Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Right Where I Am {Series}... Jessie

The young woman sharing today is someone so dear to my heart: my sister, Jessie.  Having grown up together, we've seen each other go through a lot and it is my extreme joy to see her walking with the Lord as she becomes an adult.  Her zest for life and loving heart has brightened my life.  I hope you will be blessed by her as she shares!
To read Part One of this series, click here.

Q:  Would you please share some basic facts about yourself; first name, age (only if desired), a few loves/hobbies, etc…
A:  My name is Jessica, I am 18, I play the violin, I love dogs, I love people, and I teach ASL (American Sign Language)

Q:  What is your current role/occupation?  Please feel free to share details!
A:  Right now, I'm self-employed, raising money for an internship this summer (working a lot with inner-city children), and I run my family's online Ebay store.
Q:  Did you choose this way of life?  If so, why?
A:  Yes, I did. I have worked outside of my home, and I loved it, but I just felt like it was time to move on and see what else I could do.
Q:  There are many misconceptions about women who stay at home instead of going to college/having a career.  What would you say in response to someone who criticized or was confused by your choices?
A:  Maybe they think that we sit around all day doing nothing... It is true that we have maybe a little more free time, but I do keep myself busy. Whether it's helping with chores, or, recently, repainting the upstairs! I've never had anyone criticize, but I have been met with confusion. Going to college or having a full-time career have never been on my "To-Do" list. What I want to do with my life doesn't need a college degree, or a mile-long resume! I want to be a stay-at-home wife and mother. I'm not saying that college or having a career is bad, it's just not for me. But if God wanted me to go to college, I'd know that He had something up His sleeve and that I needed to enroll as quickly as possible! But He has opened up so many opportunities that I know that He wants me to do this and not worry that some people might not understand or accept my choices. But that's what they are: my choices! No offense meant!!  :-)
Q:  Do you see opportunities to use the gifts God has given you right where you are?  Or are you “wasting your talents and wasting away” as many would believe?
A:  God has used my gifts in a lot of different ways. My love for people has opened so many doors for friendship, or even just a quick chat with a complete stranger who I happen to meet while checking out at the store! I love getting to know people!! I've had a passion for ASL for a few years now and a few of my old co-workers have a ministry in Jamaica to a deaf school! When I told them that I knew ASL they were so excited as their sister-in-law, who is Jamaican, is also deaf. And I teach a younger group of kids who just think it's cool to talk with your hands!! I've played my violin at church with the worship team and have gone to nursing homes to perform with my teacher!  "Wasting away"?  You tell me!
Q:  Many girls go to college for an education.  And many go to meet more men (I’m not making this up… I’ve had it said to me by girls with those intentions).  And many couples meet during the college years.  Since you are taking a different approach, how on earth will you ever find a spouse?  *sarcasm note*
A:  That's the main point that comes up when people ask if I'm going to college! When I say no, they gasp and say, "How are you going to meet that special person????". Honestly, it's annoying! Is there no other way to meet a guy, so now anyone who doesn't go to college is doomed to die alone?? I think that if you go to college with the sole purpose of finding a mate, then you're going for the wrong reasons!! Yes, a lot of couples meet in college, my parents met there, and I'm very glad they did, but I'm not worried about getting married or even meeting someone right now! I'm 18, I want my single life to have more meaning than trying to find someone to share the rest of my life with. Just as a wife is fully submitted to her husband, I want my single life to be completely submitted to God. If there is someone in store for me, then he'll come! God knows my story and His plans are so much better than mine.
Q:  What kind of body image do you have?  Have you ever struggled with confidence or thinking you are beautiful?  If yes, then why?  If/when negative thoughts attack you, have you found something that helps you see your worth?
A) I see myself as me... now.  Yes, I have struggled with how I look.  I used to think that I was fat and that "skinny=beautiful"!  I am between two tall, dark-eyed, dark-haired, curvy, sisters.  I am above average height for a girl, but not by any means tall.  I'm not overweight, but by the world's standards, I'm no model.   Just over the past few years I have started to see what it truly means to be beautiful.  It's how you know God sees you.  His is the only opinion that matters.  Do I forget that when I see a tall, slender, celebrity-in-the-making, girl pass me in the clothing section at Walmart?  YES!   And I hate forgetting!  I know I'm beautiful, because my King says that he made me for Him.  That's what I run back to when Barbie makes me feel inferior.  I try not to judge people by what they look like on the outside because way too many people have done it to me.  People are so much more if we take the time to really look!  God has not only said what beauty is, He IS!  Why we feel like we have to look a certain way is so wrong and I'm sure it hurts Him so much to see us hate ourselves because we're different.  We were made to be different.  We're not robots!  God takes pride in the fact that He made us perfectly different.
Q:  What do you hope to accomplish in your future as you pursue God’s will for your life? 
A:  I want to live my life to the fullest! I want to serve God with all that I am! I want Him to accomplish whatever He wants through me! I hope to honor Him wherever I go and show His love in what I do. With my internship this summer I'm going to be ministering to a lot of kids who don't know what God's love is. All I want to do is represent the God that I love. I may have times when I forget that my life is His, but I'm so thankful that He will never forget me.

Q:  If you could share anything you’ve learned with the ladies reading this blog, what would it be?
A:  Don't worry about your life! Trust that God has it all under control. Smile. Life can only get you down if you let it. Be happy! If Jesus Christ is your personal Lord, then you have the best reason to be happy!

1 comment:

Natasha Atkerson said...

Awesome post!
I can definitely relate to Jessie! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
A modest fashion blog: