Pursuing God’s purpose to inspire women
Shaunté Simons has found a way to pursue her divine purpose while pushing and inspiring other women to do the same.
She has done it through the podcast she launched last year, Pray, Plan, Slay.
“Well before I ever dreamt of doing a podcast, I was a blogger; Black, Beautiful and Blessed was a blog I started in 2018. I wrote about faith, self-love and travel. After about seven or eight months, my blog was being read by over 85,000 people. With the responses I received and the topics I was frequently asked to comment on, I realised that blogging was probably going to take more time than I had imagined.
“I love to encourage people, I love to talk and I am a friendly person, so I decided to draw on these strengths and transition the blog into a podcast. I had to find another way to connect with people and create an audience.”
Although an attorney by profession, the podcast became Ms Simons's passion project because it spoke to her interests in coaching and counselling.
“After seeking God's direction, I began to envision that the Pray, Plan, Slay podcast would serve as a coaching mechanism.
“I was already enrolled in a doctoral degree in Christian counselling and I complemented that study with a subject matter that will assist me in my career as an attorney as well as with the podcast, cognitive therapy.”
The message she hopes to convey through her platform is one of inspiration and hope for women of faith — to live out their purpose and chase their dreams without fear of limitation.
“I guess it is safe to say that I am creating a community of women who walk boldly in their purpose. Success in every area of their lives — home, career, community, etc. Things will not always appear perfect, but no matter what balls life throws at them, they are positioned to win because they have created, or are creating, a mindset where they understand or are understanding their purpose and the power of their calling.
“The passion in life is to fulfil your purpose. My target audience is women of faith who are ready to experience the ‘more' God has for them.”
Although we were all created to achieve, many of us live mediocre lives because we don't know our purpose, she said.
“We say to ourselves that we know there is more to life than what we are presently experiencing, but yet we do not seek out ways to become and develop our future selves.
“The Bible, in Philippians 4:13, tells us that we can do all things through Jesus Christ which strengthens us; there is a ‘greater' in all of us. Deuteronomy 28:13 states, ‘The Lord will make you the head and not the tail'. We can have a victorious life, if we only retrain ourselves by getting rid of our limiting beliefs. We have to transform our minds daily — more so now than ever before with all that is going on around us.”
The podcast's topics range from faith to healing to finances and forgiveness. Its guests have been women of faith who have stories of purpose to share such as Langre Carroll, Carla George, Nadia Laws and Ms Simons's mother, Marlene Flynn.
Pray, Plan, Slay has had tremendous success since its launch last August. Only three months later it was rated No 1 in the spirituality and religion section of the Bermuda iTunes charts. It was also ranked the third podcast overall on the Bermuda iTunes charts and has been streamed in more than 41 countries and on 6 continents.
“As a result of the exposure, I have had the opportunity of being interviewed by various podcast, radio and TV shows. I have been featured in news outlets, blogs and magazines and also had my personal quotes reposted by one of America's favourite relationship experts, Love McPherson. I have also been a motivational speaker at several events locally and overseas.”
In her most recent podcast episode, on April 21, Ms Simons spoke on the global pandemic and how people of faith can respond to it.
“Actually, this is a great time for people of faith — but first we have to recognise this. This Covid-19 pandemic has created a period of isolation. Isolation is not bad; it is deciding whether or not to see the glass as half empty or half full.
“As people of faith, we are now in a space to give our faith legs. Do you really believe the word of God? Will we give into fear or raise our level of faith? While Covid-19 may have taken the world by surprise, it did not take our God by surprise.
“What we need to do as people of faith is continue to seek God's face, build ourselves up in our most holy faith, become empowered, pray, encourage others in the faith and witness to those who are searching for a relationship with God.”
• Pray, Plan, Slay can be streamed on all major platforms. Follow @prayplanslaypodcast and @shauntesaphire on Instagram