Surrendered and Fearless: the Heart Behind Refuge’s New Podcast for Young Women

“This is really random, but you should do a podcast!”––this was the identical statement given by two unrelated connections; each encouragement made, unprompted, within a day of each other to 17-year-old Landrie Nickell.

“I went home, and sat there and prayed about it, and thought about different ideas for what I might want to do for it, and I basically wrote down an entire outline for the curriculum,” Landrie explained how she, so simply and prayerfully, arrived at the bones that will now be used for a new podcast Refuge for Women is creating.

It was weeks later, after Landrie had forgotten about it, that she was in a meeting with Michelle Frank, who off-handedly mentioned potentially developing a curriculum or podcast for young women through Refuge. God seemed to connect the dots from there, and Michelle and Landrie settled on crafting a podcast, entitled “Becoming Fearless,” utilizing that same outline Landrie had sketched out weeks before.

“I knew I wanted to incorporate the word ‘fearless’ somehow, just because that’s been a huge part of my story, especially this year,” Landrie shared her heart that inspired this project. “Basically, what we want to do is equip young women to live life fearlessly and be able to live into who God is calling them to be… I want to tell younger girls what I wish I’d known.”

Even at 17, Landrie displays a confidence, conviction and wisdom beyond her years, one that has led her to this passion for young women a few steps behind her.

“I just remember [my leaders] being really good examples to us, and so I want to be that for younger girls,”  She recalls the guidance of those that did the same for her, and how she employs this compassion in her everyday life. “I try to do that especially at school –– just by being there for them, by trying to exemplify the character that God wants us to exemplify… through this [podcast] I really want them to understand things about family, about friendship, and, especially for girls who have been Christians for a while, understand certain aspects of their faith.”

With this goal in mind, Landrie and Michelle have charted out a podcast that will span the topics of family, friendship and faith, and how to live into those things fully as a 12 to 18-year-old girl. The first season in particular will discuss family, touching specifically on parents, siblings and how to honor those relationships well.

“How do we treat our parents the best way we can? How do we honor them? What does that actually look like practically? Or if we have brothers and sisters, how do we interact with them in the best way possible?” Landrie listed some questions she hopes to tackle in these episodes; questions she has been pondering and praying about in her own life as she prepares to head into the transitions of her senior year with several young siblings.

She posed similar questions about friendship, and how to not just make friends, but to keep them––something she also reiterated that she’s learned about even recently. In all her own questions and passion, she humbly views this project as something God has placed in her lap, and she surrenders back to him.

“Yes, this was my idea, but it’s not my project,” she explained how the Lord has guided her heart as she puts pieces together. “Really listening to ideas from other ladies, figuring out what would be best to put on this podcast, is one way he’s shown me, ‘I’ll provide the ideas, I’ll provide the people, I’ll provide the means for which you can do this.’”

Clearly, this has been true thus far, and by all indications, will continue to be. She said that God’s provision was something she had so visibly experienced in this process, and left her no option but to place the project back in his hands.

“I think this was one of those things where I immediately recognized that this was something that He did, so I immediately surrendered it. I have no experience in this area whatsoever!” she laughed, having previously mentioned how grateful she was to find those whose expertise complemented her cluelessness. “I just have to give it to [God], because I have no idea what I’m doing. Which is so humbling, too.”

She detailed how God was breaking off her perfectionism with the project, and learning how to entrust His own vision back to him. “It’s for a bigger purpose than just refining my character, or even teaching the girls we’re going to reach.”

It’s these girls that are her passion, and ignited a leadership in her that proves there is no age minimum for God to use you to reach and encourage others.

“If I could speak to girls my age, I would say, really, really try to make friends with younger girls. They look up to you like crazy,” Landrie spoke enthusiastically about the younger girls in her school she gets to take under her wing. “I really want to come alongside them, and I want the other girls my age to do the same, because I know that the younger girls are watching us; I know that they are looking to us and looking up to us, even if we don’t think they are… it makes them feel seen.”

With this in mind, Landrie and Michelle will prayerfully and joyfully begin to record the first season of Becoming Fearless, aiming to disciple young women through conversation and mentorship via podcast.

“I don’t have very many expectations set for it, because it’s something that God laid in my lap, and I just kind of did. So I’m trying to be so open-handed with it––whatever He wants to happen with it, can happen with it, because I trust that’s going to be the best thing for it,” she said with confidence, dismissing her own nerves. “I’m going to pray that he gives me the words to say… I definitely speak the best when I’ve surrendered, and I trust that He’s going to do what He wants to do.”

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