You Really Are Chosen To Reign
There are two prayers I distinctly remember asking God when I was a little girl. First, I prayed about the man I hoped to marry. I loved the healing stories of Jesus most. I asked God to prepare a husband for me who had a servant's heart so that together we could heal His people. Secondly, I remember asking God to make me a princess of the people. I was deeply infatuated with Disney princesses at this age and I will never forget the first time I saw a magazine cover titled ‘Princess of the People’ with a real life princess: Princess Diana. The photo that stood out to me was a picture of Princess Diana smiling and knelt down surrounded by orphan children with Mother Teresa. Up until this point, I had no idea that princesses were actually real! Diana was the type of princess I wanted to become someday.
That night I was flipping through my Bible and started reading a chapter I had never heard taught in Sunday school before - the book of Revelation. Kingdoms, crowns, Jesus returning on a white horse! Wait a minute, you mean to tell me the story isn’t over? I thought the entire Bible was all stories of past events and fluff like “do this, not that” stuff. Why hadn’t anyone taught me about this?! There is a REAL Kingdom, Jesus is the Prince, the villain is defeated in this story, and I am invited to reign with God? This was the coolest fairytale I had ever heard of, but it’s real! I was all in. I told Jesus, “I want to be a part of that story.” I had no idea how powerfully God was going to move through those little girl prayers.
When I was in high school, I was bombarded with bullying on the weekdays and attended my teenage cousin’s chemo and radiation treatments on weekends. Over half of my hair fell out due to the stress of constant bullying. I remember praying to God and asking him to take away the senseless malignancy that seemed to surround me during that season. I felt Jesus speak to my spirit, "You would have chosen a different path, but had we not walked through this season you would not have the training, the strengthening, nor the compassion to fulfill the call I have over your life. I will take all that the world has meant for harm and redeem it, not only for your good, but for the good of others. You may not understand now, but one day you will."
I want to be clear here that cancer, bullying, any and all evil of this world is NOT FROM GOD. It is simply the fallen world in which we have... for now. (See Revelation 21:5)
I met my future husband, Clay, in 2007 when I was fifteen at a high school leadership conference in California with 5,000 kids from across the country... and we somehow both lived in Iowa?! We spent an entire week together, completely captivated by each other. On our last night in California, we stood on the hotel room balcony watching the Disneyland fireworks and we had our first kiss. I cried because I thought this was all too good to be true. I just knew at the stroke of midnight, he was bound to become a pumpkin. At 15 years old, they said Clay and I were crazy. Three years in a long distance relationship, they said we would never last and that we needed to be more realistic. We were two hours apart and saw each other once a month. Eleven years later, Clay recently proposed to me on that very same balcony where we met in California. Only God can write a love story against all odds like that! They are still calling us crazy as we pursue God’s callings on our lives of medicine and ministry - and they may be right, but I know we will never be what the world considers realistic. And if I’m completely honest, pursuing Jesus has been a way wilder adventure than anything that could compare of this world!
Now I understand that had we not had gone through the training of those previous seasons, we would not be prepared for our current position. Likewise, there is training within this season equipping us for the next. Looking back on high school, I can see the lessons learned and the muscle grown from those trainings. Had we not navigated through the period of distance and waiting as teenagers we would not have the patience and endurance needed now for our relationship to survive twelve years of medical school. Time and distance is nothing for us today compared to the painful difficulty it was then, because we have strengthened that muscle to endure and persevere together. Clay and I understand that what we are building during this season is foundational for God’s calling on our lives. The same is true for your life. This life is the training ground. There is purpose within your current position. God is continuously in this beautiful yet radical and scandalous process of growing us up, ushering in the Kingdom, and preparing us to reign with him.
Navigating those seasons of discomfort and opposition were imperative in forming me into who God had called me to become. Because of what I witnessed and experienced through bullying and attending cancer treatments as a teenager, I now have a heart for helping others. Without those difficult formative years, I would not have the compassion, the endurance, or the mindset that I have today. I’m grateful for those life lessons because they taught me to value life and love as precious gifts. God loves a story of redemption and restoration, and He has one for each of us. God transformed that little girl into a woman filled with passion to help others and Jesus paved the path before her, opening doors from the Make-A-Wish Foundation to pageantry that all ultimately led to His invitation for her to reign with Him and fulfill an irreplaceable role as a princess of the people. God gave me the name Chosen To Reign with the mission to equip and empower young women to walk in their royal identities through Christ. Honestly, I am the most unqualified and incapable person for this calling and I still think He is crazy. Christine Caine says it best, “God doesn’t call the qualified. He qualifies the called.” Any success that comes through Chosen To Reign is all God’s doing. Clay is in his third year of medical school. God has called Clay to become a pediatric doctor of oncology, which means he will fight for children diagnosed with cancer. I mean, come on! How wild is Jesus? That’s not even the coolest part of the story! So far we have witnessed multiple miraculous healings of children through the power of prayer, including a little boy with months to live diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma cancer that virtually disappeared overnight. Do you see and hear how God is powerfully fulfilling those little girl prayers? We are healing His people, physically and spiritually - TOGETHER. Now that’s a turnaround victory story! And God has one written specifically for you.
Even though Jesus was God's Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. - Hebrews 5:8-9
"Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised." // Hebrews 10:36
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” //Isaiah 55:9
"Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see." // Hebrews 11:1