Jessica Skipper is a Mississippi native and current New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary student. Jessica studied Elementary Education at Mississippi University for Women “because I love kids” for 2 years before experiencing a slight shift in her life’s mission. “I got this burden on my heart for kids in poverty,” she says. “And I felt God calling me to ministry.” So in the fall of 2016 Jessica began her first semester of seminary and is now studying – Children’s Ministry with a concentration in Psychology and Counseling.
What does it mean to you to be a black girl with purpose?
For me, it means everything. In the media, that’s not something you see. Growing up, a lot of people would put this stereotype on me to be a certain way. I was always the really quiet girl, really sassy girl and I was just in the middle. That made it hard for me but I realized how [God] made me was specific to my purpose and now I love showing younger black girls – [they] have purpose too.
How [God] made me was specific to my purpose.
When did you feel like you realized your purpose?
I started serving at a summer camp for girls the summer after my senior year and felt the call to ministry then. The year 2015 is when the Lord showed me I was called to help kids who were in underprivileged communities.
I grew up in a single parent household and attended a church where we didn’t have the resources for Vacation Bible School or summer camp. [This experience] really gave me a heart for [underprivileged kids]. I want them to have what I didn’t have.
What is the hardest part about walking in your purpose?
Feeling inadequate and saying “I’m not like she is, or I don’t have the personality she has.” Especially coming to seminary and seeing people who have the heart but also have the experience. But I’ve come to realize it’s not about what you can or can’t do, it’s about [God’s] power [working in you].
What would you say to someone who doesn’t know where to start to find their purpose?
Start with seeking the Lord for wisdom. I prayed this prayer too “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” Pay attention to what your passions are – mine has always been kids. Then when I asked God what about kids do you want me to help and He showed me “kids who are hurting.”
“Break my heart for what breaks yours.”
I’d also say, don’t get discouraged by it. It may not be what someone else’s looks like but you definitely have purpose.
What’s your go to scripture when you find yourself lacking direction or needing some type of motivation?
I have two.
Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 – It helps me stay calm for sure and it reminds me God is sovereign and I am not.Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10 Click To Tweet
Philippians 1:6 – being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. That one helps with the feeling of inadequacy and reminds me God’s going to use me. I’ll keep growing as long as I make myself available [to what He’s doing].
What do you do when you need to get back to the basics?
I love to journal so I’ll get away and clear my mind. I also ask the Lord to remove my desires out of my mind. I have to say “remove me completely and let me do what you want.” Then once I write the plans down, I dedicate it back to Him.
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our audience?
Keep hanging on – you’re going to have resistance and opposition but don’t take that as a sign that you’re not on the right path. All these things can be thrown at you from so many directions. It’s hard but know that if God called you to do this – He’s going to bring you through it and show Himself faithful.
Know a Black Girl with Purpose?” Mention them in our comments section here on the blog or over on Instagram. Want to connect with Jessica be sure to follow her @heygorjess_ and check out her blog “Adventures with Jess.”
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