Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Share Your Story: Audrey

We are blessed with another story today from a wonderful young woman.  I have had the privilege of seeing Audrey mature from a teenager that's part of our youth group to a strong, confident and beautiful woman of God.  She is truly a great example of pursuing a Godly walk and I'm so excited she is sharing with us today!    

Tell us a little about yourself
My name is Audrey. I’m 24 years old and live and work in Raleigh. I graduated from Carolina two years ago and have since worked at a public relations firm in the area. My parents and three younger siblings all live in the area and I love being able to see them on a regular basis. I also love writing, running, spending time with friends and exploring Raleigh (restaurants, flea markets, etc.). 

How did you become a christian? 
I became a Christian as a six-year-old. My parents are the ones who shared the gospel with me and I still remember specific parts of the conversation I had with them that led to my understanding that Christ was Savior and my decision to turn my life over to Him. 
Because I was so young when I first came to know the Lord, my understanding of what it looked like to be a Christian slowly developed as I grew and matured. However, the things that I understood that day at age six – that Jesus died to take the punishment I deserved for my sins, that as a result I could know God and have a real relationship with Him by repenting of my sin and accepting Jesus as the savior, and that doing this would mean giving my life over to God and allowing Him to be the “boss of my life” – are the core truths that my faith rests on today.

Tell us about a tough time/decision that you have faced - Did you feel close to God or far away during this time?
A couple of valleys from recent years come to mind. One was graduating from college with no idea what came next. I remember sitting on my parents’ couch the night after I graduated crying and saying I didn’t know what was going to happen next in my life but I didn’t see how it could possibly be as good as the past four years of my life had been.  
Recent months have also brought confusion as some of the circumstances and well-laid plans in my life came undone. It’s been painful and left me with big questions both for the now and for the future.
When these “valley moments” first hit I think the initial feeling is loneliness and maybe feeling a little farther from God. As soon as I turn a difficult situation over to Him it’s always a game-changer, though. He makes His presence very apparent to me and leaves me feeling closer to Himself than I did when everything in life was good. 

How did God move through this situation?
My faith was definitely short-sighted at the time of graduation, but God used the months that followed to show me that he is in control. Over those months as I got a job, moved out on my own and got connected to a church and new friendships in Raleigh, I saw God’s faithfulness at each step. He provided for every need and walked beside me through the tough days. Now looking back I know it was silly of me to expect so little of God.  
While the more recent days of uncertainty have been more painful, I can see how the lessons he taught me two years ago are important reminders to me now. He has used the hard days to strengthen my faith and help me hold onto my plans with a loose grip, knowing that His plan for me is better than what I envision for myself. He has also shown me through pain what I don’t think I would have ever been able to see through times of happiness, that my need for God is the deepest, most important need in my life and that true satisfaction and joy comes from Christ alone and is completely unrelated to life’s circumstances. 
Do you have any advice for someone going through a similar situation/circumstance?
Pray that God will help you trust Him. You don’t have to understand what’s going on in your life, why it’s happening or what comes next to trust that God is in control and is working for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:28; Jer. 29:11). 
Spend time with people who are an encouragement to you and point you toward growth and healing in the hard times. There are so many people who say shallow things to try and make you feel better or who feed the discouraged feelings that come so easily when you’re in a valley – those aren’t the people you need to be spending time with. When you’re in a vulnerable place seek out your friends who are walking with the Lord and who have a track record of speaking truth and seeing life with the right perspective. 


Tell us about a favorite memory or moment. 
One summer while I was in college I had the opportunity to spend six weeks in Asia on a mission trip with a group from my school. It was a blessing in my life in so many ways. It pushed me so far outside of my comfort zone that it required a whole new level of trust in the Lord and God used it to develop in me an incredible love for a people and nation that I had hardly thought about prior to that summer. 
How did God move through this event in your life? 
It was definitely a perspective-shifting time in my life. I went over wanting to make a difference in other people’s lives; and while we certainly saw that come from the trip, I also experienced such a deep sense of purpose, satisfaction and joy in my own life that summer. I think it was the first time that I saw with absolute clarity that not only was I supposed to love God and make Him known, but that loving Him and make Him know is also what makes my life truly satisfying and joyful. 



What would be the one piece of advice you would give other young women?
Believe what the Bible says and let its truth be the foundation you build your life on. I think often the first step toward drifting from relationship with the Lord – and to be blunt, wasting our lives on trivial things – is ignoring God’s Word or allowing ourselves to pick and choose what portions of it are true and applicable to their lives. If you believe that the Bible is God’s Word, then it’s important to trust what it says is true, timeless, for our good and has authority to steer our decisions.

What are some of your favorite pieces of scripture and why?
Isaiah 26:3 – “You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.”
  • I love the reminder this verse provides. If we fix our minds on Christ and place our trust in Him, we are kept in perfect peace. That’s so the way I want to live my life. 
Philippians 3:8 – “What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish that I may gain Christ” 
  • I so easily get caught up in other pursuits, but this verse reminds me that every other thing in life is a waste in comparison to knowing Christ. To put it simply, Christ is better. 
 Thanks so much Audrey for sharing your story today!  Check back next Wednesday for another story!  

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