August / Lisa
Updated: May 5
Name - Lisa Darrough
Age - 26
Lives in - Wilmore, KY
Attends - Asbury Theological Seminary
Earning - Master of Divinity
Drinks her coffee - Black with half and half
Last read - Through The Eyes Of A Lion by Levi Lusko
Works at - Asbury Theological Seminary Post Office as P.O. and Campus Store Coordinator
Responsible for - I make sure that all of the departments are taken care of as far as shipments, mailings and communication, and I do product research and promotions for the campus store as well. I have [about] eight student workers under me.
SIB: You’re a manager, but you still do life with your employees - you take classes with them, go to church with them. How do you maintain boundaries between being friends and an authority figure?
LD: I think it’s mostly about how you create the work environment itself. I try to make the workspace as pleasant a place to work in as possible; it feels comfortable like a family would. You rely on each other. I’m in charge of my own hirings, so I bring on people who are enthusiastic about wanting to serve the community we live in.
SIB: People still send so much mail. What is one of your favorite ways to connect with others, especially people who live far away?
LD: I enjoy writing notes to people, when I can. I enjoy sending random gifts and packages to friends in the mail, whether they’re across country or down the street. FaceTime or Skype is my favorite way to keep in touch with people, long-distance. Even a pixelated face is better than no face at all.
SIB: You’ve been studying for your M.Div at Asbury Seminary and have preached at your local church, Great Commission Fellowship (GCF). Some churches still only allow men to preach. Have you experienced any obstacles because of your sex? What do you believe the Lord says on the matter?
LD: I haven’t necessarily encountered any real barriers here. Especially working and living within GCF. I think it’s a testimony to the people that I serve with. [They] are very aware of the [different gifts] that God has placed in individuals, and we all collectively do our best to foster those things in each other. So when people see a gift of teaching or prophecy in me, [they accept it]. When I go back home to South Alabama, that environment is fairly different. It’s challenging because sometimes you don’t know how far you can go in a conversation. My family [runs] into the same thing. They’ll talk about some of the reactions that they get when [others] hear that I’m the oldest daughter and I’m a young pastor. [But] if they don't agree with what I’m doing personally, they also know me. And they know that I’m doing what I feel God has called me to do.
SIB: Tell me about your work with youth in the church!
LD: These kids are my life! I’ve been doing youth ministry at GCF for four years now. It has been absolutely incredible, especially [watching] some of them grow from 12-13 year olds to [rising] high school [seniors]. [They] get excited about how God is calling them to partner with Him in their lives. One of the biggest blessings has been doing small group with the high school girls. They've grown so much, they’re now facilitating their own group. I will come to participate, but they are the ones teaching each other and being very honest with each other. It’s been incredible, absolutely incredible.
SIB: What do you think high school girls need from a young woman in her twenties?
LD: Keep an eye on the way that you carry yourself. Be authentic. On days that you don’t have life all together, stop pretending that you [do]. And don't miss opportunities to encourage those coming in behind you. Even if you only see people younger than you once a week at church, go out of your way to find them and throw things at them like, “I heard that you did this last week. That was awesome!”
SIB: Even in the church, people can look down on singles. How do you respond to that? What are specific needs singles have? What is something you should never say to a single person?
LD: There’s this unspoken/spoken attitude in the church that so much of life doesn't begin until you get married and having kids. And that’s just untrue. Are those things important? Absolutely. But it’s not like you’re in some holding pattern until you reach that point. If God made us for each other than He really did make us for each other. We were meant to intertwine with each other and impact each other on the deepest levels. Some singles won’t be brave enough to step out and find communities, so the church needs to involve them like everybody else. Grow your relationships. Grow every type of relationship you can think of. Find people older than you, younger than you, peers, couples, families that you can become an extended part of. I’ve experienced all those things now and I have some of the richest relationships that I will ever have.
SIB: You’ve opened your home to multiple people over the years, including myself! What’s your number one tip to being a good hostess?
LD: In most cases, a lot of people become like a hover parent. How is this person reacting to this situation, and how is this person, and does everybody need drinks? Community is created by authenticity. So forget the paranoia and be yourself. When people see that you’re having fun they will immediately loosen up. Let everybody have fun! And let everybody be themselves on their own terms.
SIB: You come alive around people. What’s your trigger that let you know it’s time to be alone? How do you make that space for yourself?
LD: A lot of times physical exhaustion [will] clue me in. All of a sudden I’m realizing “Wow, I’ve been around people and doing things for the past three to four days with almost no stop.” Sometimes I notice myself [getting] snarky and cynical and on the brink of irritable, so I try [to] catch it before it gets to that point. But when my brain starts going in that direction that lets me know that I need to get away and have time for me. [I enjoy] everything from [a] nap, to Netflix, to [a] walk by myself. Reading, listening to music, talking to myself.
SIB: Recently, you lost your father suddenly to cancer. You’ve expressed before how this has made you feel lost. What helps you feel “found” again?
LD: On the days that I feel the most lost or disoriented, making sure that I’m plugging myself into my own life is probably the most important thing. Grief comes in waves, and sometimes they are absolutely devastating. [When] the reality of everything hits you again, it's like the breath is taken out of your lungs. Taking the time to accept that that just happened, and getting to the next thing [in my day] will help. So if I wake up in the morning, and for some reason it's just a really bad morning - maybe I had bad dreams or a restless night - [I force] myself to get up and get moving. Almost instantly when I walk into the office, everything [isn’t] “better”, but I remember why I’m here. I remembered why I’m doing this job; I remember why I’m serving these people. I remember all the things that Dad would say to me about moving on or about what I was capable of being for people, and as [I] keep living every day I see more of those things come true. You still have to accept the waves as they come, but you learn that the world is still moving and I’m still here and there’s a reason for that.
SIB: You’re the oldest in your family, and you’re a team leader at work, which means you have nearly constant pressure to hold it together. Tell me about giving yourself permission to fall apart.
LD: Sometimes in order to be a healthy person, you have to let yourself crash and burn for a while. And I’ve been through that a number of different [times]. So it was easier for me this time to prioritize what I wanted to, and let go of everything [else]. And prioritizing work and my relationships became the top two things. That was what I poured myself into or at least the little of myself that I felt like I had. Sometimes you feel like you should have been able to do better. But at the same time I’m actually, for the most part, very proud of myself.
SIB: Who or what inspires you?
LD: It’s simply the people that I’m around from day to day. There’s something about watching people and watching everything from triumphs to tragedies, successes and failures, and watching all of them grow through all of that. That’s inspiring to me. Parts of it may suck, but in the end so much good comes out of every situation, it's astounding. Their small victories seem like huge successes. It's funny how different people look when you’re seeing them versus you looking at yourself.
SIB: You love sports and used to play every sport under the sun! It’s hard to maintain that after college. How do you keep that side of you alive when you work an office job?
LD: Taking advantage of things that I hear happening, [like when] there’s a random volleyball match going on at the seminary gym. I haven’t been available to take part in intramurals, which I would love to be able to do. But on evenings, [I love to go] to the gym and shoot some hoops for a while and regain that part of myself. Or simple things like going for a walk and going to baseball games and watching sports on TV. It is interesting how even watching people be active can motivate you to do things more yourself. That’s actually one of my goals, is to start incorporating sports and even getting back into weight lifting a lot more, ‘cause I’ve missed that.
SIB: What are the most important things you do to take care of your body?
LA: Sleep. [I spent] almost three years [doing] night shifts plus full time school plus youth ministry. I honestly don’t know how I did that. But it’s amazing coming out of that and realizing just how much of me was not fully there. When you regain fairly normal sleep patterns, your brain just wakes up, your emotions wake up; you’re so much more levelheaded. So I understand when people go through seasons where jobs like that are a necessity and you just gotta push through them, but when you can, please sleep.
SIB: You have a couple things you always wear, like your Gryffindor ring. Tell me about it!
LD: The front [of the ring] has a shield with a lion rampant. I first got it a couple years ago because the word “brave” had consistently been popping up in my everyday life. Like I was the one being called brave. And that was happening over and over again, by completely different people in completely different settings. And it became one of those banner words where [I thought], “Okay God, I can’t ignore the identity that You’re obviously confirming that’s already in me.” So that was the main reason that I got the ring. The other fun half is [that] the back of the ring has Gryffindor engraved, which is fun because I am a Gryffindor. I don’t think I will ever cease to be.
SIB: What do you love about yourself?
LD: I love that I can see the true makings of people. I love my growing capacity to love deeper and deeper. I love my spontaneity. I love my freckles. I love my smile. I love my own eagerness to live fully.
SIB: Who are your mentors? How important is having one?
LD: I have close relationships with a couple of women, elders in our church. It’s refreshing because I get to say exactly what I want to say and I don’t have to be anything but myself. If I’m frustrated, I can be frustrated. If I’m jumping out of my socks excited, I can be that. If I’m kind of apathetic and not feeling anything, all of that’s okay, and they’re going to share their [lives] with me too, and I get to learn from them. Getting encouragement from people who have been the age that you are or even in some cases, the same types of situations, is really powerful. It’s not that anything gets solved. But that’s not the point. You grow so much learning from people who have already been there and who really have your best interest at heart.
SIB: Finish the sentence - women would love themselves if they only knew _____?
LD: Women would love themselves if they actually knew the value that others see them having. I think it’s interesting that women are always talked about being the socialites, the family people, the personable ones, the emotional ones - and yet women have a fair tendency to also put up walls and keep everything very shallow. The problem is when you do that, you lose perspective on yourself too. Because the people who love you do see you accurately. They see what is of value in [you]; they see what is unique about you. But if you’re not beyond shallow relationships, you’re never going to know those things. You’re never going to have those kind of conversations. I believe that in order to get an accurate perspective on yourself, you first have to be willing to get outside yourself.
SIB: What does balance mean to you?
LD: I would say it’s a combination of two primary things. One is resting. And that’s so counter-cultural to everything that pushes up against us, especially for women. We’re constantly pressured to be this, do that, move up the ladder in some way, have a family, something. There’s always something that we’re supposed to attain and it’s not true. If you want a balanced life, you have to learn how to rest and be content [in] where you are and where God has you.
The other side is being real. The one way for sure not to be balanced is to put on a front like you [are]. Like “I totally have all my life together. I work out three times a week, I make all my own meals, I’m getting promoted at work, I do all this ministry at church, I take care of my family”…you know. Nobody has their life that put together, and I promise you, you’re really not resting if you’re achieving all of that at once. Balance will look very different for every season of life, so it’s constantly a process of learning and relearning. But you have to be willing to rest, and you have to be real with who you are and where you are. Growth only happens then.
SIB: Anything you’d like to add?
LD: Eat a cookie when you need to eat a cookie. *laughs*