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A Little About Me

“Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it-because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth.” 1 Cor. 14:1 

      My heart smiles knowing you are here, reading bits of my heart and my prayer that they would embody the call of 1 Corinthians 14:1. If I am being honest, a personal statement feels a bit uncomfortable to me. It feels a little stuffy, suffocating in ways, as I look back on my past, down at where my feet are planted now, and forwards to where I am headed because if I am being genuine, the person I am now writing this statement is quite different than the girl who would have wrote it five years ago, or even a year ago. It will also likely be different than the woman who will edit and rewrite it in the years to come. Therefore, here is my spin on a personal statement; my prayer is that it would not boast of my achievements or character but rather that my story would encourage you in yours, that my testimony would be evidence that transformation can be true, Jesus really is that good, and life is sweeter when we embrace our days with open arms rather than closed minds…

      The distinction that has defined my transformation is one between “being” versus “doing.” Until this year, my life was defined by what I did, whether it be studying hard and going to college or pouring into service work or planning my future with heavy expectations on my own abilities. I am grateful for that season of doing, truly, because without it, I would not be going into my third year at Vanderbilt, or founder of Embody³, or committed to my professional interests in International Human Rights Law and my passion interests in fighting human trafficking and empowering young women. However, in focusing on such “doing,” I forgot that I was created as a human being. I praised productivity and found my worth and identity in achievement; to this day, not “performing” to the level I believed I was capable of in the past still creates a visceral reaction in my body. In such obsession, I strived towards the future in a way that stole the fullness of my presence in each day.

     Today, I smile writing these next words: the promise of abundant life is a promise for a reason. It is possible, tangible when we lay down our idols. It took a terrifyingly low season in my life and mental health to tear down the altar I had built for achievement. Yet what came out of that season is a beauty I am still experiencing and watching unfold continually. When the busyness quieted, when productivity was not possible, when dissatisfaction weighed heavily, Jesus offered me true life in ways I could never have come to know on my own. I have since learned that being a human being is actually quite wonderful; true life allows for our humanity to heal with peace, little joys to be enjoyed, sweet moments to be found in the quiet, and new depths of gratitude to be discovered in everything in between. As a human being, I get the joy of honoring where my feet are planted in ways I never knew before, without the pressure of the past or tense anticipation of the future. In being fully present, I have the blessing of getting to play a small part in what Jesus is doing in this earth; with that, my prayer is to be obedient to His call to serve in the space that burdens my heart. For me, that space is young women’s hearts, much like my own. I feel blessed but also weighed with the burden to care for the hearts of girls like me, girls who love this life but know they are made for more, girls who long to show up well for others but often feel overwhelmed with the juggle of their own days, girls who dance and laugh and smile but also, even if painfully, seek deep authenticity. This burden, this prayer is why I created Embody³ in September of 2021 and have nurtured its evolution and impact since. It is my heart embodied in a dream that I pray will reach the girl who needs it. For that young woman, and you in whatever season of life you may find yourself, it is the sweetest joy for my heart to offer a new invitation, prayer, hope, and dream: that you would join me in committing to live awake, to live boldly, to live beyond the lines in a sleeping and shadowed world. May this “personal statement” be a little letter of encouragement to you in your days. A reminder to remain committed to living wide awake. An invitation to believe and walk in the fullness of joy and abundance of life Jesus desires for you.

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