52 SPOKEN WORDS

34. PLAN | with Jennifer Smith

WOMEN+WORDS SERIES

The spoken words of 13 different women I have connected with and the story of their spoken word from God.

These stories are to showcase the power of faith and how God whispered to them and they listened wholeheartedly in His plan.

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Jennifer is one of my first mentees I got to mentor this year. I had the opportunity to mentor at my old high school within a program called, the Digital Business Academy. I am an alumni for this program and one of my friends who is now a teacher, posted on her Facebook asking who was interested in mentoring. My heart had a strong desire to do it and although I had no experience in mentoring, I felt God telling me, just do it. Meeting Jennifer, she to me was this confident young woman, who was very intelligent and down to earth. She shared with me how she was shy until she decided to do pageants. She opened up to me about her faith in God and how she was saved. I knew then that God planted us to be in this moment together. I came into the mentor program not really having that "career" job and taking this break on my event business to pursue this blog. In the beginning, I felt I wasn't adding much value. There was one moment where I prayed with her and felt the Holy Spirit. It was when we got a bit closer and I was able to see more of her desire for God. It was also God speaking to me, to keep her faith strong, even though I was still new to this journey. He spoke to me "Guide her to continue her faith no matter what adversity she may face, you're here for a reason." I sent verses, did monthly reflections and sent her a hand lettered of my favorite verse. Proverbs 31:25. We prayed and just stayed spiritual connected when we can.  As toward the end of the program, she wrote to me how I added so much value in her life through faith. It touched my heart truly, because of our understanding of God and a girl at the age 16, inspired me more than ever to get closer to Him. It was then my words of doubt of not having much value to add, that I did because of God. There is MORE to this young woman that amazes me every single day. 

God definitely has great plans for her.

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If there was one word that God has really made evident in my life during my time in high school, it would be the word “plan”.

It was my freshman year when this story began. Entering high school, the last thing I thought I would ever encounter was a trial that would change my whole life. I got a severe concussion in the middle of my first semester, and through the process of recovery I ended up developing severe depression and anxiety. I had gone through so much change in my life in such a short period of time, the thought of the future scared me. In the end, I put my trust in Him. But I couldn’t wholeheartedly do so. The bible said that you needed to trust in Him and His plans for us, but it was so difficult to do so. Once I entered my sophomore year, people would continually mention college. Start thinking about college, take the PSAT, start studying for the SAT now, think of what colleges you want to go to, sophomore year DOES count towards your overall GPA, and so much more. Considering my current mental state, it lead me into a state of fear. It was so bad that my mother couldn’t even mention the word “college” without me feeling like I was going to fall into a panic attack. But despite the fear I was feeling, I continued to lean on God. More importantly, I began to lean on prayer and scripture more than before.

“She is clothed in strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future” -Proverbs 31:25 NLT. I prayed on this piece of scripture for SO long. I said this to God over and over again. I prayed that God could make me the person that didn’t fear commitment. That didn’t fear commitment, that didn’t fear the future. I prayed that he could make me laugh for the days to come because I could trust in His plan. I was completely afraid of opening up again and afraid to be open about the changes God had for me. Of course, it didn’t happen overnight. It helped me realize the true power of prayer. The power He has in our everyday lives. I hadn’t even noticed myself slowly become more comfortable with talking about the future. With talking about college. And once finally come to realize I was comfortable, it was like a revelation.

God has shown to me that His power works in so many wondrous ways. He can’t always perform life-sized miracles, but he really showed me to definitely enjoy the smaller things in life. Especially when those smaller things are blessings from above.

 

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Blankets for the Brave

Her nonprofit business, started at the age of 14 years old

My mission is to make custom hand tied blankets for those suffering with cancer- free of cost! 

What inspired me to help those of the cancer community was my father. On Christmas day of 2012, my father was diagnosed with kidney cancer. As a 12 year old girl, it was one of the most heart wrenching things I had ever experienced. I was lucky enough to have my father not only beat cancer, he also didn't have to go through any chemotherapy or radiation; however, I know there are people fighting every day going through exactly what my dad didn't have to. 

Watching my dad lying on the hospital bed and just looking around the room, I couldn't help but imagine how uncomfortable and homesick he must be. The blankets I make are to be a way of having something a part of the patient there with them while they are fighting through their battles.

Miss Santa Clara's Outstanding Teen 2017

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