Humble, authentic and surrendered describe my heart for God. I hunger and thirst for Him. Yes, even in a dry and thirsty land I crave Him. Realizing "It's not about me, but all about Him" changed my spiritual walk with Jesus!

At age twelve I realized God desired a personal relationship with me through His son, Jesus. One Sunday morning in the balcony of my home church I sensed a quiet knock on the door of my heart. A gentle voice in my soul called, "Carla, open up and let Me in to dine with you, and you with Me. I want a personal relationship with you that is eternal, one that lasts forever." To this day, writing these words still brings tears and humbleness penetrates my heart.  think He loved me enough to seek me personally leaves me speechless. 

From that moment on God placed a number of people in my life to mentor me in a more intimate walk with Jesus. As a Christian teenager, I went through some difficult life experiences, which God used not only to deepen my relationship with Him, but to mold me into a young woman who craved to know Jesus more. My life progressed, and at age twenty-one I married my high school sweetheart, Fred McDougal.

Life rolled along beautifully for us. Two years later, we were blessed with the birth of our first child, Luke. Yes, the image of the sweet All-American family. Then...BOOM! Within the next six years, God blessed us with three more babies... Jake, Tate and Carly Jo. Our home was filled with tender love, kisses, two-year-old tantrums, all kinds and sizes of diapers, large grocery bills, and countless humorous experiences. As time passed, the stress and exhaustion rooted itself deep within. No one, not even my husband, knew what was happening to me physically, mentally, spiritually, and physiologically. Overtime I believed the lie. The one that echoes over and over, "I'm a Christian and depression can't exist in a believer. I can't let anyone see my problems. I must project joy." Oh, the lies of the enemy! I rapidly plunged into a deep, dark pit of depression. As a result, each morning I became an expert at putting on "a mask" to veil the reality. But, at night with the mask off I found myself crying out, "God Help!" I can't do this anymore. In His timing the Lord reminded me of a verse I memorized as a child...

"Do not fear for I am with you, do not be afraid for I am your God. I will strengthen you and uphold you with my righteous right-hand." Isaiah 41:10

I am so thankful we can trust God's timing to be perfect. He is never late. Yes, through His grace and mercy He pulled me out of the dark pit. Because of His provision and some medical assistance, I now see God using my story for His glory. For through them He taught me to trust Him. I realized that "Life is not about me, but all about Him." My past situation creates a yearning to seek a deeper walk with Jesus everyday. I am humbled every time I am reminded of God's love for me during those difficult times. "I love you, Lord, and I am ready to serve you until the day you take me to be with You in heaven. Amen."


From My Heart to Yours,