Monday, January 4, 2016

#sistersofinfluence: Janay Boyer

Y'all, today I have the joy of introducing you to a wonderful friend of mine named Janay. She and I met as part of a bridal party for a mutual friend, and I've loved her ever since. She loves Jesus and she is an incredibly hilarious and giving individual. Plus her enchiladas are so delicious that they will make you cry. You will love her and you will like her. :)

Tell us about yourself. Who are you?
My name is Janay Boyer.  I am 27 (for at least 7 more weeks) and I live in Atlanta.  I’ve been in this city working in non-profit fundraising/marketing for 5 years.  I’m from Dalton, GA by way of Texas and am just Mexican enough to keep things interesting.  Some of my favorite things include cooking for my friends, terrible Hallmark Christmas movies, my 2 ½ year old niece, homeless people, writing, great tex-mex and saying inappropriate things about how much I love George W. Bush.
I met Jessica two years ago whilst bridesmaiding (is that a word?  Whatever. If you’ve done it 10 times in 5 years it’s a word) in a mutual friend’s wedding.  Jessica is delightful, kind and I love reading the insightful things she writes here.  I am honored that she asked me to share a little, and sincerely hope that I won’t drive away any of her readers.  
How did you come to know the Lord?
I am incredibly fortunate that my parents raised me in such a way that I’m pretty sure I loved Jesus before I could spell Jesus.  However, I am a Baptist, and we are very formal about these things, so I like to say Jesus and I had a “define the relationship” when I was 7.  (Fun Fact: I was baptized at Piedmont Baptist Church in West Cobb, the same church as Jessica).  As a Baptist kid in the era of Disciple Now weekends and WWJD bracelets, I’m pretty sure I “prayed the prayer” about 17 times before I got my driver’s license…….you know, just to be sure.  
I gradually made Jesus Lord of my Life as a teenager, and before I started college, God was gracious enough to send me on my first of what would be a decade of Central American mission trips.  I am forever grateful that God used this experience to blow up the box I had put Him in, and started me toward discovering me life’s passion.  Knowing Jesus was the first part of the equation, but this brought me to the second part, truly following Jesus.   I am forever grateful He opened my heart up in this way at such a young age.


What do you think it means to be a woman of influence right where you are?
I have been unbelievably fortunate in that my life is full of women who I feel embody this idea of “influence.”  My mother is a college professor, and bar none, the smartest woman I know.  She encouraged me from a young age to chase knowledge, to explore new things, and to embrace my God-given talents.  I see her influence in the classroom, but also in the ways she has pushed her work aside to be a present mother and committed wife.  In addition, my world is full of wonderful Christian mentors and girlfriends who have embraced God’s calling on their lives, and who are gracious enough to do life beside me.  They’re nurses, teachers, ministers, businesswomen, stay-at-home mamas, missionaries and doctors.  To me what makes all of them women of “influence” is that they do each of these things with the kind of humility and dedication that comes from keeping one eye on the world and the other on the kingdom.  I’m grateful to stand near them and hopefully get a few sprinkles of their Jesus dust.


How does the Lord allow you to shine His light through your job?
Remember that thing I told you about the mission trip?  Well, from that trip grew a very specific passion for people on the margins.  My love for international missions eventually expanded to include a desire to serve the homeless and impoverished in my own community.  I’ve been working with Atlanta’s homeless in some form or fashion for the past 5 years.  I recently left the non-profit side of things to work for a marketing agency, where my job is to build fundraising and marketing plans for homeless shelters all over the country.  
While I love finding ways to help the marginalized, I realize I am gifted in ways that make me better suited to be part of the engine that makes the good happen.  I am far too filterless to be an actual counselor and have too few boundaries for any kind of front-line social work.  What I can do, however, is get others excited about good work, tell compelling stories, and hopefully, I can even make it rain a little for those doing transformative work on the ground.  

What is your favorite verse or passage of Scripture?
“If you do away with the yoke of oppression, with the pointing finger and malicious talk, and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.” Isaiah 58:9-10


The book of Isaiah is fascinating.  Try to study it from beginning to end and your brain might fall out of your head.  But just when you think you’ve lost your way in a stream-of-consciousness about wiping out various Jewish kingdoms, there is something so beautiful, so true and so moving that you are sure this prophet saw God’s face.  It is amazing to me how this passage tells us to do something that is the key to so much else.  In my opinion, one day of service to someone that the world has forgotten will change you in ways that all of the reading and journaling in the world cannot.


If I ever find myself feeling lost or disconnected to God, it’s usually because I have stopped seeking Him through prayer, His word, but also through the type of outpouring described in this verse.


What is one truth you want others to remember and cling to?


I’ll share the one piece of truth that I have the hardest time remembering, and for that matter, believing.


You are enough.  Just as you are.  Created on purpose and loved so much that God sacrificed His own Son so brokenness in us wouldn’t be the end of the story.  A God that does that isn’t going to forget you somewhere in the trials of your twenties.  He’s not leaving you to figure it out alone when you mess up.  He didn’t neglect to make you prettier, smarter or better.   You belong to Him.  You are enough.  


And last but not least: coffee or tea?

Coffee.  Have you ever heard someone say that they get out of bed for tea?

2 comments:

  1. Haha! I only get out of bed for tea! Seriously, though, I enjoyed reading your story Janay. You work in Atlanta? Are you very familiar with the FCS Urban Ministries? I lead the kids ministry at a Hispanic church plant in a poor migrant community in Florida and stumbled across the FCS website while trying to learn how to serve better where I am. I am very interested in those on the frontlines serving/walking alongside those marginalized here in America. Do you or Jessica have any resources (personal blogs, books, etc.) you would recommend?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think that the book When Helping Hurts is good, and also the blog The Stanley Clan. Those are some great resources I've found!

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