It's Share Your Story Wednesday! Today we are blessed with the precious Lindsey. Lindsey has such a gentle and kind spirit and has a huge heart for serving others. I can't wait for you to meet her!
Tell us a little about yourself: My name is Lindsey, I am a freshman in College attending the University of North Carolina in Wilmington where I will be studying to become a nurse. I was raised in a loving Christian home by my parents Tim and Sharon. I also have two brothers, Bradley who is twenty-two and attends North Carolina State University, and Wesley who is fifteen and in High School. Throughout my high school career I was on the Varsity Cheerleading squad and really enjoyed the girls, sport, and the life lessons that God thought me through it. However, my greatest joy came from hanging out with friends, staying involved in my youth group, and of course my soft spot for children.
How did you become a Christian? I was raised in a Christian home, so God was nothing new to me, and I am very grateful for that. My dad’s job caused my family to relocate so when I was five years old we moved to Apex, North Carolina; here we found an amazing family in Salem and were quick to join. Going to church to me was something I was forced to do and that I wasn’t very happy about, however this all changed once I joined the youth group. My freshman year I had the opportunity to go on the youth groups annual trip to Caswell summer camp, I was hesitant at first but I wanted to be involved with my youth group and heard that Caswell was a trip you shouldn’t pass up. It was here that God become real to me. I began to realize that my life was to be devoted to serving God and following Him where ever He was going to take me. Being a Christian in high school isn’t easy; we are different from everybody else, and having loving, Christian friends to experience fellowship with was a blessing within its self. God blessed me, and all of the other youth, with a strong and solid support system through Salem Student Ministries. Two people who were very influential in my salvation are Justin and Megan. They taught me what it meant to live a life for Christ. They also allowed God to work through them to help me through the struggles and pressures of high school. Not only are they my youth leaders, but my spiritual role models. For this I am extremely grateful, and I know that God will continue to use them in amazing ways.
Tell us about a tough time or valley you have experienced in your life -My junior year of high school I found out that I was experiencing minor medical problems. I was afraid for my future and what it had in store. I was confused and wondered why God was allowing this to happen. I grew angry toward the situation and felt hopeless and helpless. Over time I distanced myself from God and began to resent Him because of my illness. My youth group, being my main support system, was there for me and helped me realize the truth. The truth was that my God is stronger than any struggle that I face, and through that I found peace. This illness was actually a wonderful blessing and I am so grateful that God has put it in my life. It taught me so many valuable life lesions. I’ve learned that God uses these valleys in our lives to allow us to cling to Him, grow closer to Him, and trust in his almighty power. It has given me the sympathy I need to help other people who are suffering, which led me to choose a career in nursing. By becoming a nurse I can show Gods love to other people by letting them know that there is a great God who loves them just as much as I do.
What would be your advice for someone going through something similar? My advice for anyone who is going through a rough patch, or valley, is to cling to Christ. Let Him use these tough situations for His glory and understand that no matter how tough your situation may be God will never leave you or forsake you. Through these experiences you have the opportunity to grow closer to God and create an intimate and deeper relationship with Him. Use your hardship, grow from it, and share it with others.
What is a favorite memory or event from your life and how did your faith grow through it? One of the most memorable moments of my life would have to be our youth group’s international mission trip to Costa Rica. It was a trip of firsts for me, first plane ride, first international trip, first experience with another language, and a firsthand encounter with culture shock! God worked in so many miraculous ways in Costa Rica, and surprisingly the language barrier wasn’t a problem. We were able to feed the homeless, play with orphans, do yard work, street evangelize, and witness door-to-door. This week was filled with emotions that I had never experienced before. God was working though each and every one of us by using all of our specific talents for His glory (what a great God!). The people in Costa Rica were lacking many things that Americans consider “common essentials.” However, they seemed so happy and content. This made my heart ache to know that all of these things I was blessed with I took for granted, and didn’t even need! Through this experience I saw God in a different light. I understood that life isn’t about material possessions, the grades I make, who I'm friends with, or what I wear; but it’s about the God you serve and how you serve Him. Although it was such a unique and amazing experience to go work for Christ in Costa Rica, there are always opportunities to be a missionary where you live. Even if you are at work in your cubical or a high school student at your desk, God can still use you to show His unfailing love.
What advice would you give other teenagers? Being a teenage girl in high school is one of the toughest things in the world, and not to mention you are adding your faith into the mix. The pressures to fit in and be popular are tremendous, and you can’t conquer them without Christ. I have always struggled with the idea of “never being good enough.” I would cry to my mom because I didn’t think I was cool enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or talented enough. I thought that everyone was better than me. But that’s so false! I had let the world put pressure, stress, and anxiety in my life that I couldn’t handle on my own. God made me in His image with specific talents and gifts that I can use to benefit His kingdom. All of the things that high school feeds you are wrong, and once you start focusing on pleasing God and not the world your life will change forever. Being a Christian may cause you to lose friends, or may even prevent you from being the most “popular” kid in school, but you have to remember that Jesus didn’t have it easy either when he was dying on the cross for our sins. High school was stressful and I know that college isn’t going to be any easier, I will be tempted to do things that I would of never imagined, but I must stay strong in my relationship with Christ, cling to Him, and he will sustain me.
What are some of your favorite bible verses?
Palm 118:5 (NLT) In my anguish I cried out to the Lord, and He answered by setting me free.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV) Do not fear for I am with you, do not be dismayed, For I am your God I will strengthen you and help you, I will lift you up with my righteous right hand.
Psalm 55:22 (NIV) Cast you cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
Philippians 4:6 (NIV) Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
Colossians 3:17 (NIV) And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Thanks so much for Sharing Your Story with us Lindsey!