Aria Transformed by Grace
The Abundant Life Chronicles honors the very personal and profound testimonies shared by people of faith. Today, Aria has agreed to share her personal story of love and healing with the Abundant Life readership. Please keep her in prayer for abundant blessings!
One year ago today, I got baptized. I want to talk just a little about what’s happened in just one year’s time. One year ago, I was incredibly broken. I felt like I was surrounded by complete darkness. Everything felt overwhelming. For two years I had been searching to know Jesus but I was still pretty lost. I had little guidance but my heart was open and I wanted to live my life for Him.
I was in a time of suffering because I did not know my identity in Christ. I knew He loved me because He saved my life in 2017 but I did not know who He made me to be yet. I lived my life with this huge void. I was always seeking to fill this empty space. It was like something was missing within so I searched literally most of my life up until then to find things to fill that space.
Tattoos, crazy hair, excessive makeup, revealing clothing, drinking, buying excessive amounts of clothing, piercings- these were all the things I would use to make myself “feel” better because I thought if I made myself “look better” or “different” that I would be happy and look like I had it together. I convinced myself these things made me happy but I was still hurt, lost and broken because I was seeking outside sources to fill a space within that only Jesus could fill.
One year ago, I couldn’t hear about someone being pregnant without sobbing and being seriously triggered. I was so incredibly traumatized from recurring miscarriages and several years of being in waiting seasons trying to get pregnant. My “problem”, my “want”, my “earthly situation” made it IMPOSSIBLE to see outside of that fog of hopelessness.
I THOUGHT getting baptized wouldn’t change anything, as far as I was concerned, I had already given my heart to Jesus and this was ONLY a public declaration to show my commitment. But little did I know it marked the beginning of a crazy transformation.
One month after I got baptized (maybe only 2-3 weeks?) I felt this impression on my heart to change my hair color back to a natural color. I thought I just got “bored” and out played every other color possible. Two months after I got baptized, I started to get “bored” of excessive makeup. I would still use a lot but it began to decline. I used to have this feeling ALL THE TIME that I wanted more tattoos, I would never have enough, I wanted to cover my entire body. I’m not sure when it happened but I realized I no longer had this constant urge or “need” for more.
On December 24, 2019 I was doing my makeup and Jesus clearly told me “my daughter you don’t need all this extra stuff. You are beautiful and I want my light to shine through you as your source of beauty. I want no distractions.” So, in that moment I put down my makeup and I began to “learn” how to navigate a more subtle, natural makeup look. (I just want to say I am NOT saying any of these things are wrong in any way. I was convicted on many things on my outer appearance because I used all these things as my identity and Jesus taught me my identity is found in HIM).
After all my outward things from my previous “identity” was stripped away, a deeper, inward transformation also took place. Now, it was also going on while my outward identity was being made new, but once the outer was addressed, it freed up even more time to go deep within. In August 2019, God told me my purpose was to bring hope to the hopeless through sharing the goodness of Him and how our hope is found through Jesus. This seemed crazy to me as I was literally sobbing feeling like my hope was gone. But I had already made the decision to learn how to surrender (this was a daily effort and hard task in itself) and walk in obedience so I trusted Him.
I could go on and write for ages but, in short form, the Holy Spirit healed so many traumas and insecurities. I learned that my identity is found through Jesus Christ and my identity is “child of God”. I was taught and challenged to lay down EVERYTHING that I previously found my identity through. It wasn’t always easy, and I’m still being deeply worked on and developed but it’s been AMAZING. I have learned that I have great power and authority within me through Jesus. I have been raised up to live and act boldly in faith and to live by His Spirit not my flesh.
I was lost and now I’m found.
I was broken and I’m now restored.
I was a sinner and now I’m forgiven.
I was hurting and now I’m healed.
I was hopeless and now I’m FILLED with living hope.
I was weak and now I live through His strength.
I was dead and I’ve been raised to beautiful life.
I believed enemy lies and I now live set free in truth.
I was in darkness and I now shine in light.
I lived in despair and now flourish in His love.
I am made whole. I am a new creation.
This has been the best year of my life (yes even in waiting when outward things didn’t change) and I cannot wait to see how He continues to mold me. I am SO grateful that He taught me not to get distracted on earthly situations and to continually keep my focus on Him and heavenly things.
Jesus is EVERYTHING.