Staying True to Yourself & Your Relationship with GodTiffany believes that by keeping God at the center of your life will give you a clear vision of your future. She’s applied this not only in her life but also in friendships as well.
Raised in Mexico City and the middle child of three to Missionary parents, Tiffany Rogers has had a pretty unique upbringing. With her passion for writing, she found herself sharing her stories and experiences on her Christian lifestyle blog. The most important story she shares is how staying true to her faith, including her faith in God, has caused uproar and waves of friendships that have come and gone. Tiffany believes that by keeping God at the center of your life will give you a clear vision of your future. She’s applied this not only in her life but also in friendships as well.
WC: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Tiffany: My name is Tiffany Rogers and I started a blog about five years ago. Then I started sharing those blog posts on my social media about three years ago. I actually work as a server on the side, but when I’m not working as a server, I’m writing. I share things that the Lord has placed on my heart. A lot of my ministry is about sharing my personal experiences and situations that I’m going through, but it is also how the Lord is working through me. That’s kind of what I do now and how I was able to grow my platform.
WC: What made you want to start a Christian lifestyle blog?
Tiffany: I read a book called “Good or God,” by John Bevere. When I read it, the Holy Spirit challenged me to really look into what it would take to grow a platform. Not just to have more numbers, but he opened my eyes to realize that if I’m not doing my part to share what the Lord has placed on my heart to share, then I would be in disobedience.
I actually grew up as a missionary. My parents are currently missionaries in Mexico City, and that’s where I grew up. I was born in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and that’s where I live now. I grew up in Mexico, so I am very familiar with the Mexican and Hispanic culture. I speak fluent Spanish and I never thought that I would be doing ministry at all. I didn’t feel like that’s what I was called to do, but it’s funny how the Lord works and changes your heart and your desires to be more like His desires. He gave me a heart, a desire, a passion and a gift for writing. As I surrendered that to Him, He is using it now to minister to people online and it’s not something I ever thought that I would be doing, but here we are.
WC: You mentioned that you grew up in Mexico. When did you move to the States?
Tiffany: I was three years old when we moved from the United States to Mexico and I moved back to Oklahoma when I was 18 years old to start college.
WC: That’s a big change. Were you scared of being so far away from your family?
Tiffany: Yeah, it was definitely a culture shock to say the least. I had visited the States during the summers, but for the first time I was on my own. And I wasn’t on my own in a new town or state, I was in a whole new country.
WC: When did you start your Christian lifestyle blog?
Tiffany: Technically it didn’t start out as a Christian lifestyle blog. In the summer of 2013, I was working as an intern at a church in Michigan. I was a journalism major and wanted a way to continue practicing my writing and to grow in that field. I decided to start a blog, but the whole blogging world was a totally new thing at the time.
At first, it was a creative outlet to continue working on my writing while getting to explore a creative expression. It started off as a lifestyle blog where I would post updates of my life, fashion and home décor–stuff like that. As I continued honing in the craft of writing, I discovered how genuinely easy it was for me to write about things that were pretty personal and vulnerable. That surprised me, but I went with it. Gradually, it became a place where I shared my heart about things that I was going through. About three years ago is what I like to call my real “Jesus moment.” I grew up as a believer in a Christian home and went to a Christian college, but it wasn’t until three years ago that I felt like I met Jesus for the first time.
After that point was when I really started writing about what the Lord was doing in my life. That’s when He started giving me ideas of topics for blog posts that would help me to ultimately help lead people hopefully closer to Him.
WC: What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from your blog?
Tiffany: My hope and prayer is that people will be encouraged and challenged to live with Jesus on the throne of their hearts. I know what it’s like to put other desires on the throne of our hearts to make those things our King. I know how devastating and unfulfilling that is. My goal is to encourage people with everything I say, everything I post and everything I write. Ultimately, I want that to point them towards Jesus being on the throne of their hearts.
WC: Did you ever have trouble making new friends because of your faith or because you’ve been so open about your beliefs?
Tiffany: I went through a season about three years ago, kind of when everything hit the sand for me, and I turned my life around for the Lord. I really did go through a season of dryness in friendship. It was because I knew that the Lord was separating me from something, for something. At the time, it was really hard. I felt abandoned, rejected and betrayed by people who I thought I was close to. I remember crying out to the Lord and feeling so sad that these friendships that I valued were not in my life anymore. I felt responsible and guilty. The Lord reminded me that He was separating me on purpose. He needed to separate me from my old ways and obviously, with time, I came to realize it was because He was preparing me for something greater.
WC: Why did you feel like that?
Tiffany: I think it was because I was talking about things on my blog that a lot of people did not agree with. I offended a lot of people and that really hurt because I care deeply about how people feel. I never thought that I’d be the type of people to make waves, especially with something that I wrote and felt in my heart to share. But the Lord taught me a lot in that season and I’m thankful for it now. I definitely have had to set friendships aside for what I felt the Lord was calling me into and at the end of the day, it’s always been worth it.
WC: What type of topics did you write about?
Tiffany: It’s a tale as old as time…I shared my opinion about the upcoming election and one particular blog post went viral. I could never have expected that so many people would react so strongly to what I said and at the time. I was pretty politically apathetic and still honestly kind of am. There are a lot of things that I learned from that experience, but I don’t think that I would have done anything differently because I know that it was the right thing for me to do.
WC: Most people don’t share their political opinions online because they expect an attack from either side of the political parties, but you stayed true to your beliefs and were very vocal about them.
Tiffany: It’s really scary, I had people messaging me from all over the world. I received the meanest messages you could imagine, but I wrote what I felt was true in my heart and I have stood by them to this day. It was honestly a pivotal life-changing moment in my life, but one of the things that it did in relation to my career as a writer was that it made me realize that people will listen to what I have to say. Not because I’m so special or because I’m so great, but because people care about people who have an opinion and they want to listen. They are encouraged by others who aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in.
WC: On the other side of that though, did you receive any positive feedback?
Tiffany: Yes, I did! I received more positive than negative feedback and the best comments I received were like, “I don’t agree with what you’re saying, but I appreciate that you are taking a stand and being honest.”
WC: How did you handle those tough situations with friends while you went through this?
Tiffany: After the initial wave of comments started, I posted a status where I basically defended myself, but then I also extended an invitation to anyone who disagreed to reach out. I said, “I will not turn you down if you have a genuine question or concern for me and you want to talk about it in a very humane and mutual way. I am more than happy to talk to you and go into a discussion about this. I’m not going to be so one-sided that I’m not willing to hear your thoughts and opinions.”
I received a good amount of responses from that. And with those who were willing to participate by showing kindness towards one another, we were able to have an honest, difficult, but ultimately respectful conversations about why each of us felt the way we did. Those conversations didn’t always end in us agreeing, but they did always end in a mutual respect and appreciation. One way for me to deal with that was welcoming people to talk to me who had a differing opinion, but who were obviously willing to talk in a respectful way. I’m not the type of person who is scared of confrontation, and I feel that confrontation is not a bad thing when you handle it in the correct way. If you’re going to talk to someone, be respectful and know that your end goal is not to get them to believe or agree with you, but it’s to understand each other better.
WC: Confrontation doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but people believe that confronting someone will lead to an argument. You don’t believe this and rather you confront issues with friends’ head on it seems.
Tiffany: I think it’s so much worse when you don’t confront someone. By shoving things under the rug, you let emotions hide and bitterness builds up. Then you blow up on each other instead of just talking it out.
WC: What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given when it comes to friendship?
Tiffany: A good piece of advice is that some friendships are seasonal and that’s okay. It’s okay that some friendships aren’t going to be forever friends, and it’s okay that some friendships come and go as the tides change in our lives, but that doesn’t mean we have to have a blow-up with someone for a friendship to end. I have found in the course of the past three years that the world has radically changed my heart as I’ve continuously grown in my relationship with Him. And yes, we go through things in life with people and that’s how God designed it, but sometimes those people change. As long as you’re following the Lord, as long as He is your end goal, and as long as the road that you’re calling on is chasing after Jesus, He’s going to bring the right people alongside you in every season of life. Some people are going to be there forever, and I do have those friendships that I know are there for life, but I’ve struggled with that in the past. I always have to be reminded that if I know I’m following the Lord, and if those relationships or friendships changed over time, then I don’t have to question whether I did anything wrong or whether I missed it or whatever. If I’m following after Jesus, then I trust that He’s going to bring the people alongside me who need to be there in those different seasons of life.
WC: You grew up in a religious family, but you said you had a moment in your life where you really began to find your relationship with God. Can you share that moment?
Tiffany: Yeah, I grew up in a Christian home. My parents are missionaries and much of my extended family are involved in ministry and have been believers for most of our lives. But what I called my “real Jesus moment” was about three years ago after a breakup. It was just the moment where I realized that my identity and love had been set on this person and on this idea of what the future would be with that person. When it came crashing down, I realized how much I was hitting rock bottom. When I was at the bottom, I looked up and realized the only thing that I can reach out to for help is the Lord. I know that He was reaching out to me to take my hand and to lift me up. That is when the Lord got a hold of me and my life.
I think it often takes us hitting rock bottom to truly come to a place where we know that Jesus is all we need. Our relationship and intimacy with Him is what He longs for with all of us. That’s what that moment was for me. I felt like I was trying desperately to hold onto control of every part of my life. I was trying to control how this relationship was going to go. I was trying to control where our future was headed. I was trying to control the timing of it all. It was just a matter of me believing that I could somehow have the control over every area of my life. I got to a breaking point–as we all do–when we try to control things beyond our control. So, I called out to God, “God, I can’t do this anymore. I can’t keep holding on to this the way that I want to.” I knew that the relationship needed to end, and I knew that I needed to turn my life around to really seek the Lord in a real way for the first time in my life.
WC: What made you feel that God was there for you in that moment?
Tiffany: I found that scripture in Psalm and it talks about how God is close to the brokenhearted. I hadn’t really been spending much time in the word or in prayer, if at all. I wasn’t sensing that God wasn’t close to me because I wasn’t searching for Him. It wasn’t until I finally turned to Him that I knew instinctively how close He really was to my heart. He pulled me through that season and has been with me ever since.
WC: What advice would you give to younger generations who are trying to, or who are struggling to, find their relationship with God?
Tiffany: My biggest piece of advice is to spend time in the word. I know that can be kind of a daunting or even an overly simplistic answer, but I know how much my life has changed from an honest dedicated amount of time spent in the word. When I met the Lord and felt Him calling back to me, one of the first things I did was I download a Bible reading plan online. I literally just Googled one, printed it off and I went hard in reading because I knew that my only source of comfort was reading the scriptures. I was desperate for His love and His care, and I was desperate for knowledge of Him and for more of Him. I knew that was founded by reading the word. It’s a matter of you wanting it enough to go out to find it. As I sought Him, I found Him and as I found Him, I wanted Him more. As I wanted Him more, I grew with my love and in my relationship and in my intimacy with Him. I know that, especially for a new believer, reading the Bible seems really heavy, but there are great resources out there. It doesn’t have to be heavy or overwhelming, it’s not always necessarily easy to read, but the word says that you have to come to Him as a child, and that’s how we enter the kingdom, right? So, if it’s easy enough for a child to understand, you can understand it too. The parts where you don’t understand, that’s where prayer enters in and we ask the Holy Spirit to help us.
Be sure to follow Tiffany on Facebook and Twitter @tiffanyrogersco and on Instagram @tiffanyrogersmex. Read more about Tiffany’s experiences on her blog tiffanyrogers.co.