You Glow Different When You Realize Your Worth Can’t Be Determined by a Man

As much as we hate to admit it, us women will sometimes use the actions of a man as a measuring tool for our self worth. We think that because the man we’re invested in or crushing on isn’t giving us what we desire, there must be something wrong with us.  Well, if no one else wants to admit it, I will. I’ve done it, and every now and then I catch myself still doing it. For example:

I once fell for a guy. We spent a lot of time together. We were friends. At least that’s what we told people. But I wanted to be more than his friend. So I did everything in my power to show him I’d be a great partner. I supported his endeavors, cooked for him, did his laundry–anything he needed, without hesitation. However, no matter what I did,  he wouldn’t commit to me. His reasons seemed to be valid, but regardless of what he said, I felt like I just wasn’t good enough. I let myself come to the conclusion that if I was so great, he would see it and be with me, but he never did.

I once dated another man for seven years. You can read about that relationship in a previous post, Life After Breaking-up. I loved him with everything, but I wasn’t content with being just a girlfriend. Not after seven years of dating. I desired to be his wife. So after a proposal and almost two-year engagement, I gave him an ultimatum. I gave him the option to set a wedding date and be with me forever… or never– and he chose the ladder. Imagine what that did to my confidence.

Each and every time a man didn’t pick me or walked away from me, it ate at how I felt about myself.  Finding love and one day having a family is something that’s always been important to me. I thought it would be so effortless. So when it wasn’t happening for me I started to tell myself that I wasn’t “all that” since no man was giving me what I wanted. Rejection made me feel like I wasn’t valuable. I was so hard on myself.  I told myself I wasn’t attractive enough and concluded that if I was prettier or had a higher degree or bigger career, having a life partner wouldn’t be such a struggle.

It seemed as if every man I gave my heart to just wanted to “rent” it, but never “sign the buyers agreement”. They enjoyed my company but didn’t want to commit to it the way I wanted them too. There were nights I would cry because I was so unhappy with my lack of ability to achieve love and happiness.

That’s when I took a step back to re-evaluate my life and think about how I got to the place of thinking I was nothing because of how men treated me. How did this young confident woman I used to be turn into someone who felt she was lacking so greatly? I didn’t realize the depth of how much I let men determine my value until after I started living as a single woman. I let break-ups and disappointments temporarily effect my self-esteem. I had forgotten that I am a daughter of the king, the creator of the universe.

That was all the reminder I needed. And thats why I’m reminding you. How silly was it for me to think down on myself because some guy didn’t pick me, meanwhile, there was another man named Jesus who died for me. I didn’t need a man on this earth to save me or make my life complete because one already did that on a cross 2,000 years ago.

There’s a man that valued me so much that he made sure my previous relationships didn’t work out. He knows I am a prized possession and deserves so much more than what I thought I wanted. I’m so valuable that he protected me from myself and is preparing me for what he has in store for me. And he’s doing the same for you.

So in the meantime, we have to stop being so pressed for a love God already has for us. I mean just imagine if we stopped idolizing relationships and marriage. Yes, being in love and having a family is a huge blessing. But so are other things like starting that business you’ve always thought about, writing that book, finishing school, being self sufficient and independent, getting your finances together, increasing your credit score, saving up, traveling the world, being a role model to the children you may already have, volunteering, serving your church, getting closer to God, and living in your purpose.

So to the lonely woman, the woman who’s single year after year and think they’re running out of time, and the hopeless romantic woman- relax, sister. Your worth and happiness can’t be determined by your relationship status. God already said you’re priceless. And true joy comes from God alone. There are people who are married and have kids who still don’t feel fulfilled so don’t let that be the end all/be all to your happiness.

Don’t waste your best years hurting yourself over and over trying to find “him,” and work on finding YOU. God will do the rest. The real fairy tale is creating a life so great you don’t need a knight in shining armor to rescue you from it. . but if he just so happens to come along anyway– so be it….

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Anticipating the Breakthrough

Life can be hard- but don’t give up!

It’s a process. A journey. The path laid out is straight. But the road to get there is bumpy; Things aren’t always going to go smoothly at your job. Your relationships won’t always work out. You’ll “fall off” from people who meant the world to you. Your finances won’t always be in top shape. Sometimes you’ll do things that you later wish you hadn’t- but it’s important that you never let yourself stay in a place of being discouraged. THAT’S how the enemy attacks you. He aims to take away all of your hope. He gets pleasure in us believing that we’re alone in this world. He wants us to think that no one cares about us and that our situations are permanent when in reality, our break-through is right around the corner. What-ever you do, don’t let yourself fold.

Life is about learning. It’s about healing. Life is about growing, forgiving yourself, and also forgiving the people around you. It’s about overcoming the pain so that you can fully carry out the plan that God has for you.

For me, it’s seems every aspect of my life has been shaken up within the last few months. No matter how many obstacles I hurdled over, the devil had another weapon ready to launch at me. It’s been a serious struggle, but no matter how hard it is to believe sometimes, no weapon formed against me will prosper. The last six months have been such a challenge. I’ve had more bills than money. Friendships fell apart. People who I thought would never turn on me, did. I lost all motivation. I got tired of losing people. Tired of constantly fighting to stay a float. Tired of getting my feelings hurt, and heart broken. Tired of mourning all of my “L’s” and feeling as if I can’t catch a break. I’ve felt alone and depressed- but in the same breath, empowered. All of my situations have brought me closer to God. I’m reminded that he is my go-to. Not my friends. Not a boyfriend. God is the source. He has the answer to all of my problems. He’s the one who will happily fight all of my battles. By resting in him, I am powerful beyond measure. People will fail you. I will fail you. But God never will.

And for those who think they’ve messed up too bad for God to be there for them- you’re wrong. Don’t shame yourself. I’m so guilty of this. I always feel like God’s going to be like “You knew better,” and turn his back, but deep down I know he won’t. That’s another lie from the enemy. God is so different than people. He wants to forgive you. He’s not holding a grudge against me, or you. Ever. So don’t be afraid to turn to him. He’s waiting for you, always.

So many times within the last few months I’ve asked myself is life even worth living. And the answer I always get is “yes”. We’re all here on earth for a reason. We all have a different struggle, but nonetheless, we all struggle. The devil was lying to me so much; Telling me that perusing my dreams was pointless. Reminding me of how I’m 30 years old and not exactly where I want to be in life- no six-figure career, no masters degree, no house, no husband, etc. But the truth is- none of us have it all together, no matter what it looks like on the outside. Life will get hard- Christian or not. So endure. Someone needs you. Someone is counting on you. No one else can do what GOD called and created YOU to do, but you. Life can be hard, but God will give you perfect peace if you let him.

So keep working hard. Keep setting goals and working to achieve them. For as long as you’re still breathing there’s still time to grow and bring your dreams to fruition. Keep trusting God. Keep striving to get closer to him no matter what. He will connect you with the right people. He will get you to where you NEED TO BE if you keep him first.

With all of that said I ask that everyone reading this will keep me in your prayers while I dig deeper into God’s plan over my life. The devil wouldn’t be attacking me so much if there wasn’t a multitude of blessings in store waiting for me to unlock them. I don’t want to miss out on my blessings by being rebellious or letting my circumstances consume me. My breakthrough has been a long time coming and with everything I have gone through in life, I am beyond excited about the sunlight God is getting ready to shine after the rain. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for reading.

With Love,

Veronica

Who is The Virtuous Woman?

 

Since launching “Virtuous by Veronica” (VBV), I have received a ton of questions about who the virtuous woman is, and why she is a role model to me. I realized it when I made my first public appearance for Virtuous by Veronica at a women’s empowerment expo that so many people had never even heard of her. So let me tell you a little about the virtuous woman  and why she’s the inspiration for not just my blog/boutique, but for the type of woman I strive to be.

To start, the virtuous woman is #LifeGoals. She is the a woman of the bible who can be found in Proverbs 31. She has amazing qualities and characteristics that can be hard to find in today’s woman. Although she’s a rare breed, her mindset is effective and she takes her direction from God so inevitably she’s successful. God used her as an example of how we should conduct ourselves as women, and everyday I’m praying that God will help me to master all of her qualities. Whether you’re single or in a relationship, there’s a lot that can be learned from the virtuous woman.

So lets talk about her. First, she’s a woman who can be trusted. She will do her husband good and not evil all the days of her life (Proverbs 31:12). Although the bible states that her “husband” can trust her, I think it’s important that we realize this quality should be applicable to any relationship we are apart of. Whether a friendship, business relationship or romantic relationship, it’s important for whomever we may choose to be involved with to know that they are dealing with someone who’s trustworthy,  loyal, and interested in helping & not hurting them. No matter what I go through in life I make it a point to be the woman who’s intentions don’t have to be questioned. I refuse to be the bitter woman who uses hurt from the past to justify disloyal behavior in the present. I refuse to hurt simply because I’ve been hurt. The virtuous woman can be trusted indefinitely, and the scriptures make it clear by description of the different relationships she has with anyone in her life.

The Virtuous Woman is a hard worker, hustler and a smart investor (Proverbs 31:13-14, 16). She invests her money rather than spend it on frivolous objects & activities. She’s a business woman, but she makes sure to give to the poor and needy (Proverbs 31:20).

This woman is prepared for life meaning she stays ready so she never has to get ready. She’s up early daily making sure her home and/or projects are in order (Proverbs 31:15) which is evidence of her controlling her time, and not letting time control her. That is beyond admirable to me. I’ve always been an entrepreneur/business woman who takes pride in being self-sufficient (through God), but I have yet to master the art of waking early, and being truly prepared. I am a procrastinator who likes to sleep in until the last second, and justifies it by pretending I work better under pressure. That’s not how I was meant to operate and I’m slowly, but surely, getting better at budgeting my time.

The virtuous woman takes care of her physical appearance (Proverbs 31:22) but isn’t consumed by it. Despite popular belief, the Christian women is not to be associated with the unattractive woman. I used to think that by dressing to Gods standard I needed to throw away my love for fashion & pampering myself. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. He wants us to look & feel good.  God wants us to be well kept. He is the creator of physical beauty, but he wants us to to be aware of  what we focus on primarily to attract others. It should be our spirits over our sense of style that do the attracting. This topic of dress, modesty, & the truth on how we should present ourselves physically is something I battled with and will be discussed in more depth in a future post.

The next quality of the virtuous woman is one of my favorites. It’s about her taste in men. IF she chooses to marry,  scripture tells us that her husband is powerful & well respected (Proverbs 31:23). So what does that tell us? He’s no “average Joe”. A man of God can never be an “average Joe” because he has a divine purpose over his life that he’s pursuing. What would make a man be respected and well known at the city gates as mentioned in scripture? His work ethic? His relationship with God? These are all things to think about, and this particular verse really makes me feel not so bad about people telling me I’m too picky/stuck-up when it comes to who I’ll entertain on a romantic level. I don’t want to be with an “average Joe” because I’m not an “average Jane”, and I know that when the time is right , I will have that well-respected and powerful man that God intended for the virtuous woman to have.

Strength & honor are her clothing and she smiles at the future (Proverbs 31:25). She’s an optimist who has positive thoughts of the future, and by wearing her strength as clothing, you can tell by looking at her that she’s a strong woman worthy of respect.

She’s wise and the law of her tongue is kindness (Proverbs 31:26). She’s the type of woman who thinks before she speaks/acts and will only speak if its with kindness. There is no power in being a mean girl & she knows this. I strive to be kind always, because this world can be a cold place and you really know what someone else is going through. I want to be that ray of sunshine to anyone I encounter and not a contributor to the darkness.

The virtuous woman exceeds all expectations and she is rewarded by the fruits of her own work (Proverbs 31:29, 31). She’s not the one to do the bare minimum to get by. She gives her all in all she does, and is a clear example of reaping what you sow.

Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the lord should be praised (Proverbs 31: 30). The virtuous woman is beautiful (we’re all beautiful as God Created us) & well put together, but her true value isn’t found in what’s on the outside. Its found in what she possesses on the inside of her heart and mind. What makes her truly praiseworthy is her dedication to love and keep God’s commandments.

“But who can find a virtuous woman?  For her price is far above rubies” (Proverbs 31:10).

And that, my valued readers, is the virtuous woman. At least a summary of her. She is the type of woman I want to be. She is the woman I work at being everyday, and she is the inspiration behind VBV. I’m honored to have a platform to bring awareness to the type of woman God created us to be. She loves God, works hard, takes care of herself, her household, stays optimistic and so much more. She’s the superwoman of both biblical and modern times.  The type of strength needed to pull off what she does daily is strength that can only be acquired by communicating with a higher power daily. This tells us something about her relationship with her creator. She’s in constant contact with him. She can do anything and everything and its all through God who strengthens her.

There’s so much to dig into when it comes to The Virtuous Woman. I definitely recommend reading Proverbs 31 in its entirety to get your own clear understanding of who she is. I recommend reading it over & over again, because I’ve noticed that the more I read it, the more revelation I get about this prime example of a woman. As I continue writing for Virtuous by Veronica I will share more specific experiences I’ve had/will have throughout my journey of being/staying a virtuous woman, and I hope that by witnessing my growth you will grow as well. And for those who had never heard of her, I hope this gives you an understanding of how she inspires me and VBV. Thanks for reading!

With Love,

Veronica

P.S

If you like the tee I’m wearing in the embedded video (Virtuous Tee) order yours now at http://www.virtuousbyveronica.com/boutique. Your support means so much to me! ❤ Thanks again!

 

 

 

 

How I kept My Faith After Losing my Daughter

In honor of my daughter’s 2nd birthday today, I wanted to share this story:

Let’s start from the beginning. What I thought was going to be the best year of my life ended up being the worst. 2016 started with me getting ready to live my dream of traveling the world. I had just been offered a position as a flight attendant. Of the 100 applicants who were at the open interview for the position, I was one of nine selected to do the job. I felt so blessed and highly favored.

As I was starting to believe that things couldn’t get any better, three weeks before leaving for flight attendant training my then fiance’ finally proposed that we spend the rest of our lives together. I was ecstatic. Life was good. Nothing that anyone could have told me would have prepared me for what was to come in the following months.

Shortly before graduating from FA training I noticed that I wasn’t feeling well. I was feeling nauseous and more fatigue than usual. At first I wrote my symptoms off as side effects from training since it was so stressful. Flight attendant training was intense. People most often visualize flight attendants as simply serving peanuts and beverages, but there was so much more to it. We were literally being trained to save lives if the situation should ever occur while 3,000 feet in the sky. No sleep, early mornings, 12 hour days, and no days off wasn’t even the half of the struggle. However, I made it through and I was so proud. But back to the nausea. As it turned out, I wasn’t able to place blame on FA training. Two weeks before graduation I found out that I was pregnant.

The moment I found out I was pregnant was surreal. I’m not going to lie and say I was happy because I wasn’t at first. I was shocked, terrified and even ashamed. All I could do was cry. During that time I was practicing celibacy, but obviously I stumbled. Now my struggle was brought into the light for everyone to see. So many thoughts ran through  my head.  How could I be a flight attendant with a baby? What would people think of me since I always promoted the message of marriage before babies? How could I be so stupid? Becoming a mother just wasn’t something that I even considered would be a possibility in 2016. So shortly after FA graduation I headed home to figure out what I was going to do with the next few months of my life.

I had every intent of returning back to my new career in the skies. I thought I could make it work but shortly after returning home, the effects of pregnancy started to kick in and I developed a condition called Hypermesis Gravidarum. For those who don’t know, it’s a sever condition of morning sickness that few women get while pregnant. For me, symptoms included vomiting 20+ times a day, not being able to keep any food in my stomach after consumption, and frequent trips to the ER to get IV’s to combat dehydration. There was no way I would be able to do my job as a flight attendant in that condition, and being I was too new to go on a leave, I decided to resign.

Pregnancy only got worse for me.  Not only was I beyond sick, but about 4 months into my pregnancy I started to receive negative reports at my doctors visits. Based on blood work results and ultra sounds, I heard everything from “Your daughter may have a disability”, to “Your daughter might not make it”. It seemed that there was something new at every appointment and all I wanted to know was why this was happening to me. It got to the point where doctors were pressuring me to have an abortion. Time after time they asked if I wanted to give up on my daughter, but there was no way I could do that. I had never been so scared in my life, but I drew the conclusion that maybe God was just testing my faith. So I teamed up with other faith based individuals and vowed that I would no longer be effected by the negative reports from doctors. My God was bigger than any abnormality on a scan and I believed he was going to prove all of those doctors wrong.

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Shianne’s Parents

Shianne Anaya Hercules was born early in the morning hours on July 6th, 2016. She was born premature at 29 weeks and weighed one pound. It wasn’t the delivery I always saw on tv where the mother was in labor for hours, then the next thing you know a baby is born, he/she crys, everyone celebrates, and finally the mother gets to hold the being she’s been carrying in her womb for the last nine months. Nope. I was admitted into the high risk maternity unit the day before her birth.  I had an ultra sound that day and Shianne’s heartbeat was irregular so I was on 24 hour monitoring in case an emergency delivery was needed.  Sure enough, at almost 5 in the morning I was awaken from my sleep in my hospital bed and was told that I needed to have an emergency c-section otherwise my daughter wouldn’t make it out of my womb.  So they prepped my mother, then fiance’, and I for delivery.  I was terrified. I knew she was coming way too early and the doctors kept reminding me that she might not make it past delivery. But she did. I remember it happening in slow motion. After delivery, I saw my beautiful tiny baby in the doctors arm for just a moment before she was  whisked away, incubated, and put into the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. She was the most amazing thing I had ever seen in my life and I couldn’t believe that she came from me. I would have done anything to have been able to hold her. I had no plans of becoming a mother that year, but once I met her I knew she was meant to be mine. No words could ever explain the love that a person feels for their own children. It’s a love so strong and unbreakable. Something I never felt before. Its cliche’ but its real. Life finally had meaning. I had a purpose, and it was to be the best mom that I could ever be to this new life.

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Minutes After Shianne Was Born

The next month was nothing short of a roller coaster. Shianne was born with a hole in her heart and under-developed lungs.  She was hooked up to so many machines in the NICU and even though she had overcome all other obstacles so far, doctors were not confident that she was ever going to make it out of NICU. In fact, they made sure to remind me of this everyday.  At first their words would break me down. I hated trying to envision life without the precious little girl I had just brought into the world. However, no matter what they said, I had to keep the faith for Shianne. If no one else was going to believe in her survival, I had to. I served a miracle working God so of course he was going to heal Shianne. I just had to believe. All things are possible through God.

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“Beads of Hope”, given to Shianne each time she overcame a milestone.

Day by day, things started to look up for Shianne. Although there were still complications, she was eating the breast milk that I pumped for her, gaining weight and becoming more gorgeous than ever. It was a rough start but after about the first three weeks her health started taking a turn for the better. The doctors were impressed with the progress she was making and finally began to discuss plans of Shianne coming home. She was needing less support from the machines and seemed to be on track to becoming healthy. My prayers along with the prayers of friends and family were working.

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So on August 11th, 2016, when I received a call from the doctors office saying that Shianne’s feedings had been stopped and that there was a possibility that she had an infection, I didn’t know what to think. All I knew was that I needed to get back to the hospital right away to be by my daughter’s side. Her doctor said that wasn’t necessary, but there was no way I wasn’t going to show up. Upon arrival, around 11:00pm, I could tell right away by looking at Shianne that something was wrong. My sister and mother were already there. They visited her frequently and informed me that the doctors had just performed CPR on Shianne because her heart beats dropped. Her doctor had not had a chance to call me back yet. At this moment my world was spinning and I couldn’t believe that Shianne was going through this. I was terrified and all I could think was “God, where are you?!”. I got an update from her doctor and she informed me that Shianne did indeed have an infection–something that babies born premature were prone to. They have underdeveloped immune systems which make it hard to combat any type of germs and viruses. I’ll never forget those early morning hours of August 12th, 2016 where I witnessed 5-7 doctors surrounding my daughter, giving her chest compressions and steroids in attempts to get her heart beating again. The infection was taking over and despite all antibiotics giver to her, it wasn’t looking good. They asked me if I wanted to remove her from the machines so that I could hold her for the 1st time before she took her last breaths, but I was in a state of denial. No, I didn’t want them to remove her from any support. I wanted them to keep operating until she was stable again. There was no way God was going to take my daughter from me. I wasn’t giving up and I told them that.

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My Angel, Shianne.

Shianne passed away in the early hours of the morning on August 12th, 2016 from what we found out later was Necrotizing Enterocolitis. She lived to be one month and six days old. To this day, I have never felt so powerless. There she was, my child, losing her life right in front of me and there was absolutely nothing I could do about it. For this, I was so upset at God. I didn’t even want to believe in him anymore. For what? I put my whole pregnancy in his hands and had the up most faith despite all of the negative reports I received from man. I did nothing but pray during my pregnancy and still doubled up the prayers once Shianne made it onto this earth. There were hundreds of people praying for Shianne’s healing; from family to friends to churches all over. So many different pastors told me that they felt she was going to make it. Anytime the doctors told me something I didn’t like, I let it go in one ear and out the other because I refused to believe that my God wasn’t big enough to turn around everything they were saying. He was going to work a miracle. I told the doctors this time after time; but there I was on that cold morning with a lifeless daughter in my arms, saying my good-bye’s with no explanation a to why. The doctors were right all along and I looked like a fool because I kept my faith in God regardless of what they said. Or so I thought.

I didn’t know how I was going to go on through life after Shianne died. Between the guilt of being a parent who couldn’t protect my baby from the arms of death, and feeling like I didn’t have God in my corner anymore, it was enough to drive me crazy. I was torn between feelings of God not being real, and God just not caring about me. If God wasn’t real then it’d make more sense as to why my prayers weren’t answered. But if he was real, and he didn’t step in to save my daughter, how could I still serve him? Why would I want to after he left me hanging when I put all of my trust in him? Was this my punishment for getting pregnant before marriage? Angry doesn’t even begin to describe my inner emotions towards God after Shianne left this earth. I found myself comparing my situation to others. I have so many friends who had babies outside of marriage with no remorse and they were completely healthy. Yet, here I am, born and raised in church, had a relationship with God, begged for forgiveness for my fornication and I’m the one who loses a child. I was put through the worst. Why did god allow me to go through this tribulation?

Following Shianne’s death was the darkest time in my life. Sometimes I questioned whether or not life was even worth living anymore so I started to just live like life didn’t matter. The more I thought about the situation, the angrier I got. From losing my position as a flight attendant to being pregnant, to being extremely sick, to mourning the loss of my daughter. It  was a lot. I began to binge eat and gained 40 pounds within a span of just a few months. I developed a habit of drinking and also spent nights and weekends trying to party away my pain. I lost faith temporarily. I would still attend church from time to time, but it just wasn’t the same. Now that I look back on it,  I think it was more so me being stubborn and not allowing my mind and body to fall into a state of worship. I was mad at God. I was at such a low point, but if I can make it through, anyone can.  As much as this situation arose doubts of God’s existence, I knew deep in my heart that he had to be real. So I was honest with God. I told him how I felt and that I was angry. Enough soul searching revealed that rebelling wasn’t the answer and so I decided to come back to him.

One realization that I had shortly before returning back to God’s arms was the fact that so many people serve God when it’s convenient for them. During my pregnancy and while Shianne was in the hospital, I prayed faithfully and never missed a church service. I wanted something from God, and because I expected to get it, I served him. However, as soon as I didn’t get my way with him all bets were off. I had to think about what that said about my relationship with him. Did I exalt him because I believe him to be the creator of the universe and the controller of all things? Or was our relationship based on which prayers he answered?

As I sit here writing this on August 12th, 2017, exactly one year after Shianne’s departure from this earth (I won’t publish this until I’m ready), I still have so many unanswered questions.  I’ll never understand why things worked out the way they did in my situation, but I must remember that God promises to have a plan for me. A good one. My daughter’s assignment on earth was fulfilled and she is now in heaven with him. However, I’m still here, so there must be more for me to complete. What the enemy wants to use for bad, God can turn around and use for good. I don’t know very many mothers who have lost children, so when it happened to me there were very few people who could understand what I was going through. Now that I have experienced such tragedy, I am specially equipped to help someone else who may be going through the same thing and that’s what I intend to do. I can turn my ashes to beauty through God almighty.

I’m not saying that I’m over the loss of my daughter. That just won’t happen. Losing a child is something that you NEVER get over. It’s a journey I’ll continue to share with you. You’ll always wonder what things would have been like. You’ll count birthdays and daydream about what milestones they would have overcame at every age. It’ll always be a hard pill to swallow, but there’s always a way to use your pain for good. Learn and be inspired by it.  Even though Shianne isn’t here, I’m still the role model that she would have had on earth and I will show her that her mom is strong. Her death is not in vein, and I will continue to use everything that she taught me to help build God’s kingdom until we meet again.

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My First Public appearance courtesy of EmpowerHer CA

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I recently had my first public appearance for “Virtuous by Veronica” at the EmpowerHer CA expo in Elk Grove, California, and it was such an amazing experience! It was a women’s empowerment event focused on uniting women in business and bringing awareness to the endeavors they are pursuing. Amazing things happen when we support each other.  There were everything from hair stylists, to singers, dancers, makeup artists, reporters, motivational speakers, travel agents and more. This event was for anyone of all ages who wanted to show support for us ladies.

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I was there as a vendor promoting “Virtuous by Veronica” & VBV merchandise. I knew going in that this expo was not particularly a religious event, however, women in business from all different backgrounds were invited & encouraged to come out. There’s beauty in unity & the best way to reach a soul is to display love & kindness regardless of different individual beliefs. As a woman of faith I think it’s important that we don’t always “preach to the choir”, but that we get out there & spread the news of God’s love in areas where some may not know. I noticed at this expo that there were so many people who had never heard of the virtuous woman before so it was an honor to be able to bring awareness to the type of woman God designed for us to be. And it was appreciated. I was overwhelmed with the amount of support received from all of the women at this expo and I can’t wait for the next one. Ladies were purchasing “virtuous” tees and I got a bunch of new subscribers! All credit to God. What a blessing it was.

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New subscribers!

I’m not going to say that I wasn’t a little nervous before attending because I was. In the beginning. It was my first public appearance and I didn’t know how people would receive it. When it came down to it though, God gave me this vision and whether or not people support or think I’m qualified enough to carry it out, I’m going to continue doing what he told me to do. My faith has been greater than my fears and for that reason I know God will continually bless me.

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To those I met personally at EmpowerHer Ca, thank you so much for subscribing and taking interest in VBV! I look forward to connecting with you again in the near future!

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Founder of FEMWINISM & I, Tia Ferrera

I’d also like to thank Robin Craft, who put together this amazing event. You are appreciated.

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Founder of EmpowerHer Ca, Robin Craft, & I.

And lastly, I’d like to thank my closest friends Nikkii, Celeste, & Nai who helped me prepare for this event, and were right there showing their support all throughout the expo. Good friends are hard to find so thank you. I love you guys.

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Until next time, stay blessed!

With love,

Veronica

P.S

If you like the above tees that you see in the pic, you can have your very own! Order yours now by visiting http://www.virtuousbyveronica.com/boutique or select the “boutique” option at the top of the page ❤

Thank you for your support! ❤

Life After Breaking-up

Besides death, I would give break-ups the award for hardest situation to get through. Maybe that’s because two people breaking up from a serious relationship is all too similar to someone dying. Sure that person may still be alive, but the relationship is dead. A piece of you leaves, and from there you have no choice but to find a new way of living. The whole world will seem different, and you’ll wonder if the feeling of normalcy will ever return again. As tough as it can be, life must go on.

I was  most recently in a 6+ year relationship with someone I thought I would spend the rest of my life with. This is the most recent hurdle that I have overcome in my life. After it ended, I really didn’t mention it to a lot of people. I needed time to come to terms with it and accept the fact that the relationship was over. It hurt me to my core, but it wasn’t something I wanted to talk about (until now) or broadcast on social media. There was no spectacle made of it. No drama, just two people who decided to go their separate ways.

Him and I met in high school. We both had a crush on each other, but due to timing we didn’t end up together until our early twenties. After our first date, we were inseparable. Six months after that, we decided that we wanted to date each other exclusively, and from there we built the greatest bond I’d ever had with any person from the opposite sex who wasn’t family. We talked about anything/everything, had so much fun together, spent every birthday & holiday together, enjoyed the same activities & sports teams, took trips together, went to church together–it was great. He was my best friend.

So why did it end? Believe it or not, but every relationship doesn’t end because of infidelity. Sometimes two people really do just want two different things. I grew up more traditionally–I wanted marriage and a family. He claimed to want the same things and even proposed to me on Christmas of 2015. However, after two years of being engaged with no wedding date set, it was clear to me that this wasn’t what he really wanted. So I walked away. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. I kind of wished that he would have cheated on me or did something malicious so that it would have been a little easier to say goodbye. But it was nothing like that. So it made me question whether or not I was making the right decision. I asked myself things like where was I going to find another man to make me the center of their world the way he did? A man who was attractive, but knew how to say no to temptation? A man who would never make me feel like I was in competition with another woman, and be faithful to me always the way he was? He had a lot of great qualities, but it just couldn’t compensate for the fact that we had been seeing each other for over 6 years and he still couldn’t put a date on starting our real future together.

So about 9 months ago, I decided I couldn’t wait anymore. I moved out (I know, I know, we shouldn’t have been living together), found a space of my own, and started this new life of singleness. Prior to him, I was in another relationship that lasted a few years, so being alone was definitely something to get used to. I’m still getting used to it, but I am embracing it. So far I’ve noticed that great things happen when you really have time to spend with yourself. Getting to know yourself, and only answering to yourself and God is a blessing always. Once you’re married, in a relationship, or have children, your time is never really yours anymore. I hear it from friends all the time. I may sometimes long to have what they have- a husband/family, but at the same time they sometimes long to have the independence that I have on a daily basis. That’s something they’ll never again get.  So embrace the time you have to focus on bettering yourself and your relationship with God. It’s amazing how much clearer God’s voice can be when your relationship with him is the primary one being focused on.

What’s really been helping me maintain strength is one of Gods promises found in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 6 verse 33: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all of these things will be added unto you.” Our father knows exactly what we want and need. He is more than capable of providing it for us. God is the source. The plug. But sometimes we get so distracted by where we want to be relationship wise, career wise, etc., that we fail to realize that all of those things that we want so badly in life have already been guaranteed. If we do our part and keep God first, he will hold up his end of the bargain. With that being said, I’ve dedicated myself to staying focused and having faith in that promise. He wouldn’t have promised it if it weren’t true. Only good things can happen from guarding my heart, and only moving when God tells me to.

So I just want to encourage any woman who may be going through heartbreak due to a breakup. I’ve been there (a few times) and I know its not fun to deal with. Whether its a temporary break-up, or over for good, life afterwards isn’t easy. But it can be beautiful. This time of singleness has shown me exactly how strong I really am. I know what I want, and I’ve proven to myself that I’ll go for it even if it means making tough decisions. And I’ll stick with that decision. I’m not sure how many people will be able to fully comprehend exactly how tough it was for me to walk away from my last relationship. That was six years of my life. So many people were rooting for us. I was rooting for us. I still love him to death, but I love God more, and I know he is the one who’ll fulfill the true desires of my heart. I know I’m supposed to be a wife. That great woman behind a great man. A motivator. A help mate. A servant to a king. I like the role of girlfriend, but I love the role of a wife. I just have to trust the process. God’s process.  I don’t need to search for a man. I don’t need to worry about if I made the right decision in leaving the last man. All I need to do is put my energy into the work that God has assigned for me to do and from there my desires will be fulfilled. That’s his promise to me. That’s his promise to all of us.

-Veronica A. Catlin

The Prodigal Daughter

Here I am. The daughter of two Pentecostal pastors. That’s right, I’m the “pastor’s kid“. I’m the girl who grew up attending church every Sunday, Wednesday and sometimes Friday. I’m the girl with parents so strict that my friends in school didn’t even bother inviting me to outside school activities because they already knew that there was no way my mother would allow me to attend a party or be out after dark. And was the event co-ed? If so, you could really forget about it. Most of my childhood revolved around church and keeping God’s commandments. Don’t lie. No sex before marriage. All of that.

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So how did I end up where I did? How did that church going girl with the dresses and skirts to her ankles turn into an adult who struggled with the basic principalities of virtue? How did I break my commitment to not have sex before marriage? At one point I struggled so much with lust. I wasn’t promiscuous. But I tried to use sex as a tool to prove my love.  I excused it because I convinced myself that it was ok if I we were in love and in a “committed” relationship. It’s like I grew up, moved out, and temporarily forgot about everything I was taught. I was dating the wrong guys, partying like nothing mattered, working at night clubs,  and more concerned with proving to the world that I was worthy than I was with proving it to God.

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(TBT to when I worked as a gogo dancer. I debated about re-posting this photo. But this is my truth. This is my testimony. )

Other Christians assumed that because I was “born into” Christianity I had it easier than others who didn’t find Christ until their later years. However, I didn’t find that to be true. I will never doubt the fact that I am blessed to have had a family who made Jesus the center of everything, because even when I wasn’t praying there was somebody else who was.  I think my issue was just that at the time, I had never felt that strong sense of deliverance. I knew I was saved, but it’s not the same as when someone who never knew God is miraculously saved by him. They literally find God. They seem to not take him for granted as much as those of us who grew up in the church. As a young adult I didn’t feel as close to God as I should have because everything was so routine.  I didn’t know it then, but I needed to really dig and build a personal relationship with God. I needed to understand why he was God and piece together everything I learned growing up. Being a follower of Christ isn’t about following rules. Jesus wasn’t a mutual friend, and I wasn’t saved just because my parents were. I needed to know God and not just a lot about him.

After years of rebellion, its finally making sense to me. And that’s where I’m at now. I wish it didn’t take me until my late twenties to start listening to the voice that’s been tugging at my heart and ears for years.  Telling me to come home. There wasn’t some big life event that put me back on my path to God. At least not one in particular. It was the fact that no matter what I did in life, or how much fun I thought I was having, I was never truly happy.  There were times where I felt so low about life that I wanted to end it. I spent a decade trying to do things my own way, but was never satisfied. I chased the glories of this world instead of living in the true calling that God set up for me.  Now, as I observe how the world is operating, and as I see the prophecies in the bible begin to truly unfold, I realize more and more how important it is to live in God’s will.  What better way to use my passion for words and fashion than to be a platform for the type of women that should truly be honored regardless of the lack of media hype.

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I’m not perfect and I didn’t create this brand to act like I am. I know the truth but sometimes living in it is a challenge. Especially with the way this world is set up today; Sex on tv, drugs in music, and modesty never advertised–its’ not designed to help us win. As a matter of fact, its designed to do the exact opposite. And if the world can lead a girl who spent her whole life going to church astray—imagine what it could do to a woman who has never known Christ.  I’m just happy that I found my way back into God’s presence. I’m excited to share my  journey of staying on the virtuous road and inspiring others to see the beauty in being the virtuous woman.

-Veronica A .Catlin

Train up a child in the way he should go: And when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22:6

[ The Parable of the Prodigal Son ]

Luke 15 : 11

 

Journey to Virtuous

When we think of the virtuous woman, we often think about the perfect woman. The woman who has made no mistakes and has her life completely together. We think of the sought after woman of the bible who is praised all throughout Proverbs: 31. “Who can find a virtuous woman? For her price is far above rubies.”

But what about her journey to get there? And the battles she goes through to stay in a place of virtue? Especially in today’s society; Where unmarried sex is glorified, and fashion’s new motto could potentially be “the less clothes the better.” In a world where the main stream proposes that our bodies really aren’t temples, and that we should see casual sex as liberation rather than a bold divider between us and our earthly and heavenly inheritance–how does a woman achieve a title of virtuous? Sometimes the journey holds just as much significance as the accomplishment.

My mission for the Virtuous by Veronica brand is to provide motivation for woman to overcome all of the temptations to conform to the ways of this new world. From our lifestyles to what we wear. We can live out our dreams and look good doing it. All that while still living in God’s divine will over our lives. Although the now minority, the virtuous woman is still a light of this world, and through community, we can inspire each other to get and stay in a place a virtue.

Written by Veronica A. Catlin, Editor in Chief