I became a Christian after my brother was killed in 2017. I was baptized in 2018 and my life hasn't been the same ever since. My brother being killed led me on a complete journey of faith that includes working on a degree in divinity and working closely alongside my pastor to give back to my church through planning events, serving on the weekends, putting together volunteer teams, etc. Before 2017, my life was in shambles. I battled agoraphobia, social anxiety, panic attacks, things even got to the point where I tried to end things all on my own.
The situations that I have been through in my past, how I have gone from being broken to now being healed and strong knowing that I have the Lord living within me, have made me want to now help others that may be going through the same circumstances. I want them to know that they aren't alone.
My Salvation Story
My name is Christina Marchese, I am 39 years old and live in New Hampshire with my daughter,
mom, our dog Benny, our cat Oreo, and our gerbil named Tank. I was born and raised in Newtown, CT,
when my daughter was 1, we moved to New Hampshire to be closer to family after my parents divorced.
As a child, I battled social anxiety from a very young age. I couldn't order food from restaurants
when we would go out to eat, I wasn't able to use public restrooms which meant not being able to drink
or eat anything throughout the entire school day or when I was outside of my house, and, amongst other
things, I wasn't able to change for gym class. With passing gym being a requirement for graduation from
my high school, my parents had me start seeing a therapist. I was then diagnosed with social anxiety
disorder and my parents were able to go against the school board and get me exempt from having to
change for gym so that I could still graduate from high school.
After high school, things didn't get any easier, they progressively got worse. Over the years, my
social anxiety led to me having agoraphobia, bad panic attacks, I could no longer leave my home if I was
by myself, and, at one point, I tried to end my life. I began seeing a treatment team of about six people
and began having weekly therapy sessions both in office, in the community, and I was able to begin
taking medication as well to help with the anxiety and panic attacks.
These visits continued on until my brother passed away. Almost seven years ago now, my brother
was killed while being treated at a hospital. My mother, sister, daughter, and I had to go down to the state
of Maryland for about a month or so to sort out his death, speak with attorneys, and attend several other
meetings after his death was ruled as a homicide. My brothers death made me begin to ask God so
many questions as to why what happened to him had to happen. It made me start taking courses to work
on a bachelors degree in Divinity, I started studying the Bible, and it led me to my church. I started
attending Next Level Church almost seven years ago and was baptized in April of 2018. I started
meeting with my pastor every Tuesday morning. We would spend hours together as he taught me more
and more about the Lord and about ministry.
The journey that followed led me to where I am now.That person that I was all of those years ago is completely gone. I look back on my teenage and young adult years and that person that I was, the person that battled panic attacks, that was too afraid to speak up in class, is no longer there. Finding the Lord and finding who I am through God's eyes and seeing how he loves me, has made me strong. It is my goal to help others that may have gone through or be going through similar circumstances. I want them to know that they aren't alone and that they too can overcome what they are facing because with God, anything is possible.