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I struggled with low mood but God has been setting me free

Hey Bethany tell us about your style: “It’s mainly just anything comfortable. I spend a lot of time in baggy clothes and XXL jumpers. But I do love to sometimes change it up and go for more of a street-smart look. My style has changed a lot but right now that’s what it seems to be.”

What are you doing at the moment?: “Right now I’m finishing an internship at a church in Bournemouth with youth and that’s where my passion really lies. In September I’m hoping to move to California to train on youth missions which I’m super excited about! I think the thing about youth which I’m most passionate about is seeing individual transformation of the young people’s hearts when they allow Jesus into their lives and to work in them. I love coming alongside people and encouraging them along their journey with Jesus.”

What worship song do you have on repeat?: “It’s Promises by Maverick City. If you haven’t listened to this I would highly recommend it, it’s been such a declaration song for me in this season. To trust in his promises even when everything seems so chaotic can be challenging but it brings so much peace!

Can you tell us something transformational that God has done in your life?: “As a result of being super unwell during sixth-form my mental health got really bad. I struggled with severe mood swings, general low mood and anxiety and it began to take control of certain parts of my life and relationships. Over this past year, God has really been setting me free from this and I can already see the change in how I respond to things around me and how I view myself and my relationships. He is so good and I know He is gonna bring this work to completion! Joy is something Jesus freely gives us, we just have to choose it everyday!”

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God helped me find my voice

Hey Audrey tell us about your style: “I would say it’s authentically me. I love old, I love comfy – I love sustainable and just adore colour (especially green and mustard!). When I dress in the mornings, I find joy in the daily creative exercise of choosing the ways in which I can channel my inner world with outward style – hairdo and all.”

What are you doing at the moment?: “I work as a brand strategy consultant in sustainability. I get to work with a whole flock of individuals who are hellbent on changing the world for our good and for our planet – one business at a time. I also love to write – to write articles, write songs (oh yes – I’m in a band called The Salts – Christian puns galore!) and to write letters – how I love writing letters to people! Last but by no means least, I am extremely passionate about young women and that’s the reason I am extremely honoured to be a part of Rebel Hearts Rebel Girl’s amazing magazine – Truth, equipping women in the word and in wisdom.”

What worship song do you have on repeat?: “The honest truth is too many to list here! I’ve been worshipping more with the songs that I’ve written and spontaneously coming up with than normal. Some of these I would barely call songs by the way (!), but ultimately, they are the anthems that my soul has needed to declare during this time. And P.S. If you’ve not heard Oh What A Saviour by HTB Worship – highly recommend!”

We’d love to hear something transformational God has done in your life: “Man who I would be without God is not worth imagining. Where I have seen God move so incredibly so powerfully, has been in finding my voice. From a teen with low self esteem, depression – to a young woman who felt inhibited by verbal dyspraxia and dyslexia, I look back at all the many things that I had allowed to silence my voice and the opportunities I let go to fear. But ever faithful, God continues to grow my giftings – putting me in spaces and spheres I could scarcely have imagined for myself! He has grown my vision and nurtured my boldness. And now, well you can’t shut me up!”

Audrey is on the Editorial board of truth our new magazine.

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I grew up in a family with no faith and am now ordained

Hey Hannah tell us about your style:
“I was once told I blend fashion and function, which I think is a good description: I like to choose comfort and practicality and hopefully a sense of style, without trying too hard! I’d say it’s a mix of smart skatewear / tomboy / boxy / casual / norm-core, with a dip into outdoors-wear on occasion. Nothing too fancy. And as much second-hand as possible.”

What are you doing right now?:
“I’m a Reverend at a church in Brighton. Week to week I host our Church Online service with my friend James, and oversee our Leadership Development Year programme for young leaders, alongside a host of other things. I’m passionate about seeing young leaders raised up within the church, particularly women. As a young(ish) woman in church leadership, I know there are lots of limitations and barriers to young women leading, but it’s God’s heart to see us take authority in all spheres of influence, not just the church. Any part I can play in that, I will!”

What worship song do you have on repeat?
“Oh goodness, my poor husband is subjected to endless worship song ‘repeats’. I’m a big one for full-blown worship sets on YouTube. If I had to choose one it’s probably My Prayer – Live, Bright City (classiiiiiic!)”

We’d love to hear something transformational God has done in your life.
“I am still baffled that having grown up in a family that doesn’t know Jesus – no faith background, no church – I am now ordained into the Church of England. I was invited by a friend to a church youth group when I was at secondary school, and piece by piece I discovered Jesus for myself. I owe this in part to exceptional discipleship and youth leaders (go go go youth leaders!), the power of invitation (it works!), and of course the heart of God pursuing me. Despite my parents’ certainty I was going to grow out of it, deep down I knew then that I had made a life-long commitment and was never going back. Who would have thought years later I’d be Rev’d Hannah Milne?!! Madness.”

Hannah is on the editorial board of Truth Magazine from Rebel Hearts Rebel Girls

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We marched round Bloomingdales praying

Hey Caragh tell us about your style: “I swear 75% of my clothes are from the second hand clothes market in Uganda where I live up until lockdown. It’s a thrift shop dream. I feel like I live in denim jackets and sparkly tops. Since lockdown I’ve just found myself wearing really unnecessarily extra sparkly tops just to work in my living room in the week lol.”

What are you doing right now?: “I run an organisation called Zena. We’re a non profit social enterprise that works with female entrepreneurs in rural Uganda. Our program exists to provide debt free access to capital and education for women with a business dream under the poverty line! We work with incredible innovative women who are changing their communities by employing other individuals and putting their children in school. We design a line of fun earrings to fund our work which we sell online in the US and the UK. It’s the biggest adventure and privilege of my life.”

What worship song do you have on repeat?: “Let Revival Come, People & Songs.”

We’d love to hear something transformational God has done in your life: “About a year ago, my co-founder and I were praying like crazy that we’d get a meeting with the fashion director of a department store. We felt God had said we would be in one by the end of 2 years as a brand, but it’s really hard to get into one before your brand is 3 years old! We felt God wanted us to contend for it so we took it walls of Jericho style and walked around the Bloomingdales flagship in New York 7 times every day for 10 days. Had to switch out our heels for flats pretty quickly. On our final day there we received a call to tell us something had changed and we had a 9am with the fashion director at Bloomingdales. WE FREAKED OUT and ended up walking out of the meeting with an order in our hands and designs signed off. Our publicist told us in the elevator on the way down ‘I’ve been in the fashion industry 20 years and I’ve never had a meeting like that in my life’. GOD MOVES MOUNTAINS PEOPLE.”

Caragh is on the editorial board of truth our new magazine, out now, featuring Elle Limebear and Open Doors.

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I’ve a heart for those on the outside

Hi I’m Portia. I’m from Durban, South Africa.

How would you describe your style?: “I would describe my style as simple but flattering. I love anything that sits on my waist. I’m a flats kind of girl. I like simple items like blouses and dresses that are comfortable.”

What are you passionate about?: “Being someone who grew up feeling different and left out, I know the feeling of wanting to be included. So I have a heart for those who feel alienated by society and also anyone with mental health issues. I want to help them know that they are worth every breath and they can live confidently in the promises of God.”

What worship song do you have on repeat?: “Move your heart by UPPERROOM – it reminds me that it’s not about me but about Him.”

Can you tell us something transformational God has done in your life?: “At the age of 10, I choked on a fireball sweet, it’s huge in size and made of hard bubble gum. When I realised I was choking I thought it was the last day of my life because it was larger than my tiny throat. Then, around 11 years later, when I was 21, I started experiencing nightmares when I was sleeping. It was like I was choking on a big seed but I couldn’t spit it out. Sometimes I would scream and then I would wake up and realise that it wasn’t real. So my family prayed in my room and I was healed and delivered from the trauma. He’s a way maker kind of God and if he came through for me then he will for you too. That’s who he is!”

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I was distracted by unrealistic expectations

Hey Jessie, tell us about your style: “My style is 98% comfort. I’m especially loving the ‘wear white trainers with absolutely anything’ trend at the moment! Yet, my favourite thing is dressing up for an occasion, or making something an occasion purely so that I can dress up…”

What are you passionate about?: “I’m fiercely passionate about girls and women realising that we’re more than just our image; what we look like. God is way too creative for that! We’re so much more than just pretty. We’re pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty ambitious, and all round pretty great. What we see and think when we look in the mirror is sometimes distorted by socially constructed ideas of beauty. It’s time we look at God and believe what he says and thinks about us. And in Ephesians 2:10 it says that we are his masterpiece and he created us anew to do the good things he planned for us long ago. This changes EVERYTHING.”

What worship song do you have on repeat?: “I’ve continued working throughout lockdown and the last few weeks have been pretty draining and exhausting. So I have Good Grace by Hillsong on repeat, particularly when it says: “don’t let your heart be troubled, hold your head up high, don’t fear no evil, fix your eyes on this one truth, God is madly in love with you”. As everything is stripped away, and stripped bare through lockdown, God’s love alone sustains us.”

We’d love to hear something transformational God has done in your life: “God has transformed the way I see myself. I used to question my beauty and whether I was enough. I used to plead ‘if only…. I looked like her, I had skinnier thighs, a flatter stomach, etc.’ Instead of appreciating how God made me, I wanted to be anyone but me. They say that a picture paints a thousand words but it doesn’t necessarily paint reality. I compared myself to photos that weren’t reality on social media. God spoke deeply to me through Ephesians 2:10 and I realised I was so distracted by unrealistic worldly expectations and social media perfection and that God had another way for me to live and another plan for my life. In a society that profits from our self-doubt, insecurity and anxiety, loving who we are is a truly rebellious act. God took my struggle and made it into a beautiful story full of hope for other girls; a story for the world to read in a book called ‘More Than Just Pretty’.”

More Than Just Pretty is published by SPCK Publishing and is available to buy here.

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My style says “she will dance in a rainstorm”

Meet Chelsea who lives in Texas and writes for truth magazine.

Tell us about your style: My style is eclectic…a mix of trendy and fun yet always functional. I love bright colours, mixed patterns, and wild textures. Even my loungewear needs to have an edge. We communicate with our styles, and mine says, “She will dance in a rainstorm.”

What are you doing right now: I am currently the President and CEO of a chamber of commerce in North Texas, USA. I provide marketing solutions and connection opportunities for local businesses. I love writing and I am also a hireable Mrs. Claus during Christmastime. I am passionate about stories and allowing people to feel safe and known. I love the mission of RHRG and Truth for these very reasons.

What worship song do you have on repeat?: “Yes I will” by Vertical Worship. The same God who’s never late is working all things out” If you’re doing life right, there’s always a wait, and that is a blessing and privilege. I didn’t realise how much this song would reflect 2020, but I love belting it!

We’d love to hear something transformational God has done in your life: Depression and anxiety are a part of my story, but they are not my story. The Lord led me through some dark and hard times this year, and he used MY OWN writing. He used encouraging words he had given me for others to help lift my head. He is so good and strategic and perfect and loving. His hope and joy are splatter painted all over our lives. We need only look for it.”

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Jesus chose you

Tell us about your style: “I’d describe it as ‘grunge with pops of colour’, which is a recent thing as up till uni I only used to wear dark clothes. My friends tell me I still only wear dark/monochrome things, but I’ve got pops of colour, mainly from my Nigerian clothes which I’ve been quite into over the last few years. However, I also love to dress up when I can, so yeh I kinda touch a lot of bases with my style. I like the fact I can’t quite place it, there’s a freedom to it.”

What are you doing right now: “I’ve just finished my 3rd of 6 years of medical school and am on my summer break before I start my clinical years in September. I’m passionate about helping people and injustice and particularly BLM, which is of course super relevant at the moment and a bit of a new passion since I’m finding my voice in that, but also for the homeless. I love youth work and feel that teenagers are awesome, moody at times, but awesome.”

What is giving you life and joy at the moment?: “During this time of isolation I’ve struggled, but in that, I feel like for one of the first times in my life I know that only Jesus can satisfy me, absolutely nothing else in this world can. I know it and truly believe it, not know it because I know it is the ‘right thing’ to know if that makes sense. And I think knowing that and coming to this realisation not only in my head but in my heart, for lack of a better phrase, is both scary because vulnerability isn’t my favourite thing, but also the most exciting thing ever.”

What do you struggle with?: “I think I struggle or have struggled with not being perfect whether that’s in mine, others or God’s eyes but God is teaching me and reminding me that he loves me and loved me before I even knew what love was, even when he knew what a mess I could be. He loves me, all of me, and so knowing that I can allow myself to accept his grace and can give myself grace too.”

What worship song do you have on repeat?: “Out of Hiding – Both the original by Steffany Gretzinger and the Gospel Medley version by Tye Tribbett and Lena Byrd-Miles.”

We’d love to hear something transformational God has done in your life: “Freedom. I am living in absolute freedom and stepping into new freedom with each season that comes. From freedom from anxiety, to lies of the enemy, to hurts of the world, God has set me so free and I’m loving learning to live in that. He’s been working on this, on me for years, and I’m still being transformed, but man, freedom is good. God is good.”

Do you have any tips you’d like to share that have helped you in your journey with God?: “Know that he loves you and give into that, don’t fight it, accept it, don’t try and do good things to earn it, he loves you because he loves you because he loves you.”

The most relevant thing that has helped me with that is an analogy of our relationship with God kind of being like that with a perfect boyfriend/girlfriend/partner. If you kept messing up in a relationship, you’d expect to be broken up with, but God doesn’t break up with us. If you were in a relationship with someone who was perfect and never did anything wrong you may feel unworthy of them or like its not a great match and so want to break up and they may let you do just that, but God doesn’t do that. Imagine you break up with your significant other and try run away by flying to the middle of nowhere. Jesus is at the airport of that random place holding a placard with your name on it. He doesn’t give up on us and he knows we’re not perfect, but he wants to be there for us.

The way this relationship works is realising your significant other chose YOU and loves YOU no matter how much you don’t feel worth it or don’t feel like you deserve it. This is how it is with Jesus. Running away from it is exhausting; sinking into it and accepting it, now that’s what is good. And gradually you stop doing stuff you know is wrong because you grow more and more in love with your partner, and don’t want to hurt them, not because you have to and it’s a rule of the relationship. It’s the same with Jesus. That’s what God gave me to remind me of how he loves me, and it’s really helped. So yeh, approach him from a place of love, it’s a relationship not a religion.”