Hello sweet teen-20something friends! Welcome, to our Community Guest Blogger Series! Did you know that you aren’t alone in this young woman journey of life?! And what a journey it is! I am so excited for you to join us this month as 5 of the most amazing women I know share their stories (& how they relate to you). Let’s do this together! Without further delay, our first guest blogger is my dear friend, Janeen Aultman! A beaut who wants to Become a Woman of Fearlessness! Read her story below.
Who am I? Who do I desire to become?
I was raised in a Christian home, where I learned to love Jesus from a young age. What I knew of God was that He was GOOD and he CARED for me. I had an encounter with God that changed my life in 6th grade. I remember none of my friends came to youth group this certain night and I felt ALONE. Yet, I so remember God speaking to me that night. It changed my life. I knew I had purpose. I knew God wanted to be WITH ME. I exchanged fear for boldness, because in that moment I knew my true identity was a child of God.
Knowing whose I was would change everything.
Throughout high school, I remained close to God. God instilled a dream in my heart to one day continue to use my voice to lead worship. In my unfaithfulness though, I learned that God remained faithful. When my heart was broken, He was my REFUGE and STRENGTH. He became my song. When I turned to Him as my Source, I knew everything would be alright.
I met my husband in August 2011, and we will be married for 3 years this June. He is a worship leader at a church outside of Orlando, and I get to lead worship with him every other week at our church!
Currently, I am in my 4th year of teaching fourth grade at a public elementary school.
So, that’s my story.
Those are the facts of my 25-year-old life. A sort of resume if you will, but the question really is… WHO AM I in the process? What kind of person am I currently and who am I BECOMING?
I have always had a few older women in my life whose lives I admired and looked up to. I noticed qualities that I one day wanted to possess: grace, overflowing love, compassion, hospitality, diligence, supportive wives of their husbands, inspiring mothers to their children.
Brave. Fearless. Calm.
Again the question: Who am I? Am I becoming this woman of bravery, fearlessness and a calm spirit? Am I just living, or am I fully alive?
To be really transparent, my biggest struggle is with fear. When I operate out of fear, everything changes. I am not the person I want to be as a wife, with my coworkers, or with my students. I don’t fully LIVE.
The crazy thing is… God has plenty to say about fear. The greatest cure for it? Trust. My scripture for this year is, “He will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is stayed on You, for he trusts in You.” (Isaiah 26:3) So, if I don’t want to operate out of fear, I need to get grounded daily in God’s truth. I need to reflect and think on all He’s done. I need to be WASHED by His Word daily. And the promised result? Perfect peace.
The key of it all is a simple discipline: to keep my mind, my FOCUS, stayed on Him.
Easier said than done. It takes conscious effort. To come to the living water and REST. To dwell with God and let Him take care of everything I carry. Matthew 11:30 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Living out of THAT place is the woman I want to become. A woman grounded in her identity in Christ, not worried about the future or the petty cares of the day-to-day. A woman who takes time for what is important: God and people. A woman who prioritizes rest and lives out of peace. A vessel that is full and ready to overflow and pour into others.
So what does this have to do with Becoming Ministry? Put simply: community. I cannot become this woman I desire to be on my own. I need you all. I need accountability when my mind drifts and wanders into fear. I need encouragement that reminds me to get back to The Source when I forget. I want to be refined, “as iron sharpens iron” towards reflecting Jesus in this world the best that I can.
So join me. Join US. The perfectly imperfect. Loved by Jesus and learning to love as He does.
Beauty for ashes. A garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness. The oil of joy for mourning. Peace where there was fear. Rest for our burdens.
This is LIFE.
Yes, it’s a process. But together, we are BECOMING.
**To join our Community of teen-20something girls, subscribe by email HERE (& get a FREE devotional!)**
Janeen Aultman | @janeenaultman
Does Janeen’s story relate to you?! Comment below on what you are struggling with as a teen-20something, and how you were encouraged by this post- let’s chat!