On Modern Witnesses, Jalesa shares with us thoughts about forgiveness, encountering God multiple times throughout the years, her dream of being a Pediatric Rheumatologist, and why she is a Christian.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: I would definitely say Romans 8:18: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” This verse has definitely gotten me through some of my toughest times. Just knowing that God has my best interest in mind and has an amazing plan for my life that will ultimately glorify him, is so comforting.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I would have to say working on forgiveness, of myself and others.
I’ve done a lot of things in the past that in my eyes are extremely hard to forgive, especially considering God’s image of who he wants me to be. There have been many times where I find it hard to forgive myself for even thinking those things, but I’m slowly coming to realize that God loves me, and I have been set free from sin and shame through him.
Regarding forgiving others, a few things have happened over the past couple of years that involved people who were close to me and deeply hurt me– to the point of making me think that I wasn’t good enough for them, especially considering who they are to me. Fast forward, I’m coming to terms with the fact that they are only human and neither I nor them are perfect. I’m working on just generally being more of a forgiving person and forgiving others in the way that God has forgiven me, countless times.
“I’m coming to terms with the fact that they are only human and neither I nor them are perfect.”
Profession: I’m currently an undergraduate student. I’m not working at the moment, but I am currently interviewing to become a research assistant at a pediatric hospital, so I’m excited about that!
A one sentence bio of yourself: I’ve never been good at these. I always feel like I’m too much of a complex person to be described in one sentence, but I shall try. “A 19-year old, Jesus loving musician with a passion for advocacy and helping others achieve their best.”
When did you first encounter God? I’d have to say there are two answers to this question. The first time I started to learn about who God really was and how he could work in my life (not as someone I only knew from childhood Bible stories) was around the 4th grade.
The first time I actually encountered God and realized how the only way I could be completely content was allowing him to move in and be present in my life was in 10th grade.
A side note, I always have moments where I come to a revelation and have an encounter with God that completely changes my path at the moment I’m in. So, it can happen quite often.
“I always have moments where I come to a revelation and have an encounter with God that completely changes my path at the moment I’m in.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? I’d definitely have to say the Christian Ministry on my campus (Power to Change).
Everyone there is so amazing and so supportive. All they want to do is help you grow in your walk with Christ and see you do amazing things, while supporting you in those things. They also have discipleship groups, which is another amazing time where we get to do Bible Study, talk about the things we are struggling with and support each other.
I know I’m only in second year, but I’m going to miss them all when I have to leave.
Just read/currently reading: Mere Christianity. It was amazing and so life-changing– that’s the best way I could describe it. It’s definitely a must read!
Top three essentials: My Bible, my phone (which has worship music on it), and my pill box (I have a chronic illness, so I take multiple pills a day to control it).
How did God speak to you recently? He helped me to realize that His plan for my life and the person that He is molding me to be doesn’t end once I’m married, with children and working as a Pediatric Rheumatologist.
I’ve always imagined to be, but I’ve realized that God wants me to be way more than my job and the relationships I have.
He is calling me to do so much more, and I cannot wait until He reveals those things to me, as I journey through this thing called life.
“I’ve realized that God wants me to be way more than my job and the relationships I have.”
Hobby: Playing the guitar/piano and singing (worship), and poetry writing.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
Tip 1 – PRAYER! Even when you don’t feel like it, or don’t feel a God’s presence, PRAY! God is always there and always living.
Tip 2 – Surround yourself with people who want to see and help you grow spiritually. When you are down or feeling discouraged, having people there to encourage you makes such a difference.
Tip 3 – Take at least one hour out of your day to spend alone with God. No distractions, just you and him. It can definitely clear your mind and just strengthen your spirit and mind.
Favorite person in scripture? I’m not the most equipped regarding knowledge of people in scripture, but I’d have to say Paul. I’d have to say it’s partially because he wrote Romans, which has made a huge difference in my life.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? You don’t have to be perfect to know God. I am not a Christian because I’m perfect, but because I need God. He doesn’t expect us to be perfect on our own, but wants us to allow Him to work through us to be a representation of Him.
“I am not a Christian because I’m perfect, but because I need God.”
Favorite season? Autumn, not to hot and not to cold; and the leaves are beautiful.
Favorite holiday? I don’t think I really have one.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Every Christmas, for the past 5 years, we’ve been going to my grandpa’s house for Christmas. That’s the only one I can currently think of.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven: The first thing I would definitely say to God is thank you. But I’m not sure what question I would ask– maybe: “How did you come up with the idea for the complexity of the human body?”
Thing you want to raise awareness about? Advocacy and invisible illnesses.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Usually sleeping, but if I’m not sleeping, I’ll probably be drinking tea
What is on your nightstand? A pill holder, my Bible, prayer journal, and glasses case/cleaner.
For more Jalesa:
Until next time, keep witnessing!