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The Evolution

Jeanette Hickman: Unashamed to Use Her Talents for Christ

 
Photographer: Kayla Mendez, @kaylammendez on instagram. 

Photographer: Kayla Mendez, @kaylammendez on instagram. 

How amazing is it to be a woman who knows her purpose and is unafraid to boldly walk along her predestined path!

Jeanette Hickman certainly exemplifies the characteristics of a woman unapologetically fulfilling her purpose. Through her gift of poetry, she aims to point others to the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

In such a transparent interview about her life journey thus far, she candidly shares her struggles and inspires others through her words of wisdom.

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What experiences from your childhood, negative and positive, shaped you into the woman you are today?

I grew up both in the world and in the church. I struggled to find balance between public school and youth group, athletics and church. I met some of the most passionate people I’ve ever known, and crossed paths with some of the most destructive individuals. I constantly had to choose my own path, and it was hard. High school highlights the best and the worst of us, and I walked away battling between the two. One of the things that stuck with me was a heavy hit on how I viewed myself: what was my worth and what did I have to offer? I still struggle to find balance. I still struggle to recognize the truths of who I am, of who my God says I am. That’s become my personal platform and my reason for performing: to instill that esteem in those who may be listening.

When did you know you had a passion for poetry? Tell us about that experience.

Photographer: Kayla Mendez, @kaylammendez on instagram. 

Photographer: Kayla Mendez, @kaylammendez on instagram. 

My favorite part of my spoken word journey is the beginning. The moment that I stepped inside of a coffee shop to attend an open mic for the very first time and fell in love. The very first place I ever performed a poem was the same show that I eventually took on as showrunner and host. Now as a newbie performer, the journey began as a place for me to shine. It was all about how I felt in the spotlight, how I was praised for my words; a way to fill a void and feel a momentary sense of self-worth.

It was only when I started praying over my pieces and seeking a message that my Creator wanted me to create and illustrate, that I began to truly love my craft. It was then that audience members, friends, and strangers would approach me and share how those words had gone on to impact them. I knew I had a passion for poetry when I allowed myself to be an open vessel for His words to flow through me.

What are some obstacles you've faced while trying to accomplish your goals?

I’ve often struggled with what the world has to say about the definition of success. The feelings of inadequacy get overwhelming when I dwell on how I usually don’t meet society’s standards. Is my name in lights? Am I making lots of money? Do I have enough social media attention? “Like me, like me! Subscribe. Click like. Like me!” It’s all a game, and I choose to redefine the dysfunctional design of what success means to me.

On the opposite spectrum, I’ve also had the obstacle of pride. It is often a sneaky tricky creature that wreaks havoc when left unchecked. I have a responsibility, as a Christian poet, to always make sure my message aligns with the Word. I want my life to always be an arrow pointing to the truth, and sometimes that is a struggle when everyone is clapping for you. When the noise and praise distract me I end up writing for that reaction from the audience, instead of as an avenue for audience and Author to meet.

What are your current and future goals as far as your art? What are your current and future goals in general?

FURTHER. AMPLIFY. ARTICULATE. IMPACT.

Those are the words that spur me on and push me forward.

My goal is to write as often as I can and to always be ready to share a word when I am called, whether that’s for five people or five hundred; to connect with other artists and collaborate in every medium of creativity. You reading this now, connect with me! Let’s create something together! I strive to put together content that can be shared and seen. I would love to travel to colleges, conferences, and churches. I am always open to new opportunities and it’s always a blessing when a new door opens.

Photographer: Kayla Mendez, @kaylammendez on instagram. 

Photographer: Kayla Mendez, @kaylammendez on instagram. 

I want to see my spoken words wander past my small pocket of the world and further into the lives of those who need it most. I want to widen my arsenal of pieces by writing, memorizing, perfecting, and amplifying. I want to articulate the ideas that my Creator gifts me into powerful pieces He can use for His Glory. I want to be an artist that impacts and I want to leave a legacy that will last.

What words of encouragement would you like to give our readers?

You are so much. You are wild and worthy and wonderful. There is a specialness that resides inside of you that sings to the souls of others and you have the ability to connect and impact and uplift. Do that. Do not douse the fire of what you think you have to offer others. Do not turn your back on yourself. You are radiant. You are loved. You are innately and intrinsically worth so much and no matter what you do, no matter what you fail, no matter how far you fall, no matter where your faith or your family or your future takes you, this much is true. There is a God who desperately, wholeheartedly, overwhelmingly loves you.


Want more of Jeanette? Check out her Instagram @Jeanettehickmansays

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