Hi! My name is Caroline Fisher. I am 15 years old and am a sophomore in high school. Of course, homework and chores occupy a lot of my time. However, when I’m not doing these, I enjoy yoga, reading, photography, art, hanging out with my friends, and of course, Bible journaling! I am left-handed, which some people say adds to my creative spirit. I am extraordinarily blessed with an incredible family, including two adorable kittens, and I am very involved in my school and church. I am a part of Team LEAD, a mentoring program for middle schoolers. I am also in Concert Choir, Spanish Club, and Educational Helpers, and I am usually a part of the dance team but recently had to take a season off. And I actually have a job at my church! I am the Sunday School Assistant each Sunday, helping out with children’s Sunday School. I love kids, so this job suits me perfectly. Every Sunday is an adventure that I so look forward to. I also go to youth group, which meets every Wednesday night. Before youth group, we usually go to a coffee shop—we’re all very close friends!
I have attended church my entire life. Currently, I attend Valparaiso First United Methodist Church. I have attended this church since I moved to Valparaiso nearly fourteen years ago. My church is truly a wonderful place and I am so lucky to have it. Being in high school, my faith is constantly challenged. Most of my peers are pretty accepting, but it can be tough when less than 10 percent of the student body regularly attends church. With this challenge, though, my faith has grown much stronger. When you’re part of a minority, it can be easier to grow your faith more securely because it’s something unique to you, making it more fun and inviting to explore. One of my many life verses is Philippians 4:13: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
I have been Bible journaling for almost seven months now. I am so glad that I have discovered and expanded on this creative outlet. My favorite part about it is decorating the page and being able to really connect with Scripture. Journaling helps the verse(s) to really sink in and helps me to truly believe the Scriptures. I first found out about the Inspire Bible TOUR after stumbling across Amber Bolton on Instagram. As I fell in love with her work, I began to explore workshops and hoped that one would show up near me. After months of wishing, I decided to make my dream a reality. Hosting a workshop had never occurred to me before, but I realized that there was nothing really stopping it from happening. My highlight from hosting the workshop was probably seeing all the smiling, excited faces ready to learn and praise the Lord. I loved seeing how joyous and fulfilled everyone was.
As the host, I organized everything between my church and Amber, found funding, set up decorations, and spoke at the event. There was a lot of work involved, but that’s right up my alley! I absolutely loved hosting. I saw God a lot throughout the weeks leading up to the workshop. One way that he particularly surprised me was with the turnout. Being a relatively small church, I figured we’d be lucky if we had 25 participants, but it ended up being over 50! And there were people from all different walks of faith attending—from those who could memorize the book of Psalms to those who didn’t know what a Bible was! Another thing I did not expect was how quickly the workshop would fly by. I ended up being at my church for over 6 hours that day, but it did not feel over 2! I would say I knew almost half of the people who attended. The community outreach I did was extensive! I designed posters and put them everywhere. And it was great to see so many faces I did not recognize. I was dramatically impacted by hosting the workshop and by attending it. It was so rewarding to be able to put so much effort into preparing and organizing the workshop and then actually get to sit down and attend it as a participant.
The workshop itself was phenomenal. Even as a somewhat “experienced” Bible journaler, I learned so much and absorbed everything Amber had to share. I keep describing that day to people as “life-changing”—and it truly was! It was surprising to discover how much work goes on behind the scenes for an event. Much more work went into the workshop than I ever would’ve fathomed as a participant. It was almost like Christmas: The day was built up, anticipated, and talked about so much, and then it was over in an instant. But God was unquestionably smiling upon the faces of everyone who was at the workshop. We talked, smiled, laughed, prayed, and bonded over the experience.
God certainly used this experience to stretch me. It gave me hope, purpose, and, of course, involvement in a wonderful activity. I’ve grown in my faith through this experience and have found myself closer with God. To those of you scrolling through the TOUR website, deciding if you should pursue this “crazy” idea—do it! I would never hesitate to tell someone to host a workshop. Although it’s hard work the reward is so worth it, much greater. My time in God’s Word has most definitely changed for the better since the workshop. I learned so much and was able to apply it to my journaling. I feel like I am more mindful and aware as I read, and can really take the verses and passages to heart. And my church started a monthly Bible-journaling group! Every second Monday, we spend the afternoon at Starbucks unleashing our creative sides.
I was inspired in so many ways through this workshop. It was truly a transformative experience. I will never forget this life-changing event and will be forever thankful to God for leading me to do this and blessing me with the successes it has brought.