How Are You Changing the World?
When I was younger, I knew I was made for something “more,” something “larger than life,” something great. I wanted to change the world and thought that would be brought about by fame and riches, particularly as an actress. I had been acting and singing on stage since I was 5. My family is very musical, and we had been involved in a lot of musicals together, whether acting, singing, or building sets. However, God’s plan for me was not to be an actress. His plan for me to be “great” was not about me, but about Him. When I was 18, I fell in love with God. My faith went from being about “rules” and “just saying no” to sin out of fear of hell, to being a love story where the goal is to spend eternity with God in heaven. And when someone falls in love, she can’t help but tell everyone about it! I knew that I wanted to change the world not for my glory, but for His! I wanted everyone to know about God’s beautiful, life-giving love! That started with my family, my friendships, my local church, and turned into my ministry as a speaker and songwriter/worship leader. Now (16 years later) it is also as a wife and a mother. I am changing the world not because I am so great, but because God is. I am changing the world because I am being who God created me to be—a daughter who rests in the peace and joy of her Father—Our Father. I am changing the world not only because I get to be on a stage in front of 5,000 people preaching and singing about God’s love, but because I try to live a life of loving God, my neighbor, and myself even when I am home with my kids in the messiness and busyness of everyday life.
How have you seen God show up in your life?
Five months before I graduated college, I had a job lined up as a youth minister where I got to live a few miles from the beach in a house owned by the church where I only had to pay a very small amount for rent. My dad (who had tried to dissuade me from the financially ruinous and non-upward mobility-ness life of a youth minister) couldn’t believe that I had gotten such an amazing job and housing situation especially well before I graduated college. He said to me, “Wow. You live a charmed life!” My reply to him was, “No, dad, it’s because I trust in God!” Now, I’m not saying that God is a genie or an ATM or that if we believe in Him we will always be financially fit. But, God is my provider. He is a Father who loves His daughter. When I call, He answers me. He has always provided for me. He has provided Godly friendships when I needed them in my life. He has provided opportunities for me to serve Him (whether in exotic destinations like New Zealand and Australia, all the way to third world countries where the original squatty potties exist). He has provided for my humility in the form of break-ups and persecution and accountability-based growth. After 10 years of prayer, he provided an amazing husband who is beyond what I could have imagined. He provided us with a place to live. He gave us three beautiful children (who keep us on our toes, test our patience, and make us love like never before). God has shown up in my life over and over again in prayer, relationships, ministry, etc. By His grace, I will always trust in His love, His care, and His providence. – Jackie Francois Angel/jackieandbobby.com