Meet Emma, the founder of the website Girl Got Faith and the UK Prevention and Awareness Coordinator for A21, an organisation working to abolish human trafficking.
We walked to Emma about her biggest achievements and struggles, what motivates her, and what she’s learned through her experiences.
I am 23 years old (24 this month!), I have been married for one year and I live in the loveliest part of the world: Southeast London!
I grew up in a Christian family, and I always had quite a strong personal faith, but even with that kind of foundation, my teen years were still challenging at times. It’s difficult to be confident in who you are in God at the age where so many of your friends are exploring new things to be confident in—whether that is drinking, boyfriends, self-image or anything else. I was so lucky to have had two older sisters who had already been through that journey, and they helped and guided me through—probably without realising, most of the time. Just being able to watch their lives and see how they handled certain situations was really encouraging and inspiring for me. It helped to give me that extra boost of confidence whenever I needed it most.
As a teen it is easy to compartmentalise your faith and think that God wouldn’t care about any of your interests outside of church, but He does! Girl Got Faith believes that God cares about every area of our lives, simply because He cares about us. So, whether we are writing about the top 10 best makeup buys, things to do at the weekend with your friends, or discovering your purpose, we do it from a God-centred view, knowing that He cares, more than we could ever know, about the smallest details of our lives.
How many contributors does Girl Got Faith have, and what do you look for in a contributor?
Girl Got Faith now has 23 contributors. Not everyone is involved on a regular basis, but overall, there is the input of 23 wonderful people! The key thing we look for is a passion to see young girls be confident in who they are.
Where do you see Girl Got Faith in a few years?
Well, as Girl Got Faith only launched in November 2015, it is still very early days—but I am a big dreamer! I have so many things I would love to do along the way, but overall, in a few years’ time, I see Girl Got Faith as the go-to guide for our teen readers and youth leaders, too. I see it as a tool to help teens shape their generation in a positive way so that they might create a culture of encouragement, love and acceptance!
We don’t all have older sisters, and many young Christians have families that don’t believe what they do, so I wanted Girl Got Faith to be like a big sister to all of our readers.
Tell us a little bit about your job at A21.
At A21, I am the UK prevention and awareness coordinator, which means my job is to spread the word about the issue of human-trafficking and modern slavery as far as possible and inspire and educate people on what they can do to help. With 27 million people currently trapped in modern slavery across the globe, the statistics can be overwhelming, but at A21, we break the figures down so it represents ONE life, ONE person and ONE story. Everyone can do something to help one person, right?
Does your job at A21 help your role at Girl Got Faith, or are they completely different?
I think both roles help me understand that there is a bigger picture—that life is much more than just me and my circle of friends, and we have a responsibility to fight for justice and for what we believe in. A21 is massively inspiring for Girl Got Faith as it shows me that when a few passionate people come together, a huge impact can be had on the world.
What would you say is your biggest achievement to date?
Starting Girl Got Faith is my biggest, as I am such a procrastinator! It took me about two years to actually start Girl Got Faith from when I had initial thoughts about it, so to actually have a website that is really there and real and usable is a huge achievement. My second biggest achievement was probably going traveling alone at the age of 18 and managing to stay alive. I’m pretty proud of that one!
What are some of the biggest struggles you’ve encountered?
One of my biggest struggles has been myself! I think we are often the only thing getting in the way of where we are and where we want to be. I have battled with feelings of self-doubt, thinking that there is always someone who can do it better than me so I may as well leave it to them. Realising that God made me ME for a reason and He has given me specific ideas and dreams because He wants ME to do them was quite a revelation. That doesn’t just apply to Girl Got Faith, but to a whole heap of things in life!
Is it hard to live out your faith in today’s world?
Yes, of course! I have always been quite open with my faith to my friends and colleagues, but there’s a huge difference between just talking about it and actually living it out, especially when you don’t feel like it.
Personally, one of my biggest struggles is to remember to rely on God for everything. I think we are constantly being taught how to be self-sufficient, the importance of a ‘secure’ job, to have savings, to have insurance on everything you own, the list goes on! So it is a daily battle to look to God as your source and remember that everything you have is His!
What is one lesson you’ve learned since you launched Girl Got Faith?
CONSISTENCY IS KEY! Whether that is putting articles up on the site, or just keeping in touch with all of your contributors, consistency is what carries it forward. T.D Jakes said in a talk I listened to recently that people often ask him what it was that catapulted his ministry to where it is right now. He explained that there isn’t one magic moment, there is a series of moments. It’s about the small steps, the little things that we think don’t mean much or are just monotonous. They are the important bits!