In His Strength: Our 2014
“Desire that your life count for something great! Long for your life to have eternal significance. Want this! Don't coast through life without a passion.”
A week or so ago, Lucy and I found ourselves musing upon last year's post of this very nature. The post feels so long ago, with this year feeling like it has been an entire age. Much has changed, not only for the site but also in our personal lives (August will see the very first More Precious wedding!).
Lucy has always had a much braver vision than me, but I think even she was surprised to see the influence to which God used our once little blog to move the next generation of Christian women this year. I spent much of 2014 pinching myself, watching the website become exactly what I had been thirsting for throughout much of my adolescent and young adult life. I was excited to see girls and young women encouraged to be Kingdom Builders and a radical light in a dark world.
The Summer Series was a total highlight for me. Each post was heartbreaking and struck a deep chord - seeing that how no matter how hard we tried, we could not escape the fallenness of this world. However, what made the series so hopeful was the constant resounding "But God..." - isn't that the truth that we are desperately trying to show those around us? That our stories don't have to end with the empty chasm of this world - instead we have the opportunity to rise from the ashes with a "But God"!
As I stood voicing my own painful (but God-filled!) testimony at A Life More Precious, I couldn't help but feel hugely emotional. I began this journey with Lucy by sharing my challenges with Jeremiah 29:11, questioning how we can reconcile God's plans for us with the reality of worldly difficulties, aching for God's glory in my ruins. As I stood on that stage and looked out at the 80 girls sat before me, I realised that each of these girls was God's glory in my ruins.
You are all God's glory - each 50,000 of you. And it is a privilege to serve our King with you.
- Hannie xo
Looking at the year we have had, all glory goes to God for breathing life and spark into the vision of More Precious; for giving us opportunities to take, and grace for our mistakes.
Incredibly, this year we have had the immense privilege of seeing girls choosing to pursue new relationship with Jesus, because they have been changed by God's love - and I want to ask you to join with us in praying for More Precious throughout 2015 and beyond, that we might see more of God at work in tangible and life-changing ways.
I have loved so much about 2014: the wonderful and gifted writers whose stories we have been able to publish; the excitement of speaking with girls who first knew a little of God years ago and have decided to return to Him once more; the encouraging emails from girls halfway across the world; the boldness of my 10 year old cousin, who is seeking how to be distinctive and courageous as the only Christian in her class; our incredible Faith Worked Out interview series, which has shown me that even some of the most successful, creative and inspiring women in the UK are pursuing Jesus passionately and wholeheartedly with the gifts they have been given.
Other highlights have to include speaking to the amazing (and huge!) Christian Union at Hills Road Sixth Form College, and of course the very special and exciting event 'A Life More Precious'. I will never forget that evening!
Looking ahead to 2015, my challenge for the year is inspired by these words from John Piper:
“My joy grows with every soul that seeks the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. Remember, you have one life. That’s all. You were made for God. Don’t waste it.”
I don't want to waste the time and potential I have, distracted by my own selfish ways. Instead, I want to pursue God wholeheartedly and introduce lost souls to His saving grace and glory. After a year of seeing hearts fall further in love with their Maker, I write with a new energy and passion for introducing girls to King Jesus - something which I know so many of you share, as you continue to inspire me with the way you live your lives.
All glory to our Heavenly Father, who is graciously letting More Precious play a little part in His Big Plan. Here's to another year of seeing the lost found, the broken made whole, and the Treasure of Christ.