By Ella Smith
Hailing from Salem, Arkansas, Abby Jo Thompson noticed a need in her high school, in her peers and young women in general. There was a lack of strong biblical influences in many girls’ lives.
“I started really seeing a need for young women to understand God’s design for them and how beautiful and good it is,” Thompson, who is a sophomore Professional Writing and Informational Design major(PWID), said.
This inspired her to start her Instagram account, named Abby Jo Journals, at the end of her senior year. When Thompson first started her Instagram account, its main focus was on promoting a right view of biblical femininity and encouraging young girls to not only accept but embrace God’s good design for their lives.
Abby Jo Journals started with posts about what it means to be a Godly woman and how that can be a light to others.
One quote on her Instagram said, “Women were created to glorify God by cultivating beauty and nurturing life. We must not let the world make us ashamed to fulfill our God-given role.”
This sort of encouragement is vital to young girls who are told by the culture around them to reject feminine things as weak or worthless. Instead, biblical femininity is something that brings honor and glory to God.
“God’s design is not a burden,” Thompson said. “It’s not less than. It’s a beautiful thing that is created for our good and when we live it out we really do adorn the gospel.”
Thompson noted that one of her favorite things about her Instagram account was the ability to form real relationships with others and to pour into younger girls as well as be poured into by other women. She commented what a blessing it was to be able to form so many real relationships and even meet some of her followers face to face.
“Abby Jo’s account is filled with God’s love and Biblical encouragement,” said Laci Strouse, a freshman PWID major and one of Thompson’s followers. “You can see Jesus shining through her smile and words.”
Her account has also had a profound impact on her own life and ambitions. When Thompson started the account, she wasn’t planning to be a PWID major, but through posting and seeing the impact her words could make she realized that it was a calling the Lord had put on her life.
“I think the Lord has shown me that I can really use writing for His glory and actually encourage people in tangible ways,” Thompson said. “So that’s been a really sweet thing to see.”
As Thompson transitioned to college, her Instagram account also transitioned as she felt the Lord placing other topics on her heart alongside biblical femininity like contentment and even some of her own poetry. She noted how she doesn’t feel pressured to post on a certain schedule but instead posts when she feels God laying something on her heart. She tries to stay faithful to what the Lord is teaching her in every season and be genuine in her attitude on and off Instagram. The focus is on being faithful and allowing God to do what he wills.
“I always want to be more than just a face behind a page if I can,” Thompson said. “I want to really pour into people’s lives because that’s the ultimate goal.”
You can check out Abby Jo’s Instagram yourself @abbyjojournals.
Ella Smith is a freshmen Professional Writing and Informational Design student as well as a writer for Cedars. She enjoys a stack of good books, leatherbound journals and a cup of tea (with lots of honey.)