Story Behind WM

At the age of eighteen my life dangerously unraveled. Two weeks after graduating summa cum lade from my all girls high school I found myself in the behavioral health partition of our local hospital signing papers that I was a danger to myself. Everything I had placed my value and worth in was taken from me – from being a stand out soccer player to getting straight A’s to being accepted and liked by guys and my popular group of friends. I had always believed in God and prayed often but I had never surrendered my life to Jesus – I didn’t know what that meant. As friends and family got wind of my situation, some gossiped but some Christians began praying for me. That summer was spent going to group therapy, personal counseling and seeing doctors. At my worst, I truly believed the lie the world was better off without me in it. That fall, my counselor recommend I try to go back East to the college I was accepted to. Two weeks after making friends and doing the things normal freshman did I came undone again and was propelled into an even scarier, darker place. People continued praying for me and one day in the hospital I surrendered my life to Christ. I wish I could say my depression was immediately healed and my life was put back together but it was a long, difficult road and I still face challenges to this day. As I was struggling with my mental health challenges I witnessed so many of my girlfriends were experience storms of their own – eating disorders, alcoholism, drug addiction, family issues or abusive relationships. As I began to build a sense of my identity in Christ, I saw a huge need among girls and young women to know their God-given purpose and worth. I then became impassioned about sharing a message of hope and value with girls and shortly after the vision of Wonderfully Made was born. Once I returned to college I put up posters in the women’s bathroom inviting women to be a part of Wonderfully Made. Three girls responded. We began meeting on our campus for bible studies, hang out events and fun outings. Our community even branched off to expand to other college campuses throughout California. In 2009 we hosted our first young women’s conference in Santa Barbara and then hosted two more annual conferences in Hawaii. In 2014, we partnered with Friends of Bethany Hamilton to host our first Anchored In Love Conference. We have since launched a podcast, created a team of speakers and worship leaders, produced HerStory films and published two Bible studies. My life has not been perfect since and I still have my struggles but I am comforted by these words of Jesus: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.(John 16:33).”

-Allie Marie Smith

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