We live in a digital world. Our thoughts and feelings are made public daily. Your digital impressions are just as influential as your face to face impressions. Social media bios have a maximum number of characters to describe the essence of who you are. Limiting communication to acronyms and emojis. Since I launched my blog, I have learned that ‘WHAT defines me’ is nowhere near as important as ‘WHO defines me.’ This discovery inspired me to share my testimony as the Style Servant.
To my parents, I am a sassy first born daughter. To my boyfriend, I am a best friend who is mildly too attached to my phone. To the online community, I am the redhead who is obsessed with donuts. But who am I in God’s eyes? How would I describe myself to my creator?
He sees everything. My selfish tendencies, my judgemental attitude, my stubborn habits. However, God loves us beyond our flaws. Because of Jesus, our sins do not define us, and God sees us as pure, sanctified, and redeemed.
Sitting in church for as long as I can remember, I have heard countless testimonies about people who lived their entire childhood without knowing Jesus. They looked to God after breaking away from addiction, feeling alone after a breakup, or grieving the death of a loved one. I always considered myself a boring Christian brought up in the Orange County bubble. I asked myself, “Whose heart will be stirred by my story?”
Here is a glimpse into my childhood that the Lord designed for me. I was born into a Christian home with two parents who blessed my life more than they know. My younger sister, Erin and I were raised to be respectful rule followers. We would get our homework completed on time and we were your quintessential goodie-two-shoes. We were at Sunday School every weekend, Kid’s Club every Wednesday and Vacation Bible School every summer.
When I was seven years old, I vividly remember giving my life to Christ. I was attending a VBS (Vacation Bible School) in South Orange County when I felt the presence of God. I idolized the teenage worship leaders who sang and danced on stage. I thought to myself, “If they had dedicated their life to Christ, then I wanted to also!” It was in that moment, I felt the power of surrender and I officially told Jesus that I wanted him to be a part of my life forever.
At twelve years old, my parents decided to become members of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest. My mom, sister, and I all got baptized together. At that time, I was very image conscious and overly concerned about my appearance. I was petrified about my clothes getting wet, my hair getting frizzy, and what everyone would think of my appearance. Oh what I would tell my 7th grade self.
Saddleback Church paved the road for my walk with Christ. At fourteen I joined a small group in the High School Ministry. I embraced the tools taught to me by the pastors and quickly strengthened my relationship with God. I went on to attend summer camp and realized I was overflowing with faith and love for the Lord. I wanted to share my journey with others, but didn’t know how. God had a plan for me to learn how to surrender in order to actually see his plan.
A few months prior to high school graduation, I read a book called ‘Congratulations, you are gifted’, by Doug Fields. Immediately, I felt called to use my talents and passions for God’s purpose. That summer before college, I coordinated a charity fashion show at the church that raised 400 pounds of clothing for the organization Laura’s House. I was so incredibly fulfilled using my love for fashion as a platform for ministry.
A few days after my fashion show, I started college at the Art Institute of California- Orange County and the whirlwind began. Between working full-time at Nordstrom and being a full-time student, I did not make time for my faith. God was no longer a priority. I never enrolled in a college small group, stopped attending service and rarely opened my Bible. I was engaging gossip, getting caught up with celebrity drama, and losing sight of my God. I was not making time for my faith and I was not fulfilled. My life had completely changed.
I had a turning point at my graduation portfolio in my spiritual walk with God. As a classmate and friend of mine, was flipping through my portfolio, she stumbled upon my charity fashion show at Saddleback Church. She looked up from my portfolio, and excitedly stated, “I didn’t know you were a Christian!” I was stunned that someone I saw almost every day, didn’t know one of the most important aspects of my life.
Ouch. I realized in that moment, I had fallen off my path. I had severed my relationship with God and lost my identity. I should have been an active follower of Jesus, a role model, and disciple of His Word.
At graduation, I decided I needed to recommit myself and change my life. My career in the fashion industry was going to be God focused. It was not going to be ordinary or typical. I was going to use my heart for fashion to serve the Lord almighty and spread joy in my community. That was the day the Style Servant blog was born. The mission of my blog would be to serve God and my community through style. It would be my creative outlet to showcase my positive message of faith, personality, style, and philanthropy.
Since college, my heart for serving continues to grow. I have led high school life groups, volunteered my weekends to youth ministries at Saddleback, and currently I am involved in a non-profit organization called Love a Community where I am hoping to travel to the beautiful country of Uganda and serve there in the future. Fellowship with like-minded, Christian creatives has really inspired me to keep up what I am doing. Each small victory with my blog encourages me to keep sharing my faith in this digital world. January 7, 2017 my best friend John proposed to me on the holy grounds of the Jordan River in Israel, and we have committed to dedicate our lives to God in all that we do. I am blessed every week when writing each post, and my desire is that you will be blessed when reading Style Servant.