I’ve waited weeks now to introduce you to my sweet friend Ella Van Deusen! We first met when I began to serve the elementary aged children in our church. At the age of ten, Ella’s understanding of God and His Word made leading her small group a huge blessing. I’ve watched her grow into an amazing young lady who helps her generation shine.
Recently, we co-led a fifth grade small group. Needless to say, she made my heart proud! Ella possesses the kind of spirit that gives all of us older ones a positive outlook for the future. You’ll be blessed as you read Ella’s God story. Why not show her some love in the comments? Happy Tuesday, friends!
Hello everyone! My name is Ella and I’m a fifteen-year-old homeschooler with a passion for writing and storytelling. In fact, it is my hope to become a full-time writer when I finish school. I’m honored that Ms. Donna asked me to write a blog post, and I’ve really been praying about what to share. I believe that the Lord has led me to simply write about my walk with Him on the journey of sanctification – or, as Ms. Donna so eloquently puts it, my path thus far down the Perfection Road.
I received Christ personally at a very young age and was baptized not long afterwards at age six. Before that point in my life, my faith was mostly that I believed what my parents believed, but after receiving my ongoing request to God for a younger brother, my faith in Jesus became more personal. I gave myself whole-heartedly to Him. Following that, I strove to learn more about the God I had committed to serving, and His Word. However, I struggled to consistently and independently read the Bible and pray. My desire to attend church was also frequently lacking – often my motivation was to simply do what I knew I ought to do, or to please my parents.
The years I was twelve and thirteen contained probably the toughest time in my walk with God. I wanted to do the right thing, to be respectful to my parents, and to desire to know Jesus better, but I allowed my impulses and emotions to sometimes best me and sidetrack my good intentions. I learned the hard way that those intentions wouldn’t get me anywhere – I needed an outpouring of God’s provision. So I started reading my Bible every day. That’s it. I was done trying to hold my feelings and words together on my own. And it worked. God responded incredibly– in reality, I don’t even know what He did, but I was receiving His help and with that, I learned the power of Spirit-led self-control.
I continued spending time in the Word daily and was amazed by the fruit and discipline that grew from that one action. I found myself empowered with love and kindness towards my parents, brother, and friends. Fast forward to early this year when I was still fourteen, I made another step in my journey on the Perfection Road, which was baptism in the Holy Spirit. This absolutely incredible experience (which I received at a students’ fasting retreat) changed me again in a wonderful way. I now feel the desire to get up early for church, a desire to spend daily time with Jesus, and a desire to serve and minister to others, especially kids younger than myself. How faithful God is!
I am now pursuing a deeper relationship with the Holy Spirit and am incredibly blessed by an amazing community of Godly friends. I am also seeking God’s purpose for my life and striving to listen intently to His voice. At the risk of stating the obvious, I am very far from perfect and am always thankful for the forgiveness of Jesus, which all of us need every single day. If you are feeling stagnant or stalled out in your relationship with Jesus, let me humbly exhort you with the reminder that for every step we take towards Him, He will cross an ocean to meet us there. I hope and pray that whoever is reading this feels encouraged by my God story and may feel led to take their next step on this trail of sanctification that we all walk as Christians. Let me close with these verses, which I have taken from the Christian Standard Bible translation:
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith.” (Hebrews 12: 1-2 CSB)
“But God, who is rich in mercy, because of his great love that he had for us, made us alive with Christ even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!“
“For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift– not from works, so that no one can boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” -(Ephesians 2: 4-5, 8-10 CSB)