Growing up in Southern California, my identity was wrapped up in being a “good girl” who followed the rules and earned the praise of others. When I was in elementary school, my family started attending church. I experienced the love and kindness of Christ through the people at my church and it quickly became one of my favorite places to be. Towards the end of elementary school, I understood the gospel and accepted Christ as my Savior.
The Lord continued to use the church and Christian schools I attended to teach me. However, there was a disconnect between what I was reading and how I was living. Romans 12:2 says, “ Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Rather than allowing God’s Word to direct what I wanted in life and how I interpreted the world around me, I allowed my peers, television shows, and movies to guide me.
After graduating from Westmont College, the Lord used family friends to convince me to move to Frisco. When my job timeline didn’t match up with God’s, I was confused and fearful, which led to a conversation with two women at the church I had been attending. The Lord used that conversation to open my eyes to the lack of trust I had in the Lord and helped me to see how often I tried to earn the Lord’s favor, love, and acceptance. Those women gave me next steps and the Lord used a community of women to help encourage and sharpen me in my faith.
I ended up teaching in Frisco for four years, and during those years, the Lord used the local church to challenge, grow, and inspire my faith and trust in the Lord. Through serving within kids ministry, I learned how to better articulate my faith and how much I loved full-time ministry. In God’s perfect timing, He blessed me with a job as the Preschool Coordinator at Onward. I am incredibly grateful to call this my “job” and to be surrounded by a group of believers that remind me of the gospel daily and how God’s grace and love is a gift—not something that can be earned.