Today, Kiki speaks to us about the chronic illness community, encouragement to pray in a different way, and the book that has convicted her recently. You can find most, if not all, of the books featured on our Amazon list.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: It’s a long one, but I feel it is often forgotten about: “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked, to clothe them, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Then you will call, and the Lord will answer; you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I. If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday. The Lord will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.” Isaiah 58:6-11
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I am growing confident in the person that God created me to be! God is spiritually growing me to be more of myself. The chronic illness made me into a very serious person, but God is showing me how to be my silly, fun, and outgoing self, again!
Profession: Fashion model.
A one sentence bio of yourself: After overcoming a 10-year chronic illness disability, it is my mission to raise awareness, advocacy, and hope for those suffering from chronic illnesses!
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I grew up going to church and I feel that I have always believed in God. My childhood was filled with love, joy, and peace, and I had no reason not to believe in Him. My faith was tested when I first became ill at the age of 15. Through the suffering and healing, I have grown so much closer to Him!
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? I am a student of Christian Studies at a local college. My classes teach me so much about God. The curriculum encourages students to think critically about doctrine to build a sound foundation of what you believe in and provide evidence as to why you believe it. We are asked questions like why was Christ’s suffering, death, resurrection, and ascension all essential for salvation?
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am reading Glittering Vices: A New Look at the Seven Deadly Sins and Their Remedies by Rebecca DeYoung for my Christian Theology class. It has convicted me of my own vainglory (fantasizing about self-glory instead of crediting God), sloth (spiritual laziness), and envy (not being grateful for God’s blessings on others).
Top three essentials: Discipline, humility, and endurance! Those are probably the last three things someone wants to hear, but it’s true! They are all required for healing, growth, and achievement of goals.
How did God speak to you recently? Recently, God spoke to my heart to pray for the children who are caught up in the situation at the border. As an Arizonan, this hits close to home. My heart weeps for those children who are without food, water, and other basic human needs. I pray that others are also moved into action to fulfill Jesus’s command to feed the hungry and take care of those in need.
“Recently, God spoke to my heart to pray for the children who are caught up in the situation at the border.”
Hobby: Instagram is my hobby! I use Instagram to reach out to the chronic illness community (many are too sick to leave their homes and can only connect through the internet). But, I also get to do this through modeling. I enjoy photography, fashion, and design, so I love getting to be creative with my pictures and inspiring with my posts.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
Stillness. Many times, our prayer life can be consumed with asking for things. While there is nothing wrong with asking, sometimes it can take away from our spiritual growth. I encourage you, for one week, to not ask God for anything for yourself during prayer. Instead of asking for God’s work in your life, thank Him and trust Him that He is already working in you. Be still and listen. A prayer is not a wish list.
Fellowship. Being surrounded, supported, and encouraged by other strong believers helps you to be spiritually strong! Get involved in a community or small group at church.
Critical thinking. Our faith is not just about our hearts following Jesus, but our minds, too! We can use critical thinking to love God with all of our intelligence. God gave us a brain and calls us to be intelligent! It helps build a firm foundation in our beliefs. Stretch your faith intellectually by studying God’s word.
“I encourage you, for one week, to not ask God for anything for yourself during prayer.”
Favorite person in scripture? Jesus, obviously! But if I had to choose another, it would be Esther. An orphaned exile living in poverty, Esther’s spirit would not be broken. She fine-tuned her social talent and eloquence to the point that she was well-liked by everyone. Her way with words blessed others with respect, and she caught the attention of the king, who married her. In her new position as queen, she risked her life to save her people from genocide. What a life story!
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? When people see me, I want them to learn that God is good all the time. God’s goodness is not determined by current emotions nor dependent on life circumstances. God’s goodness is always bigger than all feelings and all situations!
How do you leave your mark on your community? My community is the chronic illness community. They are often left out, so I want to leave a positive impact on them. I hope that I can relate, inspire, and lead others closer to God through my posts. It is worth more than gold to me when people message me, telling me that I have given them hope!
Favorite holiday? Good Friday.
A dream you have? My dream is to become an inspirational speaker. I want to tell everyone what God has done in my life!
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My family is originally from Scandinavia. I am a first-generation American. Every year, my family celebrates a traditional Swedish Midsummer festival. We gather with other Scandinavian-Americans to sing Swedish songs while we dance around the maypole. Swedish pancakes with lingonberries are on the menu!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Is the Loch Ness monster real? Haha! Actually, I will probably ask: How impactful was my ministry?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: I want to raise awareness for all chronic illnesses, the emotional turmoil of chronic illnesses, and the injustices of the health care system. More specifically, I want to raise awareness for Lyme disease. Lyme disease is called the great imitator because it can mimic a variety of conditions: POTS, anxiety, joint disorders, autoimmune and mast cell disorders (it’s not the body attacking itself, it’s attacking the Lyme), MS, ALS, CFS, and many more! Look up any condition with Lyme disease, and someone out there probably has that condition caused by Lyme. How many people are out there with Lyme as a hidden, root cause for their illness? Unfortunately most Lyme tests are inaccurate, and even worse, most treatments are ineffective. I hope that my awareness helps to generate interest in the subject and leads to more research.
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Prayer, worship, read, study, write, meditate! I like to get up an hour early to spend time with God. He refreshes my soul and reminds me how blessed I am! Remembering who God is and remembering who God created me (to be) spiritually strengthens me to get through the day with God’s perspective.
I also spend time physically strengthening myself to get through the day. Sometimes I will do yoga or small exercises. Eating a healthy breakfast is very important, too! I make sure to get at least 20 grams of protein for breakfast so my brain will have what it needs to produce dopamine and serotonin.
“Remembering who God is and remembering who God created me (to be) spiritually strengthens me to get through the day with God’s perspective.”
What is on your nightstand? My room is tight on space, so right now I am using my vanity as my nightstand. It used to be my grandmother’s sewing table, which I sanded down, spray-painted silver, and added crystal knobs. It’s quite large and takes up most of the room, so I have it next to my bed. Along with my makeup and jewelry, I keep various trinkets on it, such as a vintage lamp, a vase of dried pink roses that my boyfriend gave to me, and my grandmother’s set of silver-plated hairbrushes and handheld mirror.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Can I define it in one word? Love!
For more Kiki:
Until next time, keep witnessing!