Hey friends! Meet the lovely Ms. Addie! I barely knew Addie during the one semester of college we shared, but even then I knew that she was someone special! After she wasn’t on campus anymore, I realized more and more how true that was because her influence continued even without her presence! Addie is super sweet, full of life, and has a big ole heart that she puts into everything she does! This is a crazy time of transition in Addie’s life but I think that has only brought out her honesty and sincerity even more. Here’s what Addie has to share with you about her faith:
Her faith story: “My story? Wow. Okay. So I grew up in a strong Christian household. My parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins…most all Christians. I’ve been at Wood Avenue Church of Christ in Florence, Al for almost 20 years. My parents met in the college group here, and this is where they moved back to raise us. My dad is now an elder of the church. I attended Mars Hill Bible School from 2-17 years old. I was baptized by Larry Davenport in 2004. I was super active in the Youth Group up until I graduated in 2013. I spent 1 week every summer at Maywood Christian Camp since 2nd grade. I just finished my 4 years at Freed-Hardeman University in May with a Special Education degree, incredible memories, lifelong friends, a loving husband, and all of his (our) debt. But, really. I’ve been what I call “spiritually pampered”. I wasn’t very popular in high school among my classmates, but I was seen as a Christian leader I guess. My grandfather, Dad, and brother were Mr. Mars Hill, and everyone said I was definitely going to get Miss Mars Hill. I did. I was honored. But I went into college parading behind that “good girl banner”. It didn’t hold up through much. (The devil does not care how long your list of honors and accomplishments are. He is not intimidated by your banner flying high. He sees your pride as weakness and he will attack those areas now, not your past!) I learned that lesson the hard way.
I struggled in college. I couldn’t find my jive with Bible Study. I couldn’t find my heart with worship. I was experiencing the temptations of dating someone you really, really like. It was some tough years, even being at a Christian college. The best things in college for me were conversations with my roommates, ball field devotionals (when I could stay up late enough), Henderson College Girls class on Wednesday Nights, and any class I took with Matt Cook. Really I loved all my Bible classes, I think. But I saw the most growth when I was connected with Stantonville Church of Christ and when I could get in a good routine with my Bible study. My college years contained my highest and lowest times spiritually.
One of the most obvious ways I have seen God is in my relationship with my husband, Tyler. I had never dated before I met Tyler. I maybe went out a time or two with a few friends I was talking to, but never kissed a guy ’til Tyler. (Kissing a guy unleashes a whole new level of feelings. It’s like trying to compare Gano to your momma’s cooking…totally different.) We reflect by thinking back to the first few months of dating and just sit in awe of how God brought us together, and now we know how we have both benefitted from marriage so much.
I met Tyler a week before my freshman year. We were set up by my brother and Tyler’s cousin Jennah (who my brother is marrying this week!! We are a crazy Alabama family.) But it’s so obvious God’s hand is in all of it. In the beginning of our relationship I was so conflicted, because I am a talker and Tyler is a man of few words. I struggled with confidence in our relationship and struggled seeing where God was taking us. I remember one night of Chi Beta fall retreat we snuck off to the dock and sat and talked about the lessons we had been hearing. We talked about our biggest fears and our weakest parts. We talked about our vulnerabilities and where we saw ourselves with God. For the first time I knew that I had to stick with the boy beside me, because I could never talk like that to anyone else besides God. We needed to be in each other’s life.
There were so many times that we had to go to God separately and together and ask for forgiveness for the temptations we were playing around with. We struggled and fought for our purity all through college. It was a long battle to get to where we are. And I say that because I see where God strengthened us through these temptations we faced. We had to depend and trust on one another to look out for the best for one another. People don’t usually talk openly about struggling to stay pure in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend. Especially when they are both Christians. It’s just awkward or uncomfortable. But if you have ever dated someone for really any period of time, you’re most likely going to be tempted to go farther physically and mentally than “just a boyfriend” should go. My almost sister-in-law has this on her car dash: “Boyfriends do not get the same privileges as husbands.” (Or something to that affect.) And I know I would’ve benefitted from that being on my car dash. (Vice-versa about women.)”
Her favorite passage of Scripture: “My favorite verse changes with each season. I am in a time of anxiety right now. We are going through a big transition. We are 8 months into marriage and about to move to our 3rd location in a year. Tyler will be going to grad school and I will be teaching full-time. I’ve never done anything full-time. So I am clinging to Matthew 6’s cure for anxiety passage. Verse 25 says “Therefore I tell you: Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body what you will wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing?” Okay, so if God is telling me I shouldn’t worry about what I see as necessities in life: food and clothing, then I shouldn’t worry about anything. Especially things that my life doesn’t depend on. I’m one of those who gets “Hangry” without food. We haven’t had to worry about not having food on the table. When I burn a meal or put too many cups of water in the rice, there is always another option of food. We have never had to miss a meal. If God tells me not to worry about important things like food, then why am I wasting thought and breath over if the apartment we want will open up? Or if we will be able to pay off loans in a certain amount of time? Those do not even determine my survival. I say this to myself a lot. “God has not brought me this far just to see me fail.” The Lord is not going to put so much work into me and into our life just to watch us crash and burn. He will take care of our needs. Read the rest of the verses to finish up the thought.”
Her practical tips for studying the Bible: “Do a verse trail. Ty and I did this in college. We would pick a topic or word and research verses that mentioned the word or idea. Then we would choose the verse we thought we should start with. Read it several times in different versions and talk about it. We wrote the first verse reference by the word that we are studying in the front opening of our Bible. Then we picked the next verse. We referenced it by the first verse we chose. And so if we picked “worry” we would go to Matthew 6 :25 and out beside it put an arrow and reference Proverbs 3:5. Then we would turn to Proverbs 3:5 and out beside it write Romans 8:38.. and so on. Then when you finish pray about specific ideas brought up in your study.”
Her prayer relationship with God: “Prayer is extremely important, and when I am in a habit of praying I rely on it to have peace. And when I am not, I rely on myself and have no peace.” (I couldn’t agree more!)
How Addie defines “delighting in the Lord”: “I think delighting in the Lord is taking time to think about, talk about, and praise God. See and be excited about what he is doing in your life and in others. And it’s hard for me to delight, because I don’t take time to think. I busy my life to where I don’t end up with the time to reflect. I think it’s a little of being an over worker type, and also that I am afraid to be alone with my own thoughts at times. Afraid I might discover all my ugly.”
Her message to other girls trying to increase their faith: “My advice is to not be like me in the way where you collect too many things to get done on your agenda and not start with enough time to recharge each day with the Lord. I read one time that if it takes you going and treating yourself to your favorite sonic drink or coffee in order to dedicate time sitting at the feet of Jesus, then do it. I find it helpful to plan a special sit down with God around a iced coffee or in a sonic drive-in spot. I’m always on the go, so the hardest part for me is to take time to slow down.”
On the “desires of her heart”: “A desire of my heart would be being able to reach souls in my school community that I will be teaching in and then and to be able to work with a congregation in Birmingham. I’m kinda in that weird stage where I am still a very young adult, married, but no kids in sight (hopefully on that.) I want to be able to use this time in my life (where I probably will have the most available time until we retire at the age of like 73 at this rate) to do good in creative ways within the church. Also, I love to make and create jewelry. And I use this hobby and passion to help others in what I think is a creative way. (Check out Addie’s beautiful jewelry here!) I think it would be incredible to have my own “company” online store type thing where my jewelry is tied into a devotional that comes along with the piece. Something that could be beneficial to not just the physical appearance but to the soul. I think it would also be a great way for people to encourage their friends in a special way. “
One of my favorite things about Addie is the way she incorporates her faith into the everyday parts of her life. I hope that you have been encouraged by Addie’s words here and that her story will inspire you as you continue to grow in your faith!
Until next time!