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  • Writer's pictureJenni Lien

On Soaking, Substacks and Relying on God’s Spirit

University of Waterloo Davis Centre
Location of today's writing: University of Waterloo Main Campus

It’s been an interesting week. There are many things that I want to be working on and yet I’ve felt this weight… and it’s a good weight. This weight of needing to draw close to God.

There are so many unknowns in my life at the moment. So I’m writing this for me, to process, but also, hopefully, for anyone else out there who is also facing a pile of unknowns and wants a little encouragement to stay the course. Because. We know that we know that we know that God already knows right? He knows the answers to our prayers. He knows which doors are going to open and when. He knows the new things that he’s going to pour into us. There is such peace knowing that we are in the arms of our Father.

What’s key is that we stay in his arms though, right? That we stay his course.


During these seasons of unknowns / endless possibilities, it can be so tempting to form our own plan and stick to it. And believe that with enough focus and willpower, our vision of success will come. This is not necessarily untrue but our vision of success vs. God’s vision of success… when we’re before the judgement seat, may we have confidence that it’s his plan that we spent our life doing!

This is definitely a pep talk for me. There’s something about writing that is so therapeutic. And for the past week, amidt the weightiness, I’ve mostly just prayed, worshipped, soaked in God’s presence… and stayed there as much as I can. Honestly some things feel overwhelming even though logically I know I don’t need to feel overwhelmed. In the right timing, things will become clear. Yes, I / we must work and take necessary steps. But we can trust God’s soverignty and not overthink. We don’t want just any open door but the right one because it takes just further into the right path.


When it comes to writing, I mentioned on Instagram, back in May I think, that I’d scheduled a number of blog posts in attempts to keep more of a regular content calendar. Blogging is an interesting medium these days as we’re definitely not in the glory days of blogging but still there are glimpses the written word is becoming trendy again. I’ve recently been diving into the Substacks of various fashion writers that I admire and discovering new ones. One of them wondered if this Substack movement is bringing in new glory days for blogging. Which made me wonder…

Am I being slow to get with it or what’s the main difference between having a blog and having a Substack… or having a Substack and having a Medium account? My two cents just based on the Substacks I’ve read: nice UX and, in terms of content, seem to focus more on real-time thoughts with minimal photos (whereas most blogs are now largely shoppable and aesthetically photo-heavy). I think I’d like being on Substack actually but then there’s the whole promoting a new platform thing… (Also, isn’t it smart to have your archive on your own site?)

Which is why I think the Threads (come join!) roll out has been so genius. My favourite era of Instagram was the microblogging era because, yep, I love writing and reading and connecting with others through heartfelt thoughts put into words. And now they’ve made a way for writers to write and for their existing audience to move over too. It’s still early days for the app and it sounds like they’ll be rolling out more and more features so let’s see if I / we’re still engaged with it in the months to come.

I’d love to hear from you (DMs open) — what’s your favourite way to consume writing these days? Do you like real time-ish blog posts about life as it evolves? What do you think about Substack and who are your favourite Substackers?


Jenni Lien founder of The Yay Project
A recent photo :)

My Master’s may be over but I’m still spending a few days on campus here and there enjoying working from the large, air conditioned meeting rooms. Today’s writing session has taken place in one of the breakout rooms in the classroom where I spent so much of the last year. I definitely feel nostalgic and excited for the future all at once… which describes a lot of the past few months! But to end this post I just want to reiterate that amidst all the thoughts that are filling my head and heart right now…

The main way I want to sort through the fog is with our Lord because things are not foggy to him. And when we feel that weight, that ache of needing him, may we press in. Let’s remember his Spirit is in us and pray in the Spirit if we have the gift. More. He’s calling us to him. He’s doing something. He’s bringing comfort. He has it all under control. We can rest in him and be reminded that his burden is light.

Good things are coming, friends. Opportunities, new dreams, lessons, blessings, etc. etc. etc. May we always take time out of our every day to hope in the Lord.

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (Romans 15:13)


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