Freedom From...


By Christina Chapan

Cassidy Novak is a walking miracle and a young woman full of many testimonies. At first glance you would never know all the challenges and triumphs of this young lady. All you would see is a beautiful woman, but after talking with her, you are astounded to learn all she has experienced in her short lifetime. She has been through so much, including a debilitating accident that should have taken her life, a beauty pageant, an eating disorder, Trichotillomania ( hair pulling), sexual abuse, and most recently a naturally occurring birth of three identical triplets.

Cassidy was born to a strong, stable Assemblies of God family. She went to a Christian school until eighth grade and currently attends Stone Church in suburban Orland Park. She absolutely loves how we are challenged to grow spiritually by the wonderful leadership there. In just a short time, Cassidy and her husband have gotten involved in the church and used their talents there in ministry. She asked the Lord into her life at an early age, was baptized, and received the Holy Spirit in her youth group. She attended Central Florida College, where she obtained an A.A. and A.S. in business. Currently, she is working on a ministry degree online from AMES Christian University. 

Despite her natural talent and beauty, she had other challenges as a young girl. Cassidy has struggled over the years with an eating disorder but uses each day to pursue a healthy lifestyle with balance, enjoying the journey on the way. She believes that healthy habits should be a part of daily living. Cassidy states, “The Lord should be a part of what we eat and even as we exercise.” Being a busy stay-at-home mom with triplets, she believes it is essential to have a healthy lifestyle that allows her to be the very best mother she can be. She is very active, going to the gym three times a week, incorporating workouts at home, and running. Her dream is to someday run a marathon. She does a workout at least five to six days per week. 

In 2004 she was injured in a boating accident and required extensive brain surgery. She had severe bleeding and swelling of the brain, and now has five plates and more than 20 screws holding her skull together. She and her family amazed the doctors with their faith, as she walked on the seventh day, this after being in ICU having seizures around the clock and being hooked up to breathing machines. Then she was sent home on the tenth day after her accident. Six months later she had the honor or holding the title of Miss Silver Springs for the Miss Florida pageant. She was also a competitive cheerleader for eight years and recorded professionally as a singer and songwriter in Florida, Philadelphia, New York, and New Jersey Chicago, and California. 

Cassidy has always been an entrepreneur. She started her first business in eighth grade, teaching horse-back riding lessons. She also started her own errand-running business, home/office cleaning business, and nanny services until getting married and moving at age 22. In addition, Cassidy has taught voice, dance, and acting lessons–– and has been a drama instructor. She is a go-getter who also has choreographed weddings and social events, and worked for Mary Kay Cosmetics and doTERRA Essential Oils. Additionally, she has done public speaking, photography, and event coordinating. And she has gone on numerous mission trips.

Cassidy has struggled with body image and an eating disorder for a good portion of her life, and she has had to learn how not to base her value or worth on what the scale tells her or what size she wears. She explains: “We are bombarded with a ‘skinny’ mentality to be beautiful from our media and society every day. But truth is, until you learn to value yourself for who you are in your current season of life, you'll never feel beautiful no matter how much weight you lose. Personally, from my own experience I don't believe dieting is healthy or beneficial. Instead, I try to make healthy habits in my daily living. I strive to make conscious, healthy eating decisions. But I still enjoy food! What we put in is very important because the Lord has entrusted us with these bodies––our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit––so we need to take care of them. When we invite the Lord into every area of our lives––including our battles with food, weight, addictions, and exercise––we can accomplish amazing things! If you want to build a NEW life, you need to create NEW habits. It's a daily process of keeping my focus on things above and having accountability partners. But I've learned true beauty is Christ shinning through. A confident woman is a beautiful woman.” 

Cassidy is ever grateful for her body because it allowed her to carry the three beautiful and very articulate four year olds who are a part of her daily life today. She also states “I'd love to honor my parents by reiterating the godly example they have shown me my entire life. And how I look up to them and appreciate them. “ Finally, she believes that her relationship with being a Christian to means devoting her life to Christ. She feels it's very important to find a church where you can grow spiritually and are taught biblical principles. Cassidy states “It's important for us to connect with other believers and hold each other accountable and encourage each other. We must continually be striving to grow in our relationship with the Lord by spending time in prayer and his word. " For more information about Cassidy and her husband Cliff check out her website at: gloministries.webnode.com

Christina Lee Steele Chapan is a certified personal trainer with four certifications from ISSA ACE, AFAA and SCW. She specializes in fitness for children and those adults and children with special needs. Christina is also an  certified elementary and special education school teacher at Arcadia School in Olympia Fields IL. In her spare time she trains people to run. Chris enjoys participating in church in the music ministry and helping out at various youth events with her husband Michael. She is currently training for her 11th Marathon, 3rd Olympic Triathlon, and 8th Ultra Marathon. Her passion is for training the future of tomorrow.  She is available for training, speaking and writing.  Please visit her website at Fit 4 Fun - http://worknotes.com/IL/Chicago/Fit4FunKidsFitness/

 

 

 

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