Senior Q&A: Anna Niessen

Processed with VSCO with b1 presetDescribe a turning point in your spiritual journey while here at NWC. 

It was my freshman year and we had just finished singing the doxology at P&W. My RA gathered my wing together to share prayer requests and pray. When it came to prayer, I tended to be the quiet person who listens, nods and doesn’t make a sound. But as we circled up around the pews, my heart started pounding and my hands shook. I wasn’t nervous because my wing was going to pray, I was anxious because the Lord was convicting me to pray out loudThoughts swirled through my head: “What will they think of me? What if I mumbled over all of my words or repeated myself? What if my mind emptied in the middle of a sentence leading to 5 minutes of silence?  What would people think of me?” With all of these the doubts and questions stirring up in me, the Lord responded to me with an unfathomable gentleness. He reminded me that I waHIS daughter and that I just needed to be still, to enjoy time in HIS presence, and enjoy the prayers of his faithful around me. 

I was to trust God, get over my fears, and let the Spirit lead. My nervousness subsided and when my turn came, words came. My barriers came down and I praised my God and Savior.  I realized that my overthinking led to insecurity and fear that prevented me from praying with others and trusting God on a deeper level. Praying is not about what others hear or think, but about speaking to your creator and coming to God in humility, and letting the Spirit move. It is all about being more attentive to Christ than yourself. 

What advice would you give to underclassmen regarding their personal faith walk while here at NWC? 

Pray, pray, pray! Our God hears and answers prayers – even those prayers that feel too big, too hard, or not worthy. Pray for those impossibly big dreams and crazy ideas or those things that seem way too small. Pray for courage, peace, and strength. Our God cares about everything we say or ask for – those things we pray for every day and the things that we are too scared to pray for. God has the power to heal, to save, to speak through you, and to explicitly answer your questions. He created the Heavens and the Earth and knows us better than we know ourselves, so it is stupid to not go to him in prayer.  Looking back, there were many times when I thought I knew God’s plan and didn’t pray for something. But when I do pray for things I deem unanswerable, God shocks me and answers my prayers better than I could have hoped.  


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