Name: Veronica C. Leftridge, M.S.N., R.N., 50.
Work: Assistant professor of nursing at Oakwood University , and doctoral candidate of nursing education at Capella University.
Faith home: First Seventh-day Adventist Church, 6300 Stringfield Road N.W. in Huntsville.
Your spiritual role model: At the age of 15, my mother was raped.
But God turned the tragedy into a blessing when I was born.
Although she was a victim of rape, she worked two jobs to make sure I was fed, clothed, and attended school. She even saved enough money for me to attend Hampton University.
Because of my mother, I have strong family values, love for people, effective work ethics, and a relationship with God. I am thankful to God for my mother.
How faith helped: Although I was not planned, I am assured there was a plan for my life.
I was surrounded by alcohol, gambling, smoking, and domestic violence as a child, but God favored me and protected me. God answered my prayer, and now I teach at Oakwood University in the Department of Nursing.
God is real, and I see how his love for me started from the day of my conception.
Just trust in Jesus despite your circumstance because He has a plan for your life too!
Why you chose the Seventh-day Adventist Church: I was baptized in the Seventh-day Adventist church because I love Jesus, and I believe that the seventh-day (Saturday) is the Sabbath.
Information about my other beliefs is found at the church's website .
What you are doing to deepen your spiritual life: The book, “40 Days: Prayers and Devotions to Prepare for the Second Coming,” by Dennis Smith, is deepening my relationship with God.
The author suggests having a prayer partner, and I chose my husband. I thank God for my husband. The relationship and faith in God has enhanced my marriage of 21 years. I believe without God in the equation of marriage, a marriage will fail.
Since I started studying God's word, my relationship with other people has positively been affected.
Our three children love the Lord too, and I believe Christian education is a factor in the spiritual growth of our children.
Ministry at work: As an educator at Oakwood University, I have an opportunity to share the love of Jesus. In the classroom, a prayer box is used for students to submit their prayer request. Praise reports from students are offered as a results of the intercessory prayer.
I am thankful to Jesus for allowing a sinful soul like me an opportunity to educate, mentor, and love people.
Advice for the discouraged: If you are in despair, and you feel there is no way out, just call on the name of Jesus!
Keep a journal and write to Jesus every day. In your prayer journal, give thanks to God; ask for forgiveness; and pray for your enemies, family, and friends.
Just hold on, and you will gain victory over your despair one day!
A favorite verse: "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 (NKJV).
Spiritual Journeys are a conversation about faith and personal philosophy from a variety of people. Please send nominations for this feature to Kay.Campbell@htimes.com, 256-532-4320.