Hey, I’m Jess and I love people. I’m crazy passionate about encouraging others and lifting others up.
There is something special about seeing people talk about what they’re passionate about. Their entire face lights up. They become more animated. They speak with their hands. They have a huge grin plastered across their face, ear to ear. THAT lights me up. And I love being able to cheer other’s on in their journey!
Day to day, I work as a digital and social media marketer, providing services such as setting up Facebook, Instagram and Google Ads to help promote small businesses online. But my biggest passion in life is sharing Jesus through my blog Smile Without Reason.
It began as an online diary, where I shared my time during work experience back in Year 10 with the Australian Women’s Weekly magazine. However, after that stint ended, I very quickly realised that my platform online could be used to combine my passion for Jesus, people and writing.
My mission with Smile Without Reason is that I strip away the ‘bible-bashing’ tendencies that some people believe Christians partake in. I want to share Jesus in a way that makes people feel like they can relate to and resonate with. Particularly, through everyday experiences that I have in which I see or feel Jesus.
That way, my hope is that people who don’t know Jesus yet may see glimpses of Him through similar situations, when they may never have considered it previously.
Personally, I have many friends and family members who do not know Jesus yet. It breaks my heart to think of Heaven without them one day.
And I truly believe He hasn’t returned yet, because He sees how many of His Sons and Daughters are yet to find Him. He looks at us believers saying:
“Heaven isn’t full; there is more room. You have work to do. Tell more of my Children about me.”
Sharing Jesus with others who don’t want a bar of it is one of the most challenging things to do. But I believe we are called to spread His love in the way that is most comfortable to us.
For me, that’s writing and sharing stories. I feel called to empathise and relate with others.
We are not called to Bible bash people with John 3:16 or other texts – because spoiler alert: non-believers don’t care about the Bible.
I know that’s a hard pill to swallow, but let it sink in.
We need to be the Bible to them, instead of showing them the Bible. We need to be the best reflection of Jesus we can be.
Why? Because we may be the only Bible some people ever read.
I haven’t always been this passionate about my faith, and to be honest, I can’t recall a specific moment where I met Jesus and my life changed forever.
In some ways I envy people who had that moment, but in most ways, I am so thankful of how He showed up time and time again in my life.
I honestly believe He was nudging at my heart over a series of moments, and now – I’m living completely unashamed and unapologetic in my faith and love for Him.
However, there was one significant moment in my life that later would be the game changer for me in terms of considering the power (and realness) of God.
That was back when I was five-years-old. My sister was only three. Our family were in the front yard; my parents weeding the garden. Meanwhile, my sister had hooked a hockey strap to the collar of our dog as a ‘leash’. We were playing around, having a great time. Until, the fun quickly turned to disaster.
A pair of people passed by on the footpath walking their dog. As soon as this had caught our dog’s attention, he began barking loudly and chased after them.
Failing to let go of the hockey strap she had attached, my sister stumbled over a metal garden rake that was lying face up on the grass. There was a loud scream before my parents raced over, realising she had been impaled just above her ankle.
The wound was deep, but there was no blood in sight. Mum and Dad called the ambulance, and all of a sudden, a fun afternoon had turned into an emergency – my sister laying on the front garden with a rake protruding from her lower leg.
I don’t remember too much, other than a whole lot of commotion and my neighbours comforting and distracting me from the sirens and flashing lights.
My sister was taken to the hospital, where she stayed for a few nights. I wish I could tell you that everything was okay after that point, but I would be lying. (I would also be missing what was about to be the most pivotal point in my faith).
The doctors at the hospital were looking after my sister, but we soon were given the news that something hadn’t gone right. They were meant to clean her wound with saline solution, but hydrogen peroxide was the accidental and fatal substitution.
As a result, she experienced an oxygen embolism, which is when small amounts of air are found within the blood circulation. The panic arose and my Mum was informed that my sister had stopped breathing.
A mixture of emotions flooded over her – from confusion and sadness, to anger and worry. I can’t begin to fathom what my parents were thinking or feeling at that point in time.
As they were waiting in the hallway, a nurse placed her hand on my Mum’s knee, with mascara running down her face. She explained the cardiac arrest that my sister had experienced just moments prior.
But praise God, her news didn’t stop there.
The nurse mentioned that, “something beyond us saved her.” And as my parents recall these memories to me, I still, to this day, get goosebumps thinking about how Jesus had to be in that emergency room that day.
I have no doubt about it.
It is because of Him that eighteen years later, my sister is here. She is a living miracle and I will always thank God for that.
While I didn’t fully comprehend the weight of this miracle at the time due to my age, now, in my mid-twenties, I can say that my sister is one-hundred percent the reason that I considered Jesus in the first place.
This experience didn’t change my life at the time, but the magnitude of what Jesus did in that moment changed the course of the rest of my life.
While it’s predominantly my sister’s testimony, I like to see it as mine also – because it’s shaped my faith journey.
Now, through my blog, I share stories and experiences like this to help others consider Jesus, too. Because I know that all it takes is a moment to nudge someone in the direction of God. And that’s all we are called to do. We aren’t asked to convert people – heck, we don’t have that power. We are just called to nudge them closer; to point them there. He does the rest.