CCU News / Faith / Opinion

Testimonies of CCU – Emily Ann

Emily Mascarenes (she goes by Emily Ann), a junior here at CCU, was in middle school we she started her battle with depression and by 8th grade, she was suicidal. Her journey continued and when she started high school, she found herself in the wrong crowd. “I started smoking weed freshman year and before I knew it, I was hooked.” That same year, Emily was put face to face with death when a friend of hers died in a coma after getting hit by a car. “It put death at the front of my mind,” she told me and in order to cope, she started partying.

In the summer between sophomore and junior year, Emily found herself confronted with death once again when her aunt passed away suddenly. “After my aunt died,” she explained, “Two weeks later another family member died. It was a lot of death in one month.” She also shared that she started to get really sick with migraines and had to visit the hospital several times. “My physical and mental health were going down the drain.” With everything going on, she did her best to push all feelings aside (good and bad) to focus on school, weed, and drinking.

The summer going into senior year, Emily was searching for Jesus and wanted to experience what He was all about. “I gave my life to Christ about four years ago. And it was crazy to know He was really in my heart.” Emily shared that although she was at the time a Christian, she still struggled with depression.

Unfortunately, not far along into senior year, a friend of Emily’s accidentally killed her boyfriend. “It sent me on a downward spiral,” She explained to me, “I didn’t understand why God was letting this happen.” After the death of her friend, Emily made her way back to alcohol and ended up getting caught with a bottle at homecoming and in return, had to attend AA meetings.

Emily shared that she had never really thought of what her life would like past 18 years old. So, when her friends started getting accepted into schools, she began to worry. “I hadn’t heard back from any school.” She told me. Emily ended up applying to CCU and about a week later, got a call and was offered a scholarship that would provide full tuition. “God had me taken care of.”

About two years ago, Emily was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. “I was diagnosed with bipolar 1, and everything made so much more sense.” Emily explained. “It was a process to figure out which medications worked with my body – some caused seizures. It was so back and forth for a while, but now the medication helps so much.”

In the month of September, Emily announced her faith to the world at BRAVE church in Englewood, CO by getting baptized. I, Jessica Adams, just so happened to be there, and it was a VERY emotional experience to see her get baptized (especially knowing her story now!). “I’m just listening to where God wants me. It’s truly amazing to be able to be an example to people who are struggling, and I love being able to pour into them.” Emily shared with me that she loves being able to help others in areas that she has struggled with before and she shares no judgement. “I can promise you, I’ve been there, done that… Like Pitbull said.”

Thank you for being so brave Emily! You are so loved.

–  Jessica Jean

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