This interview spotlight is for all women who are seeking to inspire and motivate other women to pursue their passion. We want to hear real stories from people we can relate to and learn from. Hope you will be inspired, encouraged and motivated by what they will be sharing. This week we caught up with Abigail Hazel.
Hie Abigail, Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a 21 year old, currently studying Fine Art at Coventry university, and I’m hoping to complete a Masters in Art Therapy afterwards. If I had it my way, I’d paint and draw all day for a living!
How did you come to know Jesus Christ and can you share your Christian journey with us?
I’ve been in the church all my life, in fact I’m a 3rd generation Adventist Christian so Christianity has been in my family for as long as I know! Getting to know Jesus and developing my relationship with him has been a lifelong process, and each day I’m still building on getting to know him more. I’ve learnt that the amount of time you have known God does not equate to the depth that you know him. Although I’ve never left the church physically, and never had any intentions of doing so, there was a period in my life when I didn’t know or understand just how much God did love me, which had an effect on how I saw myself, and in turn how I saw God. However, building the relationship back up since then hasn’t always been easy, but it really has been beautiful.
What is your significant life bible verse?
I have quite a few that I treasure at the moment, but one I will share is 1 Corinthians 1:27 – 29. To put it simply, Paul writes that God has chosen the weak, foolish and the despised to do his work, simply so that no man can glory in the work himself, but all glory will go to God. That’s not to say that God doesn’t use the strong and the intelligent, etc, but I have days where I don’t feel strong enough or smart enough for God to use me. So it’s encouraging to know that God wants to use me at that very point in life!
What have been some of your joys and greatest challenges as a young woman living in this generation?
Within this time that we are living in, there’s so much shown to females about what they should look like, what they should be like, and for a while I didn’t see myself as reaching those standards. The challenge of seeing myself and loving myself as God sees me was probably one of the hardest things I had to face. However, it has also become one of my greatest joys, simply because once I shared my testimony with others, I realised that there were so many other females going through similar situations and by simply knowing that I had overcome those things, encouraged them to do so too.
Can you share some key lessons that God has taught you or that God is teaching you in this season of your life?
Right now, God is teaching me to always put him first. As a student, it’s so easy to get caught up and busy with literally everything life throws at you. When I find that this is happening, God has to stop me and remind me of his promise ‘seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.’ Matthew 6:33
What is your life work or passion? Or what are you currently doing?
Art is what I am pursuing at the moment. It’s always great when your future career (God willing!) and your passions are one and the same, it’ll make waking up to go to work that much easier! A good few months ago I set up my small business ‘Art by Abi’, simply so I could make a bit of money as a student, but it is continuing to grow as I create more pieces. I am also currently planning to be the President for ASC (Adventist Students on Campus) society at university for the new academic year. It’s slightly scary simply because its a big responsibility to do God’s work on a secular campus, but I know it’s all in God’s hands!
In the busyness of life, how do you cultivate your spiritual life as a young woman?
I make sure that I have people that I am accountable to and that I can study with; for example, I have devotions each morning with some other female friends from university. Early mornings are definitely one of the best times to spend time with God in the midst of a busy schedule. I also try to randomly take time out of my day just to talk to God, literally about anything, just so I gradually see him more and more as a true friend.
What is your desire for the young women in our generation?
For them to understand just how much they are worth! I have a younger sister and I would hate for her to have to go through the same struggles with self-worth that I went through. Once we understand that we are daughters of God and that there is such a high value placed on us, our lives will reflect our value. We won’t go around comparing ourselves to others, or to what we see, simply because the standard that God has created for us is so much more than that.
What are some ways that the Lord has given you triumph in the midst of life’s challenges?
He has reminded me of his great love for me! Honestly, knowing that someone loves you and is always rooting for you makes it easier to get through hardships. Whether it be through speaking to a friend or something in the Bible, God always uses his love for me as a mechanism to help me overcome challenges. For anyone who is at such a stage in their, remember that God loves you! Yes, it can be cliche to say, but when we really reflect on how much God loves us, we realise that he loves us too much to have us stay in such a difficult place.
What advice would you give a young woman who desires to go deeper in her relationship with Jesus Christ?
If you haven’t already, definitely start having daily devotions in the morning. If you try to push it back, more often than not you’ll push it to the next day and it’ll be a difficult habit to break out of. Also, keep a prayer journal. It could include requests or jut writing out your thoughts to God, but when you look back and see how God has worked in situations that you wrote about, your relationship will definitely deepen.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt about love and relationships in your life?
One of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt is that just because love is a choice, it doesn’t always mean the choice will be easy. But the fact that it is a choice is what makes it such a beautiful principle, no matter the difficulties it may seem to bring at times. I’ve also learnt that when you truly love someone, whether it be God’s love for us or our love for someone else, it is this love rather than force that will cause a positive change in someone. It may not always happen, but instead of forcing someone to change, (because who can do that really?) simply love!
What advice would you give to your younger self?
As a teenager I wasn’t satisfied with who I was, so I would definitely tell myself “If you’re so busy trying to be someone else, then who is going to be the Abigail that God created only you to be?”