3 years, 1 month & 50 posts later – allow me to re-introduce myself and my blog. My name is Jourdan Janae Johnson. Some people know me as Jaie, Jojo, Jojo-Pooh, Triple J, Saucy J, Boss Lady J, Mama J, Queen J, Instructor J and more. As much as I love all of the J’s in my name, I am verymuchso looking forward to the day that a man comes in and changes my last name. At that point, my nicknames can still be something cool like Double JP for example, but that’s off topic. Last year, I was more consistent with Somewhere Struggling than I have been since she was born back in January of 2016. I created this blog for a reason and I love sharing what is on my heart with you all. As this is my 50th blog post, it felt like the perfect time to tell you all a little bit more about who I am, what I believe, and the purpose of this blog.
Who is She?!
I am 24 years young, a sister, a mentor, a teacher, a Christian, an optimist, a friend, and an array of other things. I was born and raised in Detroit, MI, received my B.A in Psychology, and just recently graduated with my Master of Social Work back in December. I’ve wanted to be a therapist since the 8th grade, but now that I actually have the credentials, I feel that my life is taking a slightly different direction. I have a passion for encouraging and empowering others, but I’m realizing that there are so many ways I can serve that same purpose without being a therapist by profession. I think sometimes we get so caught up on trying to figure out what our purpose is in life, me included, but I’m beginning to believe it’s far more simple than we make it.
The truth is, I walk in my purpose most days. One of my strengths is that I’m able to see the good in others. A person may have many flaws and short-comings, but I tend to focus on what that person does well. I took a spiritual gifts test a few months back and it revealed that more than anything, I am a “mercy-shower”. I was surprised because I did not realize that was considered a spiritual gift, but I wasn’t too surprised at all because this has been me for a long time. In addition, one of my other strengths is seeing the good in every situation. I am a real optimist. I’m sure some of my friends have been annoyed with me at one point or another, because when they’re down, I’m always trying to be positive. I know, I know, sometimes we just need a minute to sulk lol my apologies.
But with regard to walking in purpose, I get to encourage people all of the time! If a person is feeling down because they messed up, I’m quick to remind them that we all mess up sometimes. Depending on where the person is spiritually, I might also remind them that God already forgave them. If a person is having a bad season, I’m quick to remind them that this season is temporary. I encourage them to find the lesson in this test. If a person is upset with someone else, I try to help them develop empathy and extend mercy to that other person. Anyone who knows me knows that if they talk to me about someone else, I’ll still put the focus back on them. We can only control what we do and how we react. We can’t control what anyone else does, but we can still try to understand why a person did what they did.
I love helping others. I desire to be a light in people’s lives. I get to do this every day in so many different ways. Whether I’m sending a friend some words of affirmation, writing a new blog post, dropping some wisdom on my social media, or being of assistance to my students and colleagues at work, I am walking in my purpose. I believe God made me strong so that I can be strong for others. He put the gift of mercy showing in me so that I can help others to forgive themselves without judging them. He created me as an empathetic person so that I can really understand and relate to people, and be compassionate, showing genuine concern. God made me an optimist and is currently strengthening my own faith so that I can keep the faith for people who struggle to believe for themselves. I am here to encourage and empower others. It is my prayer that people can see God through me and decide to get to know Him better for themselves. And even if their encounter with me does not have that effect, I pray that they are at least one step closer to true happiness.
Given that I am here to pour into others, it is so important that I keep myself full. We can’t pour from an empty cup. As I walk deeper and deeper into my calling, I also have to go deeper and deeper into Christ. As you’ll see from a few of my recent posts, my focus this year is drawing nearer to God. Seeking Him in all that I do. Keeping Him front and center with every decision. How can I serve others if my relationship with God is dry? How can I be strong for others if my own spirit is weak? Being there for others can be a lot sometimes, but that’s why I have to stay close to God. He will renew my strength continuously. We were never meant to carry all of our burdens plus the burdens of others on our own. We are to place it ALL in God’s hands.
In addition to wanting to encourage and empower others, I have a heart for young girls and women knowing their worth. I don’t have super strong opinions about too many things, but this is one of them. Girl – I need you to understand your value! I would write more on the topic, but I’m getting worked up just thinking about it. I have a heart for young men too, but I don’t believe that I can as effectively minister to men because I am not one. I feel that that ministry has been placed in the heart of a man somewhere nearby. We say there aren’t enough good men in this world, but how much effort is being put into showing them their worth or modeling what it means to be Godly men?? Men need mentoring, encouraging, and support too!!!! And I’m not saying those ministries and supports aren’t out there, but there could never be too many. When I do have the opportunity to get to know a great man with potential, believe me when I say I love speaking life into that potential and lifting them up too. I guess you can say I love people.
I am who I am today largely because of those who have been by my side throughout my journey thus far. God is my Best best-friend and I love having Him in my life. I owe Him everything. I also have a really amazing family and I’m often overwhelmed with gratefulness for the friends I have, too. I am blessed to have people in my life that teach, support, push, and inspire me.
The Birth of Somewhere Struggling
The name “Somewhere Struggling” began as a joke. Back when I was a social media addict, I would post about all of my struggles. My Snapchat followers have been with me through car trouble, getting lost on multiple occasions, missing the bus and being late to work, pulling all nighters and falling asleep in class, burning up food, being a poor college student with crackers and Vienna sausages for dinner, and so much more. Similarly, my Twitter followers have witnessed me vent angrily about all the different things I feel are stupid and unnecessary, about my struggles with singleness, and whatever else I use to vent about. Twitter has a location option, so on my profile, my location was Somewhere Struggling, because chances are – I was struggling somewhere in the world in that moment.
I still haven’t mastered being an adult and I don’t have this life all figured out. I try to take things one day, one situation at a time, but I am in the learning process, too. I’m not perfect and I am no expert, bible scholar, or anything like that. I make mistakes and get it wrong sometimes just like everyone else here. I actually see myself as pretty ordinary, but I’m getting better about recognizing my uniqueness. I love learning from others experiences and seeking wisdom from people who have already been where I am. In turn, I wanted to share what I’ve learned or am in the process of learning, in hopes that someone else may receive a bit of wisdom from me as well.
My Instagram and Facebook followers on the other hand would get the best of me with all of my paragraph captions full of my hearts deepest sentiments. I decided to start a blog where I could better express myself. See, we all face different tests and challenges, but those troubles do not have to define us and they do not have to control our lives. Somewhere Struggling with birthed out of a place of understanding that. I thought why not share some of my struggles and how I deal with them in hopes that someone else may be encouraged, too. As mentioned above, I am quite the optimist. I thought if I could be transparent about some of my different experiences and still try to keep the faith, maybe someone else can also try to have faith in their unique situations.
We are all different, with different backgrounds, trials, temperaments, and experiences, but the wisdom is still the same. Most of my posts are rooted in faith and scripture. Even if I don’t refer to a specific scripture, the wisdom is still the same. When I talk to people, I find myself doing this, too. Not everybody believes in Jesus and even for those who do, not everyone is in the same place spiritually. When I encounter different people, I speak with the same wisdom, but may present it differently. The last thing I want to do is come off too strong and push someone further from the gospel rather than bringing them closer. I like to share my experiences and testify about what works for me, but I’m not a believer in forcing my beliefs on people who do not want that. I like to meet people where they are and I think of myself and this blog as a sort of bridge between the world and the spirit. I’ll be a witness to the goodness of God, but it is up to the individual to go further and seek out these truths for themselves. With that in mind, it is my hope that when people read my posts, Christian or not, they are still able to take something away from them.
3 years, 1 month, and 50 posts later – Thank you to each of you for reading, commenting, following, reposting, and/or supporting in any way. Each view, each message, each like….it all matters. I know I was off to a slow start my first two years, but we’re in year 4 now and there is a fire in my heart that I’m excited about. You all can expect more for me this year. This is only the beginning. I don’t know where Somewhere Struggling is headed, but I know there is more to come.
God planted this seed in me so that I can plant seeds of encouragement in you. There would be no blog if there were no you. While writing does help to ease my mind, this blog isn’t for me. It’s for God to get the glory and for someone else to be uplifted and inspired. So again, thank you all so much. I am so grateful for each of you, each post, and for my Best best-friend giving me the words to share. Another 50 on the way!!
Catch you on the flip side,
P.s There is a lot more to me that I planned to share like the fact that I’m vegan and love to sing, but this post sort’ve wrote itself lol You’ll just have to stay tuned and learn about me through my upcoming posts (or go back and read the other 49 you haven’t read yet).