Embrace the Certainty of God’s Love
September 29, 2014
Life is what you make of it.
Whether you embrace life or despise life, yours will become whatever your perspective is on the topic. This week, we had the opportunity to interview our new assistant editor, Charity Hall. We know you will love her as much as we do and will be inspired by her positive outlook on life!
She’s Intentional: First of all, we are so honored to have you as a member of the Dainty Jewell’s Team working on She’s Intentional! Also, thank you for agreeing to be interviewed; would you tell our readers a little bit about who you are?
Charity Hall: I’m 25, I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, helped my parents build a home missions church and currently work full-time as an auditor. I’m passionate about worship as a lifestyle and I’m a bit of a nerd over history and ethics. I’m a chronic overachiever and a renaissance gal when it comes to hobbies, including music, cooking, photography, hiking, woodwork and any organization or strategizing project (yes, I’m a Type A).
I love the outdoors, and enjoy exploring my surroundings, whether through a food tour, urban exploring or just enjoying some favorite paths. I’m always up for an adventure, and love meeting new people! Most importantly, I want to impact my world in a tangible way by living out my name, “Charity,” loving others completely, as well as mentoring the next generation to love and become even greater than the last.
SI: You are involved in so many activities; from music, photography, traveling, exploring, and countless other things in between. How did you get interested in all these various activities and what is it that draws you to them?
CH: By doing something new every day! I still try to do something new every day, whether it’s reading a new book or interacting with a new person, it fuels your passions and fulfills your heart. Being raised in a pastor’s home, I already had a more flexible schedule than many families and I was also blessed to be homeschooled through high school and I attribute many of my interests to those factors. Growing up, my family took advantage of our flexible schedule to travel, to absorb multiple cultures, and my mother encouraged us to pursue any interest that would personally enrich our lives and bless the kingdom of God. As a result, I now play several instruments, including piano, violin, guitar and flute (and brief stints on organ and drums) and chose to major in vocal performance in college. I was able to take some ASL classes and also do a lot of traveling. Much of that travel was to conferences of various sorts while growing up, which became missions trips and more academic trips as I grew older, including one very special trip to Israel with Jerusalem University College as a graduation gift for my second Bachelors degree. Many hobbies and activities are stair-steps to the next one. Traveling makes you want to take better photos, and of course you want to share those, which leads to blogging, and writing, et cetera.Travel can help open the mind, change one’s perspective and consequently change one’s world completely! (Especially on overseas missions trips: go on one!)
SI: Let’s just get this little fact out in the open: you are smart. Like, crazy smart! I know it’s not the most comfortable subject for you to talk about, but you have spent a lot of your life in education – from music degrees and being a financial wizard currently studying to be a CPA. Will you share with us your education experience and why you chose to be involved in that aspect of life?
CH: It isn’t a comfortable subject, especially because it seems like many people place more emphasis on education than the driving force behind it. Education for education’s sake isn’t my pursuit. Rather, I knew what path I wanted to follow at an early age and in order to fulfill it, I needed a firm academic base and the credibility a degree offered. I was homeschooled and graduated from high school at 15, which is one of the reasons everyone comments “you’re super smart!” Homeschooling gave me an edge with both discipline in completing my work on my own, as well as helping me to be super goal-oriented and make everything a to-do list. Graduating so young also made college a little bit interesting (hello adult world, meet my younger self)! In order to fulfill my dream to become a help in the area of financial planning, I needed a foundation in business school. My undergrad work includes a BS in Business Administration, Accounting (CSUEB, 2010), and a BA in Music & Worship Leadership, Vocal Performance (Patten University, 2011). I completed my MA in Human Services, Executive Leadership in early 2013 (Liberty University), which helped join the technical skills of my business undergrad program with the leadership skills in working with people. This broad base gave me the skills and opportunity to lead as administrative assistant and music director at my local church for several years, as well as topursue a secular career. Like you mentioned, I’m studying to be a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), which is definitely a challenge right now, but with the end goal of having the credibility and credentials to help churches achieve greatness. It doesn’t work this way for everyone, but my education has been in pursuit of how I can better God’s kingdom. And while education itself isn’t for everyone, learning is. When we stop learning, we stop growing, and it’s my goal to constantly pursue Godly wisdom and knowledge.
DJ: As a result of your continual studies, you have had many career opportunities. What are you currently doing for a job and what do you hope to do in the future?
CH: As I mentioned above, I’m currently working as an auditor. While it’s not what I want to do forever, I’m developing leadership skills, understanding the business world and getting a grip on basic accounting and financial skills invaluable to my end goal. My desire since I was 13 has been to serve the church in the area of finance and administration. I believe financial stability and strategic planning is one of the keys to strong churches which in turn help create stronger families. I want to see our churches grow, with a strong base and strong finances, to back that growth with a strategic plan. As a pastor’s daughter, I noticed that while God calls a man to preach and minister in an area or church, often they don’t have the administrative skills necessary to help the church sustain growth and flourish financially. As a result, growth may stagnate and discouragement sets in. I want to work with churches and pastors to be a help in this area. Long term goal for sure, but God’s timing is always perfect!
SI: Will you share with us your passions and goals? Do they fit together? And if so, how do you hope to implement them into your short-term and long-term future plans?
CH: “My soul desire is to be used, an empty vessel longing to be filled by You…to do Your perfect will, to work each day and build Your kingdom…” (David Mark Baldwin). The song above is such an old one, but it matches my long-term goal. I talked about it in the above questions regarding “career” (or as I refer to it as my “calling,” I don’t want to simply pursue a career). Truly, my heart is to be used however God chooses. I’m passionate about two main things: Worship & Ethics. As Christians and Pentecostals specifically, worship is such a huge part of who we are. I believe in not only worship in church, the worship service, but the whole service as worship. Even more importantly, a lifestyle of worship where our lives reflect our love for God. Similar to the Scripture you posted on Sunday from Philippians. The good, the beautiful, the things that touch God’s heart. But as a worship leader, it moves me to tears to stand in a service and lead others into His presence. It’s a feeling unlike any other. Secondly, I’m passionate about ethics. I’ve always been a fan of justice, and the pursuit of what is just, but during my years in business school, we discussed ethics countless times (ahem, Enron). It seems like a strange topic to be passionate about, but it so fully encompasses our lives in unseen ways. I believe the two do fit together. In our worship with God there are no shortcuts, therefore ethics come into play in our daily lives. “If a tree falls in a forest and no one hears it fall, did it make any noise?” The same thing goes with our character as a reflection of Jesus. One of my other goals is to help inspire and mentor the next generation in the study of worship, ethics, character and intention so that we may be even greater blessings to God’s kingdom.
SI: You have been a personal source of inspiration for me countless times, and I am grateful for that; I know you have a few select people in your life who have proven to be invaluable mentors and encouragers. Who are they and how have they helped to shape you into who you are today?
CH: Well, first I have to say I’ve been blessed to cultivate a circle of accountability around me, and that is truly what mentors should be. People who you not only have complete confidence in, spiritually and interpersonally, but also can trust to guide you safely through life trials and most importantly to pray for you. Proverbs 11:14 tells us that there is safety in an abundance of counsellors.
My mother is my first and most influential mentor, and her influence shaped my life in ways I’m only now starting to understand. She came to the Lord as a young teenager, drawn by the outward holiness and beauty of the long hair and skirts of her neighbor family who had three daughters, and fell in love with the truth and the holiness of the heart as well. I believe her love for truth and never taking for granted the gift of that truth has been the catalyst to her influence in my life and in others. She lives her faith. Three specific things she has done: First, she prepared me for life by not protecting me from the world, but by nurturing a faith and desire for the things of God in order to prepare me for when I would face the world alone. Second, she placed a Godly character in me by holding me to what was right through discipline, encouragement and tough love. Thirdly, she has taught me how to love people. Every day her life is made up of what she can do for others, sacrificing self at all costs. This love is truly Christ-like love and something I try to emulate. She taught me that true worship is living like we might be the only Jesus someone might ever see. What Jesus will I be showing them? My mom is someone I can go to with anything and I know she will sincerely pray and seek God’s ear on the topic, regardless how trivial.
The other mentor who has shaped my life is Sis. Doretha Jones, from Bryan, Texas. When I was 7 years old she became my piano teacher around the time I had to start playing in church due to losing our pianist. She taught me the true meaning of doing all things in worship. I firmly believe that there is not a bone in her body that does not worship the Lord when she plays and sings. She is just one of those amazing people who always have a smile on their face, are always ready to worship, pray, cry with you or just sit down and have a good talk with. I’m forever grateful God placed her in my life when He did.
Lastly, (I know this is long), I have my pastor, and Elders of the faith who have seen me grow up and have stayed constants in my life. I’m blessed to count Elder Phil White, Bro. Larry Booker and Bro. Vaughn Morton as men of God in my life who I can go to for counsel and know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they have the mind and will of God and will not refrain from telling me the truth. As young ladies, we often forget to emulate the Christian walk of the men in our lives, and instead seek out women, but it is not just the men who have role models in the Elders who preach truth: they are our role models as well. How can we emulate them? By observing their character, their lifestyle and their commitment to truth. By asking ourselves how we can dedicate ourselves to the Kingdom like these men have, and make a difference in our own world?
SI: As an Apostolic young woman, what has been one of the hardest lessons for you to learn? What kind of advice can you give to other young women who may be struggling with the same areas?
CH: One of the most difficult things for me has been understanding WHY. My personality plans, structures, and strategizes every part of life, and yes, I like to have control of it too. When people get in the way of God and it seems like God is doing nothing, I’ve struggled with the why of it all. When my life suddenly changes I want to understand it. I want clarity. I want to know why God isn’t doing anything (of course He is, but it can feel like He isn’t). At a ladies conference last year the speaker said something that spoke directly to my heart. Stop seeking clarity. Embrace certainty. Regardless of whether I understand it or not, God is still good. I can still trust Him. HE will never let me down. We don’t understand everything we’re going through, we can’t see the end and sometimes we won’t understand God’s plan in letting others go. But we can embrace the certainty of His love, His provision and His timing. He is without blemish or failure. No matter what we go through.
SI: Do you have a scripture that is especially meaningful to you? What is it and how has it proven to be a source of hope and encouragement in your life?
CH: I do! These days we all have a mantra or signature-quote that we love, but God’s word should always be the most influential in our lives. My all-time favorite Scripture is II Timothy 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” God’s perfect love casts out all fear (I John 4:18), and as young women we face a bevy of fears and worries that threaten to overwhelm us if we let them. Resting in God’s promises means releasing our fears and holding on to His unfailing love.