Student overcomes physical illness, glorifies God

By Isabel Palos, Contributing Writer

Many people realize their calling early on in life.

Often, people will receive a calling from a defining moment in their life through getting to experience something for the first time.

This could even occur in the form of God giving a clear answer to a calling.

Yet, some people simply do not experience this clear-cut answer of where they should go.

Hanna Joines, a junior special education and early childhood education major, said she never received a clear direction from the Lord on where she was called to work or go to college.

“The Lord helped me realize that I can serve Him in any field, but this one focuses on loving the people society deems the ‘least of these,’ and it seems as though that is an important part of Christ’s ministry in the gospels,” Joines said.

“I still am not one hundred percent sure what I want my career to be in the long-run, but I know that college is preparing me and giving met the tools I will need to love these people well and help them see their own value.”

Joines chose to study special education and early childhood because she believes everyone is worth being treated with respect and love.

“I have seen children and people with disabilities looked down and left out too often,” Joines said. “I want to show Christ’s love to these people and let them know that the things that make them different make them even more valuable. We can all learn so much from one another because everyone is gifted in different ways.”

Although Joines is passionate about what she loves, this does not mean she is not presented with challenges.

“The biggest challenge in pursuing my major is definitely the in-field experiences in some of the schools I have observed in,” Joines said. “This was disheartening, but did not necessarily make me rethink my decision. I know that the Lord will equip me for wherever He calls me.”

While Joines is not necessarily certain on what her calling is, she knows the Lord will grow her through the challenges she is presented within her field of study.

“There are many things in education that will be difficult,” Joines said. “It will be hard to discern how to teach certain children, how to interact with parents, and it will be hard to go every day for eight hours,” she said. “However, I think that the Lord will give me so many opportunities to make Him known, and He will use the difficulty to sanctify me and bring me closer to Himself.”

Even though education is something Joines is passionate about, it is not the only thing that peaks her interest.

Joines occasionally sings and just recently performed at Battle of the Bands.

While music is not something she pursues educationally, it has helped Joines in other aspects of life.

“I sing throughout the majority of the day because I think it is such a great tool to bring glory to God, and it helps my heart to rejoice in Him,” Joines said. “It helps transfer what I learn in God’s word from my head to my soul. Worship music is also one of the things that helped me through a difficult time of sickness and loneliness in my life.”

In high school, Joines had to be homeschooled due to lethargy and chronic pain. In this season, she did not know quite what was making her feel this way.

“I found out that I had been living with Lyme Disease my entire life without knowing,” Joines said. “During the illness and treatment, I was home ninety percent of the time and I slept a lot. I struggled with depression because I couldn’t do the same things as everyone else. I struggled to read or even watch TV sometimes because I had bad headaches,” she said.

“For some reason though, music didn’t [give me headaches]. God used music to draw me closer to Himself and make me depend more on Him instead of myself.”

Although Joines does not know where the Lord is calling her yet, she said it will involve her sharing Him with others.

“[My calling] will involve me serving in a local church and seeking Him in whatever it may be,” Joines said.

Joines hopes to pursue music in a greater capacity eventually.

“I used to lead worship at my home church, and I want to start doing that again,” Joines said. “I also recently began writing some worship songs

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