Girl on Fire Interview with Isabella Morganthal

Isabella Morganthal is a 19 year old homeschool graduate living in Pennsylvania. She participated in the Bible Bee 5 years in a row and qualified for Nationals 4 times. She is alsoΒ  indie author of two self published books titled:

I Dare You: Finding Your Passion and Lighting Your World

The King’s Princess: A Magazine Compilation

I’ve also had the incredible good fortune of calling her my best friend for four years now and though I know her pretty well, I thought I would take the chance to let you all get to know her too πŸ™‚

Interview with Isabella Morganthal

Β Bethany:

First off, welcome to Girl on Fire, Bella! I’m so excited for my readers to get to know you a little better and I hope that through this I will learn something new about you as well πŸ™‚ To start this off, you grew up in a Christian home with a Christian mom, but when would you consider you fully understood what being a Christ follower meant?

Bella:

I would say my whole life growing up I saw what being a Christian meant reflected in the life my mom lived. I became a Christian and asked Jesus into my heart when I was five. But for me, I consider the moment that I really started learning what it meant to truly follow Jesus the moment when I was 11 and He called me to follow Him into Africa πŸ™‚ That’s when I truly started learning what it meant to follow Him no matter what.

Bethany:

So, you mention being called to Africa (and though I know what that process was) could you explain it for everyone?

Bella:

I would love to πŸ™‚ A couple months right before I turned 11, I went to a missions conference at a new church we were attending. The pictures of the poverty that the missionary showed from the country she was ministering to shocked me. I wanted to do something. That night I lay in bed thinking and God spoke to me like I’d never heard Him speak before. He said, “Go and tell them.” He called me to go to a small landlocked country in Central Africa–the beautiful country of Uganda. πŸ™‚ Eight years later, Uganda is the heartbeat of my soul and I love this place with all my heart. πŸ™‚

Bethany:

That’s so awesome and inspiring πŸ™‚ And people say God doesn’t speak to them anymore πŸ™‚ I believe you talked a little about this in your first self-published book I Dare You. How did you go about writing and publishing it? What was your inspiration?

Bella:

Yes, I did share my story in I Dare You! Writing this book was probably one of the most difficult writing journeys I’ve ever had (and I’ve been writing for ten years)! God asked me what I would want to say to the world if I could on,y ever write one more book, and I Dare You was the result of that. I shared my heart on every page. It took two years to write and edit πŸ™‚ My major inspiration for the book was my desire to inspire and ignite a passion in my generation to do something big with their lives. ToΒ  not waste their lives on meaningless things, but to make them count for Jesus. I was inspired by the lessons God taught me on my journey that I knew he wanted me to share with the world. I self published through a print on demand company of Amazon, CreateSpace. CreateSpace allowed me to submit my book an cover and print it for me in a fast and affordable way! It really was an answer to prayer πŸ™‚

Bethany:

So, now that you’re a published author of two (soon to be three;) books, what would you do differently if you had to do it all over again?

Bella:

Hmm, that’s a hard one! If I had to do it all over again, I would have published sooner. I found out about CreateSpacce about a year before I actually published through them. I didn’t look into them at first because I let my fear control me. As much as I wanted to be a published author-it was my dream-I was terrified that I wasn’t good enough and that fear caused me to wait longer. So, if I could, I would go back and not let my fear keep me from doing what God has meant for me to do πŸ™‚

Bethany:

That’s so cool. And at least you’re not like me an procrastinate so much that you never get it published at all XD I understand that writing is one of your (many) talents, but another talent you have is dramatized sign language. Where did that come from and how did you start doing your performances?

Bella:

Oh yes, our signΒ  language! I first saw someone preform a dramatized sign language πŸ™‚ I first saw someone preform a dramatized sign language song at our church in 2011 I think it was. It was captivating the way they used the signs to bring the song to life. I wanted to do that too. My first performance with dramatized sign language and choreography was in 2012 at out church’s Valentines Day banquet. After that my twin sister and I create our own creative arts ministry (called Times Two) that performed different songs (mostly worship songs) in signed English. We’ve had many invitations to perform at churches and events and it’s been amazing to see what God has done πŸ™‚

Bethany:

And recently you won first place in a local talent show, so congratulations! Music seems to be an important part of your life (you play drums and have written a few songs as I understand πŸ™‚ Now, those who don’t know you very well might not know your taste in music and aren’t aware of your favorite band. Would you care to enlighten them? πŸ™‚

Bella:

Haha, I would love to enlighten them πŸ™‚ My favorite band would be Skillet πŸ™‚ They not only have inspired me musically, but also in my Faith. All of their songs mean something to me and I’ve seen them in concert three times!

Bethany:

And (allow me to point out) it’s a good time to be a Skillet fan with their new album coming out in August πŸ™‚ Just had to throw that out there πŸ™‚ In conclusion of the interview, what is the most important thing you want the readers to take away from this?

Bella:

The most important thing I want you all to know is that God can use you just the way you are. You can make a difference with your life and do something amazing if you give it to God. Inspire someone else today and see what God does with it. πŸ™‚

Bethany:

Amazing (as usual) Bella πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for your time!

God truly is amazing and it has been such a blessing for me to not only see how He has been working in my life, but to also see Him in Bella’s. I’ve seen her make it to the Semi Finals round of the National Bible Bee, watch her publish two books, I’ve seen her heart grow for Africa, and most importantly for me, I’ve seen how she can inspire people. Because not too long ago I was one of those people who didn’t understand what a follower of Christ does and I was content to sit and watch my life go by like a movie. But God’s gift to me in the form of this girl my age who lived across America changed my life and my outlook. It made me realize that as people, we can’t do everything. We physically can’t. But each one of us can do something. And no matter how small it may seem at the time, with God’s power, it can be something great.

So if you take nothing else away from this experience today, know this. God can (and did) take two young girls, make them best friends, andΒ  will use them to change the world. There’s nothing super special about Bella that makes her better than anyone else. Except that she allows God to work in her life and make a difference. The question I want to leave with you is this: will you do the same?

_Whatever gain I had,I counted as loss for the sake of Christ_ Philippians 3_7

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