Updated: Aug 1, 2020
Anyone who has ever gone skydiving will tell you that they lose their breath the second they jump out of the plane. The surreal experience of free falling to the earth from 30,000 feet in the air, floods your mind with feelings of joy and utter terror at the exact same time. I’ve come to learn that anyone who has ever made a significant leap of faith experiences those exact same emotions. Stepping out on faith to step into your greatness is no easy task. In fact, it can be terrifying, but we have to learn to jump nonetheless. I’m making the jump today, and for those who do not know me, I will share a small part of my story.
I graduated from college in 2006, with a B.A. degree in Journalism. After college, I sought out to be the next Oprah and landed a job at WYCC channel 20 as a programming assistant. I worked at channel 20 for over a year, with plans to move up within the company.
Despite my initial agenda, I felt like God was calling me to do more for my community. I distinctly remember sitting at the office one day, and God whispered in my ear, “You are going to be an Executive Director of a nonprofit one day.” When I heard that I was like “How God? I don’t have the experience.” I didn’t hear another word from God about it, but that encounter immediately set me on a different path. I decided to go back to school to pursue my Master's Degree in Social Work. While applying for grad school, a manager at WYCC approached me about becoming an Associate Producer. That was an excellent opportunity to grow within the company, but I did not have peace about accepting the promotion. I couldn’t get out of my mind what God told me about my future, and so I decided to "be still" and not move forward with the promotion. A few weeks later, I discovered I made the right decision. While at church, the Executive Director of the ARK of St. Sabina approached me about taking a position at the agency as the Violence Prevention Manager. The job seemed like the perfect fit for me, and I eagerly accepted. I started my new position at the ARK in March of 2008 and began my graduate school program at the University of Chicago that fall. Things were going great, and I loved every minute of working at my new job. I had the opportunity to mentor teens and provide important resources to the community, which gave my life meaning and purpose.
After working at the ARK for just over two and a half years, the Executive Director called me into the office to share some unexpected news. He was resigning and wanted to know if I would be interested in applying for his position. My heart immediately sank into my stomach when he told me the news. Yes, I knew God was calling me to be an Executive Director one day, but I wasn’t ready yet. Frankly, the idea of stepping into that role at that time scared the living crap out of me. I didn’t have enough experience, and it just seemed like it was too early. However, I also realized that this could be a once in a life time opportunity. I asked him if I could pray about it, and I wrestled with the idea for several days following our conversation. After spending several days in prayer, I realized that fear was the only thing stopping me from moving forward with applying for this position. I wasn’t going to allow my fears to dictate my decision, because if God was calling me to step into this new position, I knew He would give me the grace to do His work. Upon receiving that revelation, I made the decision to “jump” and decided to apply.
Weeks later, in December of 2010, I became the Executive Director of the ARK of St. Sabina. I had the title, but the understanding of what it would take to serve in that role was still lacking. The learning curve was steep, and I had to seek out the knowledge I needed from mentors and people who had gone before me to learn what I needed to do to be successful in my new role. I worked extremely hard, having my share of sleepless nights working on grants, struggling to cover payroll, managing difficult personnel issues, and a host of other things that come with the territory of running a nonprofit. Experience became my greatest teacher, but in the midst of all of my challenges, God continued to grow my faith. God showed me that despite my strongest efforts or my unfortunate missteps, at the end of the day, God was still in control. I was the vessel He chose to use to do His work, and the major accomplishments that the agency achieved under my leadership were the result of the favor of God on my life. For 8 years, God continued to prune me and mold me into a leader, allowing me to do some amazing things for the children and community that are served at the ARK. The ARK had become such a major part of my life, to the point where my world seemed to revolve around it. However, as time progressed, God showed me that He was calling me to more. In 2017, God began to reveal to me that my time at the ARK was coming to an end, and He was preparing me for the next chapter of my life. I had recently started a second Master’s program at McCormick Theological Seminary because I knew God was calling me to go into ministry. I just didn’t know exactly how the ministry would look. I struggled for over a year, asking God to show me my next step.
In August of 2018, I spent an entire week praying and fasting, asking God to give me clarity on what He wanted me to do next. At the end of the week, God whispered in my ear the word “Journey.” I wrote it down and began to explore what God was trying to tell me. God reminded me that I spent the majority of my adult years struggling to enjoy my journey in life. Mistakes from my past made me feel as if I was locked up in bondage. For years, I had allowed my failures to define me, and I let work serve as a distraction from my undealt with pain. God finally was able to show me that the mistakes from my past did not have to dictate my future. They were a part of my journey, but it is by faith that God is able to use my missteps as a stepping stone for what He is calling me to do for His kingdom. After receiving that revelation I founded Faith on the Journey, with a mission of helping people to grow their faith, while learning to love life and embrace the journey. I became obsessed with teaching people about the power of their personal story and decided to use my platform as an avenue for people to share their testimonies of faith. I launched the company in February of 2019, and believe by faith that God is going to use this ministry to eventually transform the lives of millions of people all over this country. Undoubtedly, a big vision like that requires a big faith. I recognized that I could not pursue my destiny if I were unwilling to trust God full heartedly and turn the page to begin a new chapter of my life.
So I’m writing this post on my last day as the Executive Director of the ARK. I made the decision to “jump” again, leaving my full-time job at the ARK to enter into this world as an entrepreneur and servant of God. Even with the understanding that there is no safety net waiting to catch me after I make this jump, I have unwavering peace about my decision to move into what God is calling me to next. I have already embraced the fact that this road will not be easy, but I also realize that no one ever fulfills their purpose by choosing the easy path. There are no shortcuts to fulfilling your destiny. It requires faith, obedience, and trust in God to give you the courage to step out into the unknown so you can experience your best life. Although I have no idea what God has in store for me next, I am so excited about my future. I’ve made a commitment to love the life that God has given me, and I’m going to embrace the journey. I look forward to sharing my experience with you, and as I continue to grow in my faith, I hope I can help you grow in yours as well.
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