Today, Savannah talks to us about her accountability and prayer friends, God as a priority above all else, and a song that touched her heart deeply.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a Christian household all my life and had the privilege of finding foundation in Jesus from a early age. In my teenage years, I went through a stage where I was diagnosed with clinical depression and anxiety, but praise God I am walking in victory over those things, daily.
That period was also where I was able to solidly establish MY relationship with Jesus instead of just assuming myself to be a Christian because my parents were… My parents ended up getting divorced when I was in high school which was quite tough but God has been super faithful in that as well.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Job 38 absolutely blows my mind every time because so often we think we know best, even better than God then you read this and it’s like: “Wow. I know nothing…”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: At the moment, I am in a space of pursuing Jesus as my first love again. I went through a time of prioritizing other things above Him being the first and only lover of my soul, so at this point in time, I am trying to get Him back into the position that He belongs. I don’t think we ever get it 100% right, but when it becomes something that you’re so aware of then you know you need to change some things.
Profession: Pre-school teacher.
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily, secular work? It’s so cool because I actually get to teach my kids about Jesus, daily. I get to teach them how to pray and love and forgive. Thinking about it now, I realize that it is quite a big responsibility, and I need to really honor Jesus through my daily actions and conversations because whether I like it or not, I am being observed and learnt from.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? “Plans change. God doesn’t.”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? When I was about 17 years old, I was diagnosed with clinical depression which turned my world upside down, mostly because I allowed it to, but I now know that that season really taught me a lot. I remember a night towards the end of that season so clearly; I decided to go to youth and the night was quite different because the boys and girls were separated into different rooms.
Us girls had a speaker who shared her testimony. And as encouraging as her testimony was, all I needed at that stage was a touch from Jesus… the longer I sat there, the more desperate I became. Afterwards, the speaker encouraged us to just sit and soak in His presence as she played a song by Tenth Avenue North called ‘Beloved’, which speaks about how we are sometimes adulterous toward God in seeking love and acceptance from other things instead of knowing who we are in Jesus, knowing that we are His beloved. Here I was already super emotional.
After the song ended, many of the girls left to go and socialize, but for some reason I just didn’t move. I wanted more of Him because I hadn’t felt anything in so long. At this point the speaker changed the song to ‘Times’ also by Tenth Avenue North, and her words to me were; “Savannah, this is for you…” the lyrics go like this: “I know I need You, I need to love You, I’d love to see You, but it’s been so long, I long to feel You, I feel this need for You, And I need to hear You, is that so wrong?” The chorus lyrics go: “I hear You say My love is over, It’s underneath, It’s inside It’s in between, The times you doubt Me, when you can’t feel, The times that you question, is this for real? The times you’re broken, The times that you mend, The times that you hate Me, and the times that you bend…”
I just remember sobbing as my friends held me. Because of the darkness that had consumed me, I had completely forgotten the light and love- Jesus. Every lyric of that song spoke directly to the condition of my heart. I was so swallowed up in my own sadness that I didn’t even realize the need I had for HIM. I was so angry with Him for “allowing” these things to happen to me that I decided to wallow and “sort myself out”.
I didn’t feel like he could love me because of all that happened in the past weeks. The next lyrics that came completely knocked me; “The times of confusion, in chaos and pain, I’m there in your sorrow, under the weight of your shame, I’m there through your heartache, I’m there in the storm, My love I will keep you, by My pow’r alone, I don’t care where you fall, where you have been, I’ll never forsake you, My love never ends. It never ends”. HE was there all along.
Looking back now, I can see His protection. I can see His faithful hand that held me. I can see that what the enemy meant for evil, God worked for my good. That season made me stronger in my relationship with God because I had to learn to rely on Him to get out of that space. I had to learn to look past my current emotion and state of mind to the cross and know that He is greater than my current battle.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Definitely accountability in godly friendships. I have two amazing friends who pray with me. They know my struggles, and I know that I can trust them to pray and intercede when I don’t feel strong enough. It’s so important to have these kinds of people. If you don’t have them, then ask God to bring people alongside you. These are friends I prayed for throughout my school career, and now, after school, I can see the fruit of those prayers in my amazing sisters in Christ.
“These are friends I prayed for throughout my school career, and now, after school, I can see the fruit of those prayers in my amazing sisters in Christ.”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Song of Solomon… it is a cliché, but in pursuing Him as my first love again, I turned to the most romantic book of the Bible and related many of the themes to the romantic pursuit of Jesus. A lot of the themes in it are quite difficult to relate to, but so many of them are so, so beautiful. The love and tenderness that are expressed between the shulamite and beloved are reminding me what it is to fall in love with Jesus all over again…
Top three essentials: Jesus, peanut butter and coffee. I am positive that I will be able to survive solely on these three items.
How did God speak to you recently? While reading Rev 2:4 “Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love.” God spoke to me saying that this is what I had done. Ah, it’s so difficult to admit to… but I had made my pursuit of finding love among other things, more important than my pursuit of Jesus. When God said this to me, it was like my heart broke because I knew He was so right. The enemy is subtle with his snares, he lures you slowly with things that you end up putting above God and eventually when you realize, you notice that God is wayyy down on your list of priorities. I’m not proud of it, but I know that I am not alone in this…
“It’s so difficult to admit to… but I had made my pursuit of finding love among other things, more important than my pursuit of Jesus.”
Hobby: Baking- love it!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: 1- Never be satisfied with where you are with Jesus. ALWAYS want more of Him. 2- Make sure that you have someone strong in Jesus keeping you accountable. Be real with them and allow their input and prayers. 3- Invite Jesus into every decision that you have to make, every frustration that you have and every dream that you dream. He knows it all already, yet He WANTS us to speak to Him about it.
“ALWAYS want more of Him.”
Favorite person in scripture? Paul, this man was absolutely radical for Jesus!
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I hope that people see His joy and faithfulness in my life, but mostly His love for them.
How do you leave your mark on your community? I try my best to love and be kind. People will remember that far more than anything else.
Favorite holiday? I went to Paris for my 21st birthday with my mom, which was such a huge blessing and SO much fun!
A goal you have? I’m not really a future planner or goal setter in general, but one thing that I would like to do is study further in the direction of counseling.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My family love surprises. I have family in the UK, and we have often surprised them, or they have surprised us by coming to visit. We have MANY videos of emotional reunions which I think is very special!
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why did all the dinosaurs have to go extinct? I’m a big Dino fan!
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Adoption needs to become more of a thing in the church. There are so many children without homes; they deserve to be raised by God-fearing families. It breaks my heart to think that there are kids who grow up in orphanages.
“Adoption needs to become more of a thing in the church.”
What does your morning routine consist of? Coffee first thing. I also wake up hungry, so I have to eat something… I then sit in bed and spend time in the Word. Then, I get ready for work and start my day.
What is on your nightstand? iPad, study Bible and sleeping mask.
Define Christianity in a sentence: The continuous pursuit of a Relentless Pursuer.
For more Savannah:
Until next time, keep witnessing!
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