Developing An Identity is Like Making HUGE Spiderwebs.

A Brighter Light. by JennRene Owens

Sometimes finding our selves is like making a spider web. It’s intricate, detailed, contemplative and sometimes involves a lot of work.

I think I began this journey quite honestly, at a young age. Maybe even before age eleven. Eleven was when my life changed. My Dad decided to live differently. To become a man and dare to love and trust his family. I became an aunt, (of two) in 1978, that summer I turned eleven. It’s the year o began being an example for the next generation. And at eleven my father came home a new man. He stopped drinking. And I stopped crying myself to bed every night living in fear of what might happen.
Eleven is the number of inheritance.
Ironic? (Nah.)

We have hallmarks of our identity: the first time as a young lady you get your period; the first time your graduate; the first time you get a real boyfriend; the first time you get your own apartment; or marry someone , or have a baby and become a parent…
But what about when you first “do the work?”( What work? – yet they say actions speak louder than words, right?)

Doing the work looks like becoming emotionally , mentally, and physically responsible. Sometimes it means creating emotional safety, in order that you cultivate safe relationships, with the people surrounding you, as well.
What does that look like? Developing trusting relationships, being forgiving and having forgiving friendships; and tolerating and loving on folk we don’t even like. It involves being spiritually mature about things, because it is  the right thing to do. Choosing to being honest in accepting  others and being open enough to hear the truth about ourselves and tell others the truth, choosing to speak the truth, in love. I used to have the hardest time dealing with conflict. Then I took a few courses and learned about the skills I needed and began to practice them. To my surprise, they worked!☺️

And the journey to my road of personal growth and development began. I must admit, it’s taken years to pull the layers off. Yet my age has helped me develop into someone “ I “ can trust. And if I can trust me, and my actions, that’s true empowerment. But I will l never let anyone treat this soul negatively again. Stomp all over this mind, this will and emotions til they die again. No, not I.

This woman arose again.

She figured out when she left this country, touched the hearts of youth and  led   them to dream again, she had purpose.


She found out when she traveled over 8,115 miles to chase her dream and GOT THERE, she was on to something. That life and purpose was worth pursuing and she through these actions could BECOME ALIVE.

And help others to keep living too.

When she looked in the eyes of those young people, heard their pain and hurt, and complete desperation, see he youth follow her around as she was hope; when saw them living without parents and brothers lost in other countries saying:”I’ll come back for you”– trying to make a living to help them survive- but never return… these 13 & 18 year-old youth – thriving in their communities, despite the threat of their peers committing suicide daily; and seeing THIS woman come from another land and tell the miracle of her journey, and how God really DOES fulfill our dreams… and believe her….

It was time to LIVE.

And build that “web”. That meaningful large, connection that harnesses hope, no matter how far you are apart in the world, and speak the same language that helps people believe, past themselves. Webs that carry weight, identity, purpose and ingenuity, strength and capacity. Webs that offer hope, healing and love.

This trip to Africa changed my life , and purposed me further into my destiny and my identity. I went home and began establishing my business. It had gone international, and I was beginning to share that I had spent time with youth and encouraged and mentored them through my business: OtherSide Enterprises, LLC. ( See Africa video here.)

And so Identity wins. It speaks loudly, and saves lives, it rids desperation and offers us hope, it fuels our purpose and “makes our name great.”

( Genesis 12:2 )

And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.”

Steadfast Faith.

Once upon a time I went to South Africa.  I never I swear believed such a  dream was possible. Sometime it still feels like a dream. But i did go! May 14, 2003. South Africa was actually a dream come true. Its the first time I realized I could hold God to His word, and see the outcome of a literal miracle.

This is an excerpt from the book Red Sea Situations. If you would like to hear my  testimony of   when I went to  South Africa,   click here for the entire story.
Initially, my intent was to go to visit, but God had another plan. He began to reveal to me this “God – given dream” that involved what I love to do: Lead and teach youth and families. He gave me a prayer to pray during this time, that challenged by belief system, and my paradigm of thinking. This prayer and declaration I began speaking over my dream – defied my every thought about the possibility of going on such a trip. Yet because I knew “God (was) able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all I could ever ask or think”… I trusted God over my own thoughts. (Eph 3:20) – I acquiesced. I yielded to his plan.

One of the most powerful words God gave me before I began this journey of traveling to Africa was: “Just praise Me for it, even if you don’t believe it.” As crazy as it sounded, I did. I did it for about a year and a half, in fact, and with the regular routine of brushing my teeth and combing my hair every morning, I would sing my little praise song for about two minutes.” “Thank you Lord for allowing me to go to South Africa.” Exactly one and a half years later, I met someone who because of my prayers of faith, and thanksgiving, offered me that very opportunity. The irony of this situation was: I didn’t initially believe it. I thought the dream was simply a figment of my imagination and a desire. Yet, the more I praised God, and offered up thanksgiving, the more I began to believe it was possible. In fact, I even began to have more dreams of what I saw myself doing there, and involved in! It became exciting! As simple as this sounds, it really wasn’t. It takes a lot of work to challenge your paradigm. Yet early on, I committed that whatever I would do in Africa, it would be for God to receive glory.

So you can imagine the opposition of the enemy in trying to prevent it. I had people ask me: “So how are you going to go to Africa?” “What are you going to do there?” I was always prepared and would have answers. Thusly, I spent time with God asking Him about his plan for my life while I would be there. I had others who were in leadership positions resist me – and try to distract me from the opportunity. Yet I held on to the dream. When I became discouraged, God seemed to send angels (people – and perhaps even some invisible angels) out of the “woodwork” to assist me! In fact at one point, I couldn’t even see how this trip would be paid for, and someone I didn’t know very well but was inspired by my story and I believe ‘sent by God’ as the key person who influenced my dreams. She quickly assisted me with a ‘campaign of sorts’ to raise money in time for my departure. Within one week’s time, a miracle happened. I had all the money I needed in order to go to South Africa. Obviously, I was shocked. This circumstance revealed to me just how powerful praise, thanksgiving and worship- combined with faith – effects our dreams.

There were several things by faith, I enacted to make this literal ‘dream’ come true. I truly believe our faith can cause miracles to occur. 1.) Obedience to God’s plan and declaring the impossible became my mode of operation. I believe sometimes God tests our obedience to see if we will blindly follow. Isa 42:19 says : “Who is blind but my servant, or deaf as my messenger whom I send? Who is blind as my dedicated one, or blind as the servant of the LORD?” I read this for the first time in the Bible and was absolutely amazed that God calls the blind servant – “dedicated”. I thought to myself: “Wow… He really wants me blind and deaf… how does that benefit anything??” Yet then I remembered: It wasn’t about me, it was truly about Him. 2) Despite my fears, my reservations the challenges I faced – I risked of looking absolutely foolish. I allowed my faith in God to produce – follow through – and my reward was with me. It was like my “faith became the substance” needed to fuel and secure the dream. Hebrews 11:1 says : “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” KJV. The entire passage of scripture in Hebrews 11 gives testament to how the people of God were enabled by God’s power to see the impossible because they had an “open mind and heart change” to what God could do by His divine power. The most valuable lesson learned during this time of my life was: 3) God absolutely loves it when you express what you intend to do in faith, and brag on His ability to do it. (I would simply state what I wanted and that I believed with God’s help it would be possible.) It becomes a challenge then for God to produce it. I believe God loves to be challenged. I would be amiss to say I knew exactly how God worked that miracle in my life. All I know is, I kept believing. His word says in Hebrew 11:6 – “Without faith, it’s impossible to please God. He that comes to God must first believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him”. God was extremely pleased with my faith. Thusly, I received a reward. This reward – changed my entire life and future.

Now, when God gives me an assignment, I don’t nearly doubt as much as I used to, because the dreams keep getting bigger and bigger! When God tells me speaks to my heart about something I seek like Abraham to be fully persuaded – and I trust in God’s sovereign leadership over my life. I am radically inspired to be obedient, follow through, and trust His complete intention in the process of aligning my faith with His plan. In fact, I am propelled forward because I have seen what having faith in God can do.
Written Sat  Jan.  15, 2011.