You Can Do It | How to Rely on God When His Calling Feels Too Big
Welcome to Season 5 of You Are You podcast! This season will be a real-time, day in the life-style, journey of what it looks like to pursue a God-given dream. In my case, this is building a platform that helps Christian women seek God for emotional health and healing.
Friends, it’s true isn’t it, that God has given us ALL dreams. They feel bigger than we can accomplish — maybe even dare to dream. We might think we don’t have all the right qualifications. But God is the expert at equipping the called! He already planned these things for us to do before we were born. He wants us to carry out the plans he’s prepared for our lives. He is willing to help us every day and give us all the wisdom and resources we need to do it! Let’s give our whole lives to him and get excited about the fact that his is going to show up.
This episode covers 1) submitting life’s stressors, 2) keeping oil in our lamps, and 3) the importance of diligence and taking the sabbath.
Themes: Christian entrepreneurship, pursuing a God dream or vision, living a life full of miracles
Listen to You Are You Christian podcast for women on Spotify or Apple Podcasts. Or for my reading-lovers out there (I'm with you!), the transcript is below.
Hi guys! Welcome to Season 5 of You Are You podcast.
If you’re new here, welcome. My name is Jenni Lien, and I’m the writer and artist behind The Yay Project, an online ministry for Christian women with the purpose of helping us celebrate our God-given design, pursue our kingdom calling, and love God with all our heart.
I’m also a new entrepreneur, working on Pink and New, a digital platform that aims to support women with emotional health and healing.
So this season will be largely about this — the journey of walking hand-in-hand with God as we pursue the dreams he’s placed on our lives.
Friends, it’s true isn’t it, that God has given us ALL dreams. They feel bigger than we can accomplish — maybe even dare to dream. We might think we don’t have all the right qualifications. But God is the expert at equipping the called! Esther, Joseph, Ruth, Peter — we’ve got so many role models. It would be tragic if we let fear, self-doubt, etc. keep us from obeying God. So I pray this new season of the podcast will help us encourage one another as we share the honest journey of doing something bigger than ourselves.
We won’t do everything perfectly. We’re going to have days when we feel like giving up. But as long as we keep our purpose clear — that ultimately we’re taking these risks and working so hard because we want to obey God not seek man’s approval — we’ll be just fine.
God already planned these things for us to do before we were born. He wants us to carry out the plans he’s prepared for our lives. He is willing to help us every day and give us all the wisdom and resources we need to do it! Let’s give our whole lives to him and get excited about the fact that his is going to show up.
For this first episode, I want to share 3 things I feel like God is teaching me this week.
1) Submit Life’s Stressors
So… you may have seen that I’ve just moved to Taipei! Not sure if everyone knows this… I’m Canadian but right after finishing undergrad, God opened the door to move to Singapore and then Hong Kong. I was in Asia for 12 years, before sensing God’s call to move back to Canada and do a Master’s in Business focused on Entrepreneurship and Technology. Now that I’ve finished my Master’s, I’m back in Asia — this time in Taipei.
I’ve had a lot of people reach out to ask things like “How long are you going to be in Taipei?” and “What are you going to be doing in Taipei?” And the truth is that I’m walking by faith and doing my best to move as God leads.
On the “reasons that people can understand” front, I want to spend some time with family (haven’t seen my Taiwanese relatives since before COVID), I hope Asia will be a key market for my business and think Taipei would be a good place to be based for a bit given that my parent’s have an apartment here (no rent!), and also that I’m Taiwanese and love Taiwan (used to visit almost every summer as a child) yet have never lived here.
But also… I just think it’s right? Since January or so, I’ve felt this pull to come and booked my tickets shortly after. That said, because it was a “I think it’s right, God” thing rather than a boom from heaven “Go to Taiwan” thing, I still considered other options. But now that I’m here, I’m committed and excited to see what’s to come.
In most seasons of my life, God has been super clear about the next path — e.g. I got a job in Singapore, my company offered me a relocation to Hong Kong, and both things were huge “I only dared to dream I could be in such a place” type answered prayers. And these moves always came with a full-time salary and stability via a workplace.
Interestingly, my first job out of undergrad was working for a professor at the National University of Singapore who got her PhD after exiting her company and was an active angel investor and mentor that worked with all the major universities in Singapore, the Singapore INSEAD campus, etc. During my year with her, we worked on a book about entrepreneurs in Singapore and at the end of the year, she asked me if I’d caught the entrepreneurship bug.
My reaction? Nope!
I wanted a stable salary and benefits.
And maybe it’s coming from a culture that prioritizes stability, education, and learning from your elders. At 23, I in no way felt ready to do something on my own!
But God has his ways, amen? At 30, I felt God’s nudge to start The Yay Project — with no big vision, just obedience that God was saying to write about faith during my rock bottom season. Logically, that felt so weird — like God, I’m struggling with rejection, overcoming this long standing fear of rejection, and you want me to write about this publicly??? But when we’re telling God we want to do what he says, he’ll give us opportunities — and what are we going to do, say no? :)
When I started prepping this section, the one area that I wanted to touch on was finances. In that it felt easier to obey God in previous seasons, like when starting The Yay Project, because I had money coming in every month. I could easily afford to build a website, buy an iPad, podcast mic, software, etc. And now… I’m in a stage where I’m praying about my business finances and part-time work.
Full transparency, I have a set amount that I’m investing in my business (from savings and scholarship money), my family are giving me some support as well, but I would like some additional income. It will be months before I’m ready to sell. And I’ve done some research on what sorts of jobs are out there. But rather than fishing and blasting out applications, I’m praying and keeping my ear open to what God might say to do and also asking God to bring opportunities. He’s done it in the past, I have faith he’ll do it again.
This might seem countercultural to non-Christians. They might say it doesn’t make sense just to hope and wait — that we need to put in the work because nothing in life comes for free. And while God absolutely expects us to work hard and steward things well, haven’t we all experienced divine favour? Where he’s blessed us with something that we absolutely didn’t get because we just worked hard — that it was his blessing.
Our God is so generous. If you’re stressing a bit about finances or something else, may we submit it and every life stressor to him. Those who hope in the Lord will never be put to shame (Isaiah 40:31). Sometimes the stress can feel like a lot and we might be tempted to give up, or throw a tantrum, or take what we know is a cop out path. During these moments, let’s go to God’s throne and wait. He is more than capable of speaking to us. May we trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding, in all our ways, let’s submit to him and he will make our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6).
2) Keep Oil In Your Lamp
If I’m honest, sometimes I find it difficult to know how to express my reliance on God in business settings. Even Christian business settings. When I look at past seasons of my life, I have been most productive and seen the most success when I pray and worship more than I work. I’m not sure this is always realistic — in some seasons we have more time than others. But I want to keep that heart posture and include God as much as possible in all my work.
One reason my business is focused on emotional health and healing is because I know I need it. (Side note: an episode on how and why I felt God lead me to start Pink and New coming up!) When I make a to do list of all things I need to do for my business, all the people I need to update, all the meetings that I need to prepare for — I can get overwhelmed and stuck. It feels like too much… and back to the finances bit, like God how can you possibly expect me to work if life doesn’t feel stable and secure???
But God is our stability and security, amen? If God is leading us to do something, he’ll give us the resources. May we not forget that:
The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him. (Psalm 24:1)
Let’s live like we believe!
As we live with God’s oil flowing through us, it will be easier to walk in faith. Because we know whose we are. We know what he’s done. We see his spiritual gifts in action — he speaks to us today! I pray we are people who live lives where God’s miracles flow through us daily because we believe he still does them and we are willing vessels to be used. That we want to daily surrender and submit to become vessels suitable for use. That we will grow in strength fulfilling our God given purpose because God is not just a theory — but we regularly see the results of our prayers and faith.
This is how life is supposed to be, right? God’s people walking with God being used by God to do things God has planned.
There’s no way we should be living apart from God so… let’s enjoy living life the best way giving him first place in our lives — in thought, in words, in action. May we be people soaked in his word! That worship throughout the day! That converse with God just like we do our family and best friends! Living and working with God’s power flowing through us daily — how incredible that we get to experience this.
Lord, make us more Christ-like. Teach us how to keep your oil flowing in our lives. We can’t wait to experience life closer and closer to you. And keep us ready for Jesus’s return!
3) Be Diligent + Take the Sabbath
To end this episode, I want to read something I felt God say to me during a prayer and journaling session this week.
“May all you do be soaked in my Spirit, child. The more you do things with me, regularly, frequently, the less intimidating it will feel. You are on an adventure with me, my dear. Enjoy each day. Progress can be made each day.”
I really value and feel blessed my such encouragements. From God obviously, but also encouragement to stay the course from trusted believers. We all have emotions and sometimes we can let them have too much power over us. Emotions can be so wonderful when they bring us closer to God and help us pursue his call over our lives. But may we be on guard to avoid situations where they pull us from God or into ungodly habits or situations.
All to say, when God gives us a vision, sometimes it feels like A + B = C. That to accomplish C, A + B need to happen like this and that. But may we give ourselves grace when life isn’t quite so simple. When we need time in prayer in order to even discern what A and B are. It’s ok! If things were so easy to do, we wouldn’t need to rely on God — and God knows we need to rely on him, amen?
As we pursue our God-given dreams this season, may we remember that it’s not supposed to be easy every day — but we can rely on God’s Spirit to do things every day. We can’t only work when we feel 100% — but we can rely on God’s Spirit to do fill the gaps. And we are blessed to take the Sabbath weekly — we can rely on God to move things forward while we rest.
So that’s it from me this week! What resonated with you? Are there things that you’d like to see covered on the podcast this season — to do with pursuing our God-given dreams? Send me a DM or write to me on Threads. I’m really excited to see what God is doing and will do in our lives as we seek him in this time — an honour to get to enjoy doing with him and grow closer to him at the same time.
Sending lots of love and speak soon.