This week, we are interviewing one of our own! Ladies, meet Ally Spotts. She’s a writer, blogger and member of the 4word Portland group. Last week, Ally took time out of her writing schedule to talk to us about where she is in her faith journey right now.
4word: In the “about me” section of your blog, you say, “what feels like a crisis is almost always an opportunity to step out in faith and do something courageous.” Is there a story behind that statement?
Ally: There definitely is. About two years ago, a friend of mine asked me, “What would you do with your life if you didn’t have to worry about money?” I said that I would drive across the country, visit all 50 states and write a book about it. Fast-forward one year. I was at a wedding with my friend Sharaya, and we were both a bit down, wondering, “All of our friends are getting married. What are we going to do with our lives?” I told her about my book idea, and she said we should do it together.
In that next year, doors kept opening. Sharaya is a musician, and she was beginning to launch her career. She recorded an album and began booking shows across the country. Most of the credit for the trip goes to her. I was the more practical one, while she kept telling me, “Ally, this can totally happen.” So we moved out of our apartments, sold everything we owned and started our trip. That’s why I decided to title the book Packing Light. It asks the question: what happens when you give up everything to go after what you want?
What I learned was that comfort doesn’t require you to do anything. You’re comfy, so you just stay. Being in a quarter-life crisis puts us in a place of discomfort, so we have to get up and do something. I think that’s a good thing for us 20-somethings.
4word: Very true. So, other than circumstances like a quarter-life crisis, are there certain people in your life who inspire and challenge you to grow in your faith?
Ally: The primary person is my sister. We are more different than you can imagine, so we haven’t always been friends. In the last four years, we started gaining an appreciation for one another. I used to joke, “I would never be friends with you if you weren’t my sister, but I’m glad you are.” But now I think that we would be friends even if we weren’t related.
I have realized how much you gain from being around people different from you. The deepness that happens when you let yourself grow from that has been very rewarding. My sister always points me toward the Lord. I call her a professional question asker; it’s one of the things she does really well. She’s very compassionate. She just listens, asks great questions, and then listens to your response. You know the verse, Romans 2:4, that says God’s kindness leads us to repentance? I feel that describes her.
4word: What a compliment! What about your church community? Have you found ministries or programs at your local church that meet your needs as a young career woman? If not, what would you like to see happen?
Ally: I think that women, especially career women, don’t need programs because we are relationship minded. What we need is a place to connect with people who share our interests or are in similar situation. Once we have that, we run with it.
One way I think churches miss the mark is that they create ministries and programs that distract us from relationships. We just fill our schedules with programs, retreats, and so on. None of these are bad things, but what we really need is to know who the other women are who share our common interests. We are so good at knowing how to connect with one another. All we need is that initial information, that initial contact, and we can take it from there.
That’s actually what I love about 4word. It provides something that’s difficult to find in the church. I walk into my church, and I see young moms and young wives, but it’s hard to find other young, professional women.
Want to hear more from Ally? Visit her blog at AllySpotts.com, where you can read more about Packing Light. Or you can follow her on Twitter: @AllySpotts. We also recommend that you check out Sharaya’s music at SharayaMikael.com. Her EP, “Rush,” is currently on iTunes and Pandora.
Finally, we at 4word believe that life is just better if you have a group of professional, female friends to share it with. For more on that, check out Chapter 14 of Work, Love, Pray: “A Little Help from Your Friends.” If you’re interested in joining a 4word group in your city (or perhaps starting one!), visit our “Cities” page for more information.