The Story Behind Not of this World

I recently talked at one of the meetings of a Christian club at my school. I was talking about the most important things I took away from my time in Italy and that included making this magazine! I thought I’d share:

The second most important thing I took away from my time in Italy is that God has given you certain gifts for a purpose and He wants you to start using them now, not just when you’re grown up. I’ve had a passion for writing ever since I was really little, but I never did much with it. I was always writing short stories, but usually just because I enjoyed it. I often thought about wanting to write a novel or edit a magazine. But those dreams were for when I was a grownup, because who does that as a teen?

One night, though, my dad and I were driving in the car. I was in 9th grade, homeschooling again, and had lots of free time. In that free time, I’d been making this newsletter for two of my friends back home. It was silly and based off this inside joke, but I really enjoyed putting it together. I was talking to my dad about it and he questioned why I was putting all my time and talent into something almost no one was reading. He challenged me to make something similar, but for missionary girls like myself. I immediately scoffed at the idea. It would be impossible. I knew a few other missionary girls from conferences I had been to, but not enough to make a monthly magazine. And besides, there are practically no resources for missionary kids. That’s when I heard God. There are no resources, but I could change that. So that week I started working on my first issue and two years later, I’m still publishing that online magazine. Almost 100 people subscribe to it and countless others read it as well. It’s been amazing watching God use the talents He’s given me for His glory. It’s really hard work and takes up a lot of my time, but getting e-mail from girls telling me what a blessing it is makes it all worth it.

I want to encourage you all to do the same. God has given you gifts. Maybe you’re a musician, maybe you’re an artist, maybe you’re just really good at encouraging others. Or maybe you’re good at sports. God didn’t just randomly give you those gifts. They have a purpose and you don’t have to wait until you’re an adult to use them. Take a step of faith and see what God’ll do.

So even though you’re “just” a teenager, you are in no way limited to what God can do with you. Live in a way to please Him because people are watching you. Ephesians 5:3-5 and 8-12 says, “But sexual immorality and all impurity or covetousness must not even be named among you, as is proper among saints. Let there be no filthiness nor foolish talk nor crude joking,which are out of place, but instead let there be thanksgiving… Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret…” And also, know that God has given you special gifts for a reason and He wants you to use them. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.”

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