Summer Photo Series: Love and Joy in People- Marissa

This summer I wanted to do a photo series on people who I know and also don’t know very well. I didn’t just want to post photos anymore. I want people to get to know the people behind the pictures. So, I asked some people some questions to answer before I took their photo:

  1. Where are you from?
  2. How/when did you accept Christ as your Savior?
  3. Do you have a place that you go to or have gone to be with the Lord? (quiet time)
  4. What person from the Bible are you most like?
  5. Where has God changed you in your life so far this year?

Here are Marissa’s answers. Enjoy.

Love and Joy Always.


1. I was born and raised right here in Howard County. I’ve lived in Columbia, Clarksville, and Ellicott city over the past 25 years. I spent one year living in the heart of downtown Baltimore, but I am definitely not a city person. Give me open roads and miles of fields any day!


I’ve been through a lot of personal and family struggles in my life, and honestly, I did not allow God into it for quite some time. About a year and a half ago, I was really at rock bottom mentally and facing some serious mistakes I had made in my life. I decided it was time to change and so I replaced my weekend outings with going to SISU (Oak Ridge’s College/Young Adult Group) and church. The first night I went to SISU, I sat alone on the floor and cried my eyes out. I had carried so much pain in my heart and had been trying to cover it up. At that moment I knew that God was calling me to come home, and I welcomed Him with open arms. Recently, I gave my testimony and that was one of the most emotional nights of my life. It was also one of the most exhilarating and amazing nights I’ve ever had and I can’t thank my friends enough who were there to cry with me and just feel the love we shared that night as a body.


3.  This is something I’ve really struggled with, personally. I’m so all over the place in my head that I often avoid that true quiet time. I really want to make it a priority in my life, but I’m pretty stubborn so it will probably take some time. I have been working on reading a Proverb each day along with a chapter in John. I’ve really enjoyed delving deeper into the word; it’s been very eye-opening.


4.  It’s ironic that you ask this question because I read a lot of Buzzfeed articles and I love their quizzes. So I had taken the quiz where you figure out which biblical heroine you are, and I was Esther. When I read the description they give you at the end, it definitely felt like me. It said that behind my “pretty face” (quotes because that sounds conceded) is a ferociously intelligent woman who stands up for justice; that I may not want the spotlight but I will fight for what is right, and that someday I may change the world. Maybe someday I will impact at least one person, but I will always fight for what I believe is true, whether it’s accepted or not. God knows who I am inside, and it is definitely an Esther in my book.


5. So far, it’s been a tough year. I’ve made quite a few mistakes, some very devastating, but the difference now is that I understand that God had already forgiven me before I even knew I was going to mess up. He knows that I will keep making mistakes (again, stubborn), and yet He will still love me every step of the way. It’s hard to grasp just how amazing that kind of love is, that agape love. I have become more open over this past year about struggles in my life, and it is so much more relieving than when I was “trying” to keep it together by myself. I feel so blessed that God has given me such an amazing family and extended SISU family – I don’t know what I would do without any of them. God has truly been good to me. That is why I have my favorite Psalm inked on my ribs, to remember each day’s purpose: Psalm 90:12 Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom. So here’s to the next lesson in life, may it make me more the wiser!




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