Tag Archives: Testimony

Transformation Tuesday: Senior Year vs. Senior Year

Hey guys,

So  I came across an old article written on me my Senior year of high school back in 2012 that brought back all kinds of memories. Now that I’ve graduated from college, I felt that it was the perfect time to reflect on how I’ve changed (or not) in the past 4 years. Lots has changed and I want to take an opportunity to bring glory to God through my transformation.

Jasmine Wilhite: High School Senior

My Senior Superlative Shoot

My Senior Superlative Shoot

My senior year of high school was jam packed with so many accomplishments that I must admit I was proud of back then. Way too proud. Let me take a minute to paint a vivid picture for you guys: I was a Superior Honor Student ranked #13 out of 390 graduates, voted “Most Likely to Succeed” by my peers and awarded a Senior Superlative by faculty and staff, Field Commander in marching band, Class Representative in Student Council, active member in a number of other clubs, and I received an A in the first (and last) AP class I ever took…. and in the rest of my classes. I was about 125 pounds and my idea of “fly” (yea, I think that was the word back in 2012. Forgive me if I’m wrong lol) which was evident from the gazillion selfies I took before selfies even became a big deal. My pictures got me the attention I seldom admitted I sought after. My looks and people’s validation defined my worth. I was not a wild child because I had this desire to make my family and others proud of me. I claimed to be a Christian even though my heart and my mind were so far from God. I didn’t care to live for Him for real… to be honest I didn’t really know what that meant. I just did what I wanted and tagged God’s name to it. So that was me in a nutshell: kinda really vain and an extreme perfectionist with a need to please. The amount of praise I got and the great reputation I earned coupled with society’s constant exclamations to “get a good education so you can make something of yourself” made me think that my life couldn’t get much better.  So I pursued worldly success through school and people’s praise and it helped that I was pretty good at getting both. I had it made, or so I thought most of the time. The driving force of all the hard work and dedication I put into racking up all these titles was my pride. I thought all that stuff made me somebody, I thought it made me who I was and I didn’t want to know what life was like without it. However, something was still missing…

Jasmine Wilhite: College Senior

Fast forward 4 years and you have the “Jasmine” who is writing this blog now. The high school Jasmine had so many hopes and dreams for the future she was about to pursue. Little did she know, college would look nothing like what she imagined. Life as she knew it would soon be over. I want to make it clear that I now know that this is perfectly fine! No, I didn’t find my husband in college. I didn’t even date in college much at all. No, I’m not 125 pounds anymore. Freshman 15 met me at the door and brought about 5 extra friends with them! I didn’t find my way to a seat in the Student Government Association, or any other clubs. I lost my winning streak when it came to having all A’s. I don’t have the desire to take a billion selfies now and post pictures of myself left and right. I went through a season in college where I  became physically separated from one friend I depended on at school each semester until there were none left. Many days it felt like it was just me against the world.  I lost my first loved

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College Nursing  Pinning Ceremony

one to death. At a first glance, it may seem like my life kinda went downhill. For a while I believed this as well. But as I look back and reflect on the past four years, I can now see that these losses weren’t losses at all, but gains because the haze of all the “idols” that clouded my view of God was slowly being lifted. It was as the fog began to clear that I was able to see Him. He came out of nowhere, found me and He’s what I didn’t realize I needed. It took me going through these situations and now looking back over my life to realize God’s sovereignty. He was working all along, waiting patiently for me to turn to Him and welcome Him with open arms. He can truly use anything for His purpose if He so chooses. I see now that He was slowly but surely stripping me of everything I put my hope and identity in that wasn’t Him, and I’m learning to find joy in that.

 

What to take away from this….

  1. See, when you choose to begin your walk with God for real, He is going to pursue the throne of your life and this may mean losing some stuff. I admit that at times this is uncomfortable. It’s hard to find joy when you lose things you’ve depended on for so long. But we can trust God. He’s not only with His children now, but He also goes ahead before us to guide the steps of His followers. He’s perfect and has never made a mistake and He’s not going to start with you!
  2. Worldly success is nothing like God’s definition of success. The world glorifies material things and pleasure and encourages people to do whatever you need to do to achieve this goal… in other words, do whatever makes you happy. My avenue was education. Yours may be different. After coming to Christ it became clear to me that the path that I was on was pointless. Why? Because this world is temporary and will not last! “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.-1 John 2:17” Mark 8:36 goes onto say, “What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, but forfeit their soul?” I see now that living life for worldly reasons will feel good for a while, but you will one day lose it all only to go into eternity, where there are no second chances, where God will only look at whether or not you lived your life for Him instead of yourself. God tells us in Joshua 1:8 that obeying Him is the definition of success. As for me, I continued to pursue education but my intentions were different. It’s not about the money, but using a career in nursing to bring glory to God. That’s my motivation.

3.   There’s a reason why you may feel like life is missing something, even when you think you have it all. The truth is that God would love to have a personal relationship with each and every one of us. I’ve heard since the beginning of my walk that people have God-sized voids in their lives that only He can fill. However, humans still attempt to fill them with things that just won’t fully satisfy: money, cars, marriage, dating, careers, degrees, friends, popularity, you name it. I’m a living witness that this statement is so true. On the outside looking in, high school Jasmine didn’t seem to have anything to complain about, but I was NEVER CONTENT! There was always something more I wanted despite having everything I asked for. Now, I’m learning to I now believe it was a blessing from God that allowed me to continue having that void. I’m afraid to think where I would be now if I became content in a life without God in it. The discontentment I felt helped me to keep seeking, even if I sought after things that weren’t beneficial. That seeking is what helped me keep my eyes open and my heart willing for change, the perfect recipe for God to come and spark true conversion.

To be perfectly clear, I have a lot more growing and changing to do. This process will take the rest of my natural born life but I wanted to use the changes thus far to hopefully encourage someone….anyone! I would especially like to encourage the person who might feel like they do not qualify for the Christian life because they may not have some tragic life story that pushed them closer to God. I used to think this for years but God can use us who “thought” we had it all together for His glory as well. Your testimony is important too. There’s a place for everyone in God’s kingdom if you invite Him into your heart.

God bless,

-Jasmine

 

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Transparency Time: The Birds of the Air…

Back with another one! I pray that everyone’s week is going well!

So as you can see from the title, I would like to be transparent about my stressful day yesterday and how God encouraged me. I hope it can encourage you too. So I’m in my very last semester of nursing school and during Spring Break I signed up to go on a Trip to Jamaica with some other nursing students. We will be doing service activities and also exploring the place. I’ve been so determined and excited to go for a year now so I went for it! I wanted to do this to show myself that I could. Now that I’m in the Transcultural class and the trip is getting closer and closer, anxiety and worry have started to set in and of course Satan took the open door I gave Him to plant doubt in my mind: “Are you sure you should be going on this trip? You won’t have any of your family or friends going with you. You’ll be by yourself and alone. You’re going to pay $1000 to go and be miserable. This is your last Spring Break and your sister actually has the same Spring Break with you for the first time in forever, you really want to spend it this way? “ Unfortunately, I’m not the Superwoman Christian that I desire to be one day so no, I didn’t “capture every thought” and “make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). I entertained it. Right after this class, I received an email from one of my professors. In nursing school, we have what’s called “remediation hours” that we do to help us get ready for NCLEX based on the score you received on the practice exam. I have to spend 10 hours a week on top of the rest of the work we have to do. I’ve been diligent about keeping up with my time however, my professor tells me that she can only account for 7 hours and I’m 3 hours short. She tells me I need to add the 3 hours to this week’s, making it 13 total. Great! After sitting in a funk for a while I decided to take a drive to my favorite place when I’m stressed: Sonics. I sat there and fooled myself into thinking that joy could be found at the bottom of my chocolate fudge sundae. Yea, talk about maladaptive coping mechanisms. To my surprise, this didn’t work (major sarcasm)! Then I had the idea to drive around, looking at houses and praying to God. I wanted answers on what to do. I wanted peace and assurance that I wasn’t on the wrong track or made the wrong decision about this trip. I’m not sure how long this little excursion lasted but when it was over, I was headed back to school when I remembered I needed to go get food.  So, I went to Zaxby’s and ordered a Fried Chicken Caesar Salad at the drive thru. Little did I know then that God was about to show up. I was waiting in line when I noticed this bird sitting in the bush right next to my car. Peacefully and quietly. Gradually, it hopped to the top of the bush when I pulled up closer to the bush and just stood there perched on this branch, like it was there just so I could look at it. I was looking for the bird to take flight but it just stood there. This is when the Holy Spirit acted as the “reminder”
He promised He would be (John 14: 26). My inner ear heard and I began to quote Matthew 6: 26: Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? I know this was God because anyone who knows me knows I’m not a fan of birds at all lol! But I knew God was then telling me not to worry. He’s in control and He’s with me. There

What to take away from this…

I love that God is sovereign and omnipresent. Since He’s in control of everything and is everywhere at the same time, we can enter the world expecting to “see God” whether it’s through creation, His people, or even a bird. God is the master of “Connect-the-Dots” and making sure the linear paths of so many things (such as me and this bird) meet at one point, or dot, after another to display this beautiful image of His presence in our lives. I pray that this can be a blessing and remember God is in control so surrender our stress!

God is love and He is awesome,

-Jasmine

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Testimony Time: Why I Cut My Hair

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Hey guys,
First and foremost let me say that if someone would have told me I was going to cut my hair a year ago, I would have laughed in their face, but I did just that on New Years Eve and I wanted to share how I came to the conclusion to cut my hair and how God used this as practice to put my faith in Him. Hope you enjoy!

The Decision Making Process

August or September of last year I started searching on the Internet to  upgrade my hairstyle. I remember being so sold on jumping on the “Brazilian” bandwagon so I spent HOURS reading and watching…watching and reading reviews over and over trying to make a final decision. Such a tedious process! One thing I remembered was that the whole process gave me NO peace! This was shocking to me since I was so convinced that was what I wanted. I was letting something like hair stress me out, give me a headache, and make me really frustrated. After a few days of this I just quit and said “you know what…I JUST WANT TO CUT MY HAIR!!” What was even more shocking is how quickly all that frustration left me and was replaced with this calmness I couldn’t explain. Now, I must admit that I’ve said this before but wasn’t really serious about it, but the peace I felt this time was different and I believe that the Holy Spirit speaks through our peace. So, my topic of research switched to short styles instead. It was actually fun and I spent time looking up the best cuts for my face shape, maintenance, products etc. Now one important point I want to make is that I prayed through this process from start to finish. I prayed to be led to the right cut, to help me find the right stylist, to open and close doors as He saw fit, to confirm whether this decision was a knee jerk reaction to frustration or a real desire, I even prayed that I would like it and not be unhappy with it…all that. I wanted to be led by Him even in something as small as my hair, something I’d never done before. I also talked to my family and best friend about it which was helpful. Eventually, I settled on a style and made a hair appointment for the weekend after my birthday. However, this appointment didn’t work out. Uh oh. I started freaking out saying things like, “what if this is a sign I shouldn’t cut my hair?! What if I hate it and I just dodged a bullet?” Fear took over for a while and I almost backed out of the whole thing. But thanks to my big sister she talked some sense into me and reminded me that fear doesn’t come from God and said I should go through with it. So after my first appointment was a bust, I was just scrolling aimlessly through Instagram and saw a gorgeous cut that led me to a page full of short styles! This definitely wasn’t a coincidence and I ended up finding a better style and that’s that! I made an appointment New Years Eve and now I LOVE my new cut!

So what does this have to do with my faith?

I was driving in my car today and some revelations came to mind that I didn’t realize until now. I believe God used this whole ordeal to bring to life some things about His character that I’ve read in the Bible and I wanted to share them with you!

1. God cares about even the little things!  I believe God loves to see us depend on Him in every aspect of our lives. I admit that I have a long way to go in this area but I’ve been practicing. My hair for example. Now, some people would probably think it’s crazy to pray to God about some hair. I get it. I used to be one of those people, but God wants us to acknowledge Him in all our ways Proverbs 3:5-6 this means we are to turn over every area of our lives to Him. Every! What I like about this verse is that it doesn’t say to acknowledge Him in the big things, or acknowledge Him when we can’t handle things or after we tried and failed and want God to take over…acknowledge Him in all our ways. We have to learn to stop sorting our lives between the things we want to handle and the things we want God to handle. He wants it all because He is Our Father and He wants to take care of us. Remember that God took time to create the huge sun and sky as well as the grass, the birds of the air, the ants and even those little gnats down in South GA that seem to serve NO purpose in life. He cares. He saw that I sought His help in this and He directed my path and answered my prayers like He promised. I must say that this experience added to my faith in the all powerful God in a way I wasn’t expecting and I’m grateful.

2. God wants us to trust in His timing and not ours.
Like I said, I prayed for God’s help in this thing, but then I proceeded to make an appointment based on what made sense to me and my perfect timing. The weekend after my birthday, which was my original date, was right after finals and at the beginning of a month long Christmas break. I figured this would give me time to get used to my hair and learn how to take care of it. This was also time for me to do something about it if I didn’t like it…well things didn’t go my way. I ended up having two less weeks to get used to my hair and things worked out fine, although I was scared at first. See, once I prayed for God to take care of this, I should have had faith that He would. That way, it wouldn’t have mattered whether I made the cut a month or a day before school started back. This is where trusting in the Lord with all my heart comes into play, but the best thing about making mistakes is that we learn from them!

3. God will change our desires to line up with His will when He sees that we are seeking Him.
For many years, I put so much of my confidence in hair! I needed it! It had to be a certain length or I didn’t feel pretty,  but the more I walk with the Lord, I see more clearly how vital it is to put our hopes in something that’s eternal and not temporary. Psalms 37:4 says “take delight in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.”  I believe that as we grow in taking delight in the Lord, we begin to desire the things He desires, things we probably never wanted before that align more with His will. My “something” was hair and some of other things and yours may be something different. But I can guarantee that we will come up short if we continue to do this. Hair can fall out. Someone may not have the kids they put so much of their hope in and if they do the kids will grow up and eventually leave the nest. That boyfriend or girlfriend may not be as faithful as we hoped. That job may lay us off or money could be spent or stolen, but God is forever and always.

To wrap things up, God can use anything to bring Him glory and I want to encourage us to take God out of that box and let Him roam freely throughout our lives. I’ve got some work to do on this too but I want to invite you to join me on this quest to stop putting God in compartments while we handle the parts of our lives we are afraid to let go of. Hey, what can you lose?! Know that God has our best interest at heart and loves us so deeply (Jeremiah 29:11 ). If it is difficult for us to trust in the Lord like this, then this could be because we don’t know Him well enough. How many of us trust people we don’t know? So a cure to this is getting into God’s Word so He can reveal His character to us. God knows us very well. The question is this: do we know Him?

God is so much greater than the box we put Him in,

-Jasmine

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Jasmine Seeking Jesus is Born!

Open Bible

Hey guys! Welcome to my new blog! I can’t believe I am sitting here writing my first post since I’ve had this idea in my mind for quite a while now. The topic I want to focus on for this post will mainly deal with how this blog came to be and a little bit about my journey. In the near future, I would like to do a post on my testimony and how I came into the knowledge of Christ for myself so I’ll make sure not to spoil too many of those details 🙂

So, why am I starting this blog?

TO TELL MY STORY!

I have always claimed to be a Christian because I grew up in the church. However, on August 7, 2014, God led me to someone’s ministry who would open my eyes to a new world I did not know existed. However, this “new world” felt oddly familiar in some ways because it spoke to some of my deep desires I was suppressing because society and worldly ideas made me feel as if they were strange and I would never find them anywhere else but in my own mind. Through that ministry, which I will talk about in a separate post, I learned what it meant to truly seek after God for myself. This happened to me at 20 years old and now at 21 with just a tad more experience under my belt, I felt the need to spread to others what God has done for me in my life. I want to show people that it’s more than ok to live for God, even when it seems as if no one else around you is doing it….especially when it seems as if no one around you is doing it! I want at least one person to be blessed by God in some way because of this site. So my hope is that someone can connect to my story and become closer to God in some way. I know it’s possible because it happened to me, so why not pay it forward?

TO BE OBEDIENT ABOUT SPREADING HIS WORD

“And He said to them, ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.’”-Mark 16:15 One of the main ways we show God that we love Him is to keep His commands. It is the mission of ALL believers through Jesus Christ to spread His Word. So, in order to spread His Word, we must read/study it ourselves. Now, I’m not saying that we have to become these great and profound theologians who are experts when it comes to biblical knowledge but God wants to have a relationship with all of His children and wants all of His children to know Him. The main way to do this is by studying God’s word. When we study the Bible for ourselves, we are able to apply it to our own lives, and furthermore, spread it to others. Now, not everyone has to complete this mission in the same way. For me, I felt led to start a blog because I am not the best at communicating my thoughts by word of mouth. I have always enjoyed writing! I’ve used journals for years and actually used blogging for a school project about 2 years ago. Therefore, I took something that I enjoyed doing and was given the opportunity to practice to use it for the glory of God. What talents/hobbies do you have that you can use to also glorify God?

TO PRACTICE MY SUBMISSION TO GOD AND HIS WILL

To be honest with you guys, I have been putting off doing this blog for a while, almost to the point where I gave up on the idea of it completely. One reason for this is because of my personality. When I’m not around family and very close friends, I’m a very reserved and shy individual. I don’t like to draw too much attention to myself. So when the idea of creating a blog one day popped into my Spirit, I felt my flesh immediately pouring doubt into my mind: “You’re really gonna put your personal business….on the internet….for anyone to see? What if you say something wrong? You know nobody is going to read it right? There’s too many people on the internet doing what you want to do, you should just let them handle it. They are better at it anyways. You know you’re gonna be too busy with school to keep that up.” The statements went on and on. I wish I could say that I immediately began to pray to God to shut the Devil out of my mind and pursued what I felt God was leading me to do…but I didn’t. I listened at first. But one thing I’ve learned about being disobedient to God is this: You’re not going to feel peace about just leaving God’s instruction by the wayside. The thoughts don’t just disappear and become a distant memory. So at some point every single day since then, this blog idea would pop into my head. During my quiet time with God today, I was reading Romans 6 and taking notes when verse 21 hit me in the gut: “What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?” This verse is referring to the time in someone’s life when they are/were a slave to sin and is/was not letting God rule in their lives. I began to think about life before chasing after God and realized how none of my sins benefited me in any way…..NO WAY AT ALL! I began to think more and realized how so many people in the world are chasing things in life that won’t benefit them at all once it’s all said and done……they are like me back then and just don’t realize it and would possibly turn to something better only if they knew “better” existed. This is why the Word of God needs to be spread, why I chose to stop making excuses about creating this blog, and why I’m choosing to submit to God’s will despite my doubts and fears. In the end, this life and this mission is so much bigger than anyone’s feelings, including my own.

So I want to close by saying that I am excited/ nervous about this new journey but I’m choosing to embrace it.

-Jasmine

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