Born to blues legend father “Little Johnny” Christian and educator/devout servant of God mother Mary Christian-Jones, Jenny Marie Christian realized at an early age through the impact of her father’s music and her mother’s work that she wanted to make a difference in the lives of others.
Christian’s mission to serve others has taken on many forms through the years, including publishing inspirational books, creating initiatives to distribute feminine care and hygiene products to homeless women, and being a proud member of The Red Pump Project, an organization that promotes HIV/AIDS awareness.
Inspired by her own set of unfortunate personal events, including a health scare and financial troubles, Jenny never lost sight of her relationship with God and ultimately used the turbulent times to create a new platform to help others.
Now in its second season, her web series, Fill, Heal & Restore, was created to encourage people to always find hope in God regardless of the circumstances they may currently be going through.
N’DIGO recently sat down with Christian to learn more about her story and her fast growing web series.
N’DIGO: Tell us a little about your background and what you dreamt of being when you were a child.
Jenny Marie Christian: I’m from the West Side of Chicago. Born to a blues singer father and super Christian mother that was a teacher. My childhood dream was to actually in ways be like the both of them. I wanted to sing, but the way my voice is set up…that wasn’t the move (laughs)!
Still I’ve always dabbled in arts and entertainment in one way or another, from modeling to pageants to radio and even a bit of writing. It’s definitely where my heart was and still remains.
When did you realize that your father was a well-known and respected musician?
I think it started to click that people really appreciated my dad when I began going to blues festivals and when I was able to see him perform. I remember once after he performed a couple of songs at a local festival, he had them bring me to the stage. I was probably four years old.
He put the microphone up to my mouth and nothing came out. I mean absolutely nothing. I was so overwhelmed by the size of the crowd and their cheers that I was stuck. I think that’s when I first realized how serious his work, the fanfare, and blues scene, were back in the early 1980s and ’90s.
Growing up, what were some of the values instilled in you by your parents?
My mom is a true southern belle. So naturally, being a young lady at all times was/is important to instill in me, as well as loving God and making Him the priority of my life period, and also watching my words. As many people who know me personally can attest, sometimes I can be a bit harsh with my words. At one point I was downright reckless. My mom has always said, “power of the tongue,” but I was a smart-mouthed little girl, too!
What was the inspiration behind creating your web series, Fill, Heal & Restore?
There was a season or two in my life where everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I mean from layoffs, health issues, evictions, family health scares, heartbreaks, betrayals, etc. I felt alone, lost, useless and hopeless. I honestly didn’t want to be here anymore.
Then a friend started taking me to church. Slowly my faith started to increase and my state of mind began to improve. My strength to fight my way out was returning and I believe God downloaded the idea to create a blog called Fill, Heal & Restore to share my story from failure and frustration to fighting the fight of faith.
Soon after the launch of the blog, I was given the idea by God to turn the blog into a web series and have each episode feature another person’s testimony to show others that no matter what you go through or are going through, God can help you get through it.
Though it seems self-explanatory, can you break down the meaning of the series’ title?
I believe a lot of our struggles and trials are acts and attacks by the devil to keep us from reaching our full potential and purpose. The Bible specifically says in John 10:10 – “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
It’s a three-part agent to ensure we don’t attain the promise of God. However it also says Jesus came so that we can have life to the full. Which means God is well able to “Fill” every void, “Heal” every hurt & “Restore” everything that was lost.
What do you hope people take away from the series?
My ultimate goal for this series is to create a platform that encourages others to always hope in God, no matter what you’re going through or how awful you think your past was. There’s an unconditional and unexplainable love waiting for you right in the arms of God and He can turn your situation around and make you brand new in Him.
How do you define being a public servant?
I don’t quite know how to define being a public servant, per se, but I do live a life of service to God and His people. Every follower of Christ and every great leader, especially biblical leaders, is first and always a servant. My life’s breakdowns and blessings weren’t necessarily for my benefit solely. More importantly, they were intended to be used for the breakthroughs of others. The life I have is a life dedicated to service.
What’s something people would be surprised to know about you?
Uhhh…I don’t know. I love to dance salsa.
Can you name one book that changed or really impacted your life?
Every book by Sarah Jakes. I absolutely love her. Don’t Settle for Safe is her latest book and man, does it has some gems. My highlighter stayed in my hand, but I’ll give you a couple of gems from the book.
“Your life is the road map that will help other people avoid detours that delay them on their road to manifesting a destiny greater than those moments that ailed them. Someone is going to need evidence that even lost people find their way home.”
“The holes in your life that have made you feel the most empty were created to be filled with the knowledge of God.”
Best advice to young people?
My best advice for all people would be to put God first in everything that you do. I realize that may be a bit cliché, but it’s true and necessary.
Favorite quote or affirmation?
“Out of your pain can come your purpose.”
What’s next for Jenny Marie Christian?
There are a lot of things in the works that you’ll see and hear about throughout 2018. I’m not really one to lay out too many details for various reasons, but just make sure you’re following me and you won’t miss a thing.
(For more information, visit www.FillHealRestore.com.)
Follow Jenny on all social media outlets:
Twitter: @JennyMchristian & @FillHealRestore
Instagram: @JennyMChristian & @Fill.Heal.Restore
Facebook: Jenny Marie Christian & Fill Heal & Restore