Cristabelle Braden is a courageous young woman who continually defies the odds. She had a severe brain injury that could have cost her her life. Doctors didn’t expect her to even make it through high school. Her story of continually overcoming setbacks is inspiring.

 

 

Website: https://cristabellebraden.com/

Online Store: https://shop.cristabellebraden.com/

Declaration Life Podcast: https://cristabellebraden.com/declarationlife

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cristabellebradenmusic

Twitter: https://twitter.com/itscristabelle

 

(Transcript is a guide only and may not be 100% correct.) 

Emily Olsen

Wherever there are shadows, there are people ready to kick at the darkness until it bleeds daylight. This is Bleeding Daylight with your host Rodney Olsen.

 

Rodney Olsen

Please remember that you can find Bleeding Daylight on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. I’d love to connect with you through social media. Sharing this and other episodes of Bleeding Daylight will help shine even more light into the darkness.

 

Today’s guest is a courageous young woman who continually defies the odds. She had a severe brain injury that could have cost her her life. Doctors didn’t expect her to even make it through high school. Her story of continually overcoming setbacks is inspiring.

Cristabelle Braden is an award winning singer, songwriter, speaker, author and host of the podcast Declaration Life. That's an impressive list of achievements but there was a time that doctors believed that she would never be able to even complete high school. Cristabelle's story is simply amazing. And I'm honored to have her join me on Bleeding Daylight, Cristabelle. Welcome.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Thank you so much for having me.

 

Rodney Olsen 

There's a major incident that radically changed your life and I want to explore that but firstly, what was life like before that incident?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

So I had a traumatic brain injury, my first brain injury when I was in high school, and it completely changed my life. Beforehand, I was an honor student. I was in line for valedictorian. I was 14, I was in 10th grade because I was put a year ahead in school and I was pretty active. I did sports and dance. I did a lot of theater. And I just was a typical active, happy teenager. And then one day changed my life forever.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Tell me about that incident. What actually happened?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

So it actually happened from playing the game Red Rover at my church's youth group. Have you heard of that game?

 

Rodney Olsen 

I haven't. Maybe you can. Maybe you enlighten us.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

It could be an American thing. Yeah. It's a kids game. It's a running game. So basically, there are two teams on one side, everybody lines up and then on the other side, everybody lines up and the goal is they call somebody over Red Rover Red Rover, send Cristabelle on over, then that's my cue to run. So the goal of the game is to break through their hands and they hold their hands as tightly as possible. Needless to say, it did not go as planned. When I went to run. They said Red Rover Red Rover send Cristabelle on over and that's the last thing I remember for about a year and a half. I've been told what happened, all the boys on my side of the my team decided to run behind me and rush the other team. And instead of breaking through their hands, they dropped their hands. So I ran full force and hit my head on a concrete wall. I had bounced off the floor and I was knocked unconscious.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And as you say, the first thing you really remember was quite some time after that, but from the reports you got, did you seem alright, were you rushed to hospital? What was the action that happened at that moment?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

So I came to after we think about a minute or two, we don't actually know how long I was unconscious, but from what the kids had told my parents when I came to I seemed totally fine, normal, wasn't showing signs of concussion. Normally, when somebody hits their head, they get a bump on their head which is outside of their skull. There's a swelling or a bump, and you want there to be a bump when you hit your head, that's a good thing. Instead of it's swelling outside of my skull, my brain started swelling. So while I seemed totally fine and totally normal the night that it happened, my brain started to swell and swell and swell. I wasn't sent to the ER. The adults that were there that night, didn't call my parents and tell them anything happened and I got sent home with the carpool. Everyone acted like it was fine, like nothing happened. Three days later, my brain had swelled so much that I couldn't walk straight. I had blurry vision, I couldn't hold conversations. I was functioning around the level of a small child I had to relearn how to get dressed, how to take a shower, I lost a lot of my speech abilities. I struggled with some muscle spasms, the right side of my body, the muscles atrophied and I basically was functioning around the level of a small child

 

Rodney Olsen 

And when you started displaying these symptoms, your parents hadn't been told that anything had happened. So this must have been incredibly concerning for them.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Yes. And they did say that when I came home that night, I told them that I had hit my head. But they were thinking if it was a big deal, somebody would have called or something. So they were aware that I'd gotten hit on the head. But we didn't know how severe it was. Until you've had a concussion or brain injury. You've met somebody who's had it, you don't realize how much one hit to the head. Well, in my case, it was hit to the head and bouncing off the floor. But you don't realize how much that can really affect your brain.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And a lot of the story that you're telling at the moment of that actual incident and and what happened immediately afterwards, I'm sure are just details that have been recalled to you that they don't actually remember happening.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Yeah, I don't remember it at all. More recently been starting to remember some flashes around when it happened. It was over 10 years ago. So it's been a long journey, but I don't remember it at all. There's just giant holes in my memory.

 

Rodney Olsen  

What sort of an effect has it had long term? What was the rehabilitation that you had to go through to get to where you are now?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

So I went through occupational therapy, speech therapy, cognitive therapy, physical therapy. I eventually started doing vision therapy and vestibular therapy, once I learned about what those were once we learned about them. But it's really been a long journey of just relearning common sense. I know it sounds odd, but that was like my biggest deficit and struggle because I wouldn't remember to look for cars and crossing the street, or my short term memory was so bad that I would be confused all the time. I wouldn't even remember that. That morning, I would forget I ate breakfast, I'd eat breakfast for four or five bowls of cereal in the morning because I would forget that I'd eaten. And everything just became confusing and disorienting. I remember feeling so confused, and I got really bad pain in my head and migraines. It was like, my brain had just been shaken up so much. Like if you picture a puzzle, you know, if it's put together that's kind of like your healthy brain. But you know, when you shake it all up, all the pieces get disconnected. And it was like there are certain places that were still connecting. But then there were other places that were completely misplaced and didn't make sense. And it's been a really long journey. I've been reinjured. I've had more concussions since the first one. My balance was so bad that I would fall all the time and I re injured my brain so reinjuring my brain has not helped the recovery process. But I know that the Lord is my healer. And he's brought me so far. And the doctor is, like you said, didn't even think I finished high school. And I was able, I took an extra year. But I was able to finish high school and I was able to go to college. And I'm actually I now just started grad graduate school, the struggles, some of them have gone away. Some of them are still there. Some days are harder than other days. There are some days I'm in extreme pain. And then there are other days that you know, I get up and I can, you know, function pretty on a pretty good basis. But it's been just a really long journey of learning to let go of my expectations of what I think life is going to be like and take it on a one day at a time.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Tell me about the kind of diagnosis that the doctors gave you back then, as we've said, they didn't believe you'd ever finish high school, let alone go to college and go on and study after that. But what would their expectations of you back then?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

So my, the first doctor that we saw was a neurologist that said, I had a mild concussion, I'd be fine in six weeks. The thing about brain injury is it's invisible. So even though I had some clear deficits, this was like I said, over 10 years ago, so there was a lot less awareness about brain injuries than there are now. But they said you'll be fine. In six weeks, six weeks came and went, I was worse. I wasn't better. So my parents found a different doctor, and I got proper testing done and I went gotten the therapies and they did neuropsychological testing, and tested my and found the areas that I cognitively had struggles. A big concern was my memory loss. I can't tell you how that was their sword. I don't have an explanation for it. The doctor didn't even have an explanation for it. I believe I have faith, I believe that it was the Lord. But my short term memory was really, really bad. Like, I couldn't tell you what I did that morning. So that's come a long way. But at the time, yeah, they, they told my parents to be prepared that I would be highly disabled and dependent on them the rest of my life that my cognitive abilities might not return. And so I was a teenager, I would throw temper tantrums, like a toddler like a two or three year olds. And I couldn't control my emotions because I had frontal lobe damage. And so I would snap at the smallest things or I would just start sobbing if something upset me the tiniest bit and it was really a challenge on Even figuring out how to get through every day,

 

Rodney Olsen 

You've touched a couple of times there on faith taking you through,. Tell us about your faith and what part that has played in your healing.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

It's honestly been everything earlier on in the recovery process. So my right side got weakened. And that's the side that I'm right handed. So I had to relearn my handwriting and how to write and my mom told me the story on this was maybe, I don't know if it was like six months or a year, but I don't remember it. But it was within that first couple years that I don't remember. And she came into my room and found me writing, really trying hard and just like writing every letter that I could, and I was copying Bible verses from the New Testament and I was reading them on index cards and taping them on my walls. Now, of course, like I mentioned earlier, because Common Sense piece was kind of not there. So I was using like, duct tape, like the kind of tape you don't put on paint. Because I hadn't remembered that you shouldn't do that. But, um, the idea was, and my mom asked me why I was doing that. And I said, because I need God, I need I need reminders. And so I have found some old journals from them and the handwriting, you know, the handwriting of like an eight year old. Yeah, that's kind of how it looks. And it was just me and I would I just have all these Bible verses just printed out and copied through and I don't remember that time. But what I do remember is when I started when I started having some memories back is I would just pray constantly, I would ask God to help me get through every day because I was in constant pain. I was constantly confused. One of the things that when you don't have a brain injury, before my brain injury happened, you don't think about how much you use your brain until it stops working. Right? So I would ask God to help me and be my memory. Because I was I was scared all the time. Like, what if I forget this? Or what if I don't remember this? Or, you know, I, I was just constantly in this state of confusion and I think I've really learned what dependence on God means. Because I couldn't even depend on my own mind. And that's something that has carried me through over the last decade of my, my journey is on the days that I still have head pain. I remind myself how far I've come. You know, I I'm capable of so much more than doctors ever thought I would. Now I still don't have a driver's license. I can't medically have a driver's license because I'm not aware of my surroundings enough I had my we tried one time I went to a driving program at the hospital and we tried working on that. And while my reaction time was in the legal limits, so to say, I had no spatial awareness what was around me, so it really did not go well. So, you know, I don't have a driver's license, there's a lot of things that I cannot do. But the Lord has led me on the things that I can and I started writing music after my brain injury. I never wrote a single song before it happened and again, in those first couple years that I barely remember, I was writing hundreds and hundreds of songs, and I never, it was not a talent that was there before. And the doctors think that it's possible the brain in the brain injury caused it that somehow hitting my head caused me to be able to write songs but that really helped get me through everything. And so I was just writing songs and writing songs. And the first time somebody asked me to sing them, I was like, Oh, sure, I guess and I started singing them around in like local coffee shops and one local singer songwriter, he heard me perform. And he had found my parents and asked them if I could come and open for him at all of his shows. He had a full schedule. And so I was started having gigs every weekend, opening for this singer songwriter, this local singer songwriter, he was such a nice man. He has a nonprofit that helps veterans. He's a pastor, and he's around my parents age. And so he really God used him to open up the doors into music, and since then, I studied music in college, and I started after college. touring nationally and playing concerts and writing, putting out CDs. And that's something that I never, ever would have considered before my brain injury. I wanted to be an attorney. So it music wasn't even something I was thinking about. But the biggest thing has been focusing on what I can do rather than what I can't. And so, music is a gift I never had before. And if it can encourage one person, I write songs about my journey through brain injury and about faith, with the hopes that they encourage people to keep going.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And there's some great music too. I will put a link to your website in the show notes of this episode at bleedingdaylight.net so that people can get on there and listen to some of your music because I'm sure that they will enjoy it. Some great stuff there. So you're performing you're recording and this is a whole new life, but it doesn't stop there. You're also speaking out on behalf of others who suffer from brain injuries, tell me a little about that.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

When you go through something hard, or something traumatic in life, I think kind of the natural response is, you want to make a difference. Like once you kind of get on the other side a little bit yourself. I started posting videos about what it was like to have a brain injury about five years ago. I didn't really think anyone was going to see them. I just wanted to talk about what it was like. And then one of my videos which is called You Look Fine, the Struggle of an Invisible Injury started to get shared and shared and shared. And I wouldn't say viral because it didn't go like worldwide or anything, but it got over 100,000 views out of nowhere, and I was like, whoa. And from there, I started getting invitations to speak at brain injury conferences. These organizations started contacting me to come and speak at their event. And I was like, Oh, I guess Sure. And I kind of fell into it in a sense. But the more that I started speaking about brain injury I have, I have a online community called Hope After Head Injury, about finding hope after having any type of head injury and it's really addressing the emotional side of living with traumatic brain injuries, or strokes, or brain aneurysms or any kind of injury to your brain. That's then led me to get involved in the Brain Injury Association of America. And I've done advocacy work on Capitol Hill meeting with members of Congress and advocating for brain injury survivors, because I know what it's like to not be able to speak and express myself. And there's a lot of survivors out there that by me, using my voice to talk about it can help make a difference.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And I'm sure that you're not only giving hope to those who have suffered brain injury but those who are their loved ones. And not everyone will have the kind of healing story that you have. But you must be giving hope to a lot of people through what you're presenting it a lot of these places.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Thank you. I hope so I really I really do. I am because I still, I still struggle with it. It's not like I'm on the complete other side. You know, I found myself tonight, as we're recording this interview mixing up my words a little bit. And it doesn't happen all the time. And some days are harder than other days and some days, my balance goes off and my vision gets blurry and I have trouble functioning. But that's part of the journey. And if we wait until we're 100% on the other side, before trying to help people or make a difference, we might never do anything and so if anyone's listening, if you've ever gone through anything, or you have something inside of you that you want to make a difference, but you don't know how to get started or you don't know if you're ready, I just want to encourage you to know that no matter where you are at, you can still make an impact greater than you know, by being honest and authentic and real about who you are and about your experience in life and whatever thing that you want to make an impact on. Just know that you have something to offer. You're the only person in the whole world with your story. And we can use our stories to help and make a difference for others who might be in similar situations who might not know how to say it.

 

Rodney Olsen 

You mentioned that you never thought that music would be part of your future. And I imagine you never thought that speaking to people in Congress would be part of your future. That must be an interesting experience to be able to speak out on behalf of others in front of those who lead your land.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Yeah, it is. I was really nervous. First time I've, they have a brain injury Awareness Day every year on Capitol Hill run by the Brain Injury Association of America, and their representatives from every state across the country that come and I go in helping to represent my home state of Pennsylvania. The first time I went, I think was 2017. And I was so nervous. But it's gotten easier over time because they're just people. If it makes a difference for me to share my experience. We bring up certain legislation and pieces of legislation and health reform and issues that are coming across that affect people with brain injuries. They say that having a face or talking to someone who's actually lived through it helps them to know who they're fighting for. So to say when the legislation comes across their desk, it's not just the topic on brain injury, but they think, oh, I've actually met with this group. And that's actually real people that are being affected. And so that's kind of what we try to do in the advocacy.

 

Rodney Olsen 

A lot of your performances have been in the coffee shops, as you mentioned, and other places like that. But you also spend time performing at hospitals at rehab centers for some of the brain injury groups, even homeless shelters and prison ministries. You have a very wide sphere of influence, don't you?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

It's only by God's grace, I just I'm willing to go where he opens the doors and sometimes those doors have taken me to very interesting places.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And even though the struggles that the people that you're talking to are not the same as your own, I guess they see a connection in facing struggles and moving on with life.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Yeah, I mean, I hope so. I usually my songs are about hope. And you know your topic of your podcast Bleeding Daylight, I actually have a song called light in the dark and it's about holding on to that light through the dark times. And if one word or one note, or one chorus of a song can touch somebody's heart, and let them know that they're not alone in what they're feeling and facing, it's completely worth it. When I'll do tours. We would have concerts on the weekends, at churches or music venues. Sometimes I would do worship leading or do a concert at an event or conference or whatever. But during the week, I would always find places to go and Minister with my band. So that's where we'd end up going to the homeless shelters or the prisons or things like that. Because whatever city that we're in, I always I don't just want to go there, play a concert and leave like to me, I want to really be the hands and feet of Jesus wherever I can go, and if I can bring one person help by singing, then that's what I want to do. More often than not my favorite times at all the shows or ministry events, or wherever I'm at is praying with people, you know, I'm always honored anytime anybody shares some of their journey with me. And after the events, often people will come up and share some of their own struggles and share some of their own journey. And I think of it as a great privilege to be able to be there and just maybe hug them or cry with them or pray with them. Just be that person that can say you're not alone, right now and God loves you.

 

Rodney Olsen 

You've been able to find so many ways to express yourself. And another way that you've done that is through writing. You've written a book. Tell me about that.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Yes. So It is called More to Me: Discovering Your Freedom Through Identity. And it's actually a devotional prayer journal type book. I wrote it based on the lyrics of one of my songs by the same name called More to Me, and it's about how there's more to us than our struggles. The book really takes you through a journey on dealing with difficult emotions, through understanding that God loves us through finding rest and owning your story and knowing it's okay to struggle. And there's more to you than whatever you've been through.

 

Rodney Olsen 

What's some of the feedback that you've received from some people who've had the book?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Yeah, I've received some really great feedback. It's really humbling. I published it independently. I really was just thinking it would be something that it was something I wanted to share. But I would sell it on my merch tables or on my website, and I didn't realize how far reaching it would be. Often people would buy it and then they would come back and buy it for their friend or their daughter or their aunt or their sister or whatever. And then I get emails from people saying how much it helped them. And that just really meant a lot to me. And it does mean a lot. Because I didn't really have any expectations. I just wanted to create something to help people through the struggles that I know that I go through. It's been really great. I released it. Two years ago, a little over two years ago, and I've been writing some new I've been reading a new book and it's all the things I love reading.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And as I talk to you, I get this feeling that you just constantly doing what you feel you should do. Each time you think this is for a few people. And God says no, this this has got to go wider.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

No, thank you that that just really encouraged me today. It's humbling and I've released music. I'm an independent artists. I've never had a manager or record label or anything. And I was going on tour doing 80 shows a year on the road, two years straight. And it's all been word of mouth. Literally everything has just been. Somebody would see me at one show, tell somebody else, they'd invite me to their church, they would invite me in and things just grew from there. And so I can definitely see the Lord's hand in it. Sometimes I get unsure of where I'm going or what I'm doing, especially, I think so many of us have felt that way this year. I released an album in March, actually. And I had a whole bunch of shows booked and not even the album release show got to happen. Back in January, I felt like the Lord was calling me to apply to graduate school. So I applied and I was thinking I'd start in the fall to online program, I'm actually going to send my I am working towards a Master's of Divinity in Biblical Studies. Because of everything getting canceled. I was actually able to start school about six months earlier than I thought. And I could just see the leading of the Lord back in January to apply. I thought it was kind of ridiculous to apply that far in advance. But I was like, You know what, I could just get everything in order ahead of time, and I'll be ready to go for the fall. And it was just crazy because I was already accepted into the program and already had the financial piece together. I was able to start earlier. And so right now, I'm focusing on school, and learning and growing and growing and writing. And that's been a journey too, because with my brain injury, I always have felt very limited by my TBI. It stands for traumatic brain injury and I felt like there's a lot I can't do and I was really nervous about Trying to go to school and do this with my headaches. And there are still some days that I can't look at a screen and my vision gets blurry and I can't work on my computer. But then there are other days that I can just feel the Lord is strengthening me through it. And I'm growing as a writer and as a person, hopefully. And that's where I'm at in this current season.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And on top of all those things, you've also been releasing episodes of a podcast Declaration Life. Tell me a bit about that.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Yes, so Declaration Life is a podcast I launched at the beginning of this year. It goes along with the title of my album, which is called Declaration. And another piece of my testimony of my story is I am a survivor of an abusive relationship, domestic violence relationship. There was a really awful situation And he abused me and took advantage of my brain injury and it's only by the grace of God, I escaped that. And I suffered extreme PTSD and depression and anxiety. And I had to go through a healing process. And my new album declaration tells the story of coming out of that. And I stopped touring and I just shut down. I couldn't function and I felt really worthless. The podcast was actually born out of a resolve, to not allow that experience to silence me and to allow women to share their stories of things they've gone through. So I interview women who've been through different experiences. Some have been through domestic violence, some have been through brain injury. Some just have encouraging conversations, every episodes a little bit too. But the theme is living your life intentionally. After being in an abusive relationship, I didn't know that I could leave. I didn't know I could walk away. After the beginning, I felt trapped and I felt scared and I felt like I had to stay with him and I was afraid of what he'd do if I ever left. I did leave and I have legal protection. Now, I have a legal order of protection. So it's like a restraining order. He can't come near me. Through that process. I really have grown in wanting to help other women to know and everyone, people, men, anyone, to be more empowered and know that you can choose how you live your life. And so Declaration Life is about declaring truth over your life and not allowing lies and negative thought patterns to influence you to instead make intentional decisions on a daily basis. And know that, you know, there's a lot we talked a lot about faith on the podcast and different struggles. No matter what you've gone through. You can live an intentional life, you can live a declaration life, you can declare truth over your life. You can reclaim your story. You can live empowered and know that you're not defined by the things that have happened to you. So that's kind of the inspiration behind starting the podcast, and the heart behind the episodes.

 

Rodney Olsen 

If we were able to rewind back to your high school years, and we were able to take you to that youth group and stop that brain injury from happening. Would you take that opportunity and say, I don't want to go there.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

That's such an interesting question, because in a lot of ways, I'm not thankful. I have of brain injury, the it's not just me that it's affected my whole family, the struggle that it affected on my entire family and the pain everyone's gone through. I mean, I wish that I could take that pain away from my parents and my siblings. My sisters were really hurt. You know, my, my sister felt like she lost her sister. I wouldn't wish a brain injury on anyone but at the same time, I don't think I would want to stop it because through the pain and the struggles, I've come to know God on a deeper level. And there's been so many people that my music and things that in ways that I didn't even realize that it's made a difference. And so I would never want to trade those blessings that have come out of it for anything. Plus, I've seen enough sci fi time travel movies to know if you mess up with one thing, probably something worse happens like, in Back to the Future,

 

Rodney Olsen 

As we look back at the various things that you you've had happen in your life, time and time again, you talk about, as I say, this faith in Jesus that has made a difference for you. And I get the impression that as you speak to people in various situations, the story that you're telling is whether it's a brain injury or something else, that there is something in this God that you worship, there is something about him that will make the most out of any situation. Do you hear that coming back from people that you speak to?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Yeah, absolutely. He He's, he's the strength. You know, when we're weak, he's strong. He, he's brought freedom into my heart. Through Jesus, I have freedom that I never could have. in any other way, and the relationship with God has been everything. There's no way that I would have come out of the depression that I was in right after the brain injury happened. I don't think I ever would have been writing songs or doing anything, I might have even taken my own life like, I was so hopeless like, I couldn't see. I felt like brain damage was the only thing that I could ever have. And that I had no hope I have an album called Hope Survives an organization called Hope After Head Injury. Both of those have hope in the title because I remember what it's like to not have hope and to feel hopeless. And it is an awful reality, to feel like there's no way out and God has shown me through his love for me and his healing and even in the still struggles that I have with the brain injury, like I know God has healed me. And while I still have headaches and still have struggles, he strengthens me to get through them all. And he's shown me love and freedom that has enabled me to live a life that I am thankful for. And I feel grateful every day to have survived and to be able to keep going. I didn't say this at the beginning, but the pressure in my head, the doctors actually think it's a miracle that I lived through the night that my brain injury happened because the swelling was so great that normally people would need to be in the ER. And there's a high risk of not even surviving through going to sleep with that type of brain swelling. And I'm still here, and I know that's only by the grace of God.

 

Rodney Olsen 

I'm convinced that we haven't heard the last of you that God has plenty of other things in store for you. You seem to be able to go from one thing to the next with his strength. And we certainly hear that it's a struggle. But if there is someone struggling in the moment that they don't feel that they have this hope that you're speaking about, what would your encouragement be to them?

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Whatever you're struggling with, on whatever level wherever you're at, remind yourself that tomorrow will still be here. The sun goes down and comes up every day. And sometimes if you only have to take it through the next 10 minutes, take it 10 minutes at a time. breathe through it, and pray. For me reading the Word of God helped me get through everything. Psalms, Psalm 23 Lord is my shepherd I shall not want that Psalm helped me through so much. Find somebody to talk to somebody that you know will give you good advice, not a negative Nancy, find someone who'll encourage you. You could even go in the phone booth and phone up a church. If you need help and find somebody to talk to that can encourage you. But I can guarantee from my life experience, that God is real and he cares about you. He cares about us. I can't fathom why he created the whole universe, but he decided to create us too. And he cares about the details of our lives. He cares about every little detail, everything, every hair on your head. He is there for you and he wants to hear from us. And Jesus died for us, because He loves us that much. And so he's demonstrated his love for through pain and suffering, so that we can be free. And so whatever you're going through, hold on to that hope and know that you are not alone. God does care about you. He is listening. I remember praying and being like, God, Are you even listening? I don't even know. Like, do you even hear me? And even much later he would answer those exact prayers. I just didn't hear it right away. I didn't see it right away. It took time. But he is listening, and he does care. And hold on. There is hope.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Cristabelle, it's been a real delight to speak to you today. Thank you so much for your time. We wish you well. We'll put links in the show notes at bleedingdaylight.net so that people can get to your website and to listen to your music and hear more about what you're doing. But thank you so much for your time.

 

Cristabelle Braden 

Thank you so much for having me and thank you for doing this incredible podcast.

 

Emily Olsen

Thank you for listening to Bleeding Daylight. Please help us to shine more light into the darkness by sharing this episode with others. For further details and more episodes, please visit BleedingDaylight.net

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