Do you feel like your past is holding you back from achieving your dreams?
Did you feel like you missed out on a childhood because of a broken family?
Do you think that you’re not good enough for God to use you?
Author and speaker Celeste Barnard shares her story of how God was able to heal her brokenness, forgive her past mistakes and redeem her and use her mightily.
Watch her interview Overcoming your Past to Redefine your Future and be encouraged!
[bctt tweet=”Because I walked through those things, now God is able to use me. @celestembarnard #PurposePowerSummit”]
Celeste Barnard is originally from Northern California. She and her Texas husband have been in ministry and married for almost 20 years. Together, they have 3 fun teenagers and run a non-profit called Big Red’s Ranch. They do camps, retreats, field trips, and events. Everyday is a new adventure on the ranch as they share it with pigs, goats, chickens, cats, bunnies, koi fish, and macaws. She is a writer and a speaker who is passionate about sharing with others what God has done in her life. She believes God does not waste one ounce of our pain- our stories are redeemed for His glory. She has written a devotional called Reflections, a Be Your Best Brave Journal,and her latest book, Brave Dreams, which can all be found on Amazon. She also has a podcast on iTunes called Be Your Best Brave. You can stay connected with her by going to celestebarnard.com and signing up for her email devotions or looking her up on social media at celestembarnard on facebook, instagram, and twitter!
I grew up in Sacramento, California. My mom was a single mom raising my brother and myself. My mom struggled with drugs and alcohol. I was also sexually abused from the time I was maybe 4 until about 12 years old. It was a very dysfunctional home. I got A’s and B’s in school all the way until maybe 6th grade, then i kind of just stopped caring. The stress from home just got to be too much. By 7th grade I was cutting school and experimenting with drugs and alcohol. By 8th grade I was promiscuous. By 9th grade I was completely out of control- drugs, alcohol, smoking, cutting school, sneaking out at night, and taking my mom and step dads car. By 10th grade I dropped out of High School and moved 7 hours away with a boyfriend to Palm Springs, CA. I was in a very toxic relationship and severed that relationship within that year.
From the age of 17 to 20 I worked 2 full-time jobs, lived with roommates, had a fake id, went to night clubs, partied, drank, did drugs, and pretty much anything else I could do to numb the pain. A young man invited me to a Bible Study when I was around 20 and I knew once I went that my life would never be the same. For the first time in a long time, I felt something. I felt loved and accepted and these people didn’t want or expect anything from me. I felt God’s love for me. I continued going to these Bible Studies and found myself changing. I gave my heart to Jesus at an event. I remember, I ran down to the alter- sobbing and shaking. God was all over me! I continued to grow in my walk with the Lord, so thirsty for His Word. I would wake up around 5am every morning just so I could sit and read His Word for hours every day. And he healed those broken spaces and places that were so deep with in me. From there, I went to Bible College in Dallas, TX. I wanted to know more about God. I met my husband there. We married and were on staff at a church in Irving, Tx.
We worked with young adults, youth, and kids. We became the Children’s Pastors for 5 years. Then we moved to Colorado and became the Family Pastors for almost 6 years. Then we moved to Brownsville, TX. where my husband I were the Children’s Pastors for 2 1/2 years. And then we stepped out into running our Non-Profit in South Texas. We live in one of the poorest cities in the US and we many can’t afford to send their kids to camps. We partner with sponsors to try and send kids to camp for free, and we try to keep the cost as low as possible for others. We love that we get to do this. I realize many of these kids come from unfortunate circumstances as I did, and we just want to be a place where they can feel loved and find joy!
What is your SuperPower?
I am an encourager. I share my stories to help others know that they’re not alone, whatever their struggle. I help people to know that even if they’ve come from the most dysfunctional upbringing, that God can redeem anything!! He redeems our past and covers our mistakes. He will use those things to make us stronger. Those things make us who we are today.