Today, Lilyth talks to us about how God is near the brokenhearted, the special and unique ways in which God is speaking to her heart, bringing awareness to men’s mental health issues and God’s unfathomable love.
“[T]his verse, in particular, has helped me through some really dark moments.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: The past few months for me have been really difficult. I fell away from God in the sense that I haven’t even cracked open my Bible in months, never mind prayed, and barely ever went to church. Right now, my focus is just on getting myself to ignore the enemy and spend time with my savior, and not taking for granted what He has done for me.
Profession: Currently, I’m a server at a fairly well-known chain restaurant.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I love Jesus, books, and memes.
When did you first encounter God? I don’t have a specific moment. For me, encountering God didn’t happen in one or a few life-changing, eye-opening instances. My experience has been more of a slow realization, happening over many years. It has been a process for my eyes to open to the love and grace God has for me.
“My experience has been more of a slow realization…”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? This might sound kind of strange, but Tumblr. Recently, the people I follow have been posting really encouraging, convicting things, and I’ve found myself actually praying over that sort of thing.
Just read/currently reading: I’m currently about ½ way through Lee Strobel’s The Case For A Creator. So far it’s very good, but I also haven’t had time to check the sources he uses to make his case, so I can’t with confidence say it’s 100% accurate. As far as non-christian books go, I just finished A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab, and it was so good!
Top three essentials: Food, water, air– just kidding!–kind of?
I would say my medications to keep me alive and focused, something to write with/on (whether that be physical pen and paper or digital), and a Bible (obviously).
How did God speak to you recently? About a month ago my mom took me to see the band Rend Collective for my birthday. It’s important to note that while I, like most people, enjoy music, it rarely (if ever) moves me in any way. But for some reason, this show, their music, the way they played, it all just hit me hard. And since then, God has been slowly but surely drawing me back to His arms after a really hard season.
“But for some reason, this show, their music, the way they played, it all just hit me hard.”
Hobby: I enjoy reading and cooking for sure! I also really like makeup.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Read God’s word. I find it easiest and most beneficial to read through books as opposed to doing a devotion, that way you clearly see the context of each verse and what the author meant.
A really good book that I’ve used before is Through the New Testament in a Year from Crossway. In a similar vein, memorizing scripture is definitely helpful for staying strong. And getting yourself involved in a group is really helpful, whether it be attending small groups or bible studies, or even just attending a Sunday school, in addition to church service. Other believers to keep you accountable and to pray for you is crucial in keeping your faith strong.
“I find it easiest and most beneficial to read through books as opposed to doing a devotion, that way you clearly see the context of each verse and what the author meant.”
Favorite person in scripture? Esther. Hands down. As a kid, and even now, I thought she was so brave to be able to stand up to the king (who wasn’t exactly a great guy– look at what he did to his wife before Esther) and accuse his right-hand man of wanting to kill her people, knowing that her husband had more reason to believe him than he did her. She put her own life on the line for that of her people, and I’ve always admired her for that.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That God is love. A lot of people (even Christians) hear this phrase a lot, but still picture this crazy stern, fun-hating, unloving, hateful entity as who God is, and that’s just not who He is! I want to reflect the actual love of God in my life.
Favorite season? Definitely autumn. I mean, I live in New England for crying out loud. Everyone knows we have the prettiest autumns. My birthday is in October, so I might be a bit biased.
Favorite holiday? I’m actually not a big holiday person. I’m just not much for sentiment I guess. Maybe Christmas? I do like getting ridiculous gifts for people.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My family doesn’t really do traditions. The closest thing is every year around Thanksgiving/Christmas, my dad goes around telling everyone the worst possible dad jokes he can find every single day, but I’m not really sure that counts as a tradition.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why? I don’t mean, “why me?”, but just, “Why? Why do you love us so much to die for us? To carry the wrath of God for us? Why do you love us?” It just seems so bizarre to me that even though we as a species and as individuals reject Him time and time again, we are so sinful and wretched, but He still loves us. That’s crazy to me.
“It just seems so bizarre to me that even though we as a species and as individuals reject Him time and time again, we are so sinful and wretched, but He still loves us. That’s crazy to me.”
Thing you want to raise awareness about: This might seem a little strange, but men’s mental health issues. As I mentioned before, poor mental health runs in my family. I have a particular male family member who has been in and out of hospitals multiple times for suicide attempts, and even went to a psychiatric facility for minors for about two months at one point, when he was about 14, because his attempts were so frequent.
Thankfully, he’s doing better now, but I remember friends of mine (and of his) talking behind his back about how he’s such a drama queen, he needs to just suck it up and get over it, etc. I learned really fast that men’s mental health is not taken as seriously as women’s, which is probably why men commit suicide at four times the rate women do, and it’s something I’ve been really passionate about ever since.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I don’t typically wake up before 10:30, to be perfectly honest. Once I wake up, I’ll usually check my phone and then jump in the shower, though I am trying to get in the habit of praying as soon as I wake up.
Define Christianity in a sentence: I think Corrie Ten Boom said it best: “There is no pit so deep where God’s love is not deeper still.”
For more Lilyth:
Until next time, keep witnessing!