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Candace S.

Today, Candace speaks to us about what she has learned about having nerve, how God rescued her out of her childhood, not giving up on the church, and how all things are revealed. Thank you, Candace for your vulnerability.

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Candace S.

Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: My childhood was rough. I grew up with an abusive father, and my mom wasn’t my biggest fan. I spent a lot of time in isolation- though I’m very extroverted by nature. It was soul taxing.

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “If you don’t know what you’re doing, pray to the Father. He loves to help. You’ll get his help, and won’t be condescended to when you ask for it. Ask boldly, believingly, without a second thought. People who “worry their prayers” are like wind-whipped waves. Don’t think you’re going to get anything from the Master that way, adrift at sea, keeping all your options open.” James 1:5-8 MSG

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Faith in action. Acting on the ideas that come to mind and not giving myself the time to second guess. Choosing to answer to the call of courage and risk over fear and fear rejection or what someone else might think. Learning to live beyond nerve.

“Learning to live beyond nerve.”

Profession: Executive Assistant and in-house writer at OWNTHELIGHT.

If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Freedom is Narrative.

When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? My first very memorable encounter with God (though there were many that went unrecognized until later on) was when I was about 12 or 13 years old. My home life was pretty tragic, and my projected future was looking pretty tragic, as well. I was often praying for God to make me a bird so I could fly away (I watched Forest Gump and was pretty dramatic). One day while in my bedroom, a thought interrupted my own: “Open your Bible”. I did, and the verse I opened up too was

“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.” Matthew 10:26.

I knew it was an answer to my prayers, that soon everything that was hidden would be revealed. And it was. Within a year or two my biological father came to pick me up from my mothers home in WI and drive me to his home in OK where I lived for the next 8 years before moving to Los Angeles, CA. Life completely changed and my projected future became something quite different. Something much better.

“I knew it was an answer to my prayers, that soon everything that was hidden would be revealed. And it was.”

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? People and my community at Mosaic Church. People are the best. Often in hard times, we want to pull away and isolate ourselves, but God works through community. He works through people. Sadly, people are often the ones that hurt us, but they’re also the ones who heal us. God moves through people.

“Sadly, people are often the ones that hurt us, but they’re also the ones who heal us. God moves through people.”

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Failure of Nerve by Edwin Friedman.

It’s helped me to take action even when my emotions would rather stay in a place of comfort. It can be unnerving to lead a room full of people, unnerving to have a hard conversation. Most of what moves us forward in life can be unnerving. This book helped me step into some unnerving moments, boldly. To have nerve, instead of failure of nerve.

Top three essentials: Coffee, people, a daily workout.

How did God speak to you recently? Through prayer. I prayed a really intentional prayer over someone. I asked God to help this person to care more deeply about people. This person called me in the middle of the night less than 48 hours later and said, I need you to help hold me accountable, I really want to start putting people first in everything that I do… That was cool.

Hobby: Quality time with people I love. That and running… with music. I don’t like running without music.

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Go to church. Don’t give up on church. Find one and get involved.

Serve. Ask, how can I add value to this situation/person/room.  That’s how you meet people.

Show up. You can’t leave footprints in places you’ve never been. Be a person of your word, and show up.

“You can’t leave footprints in places you’ve never been.”

Favorite person in scripture? It changes. Today, it’s Abigail.

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That he loves them. Knows them. Sees them. I hope to shine light through loving people and meeting them exactly where they are.

How do you leave your mark on your community? Personally, by showing up and keeping my word. I’m not perfect at it, but it makes a difference when I put intention behind it.

Favorite holiday? Christmas.

A goal you have? To run my own business. I have an idea that’s been stewing.

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: October fest. My aunt throws a big dinner party and everybody carves pumpkins and makes cocktails.

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Were you annoyed with all of my prayers for a really dope husband?

Thing you want to raise awareness about: Human Trafficking. It’s happening and it’s horrific.

What does your morning routine consist of? Coffee, prayer, usually watching a YouTube video while I get ready. Either a sermon or Casey Neistat- it changes by the month.

For more Candace:

@candaceleestephens

@freedomisnarrative

freedomisnarrative.com

 

Until next time, keep witnessing!

XOXO

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