Danielle Harrison was first baptized at age nine. She remembers enjoying infrequent visits to Sunday school at the local Baptist church, but not having a personal relationship with Jesus. At 12, Harrison moved with her family to Washington State. Their new neighbors happened to be Seventh-day Adventists—and eventually her sister would marry their son.Harrison says, “I wandered far off into the darkness. I struggled with depression, anxiety, eating disorders and marijuana addiction. Leaving home at 17, life grew increasingly out of control. I quit my job, shaved half my head, drifted in and out of relationships and experimented with heavy drugs. Finally, I realized I was tired of living a life of emptiness and lies. Sobbing, I called out to God, opening my heart to what I then called ‘The Divine.’”The Lord began moving Harrison steadily into a healthier way of life. She quit heavy drugs and adopted a vegan diet, fascinated with natural living and natural remedies. The need to express herself through dress and makeup diminished. She hungered for spiritual understanding and her quest led her to research various religions.

In 2010, Harrison’s sister invited her to the Black Hills Health and Education Center in South Dakota. There they became full-time volunteers. Harrison says, “I learned so much within the first four months volunteering on the farm. I completed the Certified Wellness Coach course and enrolled in their School of Massage. As my mind became clearer, the Holy Spirit continued to work in my life.” The gentle spirit and powerful words of BHHEC’s spiritual counselor, Elder Dan Gabbert, intrigued me and I began attending church when he would speak. He opened the Scriptures in a way that shed light into my mind where before there had only been darkness. I could finally see Calvary for what it really is.”

In January 2011, Thom Mayer of Little Light Studios came to BHHEC to work on a film project. For Harrison’s birthday, he gifted her with his Battlefield Hollywood documentary set. Harrison states that after watching each video, she sat weeping. “I had believed in ‘God’, yet while I saw the evidences of a battle between self and righteousness, I did not believe in Satan.” Those videos gave her the insight to see the reality of the great controversy. “I realized that I could not trust my heart,” she says, “and my life will never be the same!”

Before Harrison attended an ARME Bible Camp she had decided to be re-baptized. When Dr. Tim Riesenberger shared his message “The Truth That Transforms the World” she responded to his alter call, and after completing Bible studies, was baptized September 1, 2012. “I died,” she says. “Only a loving, merciful God could turn a mess like me into a blessing for Him!”

Harrison is still at BHHEC, and says that Jesus is calling her to share her story—and His love story—with the world. “I am currently saving money to go to Bible college, aspiring to travel in mission work, and longing to reach out to youth who are struggling, just as I did, pointing them to the victory in Jesus.”

Guest author Jacquie Biloff is communication director for the Dakota Conference of Seventh-day Adventist, Bismark, ND, USA

Photo: Danielle Harrison, before and after