FREE IS SHE

Dear World Changer,

The term “freedom” is defined as: “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” Freedom is the ability to do what you want without anyone or anything standing in your way and holding you back.

Do you ever feel like you are being held back? That you are captive to someone or something and if you could just break free all would be well? I have. BUT, today I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to live in captivity!

A couple of years ago while I was praying with my team in El Salvador, I had a vision of a young girl. She was a mess; completely broken in every way. She was carrying heavy chains on her shoulders that wrapped all around her arms and down her body. My heart immediately broke for this girl that I did not know. I watched her struggle to carry these chains around with her everywhere she went.

I asked God why she was bound and how she could gain her freedom. His response to me was this:

“I have given her the opportunity to be free. Now it is her turn to make a move. She must choose to drop her chains and leave them behind her.”

The answer to my question wrecked me. I looked back at the girl in my vision again and I realized there was nothing stopping her from dropping the heaviness that held her down; absolutely nothing forcing her to carry this burden. Her chains were actually BROKEN! All she had to do was let them go.

I began to sob and cry out to Jesus.

Because this girl was ME.

And this girl was so many others around me.

In that moment with Jesus, when I opened my heart and my eyes to see this incredible truth that he revealed, my life was changed forever.

I finally understood what it meant to be free.

And today, I share this story with you to remind you that YOU TOO can be free! You already are!

Easter is all about celebrating the sacrifice Christ made for us. It is all about the fight for our freedom – for YOUR freedom – that ended in victory.

THE MOMENT Christ died on that cross, you were given the opportunity to be free.

THE MOMENT you chose to give your life to Christ, your chains were instantly broken.

Jesus made a way!

But maybe you’re like me and haven’t dropped those chains yet. Or maybe you have dropped them but you have also picked them back up again. Maybe you have dropped them but you frequently forget the truth of that action and how that impacts your whole identity.. Whatever the reason for your restraint, it is possible to be free. This freedom is real and tangible and available and YOURS. But it is up to YOU. No one else can accept it on your behalf. YOU are the one Christ died for; YOU are the one whose chains he broke; and YOU are the one who has to let go and live free.

Christ DIED so that we could LIVE. My mind is blown every single time I think about that! And I pray that you are amazed by that as well. I hope that as you stand in awe of your Saviour and what he has done for you that you begin to take the first steps in letting those chains fall to the ground for good. If you are unsure of how to begin dropping those chains that have bound you for so long, I encourage you to find someone to guide you and help you. Asking for assistance is not a sign of weakness, it is actually a testament to your strength. It requires a lot for someone to make themselves vulnerable and let someone in who could potentially judge or harm them. The beauty of this though, is that they also hold the potential to uplift you and help you heal. Talk to Jesus – he knows you want to let go but don’t know how. And talk to someone else who is a few steps ahead of you in this ‘letting go’ journey. No one is perfect, and the battle to leave those chains on the ground is ongoing, but don’t give up! Freedom is yours – Christ has already given it to you.

I wrote a piece a couple years back for Radiate 2015 titled “Free Is She.” Some of you may have read this already, but it is a great reminder for anyone struggling to live the life Christ died for, or anyone just surrendering to the wonder of his love. As you read this, remember that the “she” is YOU, my friend. You are loved. You are beautiful. You are strong. You are fighting the good fight and doing it well – I’m so proud of you! You may be broken but you are not done.

Because Jesus broke so you could be whole.

He wants to pick up your broken pieces and turn them into a gorgeous mosaic – so let him. Lose the restraints; drop the chains. As sinners, you and I do not deserve this beautiful gift of love and grace – but do not be deceived, you are worthy. This gift is yours but you have to accept it. Darling, you may be broken, but you are free! Your Saviour is just waiting for you to invite him to heal you and put your shattered pieces together in a work of art that brings him glory. You are lovely; you are strong; you are brave; you are fierce. YOU are a Daughter of the Light. And YOU have the “power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.”

YOU are RADIANT.

Please do not ever give up on the life of freedom you desire. It is yours to live and it is yours to share! Christ died so that you could live.

Happy Easter, my radiant sister.

 

Love always,  

Charity xo

 

 

FREE IS SHE

For she was once darkness but now she is light in the Lord. She walks as a child of the light.

Free is she who accepts the gift He has offered to her. Free is she who allows His love to be present in her every moment. Free is she who embraces grace and lives like she is redeemed. She remembers the words spoken on the cross, just before His final breath. He said, “It is finished.” He was speaking to her broken heart and her wounded soul. He was giving her the opportunity to experience absolute freedom. Three simple words that said, “She is redeemed. She is forgiven. She is new. She is whole. She is mine. I love her. She is free.” She cannot earn His love but it is a gift of grace that He desperately longs to lavish her with.

Free is she who lets her knees hit the ground at the foot of the cross and abandons her personal desires. Free is she who humbles herself to her Saviour and submits her heart and her life to His perfect will. She knows that tomorrow’s freedom is today’s surrender. Letting go is the only way her bondage will be broken.

Free is she who chooses to put her past behind her and look ahead. Free is she who allows His blood and sacrifice to cover her mistakes. Free is she who confesses her sin and then drowns herself in His forgiveness. She allows Him to transform her life and turn her world upside down. Nothing in all creation will be able to separate her from His love. The enemy under her feet has no control over her. She is victorious in His Almighty Name.

She never keeps the good news to herself because free is she to share her hope. Free is she to speak life over the dead and reveal a way to the lost. Free is she to empower others. She is an ambassador of Christ. She is a disciple privileged with the task of shaping more disciples. She cannot save but she can lead. A child of the light is she who believes in her mission.

Free is she to pursue the calling He has on her life. Free is she to dream big and be brave. Free is she to fearlessly walk the unbeaten path. He has unique plans for her. He wants to use her to further His Kingdom. He has put dreams in her heart that she will never give up on. He has immeasurably more for her than all she could think or imagine. Free is she to spread her wings and soar for she is called to a life of greatness.

Free is she to rise up and take a stand against injustice. Free is she to make a difference and change her world. He placed her in her exact position for a reason. He has not given her a spirit of fear but of love, peace, and a sound mind. He has equipped her with His strength and all that she needs to carry out His purpose.

Free is she to drop her cool and show kindness to those around her. Free is she to be genuine in her love of the lost and the found. He has given her a tender heart and a gentle spirit. Her sweet kindness will impact the lives of many.

Free is she to be herself. Free is she to love who He has made her to be. His love is poured out for who she is, not who she wishes to be. Free is she who refuses to judge and compare herself. She is fearfully and wonderfully made. She has been created in His image and He is beautiful.

Free is she to live for an audience of One. Free is she to build her character and grow her inner beauty. Charm is deceptive and outward beauty is fleeting but she who fears the Lord is to be praised. She is worth more than rubies. His opinion of her is all that matters.

Free is she to take her place in the royal family. A dress won’t make her a princess and jewels won’t make her a queen. She has been chosen and she had been adopted. She is a daughter of the King. She will not allow herself to be treated with disrespect because she deserves the best. He has someone for her and in His timing love will awaken. Free is she to never settle. Free is she to know her worth. Free is she to be known by her true name. She is the bride of Christ above all.

Free is she who chooses His praises to ever be on her lips even when life gets tough. Free is she who worships the Name above all names even when no one else understands it. Free is she to pray bold and courageous prayers. Free is she who whispers, “Thank you for giving me breath today.” Free is she who stands back up no matter how many times she is knocked down. Free is she to crawl and let Him carry her when she cannot walk another step. Free is she to approach Him as she is. Free is she to show Him her scars. He promises to never leave her. He promises to always hear her cry and catch her tears. He promises to comfort her and give her strength. He promises to never shy away from her brokenness. Free is she to put her trust in His promises. She can count on Him – the waves and wind still know His name. Free is she to believe it is well with her soul. He is her anchor and He is faithful. People will leave her lonely but His love never fails her.

Free is she to laugh. Free is she to dance. Free is she to spread love and joy, peace and hope. She has found a love that cannot be destroyed. She has found a joy that can never be taken away. She has found a peace that is greater than all fear. She has found a hope that lights every difficult circumstance. She is sinking in the amazing grace of her Heavenly Father.

Free is she to live without shame. Free is she to be filled with joy at the sight of her chains hitting the ground. Free is she to choose to leave her chains on the floor forever. She is no longer bound. She is no longer dead. She is no longer just existing. She is ALIVE. He died so she could have life and have it to the full. He has set her free!

Free is she to walk in complete surrender. Free is she to LIVE in total freedom. Free is she to embrace her identity as a child of the light. Free is she to radiate.

Free is she.

 

Dealing With Haters

Dear World Changer,

In today’s society, “haters” have become so normalized. We hear about dealing with haters in songs and media, “haters gonna hate” or however it goes. This doesn’t change the fact that when faced with a hater, it hurts when they attack something close to you.

When I was in elementary school, people used to call me names. They would say things like church girl, Jesus freak, or holy kid. I never got invited to sleepovers on a Saturday night because they knew I would have to leave super early for church the next day.

When the kids played truth or dare on the playground, I was never included because they thought I was “too innocent” or “too holy” to participate in all the games. People would get freaked out when I knew all the words to the service we held in the gymnasium, I was even more ridiculed when I was an alter server during the service and the pastor knew me by name.

People would ask me why I believe in this. They tried to argue against what I believed. They didn’t believe in religion and they were so grateful their parents never “forced” them to go. However, I really grew from that experience. Along the way I learned some things that helped me deal with the haters.

1. Stick to your values!​ If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything. I was really rooted in my faith with Jesus then. I went to church happily, I even volunteered there willingly. If people hated on me or tried to argue against me and I wasn’t sticking to my beliefs, then I could’ve easily crumbled under the pressure and started to side with them. They could’ve won, but because of my strong relationship with Jesus,I was able to hold my own ground.

2. Stay on the defense, never the offense.​ You’re allowed to share your faith, in fact that is encouraged. However, don’t attack them for not believing. If I had started to ridicule them back then for not believing, I wouldn’t have gotten anywhere. They would have been pushed further from Christianity. Also, when you give bullies a reaction, you’re giving them the satisfaction of upsetting you.

3. Knowledge is power.​ Often, people judge what they don’t know or don’t understand. If you have the opportunity to have a conversation about it, then share your faith. The more people that know about Him, the more understanding and accepting the world can become.

4. Invite them.​ I wish I belonged to a youth group back then so that I could invite them out so they can see for themselves what I believe in. When movies and media paint a boring picture of the church, it was hard for me to get my friends to come out. So I encourage you to bring your haters out to youth group so they can see what it’s like before they choose to judge it.

5. Pray for them.​ God calls us to love everyone, even our enemy. So show them kindness, even on the hard days. Pray over them that they can come to know Him and that they can find the kindness in their hearts to stop treating people poorly.

“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. ​But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” Matthew 10: 32-33 NIV

At the end of the day, it’s your faith. It is a part of who you are. You shouldn’t be embarrassed over it, you shouldn’t be embarrassed over Jesus and how awesome He is. Embrace it regardless of what people think. Never try to push it aside to get people to like you, make sure your friends like you for who are, a Christian.

Meghan Hickey

How to Deal With Stress

Dear World Changer,

Stress is something you not only feel but you probably hear from people all time. There are different situations that cause people to stress, and it comes in a variety of forms. I think it’s easy to conclude that stress is something that will always be with us and knowing that can be discouraging. However, although there are times in life that will bring us stress, does not mean our lives need to be that way. There are two things that can help us deal with stress.

 

Know the source

Stress doesn’t just happen out of nowhere. There is always a cause behind it. School, family life, friends are examples of reasons that I’ve heard from people in my life that have brought them stress. Finding the source of stress can be hard to admit at times but once you know the reason, you put yourself in a position where you can find solutions to help you cope with it. Now, with that said some sources of stress are easier to deal with than others. Depending on the situation, you may need professional help from people such as counsellors or doctors, a pastor, or people in your life you trust. Stress is multifaceted we need to approach from all angles to ensure that we are dealing with it properly. Don’t face your stress alone, be wise in choosing people who will help you.

 

Release it

Stress has a way of consuming us inside. Therefore, releasing is an important step in moving forward. Here two ways I’ve learned to release stress. First, do something you enjoy. When I feel stressed, I like to take a walk or if the whether is not nice I’ll read a book or listen to music. Stress affects our health so doing something allows you to rejuvenate yourself.

Secondly, you need to release your stress to Jesus. The practical things I have mentioned are effective but they can only take us so far. The stress we feel in our lives is also a reflection of a deeper issue in our hearts. Jesus is the only one powerful enough to help us overcome our difficulties. In Philippians 4: 6-7 (ESV) it says:

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus”

What I love about this verse is the assurance that when we come to God with our burdens that He answers us. Although Jesus promises His peace, for us to truly experience it we must choose to accept it. What I mean is, I think when we read scripture we are comforted but don’t embrace the truth of what Jesus is saying. Remember, the Word of God is living. So, when the Lord promises something, He means it.

The stress you are fighting in your life is one Jesus is more than able to handle. So, don’t be afraid to take it to Him. By truly releasing your stress to Him, you will not be fighting it in your own strength. Stress is real but it does not have to rule our lives. There are practical things we can do but when we factor Jesus into the equation the victory is overwhelmingly ours!

Ahiney

XOXO

 

Spicin’ Up the Devo Life

Dear World Changer,

How do I read the Bible? What is the best way to connect with God when I am on my own? Where do I start? What is the formula Christians use? Chances are you have pondered these questions and have tried to follow the same formula of Bible reading and praying and still no connection with God. Then you get discouraged or disappointed leaving you in a spiritual rut and feeling like you can’t make your way out!!

Well girl YOU ARE NOT ALONE! I have felt overwhelmed many times not knowing where to start or what to do when I don’t ‘’feel’’ like pressing in with God. I have been tempted to lean on mimicking how mentors connect with God on a daily or follow a formula. BUT guess what? There is no formula!! God did not create us all to connect with Him the same way, there is no one-size fits all when it comes to worshiping God! Therefore, look for ways to connect with God that are TRUE to WHO GOD CREATED YOU TO BE! This is where you may need to look at your personality and how you learn best.

What are some creative ways to connect with God? How do you create a devotional life that works for you? you may ask. Below are a list a creative ways to incorporate in your devotional life.

Just remember God won’t be more impressed with you if you do any or all of these activities listed below. Reality is He is after you HEART!

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The intention of the list of ideas are to spark passion to get to know yourself in how you learn and explore YOUR relationship with God! ENJOY the journey of exploring God and getting to know Him and his word!!

Creative devotional ideas through personality, interest, and learning styles (visual, logical, verbal, physical, social)

  • Going for a prayer walk or ride your bike around your neighborhood.
  • Reading your Bible outside
  • Worshiping God while watching the sunset\sunrise or another scenic scene, thanking God for nature’s beauty, His creation.
  • Meditating on God’s word revealed in through ART (music, dance, painting, film, etc)
  • JOURNALING. This can be writing paragraphs, writing bullet points, drawing etc. I have started using a sketchbook where I use many different colored pens used different fonts to get my thoughts and ideas across. Have fun and discover what you enjoying doing with your journal for it is highly encouraged to keep a journal of sermons notes, bible reading notes, and writing about your personal journal with God. This can be a tool to look back upon in future devotions.
  • Go where it inspires you or where you do what you love. Go read God’s word, pray at a place you like to be. (e.g. soccer field, basketball court, stage, dance floor, honkey arena, view with water, playground, kitchen, library, computer lab, bakery, the mall)
  • Writing verses on index cards, hang them up around your house, keep some in your purse or backpack.
  • Find ways to memorize verses that accommodate your learning style.
  • Record yourself saying verses and promises in scripture to listen back to later
  • Read Bible in chronological order
  • Listen to the Bible on audio. I listen to the Bible in my car instead of the radio sometimes or when I am doing chores this has been a huge part of my daily life.
  • Listen and study worship music. Research your favourite worship songs and artist get to know the reasons behind the lyrics. Watch interviews of artist get to know their story. This may encourage you and give you even more passion for that particular song.

 

When you get stuck and do not know where to start.

  • PRAY in various positions: standing, pacing, kneeling with hands raised, dancing, laying face-down, sitting in child’s pose etc)
  • Say Lord’s prayer Matthew 6:12
  • Pick a weekly word and look it up in a Bible’s glossary and it will link words to verses (e.g. love, Sabbath, glory, evil, redeem etc)
  • Pick topics you are interested in or thought about (e.g. Forgiveness, Servanthood, Honouring parents, Sex, self-esteem etc.) look them up where you can find them in the Bible and read.
  • Pick people to study in the Bible (e.g. Ruth, Paul, Jacob, Elijah, Jonah etc.)
  • Write down prayer list to remind you who and what to pray for. Write down prayer requests. Divide prayer requests into 7 day week where you can pray for each request a least once week. Write down things you have prayed for, therefore can look back on and reflect if it has been answered
  • Read devotional book Recommendation:

’Why on Earth am I here for’’ by Rick warren

‘’Power Thoughts’’ by Joyce Myers

‘’Jesus Today’’ Sara Young

  • Read devotionals through apps: YouVersion, Bible gateway, She Reads Truth.
  • Watch sermons, listen to podcasts.
  • Use resources aimed for children. For example I use ‘’Superbook’’ an app that simplifies Bible text and includes videos and games.
  • Getting alone. Practicing solitude getting away from people and daily tasks.
  • Do devotions with others. Use social media. Meet with one, two, or five friends for bible study. Do woman’s devotional with your Mom or mentor.

The list can go on and on. I encourage you to talk to other followers to get more ideas. But know you are more creative than you think. Just use what you like to do, your personality, and learning style and soar.

‘’Your devotions may seem ordinary today, but God is making something extraordinary through it’’

I want to camp on the importance of CONSISTENCY and DISCIPLINE when it comes to your devotional life. Like I mentioned before where do you go when you don’t ‘’feel’’ like pressing in and excuses come into play. For example I have been establishing a specific time of day in the morning before work to have God time. By giving yourself a specific time keeps you accountable to that time and it becomes a habit where without it your day is off. Devotions can be sketched in weekly and monthly as well (e.g. meeting with a few friends monthly, having a weekly devotion with a friend over You Version app. Maybe this looks like every Monday night you listen to a sermon online. Possibilities are endless but create what works for you and be consistent with it and have self-discipline to work through it and making God a priority.

Just remember God is after your HEART not your works! For it is how we worship rather than all we do.

How do you feel most connected to God? What ideas above do you want to try? What other creative ideas do you have?

Please SHARE we would love to hear from you!

LIVE A LIFE WITH WORSHIP THAT MATTERS, WORLD CHANGER

Maddy

Trusting the Process

Dear World Changer,

If you’re like me, your life has been a series of seasons. Some were awesome, others were not so good. Some lasted what felt like forever, and others seemed to be over in no time at all. From the seasons I walked through, I have (and am continuing to) learn about how I can fully trust the Father with each season I am in. And I am so thankful to be able to share a bit of what I have learned with you in this little blog post!

A lot of what it takes to trust the process and the work that God is doing in your life is rooted in knowing who He is. If I know God and His character, then I am more likely to live and walk confidently in every season. Think about it…if you began to fully grasp how good our God is, how much He cares for you, and how awesome the plans He has for you are, wouldn’t you feel better about the future? If you understood in a real way that He sticks closer than a friend, is faithful to the end, and His plans are going to prosper you and not to harm you, wouldn’t you be able to rest confidently in the season you are in and where you’re going? The fact is this: our God works everything for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28) and every season you encounter has happened for a reason (Ecclesiastes 3:1).

So what are some ways you can start confidently shedding fear and worry and begin trusting the process? Well for starters, get in the Word and begin finding promises. The Bible is filled with promises of God’s faithfulness, His protection, His goodness and His awesome plans! Start searching for them and storing them up in your heart. When the voices of doubt and fear rise up and try to make you worry about where you’re at, knowing these verses will be your best defense.

Another thing you can do to better trust the process is pray over your future. Pray over every aspect of it. In the same way that you can combat doubt and fear through memorizing scripture and the promises of God, you can drop worry by choosing to chat with Jesus. Tell Him how you are feeling, ask Holy Spirit to show you where your peace was lost, and ask Him to help you see how He is moving in your current season. In Philippians 4, it talks about praying about everything instead of worrying about anything. So, if you feel those waves of uncertainty start to crash over you, bring it to your Heavenly Father, and His peace will replace your fears.

One last thing that is so helpful when trying to trust where and how the Lord is leading you is by remembering that He loves when you have desires and dreams. Jesus didn’t make you to be a robot, He actually designed you uniquely with dreams in your heart that He wants to fulfill. What matters to you matters to God. Let’s say you really want to get married in the future. God, in His perfect timing, will surely bring the most epic guy for you into your life. So instead of running around and dating whoever, you can rest in the promise that He put that desire in you and will take care of it when it is right to do so. Maybe you desire to go to school or have a certain career down the line. God has placed passion inside of you, so you can be sure He is going to bring you down a path that will allow you to have maximum impact on those around you in your school experience and future work…trust that He will place you exactly where you need to be!

I don’t know exactly where you want to be or where you are, and what you are facing right now, but I know this: God is for you, not against you. You can rest in the knowledge that no matter what season you find yourself in, He is faithfully walking beside you. I know that He has awesome plans for your future that are going to blow your mind and He can be trusted to fulfill His promises to you.

My prayer for you, sweet one, is that you will learn more and more each day about the heart of your Father and grow in your trust of Him and His plans. You can be sure that us leaders here at She Is Radiant blog are on your side and cheering you on, but even more than that, God is on your side! So what is there to fear about the future?

Much love,

Jenny

High School Meets Jesus

Dear World Changer,

Your high school heart gets beat down, drained and pulled in a thousand different directions. High school is hard. People are going to try to tell you your life is easy. Sure, you don’t have kids, a husband, debt, bills and all those adult parts of life that can be stressful but what you do have is a high school full of the unsaved to face. That can be daunting and complicated to navigate.
So this is for you. The you that’s in high school just trying to make it through. Let’s talk about you.
Let’s first start by talking about who you are. You are worthy.
You are beautiful.
You are capable.
You are bold.
You are loved.
You are strong.
You are needed.
You are wanted.
You are brave.
I️ know who you are even though I may not know that you’re even reading this. I know who you are because I know whose you are and who you belong to. Jesus. He calls you all of these things and so much more, and if you don’t know who you are yourself read the bible, it’ll tell you!
Let’s talk about how loved you are. Honestly, I️ heard about it again last week. All my life I’ve been told I am loved and wanted by God but it clicked in a whole new way. That’s not to say I️ didn’t believe that I️ was loved but it just sunk in on a whole new level. You and I are children of God and so often we wonder “why and how could you possibly love this” and it’s as simple as this;
He loves you because you are His. You are His child. He does not love you because of what you do or say. He simply loves you because you are His.
Even if you don’t have kids, I️ think this may hit home a bit, when a baby is born instantly that baby’s parents love him/her endlessly and without limits. There is nothing that little baby can do or say to his parents to make him love him anymore or less. He is loved because he is their child. God loves us the same and that love calls us to love others. Being in high school it is so important to fully understands God’s love for you because it is steady and unchanging. High school however is roller coaster that will sometimes be scary or painful. Being rooted and connected to Him will study you through the bumpy valley’s you’ll take. Know Him, know His character and cling to Him through it all.
Who you are paves the way for how you live, and this is where we dive into high school. More specifically, how to live as a Christian in your high school.
This world is broken. Full of broken and hurting people. Longing for so much more in life and not sure where to turn.
Here’s the most important part about being a Christian in high school; who you are says a lot about who He is.
For so many of your friends you are the only glimpse at a relationship with Jesus they will ever see. In the same way you look at a couple and instantly can see what kind of relationship they have, your friends can do the same about yours and Jesus.
Are you living out your daily life the way He has called?
Are you treating everyone as equals.
Are you respecting your teachers and parents.
Are you speaking in a way that would be honouring to him.
Are you encouraging, loving and kind.
I️ think we can all agree we’ve seen a friend or family members relationship/friendship and have hoped ours are never like that. Let’s not let our relationship with Jesus be like that.
Let’s live in a way that people see the relationship we have and crave that. That our lives would draw in a curious crowd to desire what we have and through that curiosity of freedom, love and joy doors will be opened to talk about your faith and who your God is.
I think one of the tough things about sharing Jesus in your schools is the “open door moments” and when to bring it up. So, let’s carry ourselves in a way that our friends open those doors themselves through an eagerness to have what you have.
Walk in a closeness with God that is admirable.
You’ve got this and your school needs this!
Gracie

The Year of Courage

Dear World Changer,

Just like some of you, I have never named my year before 2018. I didn’t know where to start in doing so, which is a situation you guys may have found yourselves in. I looked over the big goals I set for myself this year. I’m a huge dreamer when it comes to making plans. So as big and daunting goals loomed over me, I felt the word courage.

I will need courage to get through all the plans He has for me this year. Entering a new chapter of my life with starting university, digestive issues that impact me every single day as I figure out what works and what doesn’t, learning what being a leader at IntenCity for the first time entails, etc. There are a lot of things that are new to me and unknown. It takes a lot of courage to walk through unknown situations.

Therefore, I’ve named COURAGE over my year. Courage, by definition is “the ability to do something that frightens one” or “strength in the face of pain or grief”. As mentioned, there are many things I will walk through this year that frighten me or that will cause me pain, yet I will continue to walk through those situations. A part of Psalms 23:4 says; “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. Which I think is a perfect verse to go with the word courage. So may I walk through the valley of the known and unknown without anxiety and fear. May I have courage this year.

Meghan

Replenishment

Dear World Changer,

For me, 2018 is the year of Replenishment. This word can be defined as “make full or complete again, as by supplying what is lacking, used up, etc.” This word came to me in the final week of 2017 and it was a timely one. I just finished exams, and before I started school I was working two part-time jobs over the summer. By the end of the year, I was truly exhausted in a way I had not experienced before. So, when the Lord gave the word replenishment two things came to mind. First, was peace. I knew that after a busy period I needed to rest. Second, was excitement because in comparison to the other words God named my year this was one completely different. Like last year, 2018 will be a year of transition but I believe Jesus will reveal another layer of it.

One of my favourite songs lately is ‘Seasons’ by Hillsong (it is amazing, I would highly recommend listening to it). The chorus goes like this:

“I know though the winter is long even richer the harvest it brings though my waiting prolongs even greater your promise for me like a seed I believe that my season will come”

What I love about those lyrics is that it not only communicates the importance of doing each season of life well (as hard as it can be at times) but it reminds us that when we wait upon Jesus it is active not passive. Now how does that relate to my year of replenishment? During this transitional time in my life, the major decision upon me is graduate school. The schools I applied to could respond anytime between February and April. Based on how it all goes will determine my next steps.

So, what do I until then? Well, there are two areas of replenishment God is leading me in. First is personal replenishment. I feel called to invest in myself by doing things that fulfill me. For me those things are reading, learning how to crochet, being relational and taking care of my health. The final area is spiritual replenishment it involves cultivating a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit, growing in the ways He wants me to in this season, and being sensitive to His voice.

A verse that has been guiding me is Psalm 90:12 (ESV) and it says, “so teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom”. What I love about this verse is it teaches me that although I have more free time, it doesn’t mean I can go about my life aimlessly, each day needs to be intentional. What helps me be intentional is writing it down. If I don’t write it I usually don’t do it because I won’t remember it.

In the past, I have been in seasons of DOING but right now I am in a season of BEING. Both seasons are necessary. In a season of being, I am learning that it requires me to pay attention to where I am NOW. There some big unknowns in my life but worrying about them is not productive. I know worrying is easier said than done but in times of uncertainty I ask myself this question that I pose to you, where do you put your hope and trust in? What brings life is focusing on what Jesus wants us to do now. If we pine for what we desire no matter how good it may be, it can create discontentment in our hearts. I’m not saying that you should not have hopes for the future. I’m just saying that we need to be mindful of letting our desires lead us astray from what God is currently doing in our lives. Another amazing thing about a season of being is that He prepares us in ways we’re unaware of.

My dear world changers Jesus has so much in store for you in 2018. He is truly just getting started. This year there will be some bumps along the journey but I promise you that He will work it all together for your good (Romans 8:28). No matter what God has named your year go after seeking it with all that is within you.

Love,

Ahiney

 

WILD

Dear World Changer,

If you have ever heard me sing, you have probably plugged your ears. If you have ever seen me dance, you have probably closed your eyes… and told the person sitting next to you, that it is best if they close their eyes too.

As a junior higher, I had always wanted to be known for one thing, and one thing only. I hoped that one night, God would give me the voice of an angel and I would be known for my voice. All my close friends at the time were dancers so, you bet your bottom dollar, I wanted to be just like them. I hoped that God would give me the ability to dance the way they did.

Fast forwards six years… it still hasn’t happened. I am not your typical church girl who has downloaded all five versions of Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong… never mind being able to sing the original. I cannot dance majestically to… well any song really. I wasn’t given the ability to sing or dance, but thankfully I was given the ability to live a wild and free life… and so are you.

A wild and free life? What in the world? Well, let me start by explaining “wild”.

God calls each and every single one of us His people. You’ve heard it multiple times before, though it says in Genesis 1:27 “So God created human beings in his own image”. If you know the same God as I do, you must have a pretty good understanding on how creative he really is. He is not just one thing, he is multiple. He is not just love, nor is he just patient… he is both (and much more). I don’t know about you, but I was caught up in the “what is my gifting” stage of life for a long time. Though, I came to a realization that I am not supposed to be just one thing. God never puts labels on us. He doesn’t call us “love” or “humorous”. He calls us by our name. A name that defines billions of things. He created us to be wild, to run with wisdom and knowledge of who He says we are.

Often times we find ourselves afraid to be wild. The world has created this stigma on the word wild… as if no being should ever stand close to living on the edge.“You don’t want to put yourself out there too much… ” they say. I give that statement a huge thumbs down. When did God ever say that we are “too much” for him? People have said to me countless of times, “Bernadette, calm down, you’re too wild”. Most of the time when this comment has been made to me, I feel like the “boring people police” has given me a ticket for stepping out of my comfort. Although, not once in the Bible does it indicate that God wants us to be trapped in a box. Just look at the life of Jesus. His whole life was based off of living on the edge. He went on so many adventures and did so many crazy things that caught the people’s attention, in which they were then led to God. Now, let’s take a peek into our own lives. God provides us each with different opportunities every single day because he calls us all to be wild. He calls you to do things no one else but you could do. He calls you to be crazy and to live a life full of courage and bravery, to experience the things in which he has planned for you.

You’ve heard the story of Jesus’ death on the cross a number of times. Sometimes, we hear it so often that we miss out on the significance in the story. Jesus didn’t just die for our sins to be forgiven and the story ends there. No, he died to reveal to the world how much he loves us and to allow us to live a life full of freedom. He did this to provide us with a life of true meaning in which we can write a story with a clean slate. To live a life free from guilt, anger, depression, anxiety, you name it. Jesus takes it all from us so we can live freely. Now, you may be reading this thinking, “If Jesus said he would take it all from me, why do I still have sin in my life”? Well, truth is folks… none of us are perfect. Sometimes (for myself, very often…) we make bad decisions and end up being trapped in a box, that we somehow manage to put ourselves in. 

So, world changer, you ARE free. Free from any labels, free to run, and free to dance. You are free to start writing your wild and free story. With an understanding of who God calls you to be… the world is at your fingertips.

I began to write my wild and free story just last year. It all started in a coffee shop with one of my mentors. I told her how God gave me this crazy idea, that I need to bring an event similar to Radiate to my school. I wasn’t sure how I was going to do it, or where to even start, but she encouraged me to be obedient and God would take care of the rest. I entered the school year with excitement, though nothing came from it. I had gathered teachers and guidance counsellors together to present the idea. They were supportive, yet they did not see the true purpose in having this event. Soon, that excitement was quickly stolen from me. Satan would constantly whisper “this was no God given dream”.  So, you guessed it, I doubted God… a lot.

One full year had gone by, and I am now into my senior year! I came back to school with a refreshing confidence knowing that God’s plan was not finished. Over the summer I had been listening to the local christian radio station when Joyce Meyers came on. She said a bold statement that changed my perception on how I was doing things. “God can’t drive a parked car” she said. So, I decided to start the engine again, in which God instantly led me to my principal. I briefly described what the event would look like and why I wanted to have it take place at our school. I told him I wanted to name it Dynamic because I believe God has made every girl with unique qualities in which ties us all together. We are all a piece to his puzzle.

Fast forward to Thursday November 30th, 2017 at 5:30pm. Over 75 girls signed up and swarmed into my high school gymnasium with expectant hearts. They picked up their personally written cards which had a word of encouragement for each of them. At the bottom was a verse in which most christians know, although to someone who has never been exposed to the Bible, this verse was something very new. “She is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs without fear of the future” Proverbs 31:25. I chose this verse because “wild and free” is written all over it. I wanted to give the girls a glimpse into what a life of freedom could look like, in hopes that they would want that same freedom for themselves. The night was then followed by food, music, dancing, games, giveaways and a message by our very own…  Pastor Natasha. As the night went on I became more and more excited about what God had put together. A sense of true joy flooded the room and you could see every girl become unchained piece by piece.

As the night came to an end, I had one girl come up to me explaining how grateful she was to be there in that moment. She explained to me how her home life was not good at all. Every pause that Pastor Natasha took, she feared that the message was coming to an end. She just couldn’t get enough. She knew there was such life, truth, and freedom that came from every word that was spoken.

This was when my eyes were really opened to what God had done. Despite every challenge that I faced (and there was A LOT) God’s plans never failed. He used that desire of mine to be wild and free and gave me a project in which he knew would not only open my own eyes, but the eyes of the people around me. Now don’t get me wrong, this whole journey was definitely not all sunshine and rainbows. Although I prayed constantly to be used… I didn’t want to be used anymore in these challenging moments. I felt like I was constantly being shut down by everyone around me. In fact, one teacher would tell me every time we met to talk about the event, that I needed to think realistically. Being the rebellious teenager I am (hehe) I never listened to her. I knew God’s plans were way too big and crazy to be “realistic”. I wasn’t going to let someone who doesn’t know my God, tell me what he can and can’t do. Although I was I frustrated in those moments, the challenges I faced didn’t bother me in the end. I knew that if satan didn’t try to throw things in my way to distract me, I wasn’t completely being obedient to God.

So, my advice to you? Don’t shy away from being the person God has called you to be. We are never “too much” or “not enough” for him. He calls us all to be wild and free. To be able to do anything as he gives us all the courage and freedom to do so. Although it may seem crazy, do it anyway. Don’t just sit in the pews and pray in the churches, but get out there and flip the world upside down. So c’mon world changers… let’s get wild.

Bernadette

 

Eagle Eyes

Dear World Changer,

On behalf of the new year, I wanted to jump on the blog quickly and share my words/names for 2018. In years past, I have received one specific word or theme, but this year I received a few words that I want to look at with you guys. I have a huge dictionary and I love knowing the definitions of words so that I can better grasp the concept of them, and I’ll be sharing those definitions with you as well. This way my 2018 words can impact you the way they have impacted me.

The first, and most specific word that I felt for 2018 is “Greater”. The definitions for greater/great/greaten are: “to make more distinguished // increase in size or significance // considerable or remarkable in magnitude // preeminent over others”. What I felt the Lord was saying about my year with this word was that He not only wanted to bring me into a greater season (He takes us from glory to glory [2 Cor. 3:18]), but I also feel like He is going to show me a greater intimacy with Him. I am so excited to experience more of His love and His Kingdom.

And that leads me to the second word I got: “More”, which the dictionary defines as: “beyond a previously indicated amount // a greater extent or degree // to a progressively increasing extent…”. I believe that the Lord has MORE for me this year! More experiences, more encounters, more blessing. And I also believe there is more in me, in the sense that I can accomplish MORE, and am capable of MORE. So another thing that I am working towards this year is more discipline which will lead to more discovery with the Lord!

The last word I received for my new year is actually a phrase; Eagle Eyes. I was surprised that the dictionary had this “word” in it, but it actually defines “eagle eye” as: “the ability to see and observe with exceptional keenness // keen vision or insight.” Keenness is defined as “boldness, bravery, and sharpness”. This last promise is so encouraging to me. I want to experience this year with eagle eyes. No matter what comes at me, I want to soar above it, and boldly observe the Lord’s will in each season. I want to SEE what is coming and STILL soar with bravery.

And that is my prayer for you! That you, sweet one, would soar towards MORE! May this year take you from glory to glory with the Father, and may you bravely walk forward into it.

 

Much love,

Jenny