We continue our series on understanding your purpose with an interview with Tona Haywood of Called to Edify Boutique.
What does finding your life’s purpose mean to you?
I think to me it means that I am now walking in the purpose that the Lord had predestined for me before I was born. I feel as though I am using the gifts that He gave me for His glory.
Tell us how you ‘discovered’ your purpose
The Lord guided me to my purpose when I was a child. It actually has two parts and the only reason why I am choosing to share it because I want people to see that God reveals your purpose at different times and through different ways.
As a child, I always wanted to be a teacher but along the way being surrounded by people in the medical profession I changed my mind and wanted to be a doctor. I majored in Biology and received my degree and started studying for the MCAT. I didn’t perform that great the first time around and as I started reflecting on some things, I realized I really didn’t want to be a doctor after all.
Through a year of trial and error and listening to the Lord, He brought someone in my life that encouraged me to go into teaching. So I did! It wasn’t too farfetched because I use to play teacher to my younger cousins and then later my younger brothers and sisters all the time. I was a so-called natural. I was certified and received a Master’s Degree in Education. I taught Biology for about 14-15 years and started feeling an itch for something more.
The something more was technology in a nutshell. I was drawn to it and I knew the Lord could use me but I needed Him to show me how. Well, my husband and I have a company building websites, mobile apps, and progressive web apps and I decided to come out of teaching and assist with the business. I educate people on the benefits of using technology to grow their business and we also have an online boutique where I design Christian apparel, totes, and hats. The store is Called to Edify Boutique. So I do both and it combines both my passion for educating and creating.
Describe the day to day activities of your purpose journey
I wake up and work from home managing the social media of our store, sending emails, creating new designs. I also work with my husband on strategizing for the continued marketing of our Mobile Apps and Web Design Company and making calls to all our potential clients. We also work together on products we would like to offer in the future.
Were there any major hurdles you had to overcome to understand more about your purpose?
I think not seeing result quickly and not being patient in the process. Being able to step out on faith and not really knowing what the outcome will be.
How does success by the standards of the world differ from success at purpose?
Success of the world is about the things you can show others that you have obtained success. I believe on the other hand success with purpose you may not have the things but you know you are being obedient to the call God has on your life and that is all that matters.
Three words that describe your purpose journey are?
1. Long- took long to get here
2. Difficult- because sometimes I knew the Lord wanted me somewhere else but I didn’t know where or when so I just had to wait.
3. Fulfilling- No matter how long or difficult the journey it has been worth it and very fulfilling because the Lord has been with us through it all.
What excites you the most about your purpose?
To see people relating to my products, purchasing, wearing, and enjoying the items and sharing their experience with other people.
Why do you believe it is important to walk in obedience to your purpose?
Because if we love God we are to obey his commands and by walking in our purpose that is where we feel the most satisfied and fulfilled.
What would you say to someone who wonders if God can use what they like for his purpose?
I would say that he can use it they just have to be open to the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
How would you advise someone to go about finding their purpose?
Look into what they would do if they didn’t get paid. Ask people what they feel you are good at, seek the Lord daily and he will direct your path and give you the wisdom you need to fulfill His plan for your life. Also the biggest thing is stop stressing about let the Lord lead the way.
About Tona Haywood
She’s Smart, Fun loving, down-to-earth kinda gal!