The Fear of Being Great

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I remember when I was a child, I was very quiet and would often be found in the company of a good book. This awkwardly tall, wearing pink framed glasses with several braids in her hair young girl, knew she was different. I didn’t have many friends but I do remember a select few who made a positive imprint on my childhood. There was a time during those years where I tried my hardest to fit in with all of the other kids. I just wanted to be accepted and embraced by my peers and not seen as weird or unpopular. No matter what I wore, said or did, I was never truly accepted as their equal. Later on in my teen years God began to speak to me about why I never was able to fit in with my peers.

 

He shared with me that my frustration was all self-induced. That no matter how hard I tried, I would never fit in with them because He had set me apart for a greater purpose. That my longing to be accepted was actually my fear of being great! I share this small fraction of a story to remind you that you were not blessed with this life to be mediocre. We ALL have a purpose and it’s up to YOU to HEAR IT, EMBRACE IT and LIVE IT. I know that this year may have been the hardest for many but DO NOT GIVE UP. The world needs YOU and your gifts. There will be a number of things that will try to come in the way of you living your best life. The NUMBER ONE FACTOR is YOU. Many of us don’t want to face the truth..There was even a time when I didn’t want to accept “the ugly truth”. We can be our worst critics sometimes..Even most of the time. We try to talk ourselves out of moving to a new city, applying for that position, taking a chance on love and yes, even walking into our purpose.

 

At the end of the day, what other people have said or even done to you won’t matter. What WILL matter is how you learned from life’s challenges and that you in turn allowed it to be the fuel to step out of mediocrity and unapologetically walk into your purpose!

~Keep Shining~

De’Andrea

 

33..Single And Celibate

Hello readers! With my 34th birthday quickly approaching next month, I can’t help but reflect on life, relationships and decisions that have gotten me to this moment. Sure, it wasn’t always a smooth ride but I’m so happy and grateful for my journey and all that I have learned so far. As I sit here and choose to be nothing but transparent with all of you, I’m trying to pinpoint the exact moment when I made up in my mind that I was going to be celibate and single by choice.

I remember back in middle school, me and my then best friend decided to make a pact that we would remain virgins until we were married. It was one of the best decisions that I made at such a young and impressionable age. I believe it was the perfect age to make that decision, only because there was so much peer pressure even in middle school to become sexually active and to even try drugs. When I transitioned to high school, the pressure became even more evident. People that heard of this pact that I made or just by having deep conversations with me would always ask me why I chose to wait. There were several people who treated me as if I was the plague and there was something wrong with me for making that decision. Their exact words were “what are you waiting for? Just get rid of it like everyone else.”

That began to make my mind wonder because I wasn’t the most popular girl in school. Sure I had friends that were preps, hipsters, athletes and what some would call “nerds” but I was never seen as the girl that would be a guys first choice to ask to prom. I was so focused on academics, student counsel, etc. Fast forwarding to my 20’s, I was still a virgin until the age of 26. I remember feeling regret after I made that life changing decision. I definitely beat myself up about it for a while. I then chose to learn and grow from the situation..A few years later I was having a conversation with this guy I was getting to know. He understood my decision to be celibate until marriage however he like other people you will meet, decided to be very vocal about why having sex BEFORE marriage was a good idea. He stated how will you know if you’re sexually compatible with someone before you marry them, unless you take that step.

I was reminded in that moment that if someone is trying their best to convince you as to why you shouldn’t remain celibate or that you should compromise your values by either their actions or their words..Then what you have and who you are is more valuable than you know. After that conversation, a light bulb seriously came on. I finally got it! I’ve been questioned by family, associates and the like, asking me when am I going to have children. I think their biological clock is ticking faster than mine. I say the same four words time and time again..”When I get married.” I’m not here to pass judgment about anyone that chooses to have sex before they’re married. I’m here to tell my story and to say that in this era it’s not weird, crazy or delusional for anyone to choose to be celibate until marriage.

For those that have made certain decisions in the past and are still beating themselves up about it, I’m here to tell you to seriously LET IT GO. There is nothing you can do about the choices you have made in the past. All you can do is learn from it and grow because of it! Whatever you did last year, last month or yesterday does NOT make you a horrible person and does NOT define who you are! We are human, we are not perfect..We fall but it is up to us individually to get back up and say I WILL NOT BE DEFEATED. THIS IS NOT HOW MY STORY ENDS. I truly hope that my story encourages and reminds you that whatever you are facing, you a not alone in this journey called life!

 

Be A Light,

De’Andrea

 

Dating With A Purpose

 When was the last time you dated with a purpose? Sure you have to get to know someone and your initial connection may be based simply off of looks or a mutual interest BUT WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN THE INITIAL ATTRACTION ISN’T ENOUGH? What do you do when you notice that the only thing that person is inviting in your life is drama or just an unexplainable void. Do you continue to pursue what “might” be the potential of a person or do you recognize the reality of the situation and go your separate ways?

 

The other day I was thinking about why our society is so focused on staying up to date with the latest fashion and technology however people are still dating and dealing with their own lives carelessly. When did we reach a point to where we value material things more than we do our own wellbeing? Why do some people date haphazardly? Why waste time when it comes to dating someone once you realize that the connection is toxic? Is it because there are feelings of loneliness and you long for companionship no matter what values you might be compromising or is it because you just have to have someone in your space or be in a relationship no matter the circumstance?

 

I ask these questions not to point the finger but for you to reflect on your own life and ask yourself is this something that you can relate to. As I always say, know your worth and don’t settle out of the fear of being by yourself. If you are single, use this time to find your purpose and go after it! If you are dating someone and you know they aren’t the one for you, don’t string them along. Be honest with them and be honest with yourself and let them know how you feel. You don’t want to waste your time or theirs. 

~De’Andrea

A Letter of LOVE

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Good morning,

Our Father’s love is TRULY AMAZING! So after a couple of not so good days, God showed up this morning in such a way. Do you know that God can speak to you in any situation? At any given moment? You just have to be open to receiving whatever it is that He wants to share with you. This morning a really great friend of mine offered me some fruit. So as I’m at my desk before I could even take my first bite, God started depositing His word in my spirit.

Matthew 6:25-34

“Therefore, I say to you, don’t worry about your life, what you’ll eat or what you’ll drink, or about your body, what you’ll wear. Isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds in the sky. They don’t sow seed or harvest grain or gather crops into barns. Yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth much more than they are? Who among you by worrying can add a single moment to your life? And why do you worry about clothes? Notice how the lilies in the field grow. They don’t wear themselves out with work, and they don’t spin cloth. But I say to you that even Solomon in all of his splendor wasn’t dressed like one of these. If God dresses grass in the field so beautifully, even though it’s alive today and tomorrow it’s thrown into the furnace, won’t God do much more for you, you people of weak faith? Therefore, don’t worry and say, ‘What are we going to eat?’ or ‘What are we going to drink?’ or ‘What are we going to wear?’ Gentiles long for all these things. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them. Instead, desire first and foremost God’s kingdom and God’s righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Then as I took my first bite it was fresher, juicier and tastier than any fruit I’ve ever enjoyed and then He spoke to me again.

John 4:14

“But whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.”

Then He spoke again, again and yes again. It brought tears to my eyes. Just feeling an overwhelming love from Him and how He has us in His hands. It’s truly amazing and I’m so grateful that we’re able to have such a personal relationship with our Father. I just want to encourage whoever is reading this that no matter your circumstance, no matter what you may be facing right now, what the doctor may have said, if you’re going through family issues, relationship issues, anxiety, doubt, WHATEVER IT IS BROTHERS AND SISTERS I want you to be encouraged knowing that Jesus has His hands on you. He has never left your side and never will. He loves you more than you could possibly imagine and there’s nothing you could ever do to change that. I pray for each of you that you will bask in the Father’s love from THIS DAY FORWARD. That you WALK IN THE FREEDOM that is yours through Jesus and until God opens the next door you CONTINUE PRAISING HIM IN THE HALLWAY 🙂

De’Andrea xo

Only A Season

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Although being in a season of singleness is undeniably a blessing, it can also have its many challenges. From the numerous wedding invitations to the baby shower invites, one just might ask the question “when will it be my turn?” Through my own season of singleness, I have learned that waiting for what God has for me is far better than trying to orchestrate something myself. Reaching this point was not an overnight process. I had my moments, well who am I kidding, there were years of stubbornness that caused a cycle of frustration because I had my mind focused on doing things my way. My thoughts were so clouded by my own ignorance that I refused to allow myself to see that I was in a pruning process, a season of preparation. It’s not that God didn’t hear my prayers or know my hearts desires concerning wanting to be a helpmeet. He heard them all very clearly but God was more concerned about shaping my character and cutting off bad relationships so when the time came to meet my husband I would be ready.

One of the things that I have noticed is that people who are single are sometimes looked down upon as if they have a plague. It sounds silly but if you have experienced this yourself, you know that if you entertain that idea long enough, it is easy for you to get caught up in thinking something is wrong with you or that you are alone. That is the farthest thing from the truth. I’m continuously reminded each day that as our Father’s children, we are never alone. God has said in His word multiple times that He will never leave us or forsake us and that He is perfecting everything that concerns us. So those times when you start feeling that you are alone, reflect on God’s word, get out of the house and spend time with friends/family or even do something new that you have always wanted to do but for whatever reason you never made the time. During this season of singleness you also want to remember to check your emotions! Sometimes we allow others to set us off into a whirlwind of emotions because we have put too many expectations on them and not enough TRUST in God. I’m not saying be cold or withdrawn towards others but I am saying don’t expect them to do for you what only God can do.

How many times have we created frustration and chaos due to the unrealistic expectations that we have placed on the people in our lives? I believe that one of the reasons we put these expectations on people is that we are trying to rush through our current season to get to our next. Some see it as their biological clock ticking away when it is actually a lack of patience that has ignited these thoughts. There are so many assignments that God has set out for you during this particular season that can only be accomplished at this time in your life. So whether it means starting a ministry or even becoming more active in your community, whatever the case may be, GET MOVING TO ACTION!! Don’t put off living your life to the fullest because you are waiting for everything to manifest when you get married. Start enjoying this season while you are on your way to your next season.

Here are a few scriptures that have encouraged me during my own season of singleness. I hope you find peace of mind and hope in them as well.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Isaiah 26:3
You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.

Philippians 4:6-7
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.

© 2012 De’Andrea Reese All Rights Reserved