Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Share Your Story : Caroline


I'm so excited to start our new series today - Share Your Story!!!  If you missed it, check out my first post on what Share Your Story is all about as well as our page - here - I will be updating the page each week with each new story!

So to start us off is a beautiful young woman named Caroline.  Caroline is a Junior in High School and has wisdom beyond her years.  I have had the privilege of getting to know her over the last couple of years and have been blessed to have seen her mature and grow in her faith.  She is a loving, devoted and faithful friend to so many.  She is a talented musician and is working on becoming Drum Major of her high school band next year.  I think one of the things I admire most about her is her servants heart.  She is always first to help, reach out and humbly work behind the scenes.  I just love that about her.  Caroline is here to share her story of faith with us today and really has some beautiful words to give to young women who might be going through a season of drought.  So let's meet Caroline!!

Hey, I'm Caroline! I was born in North Carolina 17 years ago into a loving Christian family with both parents and my older brother, who is 3 years older than me. When I was 4 years old, my dad got a job promotion that required moving, so our family followed. We found a new church home within a year or so of moving.

When did you first experience God and become a Christian? - In this church, I grew up and began to learn about God, but didn't really know Him personally until G.A. camp at Camp Mundo Vista the summer before 6th grade. I can't tell you details of the very instant He became real to me, but I do know for certain that God showed up through His people. That week was the first time I'd ever experienced God as more than a distant deity who created the world so long ago. Instead, through witnessing girls whose lives had been greatly affected by the power of God, I was sure there was something more to the whole 'Christian' thing - and I wanted what they had. My brother, who had accepted Christ not long before, furthermore encouraged me when I returned home from that week, and I was baptized soon thereafter. I fully believe that I knew what I was doing when I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior, but the church environment around me did little to support me in my walk, so as far as 'living out my faith' - that really didn't occur until later in my Christian walk.



Have you ever walked through a season of drought or doubt in regards to your faith? -  Almost two years ago now, our church started having major leadership issues, which turned into a huge mess and break in the church. Once my brother graduated from high school, my family found it best to leave our church home in search of a new one. Honestly, at this point in time, the Enemy really led me to believe that I could be a Christian just as well without having a body of Believers to back me up. I don't think I can accurately explain just how messed up this idea is. I remember using quotes like "Going to church doesn't make you a Christian anymore than sitting in a garage makes you a car" to back-up my bitter feelings toward church-searching. I was perfectly content and comfortable with where I was at our old church: wasn't that enough? Wasn't God supposed to want my happiness? Couldn't I count on Him to keep me from hard times? After all, I'd already accepted Him - I was on His side - so why in the world would He take me out of the one place where I'd found a safe niche for myself? These are the questions that pushed me farther and farther away from God - the one and only Help in times of trouble.

How did God work in your life and teach you through this situation and bring you out of your season of doubt?  - This went on for several months before my friend Shelby invited me to her youth group one Wednesday night. She'd told me great things about their church, and I figured it wouldn't hurt to see what it was all about. From the first week I visited, I was so included and accepted by the youth group that I desperately wanted to go back each and every week. Christ's love, grace, and acceptance was so real in that place that I was just overwhelmed by His goodness. A couple months later at Disciple Now, I met some of my best friends, as they exemplified the love and joy of Christ through everything in their lives. It was then that I finally realized how God was powerful enough to bring me out of even the toughest of situations. He hadn't torn my safety net out from under me for no reason at all, but He wanted me to trust that He had a plan. He knew where I needed to be to flourish in my relationship with Him, and so He led me there. He knew what was best for me, so He put specific people in my life to keep me where I could grow to know Him so much more than I ever had. Looking back on this really hard time in my life, all I can do is praise God that He had a plan for my life, and that He STILL has one. He saw me through that valley, so I can trust that He will never leave me nor forsake me. Even as I am finishing up my junior year of high school and have very little idea of where I'm headed after I graduate, I can trust that God will reveal His plans for my life when the time is right.

Do you have any advice for other teenagers? Be involved with a youth group that loves the Lord. When you're surrounded by Believers who want to grow in their relationship with God, it only encourages you to do the same. Don't waste your years in middle school and high school - during these years you'll have the chance to make a difference in the lives of so many different people, and one thing is for certain: God doesn't make mistakes, nor does He do things by random. Because of this, I have confidence in saying that God puts certain people in your life with a specific purpose. Take advantage of that. Also, remember that your body is the Temple of God. Keep your thoughts and actions pure, and take care of yourself. No matter how short or tall, thick or thin, dark or light you are, you were made in the image of the one true God, and you are BEAUTIFUL!



What is your favorite bible verse? - Hebrews 13:8 - Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. That's probably my favorite verse. It's something very applicable to my life in just about every season, because it's an incredible reminder that Jesus is the only constant in a world of change. It's so comforting to know that He will forever be good, fair, and altogether perfect.

Thanks so much Caroline for Sharing Your Story today and being our first!!!!  I am so thankful for your willingness to open up about your faith.  

Check back next Wednesday for a new story!

If you would like to be a part of this series we would love to here from you!  Email us!

Spread the word!!!



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6 comments:

  1. Yep, that's my cousin. She is pretty awesome, if you couldn't tell by reading this post. I'm just stating the facts here. Haha. ;)
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    I loved reading this, Megan! Can't wait for the next "Share Your Story" post.

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  2. This almost made me cry, but I am a dude so it didn't. Awesome, very excited about reading other stories.

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  3. Very touching. Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I love this idea, so happy to have found your blog on Better Bloggers Network!!

    xo Shane

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  5. What a great idea! Looking forward to reading these.

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  6. what a FANTASTIC blog you have here! i love it! found you via the blog hop. would you want to button swap? let me know! xo

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