HerStory: Meet Natasha

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Author, Natasha Sistrunk Robinson

Meet my friend and fellow Redbud Writers Guild member, Natasha. This woman is a force, in the absolute best way. Within moments of meeting, I was drawn to her infectious passion, joy, and spirit. She consistently lives out her leadership gifts and shares her hard-earned wisdom in the recently published book, Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship. Enjoy getting to know Natasha in this HerStory interview.

What is your story summarized in a few sentences?

I’m a black girl from the small town of Orangeburg, South Carolina. I was raised to become a leader in a very loving and affirming environment. After graduating high school, I attended the United States Naval Academy and was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. This experience began my adult life of public service, and a faith journey of following Jesus. My life has been filled with suffering, growing, and changing. I’m a wife and mother of a girl who cooks. I write, speak, and lead a nonprofit all for His glory.

What is God teaching you right now?

God is teaching me (or reminding me) again and again, that he is faithful and I can trust him. There is no need to worry. He holds my life and future in his very capable hands. All I need to do is be still and know that he is Lord.

What can’t you live without?

Books and French fries.

What’s your day job?

I’m the visionary founder and Chairperson of the Board for the new nonprofit organization, Leadership LINKS, Inc. Our vision is to connect people with purpose, and we accomplish that vision by offering leadership education that facilitates impactful living, character development, and spiritual formation. Through our leadership summer program, leadership training, and upcoming mentoring program, we are now focusing on equipping and raising up the next generation of leaders.

I am the author of the recently released book entitled, “Mentor for Life: Finding Purpose through Intentional Discipleship” so writing, speaking, mentoring, and coaching also keep me quite productive.   

How did you end up writing this book? And why? 

I wrote “Mentor for Life” as a gift to the church. I was leading a mentoring and discipleship ministry in my church, and then I was asked by Christianity Today to write about it. When I did, I received several comments from people saying that they wish there was a holistic and inclusive discipleship ministry like this one at their church. I was also asked for resources and curriculum (all of which I have now).

 

What are your passions?

My passions are leadership and mentoring. I also love great food, books, dancing, and hanging out with cool people. Anytime I can get a combination of these things, it’s a great day!

If you could outsource one chore/task, what would it be?

Just one? I would definitely hire a competent person of integrity to handle all of my administrative work. I’m actually capable, it’s just quite time consuming and therefore, distracting from my main focus and priorities.  

Reflections on mothering/aunting/caregiving.

Mothering is the important, joyous, and challenging work.

What would your friends say about you?

I work hard. I’m high energy.

Are you afraid of anything?

At this point in my life, I’ve learned the value of failing up. In other words, there are certainly times when I thought something didn’t work out as I expected or that I had failed but it wasn’t the end of the story. It’s never the end of the story. If I were to name a fear, it would be that my daughter wouldn’t understand me or my choices, or that she wouldn’t always choose Jesus.

What’s a habit you’d either like to establish or to kick?

I just kicked Facebook off my phone. I still access the app from my computer, but I spend a lot less time on it these days. I always carry books around with me so my time is not wasted when I’m waiting. However, I found myself searching Facebook more frequently instead of reading. Likewise, I would sometimes stroll Facebook when in my car (which is worse than texting when driving). So I kicked Facebook.

Thoughts on being a woman in the church.

I am what I am. I’m a woman. I’m in the church. I have the gift of leadership. I know that’s not cool in some places. I keep showing up, though I am more selective of the safe places I allow myself to enter. God has been gracious in this, and to open doors of opportunity. Yes, it can be a challenge and sometimes discouraging. I try to focus on Jesus, live my life with integrity, speak into these challenges when given the opportunity, and let other people deal with their own problems.

Dessert of choice:

Chocolate.

Heat or cold?

Heat, definitely heat!

Impactful book(s) in your life?

  • The Bible, check!
  • “When Life and Beliefs Collide” by Carolyn Custis James
  • “The Dangerous Act of Loving Your Neighbor” by Mark Labberton
  • “The Next Evangelicalism” by Soong-Chan Rah
  • You can find my Top 10 and more, here: http://www.natashasrobinson.com/natashas-study/

Favorite verse or quote?

“Bridle my passion so it’s useful.” From my dear friend, Judy Douglass. Favorite verses change depending on the day and circumstances.

What color best represents you and why?

Black is my favorite. On one hand, it represents power. On the other hand, people see it as dirty or less than pure. I love changing a narrative, and like to redeem the negative connotations of both positions. Black can blot out what has been messed up, so something new and beautiful can be layered over it. Besides it matches and goes with just about anything.

If you had an unlimited budget and a free weekend, what would you do?

A weekend is pretty short, and I would want to enjoy all of it, so I would probably head to New York for a Broadway play, great food, walk(s) in the park if the weather is nice, and live music with my husband.

What’s on your bucket list?

Next up is a visit to the continent of Africa.

What’s your advice for young women?

Don’t waste the best physical years of your life on someone who won’t commit to you. Keep it moving.

Comments

  1. Great interview, Heidi! And thank you for sharing, Natasha! I had the privilege of meeting Natasha briefly at two separate conferences, and she is so delightful! Still eager to get my hands on her book. 🙂