Abbey Earl

Abbey Earl 

Fort Worth, TX 

Word: Radiant 

  I picked the word radiant because I want to be a light in this dark world. Before I really knew Jesus, I didn’t have a lot of true joy. I knew that I was missing something, but I was sure what it was.  When I began to pursue a relationship with Jesus I received this joy that never leaves me! I want to be a person who send out light into this dark world. I don’t want anyone to be living without the joy of Jesus in their hearts.  I believe that as Christians we are called to be a light in this dark world. I have made a commitment that I will always do my best to share the love and joy of Jesus.  "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16  

 

I picked the word radiant because I want to be a light in this dark world. Before I really knew Jesus, I didn’t have a lot of true joy. I knew that I was missing something, but I was sure what it was. 

When I began to pursue a relationship with Jesus I received this joy that never leaves me! I want to be a person who send out light into this dark world. I don’t want anyone to be living without the joy of Jesus in their hearts. 

I believe that as Christians we are called to be a light in this dark world. I have made a commitment that I will always do my best to share the love and joy of Jesus. 

"You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16

 

Catherine (Cato) O'Brien

Catherine (Cato) O’Brien

Fort Worth

Word: Immanuel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I’m a freshman at TCU and I am currently studying social work. I would love to be a missionary one-day and I’m letting the Lord lead me one step at a time.

I really wanted to get a necklace from Our Spare Chance, but I wasn’t sure which word to get. I didn’t want to get a word just for the sake of a word. I wanted it to really mean something to me, so I waited.

           A couple weeks ago I went to ignite and the sermon really impacted my heart. They talked about how the gospel resonates with different people’s hearts in different ways. I absolutely loved that. It reminded me that He is a personal God and that He loves me in a very personal and sweet way. I started to think about how the Lord reveals himself to me and attributes about Him that I love.

He never leaves.

God with us.

This is the part of the gospel that stood out to me and made me realize how I am never alone. Throughout my life people have stepped into my life and quickly stepped out. I began to believe that this would be the case with everyone and everything in my life. However, God began to work on my heart and I began to realize how much He loves me.

God is always with us

He will never leave us.

This truth has set me free. God is with me and I know that I will never be separated from His love.

 

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you."

Deuteronomy 31:6

 

Stephanie Paulson

Stephanie Paulson

Los Angeles, California

Word: Recklessly Abandoned

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            "I’m a junior at TCU. I’m majoring in Criminal Justice and Communication. It’s a common miscommunication (please notice the clever pun) that it’s “Communications” when it actually doesn’t have an “S” at the end. An important note, but not related to my testimony.

So let’s get going…

“Now at last they were beginning chapter one of the Great Story no one on earth has ever read, which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.” CS Lewis. 
 

This how I long to look at my story; I’m getting better at it now, but in the beginning you could say I was not even a little fond of it. It was seasoned with hurt and pain, causing me to ask the question “If God loves me, why?” to which He has been continually answering to this very day. 


I grew up going to church mostly because my mom ran the children’s ministry there. She is one of the greatest gifts God ever gave me and one of the greatest examples of Jesus’ grace poured out continually and passionately over me. She loved me consistently and constantly—never once did I ever doubt that she wasn’t my number one fan. I am forever grateful for how much God new I needed her as my mom and granted me that blessing. 
 

Unfortunately my father wrestled with sin and let it take over his life, and as a result he was abusive, this leading me to wrestle with hating God. Jesus sounded rad—he died for me and I could live with that, but God was my father. My own father wasn’t able to love me how I desired to be loved, so therefore neither could God, and He probably didn’t want to either. 

 

I felt pain and hurt, I mean I didn’t think my own dad loved me, so no one would love me. But my freshman year of highschool I found the “cure all”: alcohol! I had been sold the lie, and desperately needed to believe it, that it would take away my pain. What an easy fix! Well not exactly…turns out alcohol doesn’t take away the pain of rejection and loneliness, but instead just gives you a horrible headache combined with shame and pain. However, that wasn’t enough to stop me. 

 

Not until I took 13 shots 

in 30 minutes. 

Threw up 6 times.

And was unconscious. 

But I didn’t remember any of that—I had to be told that by my friends. 


Okay so alcohol wasn’t working. What would? 

My youth pastor asked me to go to Jesus Culture conference. Ugh no. I don’t want to, but outwardly I’m a good Christian (I mean my mom works at the church, come on) so I go. But I cuss God out in my head. And I threaten him (CAUTION: be careful when you test God, because He shows up) “If you want to prove you love me, but don’t worry I know you don’t, then you better show up and tell me you love me”. To which God replied “Challenged Accepted.”

 

The first few days of the conference nothing happens, and initially I extend grace because I’m gracious, but after the second day, I had had enough. I knew He didn’t really love me. And in that vulnerable, frustrated, angry, emotional state, God showed up. In my weakness He strength is revealed, and man do I have a lot of weaknesses. 

 

God met me in my hurt and pain and anger (may I remind you I was cussing Him out) and spoke truth into every lie I had heard growing up; He contradicted everything I had known and believed. I was His. I was His Beloved—even at my worst. His words flowed like rushing water drowning me in the perfect Love poured out through Jesus. His words covered my heart like honey filling all the wounds. I decided in that moment with tears unashamedly streaming down my face, that I wanted forever with Him.  No matter what. This love was real and I never wanted to leave it.

 

It was then He started to reveal the beauty of my story. The way He uses His hand to make the broken beautiful. Ever since coming to TCU (which if we are being honest wasn’t my first choice, but God being gracious and loving lead me here) He has began to reveal wounds, bring healing, and redeeming my heart. 
 

I have seen Him use my story to connect me with women who have experienced pain, who feel like no one can relate, and who haven’t yet met the Love of their life.  I have seen Him use my vulnerability (ugh my least favorite thing in the world! I am strong, I have walls; or maybe that really is weakness because it shows I’m not trusting in the Lord completely…) to bring hope. 


So I chose the word recklessly abandoned because I want to live a life that is recklessly abandoned to whatever God calls me to. I am not afraid because I am completely known and loved by my God and that is all I need. I want nonbelievers to look at my life and yell “YOU ARE RUINING YOUR LIFE!” Because to them, it looks like I am, because dying to yourself in order to follow Jesus doesn't line up with the world—but I choose forever in heaven with Jesus recklessly abandoned to my wants and desires, passionately pursing the will of the Lord.  God has given me a life worth living and I will do my best to reflect the gracious love of a Father on His stubborn, aggressive, selfish, sassy daughter and punctuate my life with Hallelujahs. Wanna join?"

 

 

Avery Earl Photography

www.averyearlphotography.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avery_earl/

 

 

 

Kate Geisert

 

Kate Geisert 

Word: Yahweh

Fort Worth 

 

“I didn’t grow up in a Christian family. My mom is a Jew and for the most part my dad is complacent to be just as he is without much of a spiritual life. I grew up around Rockwall and I had several really good friends. Friends who happened to be Christians. When I was 16 my friends took me to Church with them. It took me around 6 or 7 months of going to Church for me to truly realize that I needed something bigger in my life. I didn’t want my life to continue the way it was. I wanted something bigger in my life. I craved something bigger than myself. I need Him. So at the ripe age of 16, I trusted my entire life with Jesus Christ and I haven’t looked back. I am now the only believer in my family. I often think that if someone else other than me in my family was a Christian that they would be a better witness that I am, but He has chosen and called me. So as a Messianic Jew, I try constantly to point my family to the Cross. I pray that one day they will believe in their heart and confess with their mouths that Jesus is Lord. Until then, I will prayerfully walk with Him and point them to the truth.

I’m a Nurse and I love my job. I got my coin on a medical mission trip that I went on to Guatemala. This makes my necklace even more special to me because it reminds me of how much my job blesses me!

My word is Yahweh.

 

I chose this word to remind me that He is God. My necklace reminds me of who He is and my Jewish background. A lot of the time I forget of His goodness to me, but He constantly reminds me. Because of His goodness throughout all of eternity, my life is so much bigger than my own. This is word is special to me because He is a BIG God. One of my greatest joys is when people ask me about my necklace. I get to share my story that He has so graciously given me."

 

Savannah Olson

Savannah Olson

Word: Elyown  - Hebrew - “Most high” 

Fort Worth from South Dakota

 

"I chose this word to remind myself who God is. He is high. No matter what I go through in my life, I have assurance that Christ has the ultimate perspective and power. Over any aspect of my life, God holds all the power. I picked this word to remind myself to fully surrender everyday. I struggle with sometimes understanding that His plans are higher and better than mine. But what a comfort! How safe am I in the father's arms! That no matter what happens in my life God is sovereign. He is so sovereign that no matter what happen in my life God will be glorified and I will be sanctified. Thus is the aim of life. I daily have to surrender and remind myself that His eternal perspective is so much higher than my own temporal perspective. He is high than any worldly goal or aim that I have. As I look at the world around me I am reminded that He is my ultimate source of joy and satisfaction. 

Every day I struggle with this. 

Every day I am reminded. 

Every day I am humbled. 

Every day He is most high. 

As I read Psalms I am reminded that I am to turn to worship Him in my life. David turns to the Lord throughout trials in praise not only in good times, but in the bad and through uncertainty. 

David also struggles. David calls out to the Lord and accuses the God of the universe for to being present and most high in his life. Yet, David's prayers are met reminders of God's sovereignty and his own blindness. I am David. I struggle. I call out to God. I am blind. God is still there. 

 

The Lord is the most high in my life and I am so thankful for the incredible blessing of waking up each day with the knowledge that the Lord is in control and entirely sovereign over my life."

 

 

For 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

Jessica Bertrand

Jessica Bertrand 

Breckenridge, TX

Word: Jesus is better

I am from Breckenridge, TX and I ordered a bracelet at the THERE{4} gathering in February. The words I have written on my bracelet are "Jesus Is Better". Life has thrown a few curveballs my way in the past few years. I would have never imagined I would have gone through some of the difficulties I have walked in. Through it all, my heart has been that Jesus is better no matter what! This is the good news that I want to share with each and every person. Life can be really tough some days and you wonder how you are going to get through that difficult time. Just remember that your true joy comes from the Lord and knowing that He is BIGGER and BETTER than anything else in this world and that He is always with you no matter what it is you are going through!

Avery Earl Photography

www.averyearlphotography.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avery_earl/

There{4} Conference

Alexis  Word: Loved

Alexis 

Word: Loved

Allison  Word: Love Does // Faith 

Allison 

Word: Love Does // Faith 

Aubrey  Word: Philippians 4:6-7 

Aubrey 

Word: Philippians 4:6-7 

Bekah  Word: Free

Bekah 

Word: Free

Brittani  Word: Brave

Brittani 

Word: Brave

Catherine  Word: Strong

Catherine 

Word: Strong

Caylie  Word: Fighter 

Caylie 

Word: Fighter 

Charlee

Charlee

Claire Brownly  Word: Brave

Claire Brownly 

Word: Brave

Devin  Word: Bold 

Devin 

Word: Bold 

Faith  Word: Brave 

Faith 

Word: Brave 

Ferin  Word: OK

Ferin 

Word: OK

Hailey  Word: True Fire 

Hailey 

Word: True Fire 

Hailey  Word: Stand Firm 

Hailey 

Word: Stand Firm 

Hope  Word: Hope 

Hope 

Word: Hope 

Jackie & Stephanie  Word: No Matter What 

Jackie & Stephanie 

Word: No Matter What 

Jenna  Word: Little Bird

Jenna 

Word: Little Bird

Kaylie  Word: Luke 10:27 

Kaylie 

Word: Luke 10:27 

Kristin  Word: Beloved

Kristin 

Word: Beloved

Lauren Word:  Ezer // Enough

Lauren

Word:  Ezer // Enough

Lauren 

Word: Agape

Lauren  Word: Courage 

Lauren 

Word: Courage 

Madison  Word: Brave 

Madison 

Word: Brave 

Meagan  Word: 13 // Faith 

Meagan 

Word: 13 // Faith 

Meagan Word: Philippians 4:1   

Meagan

Word: Philippians 4:1   

Mesha  Word: So Loved

Mesha 

Word: So Loved

Morgan  Word: Loved

Morgan 

Word: Loved

Patty  Word: Lean Not // Trust

Patty 

Word: Lean Not // Trust

Reagan  Word: Tirzah 

Reagan 

Word: Tirzah 

Ruth  Word: Ezer 

Ruth 

Word: Ezer 

Sarah  Word: Forgiven 

Sarah 

Word: Forgiven 

Shannon 

Shannon 

Susan  Word: After Buna (It means "after coffee"...AMEN, Susan!!) 

Susan 

Word: After Buna (It means "after coffee"...AMEN, Susan!!) 

Sydney  Word: Stand Firm // Bold

Sydney 

Word: Stand Firm // Bold

Taylor Word: Stand Firm 

Taylor

Word: Stand Firm 

Taylor  Word: Bold

Taylor 

Word: Bold

Trinity  Word: Bold

Trinity 

Word: Bold

We love you all dearly! Thank you so much for the honor of allowing us to tell your story. 

Love, 

The Our Spare Change Team 

Heather Benkendorfer

Heather Benkendorfer 

Word: But even if...

 

 

In November 2014 my dad was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. This news rocked my family's world and was particularly hard for me. I am the youngest of my siblings and I live across Texas from all my siblings and my parents. This news is hard to learn to live with but it's also incredibly lonely. My dad went through 3 months of chemo and 3 months of radiation and in July 2015 he was told that the cancer was gone!

February 8, 2016, I got a call from my mom telling me that my dad's cancer is back. It has been a really hard and emotional time trying to wrap my head around why we have to walk through this again. But in my heart I know that God is bigger than cancer and He is able to heal my dad. However, I know that God doesn't always work that way. So I need a reminder to myself and I need to be brave enough to wear something that will spark questions about why so I can share what God is doing through my family. So I trust because I know that my God is able to take the cancer away, but even if...

 

Avery Earl Photography

www.averyearlphotography.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/avery_earl/ 

Victoria Davis

Victoria Davis

Fort Worth

Word: Beloved is Enough

 

“I have always wanted to be everything for everyone- the perfect daughter, the best friend, a great sister...I have tried my whole life to fit into different molds of what people have needed at that time; whether it be a good listener or a hand to hold, someone who will fight for you, or someone who will just go along for the ride no questions asked. In the midst of wanting to please everyone around me, I got my joy and satisfaction in their approval of me; their words proclaiming what I was worth. But God...my favorite phrase in all the earth. But God decided to swoop in and change all of that. He knows me so deeply and intricately; He knows the cries of my heart. With that, He ever so sweetly reminded me that I obtain my worth and value from my creator; the one who spoke me into existence and desired to know me so much that he sent his only son to pay my debt, so that I may walk with him forever into eternity. I have tuned my ears to only hear specific words that ensure others approval of me, but Jesus had challenged me to tune my ear to a new song of praise- his. The Lord calls me

His beloved, and that identity in itself is enough.”

 

“For you formed my inward parts you knitted me together in my mother's womb.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

Psalm 139:13

 


Ansley Phillips

Ansley Phillips

Fort Worth, TX

Word: Rooted

 

 

“As an incoming freshman at TCU, I knew that I was entering into a season of life that my faith would become more important than ever before. I prepared myself for a season of “uncomfortable” knowing that I would go through times of feeling surrounded by community and others of complete solitude. I was going to have to daily remind myself that no matter what season of life or experience that I go through, I am to remain rooted in Christ Jesus as my Lord and Savior. Throughout my life I have assurance that no matter what I go though, He is enough for me. I found out about Our Spare Change by coming to a pop up show they did with Common Grace Threads. I thought the necklaces were really cute, so naturally I wanted one. As I stood in line trying to think of a word that I wanted “rooted” came to my mind. After I watched them make my necklace I fell in love with it.  For a week after I got it I was asked about my necklace almost daily. This gave me, and still gives me, so many opportunities to share the Gospel with others and explain the joy of what it truly looks like to be unconditionally rooted in Christ. Now going into my second semester of college, I am continuing to experience the daily love of Christ and He constantly reminds me that He is enough. Wearing my Our Spare Change necklace everyday helps me remember this!”

 

“Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.”

Colossians 2:7