Shatoyia speaks to us today about challenging our own faith, reasons why we go through darkness, and the importance of doing more healing and less preaching.
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: As I study Jesus’ ministry work, I have come to realize He did less preaching and more healing. Which brings me to the conclusion that the reason the church is becoming less effective at attracting people as a community to the church is because we are doing more preaching (and some of us judging) and not enough healing. The evidence of Yahweh comes through our lifestyle and personal transformation, yes, but also through the testiment of others, yes. But what about physical healing as well? Have we forgotten that spiritual and physical healing go hand-in-hand? Some need spiritual healing. Others need physical healing. The majority of us need both. Where do we start?
“[T]he reason the church is becoming less effective at attracting people as a community to the church is because we are doing more preaching (and some of us judging) and not enough healing.”
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: Embodying a Proverbs 31 woman.
Profession: CEO and Founder of Born to be Unique in Christ Consulting, Extracurricular and Leadership Consultant for Crimson Education, Mentor for Reader to Reader.
A one sentence bio of yourself: I am a 20-year-old, continuous creation under construction and child of Yahweh, with tons of flaws and a love for public service, dancing, reading, writing (the arts in general), education, enlightenment, nature/outdoors, business and entrepreneurship, community outreach, and a good sale.
When did you first encounter God? I first encountered God very young because I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness/went to a Jehovah’s Witness Church for a while.
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? The increasing evil in the world (more explanation would be needed), the historical, philosophical and scientific research I have and am currently doing, the community engagement of Born to Be Unique in Christ, and every person who has tried my nerves, doubted me and my potential, and/or created situations that were meant to break me, but actually just helped me grow my faith in Yahweh and see He is still in control and will fight for me so that I won’t have to. I just have to trust Him, and move out of His way.
Top three essentials: 1. A mind to question my own practices as well as other practices in the name of Yahweh and corresponding Scriptural support 2. Natural products and remedies 3. Downtime with just me and Yahweh
How did God speak to you recently? After becoming Campus Correspondent for Her Campus Amherst, I have recently learned the importance of collaboration and that He created us to work together for His Glory. So, I have started to look for partnerships and have learned about so many organizations and their amazing missions and met so many people which has opened up a world of opportunities for me. In addition, I noticed a lack of supporting programs for low-income, high-need individuals, especially immigrants, so I have developed a free 6-month program called Project Cènit, which makes accessible financial, educational, spiritual, and leadership resources and opportunities for youth and young adults. I was also inspired to start a ministry movement / dance group: Abre. More information about all of these can be found on the site.
Hobby: Lover of Yahweh (God) with a passion for life, dancing, Christian ministry, natural beauty, modest fashion, social justice, learning and education, art, service work, travel, nature, business and entrepreneurship and a good bargain or sale, and a preference to lead by example–I do a lot of things in the arts, entrepreneurship, education, mentoring and consulting areas.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: 1. Challenge your own faith. This way you become aware of what you do know and what you don’t; what you are sure about and what you’re not [sure about], so that can you start studying and seeking answers to those important questions that help you understand if you really believe and have a genuine relationship or if you’re just going through the motions. 2. Be honest with yourself. If you know you did wrong, own up, apologize to the necessary persons and repent and do better. Or if someone asks you a question that you don’t know about your faith or Yahweh, say you don’t know and offer to study together to find the answer. Seriously, honesty is the best policy in dealing with faith-based work. 3. Remember you are no better than anyone else. The only difference is you realize you need Jesus and have chose to submit your life to Him. There is no hierarchy of sins supported by the Bible, with the exception of the only unforgivable sin: blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, Matthew 12:31.
“There is no hierarchy of sins supported by the Bible”
Favorite person in scripture? Yahweh and Jesus.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? His Love is so incomprehensible, and He truly works in mysterious ways, which is why it’s important that you remember the things He has already brought you out of to trust that He can and is willing to do it again. But sometimes, we need to stay in the funk to either teach us a lesson and grow us, be an inspiration or example for someone else, or both. Everything has a purpose. Oh, and one more thing— even though the world may see you as [unworthy], He sees beyond the [bad] and sees you as a precious jewel just waiting to be mined from the muck and appreciated for its true value. But a precious jewel doesn’t become so without pressure, storms and weathering. He doesn’t want anyone to perish.
“But sometimes, we need to stay in the funk to either teach us a lesson and grow us, be an inspiration or example for someone else, or both”
Favorite season? A mix of spring and summer.
Favorite holiday? I don’t have one.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: My Mom loves to cook for the holidays.
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? Why did you love me so much?
Thing you want to raise awareness about: Check out Born to Be Unique in Christ and get involved or become an ambassador!
What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? If I’m up: Clean, lie in bed and enjoy the natural light and morning air coming through my window, do homework, read devotional/Bible or catch up on some Zzzzs.
What is on your nightstand? Assorted books, Bible, devotional, bags of tea, writing utensils, journal, my mason jar of appreciation notes.
Define Christianity in a sentence: The continual process of inward and outward transformation of character, lifestyle, and desire, through genuine submission of Christ and Yahweh’s will for which one becomes a representative/ambassador of the Spirit of Yahweh.
For more Shatoyia:
Message from SJ: Follow @creationsforacause and use my code ShatoyiaJ15 for 15% off of your purchase. Not only will you be contributing to a cause that they support (i.e. providing food, water, and saving animals/reservations), but you also get some cool swag as a reminder that YOU are a creation created for a cause. YOU are unique. YOU have special gifts. YOU have value to this world. It’s up to you to determine whether or not you activate it. 💕 Go forth and be charitable, generous, selflessness, character, authenticity and a person of integrity. That’s what this world needs right now.
Until next time, keep witnessing!