Hanha | Transparency Blog
Hanha is the writer behind Transparency Blog, and she is super passionate about encouraging women to uncover their identity in Christ! She graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill—Go Heels!—and she is pursuing plans to become a physician in the future. A few fun facts? She’s addicted to Grey’s Anatomy, has a special place in her heart for tacos, and podcasts are her present obsession. In her spare time, she daydreams about places she can travel and loves connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!
BE: Hey Hanha! It’s so good to be chatting it up with you! You are one incredible woman. You have a blog, a weekly devotional, you’re a guest blogger, & a guest speaker at events. How do you balance it all?!
Hanha: Thank you so much! I think time-management is HUGE for me! I have a calendar where I place all my events and meetings so that I don't miss a single one. You know how someone can invite you somewhere and you confirm, but never manage to write it down, and then when the time comes you completely forget? Yeah, that's a huge no-no for me!
I have to write down everything as soon as I hear about it. Once it's on my calendar, I can get it out of my head. Then I take time at the beginning of each week to see what's upcoming. I also use software like Asana to track projects and the time needed to complete those projects.
But I think a hack I am intentional about is scheduling "off days." By that, I mean I purposefully do not schedule any meetings or events, and I incorporate 1-2 a week, especially during the middle of the week. They're reserved for make-up days because more times than not, we always have something that comes up or we're behind on our to-do list. By scheduling these makeup days, it gives me room to breathe!
BE: Can you describe the moment that you knew God was calling you to this ministry?
Hanha: I don’t think there was ever a solid moment where I realized that this is what I was supposed to be doing. I’ve been blogging since 2013, but I never committed to it and at one point, I wasn’t really doing it at all. It wasn’t until last year that something changed for me.
In 2017, I made it one of my personal goals to get back into blogging, and this time I wanted to be more consistent and have the right intentions. I battled with a lot of insecurities, but through some really encouraging friends, God gave me the courage to start again. Around May or June, I decided to be obedient to what He was telling me to do, and that was to write what He placed on my heart.
Originally, I wanted to focus my time on Instagram - posting consistently and engaging with other people, but 3 weeks in, I felt led to write more. Some captions were just entirely too long to be captions, and it was difficult to place all the links I wanted to share. So in June 2017, I reopened my website and I’ve been running ever since. I never knew that it would grow into all of this!
BE: Are there ever moments where you feel discouraged to keep your business going? If so how do you deal with those feelings?
Hanha: At the beginning, I definitely felt discouraged. I was so caught up with what people were thinking, the number game, and then constantly having to post on social media. It’s a huge responsibility to be consistent, and sometimes it can be draining constantly pouring myself out!
But then I just got too busy to worry about that stuff. I don’t have the time to sit and compare my journey to what other people are doing because my plate is full! So my challenges have changed. Now I wonder how it's going to keep going. Transparency Blog is currently a passion project for me, meaning that I'm not making any money from it. My full-time job helps to cover some of the expenses, but as the platform continues to grow, I will need to be more creative about how to cover overhead costs.
Either way, I deal with these feelings by thinking about all the people who are in need of a Savior. I think about the people who are reading my blog and finding themselves uplifted because of it - receiving emails from women saying how much they needed to hear what I have to say or questions about how to mature in Christ – these moments help me understand how important my work is. It holds me accountable to keep going! I’m learning more and more that blogging serves a larger purpose than for myself and the time it takes to help others draw closer to Christ is worth the investment and sacrifice.
BE: What has been your biggest challenge? And what advice would you give to other women who may be facing the same challenge?
Hanha: My biggest challenge has been honestly overcoming myself. Lately, God has been teaching me so much about my identity and what it means to have an identity in Christ! For example, I didn’t realize that shame was a huge part of my story until a couple of months ago. It's just something I did. I would mess up, beat myself up about it (and I mean really beat myself up about it), and then I would move on only to repeat the cycle the next time I sinned. I didn't know it was a problem because it was my normal and I thought that's just who I was.
But looking back, I understand now that I really struggled with self-love and even accepting Christ’s love because of my shame. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t live up to the expectations I set for myself, ashamed when I would mistreat people or when they would mistreat me, and ashamed that I would never be good enough or significant.
But I’ve come to learn that our experiences with other humans whether that be our parents, our supervisors, or our friends, cause us to believe that God responds in the same way. And I think that’s exactly what happened to me. My view of God was a reflection of how I treated myself.
So my advice for women who may be facing the same challenge is to spend consistent and quality time with God! (Check out the Jesus is Bae Challenge if you’re looking for some accountability and guidance.) But take time to meditate on God’s Word and get it on the inside of your heart. This is one of the main reasons why I started #TheConfessionsProejct - to help people declare God's promises over their lives!
BE: Favorite encouraging bible verse?
Hanha: My favorite Bible verse hands down is 2 Corinthians 12:9, "But He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Hanha! You are truly a gem. Thanks so much for being so honest and encouraging!