"We Didn’t Really Have a Choice But to Pursue It"
Introducing Kairos Tribe leaders Anna + Megan, the two beautiful souls + faces behind White Flag! Megan + Anna's stories, both individually and collectively, are marked from the first by their faith and by their willing surrender, allowing God use them as instruments of his Grace.
With an impeccable eye for beauty, open hearts and willing spirits, Megan + Anna began a partnership after years of friendship. They share the story of how the idea of White Flag came to them, which is a beautiful surrender story in itself. They also share a little bit about the three organizations they partner with to give 10% of their profits to; they are passionate about using this vision to accomplish redemptive work in our hurting and broken world.
Here is their story in their own words.
Megan: "We created white flag really to be a tool for people to use to talk about their faith in Jesus. We think it can be so hard to open up genuine discussion about faith, it can be daunting for a number of reasons. However, we believe it’s important to engage other people in a discussion about faith, regardless of how challenging that can be. So we wanted to create something that would naturally open up the door to share when someone asks, “what does that white flag on your wall mean?” These are our stories of surrender, and so instead of pushing Jesus on people, we’re able to talk about all that he means to us in a way that doesn’t feel aggressive."
Anna: "Megan and I had really different experiences with the church growing up that led us to this point; Megan had a really great experience in the church, and I did not. I always felt like I should not ask what might be considered fundamental questions in the church -- like I was supposed to already have a grasp on foundational things about faith. That left me always feeling like the new kid, like I couldn’t ask any questions, and that didn’t feel particularly safe. I’d say that White Flag was born, in part, out of the philosophy that when you see something that’s broken, you try to fix it. If there’s a missing piece in something healthy, find a way to fill the space. When God gave me the vision for these flags, I knew subconsciously that there was a space for this because I wished there had been something like this in my life when I was growing up -- something that could instigate personal conversation about surrender stories."
Megan: "For a long time, Anna and I were working on really similar projects sort of parallel to each other. We were on different tracks and didn't realize they would merge until the day they did. I just have a massive heart for the Church and empowering Christians. Anna and I talk often about how amazing and kind of funny it is that God paired us, because we are so opposite in this way! I definitely gravitate more toward Christians in that I feel like my gifting is for empowering them to share their stories; while Anna would typically gravitate more towards unchurched groups in a desire to make them feel loved and accepted."
"Right before White Flag, I was on the brink of launching a project that had a very similar goal to White Flag, the same idea of sparking conversations about Jesus. I’d been working on that for about a year, and I don’t know, right at the time that it was finally ready to launch I noticed myself dragging my feet. God had been putting it on my heart to partner with Anna; we had been close friends for a while but I'm like not one to jump into a partnership. I can be a little too independent, and I struggle with asking for help and letting people do certain things -- even if they’re better at it than I am -- I’d often rather just do it myself. I told God that he was going to have to really prove it to me, and He answered, “okay, you can launch this company but before you launch you have to come up with a design that can be big enough to cover an entire wall and has to be easily shipped.” I was totally stumped by that, I was trying to think of anything that would fit that description and I came up totally short. Then Anna came to me one day during this deliberation process and said, “hey let’s get together, I have this idea...I want to start a flag company that represents surrender so people can talk about Jesus…” and as soon as she said flags I was like, Oh. My. Gosh…! Her mission was the same, it was totally aligned and of course, a flag is big enough to cover a wall but still simple enough to ship! That was when I knew."
Anna: "It was so crazy. All during that time, I was tracking toward the same kind of thing and not knowing it. Before we started White Flag, I had a clothing company and was going through a transitional period with it; I was kind of watching it slowly come to a close because I’d just had my son and gotten married; things were really hectic personally and so I let it die. Which wasn’t an easy decision; I was mourning that death, I think. Creativity just runs in my blood, and so I was dying to figure out what to do next. One day, I had this vision -- I don’t know if I was awake or asleep, I honestly don’t remember -- but I either dreamed or saw this man walk into a room and look up at a white flag over a mantle be overcome with love of Jesus."
"My grandmother lived in Germany during the Second World War, and she told me stories growing up about how she had to wave a white tablecloth outside to indicate that their house should not be bombed. What a vivid picture of surrender that was, and I sort of carried that image with me through all of life and I still can see it now, this metaphor for the sign of freedom and protection that Jesus waves over us. I had asked Megan to go get coffee, just to catch up and I was feeling like I wanted to tell her but I hesitated. I told my husband and he was like, you need to cool it, do one thing at a time, focus on one thing. But I had been sitting on this vision for a few months at that point, and so I just said to her, hey, I don’t know what this means or where it’s headed, but I have this idea..."
Megan: "When we left the coffee shop that day I was immediately struck with an idea for the design, I was envisioning our “He Is” flag with three greater than signs, and before I could even say anything to Anna -- we had just left from having coffee -- she texted me saying, “what if we did one with these three arrows?!” It was just too crazy. We didn’t really have a choice from there but to pursue it."
White Flag partners with three organizations, Street Grace, which is an organization working to combat human trafficking. Redreamed, which is an organization that offers support to single mothers, and Preemptive Love Coalition, whose mission is to "unmake" violence. You can read more about these organizations on their site right here. I asked Anna + Megan to share a little bit about how they chose those organizations to partner with, and how that works practically.
Anna: "It’s really impossible to answer that without sharing our stories. I was a single mom for eight years, and Megan met her husband while she was pregnant with her son, Foster. Street grace is based in Atlanta, my hometown, and my parents have worked with Human Trafficking for a long time. We ultimately chose them because Atlanta is a hub for Human Trafficking, and since my parents work closely with them and I know them, I know their mission, we felt good about choosing them. And then Kelly, who does Redreamed has such a heart for single moms which is how we became friends -- we met when I was single mom and she had a vision to launch Redreamed and we decided to walk with her and get that going. Eventually, we want to have all of our seamstresses through them, but right now we have one, Holly, who we love so much; she has seriously taken White Flag to the next level. We’re both really OCD about straight lines, and she is incredible!"
Megan: "Learning to persevere has so much to do with forming good habits. You only have so many hours in a day, and you only can think about one thing for so long. God confirmed this in pretty crazy ways for us -- I don’t think the jumping was so hard. I will say I had no idea what amount of work was going to go into it; I was pregnant at the time and I had a small idea about what it would take, but it wasn’t until we were in it that I really knew. But from there, I was able to see what God was doing, what he was growing and blessing. I couldn’t really say, “oh, I don’t want to do this” because I could so clearly see Him partnering with us in it. It’s easier to keep going with that knowledge."
Anna: "That’s definitely true, and learning how to have boundaries has been essential. I’ve had to learn that it’s okay to say no, and it’s okay to ask for help. Also, I’d say a lot of the struggle for me has been time management. There have been times where I have been way too tired to be packaging orders at the end of the day, and there are nights when I am so tired I think, “I do not want to do this” but when I take stock I’ll ask myself, “why am I complaining? This is amazing!” When I see God’s hand in it, it all ends up being so worth it. At the end of the day we genuinely enjoy what we are doing. When God gives you the promise and the vision it doesn't matter what anyone else sees. We have this promise and vision, and we are chasing that."
Megan: "If you’re on the fence...really try to find out why that is. Sometimes you’re just scared to jump -- God’s saying go, and you don’t want to. Other times it looks like we have the green light but when you press deeper into prayer, God’s saying not yet, not this time, not this idea, etc.
When you have an idea, press into it in prayer or in faith and ask, is this me holding myself back, or is this you asking me to wait? A good question to ask yourself is, “who is this glorifying?” If you know that you have a good idea and you know it’s from him, you can rest in the truth that God’s going to take care of anything that’s his. The world looks so glamorous; there are so many enticing things to pursue and we are so easily tricked by them, but God knows what’s best."
Anna: "We recently had an opportunity that we both really wanted to say yes to, but we felt hesitant, so we decided to hold back. Then later, an even better opportunity came up that we wouldn’t have been able to afford doing if we had taken the first one. God tends to give you these feelings to show you a part of your heart that needs an upgrade. Sitting on the fence too long can indicate a lack of trust. It may go deeper than that; maybe there’s fear of disappointing your family, your kids, yourself...it could go so many different ways. When you really ask yourself those tough questions, and check your heart, it’s worth whatever momentary discomfort or pain may arise from that to access a more true path forward."
And, as always, you can purchase this print to download + remember the story of White Flag. By doing so, you are supporting their mission as 50% of profits are donated.