Newsroom

You Be You Author Q&A

Andy Whisenant | Jun 10th

Jamie, tell us about “You Be You.” What inspired you to write this book?

I started seeing a trend within women in our churches where they were discontent with the life they were living. If they were in a season of staying home with their children,  they desired a bigger platform. If they were in ministry they wanted and desired bigger ministries and more people to serve. If they were dreaming about writing a book, they were discontent with the way God was using their voice right where they were.

I wanted to encourage women to truly thrive right where God had planted them, in whatever season they found themselves. I was also seeing women who were content in their apathy and lack of using the talents and gifts that God had given them.

“You Be You” is meant to push women to live within their God-given spaces and use their God-given talents to bring the good news of Jesus to whomever God puts in front of them.

For whom did you write this book?

I wrote this book for every woman who feels  like she has a voice and something to say, but isn’t sure how to use it or gets sidetracked by the other women that she sees doing “great” things. I want every woman to own her gifts, talents and callings that God has gifted uniquely to her.

In your own life, when did you begin to experience the satisfaction and success you describe in the book that comes from faithfulness?

When I began to truly believe that my gifts and talents were given to me from God for a specific purpose. There was a time when I worried if I would ever have anyone listening to me like ____ or ____ might have. (Fill in those blanks with any woman who is doing amazing things!) But God began to teach me and continue to remind me that the people who were listening to me mattered, and that it wasn’t so much about how many people were listening, but what I was saying to them. Quality over quantity changed everything for me.

What are some of the main areas where you see women hold back in pursuing their callings and using their gifts?

Fear of the unknown. Comparison to other women. Wishing they had different gifts. I don’t think these are things we ever overcome but things we fight until the day we die. I want to be a woman who is aware of these hindrances and then acknowledges them and vows to fight them.

How can women know where God is calling them? Tell us about how you came to understand God’s calling in your life.

Be in his world. Listen to the Holy Spirit who is inside of you. Surround yourself with a community of people that won’t just tell you what you want to hear but will confirm what they see God doing in your life.

For myself, I just kept walking, putting one foot in front of  the other. Trying different things and seeing how they would work. Most of the beginning stages of my career in podcasting came from me just trying new things and having fun with it. I never set out to become a speaker, author or podcast host, but I just kept showing up where God opened doors. I knew one thing: I wanted to encourage women and point them to Jesus; that was a goal with everything I ever did, even before it felt like a career. I was doing this in my volunteer work at church, in my neighborhood, in the 5th grade Sunday school class I taught. That has been a calling that God has equipped me for since before I can remember.

What does it look like to both fight for contentment and cheer others on around us?

One of the greatest ways to fight for contentment in your life and to put the comparison we all feel to death is to be a genuine cheerleader for those around you!

Why is it important that women allow God to work through them where he has planted them? What does that look like?

When we begin to trust that God has a purpose in our lives—every part of them—even where we live, we will begin to thrive. I want women to know that there is only one life that they are given, and if we allow God to work in us and through us, he will do big things right where we are. So often we get into a season of life that feels hard or uncomfortable and we begin to believe the lie that if we were only in a different circumstance, place or season we would be used more by God. That lie keeps us in bondage and trapped from serving God right where we are.

When your readers turn over the last page, how do you hope they walk away different? (What is your goal for this book / what do you hope readers glean from it?)

My biggest hope would be that the reader would believe that she can be successful right where God has planted her. That satisfaction is not only granted to some people, but we all have the ability to be satisfied with our lives. I want women to bloom where they were planted by God— to thrive in their circumstances no matter what those may look like.