Today, Alicja speaks to us about the unique way she leaves her mark on her community, stewardship of blessings, and growing up in a multicultural home.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a very multicultural home. I was born in Germany to a German mom, and my dad emigrated from Nigeria to Germany. When I was turning seven we moved to the United States. My house was always full of different cultures and traditions, a lot of my childhood was spent around family and friends, and learning how to integrate myself into my new environment.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11. I’m trying to make sure that my life is always developing in the way that God wants it to, and with that comes hard work and dedication. In order to be successful in growth, I have to really focus on being disciplined. I think it’s amazing that this verse mentions that discipline isn’t easy, in fact it can be painful, but that the reward for discipline is peaceful fruit. That’s an amazing thing to stay grounded in!
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: What I am working on spiritually right now is leaning into God first, and sometimes allowing Him to be the only one I submit or run things by. I’m growing in my trust for Him to be there with any decision that I make, and working against the fear and anxiety that have kept me from making forward progress for quite some time now. I’m also focusing on being more selfless and serving, and my heart behind these two things. I don’t want to be selfless just because I know it’s the right thing to do, so I’m really focusing in on my heart being postured correctly, in order to have the urge to serve others be a desire the genuinely flows from my heart.
Profession: As of right now I am a model, but I’m also going through the hiring process for a home lender company.
How do you incorporate your connection with God into your daily, secular work? I incorporate my connection with God into my daily work environment by making sure that I am following this scripture. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
I try to make sure that I’m always doing my best to love people in the way that God calls me to, so that they can experience His love through me. Also, if there’s ever an opportunity for dialogue about God and all that He is and has done in my life, I do my best to speak on that.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Let God Free You.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I would say around age three, or maybe even earlier. This is something that I can’t even remember because I was so young, but my mama told me that one day I was playing alone in my room and she heard dialogue. It was as if I was on the phone, so I would speak a little bit, then she wouldn’t hear me speak as if I was listening to someone’s response, and then I started speaking again. My mama came in the room and asked me who I was talking to, and I told her I was talking to God, that He always checks in with me to see how I’m doing. I remember always feeling His presence as a child, as if His hand was on my shoulder.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? What has helped me to grow spiritually in this season was actually the very clear realization that I wasn’t stewarding some of my blessings well, because of anxiety and fear. There was a very clear revelation of what areas I was severely lacking and broken in, and the clear revelation of why, and then the even more clear revelation on how to truly overcome these things. I was faced with a decision to either stay stuck in resistance and deception and to remain the same, or to humble myself and to admit where I struggle in order to really submit it to the Lord, so that He could set me free and transform me.
“What has helped me to grow spiritually in this season was actually the very clear realization that I wasn’t stewarding some of my blessings well, because of anxiety and fear.”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently reading Boundaries in Dating by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. What it has taught me so far is how to process through healthy and unhealthy patterns in dating, and how to go about setting proper boundaries through love and discernment.
Top three essentials: 1. Quality Time with the Lord. 2. A planner 3. A community.
How did God speak to you recently? God spoke to me recently by reassuring me of my humanity. He comforted me and let me know that it’s okay to not be perfect and to embrace how I’m feeling, and to acknowledge my short comings without condemning myself.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: 1. Quality time with God, reading His Word, praying, speaking to Him and listening to Him. Genuinely seeking Him. 2. A strong loving and caring Christian community. 3. Having a church home and diving into the sermons, and the community there as well.
Favorite person in scripture? 100% Jesus.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want them to learn what love, truth, and freedom looks and feels like.
How do you leave your mark on your community? I would say I leave my mark in a nurturing way. I try to make sure that I am pouring into, and encouraging others, and that I’m there to really walk alongside, and help care for others. I also babysit for free because I love kids, and I love love love pouring into them, so there’s definitely a nurturing aspect that comes into play there!
“I try to make sure that I am pouring into, and encouraging others, and that I’m there to really walk alongside, and help care for others.”
Favorite holiday? I actually don’t have a favorite! Whichever Holiday bring my family together and brings forth love, positivity, and amazing memories that year would be my favorite.
A goal you have? A goal that I have is to get my M.S. in clinical Mental Health.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? I would ask God how Him knowing everything would play out on Earth and in my life played a part in creation. How it all ties together.
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Mental health, cultural differences and acceptance, and how to make sure our national cultures don’t trump Jesus culture.
What does your morning routine consist of? My morning routine consists of me waking up, reading my Bible, sometimes listening to the Christian meditation podcast on iTunes or a meditation guide on Abide, talking to God, whether that’s while I get ready or through journaling, and every once in a while I’ll listen to a sermon.
What is on your nightstand? A sign that says “blessed are those who find wisdom” – Proverbs 3:13, a fake plant, five candles, a thank you note, my prayer journal, my affirmation journal, a lamp, my remote, and my glasses.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Jesus Christ’s unearned gift of freedom, redemption, grace, and love, for all sinners who believe in Him.
For more Alicja:
Until next time, keep witnessing!