Shayla Hilton

by Tonya Dixon | March 12th, 2016
Shayla Hilton (Photo by Shaw Photography)

Shayla Hilton (Photo by Shaw Photography)

Shayla Hilton has always been the type of person to be genuinely happy for others’ successes, but there came a point when she began to question, “When will it be my time?”

It wasn’t as though she wasn’t successful in her own right. A professional educator for the last nine years, Hilton had master’s degrees in elementary education and school administration. She taught in the classroom for five years before she transitioned to becoming a curriculum coordinator, working with teachers; and she’s even licensed to be a principal. Nevertheless, she recognized there was something else that was plaguing her heart. She simply wasn’t content.
Following a break-up in a long-time relationship, Hilton began struggling with certain aspects of her life; things that were beginning to become hindrances in her life. “I struggled and asked God, ‘when am I going to get married. When will it be my time? When will all these things that I’ve planned for myself happen?’” she questioned.

Through sincere prayer and even somewhat questioning the direction of her life, Hilton says God revealed to her that there were certain things in her life that were becoming road blocks to her happiness – namely, contentment and specifically the fact that she basically didn’t have any. God began to show Hilton that she wasn’t content because she fell short in so many other areas of her life that ultimately produce contentment. Doubt, distrust, fear, jealousy, a hardened heart, patience and lack of peace reigned in her life. It wasn’t until she realized the issues that she was able to deal with them, through the grace of God.

“I saw all of these in my life, particularly through my broken relationship,” she said. Not only did God show her the areas where she needed to grow, but she said that He showed her that those very same, detrimental characteristics are the things that are stopping most people from living their lives in satisfaction because they’re worried about the things that are out of their control.

It wasn’t long before Hilton was given the mandate to utilize the very things that were at one point her stumbling block as a resource to help others. In December 2015, she published “Chasing Contentment: Freely Living Life Through any Circumstance”. The book is divided into 10 chapters; eight of them deal directly with those issues she struggled with and she believes other struggle with as well.

“We all have challenges that get in the way and keep us from living the lives we want to live. We must find the core of what we need to live content lives in Jesus Christ,” she said. It took some time, admitting she allowed procrastination to side track her progress too long, but simply sitting down and literally writing the book through her own experiences was cathartic as well as spiritually healing. All the while God was inspiring her to write, he was also leading her to specific scriptures that combat and align with the debilitating and staggering issues that hinder so many people from progressing in their lives.

Written in a conversational tone, “Chasing Contentment” takes the reader through Hilton’s personal journey of overcoming the things that were holding her back, while inviting them to utilize the intertwined scriptures and take self-examination of themselves. Although Hilton, now understands that a part of her purpose is to use writing as a specific tool to minister to people, it was never something that she aspired to do.

“I wasn’t interested in writing books at all, but the more I prayed and tried to figure out my purpose on earth, God revealed to me that I’m supposed to be a writer,” she said. “I was thinking my next step would be to find a job as a principal and move into that seamlessly, but it hasn’t worked out that way; so I’m actually living my book. I have to be content, realizing it’s just not time for me to have that position at this time. I have to wait on God and see the direction he’s leading me in.”

Undoubtedly, she says (the wait) has been frustrating, but more importantly it has taught her yet another lesson. “I discovered that you might be content in one area, but not in another area. So I think it’s a process,” Hilton said. “We have to continually move toward contentment and keep striving for it because things happen and life shifts; situations shift and things don’t always work out they way we think they should. So we just have to sit and wait on God, knowing that He has a plan.”

While she is waiting, Hilton isn’t just sitting back twiddling her fingers. She’s putting her own advice into action and is working on her second book, “Peace Promises.” The idea for her sophomore book came from a chapter in “Chasing Contentment” called “Peace not Pieces.” “Peace Promises” focuses on all promises of peace that God has given unto those who serve him.

While the second book is not quite ready for publication, Hilton is certainly spreading the word and using every opportunity possible to not only spread the word about her first book, which she now offers an accompanying workbook, but she’s more excited and determined to encourage and help people live out their purpose.

“My passion has always been for children and to see them be successful, but I think my passion has expanded and now I really want people to know who they are and to be fully functioning in that,” she said. “I think a lot of people spend time stuck in something they don’t want to be in; stuck in jobs and relationships. I want people to know who they are and know who God created them to be; figure that out quickly and then run with it.”

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