THE STORIES BEHIND THE FACES OF The Twenty-16 Colour Invitation

JESSIE

Tell us about yourself!
My name is Jessie Hastings; I’ve lived in Sydney (Australia) all my life. I’m 26. I’ve been at Hillsong church since I was 11, I think? I like rainy days and animals.

Who are you?
I’m a sister to two people by blood, and one by choice. I’m also a wife – I married an Irish boy 1.5 years ago – I still can only understand 60% of what he’s saying (this might be the secret to a successful marriage, you guys.). I’m also half a mum, as I’m growing a little girl in my tummy right now, who’s due March 2016.

Favourite snack?
Hands down, toast: with vegemite and butter, the perfect ratio of both (1:2) and milky tea.

If you could speak to girls 5-10 years younger than you, what would you say?
When I was 16, I was positive I knew who I was. And then at about 19, I lost myself and kept, kept, kept losing myself no matter how hard I tried to find me – I don’t think I really grazed the surface of knowing myself until I was 24. And that’s completely okay. I think when you’re young, there’s a huge amount of pressure on you about knowing yourself, and what you want, and who you want to be and what you want to do, especially when you’re in the closing chapter’s of high school – but I don’t think you need to know what you want the rest of your life to look like when you don’t know yourself yet, and I don’t think you need to know who you are to be okay. I think as long as you know that guy with the nail-scarred hands who knows who you are and who you’re going to be, you’ll be fine. He’ll help you find you eventually. There’s no rush.

How do you hope to make a difference in the world?
I’ve got a thing for words… I’ve always had a thing for words. I used to think maybe it was a redundant passion and fascination, but then one day I realised our entire faith is hinged on two sentences: “In the beginning…” and “It is finished.” Words that have shaped my and the world. I hope to change the word with my words.

Why are you a part of sisterhood?
It’s hard to be a woman, and I know in the scheme of the world, I have it incredibly easy – a caucasian(ish) woman from a western, first world nation – but it’s still incredibly hard, and it’s the kind of hard that you couldn’t even really begin to explain to even the most empathetic, emotionally in-tuned man on the planet. There’s all these different pressures to look a certain way, feel that way, respond this way, eat that way, feed your family like that, raise your children with this parenting style, live your life but don’t offend anyone, be tough and hold it together all the time but also be completely vulnerable, etc. There’s something sacred about a sisterhood of women who hold for each other no pre-tenses, no expectations, and love each other for free – it’s the kind of community that I’m sure heaven is begging us to echo on earth.

What do you love about Colour Conference?
There’s a lot to be said about a group of women who come together in a specific place, at a specific time, with their walls down and their hearts malleable before the Father. I think God meets us there, He never doesn’t come. He always shows up and everything always changes.

Who is Jesus to you?
He is the most patient, selfless, kind, ferocious, worth-knowing, gracious, curious, bravest guy I know.

Jessie's Salvation Story

I don’t have this beautiful crescendo moment where the clouds parted and the angels chorused and I finally understood the Godhead and their significance. My story is simple but it’s mine and it’s God’s and it is beautiful.

I grew up in church all of my life. I went to a little church in Bondi until I was 11 and then from 12 until now I’ve been at our church, Hillsong Church. Knowing God has always been second nature to me, and our relationship is the same as any other relationship – peaks and troughs, intimacy in ebbs and flows (admittedly, this is probably more my fault than His.) – I’m the irrational one, I’m the one who gets hurt feelings, and cold feet, and doesn’t always trust. But I suppose my salvation story amongst all that, is that He stays… His unwavering consistency is my saving grace.

For me, the kindest thing about Him is that He’s always close. I’ve never known a life without Him, I never want to, I actually don’t think He’d let me because the Father is so loyal. So loyal that He sent His precious Jesus to the cross all those 2000 and something years ago, and whenever I get timid or nervous or doubt, He shows me the hands of Jesus where the nail tore through His flesh and He tells me, “for you, my girl.” And I’m reminded that God is a constant forever.