Testimonial Tuesday: From Pain to Power

Last week, we kicked-off our June Testimonial Tuesday series with a feature on Yoli Origel—breast cancer survivor who found her calm with Abide. This week, we’re thrilled to introduce you to Elsa Christie. Elsa’s a mom, an entrepreneur, a speaker, and a writer with a passion for helping others discover their purpose, restore their identity, and heal from past pain. As a former foster youth and sex trafficking survivor, Elsa advocates for current and former foster children, along with those who have suffered abuse from sexual exploitation and human trafficking.

Immigrating from Cameroon, Africa, Elsa is committed to providing affordable mental health care, education, and training to minorities, communities of color, and survivors of abuse. Her RePurpose Your Pain™ training has empowered people across North and South America, Africa, Europe, and Asia to walk in their true identity. Elsa’s nonprofit organization—Revive 360—strives to bridge the gap between missions and mental health by equipping people and organizations to serve survivors of abuse and sexual exploitation.

We were seriously inspired by Elsa’s brave journey of overcoming pain, her commitment to serving others, and even more excited to learn that she leans on Abide to tackle her insomnia. We sat down with Elsa to ask her a few questions about her meditation practice, faith journey, and personal mission.

Why do you use Abide? What’s your experience been like? 

EC: I use Abide to help me sleep. Because my mind races a lot, I tend to be an insomniac. The issue is that I am also an early riser, so that makes for a terrible combination. I know that I need a lot of rest to be able to have a productive day, so I listen to bedtime stories or soothing piano music, and it puts me right to sleep. My experience with Abide has been healing. As a trauma survivor who is diagnosed with PTSD, this app has helped me create a safe space for a good night’s rest, and a healthy morning prayer and meditation routine. 

What’s your favorite meditation or sleep story? 

EC: My favorite Abide meditation is the “Don’t Worry” meditation. First off, it has one of my favorite scriptures—Matthew 6:33—as the main passage. It then includes Romans 8:28—my life verse and so much more. It is a gentle reminder for me to release my worry and fears to God. This meditation also shows you to set your eyes on Jesus and His Kingdom, not the things of this world. I am left with casting my cares on to God and not taking on problems that are for God to handle. 

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Do you recommend meditation for your patients/clients?

EC: Absolutely! I recommend meditation to all of my clients and practice it with them in my office often. Meditation is a very important part of healing and renewing one’s mind-which helps with cognitive processing. Because I primarily work with clients who have gone through trauma and abuse, they hardly feel safe in their bodies, so meditating helps them center and ground themselves and practice mindfulness. They are also able to become more self aware by slowing down and breathing more intentionally to manage their overall health. Meditation also helps survivors of abuse and trauma soothe emotional and mental pain, and reduce stress and anxiety. It is truly one of my favorite tools for clients!

Can you tell me a little about your faith journey? Was there a time when you really leaned into your faith? 

EC: I came to know and accept Jesus when I was 3-years old and knew that Jesus was my “best friend”. However, as I went through life and endured a lot of pain and trauma, I became confused and angry with God because I didn’t understand why He allowed me to go through some of the horrible things I went through. I went from loving God to giving Him the silent treatment unless I needed something. My relationship with Him became transactional. This put me in positions where I exposed myself to a lot of false teachings and religions that were not in alignment with the Gospel. I wandered, but every time I went too far off He would rein me in because He ALWAYS goes back for the One. There was a period of time where I didn’t pursue my relationship with the Lord for about 6 years, and I suffered greatly as a result. When I decided to turn back to Him and seek Him, I encountered God as Abba, Father, and my life changed completely. I needed to experience God as Father. I have since lived a life completely devoted to God. Knowing that I am His daughter, His beloved. Understanding that in Yeshua, Jesus, He calls me friend. In the Holy Spirit I am counseled and nurtured. It is a beautiful relationship that I wouldn’t change for the world, because it’s changed me and made me who I am today. 

As a speaker, what’s your favorite thing to talk about? 

EC: As a speaker, my favorite topic to talk about is how to use pain to benefit you. Too often we allow pain to be the marker of our lives in a negative way, however, pain can be used to propel us into our life’s calling and purpose. Pain is a secret weapon and a catalyst that we all need but are afraid to embrace, and I love helping people embrace and repurpose their pain. 

Thank you, Elsa! We’re so grateful to be a part of your faith and wellness journey. Your message is raw and empowering, and we’re thrilled to help you share it. To our Abide community, we’d love to invite you to join Elsa’s RePurpose Virtual Experience on June 25 and 26. If you are haunted by the pain of your past and brave enough to take the next step to change your life, register now.

If you have a testimonial you want to share, please let us know in the comments. Don’t forget to join us next week for another Testimonial Tuesday. In the meantime, download the Abide app now to hear more meditations, sleep stories, and music, and get access to our full library with 2,000+ pieces of content.