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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

Life Changes


Jenni Lien Podcast by The Yay Project

A podcast in three short stories kind of episode!


1) When the Spirit Says Share

On the importance (and joy!) of learning to say “yes” to the Holy Spirit when he asks us to do something + testimony on how I got to camp at beautiful Joffre Lakes in British Columbia


2) Life Changes

Thinking back to life one year ago and all the life changes that have happened… even though I was recently in danger of having a “everything is the same” pity party + what a One Direction song has to do with this episode, and


3) Transitions

Prayers for me (and maybe you) as I pray through Taipei vs. Toronto vs. Kitchener-Waterloo, being a full-time entrepreneur vs. getting a 9-5, leaving space for God to open those “wildest dreams” type of doors + why it’s such a gift to rely on God during transition seasons.


Let’s have a life chat, friends :) love you 🩷


Region of Waterloo International Airport

Story 1… When the Spirit Says Share


I’m prepping this episode while at the Region of Waterloo International Airport. My local airport with just six gates, one cafe, and zero bookstores.


In two hours, I’ll board a flight to Vancouver to enjoy my first Canadian camping trip! At the stunning Joffre Lakes! Which in itself is a testimony…


In a nutshell, there is a full time and part time version of the Masters program I just completed, in Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology. While our cohorts didn’t mix much, our professors of course knew all students well and would sometimes connect us.


At some point this Spring, our New Venture Creation prof told his part time class about my venture, and one of the students sent me a DM. She was a fellow Christian and was interested in learning more — and suggested meeting up the next time she was in town. (Ps. Talk about dedication… she flew in from Vancouver (a six hour flight) every three weeks for classes!)


So a few weeks later, we hung out - but it turned into a group hang at a summer carnival. So we started to share our testimonies but didn’t really have a chance to connect too deeply. We stayed connected on Instagram though. Saw each other again at our graduation dinner. And then one day…


I don’t always share Yay graphics to my personal account but one day I felt like I should. You know when we sense the Holy Spirit saying to do something and we can easily brush it off, say it’s our imagination, that it doesn’t make sense, we don’t really feel like it… but that nudge remains? Sometimes we don’t know the outcome of our obedience, may even question if we heard right… but other times, God shows us a glimpse of why.


One thing that happened was this friend reached out to say she felt God spoke to her through the verse, which led to me commenting about one of the hiking photos she’d posted recently, and sharing that honestly…


It feels so good to be back in Canada, and one day I hoped I’d be able to do more outdoorsy things too — camping, fishing, hiking more etc.


And then she invited me camping! Said she was about to take a bunch of friends. That if I ever wanted to book a flight, she'd be happy to bring me…


24 hours later my flight was booked.


And here I am, waiting to board. :)


I pray… that we get used to saying “yes” to the Holy Spirit.


We don’t always know why he wants us to do something. But he does — and isn’t it always going to be worth obeying? Is there anything better than strengthening our “Yes, Lord!” muscle?


I remember one year my church in Hong Kong was doing a series on the prophetic gift and encouraged us to be alert to what the Holy Spirit might be asking us to do in the week ahead. People then had testimonies of the Holy Spirit leading them to share the gospel at seemingly random times — and sometimes it was very clear what God wanted to say, and other times it didn’t seem to resonate with the other person, but that willingness to obey — oh how that pleases God. And that’s the end goal isn’t it?


So whether it’s sharing a social media post, striking up a conversation with a stranger, changing your day and driving to somewhere new just because you sense God is asking you to go there… I pray we obey and really enjoy lives lived for him. It’s never boring!


Revive Karaoke Bar Uptown Waterloo

Story 2… Life Changes


So the title of this episode (and this story) is Life Changes. Why?


1. Because I felt God remind me of his goodness the other day — as I temporarily forgot just how many life changes have happened in the last year, because I was getting fixated on the changes I want that haven’t happened yet.


And…


2. Because a few weeks ago, I had the best time singing, screaming all sorts of pop hits, including One Direction’s Night Changes, at a karaoke bar, after our graduation dinner, before our late-night group heart-to-heart, and thought it’d be a cute homage to that night, the night we finished our Master’s.


So, point 1. Today, or sometime soon, since we’re midway through the year, shall we spend a little time in a session of reflective prayer and thanksgiving? Because God has definitely answered prayers since last year, amen?


A year ago today, I had just taken a huge leap of faith and moved back to my hometown, not knowing what was to come, except having this sense that I was supposed to do this Master’s program. The exact business I was to start, the people I was going to meet, the new dreams that were going to emerge… I had no idea.


And the thing about precious things… whether we’re talking about people or possessions or even prophetic dreams… if we’re not careful, we can let them seem ordinary, take them for granted, instead of seeing them as precious gifts from God to be carefully stewarded.


Gracefully, graciously, God pointed this out to me the other day. Another reason why spending time just waiting on God is so needed because we are in position to hear his course-correcting truths. In a moment where I was fixated on dreams to be fulfilled, I really had temporarily forgotten all the dreams God has fulfilled in the last year — things prayed for and so so so many things, gifts, that have just been his divine provision.


I pray… that we treat God with reverence and awe due his name. 🩷


Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, (Hebrews 2:28)

Look, in an ideal world, we’d never forget how amazing God is and who we are in relation to him. Because of his grace, we are redeemed! We get to enjoy life with him and the amazing plans he has prepared for us! It is such an incredible privilege to be able to draw close to his heart and discern his voice and obey! And yet, maybe especially for the ambitious among us, we can start to fixate on our wants, even starting to put them before God…


If that resonates, let’s stop it. Repent and recommit to putting God in his rightful place in our lives. :)


And ask for point 2…


I was just telling a friend yesterday, as she was looking through some of the thousands of photos that we and our friends have taken this year, that I just couldn’t… couldn’t keep looking. I mean right after our graduation night, when our close group of friends had our school dinner, sang at karaoke, took a late night e-scooter ride, and stayed up until 4am sharing reflections on the year… I kept looking at the photos and videos we’d taken — so precious.


But now, a few weeks later, it feels different. (Am I grieving?!)


I still see most of my close friends regularly as we’re still on campus working on our businesses or remote jobs. But it’s starting to sink in that it’s not for too much longer — we of course need to be out before the new class gets in! And it’s really ok that this chapter is closing because we are all working on new dreams (and will work to stay close I hope!).


But… when something beautiful is ending… when some grief is being experienced… what do you like to do? Do you start to guard up so it doesn’t hurt? Do you want to press in and enjoy every moment while it lasts?


Right now, as I write this in the airport, alone for the first time in ages, I think it really is an opportune time to give thanks because the door may be closing on an unbelievably beautiful season… yet I have such hope that there are so many other beautiful chapters to come, on earth and in eternity.


I pray, when life is changing, that we rest easy knowing that God is ultimately in control of all things.


“Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” (Proverbs 19:21)

And we can be sure that his purposes are better than our best dreams. 🩷


Jenni Lien at Joffre Lakes Provincial Park

Story 3… Transitions


And for the final short story, mini testimony of the episode…


I wanted to share more about my experience walking in faith during a transition season and get really specific. Because I often find it helpful when others are! Because I can relate! Because human desires are often similar right? And testifying can help strengthen our faith or at the very least help us not feel so alone (if we’re feeling alone).


So I think… that transition seasons are, on the one hand, super, super exciting. Maybe we’re not anchored to a location or a spouse or a job yet — and who knows what God might do!


Transition seasons also require much faith because… when we don’t have anchors, even when we know we have God aka the only anchor that matters, we can start to freak out. We want that monthly salary, life partner, knowledge of events, parties, accomplishments, opportunities to come. And friends, God disciplines and prunes those he loves right! Blessed are those of us in transition seasons to be able to cry out to God in the waiting and just be honest. To confess when we’re starting to idolize something. To pray during a season where anything seems possible (and against despair that nothing will work out). To wait and rest in the presence of our Lord.


At the moment, I feel my life could go in so many different directions. I was telling a friend the other day that I love when God tells me what to do. And sometimes he does! He makes the path super clear! But sometimes he lets us go through a process before he makes it clear.


So on the one hand, since January or so, I’ve felt a strong desire to spend some time in Taipei. My extended family is there, my parents have an apartment there, there’s a revival ministry I’d love to spend some time with there, and I’d have plenty of space to work on my business there. And plus, I just love new adventures and building a new life in a new place with new people. I wonder how many times I’ll get to do this again.


At the same time, I’ve fallen back in love with Canada. I’d love to spend some time in Toronto - some plans may or may not be in the works! But Kitchener-Waterloo is also such an amazing place for entrepreneurs with incubators, mentors, female-focused programs, and someone offered me a free office space. And I want to build this business to the best of my ability. But should I do it full-time, God? Or look for a job? Or will you bring a job? Full time or part time?


And just yesterday, I had a call with a new contact who suggested things that would be total answered prayers.


So… many prayers have been prayed BUT I feel the thing that is making the most difference in my life this season is spending time more in prayer — including praying in tongues and heeding God’s reminder to pray over everything I want and am working on, over my struggles, and to pray throughout the day.


Can you believe that not too long ago I had a moment where my attitude was like “God, I’m frustrated that nothing has changed?” God has changed so much in my circumstances in just 12 months and I am so grateful. This doesn’t mean all my prayers have been answered, I have everything I want, and I know everything that’s to come. We know that’s not realistic, but sometimes I think that that’s what would actually make me happy — otherwise why would I complain when things don’t fall into one of these categories?


Please tell me you can relate to this a little and I’m not the only impatient one hah.


Tell me… are you in a transition season or wanting to be in one? Are there aspects of your life that could use a fresh wind — you want God to breathe new life into it and take you deeper? How about your life dreams — whether it’s location or profession or even a possession?


If that’s you, that’s beautiful and I’m so excited to see how God leads you. May we always encourage each other to draw near to God, seek him about everything, and believe for God’s best. If you want to share, I’d love to hear more details of your season or if you want to receive specific prayer, send me a message! Or do the new thing, and @ me on Threads! As a person who loves to read and write, I’m loving that app.


To end this episode, let us pray 🙏


You Are You Christian Podcast by Jenni Lien of The Yay Project

Father God, your holiness is unfathomable. You are so, so good. I thank you for your mercy and grace! And in this season, I pray for us all that your joy fills our hearts and affects our attitude in all areas. May we learn to trust you more in transition seasons, and that this builds a stronger foundation and prepares us for what’s to come. Living for you is the best dream, God! Help us see your truth. Thank you for this adventurous life with you and allowing us to experience life changes. Keep it interesting, God, give us more wisdom and strength to stay close to you. Love you so much. Amen.

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