Inspired by…Emma Bourquaye

Inspired by.... Emma Bourquaye.jpg

Let me introduce to the most remarkable young woman that I have the good pleasure to know and to be Inspired by…

Emma is a friend and a total inspiration to me. I love that she saw a gap that needed filling, in terms of helping young woman and teenagers have a place to go to learn about how to be a Christian in today’s world and that includes health, beauty and day to day struggles that young people go through. She saw the gap and did something about it and Girl Got Faith was born. She is one of the most joyful people I have ever met and is totally bubbly and joyous to be around, it’s just who she is. I love listening to her talk and I love her heart for young people and seeing them reach their potential. She has a natural ease and way of communicating and is destined for greatness.

Inspired by….

Emma Bourquaye

Emma Borquaye

What prophetic words have shaped your life/ministry?

I received a prophetic word when I was about 16 that was ‘you are different from your sisters’. At the time I had no idea what that meant. I massively looked up to my sisters (and still do!) and they are 2 of the biggest inspirations in my life. So when someone gave me a prophetic word saying I am different from them, I was kind of like, why!? I would always have associated a phrase like that with someone who wants to disassociate themselves with perhaps bad family members, but I realised that as I have gone through life, that word is so so so valuable to me. I need to know I’m different to them because I look up to them so much, and it can end up being a way that I measure myself against them. Like ‘this would never happen to them, why is this happening to me I’m so awful’ etc… but I just needed that constant reminder that we all have our own journey and our own struggles. My sisters both married their first boyfriend, so when it wasn’t really working out with my first boyfriend I was confused, I thought well this isn’t what happened with my sisters I must be doing something wrong! But I remembered that word and had confidence to make my own decision. That specific prophetic word is so precious to me because in it I can really see the heart of God and how much he cares about me. It’s not like the craziest prophetic word ever, but God wanted me to know that at the age of 16, because he knows me so well and knew that there was about to be countless times that I compare myself and could have potentially made a lot of decisions out of that comparison.

Have there been any pivotal/tipping point moments in your life/ministry that have changed your direction?

Yes definitely! I would say probably one of the most pivotal was just earlier this year, when I decided to quit a full-time, stable job, to go full-time with Girl Got Faith! It was a massive leap of faith, but I have learnt so much in such a short space of time. I thought I’d learn loads about business, but I’ve actually learnt more about myself, and more importantly about God’s character. So it’s pivotal for me because I’ve realised God cares just as much about the journey as the destination. I’ve learnt to give God my best every day, and sometimes my best is simply to trust in Him for my daily needs!

We all hear from God differently. How do you hear from God?

I’ve always wished to be able to hear an audible voice, I remember when I lived at home with my parents as a teenager when I took the dog for a walk I would repeat over and over again “speak lord, for your servant is listening!” after I had read the story of Samuel in the bible, but I would get so frustrated that I never heard God’s actual voice. But my heart was in the wrong place. I only wanted to hear an audible voice, because that would prove that God is real. So then where would be my need for faith? Had God not already done enough to show me He was real? As I opened my mind and heart more to God’s ways, I began hearing from God in new ways. I think I generally hear from God mostly in the form of ideas. Sometimes a fully formed idea will just drop in to my head with no thought to it whatsoever. That’s when I know it’s God! Another way I know God is speaking to me is when something pops in to my head, maybe a word for someone, or just something profound that I want to share, and my heart quickens, and I can’t think of anything but God and what he’s just dropped on my heart!

Who has been an inspiration in your life or a spiritual parent to you?

My mum, dad, sisters, and husband are definitely my biggest inspirations. Every one of them expresses their faith in a different way and they all constantly point me back to Jesus no matter what I’m going through.

What do you do whilst waiting for promises to be fulfilled?

Oh goodness, I must admit I am not very patient! I don’t think I really grasped the concept of God’s promises until recently when I read the old testament properly for the first time and read about all the people who had a promise from God and waited and trusted that it would come to pass. Now I understand why they are called ‘Heroes of faith’, because I struggle to wait for ANYTHING! But I do find worship music to be a great help for me whilst I wait. In Psalm 73 the psalmist is having a right moan about stuff, but then he says “till I entered the sanctuary of God; Then I understood their final destiny”. When we come in to God’s sanctuary, which for me is coming to worship God, our perspective is shifted to see things not with our earthly eyes, but a little more like how our heavenly father sees things! I need a shifted perspective whilst I wait on God’s promises, I need to remind myself that ‘with the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.’ – 2 Peter 3:8

How have you coped with any disappointments in your life/ministry?

If you are having a difficult time and things aren’t going the way you expected, it can be difficult to lift your head up and trust God, so I’ve found a great help for me in coping is having people around me that I can be honest with and tell them how I’m feeling and how everything is going, knowing that they will point me to God when I can’t seem to find a way to do that for myself.

What has been the key to breakthrough in your life/ministry?

Prayer. Always prayer!

What do you want to see God do in your life?

I want God to use me to do things that will live beyond me. I want to carry His visions, not my own, I want to do the things that aren’t doable through hard-work alone, but only through an absolute miracle!

What have been your biggest obstacles and how have you overcome them?

I think understanding forgiveness has been a massive one for me. I became a Christian at the age of 7, so had never really had that moment of like wow God has rescued and forgiven me from so much. Even though he has, and continually does! I just never seemed to truly comprehend it. I haven’t had too much trouble forgiving others, but it was more forgiving myself that I found difficult, so I would live condemning, and trying to punish myself. I think I was just so used to the words ‘you are forgiven’ and ‘Jesus died for your sins’ I didn’t take them seriously, But reading my bible for myself, and talking to God when I found it hard to forgive myself really helped me overcome this because I wasn’t just hearing it from other people, I was hearing it from God!

Do you have a daily routine with God and what does that look like?

Yes I have an app called ‘read scripture’ which has genuinely been the ONLY bible reading plan that I have ever stuck to! So most days I’ll wake up, go to the gym, come home and shower and get ready, then have a cup of tea and some porridge whilst I read my scriptures for that day, and then spend a little bit of time praying for the day ahead and whatever God drops on my heart. My husband and I try and pray together every night before bed, even if it’s just a 10 second prayer, there’s something so special about intentionally starting and ending your day with God.

Girl Got Faith have a clear target audience, why do you think it’s so important to disciple young women?

I think God has such a unique and beautiful purpose for women and I believe a woman’s heart is soooooooo precious to God. It’s so important, especially in this ‘online’ age where mental health issues seem to be taking a hold on the next generation like never before, that we protect the hearts and minds of young women. That we take time to teach and nurture and love them, and constantly remind them of their value in the sight of God. They are way too precious to be lost so I’m not going to give up on a single one of them without knowing I’ve done my best to point them to a God who loves them endlessly and has purpose for their wonderful lives!

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Please check out Emma’s amazing website Girl Got Faith. You can see on there that she has developed a programme for young women that she is delivering in schools and I am so happy that she came into the school where I work to talk to the girls, who absolutely loved it. They took part in practical, fun activities based on identity, what beauty looks like and social media. I highly recommend her to you if you work in a school or college. The girls need to hear this stuff!

Girl Got Faith has won two awards this year and you can listen to Emma being interviewed about it on Premier Digital here.

Girl Got Faith won the Premier Digital awards for: ‘Up and Coming’ and ‘Multi Author Blog’ of the year. I have the great privilege of being one of those authors and it’s a great source of joy to be involved with this amazing project knowing that young lives are being impacted by the words they read.

Emma also launched a Girl Got Faith Youtube channel at the start of May and you can watch yours truly here talking about one of my favourite subjects-Joy in the coming months.

If you would like to win a beautiful Girl Got Faith bracelet, please leave a comment and I will draw names out of the proverbial hat to find a winner. There are two available and I am happy to ship internationally. The giveaway will end on Saturday 2nd September 2017 at 12.00am.

GIVEAWAY GGF

There are 10 inspiring ladies in this series so if you have missed one you can link to it from here:

Wendy Mann

Helen Calder

Hazel Flood

Claire Smart

Emma Bourquaye

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