Samantha Johnson - Calimesa, CA
I have been released from a lie that I had no idea was negatively affecting every area of my life. The belief that "I have to earn God’s favor" (or anyone’s favor for that matter) is now completely gone! I now know that God loves me for "who I am" and not for "what I do". As a result of this understanding, I'm able to love and care for myself and others out of the abundance and overflow of this love. I no longer need or seek the validation of others, whereas before I felt like I could not live without it. I have the confidence of knowing I can actually achieve the goals that before I thought I could never even come close to achieving. I had been searching for a breakthrough like this in various ways for two years, and after just a few sessions with Steph I can say without a doubt I found it.
I came to Steph looking for guidance on boundaries, security in relationships, and identity. In a matter of weeks, I learned how as a believer God sees me as his adopted daughter and that nothing can separate me from His love. I have also been able to process some pain from my past such as neglect, trauma, and spiritual abuse. I see how those experiences helped confirm the "false story" I wrote about myself in my mind that wreaked havoc in my home, relationships, and commitments. Recognizing those things and processing through them has helped me heal. It has radically changed my way of thinking, and I know it will change my life for the better. I could sum my experience up in one word: FREEDOM.
I no longer approach God with chronic shame. I know I’m not perfect but I feel so confident in my newfound identity in Christ. I know He loves me and this makes me feel so close to Him. I feel so treasured and loved as God's daughter which I now realize was the feeling I was trying to get from relationships and other empty pleasures of this world. Chasing this feeling outside of God caused me dysfunction and led to depression. I finally feel “captivating” in God’s eyes, and it overwhelms my heart in the best way.
From the beginning, Steph asked what my goals were and recommended we go through a book together which has been extremely helpful to guide our sessions in a productive way. After each session, I walk away with more knowledge and ways to apply things practically to my life and relationships. She is able to listen well to my verbal processing and respond to what I said while gearing up for the next challenging question. It’s clear Steph is very familiar with the book and with my unique challenges. I absolutely love how she asked me questions to understand my relationship with God and my understanding of the Gospel right from the beginning. She uses God’s word to help guide me, and I like how she involves me in that process. She always brings it back to the truth of the Bible. The truth really does set you free!