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Jessica S.

Today, Jessica speaks to us about the miracle she witnessed as a young child, the book she is reading that emphasizes not seeking validation from others, and how she plans to inspire the world with her writing.

Jessica S.

Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: Jesus replied, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7 (NIV)

Spiritual growth focus at the moment: I am learning to trust Him in seasons of uncertainty, doubt and waiting. To no longer be scared of the unknown, but put my trust in Him wholeheartedly.

Profession: I am a digital and social media marketing freelancer, helping small businesses increase their online presence.

A one sentence bio of yourself: I’m 21 and live in Sydney, Australia, with a passion for writing, people and God.

When did you first encounter God? I grew up in a Christian family and attended a Christian school, so God has always been part of my life. However, when I was five years old, my younger sister had an accident in which she was impaled by a metal garden rake. Due to complications at the hospital, she shouldn’t be here today, but praise God that she is! From that day on, the more I found out about what happened that day, I knew that there had to be something or someone greater, because she was a miracle.

“The more I found out about what happened that day, I knew that there had to be something or someone greater, because she was a miracle.”

What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? The last 18 months has been a crazy season of waiting. I’ve been in and out of doctor’s appointments and hospitals, waiting for test results and then having to do more tests. The struggles and uncertainty that I have been experiencing¬†lately have actually helped in growing me spiritually.

Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): I am currently reading a self-help book by Mark Manson called ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***‘ and apart from the ‘colourful’ language it often uses, it has taught me that we need to stop seeking validation from other people and start learning to love ourselves more.

“We need to stop seeking validation from other people and start learning to love ourselves more.”

Top three essentials:

1. Pawpaw lip balm. Literally a lifesaver.

2. Paper and pen. You never know when you are going to get a good idea.

3. Diary. Being organised is necessary for ensuring you are being productive.

How did God speak to you recently? I had to go into hospital a couple of weeks ago for another procedure. I always get a bit anxious whenever I need to complete a test, but every single procedure I’ve had to do so far, the day has both started and ended with a sign from the sky. Either a beautiful sunrise or sunset, or a rainbow. I really believe it’s little things like this that are God reminding me that He’s got this.

“I really believe it’s little things like this that are God reminding me that He’s got this.”

Hobby: Writing. I love sharing my heart for God and for people on my blog, which is where you will find everyday experiences with a different perspective. I make analogies out of the ordinary to try and find relatable ways to connect with people and teach life lessons.

Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong:

1. Pray about everything. The bad times AND the good times.

2. Be cheerfully expectant. Know that He will prevail.

3. Have a thankful heart. Start your prayers with gratitude, rather than asking for things.

Favorite person in scripture? I don’t really have a favourite, but I am currently wanting to read more about Job and his story. He has such an incredible faith in God, filled with endurance and patience.

What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? That God doesn’t discriminate. He loves equally and chooses empathy.

Favorite season? I love rugging up under blankets and drinking hot chocolate by the fire, so winter definitely! However, I also love when the leaves turn orange during autumn, so it’s a hard choice!

Favorite holiday? Easter. The whole reason behind our salvation and faith is celebrated over this long weekend and it’s the most beautiful way to share that message of the Cross and the ultimate sacrifice with others.

A dream you have? I would love to be able to encourage and inspire people through my writing all over the world. To make a living doing what I love through sharing on my blog and one day, hopefully, writing a book, would be amazing!

A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Christmas time is when we all make the special effort to travel to see family. We take part in Kris Kringle and buy presents for one another, while celebrating one another’s presence.

Question you will ask when you get to heaven? If you did it all again, would you do anything differently?

Thing you want to raise awareness about: Child trafficking. Whether it is for slavery or for sex, it’s horrible, disgusting and completely unfair that this sort of injustice is a reality.

What do you usually do before 9 a.m.? Lately, I have been trying to be more intentional about my blog on Instagram. I am wanting to use the platform for good and for God. I wake up a little earlier and spend 10-15 minutes finding like-minded Christian bloggers and sending them words of encouragement, thanking them for what they are doing. Then I pray for the people who follow my account and ask God to be the centre of my blog.

What is on your nightstand? My phone, a clock, some pictures and books.

Define Christianity in a sentence: Living a life devoted to being a reflection of Jesus and spreading the Good News.

For more Jessica:

Instagram:

Personal: @jess_shipton

Blog: @smilewithoutreasonblog

Facebook: @smilewithoutreasonblog

Until next time, keep witnessing!

XX

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