Emma - Bold, Confident, and Spirit Led

Author - Sydney Gunn

Sometimes, it is easy to look back and see how we have grown in a season. Other times, it can be a struggle to see how God has taken us from point A to point B. I often notice that our peers can see growth in us before we see it in ourselves. Over the last two months, our team has been growing in learning about each other - how we operate, why we do the things we do, and where we have flourished. For me, it has been a joy to see the love of the Lord that flows out of Emma. In many ways, I still do not fully know Emma, but my hope today is to express to you the beautiful characteristics I have seen blossom since meeting her.

Two months ago, when I met Emma, I noticed a few traits right away. Emma is very well versed in the Bible, she is mature for her age, and she loves the Lord. My favorite trait about Emma is her confidence in herself. She loves loud colors and is full of personality. I have seen this presented in many ways throughout our time together, from the way Emma loves others to how she does not conform to everyone else.

When I think of a great growth example, I think of how Emma stepped out and loved on the people in Maui while we were serving with Hope Chapel. In this certain situation, Emma did not know what she was stepping into, but she was bold and willing to walk into the unknown. God gracefully ordained this opportunity for her as she was able to pray for and create conversations with individuals who were in a hurting situation after the fire. Emma was kind, a great listener, and very compassionate toward the people. Emma was well recognized by the leaders at Hope Capel for her ability to love others well in a natural manner. It was so true; Emma was naturally very hospitable and loving toward all of these people, and her boldness continued to grow as she served in this manner.

Another favorite memory of Emma was during one of the first few weeks of Bible training. Our group had just finished a conversation where Arlie referenced something in Job, and I could tell Emma was wrestling with what Arlie said. He didn't have the exact reference, and she was left questioning his credibility. Rather than simply agreeing with what was stated, she continued to sit there and wrestle with what was presented after our session was finished. I was encouraged to see her questioning what our leaders were saying rather than taking what they had to say and agreeing with it. Not many people are willing to have their own opinion. Too often today, we are spoon-fed our information and take it as it is rather than pursuing our own desire for understanding. This showed immense courage and growth in Emma. I saw this growth continue as Emma questioned what she thought about salvation and where she was at on theology. Even this last week, Emma was willing to boldly proclaim that she did not love a statement in the discipleship book we were reading.

Our team has had a lot of time to do many tasks together over the last few weeks, helping to clean yards, organizing sheds, and serving at banquets. Emma and I can be quite similar in wanting to make sure things get done well and wanting to be in charge of the situation at hand. I have seen spirit-led growth in Emma throughout these tasks. She has already become quick to listen and slow to speak, willing to lay down her desire to get it done her way and work with the team, not having to be in charge. I can relate in all those ways with how hard it is because we want it done our way to make sure that we can control it. Though I know this has not been easy for Emma, I have been quite inspired by how Emma has allowed the Holy Spirit to change and lead her heart in these ways. It shows true humility to lay down your way for the team's sake.

Throughout the course of time together, Emma and I have had some bumps in the road, but ultimately, I see her as a little sister and someone that I cannot wait to continue to grow with. While there is still so much more to learn about Emma, I am already so uplifted by her love for others and willingness to grow in the Lord and with others at an age that will benefit her for a lifetime!
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