Eliana joins us from Argentina, to share thoughts on the “beauty of not knowing,” dependence, and she shared some AWESOME book recommendations that will make it to the top of your list.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment:“Praise the Lord; praise God our savior! For each day he carries us in his arms.” (Psalms 68:19) Also, Isaiah 62 because He promised that restoration in my life, so I keep it close in every season.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: My word for the year is “dependence,” so I’m really working on relying only on Jesus; focusing on Him being enough. I know, tough choice– but I’m in a moment of life that I need Jesus to be everything I could long for, and I think that if something doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t transform you either.
“I think that if something doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t transform you either.”
Profession: I’m a Graphic Designer, and I work for my local church. 2017 was the year that I literally saw the hand of God, and my current job is one of the outcomes. I’m so thankful and blessed for the door that only He could have opened!
A one-sentence bio of yourself: Lover of: Jesus, naps and people that like to do everything out of the lines.
When did you first encounter God? I was born in a loving Christian family and had very rocky and crazy teenage years. But it was around 19, at a youth camp in our church, when God showed up for me, one of those nights He said: “Hey, it’s enough? You need to let go. And guess what? The time is right now.” I would love to say that it was a sudden change in my life, that from that moment on I was never the same, but from 19 to now, it has been an intense and beautiful process. I’m grateful for every moment because I know how I could’ve end up, so I feel really loved and forgiven, all the time. I cherish every opportunity that I have because of what He did for me.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? The right group of girlfriends!
I think it’s an essential part in every Christian girls life– a group of women who stand by you through thick and thin, who’ve got your back in prayer, who laugh with you but who also hold you accountable.
Just read/currently reading: I just read Believing Jesus by Lisa Harper– talk about a woman who breaks the stereotypes of Christian women and what we’re supposed to do. And I’m currently reading so much, *laughs* but what stands out the most is Hello Mornings by Kat Lee, because I’m so not a morning person but it’s helping me to become one and take advantage of that time, and also The End of Me by Kyle Idleman because in a season where I’m depending on God, it’s helping me become like John 3:30 says “He must become greater; I must become less.”
Top three essentials: My Bible, something to write my thoughts and mate, which is a very popular beverage we drink in Argentina, something similar to tea.
How did God speak to you recently? I was making plans for the New Year and was looking for something new, like a fresh start. So, in the middle of my planning, God told me to not plan anything for this year, to trust completely aka depend and to surrender my dreams and goals, so His dreams and goals could become mine.
I’m a control freak so I’m not gonna lie, it’s been challenging so far! But sometimes I find myself in complete peace about having no plans whatsoever. I guess it’s “the beauty of not knowing.”
“So, in the middle of my planning, God told me to not plan anything for this year, to trust completely”
Hobby: I love photography, but I’m really enjoying lettering and water coloring, I learned it at school and it stuck with me. In my Jesus time is one of the ways that I connect with what I’m reading/learning.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. Read your Bible. Nothing beats that. In the desert, Jesus was being tempted by the devil, and He responded to everything with: “For it is written:”
So the word of God is a must in our lives, but you need to understand that you are a unique person and that you need to find your unique way to read and learn the Bible. YouVersion Bible app has a ton of devotionals that can adapt to who you are, First Five app has amazing free Bible studies and She Reads Truth has a newsletter that you can subscribe to and a devotional will arrive at your email every morning. But please find what works for you, and read it!
2. Pray! I mean it’s not easy, but it’s what connects us with God and allows us to have a deep relationship with Him. It’s also a weapon, a very powerful one. We can declare the truth of the word of God over our lives, a situation or the lives of others. There’s a quote I really love and hold close to me: “When you can’t do anything but pray, you’ve done a whole lot.” T.D. Jakes
(I also recommend watching “War Room” and reading “Fervent” by Priscilla Shirer, you’ll get what I mean about prayer.)
3. Find a community. Whether it’s in your local church, a connect group, woman’s ministry, or an online Facebook group, but FIND one. It’s going to be so helpful to find people who are going on the same path you are. People who understand you and do life right alongside you. We are created to be in a community as part of a Body, so when we do things together, everything is better. Like I said before, the right group of girlfriends is essential in our lives. She Reads Truth, Biblia Creativa, Tirzah, First Five, Ama a Su Palabra have groups on Facebook that you could join and have an online community.
Favorite person in scripture? I mean Jesus is the obvious answer. But I really look up to Esther and Hosea. Esther is an example of strength and sense of true purpose; she did what she had to, for her people, and she broke the rules right down the middle.Girl power! And Hosea is something else, marrying a woman, so God can teach Israel through a metaphor of his marriage, obedience all the way.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That He is a God who sees you, and encounters you in the middle of your mess, joy, doubt or sorrow. That He loves you and supports you unconditionally, and is always is ready to give you a hug.
Favorite season? I’m an April baby (fall in Argentina), and although I love to see the trees changing color, I’m in love with winter. Mainly because it’s cold, and I can curl up with a book, a cup on coffee, and I’m happy as can be.
Favorite holiday? Easter. I like to take a few days to read Jesus’s journey and for me it’s a time where I try to focus on being grateful for such an amazing sacrifice and never take it for granted.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Friday night pizza. We always tried to have dinner together, even though we don’t have the same schedule. But every Friday, we tried to make an effort and be there.
Questions you will ask when you get to heaven? So many! Where did Cain get a wife? How was it to walk right alongside Jesus on the streets? How did it feel to be in a whale’s stomach? Pretty much everything that it’s in the Old Testament– I have a question for!
Things you want to raise awareness about: We as women are taught that we’re supposed to do a lot of things, and behave in a lot of certain ways. So I want you to break that mold, to know that you are unique, that you are not supposed to behave the same way as everyone is telling you to. That God has dreams, so big for your life, but you can only achieve them by being yourself. Stop believing those voices that tell you: that you can’t, that you’re not good enough, that you’re just a girl, that you don’t fit, that you don’t have what it takes, that you need to shut up, that you need to be quiet, that you need to stop trying, and go get what God has in store for you.
We’re also taught to tear each other down, so “Do not conform to the pattern of this world.” (Romans 12.2) Build each other up; be a safe haven for other girls, be the girl that they can lean on, and pray for women in your life, even if you don’t like them. Have each other’s back and love one another!
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I’m in the middle of Hello Morning three step routine:
- Read: “Let me hear of your unfailing love each morning, for I am trusting you. Show me where to walk, for I give myself to you.” Psalms 143.8
- Plan: I check what I have in my planner;
- Health: Drink a glass of water.
Then, I pray some more, and if I have time, which usually I don’t, I read one of my devotionals and go to work.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Being a Christian is leaving yourself, becoming like Jesus and showing His love to everyone you encounter.
For more Eliana:
**She will have a blog that’s launching in April, so stay tuned to her social media.**
Until next time, keep witnessing!