GOODBYES ARE HARD...
I'm at a crossroads. This post makes me sad. For so long I've tried to balance how much of my personal life I share here. I believe the most relatable content is that which is true and authentic, so here we go...
I've had the privilege and joy of publishing She Heard Magazine for the past (almost) 2 years. This Fall would mark the 2-year anniversary of its launch.
Each quarter I set out to source inspirational and Godly articles and ministries to encourage and edify our community. I've worked with some of the most incredible women and felt the weight of the responsibility to represent and deliver their stories well. I figuratively held these women's hearts and deepest experiences with God in my hands and I never forgot that.
If you don't already know, not only am I a wife and mother of 6 (3 teens and 3 tweens), I'm also the Director of Women's Ministry and the Creative Director at my church. I'm a 3rd grade public school teacher to boot. I teach in a low socio-economic, Title I school. I encounter many precious, broken kiddos who need far more than the 3 R's. Teaching is an emotionally, physically, and mentally draining job. It's also wildly rewarding in many ways. My first year of teaching was the hardest of all. I had no idea the toll it would take on my mental and physical health. The demands from the district, the state, administration, and the parents (not to mention those students who required so much more than I had to give) drove me to a place that I wasn't sure I would recover from. I barely functioned to meet my family's needs and my husband (as usual) was invaluable and amazing through it all. It was all I could do to get myself through the day, and most nights I was in bed by 6 PM. I was depleted. Out of gas. I don't talk about that dark time very often with anyone, and I don't know that I've mentioned it here much. It was a long, dark, hard season. I remember a time at my lowest point when I committed to wake up each morning at 6 AM to sit in my closet and pray. Some mornings I couldn't even speak. Other times I read from the Psalms because my own words wouldn't come. I maintained that appointment every morning, even when I had the flu and could barely get out of bed. I believe it was that dedication to seek Him even in my brokenness that was pivotal to my healing. And even through all of that, I never walked away from She Heard. I took breaks, but I never quit. I thought it was just a matter of time until it launched and would become my main focus (outside of my family, of course.)
Why am I telling you all this?
Because today I am officially announcing that She Heard Magazine is indefinitely on hiatus.*
I almost want to stop typing at this point, but there's so much more to share. I long to be in the center of God's will and a soul willing to obey quickly. But if I'm being honest, a little part of me feels like it's dying. You see, for the past 5 years (well, 8 1/2, really) I have longed to make She Heard a full-time ministry that could enable me to follow God's call and pour my efforts into what makes my heart sing: women's ministry and writing. My school years have been filled with stress and busy-ness as I eeked out precious few moments to focus on She Heard, and then paid the price for burning the candle at both ends. The summers became a blur of striving and more eeking to set She Heard up to be ready to fully launch before the next school year. Each summer began with the thought of, "will this be the year I resign from teaching to launch into this amazing ministry full time?" And each year so far has had the same outcome.
So, as I begin readying my classroom for year 5, my heart is a little heavier and my eyes are a little misty. I share all of this to let you see a vulnerable side of me and my walk with God. I know all too well how easy it is to look at the blips on social media and assume someone has it "all together," that they have this walking with God thing all figured out. I assure you, I don't.
Tonight finds me a little more raw than usual and willing to bare my soul here in this space. It's not that She Heard is ending completely, and I'm grateful for that. It's just that my dreams (as I saw them) are dying. And, before you rush to tell me this or that about how I'm feeling, let me just say that if it's what God is calling me to, than they can't die fast enough. However, I am fully human and the loss is definitely felt. BUT...I can't run ahead. I can't lag behind. And I can't run off the path.
Like the woman at the well, the very woman where She Heard got its name (John 4), I find Jesus right in the middle of my brokenness. He never turns me away, even when I'm struggling, even when I have questions. In fact, it's in these moments when my heart is hurting and my feelings are on my sleeve that He feels closest.
Friends, I don't know where you are tonight. Maybe your heart is hurting too. Maybe you're unsure. Maybe you're angry at God that things didn't go the way you'd hoped. Our circumstances may be different, but our God is the same: Yesterday, today, and tomorrow. Let's raise a hallelujah to that! Let's commit to walk this walk with confidence in God even when that looks like knocking knees and quivering voices.
So...instead of polished and tied with a bow, tonight I present to you raw and real. But it's in these raw, real moments where we find Jesus.
And my heart knows the truth...where He leads me I will be happiest, most fulfilled. He gives abundantly more than we could ever ask for or imagine (Ephesians 3:20). He is a good God (Psalm 101:1) and wants only the best for me (Jeremiah 29:11). When I trust Him and seek Him above all else, that's when I find the true Treasure: Him.
So, while the magazine will not be publishing for the foreseeable future, we will be featuring incredible women and ministries on our blog. Please stay tuned for other amazing ways that God can use this mighty community for HIs glory! And thank you for being a part of this community.
*From this point forward, all subscriptions will be frozen and you will no longer be charged. Should we decide to move forward at a later time with publishing, you will receive communication in advance with the option to opt out of your subscription.
This space is reserved for Founder Mandy's perspectives and viewpoints of Scripture. Man is fallible, but God is not. It's strongly encouraged that you study the Scripture for yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in your understanding.
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