We are officially in a brand new month, & what better way to kick off this month with a BRAND NEW SERIES!
But before we do, we have some closing thoughts on "Conquering Giants" series written by DevinMarie. (STAY TUNED for more!)
One of the biggest giants I've faced (in my attempt to live my life healed and no longer in the prison of victimization) was that of unforgiveness.
It was easier for me to grab onto to it; unforgiveness; until it began to infiltrate every aspect of my being. I hated my life. I hated that I had this cross to bare. I hated that my ex boyfriend asked if I had asked for it, I hated that the police questioned me more then the man who raped me, I hated that the school I attended was more concerned in covering up the mess that their star quarterback was involved in an assault case then protecting my rights as a scholar, I hated that I couldn't tell my family, I hated that God allowed this to happen to me, and I hated myself for puting myself in harms way--for not heeding to the warning signs, to not listening to my gut.
I hollowed my life till there was nothing and even that was too unbearable so I filled myself back up with the one thing I knew wouldn't leave me unless I personally asked it to....unforgiveness. Along with unforgiveness was its cousin bitterness, aunt resentment, and brother, pity.
I befriended them until I identified myself more with them instead of Christ.
How in the world did that young woman get to where she is now...you might ask? 🤔
How is it that the young battered woman turned sorrow into dancing, turned anger into peace, turn doubt and questions of "why me?!" Into purpose and clarity? 🤔🤔🤔
I faced the spirit of God...I was saved 3 months after I was raped. I had a choice to receive Christ in my heart...as battered and broken and cold as it was; the smallest amount of faith...compelled me to say "Yes God, take my life, and do with it as You wish. The world has had its way with me, and I want to give You a try. It's a long shot, but I've tried absolutely EVERYTHING else...
So forgive me....so I can learn to forgive others." 🙏🏽😌
I believed that day that He did. I believe that for me and my journey, it was what was needed to conquer this huge mountain of Giants that showed their presence daily in the actions of those who continued to harass me, in the night-terrors that would wake me from my sleep, the mounts of anxiety, ptsd, uncontrollable tears, those who questioned my character....and the list goes on.
But I'll be honest, being angry got really comfortable. 🙇🏽♀️🤷🏽♀️😡 And God continues to remove layers of any ounce of bitterness left from situations I face even now. Big or small, unforgiveness in You is robbing you of living your fullest life. There were times I would repeat "it is already forgiven" time and time again until my mind stopped looking at that person or experience as the enemy. The moment my heart was filled with peace.
What "they" did was wrong. You may not have asked for this cross to bare, but you don't have to carry this load on your own. I can't write these passages monthly and share my joy in life without mentioning HOW I have overcome these giants I assume many out there face in their own lives.
I wasn't seeking religion, this blog wasn't intended to being #teamJesus it was simply a place to share testimony of survivors like Cristal and myself...to know that we weren't alone in this after all...and before we ever met eachother we found JESUS. More like He found us, right where we were in all are baggage...And since then ya girls have been slaying Giants on the daily! 💃🏽🙅🏽💁🏽
So yea...this is an unashamed "try team Jesus" because #Hesthetruth and because you would not be reading this and witness His glory flowing in our lives if we didn't surrender them in the first place.
Sooo....with that, we are extending love and the love of Christ to all those who are still trying to figure it out on their own. Always remember...David wasn't in that ring by himself; he was equipped for battle, and we pray that with these tools and insight, you will be too!
It's healing time ya'll!🙌🏽🙌🏽
“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid."
Returning to Fashion week after 10 years at this event felt like something that would never come to pass...
The last time I stepped foot in this space ten years ago, I was face to face with the man who raped me. Everything I knew from this city and anything affiliated with that event was tainted with a painful memory.
Fast forward, ten years, one amazing husband and two blessings I call my children I come back to face the memory that stole many of my years in seconds, it took this time to defeat the fear of coming across him; and it was time to take everything back.
I walked in a spirit of JOY like nothing ever happened; I walked and enjoyed my daughter having a great time seeing fabrics and different fashion companies I spoke to.
While at MAGIC I caught up with some friends. One of their mothers, Mrs. Allen, asked why I had stopped working on my line. I responded, "I had been working on my organization " suddenly, I had a flashback of my journey in fashion industry.
In it, I recalled how I started with a dream. A great excitement to have my own collection, and storefront. I got raped during a fashion week event in Las Vegas the crippled me to the point of living in constant fear. I moved to New York in hopes that I'd never see my rapist. I got my feet wet in this new city, running towards my dream while running away from my pain. But while in New York, I nearly assualted again from an aquaintance who I had trusted because he offered to help me with my collection in NYC. Completely turned off by everything I moved back to California; all he while, running from my destiny because of fear.
I gave up...I let go of fashion and let God take over and work on healing me completely to truly walk in my destiny helping woman through fashion and experiences like mine.
....all I could think of was "Wow, what a flash down memory lane...God showed me that I never lost time, yet I had to go through a test to have a testimony.
I had to have some mess to have a message on victory.
I had to go through some stuff in order to allow him(GOD) fully into my life to help me find his true purpose in my life for His glory.
So I share this to say what God has promised you He will allow to come to pass. There are many short cuts to your destination, but when it's not God's will it will not last.
I had to go through a season of humbleness and healing to understand my purpose. While my destiny is in fashion my purpose and mission has changed from an ordinary business mindset to using my gift to help others through fashion based on my life experiences.
My main message is this: don't give up because your days ahead don't look like what you painted on a canvas; keep on going. God cannot lie and He will take you where no man can.
Through my whole experience God gave me a gift of peace, love and living without fear. I can confidentially say-- If he did it for little ol' me He can definitely do it for you. - Cristal Lowe♡♡♡
Hi Queens & Kings!
DevinMarie here, and wanted to share some thoughts on the Giants I have faced and are facing currently. But let's be honest...Once you get past the denial part...or worse, blaming others for your own limitations; facing anything that you deem as daunting or a challenge takes guts…am I right? 😏
When trauma consumes your being, the essence of who you are is often distorted. You can’t take the good in you without emphasizing the bad. You can be so critical of yourself you rob yourself of the joy in being human.
I realized that my greatest limitations in my process of healing my inability to let go
Queens and Kings, this is a giant I had to really come face to face with. Post sexual assault and the trauma attached requires many layers of healing. I feel like I am in a great place in my life…I feel like I have made so many great strides in my healing with my walk with God. But, I also feel like I put limits in what I think God can really do in this season of my healing. God has really been dealing with my communication in a major-major way. I have been walking in my flesh in regards to this, and have been convicted of this limitation I need to acknowledge and conquer. Sexual assault has taught me to close off all forms of communication, even from those that I love. I developed a habit of internalizing not only that experience, but also anything that feels like pain, misunderstandings, and problems I may be confronted with. I have often resorted to shutting down, and cutting off anything and anyone that didn’t meet my needs, or see my pain. (huh, sound familiar?)🤔🤔
Well, after the rape, that’s everything I ever felt—unheard, unseen, and ultimately unloved. I allowed that moment to transcend in every area of my life, so that when there was an issue, I internalized it. Because honestly, if you couldn’t see or hear the cries I tried to conceal after something like that, what makes me feel safe enough to want to express anything similar? But this mentality only left me with more discontent, and left others who do love me, and who do see me feeling confused, frustrated and hurt. 💔
This doesn’t make room for growth of any kind; it only forges the gap of misunderstandings and feelings of neglect between you and the rest of the world.
So…how do you open up when rape culture and sexism has taught you to be silent, to victim-blame, and suffer silently alone? You break the cycle—You shift your perspective, There ARE people who care, who love, who respect, and who honor the real spirit God has placed inside of you: one without fear, victimization, or pain. Someone who is free from not only the pain of their past, but what that pain has incorrectly taught them about themselves. I’m working on it, especially in my most intimate relationships with my partner, family, and closest friends. I have a giant to conquer, and ya girl is comin’ swinging for Goliath. “this too shall pass…” and in the process, I will be patient with myself, and let go of the limitations that my past wishes could stop me.
-NOT today; not ever Satan! 🙅🏽💃🏽
Love, DevinMarie 💖💖
With love and solidarity,
Herstory is back with another series, and as mentioned before we are sharing how we have conquered giants of our past, and ways we are slaying them now.
One giant we have had to face: fear.
"I'm not going to lie and say after being raped I was truly myself. Although, I looked happy, and wore a smile as if life was amazing....nothing was changing on inside of me where fear dwelled. Being silent in my pain, I was slowly allowing fear to take over my life.
I stopped attending Fashion week in Las Vegas, where the assault occurred. I stopped caring about my career because I now affiliated fashion and the industry with pain, anger, and ultimately rape. I couldn't help but think, "had I not been attending fashion week this might had not happened to me. Mathews 5: 14-16 says to "SPEAK about letting our light shine and how it can't be hidden..." in the same way I began to speak life into my career and say, "no past pain can no longer take over my career and I need to step in faith knowing God has given me these talents." I knew deep down I had to confront these giants to conquer them, I needed my career back, and had to return to fashion week. I might feel fearful, but fear no longer lives inside me. I'm walking with purpose in mind, and will put my trust in God and live life with out fear as I step out of my comfort zone."
And with that...we want to continue to lift our sister Cristal up in prayer as she embarks in another Las Vegas Fashion Week! (You got this sis) 🤗💖
Crazy thing is...I woke up to this devotional to mediate and pray over which states:
And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?
- Matthew 6:27
So Father God, I'm praying for every person out there living in fear, praying that the bondages of fear be released in Jesus' Name as you have done for us in the matters of our own experiences of assault. Everyone reading this, we pray a release of GODLY-confidence, that any enemy that we may face, be it internal or external bows before you in reverence knowing that you are in control God, and we have NOTHING to FEAR! In His name which derive our source of strength we pray in JESUS' name--amen! 🙏🏽
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.