Songs and Seasons is a Christ centered blog exploring the fullness of what it means to thrive on this wild journey of life. My hope is to share the transformative power of Christ through topics on faith, womanhood, wellness, and simple living as well as reflecting on recovery and what it truly means to heal. As a trauma survivor and woman living with chronic illness, I have personally felt the sorrow and desperation these struggles can bring. I have tasted the bitter temptations of suicide and lived through the madness of addiction. I have walked in the shadows of shame and believed the same lies that so many are still imprisoned by.
But by the grace and mercy of God, my life has been saved and changed forever.
I first began blogging casually in 2008 as a tool to cope with my chronic health struggles. But since then over the years, the simple act of writing has become a foundational piece of not only my own recovery and career, but a valuable tool in my walk with God. It’s been a long journey to this place of peace, but the lifestyle changes I’ve made have opened the door for the incredible transformation I’ve experienced. My desire to live a simple life of devotion to Jesus has allowed me to truly thrive, even in the midst of struggle. I’ve learned many hard lessons over the years that have forever changed me, but the person I am today is no longer afraid for the future.
A BIT ABOUT ME
My name is Joanna Rae Lopez and first and foremost, I’m a fervent disciple of Christ and a devoted wife and mama. I’m passionate about women's ministry, natural medicine, and positive nutrition and I have personally battled for over two decades with chronic illness including C-PTSD, Fibromyalgia, Tourette's syndrome, and Borderline Personality Disorder which have impacted my life's work in many ways both beautiful and challenging. But God, in His grace and mercy, has healed me in ways beyond anything I could have ever imagined. Professionally, I am a writer, graphic designer, photographer, and small business administrator. In my free time I love to create recipes and cook whole food meals from scratch, sing and write music on my guitar, and road trip through the beautiful Pacific Northwest wilderness with my family!
When I look back at this journey, I can see that I've changed immensely over the years. I no longer believe in quick fixes. I believe in taking leaps of faith towards a more positive existence. Ones that build lasting health, contentment, and peace, not just momentary pleasure. If you want to change the way you feel, then you have to change the way you live and what spend your time and focus on. But as difficult as it may seem some days, it is possible when we walk a surrendered life in Christ. Because through Him, all things are possible.
Here's a few things I’ve come to believe over the past few years:
I believe in one God, eternally existing in three persons, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I believe God is holy, eternal, and infinite, Sovereign of the universe, all-powerful, all-knowing, and ever-present, the Alpha and Omega. I believe in the deity of Jesus Christ, that He is the way, the truth, and the life and that none may come to the Father but through Him. I believe He came in the flesh and carried the full weight of our sins so that we could be forgiven and have communion again with God. I believe He suffered and was crucified, buried for three days, and was raised from the dead, that we who believe would also have eternal life. I believe in the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, who is able to cleanse us and enable us to truly love God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength and to love others as ourselves. I hold to the inerrancy of Scripture and believe that the Bible is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that we may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. And I believe in the Church, the body of Christ and God's visible expression of His presence and mission in the world.
“Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved” - Acts 4:12
I believe that with Christ, we can endure even the most painful adversity and triumph through Him until the end.
“I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” – Philippians 4:12-13
I believe that true beauty begins on the inside and that a devotional life is a beautiful life.
“I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling; likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works.” – 1 Timothy 2:8-10
I believe in compassion and the importance of being present with the lost and broken because I have seen first hand how open hands, kind hearts, and listening ears can transform a person’s life.
“Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” – Colossians 3:12-14
I believe that the words we as believers use are important and I strive to only use language that is evident of a true life in Christ in everything shared here.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” – Ephesians 4:29
And I believe there is always hope, even in the most difficult and dark times.
“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” – Romans 5:1-5
After years of trying to pretend and live up to the image the world built for me, I finally surrendered and followed God, leaving the madness behind me and choosing the narrow road instead. I decided to be content with my life and live one of devotion and obedience no matter the earthly cost. But only when we are in Christ can we begin to make those positive choices forward. It is by His grace alone that we are saved and renewed.
A diagnosis, a difficult circumstance, a life riddled with pain… those things do not mean there is no hope for your future. A joyful and peaceful life is always possible even when faced with countless struggles. It will require great sacrifice, surrender, humility, and the choice to die to yourself daily, but the rewards are priceless and eternal.
Dear beautiful human, I pray for you peace, love, and a gentle walk upon this earth.
Joanna Rae Lopez