Today, Audrey speaks to us about how God works through the people He puts in our paths, learning to live far from family, and great perspective for dealing with anxiety.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged. For the Lord, your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
Over the past few years, this has become my favorite passage from the Bible. My dad first showed me this verse when I was struggling with getting through high school. I hung the verse up in my room and began to remind myself of it daily whether I was struggling or not. One of the biggest struggles I have ever gone through was choosing to stay in my home state of Colorado while my family moved to Washington. My dad had kept the verse in his wallet, and after they had left, I found that same verse sitting on my nightstand in my room. The copy of Joshua 1:9 has sat in my room in the same spot for over a year now. I find it such an uplifting verse to start and end the day with as a reminder that no matter what you face throughout your life, there is no need to feel worried or afraid because God is always with you.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I grew up in a Christian home where we went to church on Sunday, and I was often involved in youth group and Bible studies throughout middle school and high school. As a college student, I am currently in a Bible study, where I am continuing to grow my faith and understand the Bible even more. As I get older, I feel like my faith grows stronger because I experience more and experience God’s love more. My main spiritual growth focus at the moment would be to keep growing my faith through studying the Bible and experiencing more as a follower of Jesus.
Profession: I am currently a college student looking to get a degree in Psychology and later become a school psychologist. I want to make a difference in the lives of children and help them grow as they go through school.
“I want to make a difference in the lives of children and help them grow as they go through school.”
A one sentence bio of yourself: I am a follower of Jesus, dog lover, and a college student trying to make a difference in people’s lives.
When did you first encounter God? I have always been a believer and knew I had a strong faith. Usually people have a clear story about when they first encountered God and are able to share that with people. My story is a little bit different because I don’t have that big, stand out moment. However, looking back and reflecting on it, I had a lot of those moments. In every single person that introduced me to a Bible study or youth group, and every Sunday morning spent at church, I encountered God. He put certain people into my life to bring me to a Bible study or to send me to church, so that I would grow closer to Him and know Him more.
“He put certain people into my life to bring me to a Bible study or to send me to church, so that I would grow closer to Him and know Him more.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? In the past year, I have struggled with my family living far away while also developing and dealing with anxiety. Through those struggles, I have also been living as a college student, where there are always temptations. I would say that this time in my life has been the hardest but also the best because my spiritual faith has grown more than ever before. The anxiety that I have faced over the past few months has almost completely gone away, and I’ve adjusted well to living far from my family. I know that I didn’t face those challenged alone, and that God truly gave me with them and pulled me through them, so that I could grow my relationship with Him.
“I know that I didn’t face those challenged alone, and that God truly gave me with them and pulled me through them, so that I could grow my relationship with Him.”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently reading a book called When God Makes Lemonade. It’s filled with tons of uplifting stories about how God comes into real people’s situations and makes what seems to be a terrible story, a beautiful blessing in the end. The book has taught me to look for the little, sweet blessings in life and to look for God in everything! God can take any broken situation, and make it have an amazing outcome.
Top three essentials: Water bottle, purse, and my cross necklace.
How did God speak to you recently? The other day, I was sitting in class and started to feel super overwhelmed about all of the assignments I needed to get done before the end of the semester. I went onto Pinterest, and immediately after [I started] to scroll, the very first picture that showed up on my feed was a quote that said “Three months from now, everything you’re stressing about won’t even matter! Breathe and turn it over to Me.” This quote really spoke to me, and I knew it was God telling me not to worry because He had everything handled.
“Three months from now, everything you’re stressing about won’t even matter! Breathe and turn it over to Me.”
Hobby: I love working out. Whether it’s going to the gym, going for a run, or taking my dog for a walk, working out is something that I do for myself that I look forward to doing every day.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: To stay spiritually strong, you need to put God into every aspect of your life. You have to make Him the main focus of everything you do and avoid doing things your own way, even if you think that’s the best way. To stay spiritually strong, you also need to pray. I find that when I pray and spend time with God, I feel so much closer to Him and much calmer than if I don’t take time to pray. The final tip goes along with the other two in that you can’t think of being a Christian as being a chore. You shouldn’t add praying or doing something in God’s way onto your to do list for the day. Add those things into your everyday life, and think of it as a way to grow your faith.
Favorite person in scripture? Ruth is one of my favorite people in scripture. There are so many parts to her and her story that are relatable and give hope to young women. Her story shows that God is always faithful. You can experience great loss and heartache, but God will always be there and has an amazing plan. Ruth is also an example that you shouldn’t give up on God. Even when you go through adversity in life, never give up on God because He is working, and things will soon fall into place.
“You can experience great loss and heartache, but God will always be there and has an amazing plan.”
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? When people see me, I want them to know that God is so loving and faithful. I want them to know that you can mess up and have imperfections, but God will still love you more and more, and that there is nothing you can or can’t do that will make Him love you any less or any more.
Favorite season? Spring is my favorite season. Everything is starting to bloom, and the weather is getting warmer. I think it shows a sign of hope. Winter can be such a dark, cold season for people, and Spring brings light and color into the world.
Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving and Christmas are my favorite holidays. I love the feeling of togetherness and giving during this time where you get to spend time with the ones you love. To me, these holidays are a reminder that it’s important to give no matter the time of year to spread as much love as possible.
A dream you have? I recently started a blog that is faith-based. A dream of mine with my blog is to reach as many people as possible to spread God’s love. Even if just a few people read my blog posts or my posts on social media, it will be worth it to know that I made a difference in someone else’s life.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: A tradition that my family engages in is spending time together during holidays. Whether it’s Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, etc. we still spend time with together and enjoy each other’s company.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? When I get to Heaven, I will ask why there is so much darkness and evil in the world. After every mass shooting, terrorist attack, or other tragic news headline, I wonder why these terrible things happen every single day. I know that we have such a loving God that has a master plan for all of our lives, but it’s hard to wrap my head around why such horrible things continue to happen.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Something that I would like to raise awareness about is mental health and how important it is. After experiencing anxiety and being able to relate to others that share my experiences, I want others out there to know that mental health is serious. Things like anxiety and depression are not a joke and those that are suffering are not alone.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Before 9 a.m. I either sleep in or eat breakfast and workout. Right when I wake up and before getting out of bed, I thank God for giving me the life I have and for giving me another opportunity to live through Him.
What is on your nightstand? My nightstand has a lamp, some hair ties and bobby pins, usually a glass of water, and the Bible verse, Joshua 1:9, that my dad left for me.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is the belief that God sent His only Son to die for our sins so that we can be free and have eternal life.
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Until next time, keep witnessing!