Have you ever struggled with fear and self-doubt about what God has called you to do? Sometimes it's “not so much about the details of what you will do work-wise but more about the woman He has created you to be, a woman moving in God’s confidence in whatever she does.”
This was a lesson my friend Sina learned while walking in her calling. Read her testimony, and learn to do the “Hard Thing” so you too can step forward in your calling. I had the pleasure of interviewing her and I think you will enjoy her story.
What is your name?
Tell me a little about who you are and what you do?
I’m a stay at home mom to two little girls in New Zealand. I have my own graphic design business from home, Ava Design, and I just started a blog about faith and motherhood called Her Mustard Faith.
How did you come to know Christ and be saved? Share your testimony!
I grew up in a Christian family and loved going to youth group as a teenager. When I started university, however, I became very caught up in the ‘typical’ student lifestyle of partying and living a life far from God. In my second year of study, I met a friend who shared her testimony with me and began to teach me about the Bible. I realized that although I had grown up around the concept of God, I had never made a decision to put Him first in my life. Over the course of many months, we met up to do Bible studies together. One evening in the campus dining hall, I started to cry as I realized how good God is and what Jesus had done for me on the Cross. I made a decision to follow God with all my heart and the course of my life was changed in that moment. I have been a Christian now for 13 years and my faith shapes every part of who I am. I met my husband at church and have been married for most of my Christian walk.
How did you come to be in your business/ministry?
I have always been creative and loved writing, from the time I was a little girl. I have dreamed for a long time of having my own business but spent a lot of time worrying about what other people think, or what if I failed. Becoming a mom to two girls has really inspired me though, to be my best and to pursue the dreams that I believe God has placed on my heart, so that one day they may follow suit.
How did you know and receive that this is your calling? That this was what God was calling you to do? Did you struggle through this process?
What made it clear?
I knew that God was calling me to use my gifts and to be the woman I knew He created me to be, but I have struggled a lot with self-doubt and stepping out to do something different when others around me are not. I knew this was part of my calling because as I have followed Him and put Him first in my life, these dreams have continued to grow. I love Psalm 37:3-4 where it says: Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. I truly believe that God wants the best for us, and as we live a life pursuing Him first, our desires begin to align themselves with the truth. My husband, who has a strong faith in God, has really encouraged me to pursue the dreams God has put on my heart.
What is the vision you have or that God’s given you for your future within your life and calling? Have you had visions, dreams, prophecy…?
I have had many prophetic words spoken over my life over the years which have encouraged me in my faith. I recently prayed about what God had in store for my future, thinking I would get a picture of how my business would look. What I got a vision of, though, was a confident woman standing before people. I felt God nudging me that it is not so much about the details of what I will do work-wise but more about the woman He has created me to be, a woman moving in God’s confidence in whatever she does. My vision in my business and my writing is to inspire and encourage people and create beauty. I want my life and whatever work my hands find to do, to point people towards God.
What has been your biggest struggle and how did you overcome it?
Fear. Fear of what people think and fear of failure. I have always been someone who has been happy to be in the background, and so having my own business and showing it to the world has been a huge thing. I am overcoming it by simply doing the things that scare me, despite the fear. Our new family quote these days is “Do the hard things”. The more I do the hard things, the easier it gets. The more I move forward in faith, the less room fear has to operate.
What did you do before starting your business/ministry? Have you seen that God had been leading you to this calling all along?
I worked at a high school as an administrator/graphic designer for nearly a decade before becoming a stay at home mom. I have seen God leading me in this direction for a long time, as when I first started working at the high school, I was employed to interpret for French-speaking refugees! So nothing to do with computers, but as the years went on I had many opportunities to develop skills in that area as well as work closely with people.
How long have you been doing your business/ministry?
I started my design business in August, 2017, when my baby was a few months’ old, and have just started my blog in August 2018.
What has been your biggest fear and how have you/are you overcoming it?
My biggest fear has been putting myself out there to the world (although I think it’s actually more scary in front of people I know rather than strangers!). There’s a strong sense of vulnerability as you share your heart and dreams with the world. But I’m finding it’s a really practical way to learn to trust God! I’m overcoming it by simply doing it. The more I share, the less I worry about it, and I try to focus on who I may be reaching or inspiring with my words or work.
When it comes to building/growing your business/ministry what has been the most effective actions you’ve taken so far?
Just starting it. There comes a point where you just have to take action and launch into the deep. I know for myself I sat on this dream for a long time, and I come across so many people in the same boat, longing to live out their God-given dreams but too afraid to step out and just do it.
What does an average day look like for you in your business/ministry?
I currently work on my business when my girls are having their afternoon nap, and after they go to bed. I have set up my graphic design business so that it is online and mostly instant downloads, to minimize time and upkeep involved. I spend time each week working on customer orders, creating social media graphics, writing, time on social media and working on new designs if I get a chance. Some days though, when the challenges of motherhood are taking their toll, I rest and just relax or design something new, purely for fun. I also have a rest day on Sundays.
What’s 1 piece of advice you’d give to someone just starting their calling into business/ministry?
Zechariah 4:10 Do not despise the day of small beginnings.
My advice would be to understand that every new beginning starts with a seed. A seed is not much to look at and you could easily be mistaken for thinking that a seed is insignificant. However, it is from this seed that a tree can grow and produce fruit for an entire village. The Bible says that if you have faith the size of a mustard seed, mountains can be moved. I have named my blog “Her Mustard Faith” because of this concept (and also because my name is Greek for mustard). Don’t get discouraged if things appear to not be moving quickly, the foundations are simply being set.
How has your life changed since starting?
I have grown more confident and my faith has been stretched and enlarged. As I have seen the seed grow in my life and touch those around me, I have begun to truly believe that God is not limited by what we think or our circumstances. I am also growing in my desire to stir up the calling of God in those around me and encourage them to take action.
What’s the most amazing thing God has down in your life since starting?
I think seeing other people around me get inspired to believe bigger has been the most amazing thing so far. I love that people can look at me and say to themselves, “Well if God can do that for her, surely He could do that for me?” If I can inspire people towards God, that’s amazing!
What is your favorite scripture and why?
Psalm 139. This has always been my favourite psalm and I love it because it’s so poetic and reminds me of how God loves us so intimately.
Learn more about Sina and her Businesses here:
Her Mustard Faith:
In HIM <3 Adri