The Life of Clarissa with Clarissa Martinez"We're all made so beautifully different, and it's something that we should embrace and not hide."
Houston native and 24-year-old grad student, Clarissa Martinez is the owner of the Christian blog TheLifeofClarissa.com where she shares all her passions including her story about her walk with God. Through the written word Clarissa has been able to share her struggles in life and her battle with negativity all while encouraging others to pursue a relationship with God.
Why did you start your blog?
In 2017, I felt like there were two different paths that led perfectly to the birth of my blog titled The Life of Clarissa. If anyone in my life was going through a hard time, I loved being the person that they came to talk to. I was also the friend who always have a good product recommendation. Somewhere in my 20s, I started to have a creative passion bubbling inside of me, so I started sharing the things that brought me joy at that time including beauty, fashion and coffee shops. I would share product recommendations and words of encouragement. So, I started to combine all of these topics in one place that I could reach more people.
Then I moved to Austin to attend the University of Texas for my undergraduate degree. I was going through a weird transitional season in my life because it was the first time I was away from my family; I was going through a tough breakup, and I was truly starting to grow up. So, in this new city and through this new growth, I started writing and creating my blog The Life of Clarissa.
Do you ever get scared to share your faith online?
Honestly, absolutely. And I wish that it didn’t scare me, but I think there’s really a lot that goes into it. God made it very evident to me that He wanted me to encourage people through this platform. It felt like it was my calling. For a while, that passion was my drive, and I didn’t think about what other people thought. But somewhere along the way, I started to overthink things that I would share because there’s always this chance that people will misunderstand you. And that’s where a lot of pressure kind of comes from because you’re always thinking of negative outcomes that haven’t even happened yet. Then I started to think, “What if I say the wrong thing and people think Christianity is bad? What if I misrepresent my faith?”
It’s an ongoing struggle truthfully, but I was listening to an interview with Lauren Daigle once, and she was sharing what it’s like to be on a platform and have a lot of people looking at you and listening to you, and she said, “When you’re in a position like that, you have to have the courage to be misunderstood.” And that was something that kind of really stuck with me because she’s absolutely right. You have to kind of come to terms with that. We are not perfect. We weren’t made to be perfect. Some people may not like things the way I say things, but at the end of the day, I’m trying. And my heart is in the right place. There’s always grace, and God will redeem and fix things where he feels are fitting.
So yes, it was definitely a struggle at first and I had to pray through it a lot. It taught me a lot about not holding back and embracing who I truly am. I shouldn’t shy away from my faith because when you do that, the enemy wins. I have to pick up my cross every day, pray about it and pray that God will give me the words and the courage to continue to do what He has called me to do.
How do you handle negativity?
Luckily, I haven’t experienced that a lot which is good because truthfully, I’m really sensitive. My love language is words of affirmation. So, words are a very big deal to me. That’s not to say that people aren’t saying things offline or when I’m not around. I’m absolutely sure that that happens—I’m not naïve—but I honestly can’t think of a time that was blantly aggressive or rude to me online. Maybe it’s because I’m still what they would consider a micro-influencer. So, I’m still a little bit on a smaller scale. But God has given me the space to grow and reach more people.
When I think about some of the negativity surrounding my online presence, I think it’s important to knowing what your identity is. It’s important to show yourself grace and maybe whenever you mess up and someone criticizes what you did, you have to just own up to it, learn from your mistakes and do better next time. But as far as identity, if you have your identity rooted in—who God says that we are—then the negativity and criticism won’t shake you as much.
When did you find God?
I feel like there’s two ways I met Him. I grew up in the church so, in a sense, I always knew God. When you’re young though, you see things differently. You don’t really understand things, so even though I did the best I could to live faithfully, I went off track a little bit as I got older. I did what I wanted, and I really lost myself.
I was going through this huge transition in my life, and I didn’t know how to handle it. I even turned to alcohol to suppress my emotions and in the back of my head I knew this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing, but I was doing it anyways. I was trying to figure out how to deal with everything I was facing at the time. I would slowly start to watch sermons at home. I started praying more and working on my relationship with God. I was even searching for the right church to attend when I met a friend for coffee one day and she told me her husband was a pastor. She ended up inviting me to church and that church honestly saved my life. Everyone in that church is amazing. The pastors and leaders created such a safe space for me to talk about what I was struggling with in a very vulnerable and raw way.
I would say that was a really defining turning point for me. I knew that I needed help and I found it in that church. It was finding that church and then going through the layers of pain that I was suppressing for so long. I fully dedicated my life to God and not to myself anymore.
What are some of your hobbies?
I really enjoy cycling, reading and exploring Houston.
Go-to coffee order?
My go-to coffee order right now is iced milk latte with one pump lavender and one pump vanilla.
Any projects you’re currently working on?
I’m newly engaged! I would say a project that I’m working on is planning my wedding. Now that I’m out of classes, I’m in full wedding-planning mode, and I am just going full force into that. But I guess aside from that, as far as my page goes, I was in a creative rut for a while. And I’m starting to kind of get back in the groove of things. I’m always working on restructuring my page and finding creative ways to talk about my passions like makeup and skincare while also sharing my faith and encouraging people.
Who inspires you?
There are two people that I can think of. One is Lauren Daigle. I’ve always admired how obedient she is in her faith. I was listening to her podcast a while back—right when her career was really starting to take off—and she talked about how she took a year break off of everything. I respected that so much because I can’t even think of taking a year-long sabbatical! She was catching her momentum and on the brink of a huge success and she put a pause on all of it because God told her to. I respected her so much after that. She is definitely somebody I think about when I talk about just being yourself because she just such a happy person. She truly spreads the joy through her music and just her personality, and she’s just herself. And I just love that.
The second person is Sadie Robertson. She’s just overall amazing—I don’t know how else to really explain it. She’s such a good speaker and has such an amazing story. I admire the way she uses her platform. She started on “Duck Dynasty,” so she had a following from that and she decided to use her platform not for herself, but to serve God.
Any final comments you’d like to share with our readers?
I guess I’ll leave off with a little bit of encouragement. Whenever people say just be yourself or just be you, what does that really mean? And how do we actually step out and do that? That means being yourself means loving and accepting yourself enough to fully embrace who you are. We’re not created on accident. Everything about me is so finely tuned and put together so delicately on purpose because I was created with a purpose. And I would love to remind everyone that we’re all made so beautifully different, and it’s something that we should embrace and not hide.