Remove the mask
Guardian Lifestyles Editor
Published: Jun 27, 2013
The teenage years are probably the toughest of a person’s life as it’s that transitional stage of physical and psychological human development occurring during the period from puberty to legal adulthood. For many people it’s the period of the most angst in their lives, but it’s one that the leadership at Living Waters Kingdom Ministries is doing its part to help teenagers get through.
At this week’s three-day G5 (Glamorous Girls Giving God Glory) Conference, a special session was held specifically for teenagers, during which time they were encouraged to find their identities and not be afraid to live out loud who God has called them to be by LLITE (Ladies Leading Into Excellence) Founder Raenell Wells.
“Walk out in your identity, the fullness of who they are and don’t be afraid to live it out, and don’t be afraid to live out loud who God has called you to be,” said Wells.
She told the approximately 50 teenagers that came out to her session that sometimes people hide behind masks due to insecurity and hurt, and she encouraged them to find out who they are and remove those masks. She told them that even if they are not in full understanding of knowing who they are, to find someone they could connect with to become who God has called them to be.
Wells used her life as an example and said that she too has at some point lived behind a mask and had to remove it.
“I was at a point where I was afraid to follow my dreams, afraid to live out the vision God had placed on my heart, and that in itself was a mask because fear is not God’s agenda,” said Wells.
She told the teens that God encourages faith.
“He said we must walk by faith and so I had to take off that mask of fear. LLITE was my vision that I wasn’t living out. I had been supporting and helping other people and encouraging them to push their dreams, and I was afraid of doing what God had called me to do, which was to help pull out dreams from other young ladies. I was encouraging and supporting them, but at the same time I was living in fear,” she told her audience.
Wells removed her mask and founded LLITE two years ago. She said she found her true identity.
Through LLITE, Wells helps women from all walks of life and age groups to find their purpose – mentally, spiritually, physically and financially – and build connections. She said she helps women shine light on dark areas where they feel weak, or that they can’t accomplish certain things.
“LLITE helps to light the vision so they can actually run with it. Many times we have a vision, but we don’t know how to go and pursue it because we’re not confident enough to do it.”
Wells meets with women in one-on-one sessions and follows up with them through the different stages as they progress.
“Most of the time, we feel as though we don’t know who we are,” she said.
She told the teens that in most instances, people are walking in darkness. She asked them what they would do if they were left home over the summer in a white room with no technology at their disposal and whether they could stand to be alone and whether they would be comfortable with who they were in that situation.
Finding their identity, she said, would allow them to be able to deal with the situation.
She encouraged them not to allow their circumstances – even though they may come from a home of negativity – to prevent them from being surrounded by positive people.
Wells held up her younger sister, Shekhinah, 15, as a teenager who has found her identity and is doing things the right way. She said Shekhinah loves soccer and practices every day, but knows how to prioritize as she has not allowed her passion for the game to interfere with her education. She said her sister still manages a very good grade point average and has a balanced life.
At the conclusion of Wells’ session, 12 of the teenagers said they decided to take off their masks and made their way to the front of the church to be dedicated.
The G5 conference that concludes today at the church’s Oakes Field location was the vision of Wells’ mother – Olivia Wells. Through the conference, they offered sessions to help build self-awareness, self-worth and confidence within women.
“We’re not just here to take up space, said the LLITE founder. “We’re here to actually take dominion and know who we are in God, to actually pursue and go after the dreams he has placed on the inside of us,” she said.
Also speaking during the conference were Raymond Wells, senior pastor at Living Waters Kingdom Ministries, and Deloris Freeman of Spirit of Faith Christian Center, Temple Hills, Maryland.