Elizabeth speaks to us about battling worry, the importance of surrounding yourself with older Christians, faith becoming real in our darkness, and how she links modesty and style in her blog and ministry. She shares with us tips for a good alone time and the fact that she always disconnects from technology when she has family dinner.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: The verse in 1 Samuel 17 where it talks about David taking the stones out of his bag and defeating Goliath. We all have different “giants” in our life, and as a child of God, He’s given us what we need to overcome those. We just need to take those stones out of our bag and face them!
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Not worrying so much! That’s one of the “giants” I’m actually referring to in my previous answer. That has been a huge problem of mine for as long as I can remember, and it’s easy for me to feel like, “Oh, that’s just the way I am” and accept it, but it’s really not the will of God for His child to live in fear of all the “what-ifs.” It definitely hinders trust and joy, which hinders growth, so it’s definitely something I need to work on. That’s the main thing right now, but God is always chiseling away at so many areas of my life, which isn’t always easy, but is definitely good!
“It definitely hinders trust and joy, which hinders growth, so it’s definitely something I need to work on.”
Profession: A modest fashion blogger.
A one sentence bio of yourself: Just a young Christian who is simply stumbling forward every day in God’s grace, learning as I go!
When did you first encounter God? I was raised in church all of my life, so I’ve always known about God and the Bible. I didn’t realize until much later that I was a sinner in need of His forgiveness and that there was nothing I could do to save myself. I was 13 when I actually accepted Christ as my personal Savior and began a relationship with Him. Even though I was a Christian at this time, it wasn’t until I went through a very dark season in my life that I really started owning my faith and knowing Christ in a deeper way than I ever have. My darkest days are definitely my closest walks with God! It’s when we go through those dark times that our faith becomes real.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? There have been so many things God has used to grow me throughout my Christian life, but I would say the biggest thing lately is people God has provided in my life. God seems to provide just the right person at just the right time. It just shows how faithful He is in my life time and time again! God has truly been so kind to bring the right people to walk alongside me with different things I’m facing.
Just read/currently reading: Now, I feel bad because I’m awful at reading. *laughs* I love it and really learn a lot from it, but I haven’t read a book in a while and need to get back into it. I’m planning on reading Leslie Ludy’s Set Apart Femininity again soon. I read it for the first time at least a couple of years ago, and it really helped me grow as a Christian young lady. I really love her stuff.
Top three essentials: Definitely my Bible, and I’m not just saying that for points. *laughs* Then my camera and my piano behind that. Got to have some kind of camera, because if I don’t get a picture, it didn’t happen… ha!
How did God speak to you recently? Honestly, almost every day through one way or another! But specifically, I was struggling with a lot recently and just overwhelmed, and it was a bit of a struggle to trust God, like I should. But God laid it on someone’s heart to do something special for me, and through that, it was like I had been reminded that I could fully trust Him. Since then, I’ve still been tempted to not trust, and I’m reminded of incidents like that one and ones before it that help me to remember that He hasn’t forgotten me.
“He hasn’t forgotten me.”
Hobby: I have so many hobbies and interests, it seems, so I’ll just name one. Obviously, blogging would be one of them, and it really is something I genuinely enjoy. Being able to share my love of fashion and modesty and interact with other young girls is really such a blessing. And having a platform for it really pushes me to try different things with my style. It also encourages me to work on photography more!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: There are seriously so many things! But here are probably the top three things I can think of right off the bat that have been very helpful in my Christian walk, personally:
1) Having a daily quiet time. I know that’s kind of the expected answer, and we all already know how important it is, but it truly is the most important thing I do all day. I’m easily distracted and can get my eyes onto everything going wrong in my life or peoples’ opinions and criticisms, etc., so my daily quiet time is like my time to get rooted and grounded so I have something firm to stand on the rest of the day. That time in the morning of reading my Bible and praying gives me truths to grasp onto so that I can think truthfully as I’m being bombarded with the noises of this world. And not just the world, but even in the church, we hear so many different opinions and such. And even though listening to different sermons and reading different Christian books is really important, we need to have a foundation for ourselves before we try to stand on someone else’s.
2) Journaling. Personally, I express myself through writing. But I think anyone can benefit from journaling. I write things I’m struggling with, truths God has spoken to me, ways God has shown Himself faithful– just the good, bad and ugly. Reading back over it, I’m able to see things God has brought me through, and how I’ve grown and that’s a huge encouragement! But it’s also been a huge help because sometimes, I’ll read back on what I wrote and see patterns or things I’m struggling with that I didn’t even realize were there.
3) Having older, Godly influences. This is something so many people my age will overlook, but I can’t overstate the impact that older, seasoned Christians have had in my life. Often it’s not even what they say, it’s their example of a Godly lifestyle. When you see someone who has been through many fires and has still been faithfully serving and loving God all these years, it’s a huge testament to real faith, not just fancy words you hear so many people say. It’s one thing to hear a person say it, but it’s another thing to see someone who’s truly lived it! I guarantee that there are older people in your life that would love if you invested time with them, and you’ll benefit from it too! God has been so good to provide people like that in my life.
“Often it’s not even what they say, it’s their example of a Godly lifestyle.”
Favorite person in scripture? For a long time now, Joseph has, by far, been my absolute favorite Bible character. He was someone who went through so many tough things beyond His control, and it seemed to never get better. But you see Joseph staying true to God through all of that, and you see that phrase throughout, “God was with him.” I recently got this bracelet from Mar’-toos, and it has been a reminder for me to remember the story of Joseph. It really reminds me of my own life. I’ve been dealing with a chronic illness for several years now, as well as many other situations that seem to never get better. Joseph’s story reminds me to keep clinging to God and serving Him, and it also reminds me how God has always been with me through all of that. Also, Joseph’s situation was never beyond hope, and neither is yours or mine, even though it may feel like it sometimes.
“I’ve been dealing with a chronic illness for several years now, as well as many other situations that seem to never get better. Joseph’s story reminds me to keep clinging to God and serving Him, and it also reminds me how God has always been with me through all of that.”
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That is an excellent question that I honestly haven’t thought about before until now! People online see me as this girl who’s happy all the time and who just loves life, which is true, but people in my real life know that my life has been anything but easy.
I think I want people to see that God isn’t just the God of these cute little Christian sayings and this shallow Christianity that we’ve come up with, but that when life gets messy and complicated and even almost impossible, our faith can stand that test and God is real in the midst of that. He’s not just the God of sunshine, lollipops, and rainbows; *laughs* I think some people view Christianity in that way, and when “real life” happens, their faith is the first thing they let go of because they don’t see it as relevant anymore, when in reality, that’s when it becomes more relevant than ever. We need to show this lost and hurting world a faith that’s real, and I hope I do that.
“[W]hen “real life” happens, their faith is the first thing they let go of because they don’t see it as relevant anymore, when in reality, that’s when it becomes more relevant than ever.”
Favorite season? I think I’m expected to say fall because that’s what everyone says. *laughs* But I love spring the most! I love Easter and the bright colors and how things are coming back into bloom. It’s such a fun time.
Favorite holiday? I guess I got ahead of myself and already answered that one… ha! Easter is probably my favorite.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: I love how my family has always had scheduled meals together. For the longest time, I just assumed most families were like that, then I realized that most families actually don’t do that very often! I can’t imagine everyone eating at separate times or in separate rooms. I love having that time to catch up! And that’s always a time I’m absolutely not on my phone. If you text me during mealtime, you’re just going to have to wait! *laughs*
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? All of my life, I’ve heard people say they have something they want to know when they get to Heaven. But honestly, I’ve never had anything I would want to ask. There are plenty of situations I don’t understand, but I know enough about the God of that situation to know I don’t need to understand all of that particular situation. And I think when I get to Heaven, the troubles and cares of this life won’t be important anyhow.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: As I mentioned earlier, I have a chronic illness (chronic Lyme disease) and people have so many misconceptions about chronic illness, in general. I would love for people to be more informed, especially on what not to say to someone with a chronic illness. However, wanting to raise awareness and actually doing it are two different things. I’ve definitely fallen short in that area. Maybe this is a reminder that I need to, more. *laughs*
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Devotions! If I wait to do it later, it will never get done– plus, it’s a great way to start my day!
Define Christianity in a sentence: God’s abundant mercy and grace shed upon undeserving sinners like me!
For more Elizabeth:
Until next time, keep witnessing!