Carmi shares with us her powerful encounter with God, her love for family dinners, the importance of prayer, and thoughts on the father of the prodigal son.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “When my heart was grieved and my spirit embittered, I was senseless and ignorant; I was a brute beast before you. Yet, I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand.” (Psalm 73: 21 – 23)
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: My main focus is learning to give more of myself to God.
Profession: I am currently pursuing a degree in psychology.
A one sentence bio about yourself: I will think before I act, but I will always act.
“I will always act.”
When did you first encounter God: I was brought up in a Christian home, so I always had this belief in Him. I think my first actual encounter with God was a year ago. I had a really bad couple of years, and I wasn’t really coping with it at all. With my stubbornness and pride, I had pushed away everyone who cared about me. I didn’t want anyone knowing what I was going through, partly because I was so ashamed, and because I didn’t want to be a burden to anyone. It was the lowest I had ever felt. I had tried to numb the pain with alcohol and sporadic drug use, but slowly came to the realization that I couldn’t just forget about the hurt.
I had nothing left in me, so I got on my knees. I didn’t even know where to begin. At that point, I thought I had walked so far away from Him that He wouldn’t listen to what I had to say– not that I even knew what to say. I was completely lost.
All I could do was cry. So, I cried and cried. The only thing I had the strength to whisper was, “Please, God. Take it all. Please.” I kept repeating it over and over again, until I felt this wave of warmth and calm wash over me. Once I was able, I stood up and felt weightless, like the weight of everything that I was going through was lifted. And for the first time in a long time, I smiled.
Although it hasn’t been smooth sailing from there on out, I know for certain that I’m not alone in the things I go through. I know that He is there, and that in and of itself is more than enough.
“I had nothing left in me, so I got on my knees.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season: Trials and tribulations. They have been a huge part of my growing closer to Him.
Top three essentials: Love, humility, forgiveness or water, lip balm and hand sanitizer.
How did God speak to you recently: He continually answers my prayers, even if it’s not always the answer that I want.
Hobby: Reading! I’m an avid reader and am always looking for new books to read!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
Pray. He is always there for you! Even if you don’t really know how to pray, just talk to Him as if he were your nearest and dearest friend, because He is.
Surround yourself with believers. They will be there when you are weak and when you are strong. “Two are better than one because they have a good reward for their efforts. For if either fails, his companion can lift him up, but pity the one who falls without another to lift him up.” (Ecclesiastes 4: 9-10)
“We unconsciously tend to put our wants and needs before others, but that isn’t how He wants us to live.”
Favorite person in scripture: The father of the prodigal son. The love he has for his son was nothing but pure and unconditional. It’s a reminder of the endless love He continually gives us, even when we feel like we aren’t worthy.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you: God IS love.
Favorite season: Fall. Fresh, crisp air – with a breeze, possibly carrying with it the smell of rain. The changing of leaves from green to orange and yellow. It’s just so pleasant.
Favorite holiday: Christmas; It really is the most wonderful time of the year.
A special tradition that you and your family engage in or keep: Family dinners. No matter how old I get, I will always appreciate family dinners. So much of our daily lives revolve around other people or electronic devices, it’s always nice to put those things aside and just enjoy the company of family. Gathered around the dinner table, talking to each other, and enjoying a delicious meal. What more could I ask for?
“No matter how old I get, I will always appreciate family dinners.”
Question you will ask when you get to heaven: “Can I just .. follow You around for a day?”
Thing you want to raise awareness about: World hunger. It’s a silent killer, and I believe it’s something that could be solved if every single one of us chooses to help.
“It’s a silent killer, and I believe it’s something that could be solved if every single one of us chooses to help.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Lay in bed for a bit, to mentally prepare myself for the coming day.
What is on your nightstand: Bottle of water, notebook and pen, and lip balm (I have them everywhere).
For more Carmi:
Until next time, keep witnessing!