Cory speaks to us about how God fights for us, her bold move to leave what she thought was meant for her, and the uselessness of seeking anything but God.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” Exodus 14:13-14
I love how this provides such a clear picture of how important it is to trust in God, even when failure or defeat seem to be the only outcome. Instead of being overcome by concern, we need to give our fears and worries to God, rest in Him and trust that He will fight for us.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: God has been working hard on building my trust in Him. Recently, He led me out of graduate school and out of the career I thought I was meant to do. I hearkened to His call without any plan whatsoever of what I would do, instead. It’s been a few months since then, and He has been opening and closing doors left and right. Although it’s unsettling at times not knowing what I’m doing or even how I am going to support myself, God has been so good and faithful and continues to show me that He is the ultimate provider and all I need. Because of Him, I can rest easy knowing He’s got me.
“He led me out of graduate school and out of the career I thought I was meant to do. I hearkened to His call without any plan whatsoever of what I would do, instead.”
Profession: High school substitute teacher, but God has put it on my heart to serve in non-profit work with foster children. He has provided me with interview opportunities at different agencies, so I am praying for His will and direction in these possibilities.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I’m a 24-year-old daughter of the King who loves God above all else, enjoys simplicity, and strives to be as healthy as possible in aspects of life.
When did you first encounter God? I was raised in a half-and-half home, meaning my mom is a born-again Christian and my dad is not yet saved. I grew up always going to church and accepted Jesus into my heart at the age of 6. His movement in my heart came at the perfect time, as around two years later, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes. During this time, God provided my family and me an immense amount of hope, peace, and support. Although there have been many ups and downs, from the time I accepted His salvation my love and relationship with Him has grown exponentially.
“His movement in my heart came at the perfect time, as around two years later, I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma, a cancer of the lymph nodes.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? As painful and difficult as the trials I have been going through lately have been, they have drawn me so much closer to God. He has completely shown me that in my weakness He is strong and that all my help comes from Him. There is no one and nothing that can provide the love, joy, and peace as He. Moreover, these trials have taught me to completely let go of myself, to push my plans aside and to wait on Him and seek His soft gentle voice and will alone.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently in the book of Ecclesiastes, which has encouraged me in the uselessness of seeking anything but God. In other words, nothing of this Earth is of value, as all here is temporary. Our eternal reward is in heaven and that’s where our treasures lie.
While earthly possessions and success are of no value, wisdom and knowledge from God are priceless. Our Earthly mission and definition of success should be to become all that God wants us to become and to do all that He wants us to do so that one day we may hear Him say, “Well done, good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your master.” Matthew 25:21. [This sentiment comes from a sermon on Christ’s Commission Fellowship- an amazing YouTube channel with sound biblical sermons from the Christ Commission Fellowship Church located in the Philippines.]
“Nothing of this Earth is of value, as all here is temporary.”
Top three essentials: KJV Bible, food processor, running shoes.
How did God speak to you recently? He has been telling me to just wait, be patient, and trust Him. He has been doing this through various trials that I have been facing involving my career and living arrangement which is potentially leading me to move from California to Arizona. He keeps reminding me to not lean on my own understanding, because in my own mind it seems impossible that all the pieces will come together, but He keeps showing me in His own time and perfect provision that they will. Moreover, He has been reminding me that He has never let me flounder or led me to destruction in the past so why would He now. The Bible is full of His promises that He will provide for those who love and follow Him, and since I know the Bible is true I have nothing to fear, I can completely let go and trust Him.
“He keeps reminding me to not lean on my own understanding, because in my own mind it seems impossible that all the pieces will come together, but He keeps showing me in His own time and perfect provision that they will.”
Hobby: Baking and fitness! I enjoy cooking as well, but baking is my favorite. It allows me to express my creativity by playing with different flavors, textures, and food décor. Another perk is that I then get to eat it, but I also get immense joy in baking for others. The baking I do is a little more unique as I make treats completely free of animal products, and I also do my best to make food that is not only delicious but also healthy. Along with baking, I am passionate about physical fitness. I enjoy being active and increasing physical strength. I also love that I can use my exercise time as a time to talk to Jesus and listen to music that glorifies Him. It’s so cool becoming physically and spiritually stronger all at once.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Reading your Bible is the first and foremost important tip, as it allows us to get to know God. Moreover, His word is power, it arms us with knowledge and truth that we can use against the enemy. Along with that, prayer is so powerful! I have experienced the huge difference it makes when you pray. I used to only pray before I went sleep but now I pray much more all throughout the day. The more I talk to God, the closer I feel to Him and the easier it is for me to hear His voice and direction.
As in any relationship, the more time you spend talking with someone the closer you get. Along with that though it is important to be still and silent and allow Him to speak to you, don’t just do all the talking, say amen, and go about your day, listen for Him.
My third tip is to keep from all forms of evil. Don’t consume anything that is against God, whether that is music, movies, or experiences. Even though some of these things may seem harmless, the devil can use the smallest of things to break in to your life and take your eyes from God. We need to consistently ask ourselves if what we are doing, looking at, wearing, etc. brings us closer to or further from Him, because it’s pretty much always going to be one or the other.
Favorite person in scripture? It’s very hard to choose but based off of the season I am in, I would have to say Job. Although I have never gone through anything nearly as devastating as him, I know how hard it is to maintain faith in difficult circumstances. Despite having everything ripped away from him, his children, house, income, health, and friend’s loyalty, Job remained faithful to and trusting in God. He literally had no form of earthly encouragement or support yet didn’t waiver in his love of God. His circumstance is such an amazing testimony of God’s love for His children and the importance of maintaining relentless faith in Him. While Job didn’t understand the reason for his suffering, he clung to God and ended up being given twice as much as he had before.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want people to know that God is pure love by the joy and love they see flowing through me. Moreover, in acknowledging, accepting, and distributing His love I want people to learn that His love is like no other, it is unconditional, and knows no ends. His love heals all and fills all emptiness. All things are possible with Him and the joy his love provides is insurmountable.
Favorite season? Spring is such an amazing time of the year. It reminds me of how God can make all things new and beautiful and restore life. Winter is a long cold season, but just when it seems it will never end, spring comes it warms up and everything begins to grow. Along with that amazing reminder, I am not a fan of cold weather, so I love when the temperature rises, trees begin to blossom, flowers bloom, bees start pollinating, and my favorite fruits come into season.
Favorite holiday? Growing up, I have always loved Christmas, the decorations, the music, and the food, but as years have gone on, I continuously strive to focus less on these things as they easily take my attention from God. I don’t want to be so caught up in the temporary joys of the season that I neglect the true joys from God.
A dream you have? By the will of God my biggest aspiration is to get married to the man God has set aside for me and to be a stay at home wife/mother. I would love to take care of our home, serve the community through volunteer work and serve my church. Along with that, I would love to be to adopt/foster children and be involved in their schooling and extra-curricular. I would also love to have my own little baking from home business on the side. My main dream though is to serve God by serving others, without having to be paid.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: It’s not necessarily a tradition, but baking, especially cookies, has been something my mom, grandma, sister, me, and now my niece love to do. Oatmeal chocolate cookies are the one recipe we all love to make and we have all made it since each of us were little, starting with my grandma.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? There are probably a million questions I would like to ask once I get to heaven, although once I get there, I probably won’t even care because I’ll be so in awe. However, if I’m able to think straight, I would be curious to know the times in my life on earth that God has protected me from tragedy. There are often so many times in this life when little disturbances happen in our day to day bustle, such as spilling something on our shirt before leaving for work causing us to be late, or getting stuck behind a super slow driver which causes us to take a different route.
Although in the moment these occurrences can be so frustrating, they lead me to wonder if they were interferences from God. For example, if we didn’t spill on our shirt and left for work on time, maybe we would have gotten in a car accident or ran over nail that was in the road and gotten a flat tire.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I know the vegan movement is often linked to obnoxious activists and woo woo type of people, but the principals of veganism have become extremely important to me. I first want to say that I don’t judge anyone that is not vegan, but I think people are either unaware or misinformed about where their food and products come from. The big meat and dairy industry is driven by money and animals suffer greatly at the hand of big business. When you look into it, it’s extremely heart breaking how animals are treated in the industry. Many people are also not aware that being vegan applies not only to food choices, but also to other products such as makeup and hair care. Many everyday products are still being tested on animals. I don’t believe eating animals is wrong, as even Jesus consumed meat in the Bible, but I don’t believe God is okay with His creation being tortured in the name of greed and profit.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.?I usually wake up around 7 and workout first thing, drink lots of water, and play with my german shepherd puppy, Dacey.
What is on your nightstand? A framed picture of my family and I, my Bible, a bottle of water (got to stay hydrated even in the middle of the night), and a vanilla spiced pear candle from Bath and Body Works (possibly the best scent ever!)
Define Christianity in a sentence: Christianity is surrendering your total self to Christ, serving Him, and loving Him with all your heart, mind, and soul.
For more CoryAnn:
Until next time, keep witnessing!