Today, Rayne speaks to us about her dream to open an orphanage, why Hezekiah is so special to her, and God’s faithfulness.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “If I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” 1 Corinthians 13: 2-8
I actually just read this the other day. I have really been thinking about it since. It’s interesting that God tells us, even if we have great faith, it is NOTHING without love. That love is so so important. This is so challenging for me. We are called to love others no matter what. And I feel that sometimes we wonder, well what is love? God is love. And if you still don’t understand that, this passage goes on to list about what love is. Patient, kind, not boastful, not self-seeking, honouring others, rejoicing in truth, and the list goes on. We are called to love as our Father in heaven loves us, His love is far bigger and far greater than the love ANYONE could show us.
“It’s interesting that God tells us, even if we have great faith, it is NOTHING without love.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I find myself getting distracted a lot, not delving in as deep as I used to into the Word. My main focus just now is to grow closer to God through reading His word more and more, and praying, prayer is so so important. Both of these are important, I realise, as reading God’s word is a way in which we hear from God, and praying is the way in which we communicate to God. Communication is key in any relationship! So for me, I’m trying to basically communicate more with God! Also, just making everything in my life a way to worship Him. In everything, I want to express my worship to Him, and to glorify Him in all I do.
A one sentence bio of yourself: Rayne, but hopefully more like sunshine, a tea-lover, writing-obsessed believer, trying to encourage people in their faith and serving God through serving others!
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? As many others, I grew up in a Christian family where my parents really took it as their duty before God to bring us up in His ways. So, thankfully, I heard about God from a very young age, and I recall many bedtime biblical stories like Jonah and the whale or David and Goliath! I remember I truly began believing in God when I was around 6 years old. I knew He was there, I knew that He loved me, and I knew I wanted Him to forgive me from my sins. I vividly remember praying faithfully from a very young age, believing and trusting God, even in the very little things! Growing up with such a strong foundation seems like it makes it easy to stay on the right path, but it can actually be a struggle. I struggled for a while with being consistent in how I treated people, being consistent in reading the Bible but I always prayed through it, and God always led me back– He is a faithful God, after-all!
“I vividly remember praying faithfully from a very young age, believing and trusting God, even in the very little things!”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? I just came out of a tough relationship which drained me and left me feeling distant from God, as I didn’t feel encouraged at all in my faith. So, I was spiritually dry and desperate to somehow return. But as I tried, schoolwork and family life piled up, and I found myself prioritising other things over God. My life felt like it was falling apart. No wonder! So as I walked my two cocker spaniels, I prayed, as I usually do, asking God to lead me closer to Him.
Faithfully and thankfully, my life centred around Him once again, instead of me. I feel really encouraged, and so thankful for my God and His persistence in His love and kindness for us, even though we don’t deserve it. He brings us into places that don’t really make sense for us to be in, and even though we don’t understand why, He is faithful, and He leads us through to make us stronger and more faithful to Him.
“He brings us into places that don’t really make sense for us to be in, and even though we don’t understand why, He is faithful, and He leads us through to make us stronger and more faithful to Him.”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Biblically, I have recently been reading through Job. It is such an interesting book. It is so so moving to see the ways in which he reacts to the distress brought into his life. He still manages to bow down before God in worship, after losing everything in his life. That really challenges me. It makes me wonder whether that would also be my first reaction if I lost everything. I try to live my every moment unto God, in worship, that when those hardships come, I can still praise and give thanks to my God who is our rescuer and our protector.
I have also been reading a book by John Piper, called Pierced by the Word, which is actually ‘31 meditations’ so one for each day of the month. But it has been so encouraging and so interesting. I really feel God prompting me and encouraging me through it. God really does speak through people!
Top three essentials: A good book, maltesers buttons and a big blanket scarf!
How did God speak to you recently? I met up with a few new Christian friends recently for dinner, even just by listening to them, God was able to show me certain things I had wondered about, but just had never really asked. Both of these girls, by the end of the night prophesied and God told me things that were going to happen in my life, some of which I had been worried about, that I hadn’t told anyone but God, and was praying about constantly. It reminded me that God just really does know. He really does listen, and He really does have a plan and purpose for our lives. He is such a good Father who cares for his children. So just now, I’m learning to wait on His plan, whilst being obedient and allowing Him to work through me and in my heart.
“Both of these girls, by the end of the night prophesied and God told me things that were going to happen in my life, some of which I had been worried about, that I hadn’t told anyone but God, and was praying about constantly.”
Hobby: I love to read, mostly Christian fiction by authors such as Beverly Lewis, Max Lucado and Elizabeth George. I also just love to write and journal about pretty much anything that comes to mind. Especially things I’m passionate about, or just things happening in my life. I also love calligraphy and drawing, although I probably still need some work on it! I also really love meeting with people I love or just people who need encouragement and just really being able to talk one-on-one and spend time being with them!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
1) Prayer. I don’t think you can stay spiritually strong without prayer. It is a key part to life with God. Prayer is more powerful than you think it is. Praying to God and seeking His face will keep you spiritually strong, as you are speaking to your Creator, the God who made you intricately and knows you more than anyone else in this life. He knows your hearts, your thoughts, the way you treat people. He knows everything. So to come before Him in prayer, to talk to Him, is so important. He is the powerful one. He is the one with the answers and the key to life.
2) Reading the Word. Reading your Bible is so important for spiritual growth. God speaks through His word, so although prayer is so so important, so is reading His word. He can reveal so much through His word; He can convict you about certain areas in your life through it, and He can provoke thoughts which lead you to want to find out more and to seek Him even more. It is important, however, to not just read it and leave it. Live it out. Meaningfully. Purposefully. Live according to His word. As well as reading His Word, I find that memorising it is just as key. It can be time consuming, but in the end, so so worth it. I think of those Christians in places such as North Korea, people that aren’t allowed Bibles and could be killed if found with one, who would do anything to be able to read their Bibles and memorise verses. And how they must just memorise as much as they can when they finally have the chance to read it. The freedom to read God’s word is a gift. Let us not misuse it!
3) Speak to other mature God-seeking Christians, who can lead you and guide you. They can give you insight and wisdom which you may not have gained without them. Ask God to place certain people in your life to encourage you and build you up. Think about getting a mentor, or maybe someone to be an accountability partner in life. God can really use people in others lives and can really build both people up through it.
“The freedom to read God’s word is a gift. Let us not misuse it!”
Favorite person in scripture? I love Hezekiah so much! Hezekiah was a man after God’s own heart, he isn’t mentioned as much as David, who was also described like that. But I just really love Hezekiah’s heart in the situations he is placed in. He is saddened and upset at how people speak about his God. His heart is really for God and for others to see the the truth about who God is! I pray for a husband like Hezekiah.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want them to see how loved they are. How much God loves them and cares for them. That they have purpose. I want to be someone that God works through to show others His plan for them. This life isn’t meaningless, but it builds us up for what’s next to come, in His kingdom. I want them to see the kindness of Jesus when they look at me. That they would see that there is more in life, there’s more than just kindness, there’s a heavenly kindness and a heavenly peace, which God gives that surpasses all knowledge, wisdom and understanding, that they would be encouraged by that.
“This life isn’t meaningless, but it builds us up for what’s next to come, in His kingdom.”
Favorite season? It would have to be autumn, because I just love the leaves and colours everywhere and seeing everyone’s outfits– blanket scarves are a necessity in fall! But I also really like winter, so it’s a hard decision!
Favorite holiday? I love Christmas! And I know that pretty much everyone loves Christmas, but it really is just the best time of the year! The best food, the best message, receiving and giving gifts, and I actually love buying gifts for people, which may sound strange but I get such satisfaction in buying cute gifts for people! And I love having all the family together at once! It’s the best!
A dream you have? To open my own orphanage! That is the biggest dream of mine! God placed a vision on my heart, my mum tells me I was speaking about it since I was 3 years old, so God really placed that there from an early age! I have always really felt strongly about helping orphans, adopting and just helping those in need so this seems like a likely place to go but it is such a dream! I also really dream to be a good, godly wife and a mother.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Every year at Christmas, we will all sit down together and watch our favourite Christmas movies! We will also just go and sit altogether as a family in one siblings room and just talk and laugh together– it feels so special, as a lot of our family travels to be with us at Christmas because they live all over the UK.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I love thinking about this. What possibly would I want to ask God, the maker of all things!? It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what I’d want to ask because I have so many questions, and yet I have none. I hope that makes sense even though it’s a contradiction! But I just feel like by the time I get to heaven, no more questions will need to be asked, my heart will be full completely. Maybe, perhaps, why did you choose me to live this life? As I often question that! Just thinking about being in the very presence of our Heavenly Father warms my heart and makes me just so excited for when that day comes!
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Orphans and people in poverty! These are the things I find myself being most passionate about. I have felt called to look after orphans, to open an orphanage maybe and to care for those in poverty. Truly and most of all, I want to serve others. But I find it so apparent of how many orphans there are in this cruel world, and how so many people suffer and die in poverty. I pray that people would be made more aware of all the issues that are so underlying in these situations, like the abuse and neglect these children go through.
“I have felt called to look after orphans, to open an orphanage maybe and to care for those in poverty.”
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? I wake up at around 7am (and this could take up to 30 mins, depending how late I stay up… I’m bad at going to sleep!). I then get ready, and I’ll play a podcast or a sermon jam, as I do so. After that finishes, I’ll play some worship music, while I curl my hair. Then I will either read ‘Our Daily Bread’ or if I have extra time, I will read more of what I’m reading in my Bible study time.
What is on your nightstand? A candle, some of my notebooks and journals, devotionals, my Bible and some water bottles!
Define Christianity in a sentence: Leaving past failures at the cross and leading a life with love at the centre, love for God first and foremost, then love for people.
For more Rayne: