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Shana Van Namen is an i195 graduate and bright light in the local San Diego marketplace. Read her interview here:
TQ: How did you come to find Jesus?
Shana: I was very blessed to have grown up in a Christian home. I knew the Lord at a very young age but my upbringing was very legalistic and conservative. Instead of relationship, I had religion. It wasn't until college that I truly got to know the Lord as my personal Savior. At that time I knew there was an emptiness and I was seeking something to fill the void. My freshman year I tried to fill it with drinking and dating, but that only ended in heartache. Then the Lord graciously introduced me to a professor who became my mentor for the next 3 years. She challenged and encouraged me to grow in the Lord. I started going to church regularly and also attended a bible study and then I started attending 2 bible studies and I developed a hunger… for Him! The Bible came alive to me and He drew me into a love relationship with Him through His word and the friendships I was blessed with along the journey.
TQ: What do you do to make a living?
Shana: I recently took over a business that I was a partner in. It is an independent representative group. We represent furniture and fabric manufacturers for the contract, hospitality, and healthcare markets. So I basically develop relationships with interior designers and architects and get them familiar with the products I represent.
TQ: What have been the joys of sharing Him in the marketplace?
Shana: I’ll tell you honestly, for a long time I didn’t openly share my faith in the marketplace. It is sort of a taboo topic in my industry and I was afraid of offending someone and potentially losing clients. I hoped that if I was a good person people would maybe see something different in me and perhaps ask me questions and a door would open that way. Then I came to Impact :) Since then I have really been stretched and challenged - I believe that the Lord has put a burden on my heart to be a light in my workplace and step into boldness with my faith! Yes, I get occasional pushback but more often people are very receptive. I have had several people approach me in times of need and simply ask for prayer, knowing I'm a Christian. It has blown me away to see what happens when I put my day in His hands and trust Him to be working in my client's hearts. It has been a blessing to serve them in those moments.
TQ: What is your favorite part about giving to support the kingdom?
Shana: You know, I’ve had a whole shift in my mentality on giving this past year. It's not an obligation. It's not just about a 10% tithe. It’s really about investing in the Kingdom and storing up treasure in heaven! It’s an amazing opportunity to do something eternally significant with a temporary thing – cash flow. There’s really a heart issue behind it. Much of my giving goes towards missions, which I have always had a heart for. I’ve often wished that I could be the "hands and feet" that are out in the field laboring for His kingdom. If I'm not called to be that person right now, knowing that I’m enabling other people to be out there by investing in their efforts, ultimately the Kingdom efforts, I get to help spread the hope of Jesus around the world! So for now, I will continue to labor and have a generous heart in the field I have been given - the marketplace.
TQ: If you could leave our readers with any nuggets of wisdom from your life experience, what would it be?
I would encourage everyone to be bold and to be light wherever He calls you to be. The world around us desperately needs it! He gives us opportunities each day to show love to the people in our sphere of influence. Whether it's clients, neighbors, family, a waitress, or someone you simply walk past on the street - they need His love. We can be confident to step out of our comfort zone because we do it not in our own strength or for our own glory, but as a response to the love that He lavishes upon us. Then watch and see what He does with our obedience!