His whispers, my wins. | Lois's Testimony
Lois is an enthusiastic young woman of God, living in Bournemouth, England, and studying a master’s degree in slavery and liberation. After completing her undergraduate degree in fashion design, Lois felt her calling from God was to delve into the heart-breaking world of slavery and human trafficking, in order to change the narrative and spread the light of Jesus.
Growing up in a Christian household, Lois admits, “I have always had God as a part of my life, and have found comfort in prayer and songs because that’s what my parents modelled to me”, but her first personal encounter with the Holy Spirit was when she was 9 years old, and she then grew up as a dedicated Christian teen. After struggling with mental health issues at the age of 18, Lois joined a discipleship school and made the conscious decision to ask herself, “even when the most awful and lovely things happen, how do I navigate that, choosing God through it all?”
Due to her always having an awareness of God in her life, Lois feels as if she didn’t have a dramatic ‘before and after’ story when it came to accepting and walking with Christ, but rather her view of God and her relationship with Him is where she can now see real growth. On her discipleship year before entering university, Lois had some terrible experiences and was sexually assaulted which impacted her and her relationship with God in a negative, harmful way. Looking back now, she says “God met me in that place, and showed me kindness” but she never allowed herself to be angry and ask the real questions like, ‘God, where were you?’ Lois kept that side of her story rather hidden and confessed, “I looked like I was living the great life, but there was something in my soul that was still really hurting.” Whilst being in a relationship, Lois felt that her own insecurities were highlighted and displayed, and this allowed her to recognise how deeply her fear was dictating her life and decisions.
“I would show up to church on Sunday but wasn’t wanting to spend any personal time with Him because that space that is so intimate, became so scary because when something invades that space, it’s not safe anymore.”
After suffering from these feelings for a while, she finally decided to ask God to invade every part of her heart, even the scary ones and felt an immediate shift. She recognised a number of her own unhealthy habits which she wanted to change, and after actively seeking Jesus and professional counselling, she viewed herself and the trauma that affected her, in a completely different way, one where it didn’t have power over her identity and behaviours. Lois is now aware that she has the tools available to feel the emotions, meet God in the middle of them, and let them pass over because they do not rule over her life.
“I’m no longer ruled by fear and insecurity and having to find safety.”
There have been several influences on Lois, that have encouraged her in her walk with Christ. One major one is living in a Christian community, specifically in a shared house with other Christian women who have all signed up to living by certain values and practices together. Lois explains that the aim of this is to ask each other, “how does the way we love God and love each other spill out into the way we live our lives?” The house they live in is situated in a rather rough area of Bournemouth, known for drugs and broken families, but Lois and the women she lives with all agree that “there’s a space for Christians to move into areas that are messy on purpose because God sees beauty in all the people there.”
Another influence has been the book, The Inner Voice of Love by Henri Nouwen, a Catholic priest who journaled through his season of depression. Lois finds that some of the main take-aways from this book that deeply resonated with her were: “don’t be afraid of the deep feelings because that is exactly where you meet Jesus”, and “lean on other people because that’s where pure love comes from.” Finally, Lois is inspired by her mother, who has been tackling her own journey of healing and has open speech and conversations surrounding mental health, which have been a real encouragement to break such negativity before other generations receive it.
“If we live in the fullness, then we can share that fullness with other people.”
In the past, Lois has often felt very jealous of people that experienced “super cool” mountain-top experiences with God that meant for an immediate drastic shift which turned their whole life around, because she feels that she has never truly felt that.
But she now realises that what she has learned and is privileged to share, is, “how do you just stick at it year after year?” Spiritual burnout is real, and I’m sure many believers have felt it at some point in their walk, but Lois tackles this by remembering the times when God has been undoubtedly faithful.
“I know that He has whispered things into my heart that I’ve seen come true. God is in my breathing, He is here even if I don’t feel Him.”
Another lesson Lois has learned is that our version of God’s goodness is different from how it actually is. How we see good, isn’t how God sees good, but she feels that we can be encouraged that, “what God is doing is bigger than your story.”
This is something that Lois admits, you don’t get to learn instantly, but you have to remember that “He shows up even when I don’t, He’s committed to this even when I’m not”, and it’s in those moments that you can see God’s faithfulness.
Hosea Clothing caught Lois’ eye when working at David’s Tent in 2019. Because of her background in fashion, she spoke to the team at the stall about supply chains and ethical sources for the brand to consider. She loved the products and the message behind them and decided to pick up a tee to show-off and proclaim her faith.
“It’s amazing to be loved and pursued by Majesty, that really spoke to me.”
Lois could see the commitment of this Christian clothing brand, not only as a company but also the team’s individual faith lives, which provided her with real encouragement and inspiration to show her support.
Hosea Clothing is “a great way of displaying God’s word and I felt really proud to wear the t-shirt and see people read it and want to ask.”
As a final comment, Lois would like to provide you with these encouragements:
"Keep saying yes to God and choose to get to know Him more. It will shape and transform your heart and allow for healing and hope. For me, Jesus is like an old faithful friend and companion through life, and the more time I spend in the presence of God, the more amazed and inspired I am. Your walk may be long and sometimes sluggish, but try Him and stick at it, He is so worth it! You'll find the breakthrough you're looking for."
“My relationship with God allows me to see hope even when it looks like there shouldn’t be, and allows me to have a purpose even when I don’t understand.”