Maddy is a brilliant leader with a beautiful heart. She has wisdom beyond her years and is on a great journey of learning to depend on her Heavenly Father. I have loved connecting with her and I am so excited for you to read how God is speaking to her in this season.
This is the next blog post in my series of profiling and championing young believers. Let's learn some more brilliant lessons from someone in that age group who is pursuing Jesus with all of her heart.
The 3 questions I asked Maddy are:
- Who are you and what do you do?
- What is God speaking to you about the moment and how are you responding to Him?
- What would be your tops tips for people in their 20's to thrive in their relationship with God?
Hello, I’m Maddy and I’m 24 years old. I have lived in Oxford since I was 18, after moving here to study Nursing. I love to go on long Country walks, cook (and eat!) good food, and spend time worshipping Jesus. After studying
Nursing I married Jason, an architect, and after a bit of a career journey I now work for a Church in Oxford.
I gave my life to Jesus when I was 13 while attending a summer camp. I’d grown up going to Church in London with my Mum, and while I loved helping my Mum with music each week and the fact that I had friends and community outside of school, church was simply an activity in my week and had no further implications on my life. I certainly didn’t grasp that the things I was being taught were all part of the greatest love story that meant I, Maddy, was loved unconditionally and saved by the King of Kings.
Take a moment to remind yourself of that truth again – you are loved and known by our Creator.
Over the past year God has been speaking clearly to me about control. What I don’t often add to the ‘tell us a bit about yourself’ answer is that I’m someone who loves to know. I love to know how things are going to work out, when things are going to happen, who is going to be involved and what needs to be done in order to get to answers and solutions. Sometimes it can be fun and helpful, but more often than not, it leads to a lack of dependence on God and a desire to gain control.
Most recently I’ve seen my desire to control and ‘know’ in full swing while undergoing
building work on our house. As my husband is an architect he has (rightly so!) taken a lead on the project. With the builders rapidly demolishing walls and then re-inventing our whole downstairs space, I’ve wanted to know how everything is going to work out. How are they going to make sure everything is in the right place? How careful are they going to be in laying bricks straight? The list of questions goes on. While I want to know these things, ultimately me knowing the answers isn't going to change anything. In fact I need to make a choice to trust them.
Similarly, I still don’t fully understand why God clearly called me to Oxford to study Nursing. After graduating and beginning my first role as a qualified Nurse, I felt so strongly that it wasn’t right for me to be there. I don’t understand why, yet I’ve chosen to trust God through the process of changing job roles. I am believing that my degree and the journey I’ve been on are not wasted, and God had a plan through it all.
On several occasions over the past year I’ve been reminded of the lyrics to New Wine by Hillsong Worship:
“So I yield to you and to your careful hand
When I trust you I don’t need to understand.”
These lyrics have been such a helpful reminder to me that when we give ourselves over to God and to His purposes, knowing that He has the best plan for our life, we are making a choice to trust Him even when we don’t understand. Contrary to my expectation I have found J O Y in return for trust and surrender, and I’m ready for more!
Giving up control to God is a choice I have to make multiple times each day.
So often my desire to control is motivated and driven by fear. I’m probably up there with the world’s worst backseat drivers! I like to have a handle on fine details of events and plans, and really, it’s because I’m afraid of things going wrong or not working out how I’d like them to. I love 2 Timothy 1:7 “For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power, love and self-control.” This verse underpins how I’m responding to what God has been speaking to me about. The link between fear, control and self-control is clear to me. When I’m afraid I aim to gain control of a situation, and in these moments I often lack the self-control I truly need. It’s time to part with fear and grow in an attitude of power, love and self-control. It’s a challenge and I know I need the Holy Spirit to guide me and help me. I am choosing to spend a moment each morning submitting the day to God, and surrendering control to Him. I am also actively praying for greater self-control; a beautiful fruit of the Holy Spirit.
My top tip for anyone in their 20’s wanting to thrive in their relationship with God is to keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). Listen for His voice, be patient in waiting for His guidance and enjoy growing in the fruits of His spirit as you walk with Him. Looking back over the past few years, particularly periods of time that have been more challenging, I can clearly see when I have been dependent on the Holy Spirit as my relationship with Father God has flourished and thrived. This has looked like simply communicating with God more, spending time behind closed doors worshipping Him and asking Him to fill me afresh. It has also involved being more intentional about asking others to pray for me or situations I face. While this has been particularly powerful in challenging seasons and situations, these practices are also vital for my everyday walk with Jesus. What might it look like for you to be more dependent on God? How could you depend on Him and surrender control to Him each day? He’s always ready to meet with you and to refresh your soul. Let’s be a generation longing to be close to our Father by the Spirit.
Wendy Mann Equip | www.wendymannequip.com
Building Family, Prioritising God's Presence, Extending God’s Kingdom