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 Grace Nkeshimana
Hie Grace, Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I’m a psychology graduate who will be starting a Master’s in September 2016. I also work in retail and when I’m not working or studying I’m usually doing something church related.
How did you come to know Jesus Christ and can you briefly share your Christian Journey with us?
I was brought up as a Seventh-day Adventist and I was baptised at 13. It was around that time that I was encouraged to participate in church services more often and then I was gradually given more responsibilities/roles. Increased participation helped to make church more personal and somewhere that I belonged. At the age of 17 I realised that I didn’t know the Bible as well as I wanted to and that made me apprehensive about sharing my faith; therefore I decided to attend an evangelism school called PEACE (Practical Evangelism and Adventist Christian Education). I learned a lot during my time there and I’m especially glad that I went before university because it reaffirmed my faith.
What is your significant life bible verse?
There are many but John 16:33 is one of my favourites. It say’s, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. “
Can you share some key lessons that God has taught you or that God is teaching you in this season of your life?
- Let’s imagine that the amount of time spent with God is the independent variable, and Christlikeness (on a scale of 1-10 for argument’s sake) is the dependent variable. At baseline my heart is desperately wicked and therefore I’m realising that even in the smallest of actions I contravene God’s will. However the relationship between the aforementioned variables is linear so the more time I spend with God the more I make decisions that both He and I are proud of. In essence rather than blaming God for being stuck in a rut of committing the same sins, I’ve realised that I haven’t yielded that particular desire to Him and unsurprisingly I can only do that by spending time with Him. Therefore ‘post-test’ the quality of my heart and (by extension my decisions and Christlikeness) is increased.
- I preached a sermon on ‘remembering’ and one of the main points was that ‘the magnitude/impact of God’s previous blessings should not decrease relative to subsequent trials’. I tend to forget how good God was the last time I needed something major just because my current situation seems comparatively worse. However fear feeds forgetfulness so I’m trying especially hard to exemplify Philippians 4:6 with particular emphasis on ‘thanksgiving’.
What is your life work or passion? Or what you currently doing?
I don’t necessarily have a life work or passion at the moment. But those who know me know that I love children so when I finish studying I’m hoping to conduct research in the field of educational psychology. I’ll be doing an MEd in Psychology of Education and hopefully a PhD looking at a learning disability such as autism or dyslexia as I particularly enjoyed learning about these topics in my undergraduate degree.
What advice would you give to a young woman who desires to go deeper in her relationship with Jesus Christ?
One of the best pieces of advice that was given to me was to search the scriptures for a character whose experience mirrors your own. For example, if you need help with leading others look at Nehemiah or if you’re having trouble making a decision look at Jonah etc. Too often we fail to make the Bible personal and we hope something will just ‘pop up’ when we need it, but when you study (like how you would if it were an exam) you gain so much more than hoping you’ll open your Bible to the right page.
What is your desire for the young women in our generation?
One of the most frustrating passages of scripture that I have read and believe me I was sooooo mad is Jeremiah 44:15-19 (in particular verse 19). In this chapter the Israelites have decided to ignore God and sacrifice to other gods, however what infuriated me was that when Jeremiah confronts them and the women respond that they did so with their husband’s ‘approval/permission’. This is similar to when your mother used to ask ”if your friend told you to jump in fire/off a cliff would you do it?” because you’d followed them in doing something that you knew was wrong. My point is that I want young women to know scripture for themselves and especially God’s will so that no one (even with the blessing of their husband) can cause them to do wrong. We are answerable to God not those whom we want to please.
What are some of the greatest lessons you’ve learnt about love and relationships in your life?
- Intimacy means more than just touch
- Expressing love according to 1 Corinthians 13:4-9 is a lot harder than I thought but your significant other deserves nothing less
- Avoiding even the ‘appearance of evil’ is essential (in other words its important to be proactive in maintaining your boundaries)
Do you have any books or sermons that you recommend young women to read or listen to?
- Adventist Home; Letters to Young Lovers – Ellen G White
- Holding Hands, Holding Hearts: Recovering a Biblical View of Christian Dating – Richard & Sharon Phillips
- Confessions of A Prayer Slacker – Diane Moody
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d tell myself not to say ‘yes’ to everything.