Melanie, Christian Blogger, in Maryland, USA
If you aren’t already friends with Melanie @godmakesallthingsnew.blog, highly recommend following her and saying hi! I’ve been following her for a while and feel sharpened and encouraged by her posts. It’s clear she LOVES God and appreciate all He has done for her, and longs to serve Him all the days of her life.
We’re so privileged to have Mel share nearly 2k words from her heart. It’s an incredible testimony of God’s pursuit (and the power of praying parents!), healing (from fornication, depression, anger, suicidal thoughts), and how He brought her into the joy of living life wholly surrendered to Him (and celebrating her God-given design). And excuse my notes scattered throughout, couldn't help cheering as I read Mel's testimony :)
Grab a nice hot beverage, settle in, and enjoy!
Location: Maryland, USA
Age: Late 30s
Welcome, Melanie! Please introduce yourself.
My name is Melanie! I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, but I currently live in Maryland. I have a blog named God Makes All Things New where I talk about Jesus, the Bible, and anything that the Spirit puts in my heart! I write short devotionals to strengthen our faith and help us grow closer to God! I also post about my testimony and my walk with God, purity, and our purpose in God!
I am single and I’m in my late 30s! Aside from spending time with God and working on my blog, I enjoy being with my family and friends, and practicing my newly discovered hobby during the pandemic: cooking! I love making arts and crafts with my nieces, baking, and have also served in my local church as a children’s Bible school teacher and children’s Bible education coordinator.
I just like to talk about Jesus and drink coffee basically lol, and serve however I can!
Could you tell us about yourself and @godmakesallthingsnew.blog?
The website was something the Lord put in my heart to do back in 2017, and that’s when it
started. I have always loved writing, but it’s amazing how it even came to be because I got
instructions from the Lord and the means to do it!
The website I feel really belongs to God and not to me! Because really it was Him who gave me the privilege of serving Him through it, and through it He blesses me so much. (Note from Jenni: Girl, same!!! Readers, let us know if you feel this way too in the comments :)
It has helped me grow so much closer to Him and deeper in our relationship. Definitely for each post, the Lord ministers to me first. God knew that He would use this passion I have to write, to bring me closer to Him, and that’s still so amazing to me about God’s love for us! His pursuit of us, His passion for us, His desire to be with us even though we are so imperfect! I pray the Lord will continue to use the site to help my sisters and brothers in Christ learn more about Him and grow closer to Him because His love is so perfect and so immense for us!
It’s called God Makes All Things New because when we put our trust in Him, He makes us a
new creation! “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 )
Have you ever struggled with identity?
Yes! I struggled SO MUCH with my identity when I was a young adult! Before I officially
recommitted my life to Christ (I originally gave my life to Jesus when I was 8 and I was baptized at 15!), I went through a very difficult time in my life where I had no idea who I was.
For a very long time, I felt empty, unloved, and looked to the world to fill the deep void that I felt inside. I just felt so hopeless. I looked to men to try and fill this void that only God could fill, so I fell into the sin of fornication and idolatry! I'm so ashamed to say, but for a period of my life before Christ I did not regard the sanctity of sex. Which is why I could just go from one person to the next, not knowing the damage I was causing both myself and the other person. Each and every one of these relationships turned out to be very unhealthy and toxic because they were always marred by sin. I was already broken, and of course, after these relationships, I was left truly just completely shattered. I became severely depressed, anxious, uncontrollably angry, and suicidal. I had placed my entire value on the “love” and affection that these men might offer me, and when they fell apart, I just did not want to live because I felt like there was nothing worth living for and like I really was not worth loving. Of course we all know that is a lie from the enemy!
How did God lead you to his truth?
So I came to know and understand my true identity in Christ through my parents! I know they prayed and interceded so much for me. I remember since I wasn’t going to church, my Mom would leave the TV on this Spanish channel where they have sermons all day long Sunday lol. (Note from Jenni: Lol!!! Love this, that's awesome. Go Mom!)
One Sunday morning, (this was in 2011), this Pastor was preaching about fornication and the
message convicted me. Deep down, I knew the lifestyle I was living was wrong and against
God. At that moment, I repented of that sin and decided to never do it again. And that’s when things started changing in my life for the better! But I still had some doubt whether Christ could really change me after all I had done. I had strayed so far and had done so many things that were against God. Deep down, there is a lot of shame and hurt that comes with living life filled with sexual sin. But the Lord was so incredibly merciful and graceful toward me. He took me by the hand, and the more I kept seeking Him the more I saw Him move in my life. Finally I started to feel the rest my soul needed so badly.
Sometime after that, I fully recommitted to following Christ and I have never looked back!
God completely healed me of depression (along with the suicidal thoughts), anxiety, anger, and the confusion and despair I felt inside!
I had so much bitterness and resentment. But He healed everything! He truly gave me a NEW HEART! (Ezekiel 36:26) It was a LONG process, but He helped me understand His immense, never ending love for me, that I am His daughter, I am not an orphan, and I have a hope and a future! He helped me understand that my worth is found in Him alone, in the fact that I am His daughter, His masterpiece, created for good works that He set out in advance for me so that I will walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
Once I truly got to know God for myself, once I read the Bible for myself, and understood that truth, I stopped putting romantic relationships (or anything else!) in the place where God belongs, and started applying and obeying the Word of God out of love and Holy fear for Him, everything started to fall into place!
I lived for so long trying to find “the one” in the wrong places, when He was so passionately pursuing me all along!
What does celebrating your God-given design mean to you?
To me it means acknowledging that I'm made in the image and likeness of God (Genesis 1:26-27), that I'm made to serve and glorify Him with all that I am, that I am to live not for myself, but as a living sacrifice! (Romans 12:1)
Acknowledging that God made each and every one of us, on purpose, and with a purpose! I want to reach the perfect plans He prepared for me before I was even born! (Note from Jenni: Amen!!!)
What has God shown you about your God-given design through @godmakesallthingsnew.blog?
That He is amazing and HE LOVES ME!!! He cares even about the smallest details of our lives! The fact that God led me to make the website, which was a dream I always had (blogging), and that He ministers to me on every post, is just amazing. Everything I post, it's because it's ministering to me personally first! So not only am I His creation, I know I am His daughter. And there’s promises for me (and all His children) as His daughter in the Bible which I must take ownership of in order to see them in my life!
How would you encourage someone who is struggling to embrace their God-given design and live out their God-given calling?
I would say, call out to God. Surrender to Him. He will meet you where you are.
Even in the midst of desperation, when you think you're alone, you're not! He's right there with you! He's just waiting for us to reach out to Him, and be willing to surrender, and leave our old sinful lives behind.
All sin does is keep us in bondage. It truly doesn’t matter where you’ve been.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)
We are loved by God, and He wants to draw us closer to Himself! Jesus came to earth and lived as a human for this very reason! He died for our sins out of love for humanity.
What an amazing thing that the creator of the universe and of humanity, wants to have a relationship with us! (Note from Jenni: YESSS)
“For God so loved the world that He gave the only begotten Son, so that everyone believing in Him should not perish, but should have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
Seeking love and fulfilment from any place other than God, only leads to heartbreak. We must seek love from the source of love, God. The Bible says God is love (1 John 4:7-21). We must seek Him first over all things. Only then will we be able to love ourselves as children of God, not in a vain or selfish way, but understanding that we are made in His image and that we are important to God! No matter who rejects you, you matter to God because He created you on purpose! God has a plan for each one of us from before we were even born! He knows us!
Lastly I would say, you really do not have to have it all figured out. Just put your life, goals,
dreams, and plans in His hands, and ask God to direct your steps toward the purpose He has for you. Keep praying and stay in purity and obedience, and He will take you to where you need to be. I certainly feel like I have understood my identity in Christ, and my calling to serve as we all do, but certain specific calling, I think that’s still in process for me, and I think it’s OK, as long as we keep maturing and growing in Christ and not ever let ourselves remain stagnant.
To live out our calling, to me is to walk in the Spirit. To walk in the freedom of Christ. So I feel like walking in the Spirit for me has become much more daily "goals" for me lol, because when I do that everything else just falls into place: obeying, serving, loving others, etc. (Note from Jenni: 100% agree)
Walking in the Spirit comes from having that intimacy with God, surrendering to Him daily, repenting of our sins, asking for the filling of the Spirit! We have to recognize that without Jesus, we cannot do anything at all, we will bear no fruit but when we abide in Him, we will bear much fruit! (John 15:5) So we need to abide in Him daily! At every moment! That should always be our top priority!
When we have that, everything falls into place in our lives!
Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)