She’s young, she’s smart, she loves Jesus, and has a big heart for people. We like to affectionately refer to her as our ‘baby’ sister, she’s none other than our little sister, Carolina Maranian! Using three words to describe herself, she’s caring, creative, and optimistic; and has a passion for baking – specifically ‘avocado brownies’ (semi-healthy and super-yummy)! Not only does Carolina have a sweet tooth, but she’s literally the sweetest young lady you will ever have the pleasure of meeting.
We’re beyond blessed and grateful to have her as our sister, our best friend, in our lives for the past twenty years and look forward to learning from her example of how she loves God, so passionately, and people, so tenderly. We are tremendously proud of the woman she has become and know that God’s smile over her is unending.
We had the opportunity to invite her on our talk show, and we had a “Sister, Sister, Sister” chat as she shared all things Jesus, life, and loving God and people. She is genuine, transparent, and her compassionate heart shines through so brightly! During our conversation, she mentioned a phrase that profoundly impacted me as she wisely referred to the Holy Bible as the, "TEXTBOOK OF TRUTH"(copyright Carolina Maranian).
Not only is Carolina a college student, she's also a student of the Word! This fit so perfectly as we were discussing her school year journey from overcoming insecurities to struggling with perfectionism and finding her self-worth in Christ. How important is it to acknowledge that, though we may receive knowledge from books, the only infallible truth we can receive wisdom from is directly from the Bible, the Ultimate Textbook of Truth!
Proverbs 9:10 says, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding.” What does this really mean? Note the word “beginning,” which indicates that the fear of the Lord precedes wisdom, and without it, there is no wisdom – not even the beginning of it. This Truth shows me that if I desire to grow in wisdom, I must desire to grow in loving the Lord and learn to love Him with all of my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I want to become a student of God’s Word and excel in what the Bible says, because that’s where we derive our wisdom from.
Watch our two-part series of our interview with Carolina on The Elena & Natalia Show as we talk about the difference between knowledge and wisdom and much more! In Part 1, Carolina shares her personal testimony, overcoming insecurities, and finding her true worth in Christ and in Part 2, she discusses all things college life – from maintaining a 4.0 GPA, to getting past the pressure of perfectionism, and learning how to “Let go and Let God”!
Words of Wisdom from Carolina Maranian:
I remember one time [I was in Christian club], and the guest speaker said, “I wish I knew Jesus when I was younger because my life would have turned out way differently.” And that really stood out to me.
We all hear, “Jesus loves you”, and we take it lightly in a way, because we don;t know the extent of how much He loves. Imagine if you have a son that you really love with all your heart, and imagine giving that son up to die on the cross. It’s powerful...I mean the fact that He loves us so much that He’s willing to sacrifice the very thing that He loves for us, it shows how much He really cares for us.
[God] drives me to become a better person, because if He loves all of us so much that he would sacrifice everything, what is it for us to sacrifice that comfort that we so much hold on to? He loves us even when we don’t love Him back and I think that’s the sacrificial love that we should give to others.
Prayer to me is a constant conversation I have during the day with [God]. I feel like He makes my redundance exciting.
You’re always an insider with Christ, and it’s with Him that you find your strength. So even though you may have these insecurities about yourself, you have all of your security in Christ and that’s all that matters.
I really do believe that God’s perfect love casts out all the insecurities you face, all of the self-doubt. Everything that you hate about yourself, God loves about you. So think about how much God loves you, and how you should love yourself too, because the only way you will be able to become a better person is if you have that self-love and love the one that created in you.
Having a 4.0 looks great on a transcript and having those straight A’s is very pretty, but I feel like even working that hard it still doesn’t satisfy. I’ve learned that grades don’t define, they don’t cause happiness…
All glory really does go to God. For everything that I do, I always thank Him for the successes, for the setbacks, because He’s the One really directing my path.
I try to prioritize reading the Textbook of Truth, which I call the Bible. If you dedicate as much time as you do studying as you do spending time with God, then you’re not making your studying the idol, you’re making God the center of your life moreso.
It’s good to have high expectations for yourself, but when does high expectations exceed even God’s expectations for you, then it’s in conflict.
Imagine someone who loves you, who cares for you, who is your biggest fan and is with you through the setbacks and all the difficulties in your life, would you want to meet this Person and say, “Thank You,” for it all?
You have nothing at all to lose if you just give Jesus a try. Let Him renew your purpose. Let Him renew your life and lead You to the best path in your life. He has changed my life in the best possible way, and I can guarantee anyone who accepts Him, He will change their life too.
If you’re struggling with your purpose or with what God wants you to do in your life...ask God to make your gift visible to you.
Above all, my favorite Bible verse is Joshua 1:9, “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Yes, it is scary navigating young adulthood, but it’s not scary when you know you’re with Christ and He’s with you through it all.
Those words of wisdom by our little sister listed above touched our hearts and we know it will touch yours too. And, now, as two big sisters to another sister (or brother), please know that absolutely nothing can replace your time spent with God and there is absolutely nothing more worthy of immersing yourself in than being with Him and reading His precious Word. Having walked with the Lord for over two decades…
WE HAVE LEARNED that the days we schedule time to be with the Lord are the days best spent.
WE HAVE LEARNED that He not only desires a relationship with us, He immensely looks forward to being with us.
WE HAVE LEARNED that God gets excited when we wake up grateful and acknowledge His presence.
WE HAVE LEARNED that He’s the One who sustained us through the night and woke us up to enjoy another morning light.
WE HAVE LEARNED that God’s love for us is boundless, limitless, without measure. And nothing or no one can change that Truth.
WE HAVE LEARNED that surrendering to God’s will and submitting to His sovereignty is an act of obedience that He always blesses.
WE HAVE LEARNED that He has only the best in store for us, but we have to be willing to accept it and expect it.
Bible Verses to Apply & Abide By (especially for the youth):
“Don't let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful” (Joshua 1:8).
“Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the Lord. Whoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days, keep your tongue from evil and your lips from telling seek peace and pursue it” (Psalm 34:11-14).
“Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown” (Proverbs 4:5-9).