Today, Jasmine speaks to us about her grief, some books you will want to add to your list, and her love of using pop culture to share the gospel.
Tell us a bit about how you grew up and your childhood: I am a first-generation American. My parents are from the Caribbean. Navigating between being American and Caribbean [culture] was unique. It’s like you’re not quite American, but you’re not quite Caribbean. I’ve always been a history buff. It was my favorite class in school. I love learning about our past; learning the mistakes to build a sustainable health future.
“I love learning about our past; learning the mistakes to build a sustainable health future.”
Inspiring biblical passage of the moment: “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33
Spiritual growth focus at the moment: My focus at the moment is to seek God, His kingdom and His dominion. I desire to cultivate a deeper relationship with Him. I desire to know more of His truth and gain knowledge to aid in growing the kingdom of God.
Profession: Startup Founder (CreateFinStew), author (Set Your Truth Free), podcast host (The Find & Sustain Podcast), Air Force officer, doctoral student.
If you wrote a memoir, what would the title be? ‘What I Thought I Knew and How Christ Changed Everything’ The world inserts its definition of you and its definition of success. In this space of seeking God, He is redefining every narrative placed/projected/absorbed by me. I am willing to do things others won’t because God told me to do so.
“In this space of seeking God, He is redefining every narrative”
When did you first encounter God and how did you encounter Him? I grew up Catholic and attended Catholic school, I understood who God was and the stories I read in the Bible at a young age. But I encountered him in college. I didn’t know my university had a Methodist foundation. I signed up for a church class, and it was the first time I heard the Gospel in such a relevant and easy to follow way. Every message felt like it was curated for me.
How has your relationship with Him changed you? Wow. I am not the hurt, broken woman I was. I used to have a problem with my tongue, I used to be so hurt and thought hurting others would solve my issues. Of course, that never worked. I was on a downward spiral, and God met me at my lowest place. I am so grateful for how he continues to change my heart. Through serving and giving, God blesses me. Being selfless has prepared my heart and humbled me!
What has helped you grow spiritually in this season? Death and sickness. I’ve always been scared of death and losing others. This season, I’ve experienced death and sickness upfront. I’ve grieved, and I am still grieving, but I realize my purpose and why it’s important to walk in your purpose. There is work to be done before leaving this earth. God has so much more in store. We also have the power to take authority over any sickness that tries to attack us.
“I’ve grieved, and I am still grieving, but I realize my purpose and why it’s important to walk in your purpose.”
Just read/currently reading (and what has it taught you?): Master of One by Jordan Raynor. I’ve been a fan of his since I read Called to Create while stationed in the Middle East. Master of One influences the reader to focus on the one purpose God has placed you on the earth to do. Is it writing, being a serial entrepreneur, nurturing children– whatever it is, Jordan shares the tools to aggressively and prayerfully go after the gift God called you to use.
Top three essentials: Bible, notebook, water.
How did God speak to you recently? Psalm 46:10 begins, “He says, ‘Be still, and know that I am God'” I believe I was running away from fear, running from the things that could happen. But God showed me that the power of Jesus Christ is far greater than anything coming up against me. So instead of running, I’m standing still with the Word of God.
“But God showed me that the power of Jesus Christ is far greater than anything coming up against me.”
Hobby: I love going to museums. Any kind of museum. Extra points if it’s a historical museum. I love seeing older images and take a glimpse of how life was back then, it helps me realize that we have come so far, and I acknowledge their struggle and their feats.
Top three practical tips for staying spiritually strong: Find a good Bible-believing church home, monitor what you watch and listen to (I usually don’t watch R-rated movies or listen to certain songs that will distort my mind), pray in the Spirit.
Favorite person in scripture? Priscilla (wife of Aquilla) She is only mentioned a few times, but I believe she was a catalyst for the Gospel. She and her husband were friends of Paul and ensured the Gospel moved forward. Through their friendship, prayer, and resources, Paul was able to continue his ministry.
What do you want people to learn about God when they look at you? Usually, people can’t believe I listen to Beyonce (who doesn’t love Queen Bey?). People are in shock because I preach the Gospel and I mention the latest trends/TV Show. I’m still human and I have a younger sister. I love pop culture. I believe Christ knew about the culture, as well. He had to. That’s where the people were. Jesus met people where they were at, and I try to do the same.
“I love pop culture. I believe Christ knew about the culture, as well. He had to.”
How do you engage with your community? Eventbrite is my best friend. There are so many events within our community. I attend one event a week, I get to know the community and help where I can. It’s a great way to meet others.
Favorite holiday? Veteran’s Day. I’m a veteran and my parents and uncle are as well. It’s a time to reflect on our service, but the service so many give every day.
A goal you have? I desire to own and operate a retreat center. I envision hundreds of acres of land, horses, hiking trails, kayaks, mountains, campfires and more. My best memories with God were on a mountainside in Montana at the end of winter. I’ve never heard God so clearly. I never saw nature so beautifully. I would love to offer that experience to others.
A special tradition you and your family engage in or keep: Every Christmas since I was younger, my grandmother would take myself and my cousins to a tree farm and we cut down the tree, bring it to her house and decorate the tree with all the ornaments she collected over the decades. She always had hot chocolate waiting for us. I remember a few Christmases ago, she pulled out this fake tree, I was like nope. So my cousin and I went to all the stores to find a tree. I think I still have pine needles in my car.
“I think I still have pine needles in my car.”
Question you will ask when you get to heaven? God, did I do everything you designed me to do?
The thing you want to raise awareness about: There are so many people hurting outside the four walls of the church (honestly tons are hurting inside the four walls), I challenge young adults to get out of their same routine and meet someone where they are at. In the past, I’ve not shared love instead I shared judgment. I hate I did that because judgy people were the reason I left the church as a teenager. I pray we lose our judgment and expand our love for others. There’s so much love to give and to receive.
What does your morning routine consist of? If I had a dream, I immediately write it down. I thank God for waking me up. I pray over my family, loved ones, my job and the people on the road. Then, I open my Bible app and read a devotional and the associated scriptures. Often, I find God waking me up at 4 AM (oy) and I get out of bed, go to my prayer corner and worship. The getting out of bed part is so challenging at times.
What is on your nightstand? Pen, journal, Bible.
Define Christianity in a sentence: Giving up everything you knew and loved to follow and serve Him with everything.
For more Jasmine:
Until next time, keep witnessing!