Sarah talks to us about better ways to communicate with God, her passion for mission and what boldness in our faith looks like.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” 1 Chronicles 16:24
As someone who loves missions, I love these commands of declaration. The Good News of Jesus Christ isn’t just meant to be kept within the four walls of a church building or spread when you’re on a mission trip in Africa. The Glory of the Lord is to be declared among the nations — that’s plural! All peoples — that’s plural! People who live in huts aren’t the only ones who need the Good News. Your friends at church aren’t the only ones who need you to show them the love of Christ. Your family members at mealtime aren’t the only ones who need prayer. ALL nations. ALL peoples. Young, old, rich, poor. From Chile to Mississippi, Canada to Australia, England to California.
“ALL nations. ALL peoples. Young, old, rich, poor. From Chile to Mississippi, Canada to Australia, England to California.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Trusting in the Lord for EVERYTHING. Giving me the words to say in conversations I have with people, whether they ask me questions about God or we’re just in normal conversation. Providing me with the funds required to go to England for missions. Putting me in the right places, at the right time. Even providing me with boldness in otherwise terrifying times. In the moments where I completely surrender my want to control the situation, I emerge all the more victorious because of Him.
“In the moments where I completely surrender my want to control the situation, I emerge all the more victorious because of Him.”
Profession: Currently, I run Kingdom Work Blog. In August, I’m flying across the pond to serve as an intern with Greater Europe Mission for eleven months.
A one sentence bio of yourself: Immensely in love with Jesus, I also enjoy coffee, folk music, and flannel shirts.
When did you first encounter God? Though I became a Christian at the ripe age of five, I had my first distinctively “God-encounter” when I was going into my freshman year. Our youth pastor did an exercise with is to encourage and teach us how to truly listen for the Lord’s guidance. We all scattered to separate spots in the room, got on our knees, and cleared our minds. It was hard for me to clear my mind because we were listening for what God had in store for our future. At the time, just about all I could think about were current events, drama, and boys. Once I devoted my concentration, all I kept seeing/hearing in my mind was “Belize”, over and over. Our youth ministry was going on a mission trip to Belize that summer — and this trip was as far away from what I wanted to do as it could possibly be. If I wrote down a list of all that I wanted to do that summer, going to Belize wouldn’t have even made the bottom of the back of the page! So, of course, this is how God wanted me to step out of my comfort zone and follow Him faithfully.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Having accountability in my daily Bible study/quiet time. Though I’m nowhere near perfect, and neither is my accountability partner, it has helped immensely to have reminders and motivation to be more consistent with my Bible study. God has so much He wants to tell you, if only you’d open your Bible! A good relationship requires communication, and the Bible is one of the ways God communicates. So, if you’re being proactive in studying, or even just reading your Bible, your relationship with God has major potential to grow stronger than ever!
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): My accountability partner (who also happens to be my boyfriend) and I are studying the book of Mark. A huge theme in this Gospel book is Jesus’ authority over everything– and I mean everything! Jesus’ authority over man, the weather, food, and even demons, shines throughout Mark. His authority and power over all have transcended His time walking on the earth, and He still has authority. Heck, Jesus even beat death itself! So whom shall I fear?
Top three essentials: A shoulder to lean on– usually my mom’s or my boyfriend’s, they’re both masters of encouragement, good advice, and challenging me to be better (usually by doing something I don’t want to do).
Coffee (iced caramel latte, anyone?).
Phone, yeah, I’m that girl. I’m so reliant on my phone, y’all. Google maps has saved my butt so many times, taking pictures, communicating with people, listening to music.
How did God speak to you recently? I attend a Bible study group at my church for college-aged people. Usually, we just sit in a cafe-style classroom and do a group study. Recently, our teacher had the idea to do an “adventure series”, where he takes us around to different places to do different things (it’s been a surprise both times). The first week, he took us to a nature trail near our church, had us leave our phones in the van, and go off to spots along the trail by ourselves. He was teaching us the importance of solitude, stillness, and simply listening to the Lord. I opened my notebook and, whilst listening to the music of nature, began writing anything that came to mind. The Lord taught me about true peace, a peace that can only be found in Him. A peace which is found in the midst of turmoil, suffering, and opposition. It is one which washes over you like a warm ocean wave, a peace felt deep within your core. A definite presence, a feeling of, “This is in the Lord’s hands. He is in control. He is the Ultimate Planner.” Friends, this peace is one that is perfect beyond understanding.
Hobby: Watercolor painting and calligraphy! I mainly find time to do this when I have thank-you, birthday, or other cards to make. I love painting flowers, but I would love trying something new, like abstract or faces.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: First and foremost is communicating with God. Yes, He already knows everything, down to the number of hairs on your head. But talk to Him. I write a prayer journal, where I am absolutely transparent with God. This is so, so important. Talk it out with Him, for He is listening and He cares for you!
Number two tip for staying spiritually strong: have a mentor. This is someone who is more spiritually mature than you are (and usually older than you), who is committed to not only keeping you accountable in your lifestyles, habits, and quiet time, but who can guide you. Everyone needs guidance – even when it’s tough to admit. Make sure this mentor is someone trustworthy, because a mentor relationship also requires proper communication – and transparency about your thoughts and habits.
Last, but most certainly not least, is cutting out temptations and distractions that will take hold of you. Whether this is a toxic relationship, unlimited access to anything on the internet, or a beloved series of books– if it in any way leads you away from the Lord and into a sin lifestyle, cut it out! It’s not going to be easy, it will require accountability and prayer. With God, all things are possible.
Favorite person in scripture? Esther! She is a biblical female powerhouse who allowed the Lord to use her and her bad situation for good– and a big good, at that. When she was made to be queen not of her own will, the Lord used her to save the Jewish people from genocide. She could have been sentenced to death because of the laws she had to break according to save them. I highly recommend reading the book of Esther, or even doing a study on it!
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? Having boldness in the Lord does not mean your life will be perfect, or that your faith is perfect. Or easy. In fact, it is something that requires sacrifice. I want people to know and understand that it isn’t easy or perfect, but living your life for Jesus is one of the most fulfilling things you will ever do.
“Having boldness in the Lord does not mean your life will be perfect, or that your faith is perfect.”
Favorite season? Autumn. I love the leaves changing, pumpkins, the crisp breeze, wearing sweaters… I even want to name my future child Autumn. *laughs*
Favorite holiday? Christmas. It used to be because I received gifts (I mean, who doesn’t like free stuff?). Now, I have a much deeper appreciation of the true meaning of Christmas. I also love Christmas music, decorations, and my grandma’s once-a-year Christmas lasagna.
A dream you have? To marry my very best friend, and to go on lots of fun adventures with him!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: The Christmas lasagna is my favorite tradition, to be completely honest.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I sometimes wonder if there were any teenage girls back in Jesus’ time who had a crush on him.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: The importance of missions in Europe. Many people, when they hear “mission trip”, only think about digging wells, building houses, and befriending kids in a third-world country. Though these are all so important, much of Europe has reached a point of being so post-Christian, it’s pre-Christian. This means that it’s almost as if Christianity has never even been in Europe! The statistics are startling and heartbreaking. The spiritual darkness and poverty in European countries is devastating.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Not much, since I’m not in school and don’t work anywhere at the moment. I enjoy dragging out my mornings and dedicating them to coffee and email correspondence.
What is on your nightstand? I don’t actually have a nightstand, but my dresser is beside my bed, so… a lamp, clock, jewelry box, and assorted papers and mail.
Define Christianity in a sentence: A personal relationship with the Savior of your soul.
For more Sarah:
Until next time, keep witnessing!