Please introduce yourself to us
I live in Minnesota with my mom and two brothers (one older, one younger), as well as several cats and my Siberian Husky. I love reading books, playing piano at home and at church, baking anything and everything, and being involved with my incredible church family. I am head-over-heels in love with JESUS and am so incredibly thankful to belong to such an amazing God! He has blessed me so richly, both with many joyful times as well as some difficult trials. But, He has used every one of these times to bring about the sweetest, richest, most unbelievable blessings I could ever imagine!
How did you come to Jesus?
I have known who Jesus is for virtually my whole life. And for a while I thought I was saved when I was really young. But, as I look back over the years, I don’t see any outward evidence that I had truly committed my life to the Lord. So I don’t think I truly became a child of God until I was around eleven or twelve. Around this time, I remember struggling with understanding what it really means to “believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31). For a long time, I thought this simply meant possessing a mental knowledge of who Jesus is and what He has done. But by God’s grace, I came to realize that actually belonging to Him is completely different than merely believing in Him. It was around this same time that I really started to dig into my Bible to find answers to my questions about salvation. And I found something utterly priceless: I found the Truth - Jesus Himself. In His Word, I learned that to believe in Jesus meant that you trust Him to save you from your sins, give your life to Him, and love Him more than anything else, that you long to please Him in all you do, that you are grieved by sin, and that you strive to be like Him! It is a total transformation of the heart!
His Truth is so powerful, and I am continually being conformed to the image of Christ! The longer HE reigns in my heart, the more fully He sanctifies my life and makes me more like Jesus. By studying His Word and filling myself with His Truth, I am able to go from living a life of sin to one of holiness and righteousness. By His grace and by living according to His Word, I can live each day and look to the days ahead with joy and hope, with my eyes blissfully fixed on Jesus!
What are practical ways you are in the Word and have the Word in you?
This is definitely an ongoing process! I am continually learning about new ways to be saturated with the Word. So I will just share a few of the ways in which He has helped me to treasure the Scriptures:
Daily devotions—I know this seems like a simple answer, but it is so huge! Having a dedicated time with Jesus each day has definitely been the biggest way that the Lord has helped me to hide His Word in my heart. Along with this, a huge blessing has been to keep an accountability partner—one who has come alongside me and encouraged me to keep pressing on toward Jesus, keep going back to the Word, and making sure to spend that sweet, daily time with my Savior.
Be Surrounded with Scripture—I love to surround myself with anything and everything that speaks of Jesus! Right now, I can look up from my bed and see Proverbs 3:5-6 on my bedside table; Romans 8:28 and Psalm 139:23-24 on my bookcase; a daily calendar of Psalms next to my bed; and a board crowded with verses scribbled on post-it notes, index cards, and random scraps of paper, as well as a list of verses on the Lord as our Guide, and other things like this! I’ve come to the conclusion that you cannot have too much Scripture around yourself!
Keep a journal—Although I am not a huge journaling person, I do keep a daily journal, in which I write out thoughts, prayers (often straight out of Scripture!) and special verses that have stuck out during my devotions. I love being able to carry a special verse or two with me throughout the day! I have also been slowly filling up another journal with Scripture based on topics. So, for example, I have a page on “Steadfastness” that is completely covered with every verse I’ve read so far that deals with being steadfast in the Lord. It has been such a blessing to be able to find encouragement and be reminded of Truth when I am in need of wisdom, grace, peace, or anything else!
Verse cards—A few years ago, I wrote out a few meaningful verses on small, pretty pieces of paper. I did this so I could keep His Word with me at all times, especially during the times when I was feeling frightened or anxious—like before a doctor appointment or a big speech at school. In those times, I was so overwhelmed that I struggled to remember the verses I had just read. So this was a simple way that I could find strength in His Word, no matter the circumstance! As a side note, the particular verses that I chose included Deuteronomy 31:8, Job 42:2, excerpts from Psalm 95 and 37, and Isaiah 40:28-31. I have become so familiarized with these passages after reading them so many times, that I don’t even need the cards anymore. They are truly written on my heart!
Can you share one example of how the Lord recently used a verse to change you and your life?
My mom and I have been going through a study on the book of Esther. I have read this book many times, and every single time I uncover sweet truth and hidden gems. That is the beauty of reading a book written by the King of kings! This time through, the Lord brought to light a particularly precious truth: that even during the most difficult times, He is deeply at work within us and in our circumstances. It didn’t just “happen” to be that Esther was born outwardly beautiful, that her parents died and she was raised by her uncle, that she pleased the king and received his favor, etc. He was working out a unique and beautiful plan! In Esther 4:14 Mordecai says to Esther, “Who knows whether you have not come to the kingdom for such a time as this.” Through this verse, the Lord really impressed on my heart that everything that happens in life, every “good” or “bad” situation, has ultimately been brought about by God and for God. I think truth this touched me so deeply because of some difficult circumstances in my own life. There were so many times this past year where I have gone to Jesus (often in tears) and begged circumstances to change, because they were just so painful and hard to endure. But, praise the Lord, He did not see fit to change anything. For He had a different plan in mind, one that is far greater than anything I could ever imagine. I don’t need to wait for something to change, for life to get “better” before I live fully for God! THIS is the life He has given me, with all its joys and struggles, so THIS is the life I must choose to live out for Him each day. It is completely incomprehensible to consider that the Living God has tailored a special life for me. What a precious gift!!!
Is there any additional encouragement you want to share with our readers?
Any advice I would give you, dear friends in Christ, I give to myself as well! So I will just echo to you what the Lord is continually teaching me: Do not grow weary of reading His Word, but continue to fill yourself up (even to overflowing!) with the Living Water you find within its pages. Do not be daunted at the prospect of how much you still need to learn, but let this blessed knowledge drive you to soak up every little drop of truth you can uncover. May you go forth today with the written Word of the Living God in your heart. May you continually turn to Jesus Christ and fervently pursue His example with all of your heart, soul, mind, and strength!