May I Be Real?...It's Been a Journey
May I be real?...It’s been a journey.
Every year in May, since the foundation of Sowfull on May 1st 2015, I have written a blog post highlighting my journey that year and the season I am in. I like to do this because I feel many times when we see blogs and social media platforms that are centered around inspiring and admonishing we think that those behind the posts don’t struggle, don’t fall and don’t have to overcome feelings of remaining comfortable or giving up.
I have honestly been on a journey of becoming content in my calling. In the last year, I’ve felt the pressure to make Sowfull Apparel be what others wanted or expected and I’ve felt the weight of trying to take Sowfull to the next level while juggling grad school and interning (not to mention daily things like my social life and church).
When Sowfull first started 4 years ago, I had no real clear vision for it. In my mind, I thought it’d be a food blog. Then when God spoke to me and claimed it for His service, I figured I’d simply write a monthly blog about whatever it was I had learned in the Word recently. I had no intention or idea that Sowfull would grow to doing Bible challenges, Study GroupMes with people across the world, outings for young adults, speaking engagements or even apparel for that matter.
When people learn about what God has done through Sowfull they’re always impressed and want to speak highly of me but I am quick to respond “it’s all God” or “all glory to God”. I’m met sometimes with “yeah but you’re the one doing it with His help. That’s still amazing”. But the motto remains the same “it’s all God...this is a God story”. I say that not to sound churchy or because I feel it’s the humble thing to say. I say it because it’s true...I say it as a reminder to me that this is all God completely and totally. Four years ago, I would not have chosen to do all that Sowfull has done or is doing. It’s crazy how God knew that so He didn’t and still doesn’t tell me all that is coming next, He just slowly nudges me into it.
Well, as I said before... I’ve been growing content in my calling. Sometimes I wonder what it’d be like if I didn’t have the pressure of planning an outing or have to focus on branding or deal with marketing. I wonder what it’d be like to be able to just chill and enjoy grad school and a social life without extra responsibilities. I felt bad for having those thoughts because some Christians say you shouldn’t doubt or question. You should be happy that God chooses to use you because He doesn’t need you. I get that. It’s an honor to serve God. So please don’t misread what I’m saying. I am so humbled to have been called, chosen and qualified for this. Nonetheless, I do sometimes struggle in balancing the pressure and responsibilities of it all.
Apostle Matthew Stevenson really blessed me with one of his sermons a few months back where he spoke about resenting your calling. He shared how he had been preaching for years and loved it but he still had a resentment for it in that he always had somewhere to be, always had to be studying for a sermon, was always having to fly out to an event. He sometimes wished he could live a regular life. I am in no way comparing Sowfull or anything I juggle to what Stevenson has to manage, but his moment of transparency when teaching helped give words to the emotions I had been feeling. But you know...the truth of the matter is God remains faithful and His favor and grace cover and carry me. My pastor, Pastor Chance D. Lynch, once said “there is no balance, just rhythms of grace”. He explained that as God gives you more or calls you to do more, He gives another level of grace to enable you to handle it.
My discontentment, resentment and the stress come when I look away from God and His grace and try to do what others expect of me in my own strength.
The Word says, “My grace is all you need" (2 Cor. 12:9). It doesn’t say, “here is My grace, add your strength and ideas to it. No it says that God’s “grace is sufficient for His power is made perfect in weakness.” So like Paul, “I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.”
2 Corinthians 12:9
Sowfull has been a constant journey of me having highs when I feel extremely close to God and like everything is flowing smoothly to moments when I feel distant from God and just don’t feel like writing, posting or selling. I have had moments where I stepped out on my own prematurely and tried things and God had to reel me back in and tell to sit down and slow down. There have been times where I felt like just putting everything on hold. There have been many times that I’ve cried and just felt overwhelmed. The pressure to produce whether it be a blog post, an encouraging word on social media or a t-shirt design can be a lot sometimes...when I’m operating in my own strength. God truly uses Sowfull to keep me rooted, grounded and dependent on Him. It requires me to seek Him more and keeps me accountable as far as being consistent. I can’t slack off, I can’t be lazy in my relationship with God, I can’t just throw in the towel...because of Sowfull.
If what you’re doing in life doesn’t force you to be dependent on God, what are you really doing? Right?
So yeah, that’s just a quick run down on where I am currently. I’m growing content in my calling. I’m becoming comfortable with being u comfortable. I’m growing accustomed to not being able to live life like others in my age group. I don’t desire the party life or things like that, however, I am growing accustomed to having different responsibilities. My classmates often say “I don't know how you manage grad school, interning and also do all that extra stuff you do." I am learning to have my “yes” to God to be a total yes. When Jesus called the disciples, He didn’t provide details of all that was ahead and they didn’t ask questions. They simply followed and I shall do the same.
You don’t have to know the next steps when you trust the One Who built the staircase...just follow Him.
Will you follow Him?
When I look back on it, all these years God has been piecing it all together gracefully. I shall continue to trust Him with the pieces and rely solely on His strength and grace. I can’t do this on my own. This is a God story.