Hi, I'm BriJoRae'
It's a name I was given. JoRae' is my middle name, created special by my mother. It means family. Bri is the name God gave me. A friend started calling me Bri instead of Brittany the moment he met me. I'd laugh. The name didn't seem to fit me. Then one day, while ministering to me, my pastor told me God would make me royalty in His kingdom… I wanted to believe it, but what did it really even mean? Seemingly unconnected, the thought came to my mind, “What does Bri mean???” And as Google would reveal, it meant ‘Royalty.’ Some call this coincidence.
I call Him God.
I've gone through some things in my life, that made the thought of me ever being "royalty", feel very abstract. Of course, when I heard it, I flashed back to childhood, thinking of princesses and ancient kingdoms. Times of the past... Long forgotten ways of this world- unless you live in England- the land our countrymen ran from. But why? Why run from who you are? Sure, we've had the "history lesson"- they wanted to make a better place for themselves... escape persecution, belittlement and make names of their own... just have something of their own. Well, fast-forward a few hundred years and for 99% of us, the essence of that concept has not changed.
I've been running from facing myself in the mirror for as long as I can remember. For one reason or another (self-resentment, thinking you're not beautiful/worthy/strong, fear of failure, FEAR period...) most of us have been running on auto-pilot so long, we don't know how to stop. I’d been running out of fear… fear of being less than great- less than "royalty". Fear of facing the shame of being less than worthy. But still... I prayed. Above all things, whether I believed in me or not- I have always believed in God. If not for God, I couldn't have said I knew where this degree of hope and faith came from... It was just in me to PRESS. KEEP MOVING FORWARD. In my weakest moments, I'd call on friends who love Him as much as I do and instantly, they'd have me right back at it... hoping, striving to find out what He meant... What IS this royalty, He’d place upon me?… only to find out it was within me.
...I’d been told all my life but never really heard...
A queen is not just a woman wearing a crown with ornate jewels. She is not covered by materials man has "refurbished" to make her somehow look more appealing.
A queen is a woman assigned by God, to seek and live out her inheritance.
She is meant to rule with Him as a banner to guide her- He is her King. But these days, so far from home, so far from the truth, people try to dissociate "church and state". In this land, the truth is forgotten. No one knows how a queen is meant to lead through prayer. No one knows that her power does not come from the teachings of man, but through the blood of her family line- generation to generation. This power is intangible. It is embedded within her spirit. But so are many other things... pains and struggles she must learn to overcome and in so doing, she learns how to rule. She learns where her Strength comes from- where she stands tallest, and yet meekest.
Here in the presence of God…
A queen is ordained.
Every struggle, every pain was gifted to her for her purpose.
She has found freedom. Not the kind you read about in story books. The stories leave out the meat. The evil enchantress is a distraction... until that one broken rib that has caused you pain in your side for years hurts so bad, you've strayed away from your promise, your inheritance, from who you really are...
The pain has blurred your sense of direction.
She is ordained...
She is filled with an urgency to fight for your freedom. The same freedom she had to seek to find... to keep digging and moving... keep pressing past the pain and exhaustion... in that whole, all by herself... she found pride and inequity... shame and fear. And she didn't like those things... she couldn't love those things... those creatures that tried to be like her while she was trying to be like God. While she was trying to love and be loved in return... but before the pain and in the midst of the struggle... there was still God, being the one true God. Never letting go of her... never quitting. Just telling her right from left, wrong from right... and in the pit of her stomach, she knew He was right.
And so I did. Because He loved me. Because no matter who I've been or where I fell, He didn't leave me... He loved me enough to pick me up. And that love... is really not all that abstract. He gifted me people- a mother who loves me unconditionally, a husband who is strong when I'm weak... family who increasingly gives...
And so here I am. Living. Breathing... more abundantly. A queen is wealthy because she has the love of the Kingdom at her feet, beside her and over her head. She is loved more than she could ever possibly know... and she is filled by that love with such a force- it MUST be poured out.
So I extend my hand to you... I want to serve you. For the first time in my life, I want to freely give the love that has been given to me... I didn't ask for it. I couldn't have... I never really knew it...
But now... what I have, I give to you... sight.
You're beautiful. What you've created is beautiful. Who and what you love... is beautiful.
Let's create a picture of the BEAUTY we see, together.
One you'll never forget...
God bless you....
STYLED SHOOTS By BriJoRae'
PHOTOGRAPHY, PLANNING & STYLING:
MODEL & MAKEUP ARTIST
Taylor Wilson- San Diego, California
Cynthia Naughton of Studio Rollers- Manhattan, KS
Beverly Hall of Traci Lynn Jewelry- Topeka, KS
Christine Nelson of AnnMann Designs- Kansas City, MO
1 Peter 2:9 - NKJV
...But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light...