Shanna Noel is the owner of Illustrated Faith and encourages thousands of people to grow closer to God by focusing on his word through Bible Journaling. It has been such an inspiration to us. Her story of how God brought her to this point is awesome.
Be encouraged to listen to what God is putting on your heart as you read from Shanna how it all began!
1. How did you even start Bible Journaling?
Since I became a Christian, I have always struggled reading my Bible. One day, while browsing Pinterest, I saw an old standard Bible that was highlighted and underlined, it just looked LIVED in. I WANTED that. I was HUNGRY for the word. I just wasn’t sure how to get there. So I went on Amazon and picked up a “journaling Bible.” When I got it in the mail, I brought it over to my scrapbooking space and started journaling in the way I was comfortable, with was more of an “art journal” style. I took the notes from that Sunday’s sermon and just allowed myself creative freedom. It was a HUGE light bulb moment. For the first time, I understood the word like NEVER before. For the first time, I was left HUNGRY for more!
2. Why did you start Illustrated Faith?
Illustrated Faith started after a conference called “Influence” and so many people came up to me and asked if I was doing “this” full time. I was confused, doing what? Coloring in my Bible? :O) I felt God calling me during that conference to start this full time as a way to grow the community even more.
3. What is your prayer for Illustrated Faith?
My prayer for Illustrated Faith is to be community for creative Christians. A place where they can come, share and be inspired to illustrate their faith in a way that is meaningful to their relationship and walk with God.
4. How has the response to Illustrated Faith demonstrated God’s handiwork?
It is 100% due to God’s handiwork. If you would have told me 2 years ago that I would be traveling the world telling people it was ok to worship God in a way that was outside of the box and sharing my testimony, I would have just laughed. That is how I know this is all God. He has set every single stone to this path and I pray that I follow it as best as I can.
5. What has been one or two of your biggest “ah ha!” moments since you began Bible Journaling?
The biggest “ah ha” moment was
YES! It is OK to not only color in your Bible but it will make A HUGE difference not only in MY walk but those who join along side me.
It has been amazing to see this same “AH HA” moment for so many as they discover Illustrated Faith for the first time.
The second “ah ha” moment was leaving the Influence conference in 2014, knowing that God was telling me to close my other business and focus on this full time. It was a huge leap of faith but one I know he is completely in control of. I love that through this we can bring culturally relevant products to the market that can make illustrating your faith approachable!
6. What advice would you tell someone who doesn’t want to mess up or doesn’t believe that she has the artistic talent to illustrate her faith?
The only thing I regret is not starting sooner! I have messed up several times but you can always fix that or cover it up. The truth is WE ARE ALL CREATIVE! God is the ultimate creator and we are made from HIM! Therefore, YOU are creative. So many times we have decided “I am not creative.” That is for my best friend or my husband. “He” is the creative one, not me. That is a lie my friends. You have it in you! Allow God to use it.
7. You have several workshops going on right now. What can one expect, if they attend?
During the workshop, I share my personal testimony on how we got to this point today, the way God has used me to share this with others. We also cover some FAQs and answer any questions. Then we listen to a short 15 minute sermon and after that we talk about how we are going to enter that into the margins of our Bible. During work time, I walk around and answer any questions, hear beautiful stories of how God is working in the lives of those attending and just OOOH and AWEEEE over the beautiful pages. At the end (my favorite part), the ladies share what God has done on their hearts through this experience as they share their pages. I am always left feeling just in awe of what God does in these workshops and if you are in the area I would love to see you!
8. How would you respond to someone that says your work is disrespecting God’s word?
I would encourage them to look closer. There isn’t one bit that is disrespectful. This is my love letter to God, one that I am constantly writing, praying and creating over. This has me deeper in the word and closer to Him than I have ever been before. I don’t think God is upset about that. :0)
9. Would you mind sharing a few of your favorite Bible journaling pieces & share what they mean to you?
To be honest, my favorite page is always the last one I have created. It is what God is currently whispering on my heart. To stay up to date on my latest entries, make sure to follow me on Instagram at @shannanoel.
Doesn’t this just motivate you to open up your Bible and dig into God’s word in a new way?
Do you Bible Journal already or are you finally ready to take the leap?