It is with a heart full of gratitude and awe at God’s provision that I sit down to write this post. One year ago today I received an email offering me the position of becoming the graphic design intern for The Influence Network, an opportunity that has ever-since served as a catalyst for my journey with design. It was a milestone that taught me the importance of being brave, of surrender control, and of believing in yourself and the things you are passionate about. I’m excited to share with y’all today the story of how it came to be.
The process of coming upon the position started in mid-January of last year when a sweet friend texted me to ask if I had seen the Network’s post about the upcoming internship opportunity that had been announced. Having been a member for a year at the time, all the while having a tug in my heart to pursue design wholeheartedly, my heart leapt at the thought of having such an exciting opportunity as being able to use my heart for design for God’s glory alongside ladies I look up to. I sent an email to the Network that afternoon to express my interest in the role and found a neat little package in my inbox later that week with instructions for the application, the Network style guide, and accompanying design project to showcase my ability. Armed with a very basic understanding of design principles and processes, I carved out time that weekend to work on my sample pieces, trusting that if God wanted me to be chosen, He would equip me with the vision and creativity I needed to have a strong submission. As I pieced together my examples, I decided to pull them together into a comprehensive sample graphic to showcase all of the elements as one. Once everything had been edited and reviewed, I sent my application through an email and made a big pot of french onion soup for my family as my dad shoveled heaps of snow from our driveway. God has worked within me to grow my confidence since that day, but I remember having very little faith in myself that day that I would be chosen amongst the other applicants. In spite of that, mom has always taught me that it never hurts to try, and I had nothing to lose by putting my work out there.
A week or so passed and I just kept going along in my day-to-day routine, trying not to dwell in the unknown or the waiting. I didn’t have much going on in terms of design at that time, and my weeks consisted mostly of shadowing design meetings at church, babysitting each afternoon, and attending small group and youth ministry. Life was simple and good but I wasn’t doing much to grow towards my dream of being a designer.
After thoroughly praying through the suspense and my desire to be chosen, I had gone to bed one Wednesday night with an incredible peace from the Lord that He would provide a way for my design career regardless of the internship outcome. I woke up the next day and fixed a lovely breakfast and then sat down at my desk to paint a project for the IF:Gathering that was happening at my church that weekend. I was trying my hand at painting a watercolor floral for the first time and it was such a sweet and simple morning of listening to worship music and letting my creativity flow. About an hour into that process, an email from Jess Connolly popped into my inbox that would ultimately become the catalyst that God used to set my design journey into real motion. She shared that the team had chosen to offer me the internship position and explained what that would look like and how excited they were to welcome me aboard.
I was floored.
I had several friends who had been praying alongside me in the waiting, so I immediately snapped a picture of my goofy grin to send to them to share the good news. I remember feeling so much gratitude and praise at God’s provision. I felt held, right where I was, with all the desire to design and the big lofty dreams of what that might look like. I felt appointed, and chosen, and set-apart for something that was way beyond my own capabilities to have made happen for myself. Let it be known that I believe with all my heart that He is unconditionally faithful and would have provided even if the internship outcome had been different. There have been ups and downs in my pursuit of being a designer, but I truly believe that each piece of it has been written by Him, for His glory, so that I can look back at the different steps and pieces and point to His hand in it all. I believe He’s called me outside of my comfort zone for that very reason, so that I cannot take credit for the journey I’m on but instead use it as a testimony for how He shows up in special ways for His children.
In the past year of interning with The Influence Network, I’ve met so many incredible friends. I’ve been connected with fellow designers, creatives, and daughters of Christ of all ages and walks. I have been encouraged, spurred on, challenged, and grown. God has used this opportunity to bring my journey as a designer to the very point where it is today, and I have so much gratitude to Him and the sweet core team for appointing me as the fledgling little intern that I was on this day last year. Jess, Hayley, Rachael, Moriah, Erin, Laura, and Meg, thank you for letting me learn alongside y’all, and for letting me use my little within this amazing community.
Friends, if you have a big lofty dream or passion on your heart, I encourage you to lift it up to Him. Check it against His heart, hold it out with wide open hands. His matters are so good, and if something seems unfavorable or impossible, it might be because we either have to press in harder in our dependence of Him, or because He has something much better in store a few more steps along the road. Be encouraged in knowing that He is faithful, He sees you, He has chosen you for a special purpose, and He is right there by your side wherever you are. Let’s be grateful for that in the highs and the lows. Amen?
If you are interested in becoming an Influence Network member, learn more here!