Written by Antoinette @diaryofhope
I’m Antoinette, a regular, 32-year-old, Jesus loving, single mum. I’m also a writer, speaker and Life coach/mentor. My heart is to restore hope and help people discover their identity, authority and purpose!
When I was 16, I met the Love of my life…Jesus and He turned my life around in the most unbelievable and extraordinary way. I can’t help but get emotional with an overwhelming sense of gratitude thinking back to who I was back then. The truth is I had no clue who I was.
I was a broken mess, ridden with shame, defined by lies, abused in all areas and my identity and voice suppressed by it all. I had no purpose, no direction, no hope! Self- hatred was my companion and self-harm and suicide my only freedom. The hopelessness and despair plagued me.
Fear was a blanket over my life… Fear of what people thought about me, fear of what I thought about myself, fear to be seen, fear to be heard, fear to trust, fear to love, fear to be loved… you name it, my life was drenched in fear.
I’d heard a lot about religion but NO WAY! That was not for me…no chance! A God that allowed so much pain and suffering? I wasn’t interested in that religion. But the funny thing is, I don’t know about you, but when I was in pain, hurting, broken, lost… it’s prayer I turned to, even though I didn’t believe in God, I wanted to believe in an idea of God… just someone that could help me…
So, there I was, a 16 year old broken mess on my bedroom floor. Abused and drowning in my own dysfunctional thoughts that somehow death seemed better than life. I just wanted the pain to stop. So, in desperation I cried out “God, if you are real, please show yourself to me” … and boy did He!! Not instantly… there was no flash of lighting and everything changed at once. At the time, I had no idea how profound those few little word were. I had no clue about the journey I was about to embark on!
God came into my life and completely transformed it! I learned that how I had perceived religion wasn’t true religion at all. I discovered how when I was hurt and abused, Gods heart was breaking watching his daughter suffer. I learned that He created me in His mind before He placed me in my mother’s womb – He wanted me, before I was even born.
He accepts me exactly as I am, He loves me unconditionally, exactly as I am. When I felt I was worthless, Jesus thought I was worth dying for. He says that I am wonderfully and fearfully made! He says that He loves me with an everlasting love and nothing… absolutely nothing, can separate me from His Love!
When you encounter the Love of God, your life will NEVER be the same again! And I had encountered it! I found a love like no other, A joy that was indescribable, a peace unexplainable and a Hope beyond comprehension… and I was NEVER letting go!
The process and journey of healing and being set free has not come easy. There is pain in shedding the baggage of our pasts. I’ve had to do the work and it’s messy! There’s been a lot of learning and a whole lot of unlearning. Unlearning dysfunctional behavioral patterns and toxic thoughts. And learning to make healthy decisions and live with the mind of Christ. A rewiring of the brain. I’m not going to lie to you… it’s not easy…
BUT… it is COMPLETELY worth it! To live in wholeness, in freedom from fear, free from shame, healed from the pain and learning to love myself and even more… to like myself. Breaking the power of the lies spoken over me. Living with a Hope and a purpose!
Life is always going to have its ups and downs. Good times come and hard times come. We have moments of joy and celebration and moments of grief and pain. Life doesn’t automatically flick a switch and become wonderful when you meet Jesus… But walking life with Jesus gives you a Hope, a Joy, and a security in knowing that we never journey this alone. I am living proof that you can be in the most painful of circumstances yet be filled with the most overwhelming Joy and Peace. I can’t imagine my life without Jesus and I’m so grateful I never have to!
He is my everlasting Father, my wonderful counsellor, my prince of peace. My everything. And He is too good not to share! All that He has done in my life, He can do in yours too. You can live an abundant life full of Hope and purpose! No matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you... none of that defines who you are! All it takes is a few simple words and your life will never be the same again…” God if you’re real, show me.”
Feel free to reach out to me on my social media pages or my website, I’d love to connect with you!
IG – a_diary_of_hope
FB - @adiaryofhope
More About Antoinette!
I’m so glad you’re here and I can’t wait to get to know you!
I’m Antoinette, I’ve been coaching people for over 7 years and I love it! My heart and is to restore hope and help people discover their identity, authority and purpose. I work with all genders and ages, but I have a special place in my heart for youth. I have a deep passion for discipleship, mission and youth.
I’m your typical fun, caring, adventurous, Jesus-loving, 32-year-old, single mum… Only I’m not typical! None of us are and that’s the beauty of life… we were all created uniquely, for a unique purpose. I discovered that on my journey… but it didn’t always start like that.
The story of my life is one of ‘hurt people, hurt people.’ Unfortunately, I was the one hurt…
Fortunately, I am no longer hurt.
I am living proof that ‘Your past doesn’t have to define who you are’!
My journey was one of physical, sexual, emotional, religious and narcissistic abuse. The behaviors and patterns I collected along the way can only be described as dysfunctional and toxic. And the emotions… well that is a whole other story… Let’s just say depression, anxiety, shame and fear were my only companions.
Isn’t it funny how when were hurting… we run… we hide… we try to escape in literally anything that life will put in our way…? That’s exactly what I did… run. I ran towards anything that was not my pain.
Drugs – Check. Drink – check. Relationships – check. Games – check. Witchcraft – check. Suicide – check
Only nothing worked! Not one of the things I tried to numb life away with worked… So, once I stopped running, I met Jesus and started a long journey of healing, unlearning dysfunction, and discovering who God created me to be.
I learned how to receive Gods unconditional love, how to love myself so that I can love others well and how to overcome fear, insecurities and all the other awful things that try and stop us living in total FREEDOM, I learned to grow deeper in my relationship with God to a point where the words of the Apostle Paul ring true in my life.
“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
And I’m here today to tell you the life you dream of – you know the one where fear doesn’t dominate, anxiety doesn’t paralyze and hopeless has no home.
The one where you can be free of shame, free of pain and free of being stuck. The one where you can live confidently, knowing who you are and whose you are. The one where you can know what you are put on this earth to do. The one where Hope becomes an everyday, every circumstance reality.
You can have that too!
Life is always going to throw its challenges and hardships at us but with the right tools we can thrive instead of just survive.
Sometimes all it takes is one step of faith to allow someone in on the journey to help guide you and bring you to that place you have only dreamed of.
I would be honored to be that person for you.