Welcome back to Unfiltered Faith podcast. It is your host, Stoss Meredith is not with me today, but I do have a very, very special guest. We have Kenzie. Elizabeth, I thank you for having me on course. Yes.
So Kenzi's a full time blogger, you Touba, she's into help, fashion, beauty, all that good stuff. And yeah. So in this episode, we're just going to be getting into our fake testimonies, mental health, social media, business, stuff like that. I'll be asking a bunch of great questions. So yeah, we're excited to try and keep on listening.
So can you tell me more about yourself?
How what's your testimony, your faith walk to?
I know you mentioned a little bit that you folks from the church and just like if you have a testimony, go ahead and you can just the floor is yours.
Yeah. So I'm twenty three now to give a little backstory about.
I grew up in Texas, so it's very like culturally Christian. It's a very different sort of vibe here, which I would you say it's different from L.A. to Texas because you said you lived here for five.
I went to a church. So the church that I was in L.A. and just the people I was around in church in L.A., a lot of them were like new Christians.
And so I felt like they were reading the Bible for what it was verses like Judah Smith a few years ago had a sermon series and it was something like truth over tradition.
And he's like, well, OK. Laughter Like tradition. So I think a lot of it like honestly isn't even biblical of like certain things or like we have certain things on hierarchies and I don't know, it's just like a different sort of vibe. And now there's a lot of it I actually like, appreciate in a way, but I don't think it was just like not very conducive at the time.
So yeah, I was going through a really hard time.
I dealt with like mental health issues for like as long as I can remember. And I went to church camp. This is the most Texan story you'll ever hear. And I. How old are you? Like 12 or 13. And it's what the friends I'm still like to this day. I best friends like I was just on the phone with one of them right before. This is like we're still so tired. But yeah, I went to church camp and that was just kind of like I'm looking very all or nothing kind of girl, which isn't actually the best quality I'd come to realize.
But yeah, it was really serious. I was super involved.
I mean, I was on a mission trip like a month later, like I was just like I was dating the pastor's son within weeks. I mean, it's really unbelievable what I did at this time of my life.
So I'm full. So I said I'm done.
And yeah, ended up having a really bad experience around like my sophomore year of high school that was honestly like kind of traumatic now that I look back on it.
And it caused me to leave the church, which in I also caused me kind of end up leaving my relationship with God, like I think I was planning on going elsewhere and I just did it.
And then I just was like, whatever.
Yeah. So around that time I had just started my YouTube channel. Oh. And so I kind of focused on that. And ultimately that's kind of what brought me back to church because I ended up moving to L.A. when I was 17 and I was there for about a year and I was like drinking a lot. And I'm not a.. I like most things honestly.
It's not even that is just for me. Once I'm out, I was drinking, was not good, but to alcohol became a depressant for me. So it was like a combination of like I'm not really drinking for the right reasons.
Yeah. And then also it just became a really negative like coping mechanism. So I ended up asking a friend what this point, like some people that I knew and I started going to a really popular church on the street and I was like, wait, what you guys are going to church like, this is so weird. And like, none of them go down. I'm the one who ended up in Bible college. So, like, please, like me.
And so I remember texting one of them one day and I was like, hey, can I come with you? And I went and I remember just sitting there and I was like, I'm going to have to unlearn everything that I've learned and relearn. It was even though there was a lot of, like, legalistic things or just certain things I didn't agree with, like I'm kind of a sponge. And even to this day, like it's something I'm working on, like it's almost like made me feel suffocated because I didn't agree with that on a biblical aspect like level as far as like judgment and things like that.
Yeah, it seems like something I felt like I had to unlearn. So that was a journey. I ended up going to Bible College, like I said, are very all or nothing sort of God, that's great.
Yeah. And it was just a really good experience. And I just came back. I think now I'm trying to figure out, like I was in a very volunteer heavy culture. And I think I I'm like an Enneagram type three. So like I'm an overachiever, like whatever. And now just I'm out. I'm trying to figure out because I've always felt like I have one foot in both worlds and I feel like I'm. I don't feel called to like traditional ministry by any means, but I think there's always there like a pastoral call on my life.
I know that now. I'm just trying to figure out not like the in between, but like because I, I put so much pressure on myself and because I now don't feel like I need to be serving at a church for 12 hours a day just because of the season that I'm in. And I don't feel like that's what I'm supposed to be doing. Yeah, I think I'm just trying to figure it all out now. I don't know. But that's the story.
Awesome. Yeah. I mean, that's great. It's a Bible school. It's I've heard so many good things about just Bible school in general. I had friends that went to the Torah Bible College, but that's. Yeah. So you you were saying you were like Certa. So you're trying to find like the healthy medium right now because you you I felt you were serving so much because Bible College you got to put in the hours.
I mean it's like oh yeah.
And I was also working full time and I was doing so many things full time. And I think like it technically was a church plant. So it's just like it was a lie. And I think that was like such an amazing thing for me at that time. Yeah. It was a really good thing for me then, but it's not really like what I feel like I need to be doing now. And I like learning to not put that pressure on myself.
Now has just been a really hard thing for me to walk there. Like, yeah, I was like, yeah. Did you did you feel like because, you know, you're in Bible school and you're working full time like did you because there's like has to be a healthy medium when serving because you want to versus you're forced because you have to do ours. So do you feel like it was another job, like it was just like work and you weren't really enjoying it?
Because I think once you start to serve and you're doing it because you're like, I'm serving in the church because not only we're all called to serve at some point, but just just to serve for God, to love others and to love people, or was it like I'm forced to kind of do this? It's kind of like I'm kind of like running around like headless chicken. I have to work full time. I have to put in the hours.
But also you said that you were coping really bad when you first got to L.A. So this has kept you busy? Probably. And it was honestly good for me, like I loved serving and it gave me, like the community that I could have never I couldn't have asked for better, like still to this day, like some of my closest friends.
But I do feel like I was just really, really busy for two years straight. And I think more than anything, it it's it's not really that I was like, oh, I don't want to be serving. It's just that, like, I actually used to be afraid of graduating because I loved my life was and I didn't want to go back into the quote unquote real world because I was in such a bubble. And I think that, like, God just kind of like prepares your heart and shifts your heart over time.
Like as I've gone through different life transitions, like I always find like maybe I don't feel fully ready, but my heart has changed about something. And so I think that more than anything, I just felt the pressure of like, OK, but when I'm not a full time Bible college student, I can't keep this up, like I can't do this anymore. And it's literally been a year and I feel like I'm still walking through that. But just because obviously covid for whatever.
Yeah, but just like finding freedom and like, I can have a freeing relationship with God and it doesn't have to be like I have to like check off all these boxes or whatever, and not that those boxes are bad to check off. But when you're not in I think the best headspace with it, I think sometimes it can get difficult. So yeah, I think like serving. I loved it and it's amazing. And I think everyone's called to serve the local church anyways.
I don't think that serving the local church, though, always looks like serving on the serve team. I think there's different ways that people do it at different times as well. But just like finding the transition, I think post Bible College has definitely been interesting. I talked to my friends about this, who went to school, and like most people feel this way to some extent, I think I just like put so much pressure on myself. So I just made it worse for, like, no reason.
But, yeah, I just I don't know. It's just like figuring it out and like what, you know, like my life looks like a certain different seasons of life. Yeah.
That's so good. That's so important because now you're in this season like how are you doing now. Spiritually. Mentally. Like obviously I know mashers a lot for I don't know how it is for you, but it was a lot for a lot of people. But like coming out of Bible college and coming out to maybe the real world for you, like, how is that shifted and how is like your relationship with God now? Obviously, like everyone's different.
So how is it for you?
I think I'm right now, I'm probably in the best place I've been in in years.
I'm so like happy and fulfilled and content with I'm around and also like I feel like I've given up a lot of what I thought my life would look like. Yeah, a lot of control in that sense, which has been really helpful. And so I'm just like really working on like living in freedom, I think thoughts. And I had a really good conversation with a friend from school actually this past week. We were little. Someone like crying, which I Roger, but I was just like I was kind of just like opening up about how I felt about certain things and whatever and like.
I don't know, honestly, it's not even anything that was said in that conversation, but I just remember like coming back to Texas and I'm like, I feel so much better and I feel so much more free and I don't feel like I'm hated or like I'm like not valued because I'm not, you know, my whole life isn't like the local church right now. And that was, like I said, always a fear. Like I remember talking to him into our mind my last semester of college.
And I was like, I'm honestly just really worried that, like, when I'm out of school and I'm not serving to that extent, I'm just dropped from the face of the earth because that has happened and things that I've seen. And he was like, you know, like sometimes people are called to give financially, like some people, people are I mean, everyone is called to type, but like in a bigger offering and like, that's how they serve and like, it looks different in different seasons.
I know I keep repeating myself, but, like, I just can't stress enough. So I think just trying to, like, walk in freedom of like I am just figuring it out. And also I put so much pressure on myself, like I have treated myself like I was forty for like four years and I'm like, I'm twenty three, I need to be twenty three. I just figure it out for myself and it's been so freaking good.
I love how you said you like we're basically saying you thought your life would look a certain way like coming out of Bible school or just like people are so holding, like even for me personally holding on to what they think their life should look like out of college or in this season, you're in and you're holding on so much control that God's like, do you trust me? Do you trust me? The next season of your life, even if it's uncertainty unknown, I think that was like a wake up call for me and probably a lot of people last year, like, do you trust in God even though the world is where it's at?
And like, do we fully have faith that God will work things out for us or that we will find a full time job even during a pandemic, after we graduated college or or like just having faith for me, moving like this is going to work out or like, is this going to be OK? And I love how you said, like, you are just completely in this season of just like where you you love and enjoy. And it's like I'm sure you just kind of like let go of control and like like let that freedom kind of like free you and make you feel so much better with life.
Because I feel like we all hold on to what your life should be look like. But it's like honestly, whatever you do in life, it takes immense amount of patience and it takes immense amount of just having faith, not only in God, but just like in your circumstance. Like no one knew that last year. A lot of people will be unemployed. Like it was hard for my family, because not only that, we like because my family owns a small business, my my stepdad does karate and so they own and I work for them.
So it's like no one knew that everything's going to shut down. My family had lost their home, like they had to move out.
It was like very hard. But what the whole point was, is like hanging on to the trust, like not being not trying to be so in control, like my mom was trying to stay in control of like we're going to keep this home. We're not leaving. This is this is this is that. And my and God was like, no, you need to leave. There's so much hurt here that it needs to be sold. So it's like I feel like if you guys are listening your in a season of, like, holding on to just maybe fear or uncertainty or control of like this is how it's going to be, or if not, this is how it's going to like come about like we can't control the future, only God can.
And, and just like of course preparation and of course like working hard to do well in an interview or whatever you're doing put in the work. Of course, that's when the faith comes in, like, OK, I graduated with my bachelor's degree in business. I have faith that I will find a good, steady job like I will prep, you know, but it's like a lot of times we hold on to that control and we don't allow ourselves to have freedom or to have just, you know, like more peace, enjoy life, because we're just go, go, go.
Or holding on to just like what should be how it should be when it's like, do you really trust God in this season, even though it's hard, you know? So it's like, I really love how you said that and just like how you are just completely surrendering and just enjoying life now, which is very important, especially at twenty three.
So something that we were taught in college and we my friends and I talk about this all the time. It's like I want to get really good at not getting my way because more often than not that's like God's protection or honestly, a lot of times it's just like not now. Right. And I like I don't really talk about this on line anymore, but I mean, I really haven't much. But I went through like a pretty big break up, like last fall.
And that was like a very serious relationship, like we were talking forever or whatever. And while I won't say that it was like the most heartbreaking time of my life, because I really was like, I'm really, really done.
It was hard for me, more so in the sense of like I thought that I just thought was what my life was going to look like and that was it. And now that it's like so different, I remember when it first happened and my friends and I were like, just give a six months and life is getting so much better. And we spent all the time now like it's six months later. And I've never been happier. I've never been more fulfilled.
I've never been happier. That was around me. I so see why that relationship was not for me or for him. Like, I just get it now. But obviously in the moment, like, it really sucks and it's really hard. And that's why I think things like therapy and journaling and prayer and worship are so important community, especially for sure. But it was definitely like a big thing of even now, whereas like I'm I've been moving forward in my life and things look different.
I think sometimes I'm like, wait, is this wrong? Because it's not exactly what I saw for myself six months ago. And it's like, no, I think like at different times, like God only allows you to see a certain amount for a certain reason or for many reasons. But I think, like when things don't go your way and when you're praying for something and it comes about in a different way, that's typically a good sign because God, it doesn't like come through exactly how we expect him to.
But I just think, like being really good at not getting your way from a good faith standpoint of like I just believe that God is better for me or I just believe that there's a reason that this is happening right now has helped me immensely, especially someone who's like an overachiever. And I want to do all these things and whatever, just like surrendering and being like, I'm twenty three, I'm just going to have fun. I'm living my life like I'm doing the best I can and like nothing more.
Nothing less. Yeah.
That's so good. And like the whole quote of rejection is redirection is so important because there's so many times in my life that I was like, I need this, I need this job or I want this to happen. And it's like when it doesn't look so disappointed or you're just like God, like what happened? Why do I get rejected from that job, from that boy or from that poor man? I wanted to get like, why? And it's like we don't see the bigger picture up until you're like, OK, I see why.
I see why the way this happened, like for your circumstance, like I see why this relationship didn't work out when you're so much happier and you're so much better off obviously now like just six months later. And so I just had a lot of friends during the pandemic get rejected from jobs that they're very educated, graduated four years like super smart girls and just like rejection after rejection. And they're like, why I wanted this so bad? And then next thing you know, two, three months later, they get a better offer with a better company.
There's just something way better that comes their way. And it's like that's why God is like so just like prone to be like, do you have faith? Do you trust in me, even if you don't like, see the fruit or the see that you're like, I wanted this so bad, Gardian, you're holding on to it and God's like let it go. Like I have something so much better for you and you don't even realize it. And that's why I feel like, you know, just realizing your it won't you won't realize that now, but in later you will.
And that's actually a verse I think it's in, Matthew. It's like you won't see the fruit of it now, but the seed that will come up later. So that's so good. That's so important, I feel like for sure. So we can get into maybe what is your.
I know you're super into lifestyle, fashion, beauty, although what's like your thing right now where you're just, like, not obsessed with what you're just, like, love talking about? Maybe you could be like what you're excited for spring or summer? Like, what would you say you're most excited for coming into this? Not even because it's a new year. It's like freshly twenty, twenty one. So it's like, what are you most excited for, maybe for summer or like this new year to come, because I know I'm so happy you're like so much happier now.
And just like saying that online is just so important because you're like giving hope to others and giving just like good advice to like, you know, like this certain things will not work out, but it's for the best. So why would you say you're so excited for maybe it's like, you know, summer clothes or like the weather or like just overall like this year, would you say?
I think like, I'm so excited for summer and I'm just excited to be with my friends. Yeah. And I have friends who live all over. I have so many friends here and I have friends who are also really like close to me that are all over the place and like hopefully just being able to actually see them and spend more time together or like people coming and staying here for a bit and things like that. Also, just like, I don't know, I like my friends, I mean the entire world to me.
And I feel like I've never in my family, like I've never had better, healthier relationships with pretty much everyone in my life. So I think I'm just excited to, like, be around them and just have fun. Like, that's what I'm really looking forward to them. Yeah, I think was like last year. So it was so different.
Like, I remember being in L.A. for a little bit over summer and it was just so I just didn't feel like summer because everything is kind of closed down. Everyone's just like it was just. Yeah. So like this year it's gonna be a little better knowing that, like I'll have friends over, I'll have people stay over and like summer coming up. Like I'm so excited for summer clothes. Did you. I, I'm sure you did. You see in the Forever 21 Club I have been sent this so many times on take talk.
I'm dying. I'm like, OK, I need this. I'm so excited. All I'm wearing this summer, I've already decided dresses, which is just the sneakers I normally wear or boots like I'm a Texan. And then I love the silk set trends and sandals and have it on my closet.
I was so dress I just got three strikes. I'm like, oh, so you know, what would you say would be your favorite store to shop?
And would you say right now, honestly, it's Princess Polly. I feel like it's on Princess Polly for years because I get like the best dresses from them and that's like half of my wardrobe. So I feel like it has to be. I get a lot of revolve too. I'm like, oh yeah. Because we're all so expensive. Yeah, but it will be Revolver Princess Polly. I love it. And what would your tips be. Because I know you.
Sorry you say sorry. Social media in high school. Right. OK, so you were like your oji ok. What would be some tips for like bloggers or YouTube or social media people that you would dotter just really starting out in twenty twenty one. Yeah.
I think like it's really easy to look, you know, like the mainstream VALENZA that has been raised in the world for and think that it's just going to be an overnight and that's like less than the one percent. You have to just be consistent. Like literally. Yeah. Yeah. And like honestly a lot of times slow and steady wins the race. Like you blow up so quickly, you run the risk. Not that any of the girls that we've mentioned are going to do this, but like when you blow so quickly, it's like, yeah, you're can actually target and you like fade out pretty quickly.
And like, I don't think his intention was ever to be a social media reference, so, you know what I mean?
So I think that, like, slow and steady wins the race and don't be discouraged. Like all of my friends, I feel like we've been friends since we started and we've all grown up relatively similar pieces. And I don't know, I just think, like, focus a lot more on it's like Stewart like I think Stewart, what you have to focus more on the actual audience that you have now better than all, like rather than always wanting to, like, be at the next place.
Now I feel like my community is like so strong. My followers like very like dedicated and very strong. But it's because I took the time to build that. And I think that building that relationship with your audience is so much more important than hitting a million subscribers and like that gets overlooked a lot.
So I would just say, like be consistent and invest in the people who are investing in you.
Oh, that's so good. Yeah, because it's like you you don't want to get that falling without the community. What's the point? You're not going to make an impact over time. You're not going to be able to be an authentic creator because you're just like, oh, my numbers are their own people by followers like you're buying for. First of all, it's going to go down. You're going to just you're going to know. You're going to you're like, I don't follow up.
And like, I just recently hit 10K and I was just like, whoa, I've been working at it since, like, I would say, Instagram since I was sixteen. But I didn't take it seriously up until I would. College so dramatically grew this year just because, like I was on top of it, consistency, like being faithful to those five kids versus being non faithful to, like the 30 K is so much more important and like you said, engagement, stuff like that.
So I think I think this wraps up this episode. You guys, thank you so much for listening, everyone. And thank you so much for coming on and just talking about a lot of just good and deep things that we got into. And I hope you guys enjoyed this episode.
Where can we find you can see you can find me on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube. Elizabet into my podcast is just I love you so much with Elizabeth. Oh, I love that.
I'll definitely link all your stuff down below so you guys can check it out and just click the link. So thank you guys so much for listening.
Love you guys. Bye.