“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” II Timothy 3:14-15
I thought when I moved to NYC that it would be the turning point for my fashion blog; turns out I was right. Only, instead of becoming mega-successful as a fashion blogger, I was convicted that that blog wasn’t helping my walk with Christ. There wasn’t anything wrong with the blog, per se, it just was in the way of my relationship with God. And it took moving halfway across the country to realize it.
All my life, I’ve been surrounded by believers. Sure, there’s been discrepancies on some things, but on the basics—Jesus loves me, Jesus is coming back for me, I’ll live my life accordingly—I’ve always been on the same side as the majority (if you know me, you know there’s definitely more to my testimony than that, but this isn’t the venue for that). I have been blessed to go to school, church, college, even my first full-time job, with Christians as my peers.
Then I moved to New York.
It’s beautiful here. It’s exciting and dazzling and entrancing and everything I’d hoped it would be. There’s history on every corner and history being written in everyone’s lives; it’s incredible.
For about a week, I lived off the high of ‘new and exciting’. I did the touristy things, and it was amazing. I ate New York pizza, and cannoli, and safe-to-eat cookie dough in a cone. I lost three hours in the Met, and conquered the subways, and found an apartment with exposed brick. I went to work on the 20th (twentieth!!) floor of a building in the heart of Manhattan, I met my coworkers and dressed business-professional, and it was all so surreal.
And then I started crying on the train back to Long Island.
Not because the city isn’t incredible (it is), or the job opportunity wasn’t what I’d hoped for (it is, and more), or anything like that. It was because, after a moment of introspection, I saw how hedonistic my ‘perfect’ week had been. I had been so focused on doing things for me, on making sure people had the right impression of me, on how I lined up next to my new coworkers, me me me. It was honestly one of the scariest moments of my life, because I saw how easily I slipped into a place of complete self-absorption.
II Timothy 3 was a hard but necessary read.
There’s nothing wrong with New York style pizza, just as there’s nothing wrong with a fashion blog. But there’s something wrong with sodium and carbs for breakfast + lunch + dinner, and there’s something wrong with selfishness.
So I had a literal come-to-Jesus moment. I confessed my pride, and asked that God would guide me. That He would watch my mouth as I professed Him, that He would support me in a workplace that isn’t Christian, that He would help me pursue excellence and reflect well on Him.
At this point, I hadn’t blogged in a week, and changed my Instagram profile to the equivalent of ‘finding myself, brb’. I had been fighting the conviction that I needed to stop blogging for several months, and was finally letting myself acknowledge it. That’s okay, I thought, a year and a half is a good run, and it’s time to buckle down and focus on my career anyways. I’ll go back to my blog-following days, and just find a blog or two for Christian professional advice, and carry on.
On Day Two of Orientation, an executive at my company explained to my (all male) coworkers, that women are few and far between in the technology consulting world. I knew then that I was the minority, but it wasn’t until I started the search for a blog that I realized by how much. I couldn’t find one. I found blogs for Christians, I found blogs for women. Blogs for mothers, for creative entrepreneurs, for young wives, for college kids. So many blogs that were written for women in the home, or women in ministry. And while it was incredible and inspiring to see so many different communities, I couldn’t find a thing for Christian women in business, much less in a Corporate (capital C) environment, much much less consulting (side note: if you know of one, please please PLEASE let me know! Your girl needs all the advice she can get…)
The internal monologue was back: Someone should write something! There’s obviously more than just me out there, so someone needs to start that community. Someone who’s blogged before who can make the switch, who’s going to be honest about it all, who believes in being a tentmaker, who’s still figuring it out but will be real about trying…oh.
Check, check, check, check.
Now, I have to interrupt myself here, just to clarify: please don’t think this is just a blog for women who work in ___________, or live in ___________, or get paid ___________, or whatever else ___________. Yes, this is geared towards the need that I felt/found, and I imagine that TSL will resonate most strongly with women like me: millennials, making their way through a male-dominated, high-pressure, worth-tied-to-results workplace, trying to figure out how their identity in Christ affects all the rest of it. But true community isn’t exclusive, and if some or all of that doesn’t apply to you, then you’re still welcome here. I would absolutely love for you to be a part of this new journey, because again, I’m just getting started here. For so long, blogging had been something I had done in addition to my faith, and so now that they’re merging, this level of transparency and candor is new to me, but it’s time.
It’s time for me to preach nothing, nothing but Christ, and Him crucified. Time to share what He’s done, for me and for others. Time to be honest, and vulnerable, and present more than the scrubbed-clean, Insta-friendly, NYC-blogger version of myself. Time to dedicate more than two posts a month to faith, time to honestly just get over myself.
So, here’s the moving forward. Here’s to the community I hope comes from this. Here’s to the women whose favorite Bible stories were Deborah and the little servant girl of Namaan’s wife. Here’s to putting God first, above follower counts on social media, above corporate ladders and glass ceilings, above accomplishment. To the blessing it is to be known by our sweet Savior, to sharing that in every action and interaction. To quietly and effectively being the salt and light to our workplaces.