The Intersection of God, Relationships & Pop Culture
If you're like most of my readers, you believe there is more to the Christian life than hypocrisy, more to marriage than divorce, and more to pop culture than shallow art.
I am wife to Moses and mom to Jeremiah, Eliana and Phillip (three kids under three!). My husband and I work for the Christian non-profit organization Cru, developing New York City high school students spiritually via afterschool discussion groups, Bible studies, and one-on-one mentoring.
Why I Started This Blog
I've always had a love for helping teenagers develop spiritually, but my deepest desire was to get to the root of the false ideologies force-fed to them via popular music, movies and television. Pop media are the poisoned wells from which teenagers drink their beliefs.
I’ve also felt a compassion for young Hollywood stars like Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Shia LaBeouf. Young celebrities, like all young people, are in the awkward transition into adulthood, no doubt making mistakes in the process. The only difference? Celebrities will make their mistakes in the scrutiny of the public eye.
During college, I vowed to myself and God to be an entertainment magazine writer. Through this, I hoped to call out the falsehoods of pop media, and eventually befriend celebrities, helping them form personal relationships with Christ. Many teenagers will also emulate celebrities, oblivious to the discontentment and spiritual emptiness lurking beneath the fame, money and glamour–it’s a vicious cycle.
After college, I landed internships with a Manhattan television production company, an online fashion magazine and the marketing department of a board game company. I had a growing network of media professionals in New York City; God seemed to be opening doors for me to reach all of my goals.
But weeks before my wedding in Fall 2011, I was anxious instead of excited. Cru strongly encouraged married couples to become full-time staff members together, because the “job” was not simply a nine-to-five. It required a flexibility to mentor high school students after school, during evenings and weekends. It required swapping a paid salary for a requirement to raise financial support through individual donors. Moses felt an undeniable call to take the plunge. Me? I wasn’t so sure.
I grudgingly applied for the job at Cru. Frankly, I was mad at God. All those years of praying, of crying out on celebrities’ behalf, would they all go to waste? Would I even get to meet them, to get a chance to be their friends and really invest in their lives? Why would You tease me by allowing me to progress in my media career just to pull the rug from under me?
My life verse has always been Jeremiah 29:11: “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’” But at that point in my life, I truly doubted whether or not God was out to harm me. Despite how I felt, out of sheer obedience to God, I decided I would take the job at Cru.
I realized that like God testing Abraham with Isaac (Genesis 22), He was asking me to put my career on the altar. Making a name for myself as an entertainment journalist, even with the noble intention of using it as a ministry was not worshipping God.
Nineteenth Century Scottish preacher Oswald Chambers put it this way:
“Our Lord calls to no special work: He calls to Himself” (My Utmost for His Highest).
I became obsessed with my ministry at the expense of my relationship with God, and it took a toll on the health of my spirit.
In retrospect, I can see God’s sovereignty and foresight; He knew that four years later, I would be a mom of three. The flexible schedule that Cru allows, especially to moms of young children, would no doubt be absent for a full-time journalist.