DREAM CHASER NO. 3
Amy Boland-The 61 Exchange
1. What sparked the idea for your dream?
At the age of 23, I found myself divorced from an abusive marriage. No one dreams of being divorced at 23 but there I was. I felt hopeless and wanted to hear a story of how someone had walked a similar path and they were ok. I wanted to know that I wasn’t alone and I wanted hope. After surrendering my life to Christ, I learned about the scripture from Isaiah 61, where it talks about Jesus giving us beauty for our ashes. I was fascinated with the fact that Jesus would take our brokenness and give us beauty in return. I loved hearing other women’s stories of how Jesus did this in their lives. I remember listening to women’s Jesus stories and thinking, “people need to know what Jesus can do!”. That was 7 years ago and we officially launched a year ago. Dreams take time and they evolve over time.
2. What was/is the most difficult part of pursuing your dream?
The most difficult part was knowing that the dream was in my heart but not being in the right season to launch it. I had a lot of growing to do. I went through a couple months where I gathered my close friends, who are still on our team, and told them what I felt like the Lord was leading. They came alongside me and encourage me to this very day. It’s always scary when you start chasing your dreams but it’s always worth it. If Jesus is who we say He is, why would we be scared of the difficult parts? If He’s leading, I’m going!
3. What steps have you taken to achieve your goals and dreams?
After praying and seeking Jesus for the green light to begin and taking a leap of faith, surrounding myself with an amazing team was the best thing I ever did. I looked around at my close circle of friends, my roommates, and friends across the world and realized that we had everything we needed to start this. I say all the time that my friends are the most talented people I know. Each person on our team has a unique gifting that adds excellence to our organization.
4. When did you know that your dream was God’s will?
I knew it was one of those things that I wanted to see what was on the other side of my yes. I could see how the Lord had prepared me for years to lead this. It was a dream that kept me up at night. I could see how it could fall into place. Most of all, my passion is for women to know their worth and know the transforming power of Jesus.
5. Did your dream change as your relationship with God grew, or did your dream grow with the relationship?
I believe that the Lord put a passion in my heart for women to know Jesus and as I grew in my faith, He prepared me for the dream. I’ve always been a dreamer and I pray that our organization continues to grow as we grow with the Lord. Wisdom has a way of influencing decisions.
6. Do you think that your journey of pursuing your dream has strengthened your relationship with God?
Absolutely! I’ve seen Jesus show up in the most beautiful and unexpected ways! I’m a single, 34 year old woman, the world/ facebook/ instagram says that I should be married with at least 3 kids and a dog. I desire all of that but that’s not the story Jesus has for me right now. Today He has given me the gift of stewarding The 61 Exchange, the gift of seeing women go from death to life, and the gift of being able to create a platform for women to share their beauty for ashes stories and launching it into the world. The dream I had of my life as a little girl doesn’t look like what I thought it would at my age. This journey has taught me to lean in to Jesus to be everything I need and more. Most of all, it’s strengthened my relationship with God in that I have to trust Him. I’ve seen His faithfulness in my past and I believe in His faithfulness today, tomorrow, and everyday after that. I think that’s what allows me to take risks and not be fearful, I know He’ll show up.
7. Did/do you have a mentor or role model who has helped you achieve your goals?
Three years ago, Joy Grace, my mentor came into my life through church. We had similar stories and connected on so many levels. She walked with me in the valleys as I was figuring this dream out and never let me take my eyes off Jesus. She prayed for me every step of the way and still to this day supports The 61 Exchange and serves on our board. She’s the person that I go to when I’m celebrating and when I’m under spiritual warfare. She’s a spiritual giant.
I’d have to say my greatest role model has been and still is Shelley Giglio. She is one powerhouse of a lady and really sets an example to me of a woman leveraging her life for Christ. She has dedicated her life to see this generation know Jesus. If you know her then you know that she’s an encourager, a leader, a champion of others, and so very wise. We will see the ripples of her life in eternity for sure.
8. What advice would you give to someone who is looking to pursue their dreams?
Martin Luther King Jr. was right when he said, “take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” You don’t have to know every detail or know how it will all play out, just take the first step. The Lord will open the right doors at the right time that no man can shut. Write down what the Lord is stirring in your heart. Don’t be afraid to believe in yourself and what He has called you to. You’ll have days where you’ll feel like you’re the only one seeing the dream, that’s ok, keep going. Be faithful in the small. Let your passion for the Lord, the dream, and His people fuel your fire. Seek wise council. Stay humble, teachable, and always be willing to serve. Remember that it’s His dream that He’s placed in your heart to be the hands and feet to, steward it well.
9. What would you consider as your biggest accomplishment since you began the journey of pursuing your dream?
At our last conference, I stood in the back of a room full of women worshipping Jesus, hearing teachings, and I just wept. Realizing that the vision has become a reality will always leave me in awe of Jesus. My favorite part about these events and conferences is knowing that God placed each woman in the room on purpose and is doing something so intricate in their hearts and lives.
10. Where do you think your dream will have taken you in the next 5-10 years?
In 5-10 years, I hope that women across the world will know the transforming power of Jesus more because of The 61 Exchange. I pray that women will feel inspired to share their stories to encourage and give hope to other women. It is for freedom that we’ve been set free and we’re going to do our best to carry that message to the world. And, I do hope for that husband, 3 kids and a dog. And if not, He’s still good. ;)
Thank you Amy for sharing YOUR 61 exchange story with us! You heart for Jesus and women to know Him is so beautiful and the way the Lord birthed this dream in your heart is so encouraging. Believing for immeasurably more for your ministry and the days ahead, In Jesus Name!
If you'd like to know more about The 61 Exchange, Amy or how to attend a 61 Exchange Conference we have linked all their social accounts and their website below.
Stay tuned for more Dream Chaser blog posts every other week.