also built up walls to keep them safe... so that they will find the power of the living & loving God just as I have. Life is just too short to live behind the walls within the dark.

I am a Christian Woman I am a Wife I am a Mother I am a Writer I am a Leader I am a Teacher I am a Daughter I am a Sister I am a Aunt I am a Cousin I am a Friend.....

Who has been fearfully and wonderfully made. As long as the world has existed, there has never been anyone like me. This is MY STORY

About the Author: Jeanie Cullip is a happily married, stay-at-home mommy of 3 children of her own and 2 step-children. Finding joy, love & hope right in her own back yard and sharing it with her neighbors near and far. In love with Jesus, loves to giggle & loves to drink coffee. She is a freelance writer residing in Gig Harbor. Find out a “latte” about Jeanie on her blog Cup of Joe with Jeanie at www.cupofjoewithjeanie.com . Please e-mail her at cupofjoewithjeanie@yahoo.com