Transformation Church has been our new church “home” during the pandemic of 2020 and this week (9/24 is when I am writing this) we are currently in “7 days of Prayer & Fasting”.
What is the purpose of Prayer & Fasting?
I think people have many different answers for this question. For me, the choice to intentionally pray throughout my day while fasting is to get me more in alignment with God. Some people fast from eating any and all food from dawn to dusk, some fast from people or things. I chose to fast from 3 things that I had been leaning on more than God in recent months. My choice was wine, my personal social media and carbohydrates/starches.
You may be asking, “why those three things”? Well in case you are one of the many people who are participating in the world as though we are NOT still in a full pandemic (full shade intended), WE ARE STILL IN A PANDEMIC.
Oh, and I have become a principal, teacher, guidance counselor, lunch lady, janitor and more at The Thomas eLearning Academy. I felt like I NEEDED wine at the end of each day, my Q16 ladies (a bomb sisterhood created virtually during this pandemic) and random scrolls to offset the insanity that was happening with 3 girls all at different ages, and my indulgence in all things potatoes and pasta that felt like warm Southern comfort. Notice I said NOTHING about a consistent communication with God.
Why Social Media though?
Of course, I pray every morning, sometimes during the day and every evening. My prayers had become routine, almost expected. Not only that, I was waning between walking in my truth and purpose as God spoke it to me and toying with the idea of changing my message to appeal to the “numbers”.
Let me tell you how on time this fast was. Today I watched, “The Social Dilemma” on Netflix, shout out to my Q16 sister, Antonia for the recommendation. If you haven’t seen it, I strongly encourage you to. I won’t give away too much but it was filled with former executives and employees from the various social platforms and they breakdown the “science” behind the world’s addiction to social media. They provided statistics on how social media is a precipitating factor in so many of the troubles people face from self-esteem and self confidence to issues within your business or marriage.
How did this relate to me?
Well, I was convicted and assured of my purpose and plan for my social media when I decided to take my page public last year. Everything was running along smoothly and I wasn’t too concerned about aesthetics, likes, follows or any of that. As I began to surround myself around other bloggers and influencers, I began to stray away from the ideas that I had written down. See, everything I do with my brands, businesses and in life has always been centered around family inclusion. I’ve said before that Zee is my website administrator and right-hand woman on Unapologetically Living with Trese and Tori has developed an interest in photography.
There are so many rules and algorithms (watch The Social Dilemma) and when other bloggers platforms began to soar, I started questioning my aesthetics, my writing, my website. I didn’t realize the impact all this comparison and negative self-speak was not only doing to myself but my daughters. I was making them feel like their efforts weren’t enough. Now I’m not saying there weren’t areas that we could improve upon but the reality was WE LOVED what we were doing, so why was I starting to compare myself to people who didn’t have the same vision, purpose or swag like us? And that’s no shade, but it’s the truth. No one can do Trese, write like Trese, speak like Trese except for Trese.
MOST importantly, my PURPOSE was not for millions of likes or followers. It is truly to make someone else feel seen – that my content is relatable and exciting for someone looking for a change from the normal fashion, hair, and family blogs. For my content to be done in a different way that is reflective not only of how I view life but of how I LIVE life.
In addition to all that, I mentioned my Q16 sisters earlier and if you have been following me for a while you know that this is a genuine sisterhood we have formed during this pandemic. Instead of turning to God when my kids stressed me or J was getting on my last nerves, I was turning to my Q16 sisters. Let me be clear, this sisterhood is an essential part of my life at this point. However, it had gotten to where I was leaning more on them to edify my spirit, to validate me in the areas where I was feeling inadequate or in lack.
When we turn to people to give us our redirection or our strength, we are taking a HUGE gamble. Not every person, as well intentioned as they may be, fully understands your vision or purpose. Therefore, their wisdom for YOUR life is directly relational to their perspective of you and their own identity.
I am confident that many of the ladies in Q16 are in alignment with God’s will and purpose and so their wisdom is valuable but it CANNOT be more valuable than God’s. Not only them but any one in my life from my mama to my husband, NOONE can supersede my relationship with the Most High!
How Did You Do It Trese?
I am in no way an expert in prayer and fasting but here are a few tips I can share with you that I did:
1. I found the plan I was going to follow. Transformation Church made it easy by providing us a guideline on topics and scriptures that would be our focus for each day as well as questions for us to answer in our prayer journals.
2. I determined WHAT I would fast. As I mentioned before, gave up wine, white carbs/starches (such as pasta, potatoes, bread) & of course social media (with the exception of my main business but I was literally on there to post and get off, sometimes I scrolled for a minute then God thumped me on my forehead). These things had been my distraction when life was getting too heavy or things would happen in my life and I wasn’t taking it to God but using them to “fill” me up.
3. I made a specific prayer list. I think often times we generalize in our prayers “Lord I’m praying for my family”. What the heck does that mean?!!? So I made a list of each person I wanted to specifically pray for and then yes, some people got lumped into the “everyone else” category. 😒
4. I focused on Him in my moments of weakness. I did a total blackout the last few days of my fast. I didn’t access anything that connected me to my “crutches”. Also, this playlist that my dope IG fam helped me curate got me through. Go listen now! (Oh, I’ll make one for Spotify soon. Be sure you are following me on my IG for that post)
My faith is extremely important to me and while I am not overly religious I definitely have a strong connection to God and will be creating more of these types of blogs and content as I journey through this life God is carving out for me.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments on the blog or on my IG page!
Love & Light,
Shout out to my photographer who captured all these shots, Mother's Nature Photography! Thank you Tiffanie, you are the dopest! Go Follow her!