Alumna Spotlight: Stephanie Taylor

Posted by Cara Morris on

 I went to Oklahoma State University. I transferred  to OSU my sophomore year from a private university, and my best friend (who transferred with me) joined the greek panhellenic system. She told me about Phi Lamb after hearing about it from a friend and so I looked into it. It was not something I planned on doing as a transfer student to a big university, but it turned out to be a sweet surprise. It made getting acclimated to my new home at the university and on-campus life easier.

I would say that Phi Lamb taught me the power of community and vulnerability, which is huge for a 19-year-old sophomore in college. During my first year, the president of my Phi Lamb chapter shared her testimony about having a parent with a mental illness and the grief and pain that comes with that. She stood there baring her wounds in front of a group of a hundred women with the faith that God could and would redeem her story (even if it wasn't perfectly tied in a bow at the time.) 

 That freed me up in so many ways. My mom was diagnosed with a mental illness the year prior (my freshman year of college), and I had never opened up to it to anyone outside of my family or even knew of anyone who had experienced the pain, fear, grief and sadness that comes with having an extremely sick parent.

 Phi Lamb created this beautiful space for me to share what I was walking through at the time, which was a lot of heavy stuff. I remember in my Phi Lamb family (that first semester), each week we'd go around and share our stories. When it was my week and I shared my story about my mom, I was met with so much grace and tenderness. My Phi Lamb family looked at my wounds, my hurts, my feelings of loss and abandonment and loved me. I felt so seen and known.

 The grace they showed me freed me up to be brave to share my story and my family's story years down the road. I now know that vulnerability begats vulnerability. When I speak about the things the enemy would rather have me keep quiet and sit with in shame, I allow God to move through me and in me. I also help set other people free. That is the power of testimony. Phi Lamb taught me the power of vulnerability with our stories. 

 What is your favorite memory of your time in Phi Lamb?
Gosh! There were so many hilarious ones. I would have to take it all the way back to my very first year and initiation night. My Phi Lamb family had a sleepover that night and the amount of laughter and antics was hilarious. It went down as one of the most epic nights in our cov group, and we told stories about that night years later.

I graduated with my bachelor's degree in journalism from Oklahoma State. My senior year, I took an internship at Time Inc. magazine in New York, and I just knew that after graduation I'd end up in NYC. But God had other plans! After college, I lived in Minneapolis for a year and worked at Delta Sky magazine (Delta Airline's travel magazine that recently folded last year.) I ended up coming back to Oklahoma for a few years to help take care of my parents, and God put the dream of California on my heart. 

 Today, I live in Los Angeles and have for the last five years. I am the Online Managing Editor at Darling Magazine. I have been on staff for almost a year and a half now. I love my job and getting to create content that brings hope to women and girls and reminds them of their true identity. I also am super involved in my church (that I have been attending for  about three and a half years now.) Community is everything in a big city like L.A. My church here has become family, and they have helped me grow so much through vulnerability and honest (and sometimes) hard conversations. I serve on the worship team (I love to sing) and I was the event coordinator for church for a few years before the pandemic hit and changed how we do events.

I always knew that I wanted to be a writer as a little girl. I first discovered my love for journalism in high school. At Oklahoma State, I studied journalism and English, and every semester of college, I interned at a publication. My love for words only kept growing.

 I think it was not until after college that I learned the difference between a gift and a calling. A gift is a tool, a talent or skill. Your skill could be writing, people management, singing, planning events, working with children or being a wiz with numbers. We are called to steward our gifts well. A calling is a passion or purpose that God writes on your heart. As believers, we are all called to use our gifts to make Jesus' name known and to lead people to Him, but that looks different for each person. For me, writing is the tool or gift, and my passion is to bring hope and healing to women through media and the written word. I believe when I write people get a glimpse of God's heart for them.

 I chose my career path because I knew God's hand was all over it. I love writing, and I would absolutely do it for free. (I definitely did early on in my career.) I want to bring light to a dark industry and tell stories that point back to Him. That's my biggest passion in this life, to stir up hope in women and girls.