What inspired you to start Storyteller Supply? For the past few years, I have had the amazing opportunity to travel the world playing music and sharing stories. However, even though I love the share, one of my favorite parts of it all is actually hearing the stories people share with me. Whether these are stories about something that happened earlier in the day, stories about their hometown or where they are from, or stories of how people came to know Jesus -- it's these stories that give me hope and encourage me to keep going. I started Storyteller Supply because I wanted create a platform for people to share their stories as a way to share hope with one another, and ultimate, to shine light on the hope that is in Jesus Christ.
What is your greatest hope for this community? My greatest hope for this community is that through this platform, people will be encouraged to share their stories of hope on a daily basis. I want people to be reminded that while some of our stories will be big, life changing events, sometimes our stories are small ones, and those are worth sharing, too. It doesn't matter if your story is about you being a homeschooled preacher's kid, a government worker, a musician -- whoever you are, whatever you've been through, and whatever God has called you to do, your story matters. And I believe that as Christians, the more we begin to share our stories, the more we will be able to shine a light on the story of Jesus Christ.
How do you feel social media helps or hinders us in creating community and building relationships? One of my favorite things about social media is that it allows people to connect with people just like them. If you're a fan of a certain artist, or a movie, or even a certain restaurant, social media makes it easy for you to find people to connect with. Because of this, I feel that it is very easy for people to create community online and great, world-changing movements, organizations, and projects have been birthed out of something that started on social media. Within the Kingdom of God, I feel that a lot of good has happened through social media. Despite the negative things that seem to take over the internet, I believe that God works through social media, and people have been able to encourage and be encouraged in their faith.
However, while I'm all about using hashtags, sharing photos on Instagram, and interacting with people around the world, I have to constantly remind myself that social media is merely a tool to connect. There will always be something special that happens when you're interacting with someone face to face that you just can't get on social media. I believe that God gave us the ability to connect with each other here on earth for a reason, and we shouldn't take that for granted.
How do the stories you see and hear influence you as a singer/songwriter? For me, it's always been about the story. When I was a kid, I was all about writing fiction. In my early teenage years, I began to turn my stories into poems, and a few years later, my mom encouraged me to turn my poems into songs. I had started to play guitar, and she challenged me to take my stories and turn them into songs. I didn't really understand what that meant, but I gave it a try, and I have been writing stories ever since. There is a story behind every single story I sing--whether it's a story of my own or someone else's story, and I am very passionate about stories and ultimately, the story of how good God is and what that looks like in different people's lives.
What is the story about yourself you’d most like to share? When I was 14 years old, I randomly found myself on the website of a university in the United Kingdom called University of Birmingham. At the time, I didn't know a thing about the UK, but for some reason when I was on that website, I instantly felt drawn to this country, and even furthermore, this particular school. Fast forward four years while I was in college in Atlanta, Georgia, I was encouraged by a leader of a campus ministry to look into a ministry that she thought I might like to be a part of in Birmingham, England...at the University of Birmingham! She didn't even know this part of my story but it that moment it became clear to me that God was trying to tell me something about this place.
By this time, I was 18 years old and had never been out of the U.S., but I decided that someway, somehow, I had to get to what was happening at the University of Birmingham. I was accepted into the study abroad program at the university and in a matter of months, out of my home country for the first time in my life, where I would live in England for six months and attend the University of Birmingham while working with a campus ministry there.
Those six months changed me, and through the mountain top and the valley experiences of it all, I learned a lot about myself and what God was doing in my life. It was through this experience that I learned that when God puts something on your heart, you have to just be obedient and go. It's not always easy, and you might not always have the details, but He has a plan, and as Jeremiah 29:11 reminds us, He's not out to harm us and He wants the best for us.
Please share how to join #storytellingfam, and where to find you online! Every Sunday night from 9-11 pm EST (8-10 pm CST), if you come share your story on Facebook or Instagram, then you are officially a part of the #StorytellingFam! There is also a free necklace that I send to Storyteller Family member. Simply share your story, then complete the form on our website, StorytellerSupply.com, and you'll receive your #StorytellingFam necklace in the mail.