Mental Health Disorders: A Public Health Concern By: Felicity Rose

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One in four people in the United States suffer from a mental health disorder. Forty-one thousand, one hundred and fifty people commit suicide each year and over ninety percent of those people suffer from a mental health disorder of some kind, whether it was diagnosed or undiagnosed. Given the facts, why does society keep mental health disorders all under wraps but makes a huge noise about gay marriage?         When mental health comes up in the news, it’s often when  a criminal is “said” to have a certain mental health disorder but after a while it is quietly put away because society thinks people with mental health disorders need to be locked up. Mental health disorders are dangerous, debilitating and people need to be more aware of the complications that surround them.
First of all, what exactly is a mental health disorder? According to Mayo Clinic, a mental health disorder is a condition that affects a person’s mood, thinking and behavior. It covers a wide variety of diseases from Schizophrenia, to Anxiety to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, to eating disorders such as Bulimia and Anorexia
Mental health disorders affect people in a myriad of ways. For people with Anxiety, their autonomic nervous system perceives many things as a threat, even if said thing isn’t a threat at all. The threat causes their “fight or flight” system to go into “fight” mode when it shouldn’t. This response causes vicious cycles of panic attacks. In severe cases, this can lead to phobias such as agoraphobia, or the fear to leave the house.
Sometimes people are dealing with more than one devastating mental disorder. Twenty year old Semira, was diagnosed with anxiety and depression at the age of seventeeen. She grew up with stomach issues for most of her life which is what started her panic attacks in the first place. She said it’s like nothing agrees with her digestive system. Some of these cramps get so bad that she is in the restroom for hours in excruciating pain and none of the doctors she’s seen can figure out why.

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Because of this she started to cut back on how much she eats as a way of avoiding the panic attacks that came along with eating. Now while this may sound like an eating disorder of some kind, Samira does not have an eating disorder according to an evaluation done by her therapist. She was finally diagnosed in August of 2016 with Gastro paresis, or paralysis of the stomach. She is now in therapy for her eating induced anxiety as well as her Gastro paresis in hopes that she can gain weight and kick these panic attacks to the curb.
As mentioned earlier, Samira also has depression. She says her depression stemmed from re-watching a medical TV show that deals with a condition that has affected her family. She said that the first few weeks after watching those episodes were very hard for her. She cried herself to sleep for a week straight and eventually she found it hard to enjoy things she loved to do. She constantly thought about how unfair it was for this person to be ripped away from her family. She thought about trying to ease the pain with alcohol but never went thought with it because it was the strength of the character on the TV show when dealing with the tragedy that got her through the depression. Almost two years later, Samira is doing a lot better. She has now decided to become a psychotherapist in hopes to save other peoples lives in the same way that this character saved hers. “Even though the depression was a dark bottomless hole, I am glad I went through that. It helped me find my purpose in life. I looked for light in a dark place and now I know I will survive whatever comes my way next.”
Along those same lines, eighteen year old Travis has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He says that it started during his early teen years. It was mild for a while but it soon spiraled out of control and became the catalyst for his depression. He kept feeling emotions that were out of place and hearing thoughts that weren’t his. Through medication and support from friends, he has overcome his OCD and depression.
On the other side of the spectrum, a mental health disorder can actually change the way a person perceives the world. For eleven year old Brianna, born with early-onset schizophrenia, has a completely different world from us.

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According to the video about her story, she sees people, such as Seven, an imaginary number who commands her to do things, such as stabbing her mom with a pair of scissors. It is believed that Seven is actually a person Brianna becomes which means that she also has Dissociative Identity Disorder (previously known as Multiple Personality Disorder) which is another devastating and dangerous mental health disorder  in which someone has multiple personalities.
One other difficult to diagnose but dangerous mental health disorder to diagnose is psychopathy. These people are masters of disguise. They are very observant and can seem like normal people. All though they may seem to have charm, it is superficial charm and they are most likely going to manipulate you. These people can be serial killers. They have no remorse for loss of human life and no empathy for the crimes they commit. They are extremely violent and are the types of people who will go to a mall and shoot a bunch of people for enjoyment. They need stimulation, like killing people and that is why they do the horrific things we see in the news.
For example, in 2003, Gail Sands was found floating in her pool, face down along with a twenty foot ladder. It was said that she had fallen when she was trying to move the ladder in order to clear some tree branches, so it was ruled as an accident. It wasn’t until the medical examiner noticed the trauma marks on the back of her head during the autopsy that indicated that it wasn’t an accident. It was brutal murder. No one who knew the couple, would have thought that her own husband, Lionel Sands would eventually be convicted as the murderer. To most people he was an ordinary human, but to a psychologist, it was very obvious he was a psychopath. He never looked you in the eye, he kept himself very isolated and he always seemed to be observing people he met and copying what they did.
In most cases, disorders such as anxiety, depression and even psychopathy can be treated with medication as well as one on one therapy with a psychotherapist. This kind of treatment is very costly for families without health insurance because these appointments can cost anywhere between three to six hundred dollars per session. Often times, this is why most people don’t go to therapy when they need it. In 2013, a study was done amongst adults ages eighteen and over. Fifty one percent said they can’t afford mental health treatment because the cost is too high, even if they had insurance for it.
The cost of getting mediation is even higher; almost up to a thousand dollars every three months without insurance. And often times, medications don’t work, they become addictive which creates more problems in itself, or they can make the problem it’s trying to treat even worse. If we’re to take better care of ourselves, the cost of mental health care should be lower as to make it more affordable for people.
Why is mental health a public health concern? We have a growing number of people who commit suicide each year or go on a shooting rampage before ending their own life. As stated earlier, ninety percent of these people have one or more mental health disorders whether it was diagnosed or undiagnosed. Shootings like the ones at public places put everyone at danger. If we do more research into how we can save and treat people with mental health disorders, we can lower the chance of  public shootings as well as the suicide rate.
Here is what we can do to help the people who want it. First, mental health care needs to be more affordable. There needs to be some sort of law, in which mental health care for everyone is either free or at very low cost. This will help people with low income get the treatment they deserve. No one deserves to have a mental health disorder and everyone who wants treatment should be able to get it. Secondly, in high schools especially, there should be a hired psychotherapist available to help students deal with their issues, whether that is being bullied to the point of suicide, or having panic attacks. In college, there are psychotherapists on staff, so why can’t high schools have it too? Most of the school shootings we see are in high school, which should be a red flag as to something that needs immediate attention. Also, all businesses should offer their employees with free mental health services with a certified psychotherapist. Maybe this would help a disgruntled employee not going on a shooting rampage.

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Society in general needs to be more aware of the different types of mental disorders there are and how to treat them efficiently. Lastly, all the people interviewed in this agree that instead of more medications for people with mental health disorders, we need an understanding amongst society. We need to have courage to tell people, “What has happened to us.” not so much, “What is wrong with us.” without feeling like society will lock us up for having a mental health disorder.
Mental Health is an ongoing and increasing problem in our country unless health insurance becomes more affordable for each and every person. Only then will we see a huge improvement in our everyday lives.

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CCG of the Month! Meet Iman:

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Iman Kasabian
Please tell us about yourself: I’m 16 and I’ve lived in California my whole life. I have two siblings and love reading, writing and acting.
Instagram: @marie.iman and @imankasabian
Please tell us about your faith journey?
I accepted Christ when I was in the first grade, but never really got to know Him and who He really was until I went through a rough spot. I discovered His mercy and grace and truly came to Him as a freshman in high school. I’m a junior now.
Favorite Bible verse(s) and why that verse speaks to you?
Proverbs 31: 25-31
She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: “Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Honor her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

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I love it because that’s the woman I want to be!
What do you think the hardest part about wanting to become a Proverbs 31 woman in today’s society?
I think society often tells us to be the opposite, especially with giving instructions with kindness because there’s always a lot of pride involved.
What’s the advice you’d give to others who wish to pursue becoming a Proverbs 31 woman?
Don’t listen to what the world tells you! It’s twisted and contradictory and confusing, so you have to rely on the truth.
What is it that you think defines a Christ Centered Girl and what makes you a Christ Centered Girl?
Well I definitely consider Christ the center of my life! Kylie (Christ Centered Girls founder) was just always a big help and encouraged me when I was going through a lot of things. She was one of the few people who reached out and prayed for me.

A major “thank you” to Iman for being our Christ Centered Girl of the month! It was a pleasure interviewing you! You are a lovely young Christian woman and may you be blessed in all that you do! ☺

 

5 Ways to Spend Time in God’s Word This Summer

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BY: Isabella Morganthal

It was June 3, 2011.

Summer was just beginning and the sun was shining warm and bright. But I remember my focus that day was not on summer or the sunshine. My focus was wrapped around the neatly packaged box I had just received from UPS. My very first National Bible Bee box.

You see, for the summer of 2011 I had signed up to participate in a competition for young people, that was focused on Scripture memorization and studying the Word of God. June 3, 2011 began my first journey with the Bible Bee. Yet what I soon realized was that this competition was not really about a competition at all. It wasn’t even really about the Bible Bee, or the prizes, or making it to the national level.

I continued to compete in the Bible Bee every summer until I aged out in the fall of 2015. I walked away from the competition having never even made it to the top 5 final round or winning any cash prizes. But honestly, none of that mattered to me. The one thing that mattered to me was what the Bible Bee is all about: the Word of God.

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You see, I already had my prize. The priceless and matchless Word of God in my heart was a prize greater than any earthly treasure. And when I walked away from the Bible Bee, I had a deeper love for and understanding of God’s Word.

You may never have heard of the Bible Bee, so you may be wondering how it’s possible for you to love God’s Word just as much and make time for Him over the summer. I know summer always seems to fly by and be so much busier than we hoped. But if you want to radically change your spiritual life this summer, here are my top 5 tips for falling deeper in love with God’s Word…

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  1. Choose a specific quiet time that you will have every day. Set this time so that it is the same time every day, getting you into the habit of it. I prefer to have my Bible reading in the morning, shortly after I wake up. Doing it this way prepares me for the day ahead and immerses me in God’s presence right away. Maybe the afternoon works best for you though, when you’re more alert. Or maybe you would rather have this time right before bed. Whatever works best for you, choose that time and purpose to stick to it! Don’t give up!

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  1. Complete a Bible study. It’s great to read a chapter or two in your Bible, but if you want to grow and develop a deeper relationship with Christ, study is what you need to do! When you study the truths in the Bible and God’s words to you, they will come alive and allow you to understand Him better. You can do this on your own, using a notebook to journal what you’re studying. Choose a theme, such as patience, that you want to study and use Bible study tools (Strong’s concordance, Bible maps/charts, Greek/Hebrew word studies) to learn more. A great online website for study tools is: www.blueletterbible.org. If you’re just starting out however, and you’re a little unsure how to do all this studying on your own, consider purchasing a Bible study or commentary from a popular author! There is an abundance of them out there that are so good. Some of my favorite Bible studies however, come from Lysa Terkeurst.
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  3.   Have an accountability partner. Let’s be honest. Sometimes when we make goals/plans we tend to do it alone and then we totally fall behind. When we don’t have accountability it can be easier for us to ignore our plans and just let them slide. This goes for our Bible reading too! So this summer, get an accountability partner. Encourage, pray for each other, and share what God is teaching you. Meet every now and then just to catch up and spend time in person. Maybe you can even go through a Bible study together!

 

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  2. Memorize Scripture. I’ve been memorizing Scripture basically since I could talk. Memorizing Scripture is super important to me, and here is why it should be important for you too: “How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your Word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You! Blessed are You, O Lord! Teach me Your statutes! With my lips I have declared all the judgements of Your mouth. I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” (Psalm 119:9-16 NKJV) This verse is all about hiding God’s Word in our hearts! Make your goal this summer as you read the Bible to also take time to fill your heart with the words too.

5. Check out the National Bible Bee! Yes, this was coming. 🙂 If you are between the ages of 7-18 and you want to grow in Jesus over the summer and you want to make reading/studying your Bible a priority, sign up for the Bible Bee! The summer study registration usually opens sometime in April each year. You won’t regret checking it out and participating in 2018. Visit their website here: http://www.biblebee.org.

Have fun growing in Jesus this summer, friends!

Make it Count

Written by: Isabella Morganthal

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I think just about all of us have heard, read, or maybe even memorized the verse from 1 Timothy 4:12 which says: “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” (NKJV)

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So often we look at this verse and think it means we aren’t to let others judge us by our youth. We aren’t supposed to let others think of us as “only” teenagers or not to let others assume we can’t serve God properly because we’re young.

If you view the verse this way, you would be right. This verse is encouraging us to not let people look down on our youth but show them an example of Jesus.

However, we sometimes look past the other side to this passage too.We sometimes miss the bigger thing God is saying here. Because I think he’s telling you not to despise your youth.

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You see, it’s so easy to look down on ourselves for being young. We might look at other young people who are doing big things for Jesus and being an example to others, and think, “Wow, that’s great they’re using their youth for Jesus. They’re really inspiring.” But then we turn around and look at ourselves while thinking, “I’m only a teenager. I couldn’t possibly do anything big in this world for Jesus. I’ll just have to wait until I’m older.”

For ourselves, we become apathetic with our youth and allow it to keep us in this comfortable place of not doing anything because “we’re too young anyways.” We use what the world says, “You’re only a teenager,” as backup for our own thought processes about our youth.

Then sometimes we even begin to hate being young. We wish our youth away with thoughts like, “I can’t wait until I’m an adult and I can do more things.” Or, “I wish I was older so I could do something big with my life.” But, friends, can’t you see? These thoughts are lies! And do you want the truth?

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A certain age number isn’t going to change anything for you. Growing up won’t make things much different. You will still be you.

But the sad part?

You will have missed out on the amazing years of your youth that God gave you because you wasted them away, waiting to be older. Age is merely a number.

So this is my challenge for you.

Don’t you despise your youth. After all, none of us know how long we actually have on this earth. We could die tomorrow. If I died tomorrow, would I be happy knowing that I used the twenty years I was alive to make my life count for Jesus and His glory? Would you?

Make today count. Don’t view your age as a hindrance or disadvantage.

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Instead, use it to allow God to do something great through you. Look at the young people in Scripture who were probably early teenagers and how God used them! People like Jeremiah, a prophet of God. David, a man after God’s own heart who defeated Goliath. Esther, who God used to save an entire people by doing the right thing. Mary, the mother of Jesus.

I’m sure each of those young people felt inadequate at times. I bet each of them wondered why God chose them, especially because they were young. But I think God chose them because they were young for a reason.

He’s chosen you too.

God has hand-picked you for a specific task right this very moment.

He isn’t waiting to choose you until you’re older or until you’re an adult. He’s already chosen you. Right now. You’re chosen.

    Now go out and make your youth count for Him.

We Need To Talk

There is something that has been on my mind lately. I think it’s time to stop leaving you in the dark about this. I’ve been having this ongoing struggle, I guess you could call it more of an unhealthy obsession. I’m not one to usually open up about things, especially something like this. But now after all these years I am coming forward and I am going to be completely honest with you guys…

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I stumbled upon it on the internet a few years ago and I was hooked. I’ve never seen anything like this in my life. I was fascinated and intrigued. I love jerboas. A jerboa is a rodent with long kangaroo like legs. They get around by jumping and can jump several feet both vertically and horizontally. Jerboas are fascinating creatures! I am so happy I got to finally share my love of jerboas with you. To learn more check out: http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2014/02/11/jerboa-animals-youtube-science-rodents-desert/

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Sneak Peak Article: Why Living for Jesus Is the Ultimate Adventure

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By: Kylie Jacobs

All images from weheartit

Freedom. That’s a word I think of quite often. It’s also one of the only things I have ever wanted in life. You see, growing up, I didn’t have a normal life like all of my friends. I was constantly being shut out from the world. Having a special needs sister was always hard, because she would become neutropenic and that meant saying goodbye to the outside world, for ALL OF US.

I have never been out of state before or traveled anywhere, really. Vacation for me means going to my grandparents’ house only a few hours away, and oh, how I long to go somewhere new and exciting. Every time I go on Pinterest, my feed fills with photographs of beaches, exotic foods, and amazing sites! I long to go to these places and see the wonders God has created. Yet every time I go on Pinterest my heart aches, because I know that I can’t go on those adventures and I probably never will be able to.

Never will be able to.

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That’s when I made the decision a long time ago to always make life an adventure, no matter where I am or what I am doing. My imagination has always been able to go to great lengths, so why not use it? Since then, every day I have chosen to make ordinary circumstances the ride of a lifetime, whether that’s cleaning my house, going for a nice walk, or even trying a new recipe. I have always tried my hardest to make the best out of it, yet this has never been enough for me. I still long to travel.

Anger…Jealousy…

This desire quickly became an obsession filled with anger and jealousy. Watching my friends go to places that I could only see in my dreams – they had no idea how blessed they were. It was simply an annual thing for them. These feelings I was having soon drove me to do reckless, crazy things – standing on top of ledges with a hundred-foot drop to the bottom and jumping to the next, chaining myself to the bottom of a pool only to make it out by seconds – crazy stupid things like these. I wanted adventure! I wanted the thrill! If I couldn’t have it, then I would make it for myself.

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As I hope you can tell by reading this, it was a very unhealthy and dangerous obsession. That’s why God had to tell me to wake up! You see, when I became a Christian, I accepted a challenge. I didn’t know it at the time, but I basically said that I am ready for war. Following a man who is hated by everyone just for being Himself is the greatest adventure of all. If I wanted reckless, I should have stopped looking for it. It was right beside me the whole time. We live in a world today that wants to kill the name of Jesus. LITERALLY. By choosing to follow Him, I chose an adventure. I chose to be prosecuted, I chose joy, I chose miracles, I chose to be different. Having Jesus as a part of my life has been the greatest adventure I could ever dream of. Yes it can be hard, but it’s worth it. So what makes Jesus the ultimate adventure?

  1. Sacrifice

I have lost loved ones for this man, I have sacrificed my safety, my reputation, everything. In my opinion, the greatest adventures start with either losing or sacrificing something so you can have it. Not only did this man sacrifice Himself for you, but in order to be a true follower…you have to sacrifice yourself for Him.

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2. Danger

I can’t live without a little danger in my life (oh, my poor future husband…). That’s what makes the adventure fun! That’s what keeps you pressing on! It doesn’t matter where you live, you are always in danger when you choose to follow Christ – look at Rachel Joy Scott, for instance. Anything can happen. But you are doing the RIGHT thing, and that’s all that matters.

3. The Joy

The joy that comes with Christ…there is nothing like it. No other adventure can make you feel the happiness that Jesus does. That is what makes you want to have MORE adventures. It’s like a secret potion.

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4. Fulfillment

Last but not least…the fulfillment you get from running in Jesus’s squad. I have never felt more accomplished in my life than when I do something that I know pleases Him. There is no other greater accomplishment! Don’t have wasted, useless adventures – they give you nothing in return.

From now on, every adventure I go on will start with Jesus, and I will never regret my life with Him. So, is your life an adventure?

This was a sneak peak article into our newest issue coming out in a few weeks! We cant wait for you guys to read it! Stay tuned!

Exciting News! Share your Brand with CCG!

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Dear, fellow Followers/Readers of Christ Centered Girls!

Have you written a book? Started a ministry? Produced a song? Then we have some exciting news to share with you! You can now buy ad space in our magazine issues!

Why Christ Centered Girls?

Why Christ Centered Girls? Well besides our decent following we want to genuinely help bring awareness to your project you have worked so hard on! Coming from someone who understands you! We will try our VERY best to make sure you are happy with your ad, either you can submit one you have already created or we can work with you on creating one for only 50 cents to 1 dollar more!

What we are Offering.

Right now we are offering a full page ad for $10.00

And a social media shout out for $5.00

What this looks like:

A social media shout out means we will say a little bit about your brand, and where you can find it! We will post this on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!

A full page ad is your design our ours on one full page of our magazine! Its big its beautiful and very noticeable!

The only thing we ask of you is that you let us review your product before deciding to work with you. We love our followers and want to make sure they are getting a good deal if they decide to buy from you, which we are sure they will be!

If you are interested in this offer feel free to email us at christcenteredteengirls@gmail.com and we will get back to you as soon as possible! We cant wait to start working with some of you!

 

(P.S. We are only accepting checks at this time and we have ad space available currently! All the money we get from this offer will also go to the goal of getting our own domain name! Thank you!)

Guest Post from Bethany of “Every Girls Adventure!”

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All Images from WeHeartIt

 

Hello!

Kylie recently asked me to do a guest post for Christ Centered Girls and at first, I wasn’t exactly sure what I was going to write about. Until just now, I wasn’t sure exactly what I was going to write about. But I believe now I have found the words and I really hope that whoever you are,  you can find some encouragement through this short article. Thanks for coming on this journey with me!

 

First, let’s start with a little introduction and backstory. I’ll try not to give you my whole life in detail, but I can’t make any promises 😉
I am the second child out of seven and I am 19 years old. My Mom home schooled me and my siblings our whole lives and I moved around a lot as a kid because my Dad was in the military. I was born in Utah, but I’ve lived in Massachusetts, Ohio, Alaska, Idaho, and currently Indiana. So I’m kind of from all over but I consider my “home” Idaho because I’ve lived there for the majority of my life and I have nearly all my friends there, including my boyfriend.

I have been a writer since I learned how to write and I have made up tons of stories and tried to get them down on paper. In addition to that I also write a quarterly magazine called Every Girl’s Adventure, and I run two blogs: a personal one called Girl on Fire (Hunger Games reference), and one for my magazine of the same name. I also do some magazine work here for Kylie, as well as writing for The King’s Princess and Crown of Beauty. So, I keep pretty busy with writing. I am also going to college at Boise State University for a BA in Communications for Journalism. This fall will be my freshman year though…

In the free time that I can find, I love to read any book I can get my hands on and I also love to play the piano and have been playing for five years now.

That’s pretty much a short little summary about me. There’s a lot of potential topics that I could talk about, but I’ve decided to just talk about what’s been going on in my life recently because it’s such a roller coaster. So get ready, this could be long 😉

I’ll cut straight to the chase. My parents got divorced the last few months of 2016. And it’s kind of strange to me because I always looked at divorce as something that happened to “other” families, but not something that could ever happen to mine. I thought that my parents were rooted in God so much that nothing like that would ever happen; I thought that He would hold us together and fix whatever problems my parents had. But He didn’t. This brought a whole bunch of changes in my life and the lives of my family. We (my siblings and I) had to move with our mom from our home in Idaho out here to Indiana. I had to leave behind all my friends and everything I cared about. And I knew that when we got here that my family was going to fall apart.

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Those first few days when mom told me about the divorce and what was going to happen, I couldn’t stop crying. I wouldn’t have many left. Everything that I thought was a concrete thing in my life had just turned out to be just another future that wouldn’t happen. Every good plan that Mom and Dad had for us was suddenly gone. And I never knew that a person could miss something that had never happened. But you can. My life was so uncertain, and that scared me. I like being in control; I like being able to solve the problems and fix everything. But here was something that was impossible for me to fix.

Now, I want you to understand something: this is actually my first time ever writing about this. I am a little nervous, to be honest. I haven’t really discussed this with anyone outside my best friend and my boyfriend, so to be writing this down for a lot of people who I don’t know to read is a little scary. But I have been learning about courage this year, so why not write something that scares me ☺

I’m also not writing this for you to feel bad for me or to wallow in my own self-pity. This has a point, I promise ☺

I find it so interesting how it’s the times when we feel at our lowest, when we can’t imagine how things could ever go back to the way they were, that our eyes are opened to see how truly faithful the God we serve is. God is amazing! There has never been a time in my life when I have felt so broken, when I feel the loss of people I love so much that it actually hurts, when my future is uncertain and I’m not sure where to go. But there has also never been a time when I have seen Christ so clearly and have felt Him any stronger than I feel Him with me now.

I felt like everything was falling apart, but I can see now that the whole time He had a hold of me.

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I never believed I was smart enough for college. But I passed the ACT test with a fairly high score and I got accepted to Boise State. I want to move back to Mountain Home (where I’m from) but I was so discouraged about the money. The day after I prayed and asked God to provide me a job, I got called for an interview and hired the next day. The day I gave up on looking for a relationship, He brought the best man I have ever met into my life who loves God more than anything. And none of that could’ve ever happened if it weren’t for God. There’s no way all of those pieces could have fallen into place on their own because of anything I did.  God has shown me time and time again within these past few months that He always has the best plan for me. That what I want might not always happen, but He always has something better.

I’m not through this trial yet. My family is still really struggling and I haven’t had any contact with my Dad since December 23rd. I don’t have my future steps planned out, nor do I have everything under control. But I have learned that when everything seems to be falling apart, I am not. When my family is breaking, I am not broken. When I’m not strong enough to handle all the stress and emotions, God is strong enough. And when I can’t see what the future has for me, God already has it planned out. And I have to trust Him. He has never given up on me or failed me yet, why would He now?

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The entirety of this little article can be summed up in this: when you are going through too much to handle, when you feel like you are broken beyond repair, when you stare at the things that could have been as they slip through your fingers, and when you are bowing under the weight of fear, don’t let it win. You have no idea how strong you can really be or how great your faith is until you’re really tested. Pick yourself up, dare to look fear in the eyes, fix your crown, and remember Whose you are. If He sees every sparrow that falls, you can bet everything you have that He sees you. And I promise you, He will never desert you.

Find your faith, seize your courage, and call on your Father. It isn’t always easy, but it is always worth the journey.

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You can find Bethany’s blog/magazine over at: https://everygirlsadventure.wordpress.com/

Interview with Livy Jarmusch from Crown of Beauty Magazine!

Livy has a great site over at  http://www.crownofbeautymagazine.com/and has been a good friend of ours for sometime! So we asked her to share a bit about herself for you guys! Check out what she had to say!

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  1. Many times when people grow up in the Christian faith, there isn’t really a defining “salvation” moment. At least not in the usual sense. When would you say that you began to fully understand what being a follower of Christ meant and when would you say you started consciously living for Christ?

 

Wow, that’s a really great question! I think it’s amazing because in our walk with God, there are so many levels. Just when we think we finally understand what it truly means to be a follower of Christ, He takes us even deeper and reveals so much more than we could’ve dreamed! I started seeking God when I was in preschool. I know it might sound silly to some, but I remember peering over my picture Bible and not yet being able to read, but still being amazed by the images I saw and wondering who this amazing Jesus was. All through elementary and middle school I really made a conscience effort to pursue God, and having a daily quiet time was really important to me. Even though I was a Christian as a child, it wasn’t until High School when I started facing some really challenging stuff, and learned on a whole new level what it truly meant for Jesus to be my everything. I think that’s what is so amazing about God: He reveals Himself to us in the most simple yet profound ways as young children, and then He reveals Himself again in High School with deeper concepts through mind-blowing faithfulness, and then again in adulthood, and then again through the adventure of marriage, and then again through becoming parents…and on and on it goes! The deepening of our walk with Him just never ends!

2.You write songs, articles, and books. When did you realize this passion for writing and when you were younger, did you ever imagine that you would have accomplished all the things you’ve done?

I knew that in Kindergarten I wanted to be a writer. I loved stories and books and storytelling, and writing was always a creative outlet for me. Even though I hated the technical side of things (spelling and grammar, blech!) the dream to write followed me all the way into adulthood. To be completely honest with you, the answer is yes. I don’t want to sound at all prideful, and I mean this with all humility when I say that I’ve always had really high expectations for myself. Because of my identity in Christ, I never expected to live an “average” life. There’s an intense passion to change the world that burns through me like a fire, and I don’t really know how to hold back or contain it! Song-writing, article writing, and book writing, are all outlets that God has led me to. I love that I can express my passion and love for Him through fun, creative, unique ways!

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  1. You started Crown of Beauty four years ago, correct? To date, what has been the worst things about publishing Crown of Beauty? The best? And if you could start all over again from the beginning, what would you do differently?

 

Yes! Hmm…the worst thing, I would say, is my attitude when I first started. Like I said, I had really high expectations for myself, and when I launched out of the starting gate with the dream to release this magazine, I thought it would become an overnight sensation and everyone would love it, and it would be in print in no-time! Because I’m such a huge dreamer, I tend to place God on a time-table and think that everything should be done super quickly! But God had different plans for this magazine! I remember not being able to sleep the first week that I launched the magazine, because I was so excited and expected my life to somehow change instantly. To my dismay, things were not growing as fast as I wanted them to. I think I gave myself a lot of extra heartbreak and discouragement because of my wrong attitude. Instead of celebrating each new follower, and each life changed, and each little victory, I was focused on a bigger picture that would take years to reach. The truth was, God was doing AMAZING things, and when I look back, there were so many little (and big!) miracles that took place those first few months, and I wish that I would’ve been able to rejoice and celebrate that!

The best thing that has come out of this process, I have to say, is all of the amazing friendships I’ve formed. Sure, the interviews are fun, and the excitement of launching a new issue is always fulfilling, but I’ve met some of the most amazing, God-fearing, Jesus-loving-girls through Crown of Beauty! It’s such a blessing to join with my sisters in Christ from all over the world and encourage each other in the Lord!

If I could go back and give myself advice, I would say, “An inheritance that is gained quickly in the beginning is not blessed in the end.” Proverbs 20:21. Embrace the process! You are building, and planting, and God is doing a great work through each little baby-step. Relax and enjoy the moment, praise Him for each moment of favor and victory, and enjoy the journey!”

  1. Who (besides your parents and God) would you say has influenced you the most and keeps inspiring and encouraging you?

I’ve been blessed to have many cheerleaders and prayer warriors in my life, but I have to say that my dear friend Kenya never fails to be a massive encouragement on my hardest days. She has a heart of gold, and as we walk down similar paths in life, she always has much wisdom to share. (Check out her ministry http://www.becomingesther.org!)It would take me far too long to list all the amazing women who encourage me and speak into my life, but they knew who they are! ❤

As far as larger influences, such as ministry leaders, musicians, or authors, I was highly influenced by Barlow Girl and Superchick when I was young! Their albums pretty much shaped the way I thought about life when I was thirteen! Haha.
Lisa Bevere has always been an amazing example of a Godly woman walking in her royal identity in Christ, and her books have taught me so much. Katie Davis and Heidi Baker are also examples that have greatly influenced me. Their stories of humility and willingness to lay down everything to serve the Lord are just so challenging and inspire me to go deeper in my walk with Christ!  

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  1. Do you have a favorite miracle that Jesus did? And why?

Oooo, awesome question! It’s honestly really hard to choose a favorite! But when He raised Lazarus from the dead, that is a definite favorite. I think the reason I love that particular story so much, is because Jesus was already close friends with Lazarus and his family, and even though He had a plan of miraculous turn-around, He still wept. It just gives us such a beautiful glimpse into the compassion of His heart, that when Mary and Martha were crying, He was crying too. That’s how much He loves us. Even though He knows that it’s all good, and He has a plan, and it’s not the end; He still allows Himself to be moved by our pain and feel what we feel, and cry with us. And that is just beyond amazing to me.

6. What is the best advice you have ever been given? And what advice would you want to leave with our readers?

Hmm…the best advice. I don’t know if anyone has strait up told me this, or if this is just what I’ve seen in the examples of those that I admire around me. But the bottom line, best advice ever, is this: seek Jesus with all your heart! Because knowing Him is everything! Knowing His heart transforms us, and shifts our perspective, changing everything about who we are and what we desire and how we process life. Jesus is the answer to every problem, so it only makes sense that this would be the advice! Haha. But no, this is what I would encourage the girls reading this in: seek God. Like seriously, seek Him. Run after Him with every part of your heart, soul, mind and strength. Spend time with Him everyday, and don’t skip the practical side of maintaining that relationship: reading His Word, praying, worshiping. Keep on keeping on, even when you feel totally dry and uninspired. God is always there, and when we seek Him, even when we don’t feel like it, there is a great reward. His Word is alive and active, so don’t buy the lie that reading His Word is ever a waste of time! Being in His presence is the best possible thing you could ever do for yourself, as well as for the people around you! You can’t love them without first being filled up by Him, so don’t neglect your time with Him!

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7. If you had a time machine and could travel to any event, what event would you travel to and why? The rules are that you can’t go to any event in Jesus’s lifetime (because those are obvious 🙂 and you can’t change any of the historical events.
I think I would want to go to 1774 and just walk around Boston, and hear everyone’s opinions about the underground rumblings of the American Revolution. I’d want to be a reporter and get everyone’s perspective on the British, and hear their ideas about freedom, and then go to a ball. Haha!

Thank you Livy for joining us on Christ Centered Girls today! We loved all the great Godly advice you gave and encouraging things you had to say! You can find more Great advice and fun things over at http://www.crownofbeautymagazine.com/