C: Tell us a little bit about yourself, Josh!
Josh: My name is Joshua Hollett. I am currently 25 years old, live in Atlanta Georgia, and work as a chemist in radiation curable coatings. I am married to the ever lovely Micaela Hollett, whom I met at college in Boston. We have a little dog in our family that we love to pieces. Some of my favorite things to do in my free time are singing, playing guitar, playing basketball, and learning almost anything. Lately I have been educating myself about cooking - vegan style. I have been trying the vegan approach to eating while also trying to build muscle. Understanding what to eat and how to cook it has been challenging but fulfilling.
C: I have personally loved journeying with you and Micaela on the fitness/health level! I am so proud of your journey and investment in it! When it comes to your walk with God, when would you say your faith moved beyond just knowing God to experiencing God?
Josh: I can think of several key moments that moved my faith beyond just knowing God to experiencing God. One of those was when I was in college and a good friend of mine spoke with me over the phone about a conversation we had in person one summer night in high school. The conversation was about direction in life, significant others, and how God might help us navigate all of that. I didn't understand that night, that I had helped cultivate something so life changing to him. In that phone conversation he told to me how I had planted a seed in his life, and I can't possibly express to you how uplifted and overjoyed I felt hearing that. It is a confirmation to me that there is always an impact in our conversations with others - not that we always need to talk about God (let your heart/conscience lead you to those moments) - but that if we are open to it, God can use us to help each other so profoundly. I may have helped my friend that summer night, but the day that he called me, it was I who was built up. I hope that I never forget that conversation because every time I think about it, I understand my purpose - to love others.
C: God can use ANYONE if they are available and obedient to Him. There is definitely great power in community and conversation. What is one thing God has been teaching you this season of your life?
Josh: This season of my life, God has been teaching me to honor my body. It was just today actually that it dawned on me that while God gave me this body to physically navigate life, he also asks that I steward the gift right by taking good care of it. In doing so, I show God that I care about his purpose for me and that I too want to be able to take part in all of the physical manifestations of that plan. In my introductory statement I mentioned that I am currently trying a vegan eating approach. I attended a conference a few weeks ago called Atlanta Veg Fest 2015 out of curiosity. At the time I was already interested in building muscle and went because I read that plant based bodybuilders would be speaking about how to build muscle as a vegan. I learned several things that day: 1) you can build muscle as a vegan, and even best what you were able to achieve eating both plants and animals 2) you can dramatically reduce your risk of a ton of diseases by consuming an all plant based diet & 3) that you can help a bunch of animals have better lives, which just so happens to also help humans live healthier lives (a win-win)! I’m still very new to this and trying to learn as much as I possibly can about everything related to this rather confusing topic called nutrition that I like to summarize as: What in the world should I put in my body? Because of the negative/pushy image some have of vegans, I just wanted to make sure everyone reading this knows that I respect each person’s right to choose to eat meat and that doing so will never make me think poorly of you. You are all lovely, amazing individuals.
C: That conference sounds pretty informative! It's important to educate yourself on anything before you make a decision about it. Honoring God with our bodies and our health is a huge passion of mine as well! How do you keep your eyes fixed on God when storms come your way?
Josh:When storms come my way I either face them or pretend they’re not there. I’d like to think I face more than I ignore, but the fact is that there are plenty that are much easier to run from. In order to keep my eyes fixed on God when this happens, I try to avoid isolation. I’ve found that when I am facing a lot of stress, it helps me to be around others who will support me with encouraging words, hugs, and sometimes a straight “stop distracting yourself.” For me it’s really all about having community and accountability. Often times it’s not enough to be a strong individual. You need to cultivate close relationships and be there for each other.
C: "Pretend they are not there," I know that all too well. It would definitely be easier to run than to confront, but you are right, surrounding yourself with people who can speak TRUTH over your life is a great step forward. What are some verses that you often cling to as a reminder of His goodness?
Josh: A verse that I cling to as a reminder of God’s goodness is “Be still and know that I am God.” This verse is actually on a piece of art that my nana has hanging on the wall of her bathroom, haha. Honestly, that is probably the reason I remember it so well - my family lived with my grandparents when I was a teenager so I literally saw this verse every day (sometimes twice a day). When I feel overwhelmed by what I consider to be my insufficiences, this verse reminds me that God can do anything he pleases through me and that all I truly have to do is be willing. It helps me to acknowledge that without God, there are limits, but with God there are only opportunities.
C: If you could encourage those out there who are fearful of letting go and trusting God, what would you say?
Josh: As a fellow fearful person I first want to empathize with you. Let’s not waste our time pretending that there are people in this world without fear. Everyone fears something, and there is nothing wrong or incomplete about that. What’s true is that you can allow fear to set limits for you, or you can see it as an opportunity. There are lots of reasons to fear trusting God, and like you I have to remind myself or be reminded that God can be trusted. There are lots of questions I don’t have the answers to, in fact there are lots of bonafide biblical scholars that also do not have the answers; however, at the end of the day trusting God cannot be reasoned, it can only be experienced. I say that because it was not until I spent time with God and experienced his presence in my life that I could really trust him. I was fortunate to have had the exposure as a young teen because the church I attended had an awesome summer camp that I thought would be a blast. It turned out to be way more than just a fun camping trip. If you are skeptical of the God thing and perhaps don’t even know whether to believe that a God exists, I would encourage you to go ahead and be skeptical. However, don’t only talk about God and if he exists or can be trusted as if it is purely an academic pursuit. Go ahead and try talking with God. Go and serve some people, even if you feel unqualified, and I suspect that in your interaction with them that you will begin to experience God. I’ve found that the time I spend serving others is often the time when I feel I can trust God the most.
C: Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story! If you have any questions or comments for Josh, leave them below! Have a great Sunday!
When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord;
He brought me into a spacious place.
The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid.
What can mere mortals do to me?
The Lord is with me; he is my helper.
I look in triumph on my enemies.
It is better to take refuge in the Lord
than to trust in humans.
2 Corinthians 9:8 (AMP)
And God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.
I believe that God's blessings are not meant to end with us but that they should filter down to others. I am sure you are aware of what is happening in Paris right now. My heart is breaking. With that said, I am not surprised. Jesus made it clear that war and hardship are coming and not to be surprised when they happen. All I keep thinking about is how I can take the blessing of safety I currently have and bless others with it. I don't just mean physical safety. I am talking about internal and assurance that this place is not my home, so fear doesn't take the wheel. I once heard this quote: "Safety is not found in the absence of danger but in the presence of God." That is the truth I want to bless others with.
What if we reached out and blessed others with our blessing? What would that look like in your life? Perhaps you've been blessed with financial security, a house, a car, a skill, etc. Do you keep it to yourself? I don't think a hoarded blessing is enjoyed as much as a shared one.
May you receive the blessings God has given you and go out and bless the people around you.
You are never out of God's reach. I don't care where you've been or what you've done, God's love is deeper and His grace is sufficient. As I prepared to teach and speak at my church this morning, the story of the prodigal son kept coming to mind. I definitely have flares of the younger brother where I assume that God doesn't quite know what is best for me. This, of course, leads me to take the pen and attempt writing my own story. Does it go well? At first, I think so! But that's what happens when we run away. At first, we think it's the best decision we've ever made. We let our emotions make our decisions and, with little thought, we aimlessly start writing, thinking that we know better than God does. It's as if we enter into this high and we can no longer think clearly. More often than not, we do not come to our senses until we absolutely rock bottom. This is the video I made when I first woke up this morning. I think I kind of used it as practice before I spoke today. I hope it blesses you.
A Bit About ME!
Hey friend! My name is Caren and I am so glad you stopped by! This blog is a bit of my corner on the internet where I share honest thoughts about my faith journey, fitness journey, doctor wife journey, and motherhood journey. ALL of it! The good bad and ugly! I pray that something I share encourages you today!