The Editor’s Letter – January
full trust; belief in the powers, trustworthiness, or reliability of a person or thing
Happy New Year ladies! I hope 2013 finished well for you and that you’ve started 2014 full of hope, peace and expecting a year of fun and surprises.
I wanted to kickstart the year with a bold statement, a declaration, if you like, on how I’d like MAGNIFY to be defined for me personally and how I hope MAGNIFY will inspire our audience. Watching women in the public eye – some of my heroes such as Michelle Obama, to Angela Ahrendts or Beyoncé, to name a few – true confidence can seem like an unobtainable or distant feat. However, I think that in order to do anything out of the ordinary, anything of significance, confidence is fundamental.
My trust in Jesus
I started MAGNIFY over 5 years ago when I’d just turned 20. I remember when I first voiced the idea to people. Their reactions ranged between ridicule, confusion and encouragement from my incredible parents and a few very supportive friends (which I’m forever grateful for!). The only way to sum up starting this journey (the most incredible and most challenging 5 years of my life) is this quote by Martin Luther King:
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.”
It’s been a total adventure to see something grow from a small thought to an amazing community of contributors who give their time and ideas voluntarily because they share the idea in my heart.
My personal faith was the reason I started MAGNIFY and it’s the one thing that has sustained me. I know sometimes people think that faith is a crutch, but for me, there’s only one reason why I’m passionate about this vision: my confidence has never been in my own ability, but always in Jesus. For a young educated woman in today’s world, that might sound like a strange statement, but it’s something I know more powerfully than anything else.
In my life, confidence is putting my hope, trust and expectation in the person who is the foundation to everything. Knowing that the Creator of the Universe sees everything and knows me inside and out gives me the confidence to try new things and experience opportunities that I never would if everything was left down to fate and my own ability. I can’t say it’s always easy. Losing 3 members of my family shook, and then shattered my faith in my teenage years, but over time, such challenges made me see that trust in God will never feel like a mathematical equation.
Confidence means grace and vulnerability
In today’s world, there’s a tendency to try to appear confident at all costs, no matter what we’re feeling at the time. I have a faith, but that doesn’t mean that I go around floating on cloud 9 feeling invincible. Turning 25 (someone say “quarter-life-crisis”) has forced me to take time out and work out who I really am, who I want to be and where my identity should be. Leading MAGNIFY and being at the forefront of something that deals with what is often quite an ‘uncool’ subject, faith, and having my identity as a woman intertwined with that has sometimes left me feeling extremely lonely and exposed. Equally the uncertainty at this age of questions like, will I meet Mr Right-for-me, end up with my dream ‘job’ or fulfill my ‘full potential,’ are all things that bring a certain degree of doubt as I’m not confident that those things will come to pass or when it will all work out. Right now, I’m reading Brené Brown’s book Daring Greatly and I’m learning that confidence is also the grace to embrace our flaws.
“No woman feels confident 100% of the time. Humility, vulnerability and kindness are such beautiful qualities.”
I came across the quote above on Instagram. I love that life is a journey and that there’s grace to learn and make mistakes as we figure out who we are and what we want from life.
What does MAGNIFY hope to do?
MAGNIFY exists to give women in our generation the chance to explore the Christian faith in an engaging and unpressurised way. I think there are so many misconceptions about what faith is and, sadly, Christians can often appear to be a judgmental group handing out a set of rules and regulations. However, my passion with MAGNIFY is not that our audience would end up at a certain destination, but rather that, at your own pace and by asking questions based on your own experience, you would have the opportunity to see that the heart of Christianity is coming to know an amazing God who is full of love, grace and amazing plans for each of us.
Through this blogsite, our events and our print magazine, I hope MAGNIFY will be a place where incredible women can come into an environment that is fun, full of inspiration and which ultimately empowers you to embrace who you are with confidence and hope.
My hope and prayer for 2014 is that this verse would relate to each of us:
“Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future.” Proverbs 31:25
With much love,
Ruth Awogbade xx