Today, April shares with us thoughts on when she realized God had been speaking to her throughout her entire life, how the fire in trials burns baggage, and the kinds of literary work she believes we should all support as woke Christian women.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Always, always, always Matthew 14:22-33. Peter walking on water will always be a living wellspring to me.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Prayer! As a weapon, as a tool, a sounding board, navigational system, tool to grow in intimacy with the Lord, therapy session, intercession. It’s all done in prayer. I’m learning that is where the real work is.
Profession: In a past life, I was a business consultant for energy companies, but now I stay home with my kids and write.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I’m a born and bred Texan with an amazing husband and two seriously cute kids, who loves being a vision champion, seeing God come through for people, and charcuterie boards.
When did you first encounter God? I was raised in church but didn’t really have a personal relationship with God until I went through a discipleship study with my husband, when I was 28.
I learned how God has actually been talking to me my whole life, leading me, protecting me, and that I have things He’s made me especially for. The revelation that God had been speaking over and to me, leading me through life and protecting me from myself all along really changed my heart to see God everywhere.
“The revelation that God had been speaking over and to me, leading me through life and protecting me from myself all along really changed my heart to see God everywhere.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? HARDSHIP. I am currently coming out of a season of trial, and it was very easy to get caught up in how hard it was, but I tried to grow through it, learn the lessons God was trying to teach then and there, and I can honestly say I’m a different person than I was 2 years ago. Trials change you; the fire burns away unnecessary baggage, realigns priorities, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.
“Trials change you; the fire burns away unnecessary baggage, realigns priorities, and I couldn’t be more thankful for that.”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I’m Still Here by Austin Channing Brown. It is an incredible work about the experience of a black woman in today’s America. As a white woman who wants to do what I can to ensure that no one is marginalized or belittled, I think it’s so important to have, read, and act on truths found in works like this one. The more I know, the more I can support where I am needed in a productive and love-filled way. Not to mention, raise my children to be part of a generation who won’t stand for any of the hate or apathy.
“As a white woman who wants to do what I can to ensure that no one is marginalized or belittled, I think it’s so important to have, read, and act on truths found in works like this one.” (On I’m Still Here)
Top three essentials: Chapstick, tea time, gluten free snacks (I’m a celiac, so I always have to be ready for snack-turned-dinner).
How did God speak to you recently? God has been revealing a message that He started in me almost 10 years ago. And how interwoven this message is to my life and how everything I’ve been through has been culminating to this. He instructed me to start my Instagram account so that I could share what He teaches me daily, with the goal being a refined message to share with the world.
Hobby: Reading and bubble baths. Can those be hobbies?
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1. Stay in the Bible. Even just a verse a day.
2. Do things you feel called to do, even when you don’t want to (especially when you don’t want to).
3. Surround yourself with people who won’t be weirded out or awkward by your personal relationship with God – meaning, find friends who light your God-fire, not people who make you turn down the flame.
Favorite person in scripture? It’s a tie between Esther and Thomas. They are both so REAL. And here for it.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That He’s there. Always faithful. And He’s CLOSE. No matter the wind and the waves around you. And that the greatest way to get through the storm is to learn how to handle yourself in it and find that God is there with you.
Favorite season? Fall! Everything smells good, it’s not blistering hot anymore, and everyone loves boot weather.
Favorite holiday? Christmas! Nothing is better than twinkly lights. I propose to have them up all year.
A dream you have? To travel the world with my family, visiting amazing places and meeting incredible people.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Friday night pizza. We make it at home and it really is just the best.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? “Can I go hug my grandpas real quick?”
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I feel like the whole world would change if we all said yes to the thing we were made to do. I WANT PEOPLE TO LIVE THE VISION GOD PUT INSIDE OF THEM. Imagine a world where people were all doing what they were designed to do!
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Read the bible, write, post to Instagram, make breakfast for the kids, and watch cartoons!
What is on your nightstand? A lamp and a glass of water. Oh, and a baby monitor.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Believing that Jesus loves you enough to trust Him with everything.
For more April:
Instagram : @april.m.payne
Until next time, keep witnessing!