Today, Olivia speaks to us about her exciting ministry work, growing in prayer, her EP (check out her music!) and leading by example.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I grew up in a Christian home; a pastor’s kid from Indiana. Very early on in my life, I moved to Michigan and have lived here besides my years of college. For as long as I can remember, I have been passionate about two things: Church and music. I often wanted to ‘play’ church as a kid and was always putting on concerts for my captivated audience (family and friends who had nowhere else to go). These passions were birthed in me from the influence of my parents who have served in youth ministry for more than 20 years.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Matthew 9:27-28 CSB has inspired my faith immensely. The question Jesus asks convicts me every day: “Do you believe that I can do this?” I imagine Jesus in the room when I am asking for something in prayer that I so desperately want. I imagine Him hearing my cries and requests and looking at me in the eyes and asking me, “Do you believe that I can do this?” This question makes me pray with faith. We pray with the faith we’ve got. God blesses the faith that we have when we choose to trust Him in not only what He CAN do but what He WILL do.
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I am learning to grow in prayer. God has recently called me to spend a significant amount of time in prayer, specifically intercession, in my life, every day.
Profession: I am the mobilization director for a national prayer movement called Claim Your Campus 2020. I have been working with churches and young people across the country, recruiting them to pray for healing in our nation on July 4th at their local schools. On the side, I am privileged to travel across the country to lead worship, share original music, and preach. I love the ministry I get to do!
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I first encountered God when I was six years old. My family was attending a church service in Florida when the lead pastor stood up to the pulpit and shared how the Gospel would change my life. He said if there was someone out there who wanted a new future through Jesus Christ, they could pray along with him. As I was hearing about who Jesus was and that I could follow Him, the Holy Spirit prompted me in my heart to pray along with the pastor. I silently prayed in response to this call and was so excited to walk with Jesus from that day forward!
How has your relationship with Him changed you? My relationship with God has changed my perspective on my worth. I am a type 3 on the enneagram – I LOVE working and reaching goals. I feel a lot of worth and value when I do things. But knowing God more every day shows me that there is nothing I could do to earn His love or a place in His kingdom. Knowing God helps me know who I am: His beloved child.
“Knowing God helps me know who I am: His beloved child.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? This season has been different, unknown, and sometimes scary. What has helped me grow spiritually in this season is waking up earlier than I want to for times of prayer. People in my life have encouraged me to start my day in the Word and with God. Even though there are days that more sleep would be SO nice, I have grown so much closer to God because those sacred hours before work and the busyness of life help me lean in to His voice. He has spoken to me and has helped me grow so much in this season!
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently reading through 1 Timothy with a friend and am learning what it means to live above reproach. There are so many things we can learn from God about leadership. By the fruits of the Spirit and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live as good examples for others by how we lead by example.
“By the fruits of the Spirit and with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can live as good examples for others by how we lead by example.”
Top three essentials: Coffee, my iPhone calendar, journal.
Hobby: Something I have always wanted to do is take a dance class because I love dancing! So this past year, a few friends helped me pursue my dreams, and we took a hip hop class. This has easily become one of my favorite hobbies – learning new dances, sometimes looking silly as I do, but having a blast while doing it!
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Daily prayer, read through the Bible with someone who can teach you, read through the Bible with someone you can teach!
Favorite person in scripture? Abraham! Learning about God’s incredible promise to Abraham and how impossible it seemed makes me want to have faith for the impossible. Abraham’s story makes me strive for Isaac moments, not Ishmael moments. I don’t want to say I made things happen in my life, I want to say it was by God alone that I am here today.
“Learning about God’s incredible promise to Abraham and how impossible it seemed makes me want to have faith for the impossible.”
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? When people look at me I hope they see a joyful listener. I want people to know the joy of the Lord. It is our strength! I also want people to know that God hears. Something I learned a lot about in school while studying ministry is how listening is key to being a good leader. I daily try to focus in on whoever is talking to me, making sure they know they are heard.
“I want people to know the joy of the Lord. It is our strength!”
Favorite holiday? It sounds cliché, but I love Christmas. It is a beautiful season with snow, church services, Christmas specials on TV, and the best music in the world. It is also such a powerful time of sharing our faith because many people are so open to attending Christmas Eve services!
A goal you have? I am a musician and am always reaching for new goals with my original work. My goal is to write, record, and release an album about all I have been learning this year! I have released an EP and a single, but have yet to embark on a full album. Prayers appreciated!
“My goal is to write, record, and release an album about all I have been learning this year!”
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? What in the world is deja vu?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: What does your morning routine consist of?
What is on your nightstand? Chapstick (always), my Bible, the current book I am reading, and a Starbucks gift card that I have yet to use.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Finding new life in a loving relationship with God that overflows into how we love people.
For more Olivia:
Instagram @oliviaharmony and her ministry work can be found at oliviaharmony.com
Also, please check her out on Spotify or iTunes! Olivia recently released her latest single on May 1, 2020 called ’Standing’.
Until next time, keep witnessing!