Letter From the Editor: Welcome Back + What's Coming in January!
Welcome back, friends! How was your 2018? But really, I actually do want to know (leave a comment below, please?!).
2018 flew by for me. God did a lot of work in my heart and refined my faith in depths I didn't think I was capable of, but He was my strength and my hope when I didn't think I had anymore to give. I finished reading the Bible in full in one calendar year (first time! Usually it takes me 1.5-2 years!). I also completed the the first draft of my book. I got promoted at work. I celebrated turning 27 and traveled to LA, New York City, and Connecticut. I got more involved in my church and youth ministry, and made more of an effort to make new friends and go deeper in my existing friendships. My sister got married in October and my brother got engaged in Sweden on Christmas Day (I went with him to Sweden and absolutely fell in love with Stockholm and the Swedish countryside!) - meet my family below! It was a difficult year, but I also grew and changed in so many ways! So, that was 2018 for me in a nutshell.
If you've been around for the last few years, you know we closed Tirzah at the end of 2017 for an indefinite period of time. On the surface, I took the time off to focus on my full time job and work on my book. I did both of those things, although the book ended up completely different from what I thought it was going to be, but I also realized I needed this hiatus for a much deeper reason: spiritual renewal.
Tirzah started out as an overflow ministry. God was doing so much in my heart my first year of law school and I just couldn't hold it in, and so Tirzah became the platform where I could process and write about what God was doing in my life. And then other girls wanted to come alongside me and share their stories, and so our little community grew.
But eventually, I entered a spiritual wilderness season. I thought I could continue to teach and write, but it is extremely difficult to feed someone else when you're spiritually dry and wounded. I tried to make it work, but my efforts were empty, because I was empty. In that season, God put amazing women in my life who stepped in and essentially ran Tirzah for most of 2017 as I became more hands off. After weeks of wrestling with it, I finally decided to take a year off from Tirzah completely, because I had nothing to give anymore and because I knew I needed God to renew me spiritually before I could help lead a ministry. Most of all, I needed to realign my relationship with God, to allow Him to heal the wounded places of my heart, and to rearrange my priorities and expectations for this ministry. Honestly, I wasn't sure if I was going to ever come back.
But, midway through 2018, as I finally began to feel like I was coming alive again spiritually, I heard the the call to go back to this online ministry. At that point, our website hosting had lapsed, so I began to pray for God to provide the financing if He wanted Tirzah to start back up in 2019.
In early fall, I got an email from a stranger who said God put it on his heart to offer to pay for a year of Tirzah's hosting. At that point, I had not brought up re-launching Tirzah to anyone else other than praying about it. Nonetheless, for a few more weeks, I wrestled with God a lot, resisting the call because I was scared and intimidated. I was worried about continued financing, the time commitment, the content, and most of all my heart and ability to do this. I didn't want to go into this to make my name known, to grow a large following, or for financial gain.
So, I'm doing this scared and imperfectly, with a surrendered heart fully dependent that God will continue to provide financing, volunteers to help staff this ministry, writers to contribute, and above all, the wisdom and anointing upon everyone involved. I cling tightly to Him, praying for a humble heart to serve and to be a good steward in what has been entrusted to me, to take my focus off the numbers/analytics and to be faithful in doing what God has for me today. Even if all the time and effort I (and anyone else who joins our staff and mission!) pour into this touches just one soul, that will be enough. Because I am discovering I am not responsible for the growth or the outcome. His call to me is to obey, plant the seed in teaching and water it with prayer. God will give the increase as He sees fit and in His time.
If you've read all of this, bless your heart! 🙂
What to expect this month:
The launch of our 2019 Tirzah in the Word Small Groups (more info here!). Every year, we get together a group of women from all over the world to study the Bible together. This year, we broke up the group into four small groups and we're keeping them open year-round (in previous years you could only join in January). We've discounted the first quarter's small group on identity and purpose, because we want to get to know as many of you as possible as we re-launch Tirzah in 2019! Membership pre-sales start on January 15!
A new staff! We're hiring volunteers to help operate and grow Tirzah (click here for more info on the open positions and descriptions). Applications are due January 15. Tirzah is a community ministry, which means our magazine is operated by a diverse team of volunteers (young women from all walks of life and from all over the world who give up their spare time - we all work or go to school full time during the day - to help run this site!). Our operations are funded by the generosity of your donations and proceeds from our shop. Because we see your heart for Kingdom work and we want to provide a platform for you to serve in a ministry role and to build up His Kingdom.
New articles coming February 1. I really wanted to have it all done by today with new content up on this site ready for you on launch day, but I am one person and I finally gave in and admitted that I can't do it all. So, I'd love your help in one of two ways: (1) apply to be a staff writer if you'd like to contribute monthly OR (2) contribute a one-time article here!
A new 10-day devotional Bible study on how to figure out God's will for your life. I poured in so much of my heart into this and I hope it encourages you! Download a copy for FREE in our shop. We're going to go through this study together starting January 16 in our Facebook group, join here!!
An updated Proverbs 7 Woman 5-Day Devotional! Download the updated and revised version of this devotional, along with a new one-hour supplemental video study in our shop.
I am also in the process of updating our other Bible study resources which, God willing, will be available to you later this month in the Tirzah Shop!
As I wrap up the longest letter from the editor, can I ask for your prayers for this ministry and for all of the above items? And a whole lot of grace as we figure out how to get this website back up and running smoothly!
Founder + Editor in Chief