7 months ago


Our Spring Edition is all about love, life long commitments, forgiveness and how to take the best care of our temples. Dr. Sandy Mitchell talks candidly about why she chooses to forgive herself and those who wronged her in the past. Through God's grace, her love for Jesus Christ and the power of forgiveness; she reveals how she overcame rape, domestic abuse, living with sickle cell disease, thoughts of suicide and much more! Special Offer: Purchase our Annual Issue and send your daughter to Dr. Mitchell's E.S.T.E.E.M Summer Butterfly Camp @ $5/week Discounted Rate. June 4 - August 3, 2018 -- Orlando, FL


OPTIMAL LIVING SPRING ISSUE WHY I CHOOSE TO FORGIVE Dr. Sandy Mitchell I am a living witness that the negative things that happen in your life, will not dictate your future.… I know this well because I am a proud survivor of domestic violence, sexual abuse, sickle cell disease, lung disease symptoms and having a gun put to my head – but, GOD! Yet, through it all, there's one common thread keeping my course, which is my foundation in Christ. I don't have a story of parents being the example of Christ in my home, while I was growing up. Sadly, my father is an atheist, but I still pray for his soul to make it into Heaven. And, my mother was not saved initially when I was growing up. It was my own strong desire to be closer to God that led me to I fall in love with Christ for myself. I was raped at the age of 14. It was a horrific act that left many mental scars. These scars from being raped eventually led me to carry a multitude of unforgiveness. I was drowning in it. I couldn't move on in life because I had a lot of anger and built up hostility in my heart. It was not towards myself but towards society and my mother. Then, eventually I started to hold the same unforgiveness towards my close friends and family. Most people that go through a morsel of what I have been through would want throw in the towel and of course Jesus! Nevertheless, while growing up, I graciously became rooted in Christ by taking it upon myself to learn the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. Everything seemed to be going well for me, as a young Christian. 6

OPTIMAL LIVING SPRING ISSUE However, as I got older and went off to college, I started dealing with demons of depression, thoughts of suicide and attempted to kill myself by overdosing on prescription medications and becoming an “intentional” alcoholic for two years of my life. I used the drugs and alcohol to try to soothe and get me through the pain of all trauma I had been through in my life. Nevertheless, as God continued to work on my heart – I eventually gained the gift of forgiveness of others and myself. I forgive daily, and I encourage others to do the same! Through continually forgiving others, God has turned my pain into victory! I don't have it all right, but I have moved on and plan to get others to the other side too. Through my trials, I have birthed two major items to help others – my book, I Forgive You – Pathway to Recovery and the E.S.T.E.E.M Butterfly Summer Camp for girls ages 7 - 11. I share this principle of pressing forward by hosting an all girls Esteem Butterfly Camp in Orlando, Florida. The main goal is to make sure that they are ready to take on life's challenges without compromising their character or losing their faith. Through this camp, I share with them the best options of education, being financially educated and know about the purity of keeping themselves for marriage along with having knowledge of dating properly. The ESTEEM Butterfly Camp will encourage all girls to learn how to love themselves, forgive others, give them lessons on being a girl, establishing healthy friendships that last for a lifetime. I want to make sure every girl has the courage to forgive and know the purpose of such a powerful resource! This year, campers will learn about the values of caring, integrity, respect, being a loving person and faith. It's a great opportunity to teach our girls with our academically based camp focused on Faith Values, Reading, Strengthening Math Skills, Fitness, Music and Fun. In addition to providing 30 minutes of reading time daily, campers also will benefit from hours of self-esteem based-lessons and 2 hours of physical activity daily. As you continue on your journey this year, I hope that you will keep in the forefront of our mind that forgiveness is a daily process. Allow people to have a Grace Card. God gives us forgiveness billions and billions of times. This is how we should be to others who may mistreat us. It's not an easy task but it is a doable task. We're counting down the days to the biggest adventure yet at E.S.T.E.E.M. Butterfly Summer Day Camp! The camp will take place in Orlando, Florida, June 4, 2018 – August 3, 2018. Register your girls at: 7

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