Birthday: August 27
Hometown: Willmar, MN
Favorite Bible Passage: 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Influential Music: Relient K, Switchfoot, Bethel Music, Ben Rector, Audrey Assad, Rend Collective, Lin-Manuel Miranda
Favorite Movie: Pride and Prejudice, The Princess Bride
Favorite Book: My Family for the War
Hobbies: Making good coffee, drinking good coffee, exploring, wilderness camping, baking, reading, writing, and playing ukulele.
At 6’1″, Hannah is the shortest person in her family. She also has double-jointed thumbs.
Hannah has a deep appreciation for a good bowl of cereal before bed, especially if it’s Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
Hannah’s Blog Posts
Distractions are constantly around us. It might look like friends, social media, work, or future plans. For example, just now I was trying to write my blog and got distracted for ten minutes by a bunch of pictures of Phoebe that I’ve collected over the year.
On a more serious note, though, I’ve found myself getting easily distracted from my faith and focus this year. I find myself turning to social media sooner in the morning, rather than starting my day off in the Word. I find myself becoming immersed in thoughts about the future rather than pouring into the people around me. I see myself becoming so concerned with my well-being, needs, and desires that sometimes during concerts my thoughts aren’t even following what my teammates are saying. And that freaks me out. And it drains me.
When I lose focus and start to chase after these things that really don’t fulfill me, I am exhausted. When I am filling myself with social media all the time, it leaves me longing and desiring the lives of people I follow and unhappy with where I’m at. I let myself think about the future a little too much, and start to slip into a lot of worry and doubt which leads to only thinking about myself and my life. Basically, I’m letting myself get distracted by all these things that will never fulfill me or give me any real value.
This all reminds me a lot of our song Shadows by Tenth Avenue North. The bridge of the songs goes:
All that I run to, all that I cling to
Everything seems to only slip through my hands
See, all these things that I’m getting distracted by are just “slipping through my hands.” Yeah, they give temporary satisfaction. They make me feel good for a little bit, but that’s it. It doesn’t go any further than that.
I cannot put any of my worth on any of these things, because they’re not God. They can’t fulfill me.
My Father is everlasting. He has adopted me into his family, he has forgiven me for everything that I have ever done. He is faithful and always will be. He pursues me. He loves us so much, he took it to the point of death on a cross and rose again so that we could have eternal life. He has given me a name. I am HIS.
I don’t know about you, but I think that is more fulfilling than social media or my future. I simply have to accept that gift. I simply have repent and say “yes” to Jesus and then I am forever his. I don’t need to search for worth anywhere else, I will have it forever in Jesus Christ.
So when you find yourself becoming easily distracted by these things, remember that you have a Saviour that loves you and died for you, and remember that you have worth and value. You don’t need to find fulfillment anywhere else.
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8
Resting is something that I’ve never been good at. I’ve always had this compulsive need to stay busy. I rarely say “no” to people. I push myself to my limits often. I have a hard time sitting down to simply relax or breathe. Sometimes I have a hard time watching movies because there’s this voice in my head telling me that I’m being lazy when there’s a million other things that I could be doing.
This often results in a burn out. It results in me not getting enough sleep, over-committing myself, and never actually leaving time for myself or for time with God. Burning out isn’t fun. When I burn out I can’t think straight, my emotions are all over the place, and I can’t wholeheartedly face the tasks in front of me.
Unfortunately this can happen in my life in ministry. I forget priorities and forget to do my devotions and spend time with the Lord. I become spiritually weary and tired. It seems as though I have this fog weighing down my spirit and body and that is causing me to lose sight of my Saviour. It’s in these moments when I need to rest. In these times that I need to turn to the Lord and be filled by Him. For if I’m not going to Him to be filled, how will I have anything to pour into others?
In the book of Matthew there’s a well known verse that says,
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 28-30
Mmm. So good. Jesus is giving us a promise of rest. Not just a promise for physical rest from labor, but a a promise of rest for our souls. A rest that we can only find in Jesus when we are following him. A rest in the business and chaos. In the hard times, in the times where we are so overwhelmed, we are promised REST. And after all, God created a day specifically for rest and he himself rested on that day. I was made to rest. I was made to rest in Him.
I find hope in this. That I don’t need to push myself to my limits, that I know my God sees me in my weariness and that he knows that I need to rest. He promised rest. He made a day for rest. He rests. I am learning how to rest.
Unknowns are terrifying to me. Just not knowing what long-term plans are causes me a ridiculous amount of stress. It drives me up a wall. It keeps me awake at night. It can consume my every thought.
I applied for college spring of my senior year. I remember thinking, “Wow this is great, I literally have the next five years of my life figured out since I’m doing a year with CTI first.” I was comfortable with this decision up until this Fall, but continued to pursue it because I had already started the process. I was going to attend Calvin College out in Michigan to study Marketing with a Spanish minor. Cool. Right. I have a plan and that’s all that matters.
I started to have this gut feeling that Calvin was not the place for me to go. I didn’t want to think about it because I was already so far into the application process and had been planning on going for such a long time. Yet I still simply could not shake this feeling that it wasn’t right, and it made me go back and forth so many times. Ask any of my teammates, one day I would tell them I was going to Calvin, and a few days later I would be asking what I was doing with my life. It was a struggle.
Throughout the past couple weeks this has been causing me a lot of stress. I’ve had a few sleepless nights, a few stress-induced tears, been distracted more than I need to be, and completely torn over what to do. I’ll admit, I’ve wondered if God is really in the midst of this, or if I am just overthinking everything.
One of the songs in our rep is called “I Have This Hope,” which talks about placing our hope in Christ, even when we cannot feel Him. Even if it feels like the world is falling apart or we don’t know where to turn, we still have this hope in the depths of our souls that Christ is with us. A teammate (shout out to Matt) really encouraged me to listen to this song and take it to heart after I had voiced my feelings to him and the team.
After listening and pondering, praying, talking to my parents, friends back home, teammates, etc., I finally decided that Calvin was not the right decision. God was clearly making it known to me that that was not the path he wanted me to take. I’ll admit, surrendering my plans and my control was scary. I didn’t want to let go. I’m still a sinful, prideful human being who, for some reason, thinks she’s smarter than her Creator at times. But there is a freedom in surrender. The bridge of the I Have this Hope sums up difficult seasons and surrendering quite well:
So, whatever happens I will not be afraid
‘Cause you are closer than this breath that I take
You calm the storm when I hear you call my name
I still believe that one day I’ll see Your Face
So even though my future may be up in the air, even though my college plans were kinda pulled from under me, I serve a really big God. A God that cares and holds my future in his hands. He’s going to calm storms, clear paths, and take me where he wants me, even if it’s a little different than I thought. It’s comforting to know that I do not have to be in control, but that my Creator is in control. My Father, the one who truly loves me and knows me, is guiding me. I simply have to follow.
Be encouraged, brothers and sisters. You have a God that loves you so much, he sent His son to die for you. He sees your worry, your hurt, your pain. Surrender it. He can take it on. Let go of your control. He will walk with you through your pain and struggles, you’re not meant to do it alone. Know who holds the future. Know who is in control. Know who holds the whole world in His hands.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20
Something our culture is obsessed with, something that we have a whole day dedicated to (today, in fact. it might have been my inspiration for this blog post).
Merriam-Webster defines it as, “ strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties / maternal love for a child” or “attraction based on sexual desire : affection and tenderness felt by lovers.”
Now, if you’re familiar with the Bible at all, it talks a lot about love. It has entire passages on love. On loving God, others, and what love exactly is. Our team has been going through the book of 1 Corinthians for devotions, and a couple days ago we hit chapter 13, which is entitled “The Way of Love.”
If I speak in the tongues and angels and of men, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things. 1 Cor 13:1-7 ESV
You may notice that this is slightly more descriptive than the dictionary, and a little more about being outward focused than the dictionary. The Bible says that I am nothing without the love that it describes. That I can do all these amazing things, but I am nothing without love. The definition the dictionary provides is based off of “affection, and tenderness” or “attraction.” In a word: “feelings.”
And that got me thinking. Is the love our culture focused on simply based off of feelings? More so, am I focused on that type of love? The type of “love” here on earth that is not fulfilling, but fleeting? An imperfect love?
As seen in this passage, love is so much more. It’s the love that brought Jesus down to earth. Christ was patient and kind. He wasn’t envious. He didn’t boast. He wasn’t arrogant or rude. He didn’t even insist on his own way, and he went and died on the cross with this kind of love. He bears with me, with you, through everything. Through every struggle, heartbreak, and fault. He endures all things. That is an unwavering love, a faithful love, a never ending love.
That is a perfect love.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. For I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 1 Cor 13:12
We don’t even know the full amount of love that the Lord has for us. We already know that is an amazing, deep, unending love. I can only imagine the love that we will experience when we get to see our Saviour face to face one day. It will be such a sweet, sweet day.
You guys. We have the opportunity to be loved by someone who loves us more than we ever could. A King who laid down his life so we might live. So that we can find peace, hope, and fulfillment in him. A God whose love is perfect. And that is beautiful. That’s the kind of love I want to believe in, the kind of love I want to emulate. The kind of love I want to live out and preach so that others might be able to experience the fullness of a loving God that I get to serve.
From 1421 to you, Happy Valentines Day. Know that you are loved.
We’ve been travelling around the West Coast the past couple weeks, and for many of us (ahem, me) it’s our first time being on this side of the country. I’ve been amazed by the beauty of it, the mountains are simply A M A Z I N G and SO much better than the plains back home in Minnesota. Here’s some pictures from some of the sights we have seen!
This is a view from Bozeman, MT during a lunch stop. The night before we had to stop about an hour and a half out from Bozeman due to some bad weather and roads.
When we were in Seattle, WA a few of us went to the Public Market and areas around there, just exploring and walking through the market and taking in the city!
A view of Seattle from a pier.
Here you have the ladies of 1421. Super thankful for these two.
And here’s the whole team up in Richmond, BC! We spent a few days up in Canada with alum, Brendan, and had an awesome time serving at his church and exploring his city!
Winter Tour has been flying by so far! It’s been busy, it’s been slow, it’s been hard, and it’s been good. I’m looking forward to what God has in store on this tour! Thanks for following our journey 🙂