Evangeline, a future nurse and midwife, shares her thoughts about how God is choosing us every moment, the importance of your story in the plan of salvation, the value of being alone and how God uses our obedience to bless our dreams. She also speaks about accountability and offers you her listening ear. There is a powerful description of God, below, and more treasures that will enrich your walk. Thank you, Evangeline!
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Before I shaped you in the womb, I knew all about you. Before you saw the light of day, I had holy plans for you: A prophet to the nations – that’s what I had in mind for you.” Jeremiah 1:5 (MSG)
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Really learning to trust the Lord with my plans. Handing over everything I thought I knew, and letting Him have it all — for real this time. It takes a daily, even moment-by-moment surrender, but He is faithful, and it is always worth it. Not only is He my King, but He is my love, and my friend. He is taking care of my heart. He won’t let me fall, and the hopes I have for my life are minuscule compared to the greatness He has waiting for me. He is choosing me every second. I am really doing my best to choose Him, too.
“[T]he hopes I have for my life are minuscule compared to the greatness He has waiting for me. He is choosing me every second.”
Profession: Full-time nursing major. Hopefully, a future nurse-midwife. I’m very passionate about health care, especially for mothers and infants.
A one sentence bio of yourself: A force to be reckoned with.
When did you first encounter God? This question is a little complicated. I think God was showing up in my life before I even realized it, and in retrospect, the Holy Spirit did so much for me that I didn’t even notice until I was a believer. I was aware of His presence from a young age, but I gave my life to Jesus when I was 16. I found an intimate relationship with Him through experiencing musical worship.
“[T]he Holy Spirit did so much for me that I didn’t even notice until I was a believer.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Honestly, being alone. The time I’ve spent recently with just myself and Jesus has been so refreshing and has grown me so much.
Just read/currently reading: The Not a Fan devotional. The book was really important early on in my spiritual journey, and this devotional has been great. I’m also reading The Problem of Pain by C.S. Lewis. He’s my favorite author, and I’m making my way through every book of his. I would highly recommend pretty much every single thing he wrote. Also, my amazing grandmother gifted me The Book of Mysteries, and it has me completely awestruck.
Top three essentials:
A quad ristretto shot vanilla-lavender latte. Just trust me. It’s the best.
A good pen. I’m always writing down scriptures. The physical act of writing helps me keep them on my heart and mind.
A good playlist. I have a playlist for every mood, audience, vibe, and genre. I’m the person who wants to drive around for hours just listening to music.
How did God speak to you recently? In a moment of worship, I emerged from a season full of hard lessons with nothing but blind faith in the voice of God to guide me. The Lord revealed His faithfulness, and I was just breathless at how good He is, and how following His plans allows Him to bless the dreams in our hearts. It was like walking out of darkness, and finally finding the light again. I never lost Him, but I just couldn’t see what He was doing. Now I am seeing the fruits of trusting Him, and I’m left in complete awe and wonder at His kindness and glory.
“The Lord revealed His faithfulness, and I was just breathless at how good He is, and how following His plans allows Him to bless the dreams in our hearts.”
Hobby: I don’t think I have one particular hobby. I like being creative and making things, from lattes to poems. I’ve always loved singing, though these days its more in my shower and my car than anywhere else.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
Get to know yourself. Your strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, habits, emotions, etc. If you fall into sin, take care to identify how you got there, what emotions came from it, and the root problem in your heart causing the desire for that sin.
When you’re praising the Lord, notice what moves you. Music? Scriptures? Creative projects? What do you love? Who do you love? The Lord has designed you perfectly and uniquely. Take the time and put in the effort to discover who Jesus has made you to be. Your story is important, and different, and will bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth. Read what the Lord has written on your heart. Love it, cherish it, and treat yourself like the child of God that Jesus died to know.
Get to know the Lord. I know this seems obvious, but really know the characteristics of God. You can’t really love someone you don’t know, ya know? So focus on who He says He is. He is good, He is true, He is righteous. He is a King and a friend. A lover and a fighter. He’s jealous for your attention. He is in control. He knows all, He sees all. Every broken piece of you, He recognizes it as His own. He is undeserved grace and unexpected mercy. He is Love, and He is unconditional. He is who He says He is, not what we think or experience of Him. He is the way, He is our light. These things I’ve listed don’t even make up half of the qualities of who He is, and already it is enough. Everything He is can change our lives, mend our broken hearts, and give us a purpose. Knowing Him is the one thing that makes any difference– it’s the whole reason for this life! Don’t forsake this gift of intimacy. Know Him. Be known by Him. Love and be loved, beloved.
Get yourself a best friend/accountability partner that loves the Lord. No, not all of your friends should be Christian. But you need someone who is committed to seeing the scary parts of who you are– the lust, the selfishness, the anger, the greed, the sadness, the emptiness, the ugly, the flaws. Someone who sees this side of you and says yeah, that’s there, but Jesus covers it all. Someone who will speak truth into your life, and let you know when you’re walking away from Jesus. Because, spoiler alert, you will. You’re going to need a friend that can see your sin, say, “Hey, whatcha doin?” And point you back to Jesus. You have to feel comfortable telling them the weird things, and you have to trust them with the hard stuff. But they will love you anyways. And you will love them. And you will struggle and grow together, in the perfectly imperfect community that Jesus has called us to.
So, if you don’t already have this connection, try reaching out to a church friend. Or me, seriously, I will be your friend. Be willing to work through the awkwardness of life to make a friendship that will shine the light of Jesus and keep you focused on eternity.
“Your story is important, and different, and will bring the Kingdom of Heaven to earth.”
Favorite person in scripture? I’m going to assume Jesus is out of the question here…
Peter, hands down. He was a little intense, and incredibly passionate, and very in-the-moment. I feel like I identify with both his strengths and weaknesses. I am very good at being wholeheartedly committed to the Lord, and for any crazy plan He has for me, I will change my life, in an instant. But when things look rough, I don’t even realize my eyes are on the waves and not my Savior until I’m already sinking. But imagine how unbelievable the feeling of grace when Peter was forgiven for looking away, and even denying the Lord. Peter didn’t deserve a single moment of the mercy poured out upon him. But still Jesus was pursuing Him, loving Him, and chasing after his heart. I feel that every single day when Jesus takes me back after every stumble. Every time I look away, walk away, or ignore His wonder… He still loves me. Peter didn’t deserve the kind of love, and neither do I. Yet, He still loves me. What a beautiful story.
“But when things look rough, I don’t even realize my eyes are on the waves and not my Savior until I’m already sinking.”
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? When people look at my life, I want them to see the mess. Even if that’s uncomfortable, I want to be genuine. My walk with the Lord is not perfect, and my heart is easily broken. I have had to change, and change again, and grow some more. But I want people to see the difference in my life that is the light of the Lord. Because yes, I am imperfect, but Jesus is so so good. I don’t deserve His sweet and tender mercy, but He freely pours it out. I am better because of Jesus. I am growing. I am loving, I am learning so much in every season, and it’s all because of Jesus. Every good thing I have is Him. And He meets me here, in my mess, in my human condition, and loves me recklessly. That’s what I hope people see. And I hope they say, hey, I want that kind of love, too. I hope they know their mess doesn’t prevent Jesus from seeing them. He saw our sin, He nailed it to the cross, and He did it so that He could destroy the power of our flesh, once and for all; so He could know us. And love us. Hopefully, people see the greatness and kindness of His heart when they see me. A love story that makes no sense, but changes everything.
“I hope they know their mess doesn’t prevent Jesus from seeing them.”
Favorite season? Fall/winter. I love when it’s chilly outside, probably because I’m from the gulf coast area of Texas, so cold weather is rare. I like to savor it, while I can! Plus, hot coffee is my favorite, and it makes more sense when its not 95F degrees outside.
Favorite holiday? I actually love the seasons leading up to holidays. Advent and Lent are so important to me. I love the concept of preparing our hearts for the beauty that is about to be upon us by the Lord.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My dad’s side of the family is from Louisiana, so we are die hard Saints fans. A good gumbo and a winning Saints game is my happy place.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I’m probably going to ask to see my grandfather. He passed away a little over a year ago.
(I’m sure there are a lot of ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions to ask, but standing face to face with Jesus, none of that will even matter.)
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Racial injustice within the Christian community is so real. Racial injustice in this country is so real. Educate yourself, ask questions, notice racist thoughts, behaviors, and assumptions in your own mind and your own community, and find the courage to question and change them. The lives of our brothers and sisters of color depend on it, especially our black brothers and sisters. It’s not about politics. It’s about lives. It’s about showing the love of Jesus to those who have been oppressed, just as Jesus did.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Make myself a latte, check the time, and scroll through Instagram for encouragement. I know everyone says you shouldn’t look at social media early in the morning, but I try to only follow encouraging Christian accounts that are speaking truth. Therefore, when I’m looking at Instagram for inspiration, I’m seeing the beautiful children of God, the scriptures they post, and their testimonies. I see broken people just like me who are trying their best to love the Lord, and that inspires me to get going and working on whatever the Lord has for me that day.
Define Christianity in a sentence: I found my home.
For more Evangeline:
Until next time, keep witnessing!