Today, Hannah speaks to us about worth, her journey back to God and young love.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a Christian family, and lived 5 years overseas in Taiwan, as a missionary kid. I am the youngest of 4. We moved back to the states (Texas) when I was almost 10. My parents went back to the mission field almost 4 years ago and are currently living in Guatemala! Because of my parents and their heart for missions, they had already traveled to other countries separately and together. So growing up, we got the amazing opportunity to travel around the world and see so many different cultures as young children. I have seen 10 different countries, from ages 4-17, and oh what a treasure that was! I was raised to learn about Jesus and to serve him whole heartedly.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “The Lord is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? When evil people come to devour me, when my enemies and foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though a mighty army surrounds me, my heart will not be afraid. Even if I am attacked, I will remain confident. The one thing I ask of the Lord— the thing I seek most— is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in his Temple. For he will conceal me there when troubles come; he will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock. Then I will hold my head high above my enemies who surround me. At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy, singing and praising the Lord with music. Hear me as I pray, O Lord. Be merciful and answer me! My heart has heard you say, “Come and talk with me.” And my heart responds, “Lord, I am coming.” Do not turn your back on me. Do not reject your servant in anger. You have always been my helper. Don’t leave me now; don’t abandon me, O God of my salvation! Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close. Teach me how to live, O Lord. Lead me along the right path, for my enemies are waiting for me. Do not let me fall into their hands. For they accuse me of things I’ve never done; with every breath they threaten me with violence. Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.” Psalm 27
This passage just reminds me that God is always fighting on our behalf. Through every trial, storm, fear, HE will remain faithful, and HE will fight all our battles. We need only be still and trust Him.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: My spiritual focus right now is building a stronger foundation individually, and also in my marriage. Honestly, it’s hard balancing everything you want to do in a day, along with disciplining the things you know you need for daily fuel. My focus currently is growing in the giftings that God has placed on my heart, and using them for the purpose HE has.
Profession: I’m a sign language interpreter, and I currently work at a middle school in their Deaf Education program.
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily secular work? I am a strong believer in leading by example and just being an example of love. I try to always have a good attitude and a cheerful spirit (smiling, greeting, encouraging) and portraying that to the people around me, (co-workers, bosses, and my students).
If you wrote a memoir, what would be the title? “Still Worthy”.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I grew up around Christianity and church, and I remember accepting Jesus into my heart and getting baptized, as a young child. But life happened and I grew up and grew away, in several areas of my life. I have seen and felt God so many times, and have seen Him provide and move, even when I was so unfaithful. A memory that sticks out to me was going to church camp as a teenager. I remember feeling broken and hurt, and had put so many other things in front of my relationship with God; relationships, boys, and insecurities. I remember crying at the altar and re-dedicating my life to God. I remember learning how to trust Him again, even in my weakness. I came home after that, feeling new and refreshed, and I felt like a weight had been lifted off my heart.
“I have seen and felt God so many times, and have seen Him provide and move, even when I was so unfaithful.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Worship music and serving at my church. Every morning on the way to work, I love jamming to my worship music and giving my day to the Lord. Also– serving on the worship team at my church has taught me so much about being a servant and being faithful even if the season feels dry. God has taught me so much about stepping out of my comfort zone, even when it’s scary and out of your own control. But HE is always faithful, no matter what.
Just read/currently reading, and what has it taught you? Communication: Key to your Marriage- The Secret to True Happiness, by H. Norman Wright. It has taught me how to love with a deeper understanding of the other person (my husband). It reminds you how important your words are and how much power they have over the one you love. It’s simple and easy to understand while also giving Godly advice. It’s real and pure, and I think anyone who is engaged or married should definitely give it a read!
Top 3 essentials: Jesus, love, food.
How did God speak to you recently? He told me to stop living in fear of what others think, and to start shooting for my dreams that I have put on hold.
Hobby: Hanging out with my husband, going on walks, watching movies, writing, and spending time with family and friends. (Oh and eating *laughs*)
Top 3 particular tips for staying spiritually strong? Worship music, journaling while Bible reading, and talking through things I’ve learned with others who are experiencing the same things.
Favorite person in scripture: Ruth. She was strong and courageous, but also fearless and faithful. All things I aspire to be.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? The Love of Jesus. That it’s raw and real; that you are accepted and still worthy of love, even when you fail. I want people to know the simplicity of God’s love without over thinking and over spiritualizing it.
How do you leave your mark on your community? Being there for people who need a person to talk to. Being a friend and a shoulder to cry on.
Favorite holiday: Christmas. I love everything about it!
A goal you have: To write a book and maybe open a merchandise line of shirts/journals, that I could sell online that would promote hope, love, and encouragement to ladies in all walks of life.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep? Growing up, we would read the Christmas story in the Bible every Christmas Day. My mom would always make homemade cinnamon rolls and we would have family time, just the six of us. When my husband and I start a family, we are looking forward to making new traditions of our own!
A question you will ask when you get to Heaven: Did I make a difference?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Young love and the dangers of giving into peer pressure and insecurities. I struggled with that as a teenager and battled with “finding myself” and confidence in who I was. I just want to encourage girls who are going through that, to turn to Jesus, because He cares and loves way better than any person can. Your identity is so precious, and it’s so whole when it’s found in Jesus.
What does your morning routine consist of? Rolling out of bed, grabbing something to eat for the road, making a cup of coffee, and doing my make up in the car. Not very glamorous or planned, but that’s something I’m working on this year, is trying to be more organized and make the most of my mornings before the days starts!
What is on your night stand? My essential oils diffuser, phone and phone charger, lamp, willow tree replica of two girls that my sister gave me.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Loving God and loving people.
Note from Hannah:
My heart is for young ladies who struggle with self-worth, and finding love. I want to encourage women to look for love in the right places and not settle in the places they think they deserve. My passion is also for relationships and marriage. I want to shine a light on the joy that the covenant can bring, and not all the negative that society likes to shine on it. My website is: gracefulintentionalitycom.wordpress.com
Until next time, keep witnessing!