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Are you frustrated with yourself? Maybe a weakness is holding you back from realizing your dreams. Don’t give up. Keep going.

Reluctant Gideon became a Mighty Commander

Angry, Stuttering Moses became a Compassionate Orator

Proud, Judgmental Paul became a Humble Servant Leader

Three heroes of the faith, who said “Yes” to God” and in the process were transformed. People do change. You can change.

Be resolved, God can transform your weakness into a strength.

Resolve is the theme of the winter issue of Magnolia Journal. My daughter Kelsey sent me home with her copy last week, excited by the way the content was so closely tied to a book I wrote about my story. Flipping through the pages, I came across a quote by Joanna and her team:

“Resolving to look beyond the surface of things, for better or worse, past the messiness and the rough around the edges part of our lives, is how we get to discover the untapped potential, our own diamonds in the rough.” (page 70)

Looking under the surface, describes what I did, when failed attempts to change weaknesses interfering with my job and relationships, left me hopeless. The frustration I felt turned inward, and bordered on self-contempt. The turning point came, when I ran towards what I feared the most, traumatic memories buried deep in my past.

It turned out that my weaknesses were rooted in rejection and shame. Once exposed, I finally began to see progress. However, it took resolve and determination to press in and press on despite how much it hurt.

A decade has passed, and my story is something I share without fear or shame on a regular basis in my work with victims of sexual trauma. It's also the subject of my book, Love Gone Wrong, which is now for sale and available to the public on my website. This despite the fact my story of sexual trauma is sometimes met with the very things I used to find emotionally crippling: opposition, disapproval, and rejection.

You see, I have changed. By faith:

Emotionally fragile, Insecure Laurel is becoming a Strong, Confident, Champion for Change.

My dream to inspire others to pursue healing and transformation is beginning to come true.

Currently I am a leader for an organization called SAVAnon. (Sexual Abuse Victims Anonymous) SAVAnon exists to raise the awareness of the emotional trauma caused by sexual abuse and assault, and to provide a pathway to healing for those that have been affected.

Over the last year, SAVAnon has launched numerous 8 week recovery groups. I have had the opportunity to co facilitate a number of them. On a weekly basis, as participants come together to discuss the story based curriculum,I get to witness them change right before my very eyes. Transformation is possible, it can happen, but rarely, if ever, does it happen alone.

Are you stuck? Have you given up hope? Have you lost your resolve to change? On our own, and in our own strength, we are powerless to change ourselves. But with God, all things are possible.

Every weakness you have is an opportunity for God to show his strength.

Don’t miss out on seeing your dreams fulfilled. Identify your next step of faith. Ask God for direction. Be resolved to say "Yes", and in the process expect transformation!

If you have never said Yes to God, and are not sure how to do this, it’s as simple as A-B-C.

1. Ask. Ask God for Help

Admit you are a sinner, you’ve made mistakes, and ask God to forgive you. (Romans 3:10,23)

2. Believe. Your Only Hope is Jesus

Choose to believe Jesus loves you. Trust that God’s only Son was sent to on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin so you could have eternal life and be saved. (John 3:16)

3. Confess. Tell Someone

Words are powerful. Confess that Jesus is your Lord and Savior. (Romans 10:9,10)

When we say “yes” to Jesus the first time, we experience immediate transformation.

God gives us a new heart. But it doesn't stop there. God promises to continue to change us as we live a life of adventure and faith surrendered to him.

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