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At the end of 2017 I took a huge leap of faith. I quit my job and said YES to what I felt God had been nudging me toward for a long time. I felt God had been nudging me to create content, resources and community for you.
The crazy thing is that I quit my job a week before a six-week holiday to America. At the same time, my husband had just started a new job and neither of us would have any money coming in while we were away. So it really was a leap of faith for the both of us.
We got back from our holiday about two weeks ago. And now I work from home, creating content and resources for you from Monday through to Friday. That’s where I’m at right now.
But for those of you who don’t know the She is Light story, I’m going to rewind and start from the beginning and let you know how this whole concept came about and what God has been doing.
I studied Journalism and business at university. During my time as a student, I would spend hours in the middle of the night (I’m a night owl!) writing about my personal experiences mixed in with encouragement in the form of blog posts. I had a feeling that I would use them one day somehow. I had the sense that I should create a blog or online space for women but didn’t know what that would look like.
At home I would play around with words and concepts but I didn’t really get anywhere with that. In fact, God did what he does best and dropped something into my heart. I was at a youth conference and the conference opened with the scripture Matthew 5:14-16 in The Message version of the bible on the wall. Here’s what it says:
You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
The phrase ‘you’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world’ gave me a beautiful picture of how we should be as Christians in the world.
In that moment, it was as if God dropped the words in to my heart: She is Light.
Practically, this is what this looks like:
A community of women banding together, arm in arm, placing value on one another and spreading the message of God’s unconditional love in local communities and to the ends of the earth. These women don’t look the same, sound the same or dream the same. These women are truly unique in their own right, and are boldly pursuing God and his purpose for their lives, trusting in his good plans for them. They’re running their race, shining light as they go, so that others may see God’s great love and know it for themselves.
I created an Instagram page, @sheislight, and then a website - sheislight.com. And that’s how She is Light came about!
Since then, God’s given me ideas and concepts to create for the women who are a part of the community. This started with sharing encouraging messages on Instagram, and more detailed personal experiences and encouragement on the blog.
At the end of 2016, I quit my full time job as a media consultant to take up a part time job so that I could spend more time developing ideas and creating content for the She is Light community in 2017. And so I did. I created more encouraging content on the blog and on Instagram, connected with more women around the world, and started creating resources, including two eDevotionals: Be Light 30-day devotional and 20 lies every 20 something should stop believing.
Throughout 2017, God placed a few significant things on my heart to create one of them being an interactive membership-based community. The community would include interviews with inspirational women, in-depth mentoring sessions where we would look at God’s word for wisdom for the things we tackle each day, it would include resources like mini devotionals and print outs, and it would include an interactive online space so that women around the world could gather in community online wherever they were, whenever they liked! That’s something I’ve been working on for the last 8 months. And in a few weeks time the community will be ready for you to join.
But back to 2017 - as the year went on a felt a tug toward focusing on these things more than ever. I was working part time (three days a week) so…. But those two days were difficult to create everything… I knew something was going to give eventually but really didn’t know when.
At the end of the year, I was given the opportunity to be full time in my role as media adviser for a local politician. However I felt the sense that it wouldn’t be right to take up that job as that would mean completely setting aside all of the work I had done for She is Light - I wouldn’t be able to do much of it.
I was thinking it all over in my mind. If I took on the position full time I would have a lot more money, that was for sure. And maybe my husband and I could buy a house sooner. That would be great. But on the other hand I could take a leap of faith and focus all of my time on the things that God had placed on my heart, having little money to start with.
In the end it really came down to where I felt God was leading me. I believe we have the Holy Spirit for a reason. And the Holy Spirit leads us with peace. Thinking about working the job full time made me feel sick! While thinking about working full time on content and resources for you made me feel a real sense of peace. I was familiar with the feeling! I had felt God’s leading with peace at other points in life when I was making decisions around university and my career path. And I knew from experience that following God’s leading is the best thing to do, even if you’re not sure what the whole picture looks like.
So I did it. I turned down the opportunity and took a big leap of faith.
The thing is, working on She is Light full time by the beginning of 2018 wasn’t exactly in my plan. It was unexpected. But it’s all a part of God’s big picture!
I feel excited about the future of She is Light. I feel at peace with God’s direction and leading. But if I’m completely honest with you, at the same time I feel a bit nervous and maybe a tiny bit afraid. It’s easy to worry about what people might think and how things will be received. What if it’s a complete failure?! We all have those thoughts pop up in our minds from time to time. After all, the devil would want nothing more than to trap us living in a mediocre life off course from following God’s purpose.
It’s in those times when those thoughts creep in to the backs of our minds that we have to remind ourselves of who our God is and who we are in him.
First of all, we must remember that we have the mind of Christ!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him" But we have the mind of Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 2:16
So those doubting and fear-filled thoughts can leave our minds now.
When we’re worried about what other people might think or say we can be reminded…
"For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?""
- Hebrews 13:5-6
When we’re feeling timid or discouraged, we can look to Joshua’s example, where God reminds him of the following…
“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.”
- Joshua 1:9 (NIV)
And in those moments when you feel nervous about following God’s leading when you don’t know what the future holds, be encouraged by Hebrews 11:6.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him”
- Hebrews 11:6, (NIV)
God has called you and I to be strong and courageous. God is with us and will never forsake us. And God is pleased by our faith in him. With that knowledge, we should be seeking out God’s will for our lives. A simple way to do this is to ask him daily - God, what is your will for my life? Or ‘help me to walk in your will today’.
Knowing who God is and who we are in him, we can take these faith steps with boldness! Sure, it may not be easy. In fact, there will probably be hurdles, uncomfortable moments and a whole lot of growing and stretching to do along the way. But we can rest assured knowing that God will make a way and knowing that he will be there with us every single step of the journey.
So will you join me in trusting God, listening to his voice and taking a bold step?
I want to hear about how you are going to be brave with your life this year.
Let me know in the comments what you feel God is calling you to!