This is the story about Leslie Strovas…
Life is full of surprises, isn’t it? Trying to tell your story, you look back and see there’s just so much that happened. Some of it you planned and executed and achieved, like the year abroad, the college degree and the wedding. But you also see that a lot of it…honestly, most of it…was unplanned, unintended, unanticipated and… well, surprising. Maybe looking back you’re amazed that you made it to this time and place called Right Now. Or maybe you look back and you see God’s hand and heart over your life the whole time, just like Jeremiah did. You realize He was always intentional, was never surprised and always had a plan to get you to Right Now…and you marvel.
Well, I did marvel and then I followed. That is to say, I fell head over heels in love with Jesus when I learned how much He loved me because I knew then and I know now that without Him, my Right Now would be dramatically different. I, and those I love suffered greatly because of my sins of pride and fear. But fifteen years ago, at the end of my fraying rope of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency, I fell at His feet and He lifted me up in His loving arms. He started Something New that day and has been helping me work out this adventure of salvation and sanctification ever since. Right Now, my greatest need and desire is to know Him more and more, to dive deeper and deeper into the fathomless depths of His love, mercy, kindness and friendship and to “take the adventures He sends me” with a good will and a cheerful heart, trusting Him always to be my Good Lord (some of my favorite lines from the Narnia book The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis).
I share these adventures with my husband who happens to be my best friend. The Lord knows I hate clichés but in this case it happens to be true! He is one of God’s most beautiful blessings in my life.
God also blessed me with three children who are all now grown and flown, each pursuing their own adventures and paths in life. I’m so very proud of and grateful for all of them and am waiting with great anticipation to see what Jesus does in each of their lives. We’ve been through a lot together. And it just keeps on getting better and better: I’m now “Meme” to three grandsons who are the absolute apples of my eye, and another precious one on the way! Maybe a little girl? I don’t know, but here I was thinking that life might have fewer surprises after age 50! If I were as wise as I’d like to be (or think I am), I would have realized that life with Jesus is chock full of surprises, perhaps even nothing but.
Right Now, Jesus has called me to be a vessel for healing in the lives of his precious sons and daughters. I am a certified Functional Nutritionist, a certified pastoral counselor and a candidate for my doctorate in Natural Medicine and I practice root-cause medicine and pastoral counseling in a private practice and ministry called All Things New Health & Wellness. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? Well, it is! But only because the whole thing was God’s idea and He keeps it running day in and day out. All I do is learn stuff about the human body, soul and spirit (that He designed and made) and teach it to others who want to know all about it too. He does all the healing. I’m just the vessel, and six years ago, if you told me I’d be doing this, I would have laughed at you – a lot. But God’s ways are high above ours and He knew the plan He had for my life, even as He knit me together in my mother’s womb. He knew that my sin, wrong choices, loss and suffering would All Be Made New (see what He did there?) in Jesus, and in His will, would be the foundation of His functional medicine and pastoral counseling practice and ministry called All Things New Health & Wellness….Surprise!!!
The Great Lie
I work with people from all walks of life, but my deepest heart and desire is to walk with my sisters in Christ. See, girls, we’ve been handed a terrible lie when it comes to our true identities. The world, and I’m sorry to say, the church to some degree have told us that our identity and worth is found everywhere and anywhere else but Jesus Christ. I’m also sorry to say that we’ve bought it, at least I know I did. This lie devastated my entire life – and the lives of those I love most – and the thing is, I see the same devastation every day in the failing physical, mental and spiritual health of His daughters and my sisters: depression, anxiety, hormonal problems, crushing fatigue, auto immune disease, troubled and failing marriages and relationships, deep life dissatisfaction, mind-blowing stress, heart disease, cancer, diabetes, thyroid problems, and other chronic and degenerative diseases.
But there is hope and there is an answer! All Things New is not your run of the mill health practice because it doesn’t focus just on healing the body but practices 3-in-1 Medicine™. See, God created us as physical, mental/emotional (soul), and spiritual beings and each aspect deeply affects and impacts the others. This is why true healing must occur in all three parts and why you see Jesus ministering to all three areas in Scripture. ATN does the same but what really sets us apart is that our spiritual healing is Christ-centered, biblically-based and Holy Spirit empowered. Our job (and blessing!) is to walk with you and guide you on your journey of drawing closer to Jesus to experience his love and peace in ways you may never have known before, and in that love, to find abundance, healing and rest, to find victory, for your whole person and your whole life. Can I get an alleluia?! Because that is the Good News….
Jesus came at Christmas and thirty-three years later laid down His life to give those that placed their faith in Him an Amazing Gift – forgiveness of sins, AND a new inner man with a godly inheritance of abundant, joy-filled, peace-filled life founded in a new identity in Him. The kind of life that is worth living in a fallen world and so strongly compelling to unbelievers, that they long to know how their life can be the same, and seek Jesus. We are all very well taught about forgiveness of ours sins at the cross, but the other part of the Amazing Gift, our new identity, is lying unopened under the Christmas Tree and it’s breaking His heart, and mine. If I never truly understood who I really am in Christ it’s because I was never truly taught what happened to me the moment I let go of my fraying rope of self-righteousness and self-sufficiency and placed my trust in Jesus. Dear Sisters, it’s Something Amazing that goes infinitely beyond forgiveness of sins, into the very eternal life of Christ Himself.
I’ll say that again: the very eternal life of Christ is yours.