• Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation
    Soulshaping: A Journey of Self-Creation
    by Jeff Brown

    HIGHLY recommend this book if you are trying to find your spiritual path!



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My Story, A Work in Progress

Who is Joyuslion?


Born 2/14/65 in Baltimore, MD.

Stephanie Anne

My first real thought was when I was laying in a crib. Everything in the room looked frighteningly big and I thought: why am I here?
 My parents separated when I was just six years old. My mom was very mentally ill and my dad was less then 100% committed. I lived with my mom for a time with my two younger sisters and just born brother. When my mother could not care for us any longer my grandmother told us that we are going to "spend the night" at someone else's house. That night turned into a year and two foster homes.
 My dad got us when I was in the 5th grade and so we began a life of fear. To his credit my dad tried to raise four children alone. There were happy times, but many times of fear, isolation, stress, and cruelty. I was shamed into giving up my childhood (everyone must do their part to help out) to take care of my siblings and some of the house. There was verbal and emotional abuse and it was wrong. My father and I still do not talk because of who he is.
 I married my high school sweetheart because I thought I was in love. I was not. He was in the Navy so I moved to Norfolk, VA. As most everything that is started in error fails, so did this marriage. It lasted about two years and ended with him abandoning me in Virginia, no car, no money and living in on-base housing that was coming to an end.
 I met a man.... while working in Virginia. He was in the Coast Guard and he liked me. He bought me food, he lent me his car and he wanted me. I let him have me and I went to California with him when he went out there for Radiomen school. I moved three thousand miles from home with a young man I had known only for several months! I was 21.

 I left one bad situation and jumped headlong into another phase of my life. I really thought I loved him and he really thought he loved me... but the truth of the matter is: we both did not want to be alone. We had some great times in California and then moved back to his home state of Delaware. Thus began a 15 year marriage and three kids. There were happy times. And there were sad ones. He was a work-a-holic and eventually had his own business. He was not home with me and our three kids for 6 nights a week. 

My kids
I had my daughter in 1992! She was full term and beautiful! I named her Faith, because that was the greatest thing I had back then! I patiently waited years for my husband to want children. I was 28 when I had Faith Anne.
In 1993 I gave birth to two boy twins. I had them at 25 weeks, and I was in the hospital in and out of labor for 6 days! When I finally had them (3 months premature) they were 1lb. 10oz and 1lb and 11oz. Twin "A" Joshua Keith died the second day of his life. He bled into his brain (which could have been shunted and would have left him horribly retarded), and then into his lungs. We had to decide to turn off the machines that kept him alive because it was blowing holes in his lungs the Doctor said. I got to hold him while we fought for his life and while he died. I sang to him and talked to him and he knew that he was loved. Twin "B', Jordan Keith, stayed in the hospital for 3 months and left there on oxygen and a heart monitor. He was on the heart monitor for a full year of his life. There was one time, in the wee hours of the morning, when the monitor beeped and did not wake him up. I listened and listened and waited for it to go off... it didn't. I jumped up out of bed and ran across the room to shake him. He started to breath again and was fine!
I had my last child Colin Keith in 1995. He was an emergency c-section and we both would have died if we had not gone to the hospital. He was only 2 weeks early, a good size and happy from the beginning!

Our House

inspriation%20homeWe lived in an old farmhouse six miles from the nearest town. We loved it. (Me and my kids I mean)The house was old and was plagued with lots and lots of problems! Roofs leaked, heating was very poor, wind blew right through windows, paint was coming off of wood siding, siphon was lost on well once and we were without water for two weeks, pipes would freeze and then burst causing water damage to entire living room ceiling (not to mention re-plumbing kitchen water pipes a bazillion times), and the ceiling fell in in the dining room. Heck, I could write an entire chapter about that house!

Major Depression

My husband was a work-a-holic! I don't blame him anymore for it, it was what he used to cover the pain of not knowing one's self. I used crafts and quilting at the time and spent many a dollar and many an hour relieving the gap in my soul.

But he never came home! Well, let's see, he was home for dinner one night a week. Saturday. He had his own business and the worriment of a family of five. He did the best he could at the time.... but it was tragic for me. I got very depressed. Extremely depressed. It worked on me until every shred of my faith in God was gone and the love of my children did not matter anymore.

One day it came down to this: either I was going to take my own life and end the extreme emotional pain I carried, or I was going to get HELP! Thank goodness I chose to get help! I spent four days as an inpatient at a Psychiatric hospital. It was a pivotal part of my life. Every single patient I met in there was profoundly intelligent! I even saw one woman go through a multiple personality change right in front of my eyes!

I think my husband had reached a point in life where he did not know what to do... so he gave up. He gave up on me and our marriage. When I got out of the hospital he told me that he would stay with me until I got well and then would leave. I told him that I would not be getting well in that kind of environment and to just leave... he did. It literally crushed my heart when he asked for our checkbook and my debit card. I was all alone with three babies!

So... what did I do? I applied to college! Yep! And still having major depression I took the entrance exams and passed with flying colors!!! Well, I qualified for honors English, but was behind in math. I had to read each question on the exam about three or four times because when you have major depression you can't focus. :-) I compensated.

I began school with major depression and three little babies aged 2, 4 and 5... and not just school --- but a nursing program to boot!

I began to feel a strange feeling about moving out of my old, run down house (maybe the voice of reason huh?) so I proposed to my husband that I move into an apt closer to the collage I was attending. He went for it. He paid me money to live on and also paid the mortgage for the old, run down house too.

So I moved... with major depression,, three babies and a full college schedule with the help of an older man friend of my husband's. This couple had been a kind of guardian angel to me... they would give me money for Christmas to help me buy for my kids and would help me out if I needed it.

I left the bed for Keith and a chair and his beloved dining room table that we could not afford to buy.

I moved to Dover, DE. I lived in an apt that was right next to the rental office. When I left in the morning at 5:00am to go to nursing clinicals I would see the hookers come in from a busy night's work.

My church helped me with my children. They let them go to their Christian school for free! They also guaranteed my rent for the apt.

When I first moved into the apt I slept on the couch. The kitchen and eating area and living room all made a circle you could walk around. The first night there I had a dream that something black was flying around and around in the air... when I woke up I saw what it was... a bat had gotten it's self into my 2nd of 3 floor apt building!!!! It kept flying around and around... so I reached for the phone and called the police. I did not know who else to call. They came and I put a pillow over my head and made a quick dash to the door (this was right in the bats path and I was scared!). They flagged it back to a bedroom my 5 year old daughter was sleeping in and were yelling and waving night sticks at it with flash lights. Boy it was good my daughter was a heavy sleeper - she never woke up! They bonked it and threw it out a window! That was the first night in the apt.

There were many incidences that happened while living in the apt with my three little kids... A few I would like to tell you about because they were just plain strange!

While I slept on the couch in the living room for the first few weeks I had another dream... it was of a man standing over me looking at me. as I slept.  The next morning as I rushed the kids out the door for the day, I noticed that the dead bolt lock on the door was not locked. I always locked the dead bolt lock and the door nob lock too. So, it was very strange and I started to doubt myself. The next night I made sure that I locked it (with that mental note kinda thing we do). The next morning... it was unlocked.

Now I was scared... I was not sure what was going on. A friend I told the whole thing to suggested that I go to the rental office about it and request that the key to my apt be removed from where even the maintenance men could get it.  It all stopped then.

So we came to the conclusion that a maintenance man (who would often stare at me) was using the key to come in and he was standing over me watching me sleep and when he went out he would lock the doorknob lock and then just shut the door and walk away... not re-locking the dead bolt lock. !!!!!!!! Creepy and scary!

Also, at this apt my boys (aged 2 and 4) started not wanting to go into the hall bathroom alone. When I asked them what was the matter they told me that hands lived in there. At first I did not even pay attention to them about this. I thought it was a "little kid thing" and told them that there were no hands in there.

As the weeks went on they complained more and more about the hands. They said that the red ones would be crawling on the hallway ceiling screaming at them. Finally ,I started to pay attention. I asked them questions all about them. I found out that the hands lived in the doorknob on the bathroom door. There were blue ones and red ones. The red ones did not like us ; the blue ones did and wanted to help us. The blue ones even slept with my son!

Well, I was a very devout Christian then and I told my boys that the hands were going to have to go. They asked if the blue ones could stay and I told them no. I opened my apt door and commanded that the hands leave!

The next morning the boys looked into the doorknob and told me the hands were still there! I was perplexed at first ... but then remembered that I had commanded them to leave... but not in Jesus' name. So, I did the whole thing again and commanded them in Jesus' name to leave. The next morning the boys looked into the doorknob and said they were gone.

Strange.... but true!

While I lived in that small apt my husband came and picked up the kids. We would talk... we would fight. One time he brought divorce papers and sat at my kitchen table and asked me to help him fill them out. I told him that I did not believe in divorce, and if he wanted it he would have to fill out the papers and file for it and then I would sign them. He never did!

I prayed so hard for God to save my marriage... save my husband... I wrote my prayers down in lined journals and prayed and prayed for my marriage and my family. My prayers were in anguish. My prayers were earnest. My prayers were fervent! My prayers were heard.

Even though I was going to school and caring for three small children alone, every night I took out my journal and wrote my prayers to the Lord. He was there for me. He cared for me. He was my husband. I even found a necklace that was a wedding ring that had inscribed on it "I love you with an everlasting love"... I wore that necklace for a year.

I am going to share some of my journaled memories with you. I only do this because I feel led to. I do not ask you to believe everything I write, it is not written to change your beliefs. I only share to help just one person who may be going through some of the same things that I have gone through.

On the night of August 28, 1998 I lamented with a heavy heart that my husband and I had been living separately for 6 months. I was confused about what was going to happen in my marriage and continually prayed for God to give me direction. I prayed earnestly for the salvation of my husband day after day after day. This night I asked God to give me love for him, and empathy for him. I asked for strength and perseverance. I told God that this was hard. I cried out to Him and asked for a Godly marriage.I had been a Christian for more then 15 years and was only beginning to really know who God was. I asked to be able to know Him more fully, I told Him that my spirit longer for Him. And I asked how I could move closer to Him. I reached a point in my praying where I felt something coming toward me.

I had prayed for the gift of tongues for years. I was going to a Pentecostal church where we believed in all the gifts of the Spirit. This night I stayed in the Lord's presence. I put my face in my hands and thought I heard some speaking in tongues in my head. I immediately heard these words, "no, you are not good enough for this". And my power rose up in me and I got up from the table and got on my knees. I ignored what the darkness had said to me and I raised my hands to the sky and said, "I RECEIVE THIS GIFT FROM GOD!!!!" BOOM!!!!! I was yelling and yelling in some language I did not know!!!!! It lasted about 2 minuets and consisted of one sentence repeated over and over again. (for those of you who do not know what tongues are most people think of it as our spirit’s pray to God... in an unknown language. Communication directly from our spirit to God). I was so excited about receiving this gift from God that I called my girlfriend/mentor at 11:30 pm and woke her up to tell her. She was overjoyed for me as she knew how long I had been seeking this gift.

I had been going to counseling with the Pastor of my church for help with my marriage once a week. My Pastor seemed to think I was doing intercessory prayer to God concerning my husband. I really liked my Pastor and he seemed to like and respect me. If I brought a friend to church he would always shake their hands and tell them that they were “in good hands” with me.
I am going to share my life with you now in hopes that it will inspire you to continue to keep walking on your path no matter what. Much of what I will write about in very intense for me to relive. I hope it helps you.

I have taken the time to get all my journals out and organized into date order. Wow, I had written to God for 10 years before He talked to me!

One day, while I was writing in my prayer journal I heard these words in my mind: I WILL SEND YOU FORTH INTO THE HEARTS OF THE PEOPLE.

I was shook up.... what was that? I knew it was God. He had talked to me!!!!!!!

I had heard of other people who could hear the voice of God. I never knew anyone that could, and never ever wondered if I would. But now I did and what does that even mean?

more to come!