Meet Melissa Mondesir!
She is an amazing 22 year old young lady that I happened to stumble across online through her Year without dating series, where she taking a yearlong break from dating to grow closer to God and to focus on other important areas of her life on her blog Remain in Me.
Let me just say how much I admire her. At the age of 22 I did not have the strength or even thought to actively pursue God and silence my wants and desires. Had I been able to do that, I probably would have experienced a lot less frustration and heartache.
She received her B.A. from Florida State University in English with a concentration in Editing, Writing, and Media and a minor in Biology. She is now planning to attend graduate school to pursue her M.A in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations with a goal of working in PR for a cosmetic or Fashion Company.
Watch for her y’all, because I don’t doubt that whatever she sets out to do, she will; and she will no doubt do great things!
She is sharing a bit about herself and her struggle with learning her worth.
My favorite color is purple and I love to read. My first name means bumblebee and my last name is French for my desire. I grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Florida in a family of four – mom, dad, sister, me.
My life goal is to grow into the godly woman that God created me to be and to let His light shine through me no matter where I am. In addition, I’d like to share His word with others through the use of my passion—writing.
Recently, on NYE, I read a short story that I wrote in a variety show. This was a big accomplishment for me because I am super self-conscious about my writing (I know it’s weird since I have a blog, but reading in front of people and seeing/feeling their reactions is nerve-wracking) and I had to really put myself out of my comfort zone to do it.
When asked what motivates me, the first thing that comes to mind is the verse
This very verse changed my whole perception of my walk with Christ. It was right after I decided to rededicate my life to Him that I heard this verse for the first time. It reminds me, that through God I have strength, purpose, provision, meaning, and life. No matter what I try to do in my life, I need to remember to place Him in the center of it all because “apart from [Him, I] can do nothing”.
I had run away from God and tried to do my own thing for a while.
Of course, this led to mistakes, broken relationships, guilt, shame, and regrets.
In my heart I knew that I wanted to come back to God, but all I could think was, “I’m going to mess up again. Let me get all of these “mess-ups” out of my system first and when I feel like I can face Him, I’ll come back.”
It wasn’t until a close family friend died that I snapped out of my mentality. This family friend was also the pastor of the church I grew up in. This man was a constant in my life. I knew that whenever I needed him, I could call him to ask him for help. He was always there to encourage me spiritually and through my academics.
When he died that I realized that when we die, we literally leave with nothing. It doesn’t matter how much money you made when you were alive, it doesn’t matter how many friends you had on earth, and it doesn’t matter what car you drove. When you die, every earthly concern means nothing.
In death, it’s your spiritual pursuits that matter.
Chasing after the One who created me is the only thing that matters. I really reflected on myself and I realized how ridiculous I was being. We make mistakes, but running to God gives you a chance to start new (2 Corinthians 5:17).
I could have my sins forgiven and I could be restored in Him. Yes, I’d have more “mess-ups”, but He is a loving and gracious God.
1 John 1:9 tells us that,
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
That is a lot better than wallowing in shame, guilt, and regret. This epiphany is what turned my life around and brought me back to God.
Now, I am someone who doesn’t focus on all the wrongs I’ve done. My focus is on the Most High God and I strive to live a life that brings Him glory.
Currently, my greatest struggle is learning my worth.
God has taught me that I can’t find my worth in the temporary things of this world, but my worth is found in Him alone.my greatest struggle is learning my worth... w/ @remain_in_me Click To Tweet
Though, I know this fact, changing my thoughts to think like that hasn’t been as easy. I used to think my worth would come from my academics and the attention boys gave me. Okay, it was mainly the boy part.
I know, it’s sad, but being someone that hasn’t really experienced a real relationship, and watching everyone around me get guys left and right, I started to believe that I just wasn’t good, pretty, or interesting enough to capture the attention of a guy. So, I was willing to keep any attention I got from anyone.
This led to a few friends-with-benefits situations (I have to say these feel fine for a bit, but after a while, they suck. You mainly end up with no friend, no benefits, and some regret in the end).
After my last friend-with-benefits situation, I did a little bit of reflecting and I realized that this had to stop. The way I viewed myself wasn’t healthy and I didn’t like how fast I’d compromise what I believed for attention. That is not cute. That was when I came up with the idea to refrain from dating for a year.
Yes, I know I haven’t been in a real relationship (I haven’t even been on a date!), but I wanted to take this time to turn my focus to God, instead of searching for attention in all of the wrong places (i.e boys). This is a year where I plan on growing closer to Him and allowing Him to guide and teach me.
When I’m feeling discouraged, the thing that gives me strength is the Word of God. The more I read it, the more that is revealed to me about who I am in God. The Word of God is the truth and it trumps every doubt and thought in my mind.
The advice I would give any woman going through a similar situation is that finding your worth in people and/or things won’t work. You will be left searching for something more and when you can’t find it, you’ll remain unsatisfied.
Knowing that your worth comes from God will change your life.
John 15:16 begins with,
“You did not choose me, but I chose you…”
Even though we reject Him, He chooses us every time. He is the only one that is constantly pursuing us. We are worth so much that God sent His Son to die for us even though we were sinners (Romans 5:8).Knowing that your worth comes from God will change your life! w/@remain_in_me Click To Tweet
We are worth so much that we were made in His image.
We are worth so much that He is always present and waiting for you to turn to Him.
A woman that has played a pivotal part in my growth as a woman is my mother. The strength, determination, and work ethic my mom has in incredible. My mother can somehow run a household, juggle two jobs with insane hours, go to school to become an RN and still manage to get straight A’s in her classes.
Sometimes, all I can think is, “Where did this lady come from?” She has taught me to work hard for anything I want in life. Even when things don’t go the way you plan, find a way to make it work and go after your dreams.
I believe that her work ethic has been instilled in me, and I chase after every opportunity I come across and give it my all. She has taught me that hard work plus a dream creates results.
I define a good woman as someone who is comfortable and confident in who Christ has created her to be. In addition, a good woman is someone who is willing to forge her own path in life, regardless of stereotypes, expectations, and fears.
Though I am not this woman, this is who I strive to be each day.
I’m working on forging my own path and going against the grain.
Since college, I have had certain expectations placed on me to become who people thought I should be and getting tired of that, I broke out of it.
Now, I’m focusing on being confident in my potential, disregarding my fears, and stepping out of what is comfortable for me.
Now do these sounds like words coming from a 22 year old? This girl is far greater than even she realizes, but when she does, WATCH OUT!
If you would like to keep up with Melissa, you can find her here:
I love to spotlight and feature real women with real struggles. Women who are being open and transparent about their struggles, how they are not letting those things define them. Instead they are defining their own “good”. To see more about why transparency is so important please Click here.
Interested in submitting your reflection?
Latest posts by Kenya Rae (see all)
- How To Encourage Learning Over The Summer - May 22, 2017
- How To Get Organized and Create More & Better Content - May 18, 2017
- You Should Stop Asking People “How you doing?” - May 15, 2017