The greatest gift I have received to this day is the gift of permission to be myself.
I have lived my whole life pleasing others … becoming the perfect version of myself, depending on what that other person needed. In high school, I worked hard to be the best athlete and student. I wanted to receive love from my family, and in order to do that, I thought I had to act a certain way. I lived my life seeking people’s approval. I never was being my authentic self. I was a professional chameleon.
With each person I interacted with, I would put on a different mask. Can anyone else relate?
I never truly felt loved by anyone because they only loved me for the mask I was wearing and not for the person who was underneath. Unfortunately, I lived this way for too long. It took a traumatic event in my life for me to wake up and realize that I have complete permission to be myself — regardless of what people think.
It wasn’t that one day I was instantly confident in who I was. I just realized that what God says about me is more true and more valuable than what anyone else has to say. I also realized that no amount of approval from others will make me feel valuable.
I have stepped into this new season of getting to know who I truly am and learning to really like that person. I operate from a place of knowing that I am fully loved so that I can be my authentic self. It is not an overnight fix; it’s a process.
My hope is that you are encouraged through this and that you know you’re not alone in your process. Whatever it might be, there is someone experiencing a fraction of the same thing.
I love that I have a space as a teacher to create safety for my students — a space for them to be authentically themselves regardless of what it looks like. I want them to know they can be the jock, the nerd, and the ASB president if they want to. They don’t have to fit into a certain box. I want to teach them to love themselves even if they don’t “fit” the box or meet the standard. They have value, they have a voice, and they can impact the world.
I will always have a seat at my table for them and I also have one for you.
Dre Rodarmel counts it a privilege to work in Christian education which promotes “a holistic approach to learning, focusing not only on students’ minds, but also caring for their spirits and hearts, and equipping them with tools to live a life for Jesus.” A graduate of Grand Canyon University with a B.S. in Psychology, she also has several years of ministry experience and is a Licensed Life Coach.
In her spare time, Dre enjoys being outside, reading a book (accompanied by a good cup of coffee). She loves to express herself creatively through writing. A little-known fact about Dre is that she is slightly obsessed with thrifting. Finding beauty in the mess of a thrift store brings her so much joy. She fell in love with used fashion so much that she opened a little shop in her garage to share some of the clothes with other people.
Dre and her husband Zac have been doing ministry at Mountain View Church for over eight years. They currently lead the Youth Ministry, and both have a passion and love for what they do. Dre wants to see people step into their true identities they have in Christ. She believes there is a seat at the table for everyone. No matter what they have done or haven’t done, Jesus sees them and loves them. Her life mission is to communicate this to people.
You may reach Dre at firstname.lastname@example.org.