Say Hello to Annaliese!
She has been blogging at Southern Belle in Training for over five years! Her blog focuses primarily on affordable fashion and style, but she also enjoys writing about beauty, travel, millennial lifestyle topics, and her Christian faith. In addition to blogging, Annaliese works full-time in broadcasting as an on-air radio personality, and also enjoys cooking, reading, and traveling.
In April 2016, two weeks before graduating college, Annaliese was the victim of a (non-sexual) crime. After much prayer and reflection, she decided to move forward and pursue legal action. In October 2016, almost six months later, the case finished.
Guest Blog Q&A:
Tell me about how you came to have a relationship with Christ?
I grew up attending church with my mom, but didn’t really accept Christ until a middle school youth retreat that I attended in 6th grade! It’s funny looking back – I actually got sick during the retreat weekend and came home feeling physically terrible, but I also came home spiritually forever changed!
You experienced a trauma, and I know you can’t go into it, but how does one keep the faith when the unthinkable happens?
When you experience a trauma or the unexpected, that is when the time comes in a person’s life where they have to decide if the faith that they claim to believe in is really “real” for them. I knew instantly that I would never blame God for the crime that I was a victim of, and then legal situation that I found myself apart of. To me… even though I was going through some very hard and emotional trials, it just wasn’t an option to abandon my faith. I knew in my soul that He would carry me through. That doesn’t mean that it would be an easy ride or that there wouldn’t be tears and sleepless nights, but I knew He was there and He felt my pain.
What has the healing process been like for you?
I went to counseling for the months during the court process and a few months after, which was helpful not only to the situation, but also helped me to learn things about myself! I think there does come a point for a victim of a crime when there’s only so much work that can be done in counseling related to the situation (if that makes sense?), but initially speaking it was so helpful! And only you yourself will know when that ending point is. I also sought out comfort in friendships and my parents, and I was in school at the time that my legal case was going on, and I threw myself into my education.
A blogger friend also sent me an incredible devotional called Just Enough Light for the Step I’m On by Stormie Omartian. Reading and working through this devotional during the months leading up to and in between court dates helped me SO much. This book is incredible for anyone going through a tough time!
Some people would say that for evil to exist than there is no God, what would you say to them?
That’s such a tough question, Witlee! Honestly I have trouble sometimes debating with those who aren’t fellow believers. I pray sometimes that God gives me more wisdom in the future with sharing my faith with unbelievers. I suppose the simple answer is that yes, there is so much evil in the world. But there is also great beauty and modern day miracles too. We live unfortunately in a fallen world – we have to let the good outweigh the bad!
What are some ways to be supportive of victims/survivors in the aftermath of a trauma and during the judicial proceedings?
Tell me about your website/blog…Why did you start it and what do you hope to accomplish with it?
I started my blog as a hobby during my freshman year of college! Originally it was just supposed to be something fun for me to do outside of college classes, mainly just a way to document my outfits. I had no idea back then that it was possible to monetize blogs, or even make a career out of it! Clearly my site has grown a lot in the five years that I’ve been doing it, and that is such a blessing!! I went to school for communication and journalism and I do have a full-time day job in broadcasting which I love, but I adore blogging and hope to do it for a very long time!
*If you would like to connect with Annaliese, you can do so either through her blog or instagram.*
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