Casting the Light of Truth into Dark Places
L. Marie Trotter's Story
Thursday, September 29, 2016
When I graduated from high school in 1988, I wanted to “write books and help people.” Becoming a jet-setting psychologist with books on the New York Times best sellers list seemed logical. I attended a university on a full-ride music scholarship, but after a year, I transferred to a different college that did not have an orchestra. My music scholarship was gone. I soon discovered that psychology was not for me. Academics and financial means were in short supply growing up, and with little to no guidance, I did not fully grasp my predicament.
I began working to pay for school. I would drop out for a few semesters, return, and then take a class. It was a simple but unsuccessful strategy. Committing to college became harder with each passing year. Some semesters, I would register for classes and do okay. Other semesters, I would register for classes, become depressed, and stop attending. Both my GPA and self-esteem took massive hits.
At the same time, I was growing weary with low-paying jobs in more industries than I can recall. Looking back, I was learning a lot, but I could not piece together how it mattered. Fortunately, I had freelance writing gigs on the side, which kept a flicker of my original aspirations in sight. It was not enough, and I eventually spiraled into disillusionment and a darkness that I could not escape or understand.
In 1998, I was plagued by auditory and visual hallucinations. Doctors diagnosed me with schizophrenia and told me I would never have the life I desired. It was a deeply horrifying season, but God was with me in ways that I had never experienced. He told me that He was giving me “the mind of Christ” and “a circumcised heart.” He confirmed that I would write “many books of Him,” and that I would “counsel people one-on-one,” though not in a way I yet understood. He taught me so many things back then.
The Lord healed me of schizophrenia without medication—it was a long process—and the doctors soon gave me a clean bill of health. By the time I completed my undergraduate degree in 2012, I had a wealth of natural and spiritual life experiences that had fundamentally reshaped my career and writing aspirations.
I learned about JBU’s Masters in Leadership and Ethics program in 2014. However, because of my GPA and test scores, they would only admit me conditionally. I was confident that I would do well. By then, I better understood why I had gone through what I had gone through. JBU’s goal of educating the head, heart, and hand aligned perfectly with the deeper work God was doing in my life.
I entered the Soderquist College of Business during a time when I needed to be surrounded by academically accomplished people who sought God's will above all else. I knew JBU had an excellent academic reputation with consistently high rankings in annual college reports. I was pleased to discover that its faculty and staff were genuinely committed to spiritual excellence as well.
Today, I have my own coaching, communications, and custom publishing agency. I coach business leaders from various industries, provide group training, and help individuals and organizations produce books and magazines. I also speak and share my testimony whenever I can. Because of God’s faithfulness, I use my life and testimony to cast the light of truth into dark places. The Lord used JBU beautifully and strategically to help me.
L. Marie Trotter
Master of Science in Leadership and Ethics
Owner, L. Marie LLC