• Sheila Harkins


Updated: Sep 20, 2019

It’s so much fun to have my nephew featured on Teen Tuesday this week! Even though I have never lived in the same location as Luke, I have loved visiting him in different states in the U.S! And, it was a special treat to have him visit us twice with his family here in Thailand–once when he was 18 months old and again for his 11th birthday!

Please introduce yourself to the readers of Teen Tuesday!

My name is Luke Hansen, and I am 21 years old. I am a junior in Mechanical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University.

Interesting Fact?

I preformed in my University’s Nepal Night (even though I can barely do the Cuban shuffle!)

Please share a little of your background with us.

I was born in California, but I was raised in Chicago up until high school, which I attended in Louisiana. Talk about a culture change! I have never lived in another country, but my mother grew up in Zimbabwe and that has influenced the way I view the world around me. I was raised in a Christian family and attended church growing up.

Please share a little of your spiritual journey.

Although I grew up going to church and learning about Christ, the Lord revealed to me that I had not made him Lord of my life when I watched a play production performed by my peers at my church building. I was ten years old at the time, and I remember how joyful I was when I made him the Lord of my life. I was blessed to have people who mentored me in the faith when I was in middle school who taught me how to grow. However, after my family moved from Chicago to Louisiana, I began to wander from the lord, and at times I gave into sinful temptation. In high school, I generally lacked growth and lived a spiritually impotent faith. Although I tried to keep the appearance of a Christian, I lived as though I was defeated by sin. But the Lord has been so faithful in teaching me, despite my mistakes. Even in high school I had wonderful friends and teachers who helped me to grow. What really helped me get through that time of high school were friends who valued sharing the gospel and who showed me how important the gospel is. College has reinforced this, and it has been an enormous time of growth.

During your teen years, what were your biggest areas of vulnerability that Satan used to hurt you? 

In high school I particularly struggled with doubting my salvation. I had been taught that the only way for my many sins to be forgiven was by the grace and mercy of God through faith. And this is so true, a Christian has no need to doubt salvation if the Lord has changed them! But in high school I did not grow in my faith, and Satan used my sin to keep me from sharing the gospel and the love of Christ to people in my high school. It is something I regret immensely, but the Lord taught me a lot about doubts, and how they can be useful so long as they are not excuses to live in sin. I thought that because I sinned, I must not have been changed by Jesus, but growth takes time and does not happen if you do nothing but doubt.

What has God taught you through that journey?

Doubts or questions should be asked, but you need to be actively searching for answers! I was so guilty and shameful about my sin, but instead of living for Christ I tried to defeat sin on my own, and that will never work. Now the Lord has shown me how I can live in redemption and live for him.

What would you like to say to encourage teens?

Being a teenager is an exciting fun part of life, and because you grow so much during these years, it is important to grow the way we as humans were intended to. It is so easy to get distracted with things that seem to satisfy you, but from my own experiences, I can say without a doubt that the only thing that will truly satisfy is a restored relationship with God. If you have doubts or disbelieve, whether you are a believer or still searching, deal with them as soon as you can. Waiting only makes things worse. Finding friends who are also searching and pursuing these things will help a lot more than you think.

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