My Story in a Nutshell

(This page is currently being modified, so the content will change periodically)

I began this blog in the spring of 2010 thinking it would be a good way to practice writing.  I have a degree in Human Services (Community Counseling) from Onondaga Community College and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Syracuse University.  I have also had additional training in domestic violence advocacy and counseling survivors of sexual assault and abuse.  My original intent, when I graduated from high school was to go to Bible College and major in Pastoral Counseling and Marriage and Family Therapy.  I wasn’t able to go to Bible College however, and so I ended up staying at home and going to Onondaga Community College.  Not too long into the first semester at OCC, everything came to a grinding halt.  In the fall of 1984, I  attempted suicide.  This was a horrendous experience, that took a very long time to recover from.  Looking back, I realize I needed help for depression and anxiety, but at the time, there was too much pressure to get a job and go to school, neither of which was really possible for me.  I did not have a good counselor, or a mentor;  my suicide attempt made me determined to never deal with the mental health community again (funny how things turn out)  and I decided I was going to do it alone;  just me, God, and my Bible.

In the spring of 1985 I began dating someone I met in a B.A.S.I.C. (Brothers and Sisters in Christ) group at school.  I thought (because he said so) that he was going to be a minister.  We drove all the way out to Central Bible College in Springfield Missouri, where we spent a week sitting in on classes, and staying with friends in their on-campus apartment.  For the first time in a long time I was happy.  On the way home, my husband informed me that he was going to go to CBC, and I was going to have to go to work to pay for it.  He was not going to spend money on my degree, because women can’t be ministers, so there was no point in wasting money on my classes.  My depression was unmanageable when we got home.  The first few years of our marriage were horrible.  Not only that, but years of endomitriosis made it difficult, if not impossible, for me to have children. Three years after we were married, I had surgery, and was able to have my first daughter, and five years after that (and a horrible year-long experience with experimental drugs)  I had my second daughter. My Bible College dreams were over as far as I was concerned. The only thing left was to be the best homemaker/wife/mother I could be, and be as involved in the church as was possible. I ended up leading a Missionettes group (kind of like Girl Scouts, but Christian) in the basement of Solvay Assembly of God, thinking “Really God?  This is it?  After all my dreams of teaching, and writing, and counseling, and preparing for ministry by studying the Word, and different cultures, and languages, this is all I’m allowed to do?” I did, however, absolutely love being a mother, and those years when my girls were little was the best time of my life.  My marriage, on the other hand, was a huge mistake.  It took me a long time to realize that it had all fallen apart while I was raising and teaching my girls at home.  I know that my daughters are a tangible manifestation of the grace of God in my life, but I will never know what would have been had I not made the decision to marry someone who was not as committed to Christ, or to me.

In 2003 , we were divorced after spending five long years in and out of court, and trying to get help from the church.  As well-meaning as my church at the time was (for the most part) they were not equipped to deal with issues like domestic violence, adultery, grief or trauma.

The intent of this blog is to take everything I have learned along the way and use it for the Glory of God, and the good of others.  God does not waste anything;  He takes all of it; the good and the bad, and uses it for His purposes and our benefit. I am not a licensed therapist, nor am I an ordained minister.  I have, however, seen how God can heal, guide, and deliver in the darkest of circumstances, and the most impossible situations.  He is and always will be faithful;  He is my Rock and my Fortress, my Deliverer, and the One I trust, and He alone knows where this path will lead.

“Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.  And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God, and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”   Philippians 4:6,7  (Amplified)

25 thoughts on “My Story in a Nutshell”

  1. this is so wonderful and we are so very proud of you and all that you do. God’s blessings are over you always and may He always walk with you, with His hand upon you. You are His child and that will never, ever change. PTL!!!! Love you always, Mom

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  2. Thank you, Stacy, for sharing what you know of a good and healing God! 🙂

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  3. Mary T. Sorrendino said:

    Stacy
    This is awsome! I have been blessed reading your blog! God is amazing and He is using you for His kingdom and I know that first hand! He sent you to me when I needed you the most.. I will forever be greatful to God for you ! You have been a part of my healing …Love you
    Mary Sorrendino

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    • Mary Sorrendino said:

      Stacy, I know that I responded to this back in May 2011, I want to tell you as I re-read your story I was impressed with your story and your awsome writing ability! Youare truley gifted and I know that your story needs to be heard…. Once again THANK you for being willing to minister to me when I needed you the most I will forever be greatful to God for you! As I said your are and have been used by God in my life thank you

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      • Mary, you’re welcome. I know God put me in that place at that time, and am so glad he brought us together. You don’t know what this encouragement means to me tonight. Things are not so encouraging right now! Writing helps. Thank you again for reading my ‘stuff’; I do hope God uses it to help and encourage others. Love you, my friend, and hope to see you soon!

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  4. Stacey, this is beautiful! I wish many people could read this and they would be blessed. God certainly has His hand on you. Thanks for sharing honey, you are so special to me. Love you, aunt Bonnie

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    • Thank you, Aunt Bonnie!! For some reason this was hard to write; it took a long time. It doesn’t even begin to say it all, but it’s a start! I love you too- Stacey

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  5. Stacy I THINK i NEED TO TALK TO YOU, WE MIGHT HAVE SOMETHINGS TO GO OVER YOU WILL PROBABLY DEFFINATELY WANT TO TALK WITH ME EMAIL ME MELODYSINISCALCO5@GMAIL.COM ASAP!!!!!

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  6. Sorry Im looking for someone else, she is also stacy gardner middle initial L

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  7. Hey Stacey,

    I feel your pain darling, like your mom said….you are a loved angel.
    Glad you’ve made God your anchor….and coffee on your way out (lol).
    Keep on preaching, sista!

    Love you always. Rev. Blessed.

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  8. Hello, Stacy!

    I just discovered your blog when a link came to my LinkedIn account. In looking at
    the pictures on your home page (and seeing the church in the photo and if that’s where you grew up, I’m from the same town. I now live in Syracuse, NY. Went to SU. Have just rediscovered church. Would love to talk! Thank you for sharing your story.

    Gina

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    • Hi, Gina!
      Thank you for reading my blog; I did grow up here in Syracuse (Jamesville) and now live in N. Syracuse. Where are you going to church? What did you major in at SU, and what do you do now? I would love to talk with you; my number is (315) 882-4991.

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  9. Hi again, Stacey:

    I will be in touch!

    Gina

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  10. Tamara Myers said:

    Wow sweet sister! There are many similarities in our stories! Thank for sharing and being transparent. I am both encouraged and inspired! So very glad that God has allowed our paths to cross! Many blessings, Tamara

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    • Thank you, I’m glad too! If our stories are at all similar, then you’ve been through some difficult stuff as well. But God is faithful, and always makes a way out, or at least through to the other side of it all. Onward through Luke we go! Always enjoy reading your comments, Tamera. Fun studying, isn’t it? 🙂

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      • Tamara Myers said:

        It really is! What would I do and who would I be without such an anchor as ours!? I am confident that with and in Him there will be a purpose to all this pain & trouble. Our Hope is great!!! So grateful that God placed me at ALCC. We are blessed!!! Maybe one day we can visit and exchange our testimonies. = )

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  11. Tamara Myers said:

    See you on fb for sure. It’s my social outlet as I try to conquer this single stay at home mama thing! = )

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  12. Yes, facebook has been a God-send for me, too! (For the most part:) Especially with the study. I would love to me and visit sometime though. Thank you for reading and commenting on the blog; writing is an awfully lonely profession sometimes.

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  13. Katie Prescott Beasley said:

    Hi, Stacey. I stumbled on your blog and was moved by the pain you describe. I’m so glad to hear that you want to see real assistance and real life change when the church doesn’t have a frame of reference for that kind of pain. I’ve seen a little of that kind of thing myself in ministry. We sort of…don’t let people feel that it’s ok to not be ok. So that they can look for the right direction to go for comfort and healing. (I’m sort of semi-quoting Matt Chandler when I write that.) Blessings to you.

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    • Thank you for stopping by to read, Katie! I do want to see change in church, and in pastoral counseling. Too many people are dealing with the same issues. I have to look up Matt Chandler; I’m not sure who he is, but I definitely agree with you.

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      • Katie Prescott Beasley said:

        Matt Chandler replanted a declining church in the Dallas area. My husband is a minister (church planter) and he follows a few ministers through podcasts. Chandler is one of them. He is a great teacher and the kind that really challenges people. I think the quote was something like, “The church should be a place where it’s OK to not be ok.” And then there was more to it which I can’t recall…

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