Today, Reena speaks to us about seeing God in the hard times, how God woos us and spiritual warfare.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “Let us not grow weary doing what is good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9)
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I am currently (and what seems to be a life battle) growing in persevering and enduring during times of suffering. I am learning that even though suffering is a daily thing, I still need to put others first over aiding to my selfish desires. As difficult as it seems, Jesus provides my aid and comfort. I do not need to rely on my own selfish ambitions and worldly comforts during times of struggle and enemy attacks.
“Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:58)
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? Made With Love.
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? The first time I encountered God was through my mom. When I was 4 or 5 years old, my mom was praying a bedtime prayer with me. She prayed, “God, please turn Reena’s heart to be pure and white.” My mom’s prayer sparked a lifelong transformation of an old being into something new.
How would you describe Jesus? Jesus is unconditional, forever joyful, righteous love. He is patient and compassionate, but truthful, righteous and holy. He is my relief, and He is my protector. He is a gentleman that woos us all personally and shows us heaven on earth that leads to eternity with Him.
“He is a gentleman that woos us all personally and shows us heaven on earth that leads to eternity with Him.”
How has your relationship with Him changed you? (This can be a whole testimony in this one question.) Initially, he changed my understanding of what it means to be loved. That love is not based on works but based on the one who gives it. Jesus loves me. I am meant to be loved. As time passes and new seasons come, Jesus has showed His marvelous character that influences me and how I should respond in thankfulness and to share His love with others. His relationship with me shows I am valuable and precious. He exposes how much authority and power I have, not through my own works, but because of how He empowers me. He has showed me that being in relationship with Jesus is the very example I need to grow in fellowship and community with others.
What has been the darkest time in your life, and how did you see God in it? One of the darkest times in my life was when I had a patient pass away. It was a pain that I didn’t even know how to cope. My only response was to weep my heart out. I needed God’s promises spoken out. So, after work, I listened to Lauren Daigle’s song, “Rescue,” as I cried on my shower floor for hours. I was struggling with understanding the goodness of God and for His faithfulness. I was struggling with comprehending that God does say, “No,” to prayers, even when only He can rescue. I questioned my own value of life as a chosen person of God while wrestling with everyone’s own purpose here in eternity. One moment of hardship resulted in months of mourning and trauma grief counseling and a lifetime of healing.
In the hard, not so picturesque times, God is there. God is there in times where it seems like He is absent. He is patient, and He blesses us with understanding on His own timing. He knows our hearts. He knows our struggles. He mourns with us. He sees how evil and hard the world is and how it is torturing His chosen people.
As painful as hard, dark times can be, it is those times that shows God’s different characters that can’t be seen in other circumstances. We can’t see compassion unless we are struggling. We can’t see Him provide unless we go without. We can’t see His strength unless we are weak.
During that hard time in my life, I saw God’s compassionate heart through His Word and my husband. I saw God’s consistency during times of hardship and struggle.
“In the hard, not so picturesque times, God is there.”
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? I grow and refined when I am placed in impossible and hard circumstances where I had to make an active and perseverant effort to draw near to Jesus. It is when I chose not to be distracted by Netflix, hobbies, or a busy schedule but be bold and completely saturated in God’s truth. I need fellow sisters to help bear my burden and speak life though God’s word when I am to stubborn to do it myself.
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?):
I am currently reading Colossians and the following books:
Get Out of Your Head by Jennie Allen
Truthfilled: The Practice of Preaching to Yourself Through Every Season by Ruth Chou Simons
I have learned there is a spiritual battle happening where all women of God are warriors fighting daily against the spiritual forces of evil. I have learned that there is a choice to fight for God’s glory or to stay in ignorant bliss. We are to run the race with persistence and endurance that God provides for us.
Top three essentials: Bible, iPad, my glasses.
How did God speak to you recently? God speaks to me through fellowship and “iron sharpening iron” conversations with my discipler and fellow sisters centered on the Bible.
Hobby: I sew, draw, and calligraphy.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:
Spend INTENTIONAL time with God everyday (prayer, prayer walks, singing, dancing)
Be in community with other disciples (Someone older helping you, someone your age walking with you, and someone younger that you are helping)
Reading his Word (This may seem the same of spending time with Him, but that consists of you talking. Reading His Word allows Him to talk and you listen) Favorite person in scripture?
Jesus (He is just the best).
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? I want to depict how God is strong and bold. I want people to see God loves unconditionally and encourages others. I want people to see how God is joyful and light.
How do you engage with your community? In this season, I feel called to help encourage and remind other women of how powerful God transforms them. We are to be women of action, whether that is out in our community or at home praying fervently. I am currently discipling fellow women in our local church and training to be a Bible study leader.
Favorite holiday? Halloween. I love to dress up. Not really into the whole scary part of it, I just like to wear costumes. (That is probably why in question 12, I put wear animal onsies during Christmas.)
A goal you have? I have a goal of growing “Made With Love, Reena” in whatever way God sees fit. It is a goal that I have do not know what God plans to do with it, but I am grateful that He is sovereign.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Wear animal onsies during Christmas.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Are you serious? I am finally here?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Human trafficking; medical missions to impoverished; countries and refugees.
What does your morning routine consist of? Tea with my husband before he goes to work. Quiet time. Work out.
What is on your nightstand? Glass of water.
For more Reena:
Until next time, keep witnessing!