Five years ago, when I was a junior in high school, I was taken on a journey through the lessons in Cultivating Pearls where I discovered what it meant to accept Christ’s invitation to come. To come to the River of the Water of Life that flows from the throne of God to be purified, empowered in the light of Christ, anointed by God as his daughter, rooted in his perfect love, and given life to shine for others.

Through this process I learned how to not only believe in God, but to make a personal connection with him. I discovered that God asks us to join him and he gives us a purpose to be part of his Kingdom work on earth. I ended my year-long journey by making a sacred covenant with God and dedicated my life to live within the beautiful boundaries of his Kingdom and continue to allow the truth of his Word to shape and guide my life. I dedicated my life to sharing his love with other girls so they, too, can discover how to respond to his call and come.

As I entered college, I realized so many girls were searching. They were searching for something that would fill a hole in their hearts, mend broken relationships, or bring light into something difficult they were experiencing. They were searching for meaningful friendships—who they were and who they could become. They wanted something real. Something authentic. Something lasting. Sadly, I mostly saw girls looking for what their souls longed for in places and people who left them disappointed and unfulfilled.

I knew someone who can totally and completely satisfy what their souls longed for. He did it for me. His name is Jesus. I wanted to help the girls get to know him and understand how to have a personal relationship with him.

Even though I was only a freshman in college, I asked some of the girls I met if they wanted to grow spiritually. Before I knew it, I was guiding a group of girls through the same lessons in Cultivating Pearls that had shaped my own life.

They listened to the call of Jesus inviting them to come. Each girl, with her own unique story, came each week to learn and grow. Some of the girls had never read a Bible or the teachings of Jesus, while others grew up going to church but didn’t know how to make their faith personal. It was the most rewarding experience to come alongside the girls and share these lessons and watch Jesus bring hope to their lives.

They learned how to walk with God in an intimate way. To take time to evaluate where they are, open their hearts and allow the truth of God’s words to bring light and guidance. The creative and journaling elements of the lessons create a safe way for the girls to explore and express what they are feeling in a way that brings clarity. They love how it is a journey with God, not a program. It’s not something they do and ta da they are done and know it all and have it all figured out. They are learning how to process, how to communicate, how to connect. They are learning how the Kingdom of God is not far away, but through their faith in Jesus, it is in their hearts.

As the girls came together each week, they were vulnerable with each other, sharing their stories and struggles, being real. They allowed each lesson to bring guidance into their lives, and I watched the beauty of God’s Word bring about transformation in each of the girls over the year we met together.

I am now a senior in college, and each year I have continued to lead a group of girls through the life-changing lessons in Cultivating Pearls.

I receive deep satisfaction and joy by helping the girls connect with God in a personal way, break down walls they built up, and discover truth in the midst of so many lies our society tells them. I love watching the girls experience the presence of God in the middle of chaos, discover their identity in a lost generation, and allow the love and power of Christ to transform their lives.

As I am getting ready to graduate from college I have been praying about how I can continue to be a light for more girls.

Christina reached out to me and asked if I would come alongside her as she created this newly revised version of Cultivating Pearls you now hold in your hands. She asked if I would create the illustrations for each lesson that will help you process and explore. I immediately said YES, knowing it would be an opportunity to come alongside more girls as this book finds its way into your hands.

As you begin your own creative journey of transformation, I pray that the words on each page would not only speak truth to your mind, but they would soak into your heart. I pray that the Word of God would become like precious jewels that continually show you new things about the Kingdom of God. I pray that the drawings and word pictures in this book would be seen as something beautiful and will inspire you with fresh ideas to create a beautiful reflection of what is happening in your heart. I pray that your relationship with Jesus grows deep and wide, and that you will experience his love in a radical way and desire to make him the center of your life. I pray your spirit will hear Jesus calling you to come to him, and you will respond and make your way to the River of the Water of Life where you will be Purified, Empowered, Anointed, Rooted, and filled with Life to shine for others.

You are seen. You are known. You are worth it. You are loved.

Open up your heart as you begin your own creative journey of transformation, because it is going to be a beautiful one!

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