Dr. Venus Opal Reese

Who’d you trust: God or You w/ Money?

We trust God with our immortal souls—but we don’t trust God with our money.

Take a look for yourself.

If you’re anything like me, you strive and strategize about paying bills, feeding your family, and paying the rent/mortgage monthly.

And if you are an entrepreneur you are consumed with covering payroll, paying for marketing, and almost always hustling to acquire new clients.

You get it done—you always have.

But here’s the point: YOU did it. You leaned on YOUR OWN understanding and didn’t trust God to provide. Here’s how you know you didn’t trust God.

You worried.

Not only did you worry, but you also second-guessed yourself. You fell back on old strategies that used to work—pre-pandemic—only to struggle and fail.

I’m not saying you didn’t pray.
You did.
So did I.

I am saying that if you tell the truth about your surrender and trust in God with your soul versus with your provision, you will see a glaring difference.

I did.

As a businesswoman, I panicked when the pandemic came, moved in, and made home. My main revenue generators were touring and live events. Because we could not gather in public, the most lucrative streams of income for my business came to a screeching halt.

Like so many others, I had to come up with other ways to take care of my team (mostly single moms) and my family. I didn’t know what to do so I looked around to see what “the world” was doing.

And even though it went against my personal values of self-sufficiency, I followed suit.

—Federal grants.
—PCP emergency funding.
—SBA Disaster Relief Loans.

We applied for it all.

I was afraid.

I felt scared that I would have to let my team go and I felt responsible for their livelihood. Looking back, I can see I was in survival mode.

Each team member was a capable human being, and would have figured out something without me. But the truth is I have been providing for those who I call my own since I was 14.  I was triggered.

The Pandemic felt like the streets.

Where I come from, we have a rule: If I eat, we all eat. Regardless of what it costs me.
I leaned into my survival strategy of being strong and taking care of “mine” instead of leaning into trusting God to provide.

As I reflect on all of my successes, I can see the thread. All of my success has been survival driven.

Survival-driven success is exhausting and unsustainable.

I have watched myself and my peers in all industries “make it” at the cost of our well-being, relationships, and scalability.

One day I was talking to God about money and God said, “You don’t trust me.”

I was shocked.

God had my birth father stop my birth mother from aborting me when I was in her womb, unwanted.

God had kept me alive, amid the roaches, rats, and drugs on the streets of Baltimore.

God pulled me out of the culture of poverty, pimps, and strippers and put me in school to keep me safe. And give me a way out.

“God, how could you say that to me? I have trusted you with my LIFE!!”

“You have Bae. You have. And I love you for it.
But you have not trusted me to keep you alive.”

My heart stopped.
My tears started to flow.

God was right.

I have not trusted God to keep me alive.

If I tell the truth, I have felt guilty that he did.
I didn’t think I deserved to live, let alone thrive.

I wasn’t supposed to make it.
My oldest sister was.
Not me.

I was the Black Sheep.
The ugly one.
The dumb one.

The one who should have never been born.

I was taught this.
I was reared in this truth.
And I believed it.

God is healing the places in me that still do.

So, when I finished crying, I realized that my trust of God was conditional.

So I went to work.

I let go of everything I had acquired by way of survival.
I traded in all of my identities for one:  my oneness with God.
And I moved from “survival-driven success” to “spirit-led affluence.

I no longer hustle, grind, or make ANYTHING happen.

I’m committed to moving from being a “self-made” millionaire to becoming a “God-made” millionaire. It’s two different worlds!

The way I trust God with my money NOW is through these Five simple steps:

Step 1. I sit.
Step 2. I pray.
Step 3. I wait.
Step 4. I surrender.
Step 5. I allow.

When I see myself backsliding into survival, I pray.

The prayer changes depending on how I’m falling back into old behaviors, but it works every time to get my eyes back on God.

I pray, “I love you Lord and I trust you with all of me.

Your plans for me are so much more fulfilling and life-giving than anything I could ever do or imagine.

Have your way, Lord.
Order my steps.
You are my protector.
My provider.

You are my God.

I thank you in advance for all the good you are now and will continue to pour in me, over me, and through me as an act of love, so I am a blessing to humanity. In Jesus’ name, amen. So be it. And so it is.”

The difference between being “survival-driven” versus being “spirit-led” is palpable. The key is trusting God instead of trusting what worked in the past.

In that trust—
In that surrender—
In that allowing—
I am THRILLED to share with you that I will be the KEYNOTE speaker at the California Women’s Conference!!

Here is the link for all the details: https://www.californiawomensfestival.com
PLEASE JOIN ME THERE!!!

Cal Expo seats between 1000-10,000!!

My face will be on BILLBOARDS in Sacramento!!!

I’m doing a PAID keynote, a workshop where I will make an offer, AND providing brief training at the networking event on how to network like a mogul!!!

Be clear: I did NOTHING to earn this!

A producer reached out via Facebook messenger to ask my permission to use one of my photos for the festival. It was an odd request, so I inquired why.

From there, we had conversations that required a meeting with the Executive Producer. It was like talking to a different version of myself and my commitment to the emotional healing and financial freedom of women worldwide!

More opportunities are pouring in without any help from me!

My prayer for you is this: trust God with your money. You will be ASTOUNDED with the guidance, grace, and affluence that COMES TO YOU!

I love you,

Dr. Venus

Ps. I’ll keep you post on the Festival! I hope you can  make! I would love to see you in person and give you a big hug!

…or die trying

Something has changed within me.

I don’t know why.

Perhaps it’s because I’m 51.
Maybe it’s because of the Pandemic.
It could be the cellular trauma from the arrogant gaze of the police officer, as he executed George Floyd in front of the world.

I don’t know.

Maybe it’s choosing to divorce instead of acting out my PTSD on the person I loved.
Perhaps it’s menopause.
It could be hormonal imbalance across the board.

Perhaps it’s because I went back home.

Maybe it’s seeing some of my bloodline still dealing with the poverty and powerlessness I fled from.

It could be driving through East Baltimore and running over the same potholes, 30 years later, and boarded-up abandoned buildings across the street from lush condominiums.

It may be the state of the world.

Laws being passed to:
—lynch us
—murder our right to choose within our own wombs
—remove affirmative action and keeping “Legacy” admissions for colleges like Harvard.

Or maybe it’s just the despair
that hangs in the air,
like polluted oxygen
we have to inhale to stay alive.

I don’t know.

Maybe it’s the news.
—Police kill anybody they want with impunity.
—The systematic and intentional erasure of the Trans Community.
—The stealing and sex trafficking of young boys and girls, right in your city.

I truly don’t know.

But something in me has changed.

Something in me has died.
Idealism.
The illusion of equality.
The belief in the American Dream.

Perhaps.

Or perchance… something has awakened…

…something terrifying.
…something honest.
…something true.

The horrible truth is this: I am powerless to effect change.

(Hear me out.)

I know together, we can transform the world.
That’s my point.
We can never seem to “come together” to do what we all can see needs to be done.

Case and point: Black people have a spending power in the trillions and yet we don’t OWN our own schools, hospitals, grocery stores, banks, or cemeteries.

I’m not talking about private ownership. I’m talking communal. Public institutions governed by our own elected officials.

These five institutions are required to sustain a community, independently. Said another way,: we don’t own the infrastructure to be self-reliant.

I don’t mean charter schools or private schools.
I don’t mean clinics or urgent care facilities.
I don’t mean franchising.
I don’t mean leasing or financing.

As far as I am concerned, those are “work arounds;” individual solutions for a systemic problem.

I mean OWNERSHIP.

Without owning our own institutions, we will never be free.

The person who pays establishes the rules.
The person who owns, has the power.
The person who teaches the oppressed how to monetize, becomes the hand of God.

I am God’s hands and feet.

So, I’m going back.
I’m going back to business.
I need to teach us how to monetize differently than we have inherited.

I know all of us will not be open to doing things differently. But I only need 17% of us to tip the scales from being a slave to being an owner.

I’m looking at how to get my monetizing curriculums in churches, half-way houses, community centers, women’s shelters—EVERYWHERE we populate—to teach us, those of us who are willing to learn, how to live financially free.

And yes, it starts with healing.
And yes, it will take the rest of my life.
And yes, it means I have to start all over.

I’m good with all of that.
I have a set of competencies that can help in ways I wasn’t considering before.

I’m thinking bigger.
Dreaming in terms of “we” instead of “me.”
Creating strategic partnerships with like-hearted allies who amplify my voice on their platforms.

I’m repositioning myself in the world.
As a speaker.
As a Thought Leader.
As a teacher.

I can’t change the problems, the hate, or the ugly that rains down on our spirits like lead.

What I CAN do is build bridges instead of walls.  I can use my training to educate the masses.

I can impact the people I touch and let God handle the things beyond my control.

Perhaps, that’s enough.

And if it’s not…

…I will die tryin’.

I ran. I didn’t look back. Until now

I ran away from Baltimore when I was a teenager. I had to get out. The violence, vulnerability, and being “out there” was killing me.

The attacks.
The drugs.
The roaches.
The rats.

My childhood was littered with makeshift homes; condemned buildings with plywood covered windows to keep the cold out or the heat from the gas lit stove in.

I was used to eating food out of trash cans.
Sleeping at a girlfriend’s house only to have her father slip into my bed.

Through it all I had one person who was there for me: my Uncle Jay.

Uncle Jay is a handyman and has had his own business since I can remember. He, by his example, instilled in me the value—and freedom—of being an entrepreneur. He is a master electrician, plumber, and carpenter.

When I fled Baltimore under the auspices of education, I left my family. All the pain of my childhood was in the marble steps of Heinemann Street; the steamed crabs smothered in Old Bay seasoning, and the three story high row houses of Baltimore.

I ran and did not look back.

This past weekend, I went back to Baltimore and took the opportunity to visit Uncle Jesse.

He looked like the picture in my mind of him when I was a teen.

Then I saw it.

I saw it in his hands first.
Then his eyes.
Then his jaw.

Uncle Jesse was old.

I don’t mean in years as much as life.
Life had aged him.
His joy was gone.

We sat.
I listened.

I heard his heart weeping for his deceased daughter. He weeps on the inside when we talk about her. I weep visibly for them both.

I saw the sadness in his drooping cheeks from feeling like people, family, didn’t see all he had done for us.

I felt the labor of his breath as he talked about the loss of his sight, and the loss of his car.

His lack of a vehicle is where his voice breaks.

The breaking of his voice breaks my heart.

I tend to him.
I speak life over him.
I let him know he is not just my uncle.

He is my father. He is ALL of our fathers; the lost kids in the neighborhood who didn’t have a daddy.

He saved my life when a gun was put to my head.

He helped Nanna get me off the streets.

He sent me money when I needed it most—without me having to ask.

I realize being with Uncle Jesse, and other members of my birth family, something profound and raw.

When I “got out” of Baltimore, I threw away my family.

The fear and damage was so strong, I left it all behind, in order to survive. Looking back now, I can see I threw out the baby with the bath water. I also can see that the choice to stay away was attached to fears of retaliatory attack. I couldn’t chance it. My mental and emotional stability was too fragile to gamble with.

I helped out when I could with essentials like a washer and dryer, or a new bed, or funeral arrangements. I watched from afar and received updates from my baby sister.

I have beautiful nieces and handsome nephews (WHO KNOW ME!!!) my sister, cousins, and friends! I had conflated them all with the violence acted out on my body in Baltimore. I left it. No. I left them all behind.

Not any more.

I am not certain what God wants me to do. I just know that it truly IS good to go back home.

I had a gift made for Uncle Jesse: a bracelet with his three children’s names on it, including his deceased daughter. It was for Father’s Day but arrived weeks late. I put it in the mail today.

I’m reaching out to one of my nieces to help Uncle Jesse to schedule his appointments, (the elderly get ignored without someone advocating for them in person) and get him to and from the eye doctor for his cataract eye surgery.

I’m getting him a truck. He didn’t ask for it. But when I took him to look at trucks, he started to act like a little kid! He doesn’t want anything fancy. He wants a used old truck. Something to put his tools in, “just get around” and he can fix if it breaks down.

He and Happy bonded!🤣🐶🤣

I dressed Happy up—tie and groomed—to meet his Uncle!🤣 It was love at first sniff! They took to each other. It was beautiful seeing them play and laugh. My heart was full with joy by witnessing their joy.

Walking Happy and driving through Baltimore, I wasn’t afraid anymore. If anything, I felt a fondness for certain places. Nostalgia washed over me when I saw the graveyard me and my brother, Tory, run through when chased home by bullies. The various streets, locations, and smells in East Baltimore, held no emotional or physiological charge.

I could not have done this before now. It has taken over 30 years to go back home, I’m afraid. I don’t begrudge the time. It takes time to break generational curses and heal historical trauma passed down.

The time away has equipped me to love without fear and to live without regret. So I thank God for my walk, my life. I embrace it all.

God sent me home to realize three things:

—how much I have grown
—how much I can contribute
—how much I have healed.

I have nieces and nephews who welcome my wisdom and knowledge. Some of them are entrepreneurial!

This excites me!

I can now see a clear path of no longer being the only millionaire in my birth family.

It’s not about the money.

It’s about transforming the emotional and economic trajectory of my birth bloodline.

I thank God for removing me from my childhood environment so I could come back whole.

It’s miraculous what healing can do.

Because I’m healed, I can help.
Because I’m healed, I can hear and feel love.
Because I’m healed, I can go back home.

It’s good to go home.😊

The biggest mistake I’ve made…

The biggest mistake I’ve made… in my adult life is mistaking people’s kindness for love.
It’s a blind spot.
It’s been my Achilles Heel.

As a child I was told I was ugly, stupid, and a piece of shit.

I was told that I would never amount to anything.

I believed what I had been told.

So when someone is kind to me I think that is love.

It’s a child’s logic.

I was so maliciously beaten, diminished and belittled, ANY type of kindness was like a drop of water in a desert.

I have traded my body for love.
My money.
My self-respect.

I have compromised my sense of self for people SO extremely, that I people-pleased to the point of degrading self-sacrifice.

I talked to God about it.

I wondered will I EVER move beyond the wounding of my childhood, inflicted by people who said they loved me?

It sucks when the people who say they love you conflate love and violence.

The blending of love and violence creates an insatiable craving FOR love and kindness.

I’ve been listening to pastor Dr. Myles Monroe a lot lately. He is a pastor from the West Indies who is no longer with us. His teachings are profound and practical. They really cause me to rethink just about everything I have related to as “truth.”

Especially self-love as a single woman Believer.

He argues that If I love God, but don’t love myself, I don’t love God. (I’m paraphrasing.) That thought broke my brain. Since I’m made in the image and likeness of God, I am an individual expression of God.

To reject me, to criticize me, to pimp me out emotionally for scraps of attention and affection; for value and inclusion—is akin to spiritual blasphemy.

There are times I don’t feel well enough to distinguish kindness from just good manners.

I am now clear that when I love God, I have to love myself BEFORE I love my neighbor.

I must take the love of God as true love and let God’s love be my “go to” to feel love.

Once I love me, my OVERFLOW of love can THEN be poured on others. Whether they are kind or not.

I’m realizing that people can be kind for their own character, spiritual beliefs, or agendas. Simply put: other people’s kindness has nothing to do with loving me.

People can be kind for myriad reasons:
—they were raised to be kind
—they are kind because their faith requires it
—they have ulterior motives
—they are empathetic beings fulfilling a need
and many more reasons.

I have to turn to the kindness of God instead of craving it from people. It is a hunger no human can satiate.

So I will spend time in deep prayer and possibly fasting, until God can replace my need for human kindness with God’s love.

Thanks for witnessing.

Sincerely,

Dr. Venus

Happy Juneteenth + TV Show Competition (That Honors Our Ancestors)

HAPPY JUNETEETH Weekend!

On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth became a national holiday. It is the oldest commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States.

On June 19,1866 our ancestors in Texas celebrated their freedom, two and half years AFTER Emancipation Proclamation.

As far as I am concerned, Juneteenth ins OUR Independence Day. It represents freedom from the residue of bondage that has been passed down generationally.

When you are free, you can, with support and encouragement, fulfill your dreams.

I believe our ancestors died so we could live the American Dream.

I believe the Juneteenth commemoration is more than a block party and red punch.

I believe Juneteenth reminds us to keep the faith; to keep dreaming until our dreams come true.

So, in the spirit of dreaming of a brighter tomorrow, I am lending all my platforms to an extraordinary Sister Entrepreneur who, like Juneteenth, had to wait and pray for her own emancipation in order to go for her dreams.

My friend Ronica Marable is a Black Woman budding TV chef!!!

Go here to vote for her: <<< https://favchef.com/2023/ronica-marable

Ronica grew up, like so many of us, in abject poverty and is the first person in her family to go to college.

She lost her mom to cancer and her father to addiction.

She is legally responsible for her handicapped adult twin siblings.

She is a therapist, and she loves the Lord.

She wants to teach how cooking got us through slavery and is a legacy that keeps us alive.

She believes that cooking is healing for the soul.

Ronica has dreamed of leaving her day job and making her brand “Cooking in Heels” a household name in honor of her dearly departed mother and aunt who taught her our history. With your free vote, she can.

Ronica has lived a selfless life. Like so many “strong Black Women” she has put her family and her people BEFORE here own dreams. She can cook her HEELS off, but she needs our support. She DESERVES to be supported the way she has supported SO many people as a therapist—including rehab counselling for addicts of all races.

Here’s what I believe:

I believe in Black Women Businesses thriving.

I believe EVERY Black Woman needs to be supported to have her dreams come true.

I believe Ronica’s genius as a chef is therapeutic healing THROUGH cooking (which we inherited from our Ancestors) NEEDS to be televised.

So, on this Juneteenth Weekend I invite you to support our sister in success to fulfill her dreams simply by voting for her!

It’s simple and its FREE!

Go to this link: https://favchef.com/2023/ronica-marable

Vote NOW!

And Vote for the next 5 days.

She is tottering between the number 1 and number 2 spot! Your votes could tip the scale to get this Black Women Chef on TV!!!

Do you have to do this: absolutely not.

AND if you took the 2 minutes to sow this seed of support into a Black woman’s dream, I say you make room for someone to do the same for YOU, right when you need it most.

Vote here now:

Go to this link: https://favchef.com/2023/ronica-marable

Ps Love Note

I love you, Ronica. I believe in you. My tribe believes in you.

As a Black Woman who has self-sacrificed so much for so many, please know that you have our support. You are an AMAZING chef! This is YOUR victory! And we are behind you all the way to the win!

I know you don’t care about you winning—but I do. I am standing for you to win so you know that you are worthy of your being supported and deserve to live your dreams.

As far as I am concerned, that’s what our ancestors wanted for us. You are our ancestors’ dreams realized. And I am SO proud of you!

I abide in God.

I abide in God.

The Holy Spirit abides in me.

Jesus is the vine.
I am the leaves.

God is my tree.
I am God’s branch.

God is the Sun.
I am God’s sun ray.

God is the ocean.
I am God’s wave.

God is the Source
the Energetic force
that animates Life
coursing through me.

God is breath.
God is blood.
God is bone.

I dwell in God.
I abide in His presence.

I see God everywhere.
And nowhere.
ALL at once.

God is big enough
to be Alpha.
And small enough
to live inside of this
finite body.

I love you Lord.

I can feel you
filling me up
so the holes
in my soul—
stop bleeding.

God, my precious Lord
You are good.

You are faithful to me.
Through it all.

Today.
Tomorrow.
Forever.

You are a God
who never judged me.

You meet me where I am.
Always.
And forever.

I can feel you gently
seeping into my pores
as quiet certainty
arising in my chest.

I feel you ordering my steps.

Speaking when I talk.
Taming my tongue
so I do not harm.

Your love turns
appetites into options.
Mercy into my lifestyle.
Trust as my “come from.”

You show me how
to love me
instead of hoping
someone else will.

I love you Lord.

It is a blessing to be
your hands
your feet and
your voice.

I thank you
for choosing me.

I thank you
for using me.

I abide in you Lord.
You are all to me.

Thank you
for being my God.

In Jesus name,

Amen.