Hear Lottie’s Story about her transition from High School to College and the complexities of relationships, grieving and athletics…. Hear her passion for Christ and what she plans to do now!

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Lottie Ellis

Lottie Ellis
[00:00:02] Welcome to Super Fast Lane Woman podcast. Today I have the privilege to me with Lottie Ellis. I first met Lottie through our church about four years ago. I was able to get to know her mom really well through the Bible study, and her mom always said amazing things about Lottie. So I knew I just had to get to know her better. Over the years, Lottie ended up watching her kids for part of the summer and we ran into each other on various occasions. But I’ve always been drawn to know a little bit more about her because Lottie is in a period of life that was actually personally really hard for me and I know is really hard for a lot of women. The transition from high school to college and then competing in college sports. For me, it was rough and I even dropped out. I have since redeemed myself in many ways, but today I wanted to talk to a Lottie and see how high school was and the transition to college and competing the emotional and physical aspects of it. All the while having Jesus to help pull her through. So welcome, Lottie. Thank you. It’s good to be here.

[00:01:02] I’m excited. So, Lottie, your name actually is Charlotte, right?

[00:01:06] Helen? Yeah. How long have you been Lottie then?

[00:01:11] Honestly, when I was ten, I asked my mom like what my real name was like. I didn’t know my real name was Charlotte until I was 10.

[00:01:18] So like I called ladies since I was. Oh, really?

[00:01:22] That’s awesome. Yeah, well, it fits you. I feel like that’s what everybody says, though. Like I could never call you Charlotte. Yeah. That’s awesome.

[00:01:30] So now you’re gonna be starting, you’re seeing or you’re in the middle of your senior. Yeah. One more semester. Very cool. And what are you graduating in?

[00:01:37] My major is Youth and Family Ministry and Christian Studies.

[00:01:41] Very cool. And you’re going to Crown College? Yeah. I go to Crown, whereas Crown located.

[00:01:45] It’s in St. Boniface, Minnesota. It’s about like 30 miles west of Minneapolis. Okay. Yeah.

[00:01:51] It’s a long drive. Yeah. It’s like 18 hours. I’ve done it quite a few times. That’s tough. It’s awful. So you also you put your. You were in softball, but now you can’t really play.

[00:02:05] I played soccer and softball at Crown. And I tore my ACL this spring or this fall. At practice.

[00:02:14] That sucks. It really sucks. And then you just had surgery like a week ago. Yeah. Healing well. Yes. OK. Good. Well, I want to definitely get into that. But let’s backtrack just a little bit to see how you got to play soccer and softball in college.

[00:02:28] So you tell me from the start, like freshman year of high school, you played sports, you had relationships. How is high school for you?

[00:02:38] I think high school overall was a really pleasant social experience, but it was kind of tough in terms of like relationships romantically, like I dated a lot and it was not always the best. And I have a firm faith foundation like coming into high school. But then I don’t know, it became more difficult when, like upperclassmen guys started asking me out and I was like, oh, yeah, that’s a great idea. And it kind of turned into this. People pleasing tendency more than choosing God first. So that was difficult.

[00:03:14] But sports, I played basketball and soccer and softball my freshman year of high school and then I quit basketball because I wasn’t very good. And then I played the other two all the way through. And I love them both. And I don’t really like one more than the other, actually. And so there were a lot of opportunities in terms of athletics after high school that I kind of passed up because I was dating. I’d been in a dating relationship my junior and senior year. So that kind of took priority in terms of deciding colleges and stuff like that. So we my boyfriend and I decided to stay at f._c._c, so I went to f._c._c for a year. But right after graduation, he and I broke up.

[00:03:58] So it was kind of unfortunate because I immediately regretted not going to college to play. All right. And so that was kind of hard because you kind of last year. Yeah. Really? I did. And I.

[00:04:11] Yeah, I was at f._c._c and it was it was good for the most part, but I was definitely bored. And it was the first time in my life that I wasn’t playing athletics. So I tried to get involved in like inner Merrills and stuff like that. But it’s really not the same.

[00:04:25] Did you feel like a piece of you is kind of missing? Yeah, for sure. And I also it was for the first time I had to work out on my own.

[00:04:32] So that was like the most difficult piece because I’ve always had practice every day. So it’s not been a ton of my own time put in in terms of working out. And there were always it seemed like there were always opportunities for me to go play. And then as soon as I started at FCC, my core group of people who I used to hang out and work out with and play soccer with weren’t around anymore. And so I guess it kinda sucked.

[00:04:56] But it’s a big life transition when you go from high school to college is. Everybody goes their separate ways and you kind of have to refine yourself. Yeah.

[00:05:05] And I experienced a lot of like culture shock even going to school in Kalispell. Like it wasn’t I was surprised and I wondered how people who move like halfway across country do it right. Because I had my family still I still lived at home and commuted.

[00:05:21] But in terms of like classes and the difficulty of college classes compared to high school and stuff, I remember that being so hard.

[00:05:28] Right. High school, you just had a mental breakdown. I was like, oh, my gosh, I’ve been doing math for six hours.

[00:05:34] Like, how do I how am I gonna get through this type thing? Ray, did you get at least your core stuff done? Yeah. I was majoring in biology at f._c._c because I wanted to go into dental hygiene. OK. So that’s why I was doing so. I took a ton of science classes, which you have to take some science anyway. Right. So when I made the transition to Mint from biology to ministry three it I lost a few credits in transition, but nothing big.

[00:06:02] Like I’m still graduating in four years, so that’s cool.

[00:06:05] Now with with your transition then from FCC to Crown, how did that take place? Yeah.

[00:06:12] So I kind of regained my passion for God after that breakup like I was I went to life conference, which is like a Christian Missionary Alliance youth event that happens every few years. And I went once in 2013 and it was life changing. Like that’s when I I was in between my freshman and sophomore year of high school. So I was like on fire for God.

[00:06:40] And then I came back home and was totally distracted. But I went again in 2016 right after I graduated. And I remember just feeling refreshed. And I remember just kind of coming back to God and being like, I’m really sorry for pushing you away for the last couple of years over a relationship, which.

[00:07:04] Yeah. So God just revealed himself to me once again. And I came back home, was super excited. And so that kind of was a great platform for that transition. So I think it went the best it could have gone. Considering the circumstances, like I kind of wallowed for a little bit in terms of, oh, I stated f._c._c, you and I had all these opportunities, but I kind of tried to make the most of it. And so while I was f._c._c, I knew that God had me at FCC for a reason. I knew that I was there. And I was super bored all the time like I would catch myself. But then I tried to get involved in as many things as I could. So I joined like young adults Bible study that our church had at the time. And that was really cool because I got to know I got to know people that I didn’t necessarily hang out with in high school or anything like that. And it also gave other people who were in college an opportunity to go because college isn’t for everyone. So that was cool. And I made like a solid your friends. And that’s why I look forward to every week. So I really dove into that.

[00:08:04] And then one of my really good friends, Paxton Fisher, who like, you know, and who he’s Joseph and Nikki’s son, who are the youth pastors will now senior. So Joseph Vinicky had always been probably my biggest influence growing up. So that was super hard when PacSun got sick. And then I realized I kind of realized why God had me at FCC. Then because when I look back, every break that I had in between classes was an opportunity to go see Paxton, because FCC and the hospital literally like are right next to each other. So any chance I had I got to go hang out and I did probably 90 percent of my homework in the hospital that year. So I don’t know. It was cool because there was a ton of downtime. And but I got to be there and be there for him and kind of walk through that season with them. And so to be a part of that, honestly, I feel I don’t regret being a saint. Yeah, because it was super hard on our friends who weren’t able to be there. Ray So the chance those that I got to be there with him were worth it.

[00:09:17] So that was super powerful. And I learned a lot in that time.

[00:09:21] So, yeah, gosh, it’s crazy how guys. It’s so amazing how he works in that way where it’s like at the moment we’re like, why am I here? And then boom. Yeah. Paxton got sick. And you’re able to spend all that time with him and still go to school. But that means a lot.

[00:09:39] And that’s because you can get that time back.

[00:09:42] No, you can’t. And I I don’t know. And I got to be there at all of the important moments and like the milestones in that. Even the ones that weren’t as positive as we would have hoped. But it still means a lot. And it’s still a huge part of my testimony. And I know I don’t know. I learned. And I know now how to best be there for people going through that. Right. It’s definitely made me stronger, even emotionally.

[00:10:09] Is that like I I recognize that this world is not what it was intended to be in the original plan. And so bad things are going to happen, but really good people.

[00:10:22] Yeah. Really great football.

[00:10:24] And there’s no explanation of why. But right. To know that God’s at work. And even if we don’t understand what that is, has been like a huge lesson learned through all of that.

[00:10:33] Well, and just to highlight that a little bit is like in that time period, like my my kids now are 13 and 10. And that would have been they were like 10, 10 and 7 or something. It impacted them hugely.

[00:10:51] And we were new to the church and we’re new to that family, were new to Columbia Falls. And it’s like that impacted my kids. And then seeing the support around him during that time was huge. And it actually it made me have more faith in God, even though that was really, really hard and a really good person was sick. It changed my life. So I can. I mean, I wasn’t even as close like you. I just knew then, you know? Yeah. And so just to see, like how it affects so many people. I mean, from my 7 year old to, you know, 7 year old 9 year olds, whatever.

[00:11:30] Yeah, it’s huge.

[00:11:32] And I remember like Pastor Doug at that time, he said, I don’t think Paxton had passed away yet, but he said on a Sunday that God permits what he hates to accomplish, what he loves. And like ever since then, it still gets me emotional like that phrase. And I have said that. And I’ve always given Pastor Doug the credit. I’m like my pastor once said that God permits what he hates to accomplish, what he loves. And I’ve seen it work a ton of other situations. So every time I’m doubting what God’s up to, I remind myself of that because it’s true. Like we don’t even know what he’s doing. And in a season when I could have been super low, my boyfriend broke up with me. I was stuck in a place I didn’t want to be. All my other friends were like living the quote unquote, college experience. Yeah. And I kind of felt like I was missing out. And then as soon as, like, one of my best friends gets sick and has cancer at the age of 18, you’re like, man, this sucks. But I’m so glad that I got to, like, be there and hang out with him. And yeah. And then I also was kind of a support. I got to be a support for my friends who couldn’t be there. I just kind of like relay matches. Yeah. And I didn’t like that was totally fine, too. And I was excited to be able to answer questions. And then it was really good. And I learned I also think it’s important to learn how to, like grieve Ray. And that process is super tricky and it’s different for everyone. But for me, I really learned, like what that looks like.

[00:13:10] And I don’t only experienced it before, like with dogs and stuff, which is still hard, but, you know, different. Yeah, a little different.

[00:13:18] But for the first time, like I lost a person who was really close to me. But I now know kind of what God’s thinking behind the scenes a little bit and how he’s revealed himself to me. So that was awesome.

[00:13:28] Well, and I remember the day of that funeral I had it or it wasn’t even a funeral. It was like it’s like a legacy.

[00:13:36] Yes.

[00:13:38] It’s so easy walking in. We were not Lee, but we felt totally late.

[00:13:42] There were thousands of people in that church. And I know for a fact that I mean, I don’t know the percentage, but there’s a lot of non-Christians in that church. Yeah. That he had impacted. And that’s like, God, you are so good. You had this happen for a reason and so hard. Bay. But he did. He impacted a lot of people in a really good way.

[00:14:03] That’s the only funeral that I have gone back and rewatched like recordings of just because it was so powerful. And yeah, it makes my mom’s always like, why did you watch it? Because I’m crying.

[00:14:16] And I’m like, because it was awesome. Well, and during the worship. Yeah, that was crazy. He’s awesome.

[00:14:21] Amazing. So then that happened. Yeah. And then now you are at Crown, you get a scholarship to Crown or did you decide to go in trial for the team because you kind of lost the opportunity or how did that happen?

[00:14:35] Yeah. So one of my good friends, Samantha Collins, she’s also like I went to high school with her. She went to Crown a year ahead of me, like when a typical freshman I go and I would always see really cool things. And also, Joseph and Nikki and Pastor Doug are all grad crown grads. So I had heard a lot about Crown and I knew it was a good place. I hadn’t heard anything negative about it, really. And. It was literally packs and passed away in April, and it was two weeks after that, I was playing in a softball game like a slow pitch game for f._c._c and it was really fun or whatever. But afterwards I went and sat in my car and I called Sam and I was like, I want to play softball. And I think I want to go to Crown because I’m not biologies, not my thing.

[00:15:26] It’s also my least favorite subject. So tell me how that makes sense.

[00:15:29] But I pretty much called her and was like, I need something more. And God has something more for me. And I’m thinking about applying Crown. And she just kind of she giggled and was like, yeah, you should do it. And it didn’t seem very serious at the time, but I literally went home and applied and I didn’t even tell my family because my parents also weren’t the biggest fans of me going away. Right. And also, finances are a huge part because it is like a private school. Right. So that comes into play. And then after I applied and got my financial aid package, I found out that over half of my expenses were paid for because of grades and its Division 3, NCAA Division 3. So they don’t give athletic scholarships. So really, it’s like it’s for fun. Yeah. People take it seriously, but it’s for fun.

[00:16:21] There’s no financial obligation or anything. So I contacted the coach and just said I’d be interested in trying out for the team. And he was super pleasant and said, yeah. Come on now. And I didn’t have the chance to go out there before.

[00:16:37] So I literally applied and went through the whole process. And I knew God kept affirming everything and opening doors, even in terms of my parents being like, yeah, I feel like you need to go.

[00:16:49] Which was crazy because I never thought I would hear my mom especially say that because she loves having me home. And Ray. I was also going to school for free. I was getting paid to go to school at FVCC.So it was kind of it kind of seemed stupid and in terms of finances. But yeah, so I got in the car with Caleb and Kayla Baumann and we drove to Minnesota.

[00:17:10] And I’d never been that Far East ever. And so we got there. And as soon as I stepped on the campus, I texted my mom a picture of me with the crown sign. And I was like, this is where I need to be. Like, I felt this piece so crazy. And I met the coach and started soccer and I kind of expected to not play. I was like, I haven’t played in the whole year. And I also tore my ACL, my senior year of high school, too. Now my other one. So I kind of was like, I haven’t played in two years technically because I tore my ACL that my last year high school. And so I even told the coach I was like, I will just practice just to stay in shape. Like, don’t feel obligated to play me because I know I haven’t paid my dues here or whatever. And then it turns out that the crowd’s soccer team isn’t it wasn’t too great at that time. And so I literally played the whole game, every game. And I was exhausted and it was physically terrible. But also, I love the team and they so positive and I really enjoyed that.

[00:18:10] And then softball came around and I started at third base. That whole season. So was really good. Like I had a successful athletic career. And in terms of that. So that was really fun. And I also got to crown and changed. My mom said, you can only go to Crown if you major in something that like typically you can get a job like I don’t even care where the job is. So I was like, we’ll all go to school to be a teacher like that. And then I went to education classes for two days and was like, Mom, I’m called to ministry like this. This is dumb. And she said, I knew this. Everyone I talked to is like guys waiting for you to do this. So I finally was where I supposed to be. And I would walk into the classroom of ministry classes and literally start crying. But just being in there, because I knew that’s where I was supposed to be. And God was super present and he still is. And all my professors agree. And I would honestly take all of those classes over and like they’re super great.

[00:19:11] And you know what’s cool about it? Like your ministry classes in your ministry degree that you get like you can actually use ministry in any job.

[00:19:19] Yeah. So I feel like if you feel God has your back plate, he’s got your back. You’re sure that means a firm? Yeah.

[00:19:29] He will help you get through the job aspect of it for sure.

[00:19:34] Now, what parts of college life do you feel that may have impacted you in a negative way?

[00:19:46] Yeah, I think at VTC of first I grew up in this area, so it was hard for me to justify making new friends because I kind of had all. Like, I was like, I already have a friend group here, so I don’t need to make new ones. And I think that was a huge mistake because I’ve learned that God has created me to be super social and just so like relate to people. I think I don’t know. I feel like I missed a lot of opportunities to make friends at FCC because I told myself that I didn’t need anymore type of thing, which is never a good mindset.

[00:20:27] And so that was difficult battling that that decision and that choice I made to not be as social as I could be.

[00:20:36] And then during that time, though, that was also in Paxton was in the hospital.

[00:20:40] Yeah. It was definitely like I didn’t feel like talking to anyone a lot, which was definitely part of it. But I feel like even I could have used what I was going through to kind of speak into the lives. I remember my chemistry professor knew the most about what I was going through for whatever reason. And he even the day that Paxon passed away was my chemistry final. And so he let me like take it a week later. It was super nice and. Wow. Yeah. So I think I spoke God spoke volumes through me to him, which was good. And I know that he wasn’t a believer either. So that was I wonder how that if that had any long term effects because I haven’t seen him since I moved away.

[00:21:23] But even at Crown, adding athletics into the picture was difficult.

[00:21:29] I never struggled super hard with time management because I’d say I’m pretty responsible in that way. So that wasn’t even a huge struggle, which I feel like it is for a lot of student athletes. But it was more when I got to crown. Everyone kind of praised me almost like in terms of athletics. They were like, Oh, we’re so glad you’re here. And my coach and I had like a really, really good relationship. And then as I got older, I found out, like, I don’t know, my coach kind of paid more attention to the younger players, like the freshmen that were coming in. And I was kind of old news at that point. And then he stopped pouring into me in the way that I expected him to. Which isn’t really fair on either part, I don’t think. And so, yeah, I kind of had negative negative experiences in terms of my relationship with my coach. As time progressed and I also in my opinion, I don’t think he’s a great coach or anything like that. And so that was hard because I had been in high school. I thought I had dealt with difficult coaches and things, but we were just really different. My coach at and I. And so that was hard transitioning through all of that and my teammates.

[00:22:50] I never had a bunch drama with my teammates without athletics. I don’t even know what friends have because my friend group is my are my teammates, Ray. But as soccer season started this year, this fall, I was excited for soccer and I was in like the best shape of my life and I was ready to play. And then this injury happened. But I had been so anxious about performing well in softball for whatever reason, because like the past spring, I lost my spot to a younger player and it was really hard. And my coach just said, if you start hitting better, then you’ll play like as simple as that. That’s all he said to me. And I didn’t know how I was going to do that. And it was totally a mental thing. Like I told myself, I wasn’t good enough to start. So it was just a super long battle. And it was wasn’t until halfway through the season that I finally got my act together and I ended up playing at the end. But it was super. I had to be like prayed over before practice because I was so stressed out about it.

[00:23:54] Like how mental? Like I mean, our body is way bigger than our head. And it’s like, why does our head have to mess up?

[00:24:02] It just took over. And my coach also I don’t know his methods. Sometimes I question like for some people it might motivate them, but he would sit us down as a team and be like, all right, the nine of you that hit the best are the starters. And that doesn’t like I don’t play favorites. Like it doesn’t matter if you’re a veteran or not. Like you have to show me what you’ve got. And there were only like we go to Florida for spring training and we have 12 games in seven days. Like it’s just a ton of softball. And if you if that week is your slump week, it was for me. Then you’re done. Like I was on the bench and I had to basically fight for my spot back. And that doesn’t motivate me. Like when I’m prepared to other people, Ray. And I know that now I like learn that through that experience. But anyway, I was super, super anxious thoughts about softball and I would be in tears before practice because I. Felt like all I cared about was pleasing my coach. Like, that’s all I cared about at that time. And so coming into soccer, I was like, I’m really excited for soccer, but I don’t know if I want to play softball.

[00:25:11] I was even questioning playing at that time. RAE Like whether or not I was going to and also if you quit. He’s also the same coach for soccer and softball. Sorry, I should make early half. OK, so I just saw a lot of him. And if you quit, he pretty much is like, you’re dead to me. I don’t want to see you again. And so me making the decision to quit softball would burn that bridge completely. And I’ve done a lot of cool things in athletics, and I would really like his support in the future in terms of reference letters and things like that. And so it’s kind of hard to battle that choice. And then I tore my ACL and I was disappointed because I wanted to play soccer. But I also knew God, thank you for giving me no choice. Then drive away because wow. Then he, like my coach, had nothing to say about nothing negative to say. Is an injury like your. Like I can’t help it. It’s not like it’s not like I made any decisions or like disrespect to him in any way. So it honestly made it easier for me, because right now, if I had played soccer and was coming into softball season, I would be emotionally.

[00:26:22] That’s like it’s something to think about. Like when you’re in sports and you’ve got your coach there and he’s got these expectations and you’re trying and you’re trying and you’re trying. The problem is like they’re looking at they’re looking at it from a totally different perspective. Then you come in and you’re like, well, why you need to help me? Like, why can’t help me? And they’ve got all these people to help. But it’s so hard to in our minds, especially when we’re younger, like, you know, now, like, I’m 36 and I I’ve had a few more life experiences than you have. But I still remember those times when, like you, I feel like you figured it out this fall on the OK. God, there was a reason you gave me this injury and I’m gonna use this to my benefit.

[00:27:09] If that was me in your I don’t know if I would have mentally, I would’ve been like, oh, my gosh, my life is over. Like when I dropped out of college, my life was over. I’m like, yeah. But like, God has a reason for all those things. And so, like, the fact that you’re using this like this is good. I think it’s great and it’s hard like being I’ve never been a coach, but like we as people, we we judge and we have to.

[00:27:34] We have so many things happening all around us. And so I think it’s a good thing they won.

[00:27:39] This is my second time. Like this was my second time going through it. So it would’ve been really easy for me to be like God hates me. Like, why? Oh. This leads me to times. But I’ve had so many people make comments like your hand. You’re taking this so well. Like, if this happened to me, I don’t know what I would be doing. And it’s almost like I was on.

[00:27:59] People were praying, healing over me. And when I saw it and I honestly like pulled aside one of my own mentors at Crown.

[00:28:08] And I was like, hey, when you pray over me, can you just pray that God’s will will be done in this situation instead of, like, the mending of my knee? Because in terms of healing, like my heart is being healed because of this injury, like I don’t in terms of healing, you can pray for my heart to be healed or whatever, but like, I don’t want my knee healed. Like people were like, what are you talking about? And I’m like, this is what I need.

[00:28:32] God wanted you to slow down. Yeah.

[00:28:33] I was like I needed that because I honestly was so caught up in what like what my coach thought. And then even further after that, I was expected to be a manager for the softball team after that. And I was kind of like, if I wanted to be a manager, I would have been one at some point in my life. Like I’ve never been a manager.

[00:28:53] And I sat through we only had played three games in soccer before I tore it out. So I basically sat through and I’m a captain on that team. So I sat through the whole basically last three quarters of the season watching soccer and outcry every game like it was miserable. That didn’t make me really wish that things were different in terms of my injury because I knew long term I would feel better in my heart. But I definitely was super sad. And so thinking about doing that was softball like sitting through an entire season when I have no choice. I was like, I can’t do it. And so I I prayed a bunch about it and I worked up the courage to go into my coach’s office. And I was like, I can’t be manager because me sitting there watching people do what I can. It’s not healthy for me. And I also am preparing to graduate. And there’s a bunch of cool opportunities there that I could be investing in instead of every weekend. I’m watching softball every afternoon and watching softball. I also have to pay six hundred dollars to go on the spring break trip so I could save six hundred dollars and. Instead of sitting on like sitting there watching.

[00:30:03] So with this injury, you can’t play softball. OK. So it’s like a six month recovery. OK, so you’re you’re done. Yeah. You’re sporting college sports anyways.

[00:30:14] Yes. Done. Yeah. Yeah. Though I wouldn’t want to sit on the bench. Yeah. So I went into his office and I expected more of like a negative response.

[00:30:22] He I think he understands he’s put himself in my shoes enough to know that this sucks. And so I just kind of was like, yeah, I mean I get it. Just know that socially you’re missing out on stuff.

[00:30:36] But my friends, my friendships I’ve made on the team are secure.

[00:30:40] Like I know I don’t think my friends are going to leave me because I’m not practiced. And so I thought that was a good decision. So now I have for the first time since I went to f._c._c, I have free afternoons and weekends and a free spring break and I’m excited.

[00:30:59] That’s awesome. Well, speaking of that. So now that you’re you really have the last your last semester to kind of figure out your future plans.

[00:31:07] What are your future? Yes.

[00:31:09] So I applied for a residency program in Omaha, Nebraska, which I’ve never been to Nebraska. But I just kind of feel like God had been opening that door for a long time. My first year at Crown, so my sophomore year of college.

[00:31:25] They that residency program came to Crown. And we’re kind of pitching their new thing. And I remember taking one of their cards and I have it in my like, pencil bag, in my backpack. Still, like every time I saw it, I was like, I need. I think that’s worth pursuing. Right. So I applied and they take 12 residents every year. And I got in. And so I was super excited. And I’m still I was still tossing up. Well, maybe I shouldn’t do it because I’m graduating with my bachelors so I could be done right. And I never would want more school. But they pay for your master’s degree. I can give you like a free place to live. And you get two years of like full time ministry experience and. Wow. And so that was super exciting. So I basically just decided I’m in the middle school ministry okay. Area. And so as of today, I’m most likely moving to Omaha at the end of the semester.

[00:32:22] That is awesome. Yeah. Oh my God. Yeah. Yeah. So I would say. Oh.

[00:32:27] And so when you say middle school like sixth, seventh, eighth grade. Yeah, that’s it.

[00:32:32] That was the hard part. You have to choose a focus area.

[00:32:37] Because it’s it’s like a mega-church. It’s the same a church, but it’s a really big church. So they have high school and middle school separate. They have an adult discipleship area worship all of these different areas. So I had to choose one. All right. And you’re committed for two. It’s a two year residency. So that’s where you’ll be for two years. Right. So I prayed about it a ton. And middle school ministry. They don’t have a female leader at all. And they’re female or in their middle school department. So I. Not that I’m just trying to fill a hole, but I kind of feel like there’s a stigma around middle schoolers, that they’re terrible and that they’re difficult to work with.

[00:33:14] It’s like the time when they need minute. And most middle school, I’m not far removed from high school at all.

[00:33:19] Right.

[00:33:19] And like, I don’t know, for like four years removed. But everything I went through in high school is like what middle schoolers now are. Deal. Oh, yeah. So that freaks me out. So it’s not like I don’t feel ill equipped to talk to them or anything. And I also think I was tempted to choose adult discipleship because one on one, conversations in like small groups are my thing. Like that’s my comfort zone. But middle schoolers are super capable of having like meaningful conversations. And so I think I’m excited to kind of like break a stigma. Not that I single handedly can do it, but just that I want to be there and be like, hi, I’m a female. Real girls here that I haven’t had someone to talk to you in the last couple years. Here I am. And I’ve been a counselor at Dickie Lake. And Middle School is like always my favorite that’s going on.

[00:34:13] So I think you’ll be at my tribe.

[00:34:15] I’m going to try to figure out maybe not this summer, but the following summer to do like the counselling. My dad did it and he was like, I’m so old, so terrible. And he was out there. That’s what I heard. Well, and I just see, like in my own kids, my 13 year old and 10 year old, like they’re seeing stuff.

[00:34:33] I’m like, oh, my gosh, I was a senior in high school before I saw that. It’s like. Yeah.

[00:34:39] So I think it’s very commendable that you’re going after the middle schoolers to try to keep positive a positive influence. And I never thought I would do that.

[00:34:48] Yeah, I was always like, yeah. Middle schoolers are annoying. And then just because everyone else was saying it and then I during my time at Crown, I’ve just been kind of like, are they? Or they are not like, what was I like when I write it? Probably super annoying. So it’s not anything unusual and they’re just transitioning.

[00:35:10] Their hormones are changing. Are you ready for this? Like, I was super awkward. Half of the middle schoolers I know dress better than I dress. So it’s like. All right.

[00:35:21] Yeah. Yeah. So funny. So then on the flip of that, you said that you have a boyfriend. Yes, I do. So is he at Crown? Yeah.

[00:35:31] So basically last spring they hire. Well, it’s like an interview process for like ministry leadership and student leadership on campus. Okay. And both he and I were like nominated to apply for the chapel student chaplain position, which is basically there’s two student chaplains every year. And your responsibilities are like planning chapel. There’s one student led chapel every week on Sunday night. So you plan that and then you lead a small group on Monday mornings and you’re kind of just there like you make yourself available to students so that they have someone to talk to you if they need to read in terms of like not every student’s gonna want to go and talk to their R.A. about things because they’re sort of like this obligation if you’re going through something really tough that people are worried that you’ll share it with other people or whatever.

[00:36:26] So we’re just kind of like a safe place, right?

[00:36:28] So I applied for it and I didn’t really think I would get it. And then we went through an interview process and I found out that I got it. And I the other student chaplain, Sam, was mad.

[00:36:37] And I knew him in class, really, because he and I are the same major. So I knew him from class and he was really great. And yeah, there was no not any romantic feelings ever. And then this summer, I broke up with a guy I had been dating for a few months and I got back to Crown and started working with Matt. And it had been like maybe a month into the it was basically like mid-September, I think. And Matt came up to me and he was like, hey, can I talk to you? And I was like, sure. And he said, I have feelings for you.

[00:37:13] And I have been praying about it for like a month and we’ll have to like our supervisor and everything. And I was just shocked. I was like, I didn’t expect any of this and I need some time to think about it.

[00:37:25] And then I don’t know, I kind of felt super. I was in that moment super secure. And I was like, why not kind of see what this turn and do? Because I think my feelings were somewhat reciprocated. But I kind of was like, well, whenever you work in close proximity with someone of the opposite sex for a long time, like there might be feelings, you know, relationships start. Yeah. So then we went out on like a couple of dates and he was super respectful. And he never once has been like, oh, I like you because you’re physically attractive or like I like you because of like anything superficial is out the window. He’s always like, I love your heart and I love like the way that you talk to be really like, I don’t know. He’s super awesome, dude. And so we just kind of started like dating. And we had been friends for a long time. So it was cool to just see that unfold. And now we’ve been dating since September ish. And so he came home with me for Thanksgiving and met my family. And my sister had been out to Minnesota and met him.

[00:38:30] And he’s really different. He doesn’t play sport like he’s never played sports. So my whole family’s kind of like sport. What? Yeah. Like, oh, OK. Like trying to have like I could see the skepticism just like radiating off of them. Like, what do we about?

[00:38:44] He’s a really talented musician and. Yeah. Many love God so much more than he could ever love like any person. So that is super admirable. And we’re doing really good. And he also got he got an internship offer at the same church, that of the residency like before we even did. Yeah. So he is most likely going to be in Omaha in the fall. So that’s super awesome.

[00:39:09] So I’m excited to see where that goes. He’s really high. His name’s Matt. He’s very cool. Hi, Matt. That’s awesome.

[00:39:19] Well, I just wanted to kind of close this up a little bit and just see, you know, you.

[00:39:28] You have you’ve had a lot of things happen in your life. And I know your parents are awesome and your sister is super cool. And like as you look back, are there any moments like I know Paxton definitely had an influence in your life, but are there other moments in your life that kind of made you think a little differently and transition a little to make a U-turn, basically?

[00:39:57] I think it wasn’t like a single event. But just being involved in youth grew up here. Growing up, I kind of took it for granted, like it was just something I did weekly for a while and then I realized I don’t know that my friends from high school, like my friend group was completely separate from youth group Ray and that was kind of interesting. But I also remember, I don’t know, just thinking, man, what’s better for me? Like what is going to produce more fruit and make me into who God created me to be? And I kind of have transitioned. I have literally one friend from high school from like my high school friend. And she’s not a believer, but she’s awesome. And I love her. And I could talk to her about anything. But my youth group has become this core support still.

[00:40:48] Well, I see all you guys at the front and. Sure. Yeah.

[00:40:51] Even when you’re not there for six months or whatever, like the youth group and the kids that are like everybody’s up front at the front of the church.

[00:40:59] Yeah. I never had that growing up. I I’m like I feel like you’re like 10 years ahead of me.

[00:41:04] It’s weird because you even kids my age like my my best friend at Crown, her name’s Larissa. She was like, I have this terrible camp. I had one terrible camp experience. I hate camp. And I’m like, I love like camp is my thing. I love it. And then she’s like, yeah, my youth group was like five people.

[00:41:26] Like, you know, just like it was. It’s different. Like it’s not just you that feel different about it.

[00:41:31] And then I kind of started to realize in my time at Crown, especially that like this is unique to have this huge support right where you’re from. And I also know that because that support is so strong, it’s not like I have to be here. Right. Take part in it. So that’s why, if you would have asked me even six months ago what I would be doing after Crown, I would’ve been like, I’m going to move back. Call me balls and like, be with my friends because I love them and I need to be around my family. But knowing that all that is constantly supporting me, no matter where I am, has shaped my decision making.

[00:42:08] And I realized, like, how many open doors God has for me total now, knowing that these people aren’t going to shut me out just as I don’t live here type of thing. Well, and that’s why I’m excited.

[00:42:19] Like for my kids, like Jack started going to youth group and I’m like, I never had that.

[00:42:25] So I’m kind of like living my life. I carry a sleigh through my kids and it is like it feels like such a strong group here and fellowship. And it’s just I’m excited to see how it may mean everybody’s experiences, the different and they turn things differently. But I’m excited to see because I’ve just seen so many youth standing up and talking about their experience living like Jordan and Gabrielle and Shane.

[00:42:51] They grew up going to youth group and I didn’t even go I think I went to youth group with Jordan for one year. I guess he was he was a senior and I was a freshman maybe or in eighth grade. But even I feel connected to them and I have like really positive relationships with them. And I didn’t even attend youth group with them. It’s just like, I don’t know. It’s just like being open to the possibility of community is a huge thing, really.

[00:43:15] And if I had separation anxiety from youth group, I was like, what am I going to do? I don’t even have my word now. It’s gone. Yeah. And I was like, how am I gonna. It was kind of like, how else can I connect with God?

[00:43:25] I don’t know any other way. But you even mentioned like you, my mom had women’s Bible study at ever. Those things are so important. And I love any chance like that small group that I went to the Young Adults Bible study when I was an FCC. That was like my new U0. And it was awesome. I love that. And I love just connecting with people. And so I think that like moving forward, even in Omaha, I know that I probably will be plugged into some sort of small group. But beyond that, I’ve I’ve even encouraged my parents. I’m like, you guys should get involved in a small group because that’s what it is. It’s like a community that you can rely on. Right. And you, like even meeting weekly is super fun. And I look forward to it every week. So I think that totally like the Bible studies are basically what you that’s like.

[00:44:14] What? Yeah. Yeah. Basically living it. Oh, good. That’s good.

[00:44:18] And we’re starting a new women’s one here in January and I’m like so. Ready. Yeah. Like you talk to everybody on a weekly basis. I love that.

[00:44:27] So to wrap this up, last, last two things. What are three things that you want to share to encourage your age group right now? Mm hmm. Or one or two whenever you fit something to encourage people that are twenty two. Almost twenty two point two. I think.

[00:44:48] Maybe being OK and recognizing that God’s not going to audibly be like, hey, go here all the time, because even deciding what major you’re choosing as a freshman or sophomore, everyone’s always like, it’s OK if you don’t know it’s OK if you don’t know. And now we’re at a time when no one’s like saying that anymore. To me, they’re kind of like, what are you doing? And there’s no kind of cushion. And so I think that just having faith that God’s going to open doors and you might not even realize you’re walking through one until later. But just I think if you’re living a faithful life, then wherever you are, God’s going to use you. So just knowing that, like, even if I choose not decided not to go to Omaha and came back here, God’s going to use that. Like it’s not like I made a wrong choice. Even my f._c._c thing. I thought that was a total like dumb move. And at the time and then now I know that like if I weren’t there, I wouldn’t be where I am now type of thing.

[00:45:46] Right. So just just being opened in different opportunities and like possibilities and.

[00:45:53] Kind of remaining faithful, even if you don’t see what God’s doing.

[00:45:58] Well, your trip to Omaha could literally be God using you to help one person get to know Christ. And then he could say, OK, now you need to come home or. Mean or you go across the world somewhere else.

[00:46:11] You don’t know you walking faithfully in that light. God, you have this. I think that’s important. Yeah.

[00:46:17] And then another thing would maybe be I always in relationships was was compromising things like, I don’t know, I would be like, I’m going to do this because there’s no way that a guy exists that would ask any different of me type of thing. But I think even dating that even in the future, if we aren’t, don’t end up together.

[00:46:39] I know he’s a great guy and he’s never I’ve never had to compromise something right in our. And we’ve dated for a short time. But just knowing in moments when you as like a twenty two year old woman are thinking, oh, like he treats me really bad and that’s OK, because every guy is going to treat you bad. That’s not true. Not like there is not even a guy. Like there are guys out there who are like radically pursuing God and who will treat you so well. And I have friends who are guys who treat me that way, too. It’s not just like my boyfriend, Ray, but just know that that exists. And it’s not just for a select people. If you stand your ground and know what God desires for you above, like what the world says is a healthy relationship, that’s the way to go.

[00:47:29] I think. Wow, that’s huge. You’re talking like you are is totally, totally an adult.

[00:47:36] They feel like you are you’re totally an adult.

[00:47:41] Well, is there anything else you want to share? Any final thoughts?

[00:47:46] I don’t think so. Thanks for having me. This kind of stuff. I hope that people get something out of it.

[00:47:53] Well, I want to interview you after your internship.

[00:47:57] It’s not internship. A resident residency. OK. I don’t even. I’ll be back around. Yes. Yeah, for sure. Well, and you go back to school then next week Ray and I go back next Sunday.

[00:48:09] So yeah. Every week. That’s so cool. And now I’m honestly excited and ready to be back. It will be good to have a busy schedule. I do. I last semester I was an intern chaplain, so I didn’t have class. And so this semester I’m like back in classes with my friends. And I’m even taking like more. I’m only need 13 more credits to graduate, but I’m taking like 16 just because to get some extra there’s so like. I wish I had the same mindset as a freshman as I do now because there’s classes that I’m like. That sounds interesting. I mean, take it even though I don’t need it type of thing. But I’m excited. I have a busy schedule, but I do well. I don’t want to be identified as a busy person, but just kind of as like a motivated person.

[00:48:54] Totally. I feel like I do better when I have a lot of stuff going on. If I’m just sitting stagnant, I’m like, yeah, this break.

[00:49:00] I’m like, oh, I watch TV all day. Oh, no, that’s not good.

[00:49:04] I just wasted time. Yeah. That’s all right. Well, it is has been a pleasure chatting with you, and I’m excited for some more coffee time. We didn’t have coffee by headwater, but I’m just getting to know you even more. And I feel like I learned a lot about you and. Yeah, and I know my my kids enjoyed when you watched them. A couple spend a couple of years. But you’re just a pleasure. And I’m excited too. And you’re. Well, thank you. And like your parents are great. Like they always say hi to us every day at church or every Sunday at church and you just have a good family. And so, yeah, I think it’s appreciated. I hope if I can raise my kids, continue to raise my kids to have them turn out simply they don’t.

[00:49:48] I am a global citizen. Well, honestly, we fail forward. That’s true.

[00:49:54] We have to make all those mistakes. I always think of it like our path is. I know listeners can’t see this, but our path is definitely a squiggly line.

[00:50:03] But we’re always moving forward in that line. So, yeah, sure. Well, cool. Well, thank you for listening.

[00:50:10] And again, this is Lottie and I look forward to hearing you again in the future. Thanks.

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