(Photo courtesy of Zondervan Books)
The Heart of Hustling
An Interview with Jess Connolly
By Sarah Komisky
Jess Connolly is a born leader. As a businesswoman, coach, writer, speaker, and pastor’s wife, Jess enjoys being a modern mama. In the age of “Girl Boss” and “Hustling,” she knows the value of hard work to achieve her dreams. But Connolly isn’t afraid to tell others where her help comes from – God. Instead of throwing out the baby with the bathwater, Connolly reminds women to form a new motivation of hustle grounded in God’s capacity and our willingness to say yes to the call. Having been a part of launching several ministries and businesses such as She Reads Truth, All Things Collective, and Go + Tell Gals, Connolly now shares what she has learned in her latest book, “You Are the Girl For The Job: Daring to Believe the God Who Calls You” out September 24th. In anticipation of her new book, Connolly stopped by Marked Ministry to chat as we talked past and present, shared stories, dialogued about the Word of God, hustling, and why you are the girl (or guy) for the job!
Sarah: You have summed up your past this way: “When I was 15, you would have voted me least likely to succeed and definitely least likely to grow up and talk about God.” Now, you’re a leader and a speaker that has devoted your life to the cause of Christ. Share a little bit with us how you got to that place?
Jess: Woosh! I could talk about that for hours. I also feel like it’s all of our stories in some way. But the short story for me is that I had a moment when I was 15 where I looked at Jesus and thought: I want whatever you’re offering. This next day I opened my Bible (that was a little dusty) and the words felt like they were jumping off the page at me. I kept reading, the wisdom in it led me into community and then to run on mission. I keep reading it and it keeps spurring me on to tell everybody about Jesus, the Guy who wanted me when I was voted least likely to succeed. I keep telling them how He’s making my life mean something and I’m grateful I get to keep doing that.
Sarah: In our new issue, we are looking back on culture in comparison to today. I know your heart is for women and also for God and His Word. How can we find guidance and equipping when we study women in Bible and their roles in connection to our roles as women today?
Jess: So much of the Bible needs to be read in context, but one thing hasn’t changed from generation to generation. God has continued to communicate with women, to utilize them in His grand rescue scheme for His children. He’s continued to give them gifts, to speak value and worth over them, to call them ambassadors and co-heirs and daughters. I think how we use what we’ve been given to speak life and hope and healing over our generation has a lot to do with what the people around us need. God doesn’t change His position on the worth of women as culture changes, but I do think the ways He utilizes us shifts based on the needs and temperature of our various cultures.
Moses’ sister played a massive leadership role in his rescue and thus in the rescue of the Israelites – but it was covert because her culture didn’t expect her to be a threat, which is why they were only killing male babies instead of female babies. Mary Magdalene utilized the financial privilege she had access to in an effort to support Jesus’ ministry and God used her faithful service to place her in the exact right space to be the first human to see the resurrected Jesus.
Let’s look at God, how He loves and lets women work in His kingdom, and then ask what exactly it is that our world needs today.
Sarah: In 2014 Sophia Amoruso coined the phrase “Girl Boss” that caught on like wildfire on social media. The term was defined as a way to have big dreams and work hard to achieve them. “Hustle” has been the message we as women have been given, yet, we are also battling burnout and anxiety like crazy. In your new book, you elevate God’s power and capacity over our hustle. Why do you think women need to know this message?
Jess: I think we’re doing a lot of women a disservice by making them feel like they’re less than when they get tired or discouraged. We all get tired and discouraged! We all make mistakes and run out of steam. It’s then that we need the power of God, the grace of God, and the wisdom and insight the Holy Spirit gives.
I say hustle and work hard at what God has given you to do! But know it’s His capacity that gives you what you need so then you’ll easily remember it’s His name that will get all the glory.
Sarah: God has given us a calling in life. Yet, many of us don’t have vision or know what our giftings are. How can we get to know what that is?
Jess: The great news is, God LOVES to give His kids wisdom. I think we can figure out what our particular giftings are in a few different ways.
- Look at what people often come to you for. Do they come for advice or asking you to help serve? Do they ask you to lead worship or help them flesh out their ideas?
- What do you ENJOY doing? So many of us think that our gifts should be unbearable and hard to use, but when we’re serving God – joy often comes.
- Phone a friend! If you’re still having a hard time figuring out what God’s equipped you with, ask a friend to help you examine where the fruit is in your life.
Sarah: In your book, you share about how God’s capacity and our willingness go hand in hand. Talk about a time that you overcame insecurity or fear to get the job done that God was calling you to?
Jess: Honestly – writing this book was one of those times! I was in a season of breakdown and pain that left me feeling incapable to get out of bed, much less write a book. But my desire to see God’s name go forth kept me pressing in. Do I still feel insecure? Yes! Do I still feel fear? Sure! But using what I’ve got for the good of others and the glory of God pushes me to keep going.
Sarah: In closing, if you could share with any female reading this interview why they are the girl for the job, what would you say and why?
Jess: Being the girl for the job is all about believing that God has placed you where you’re at, on purpose, for the good of others and the glory of God. Everyone is going to have moments where they absolutely don’t feel equipped or capable for the task at hand – but to doubt that you’re the girl for the job is to doubt God’s ability and promise to show up where and when we need Him the most.
He’s good! He’s loving! He’s kind! And He will not place you where you’re at and then leave you high and dry. You’re the girl for the job because He’s mighty within in you – and that is very good news.