This time last year, I enthusiastically said “yes” to attending my church mission trip. Moments after agreeing to the last-minute opportunity, a Pinterest photo popped unto my iPhone screen. It reminded me that sometimes God calls us to a place far away, away from what we know in order to truly reconnect Him.


At a time where I was dealing with emotional heaviness, the trip gave me purpose. I knew God wanted me there. I came home rejuvenated and excited to continue to share God’s love and resuscitating hope.


When the time came to write my name down on the list for this year’s trip, I said “yes” again… I didn’t know that assured answer would soon waver.


With gearing up to finish graduate school, juggling freelance jobs, and fulfilling my role as Miss Black New Jersey 2018, I didn’t have much time to think about the mission. The last few months prior to the trip were quickly upon me. I sat apprehensively at our mission trainings, wanting to say “no, nevermind.”


About two months prior to leaving, I did. I told my pastor I couldn’t go. I expressed how I wanted to, but my list of responsibilities were overwhelming me. In fact, merely thinking about the mission brought about scenarios where I imagined having a anxiety attack on the trip. I was just trying to get things done — my pageant would be the following week I returned from missions, after all.  


I’m not an “excuses” kind of girl. My yes is my yes and my no is my no. But anxiety had me looking at my schedule like, “ummm, maybe not!”


Between wanting to keep my word and hearing encouraging messages from my friends and family, I ended up saying “yes” again.


In our final church service before heading off to Cuba, our missionary group sang “People’s Praise” by Hector Victor. The song tells the story of obedience, the relentless desire to tell the world the Good News of Jesus Christ and how His glory is our reward.


As we sang “we will go,” I felt like a total hypocrite because no, I didn’t want to go anywhere. I wanted to stay home. I wanted a peace of mind here. I wanted the comfort of my room. I wanted to handle my business here so I could be prepared for school, for work, for my pageant.


Anxiousness almost crippled me. I sat in my church service attempting to bat away tears as my chest heaved. I was already beginning to think of the ways in which I could bow out. We were to leave for Cuba the next day. The tightness begun to subside after church ended.


Asides from the anxiety my schedule brought, one of the other reasons I didn’t want to go was because I didn’t know if I was supposed to be there. It wasn’t just struggling with putting the necessities on hold. I wondered if God was calling me to go in the first place.


I soon found out He was.


Your obedience to God will cover you.

This mission trip was different from start to finish. God revealed to my pastor that He was leading us to Cuba, though we had no connections there. Nevertheless, my pastor obeyed. And days after, a pastor from Cuba, Pastor Jacinto, reached out to him. Reward. 


He was to be the one guiding us. And let me tell you, that, he did! The 83 year-old travels high mountains and low valleys to speak the Word of God. He has so much vigor and a joy that cannot be contained. Jesus literally sent us a Holy Spirit filled man. It’s as if the Holy Spirit was a winding tornado from the top of his head to the soles of his feet.


We had to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us literally every step of the way in a foreign land. Not knowing what we’d be doing until we were led, taught me to wait, to pray, to listen and then, watch. It trained me to let go of the outside to focus on the mission at hand.

Your obedience to God will cover you. Click To Tweet


Your obedience to God will impact more than just you.

Since Cuba is a communist country, we had a lot of restriction on what we could and couldn’t do. God didn’t send us out into the streets this time, but straight into the church. He wanted to demonstrate to the people that He was thinking of them. They were overjoyed and often teary-eyed. One said he felt like the world wanted Cuba off the map so our presence in their neighborhood reminded them how much they are loved and how God has never forgotten about them and He never will. Yes, your obedience to God will impact more than just you.


Your obedience to God will impact more than just you. Click To Tweet


We fellowshipped, encouraged, shared resources. With countless hours on the road, we traveled all across Cuba — 7 hotels in 10 days. And on the final day, God revealed to me why He wanted me there.


We were hugging goodbyes to the pastors and guides after our final prayer meeting and as some were beginning to disperse, Pastor Jacinto halted. Everyone stopped what they were doing and watched. Almost instinctively, He laid his hands on my head and blessed me. He prophesied, speaking words over my life I needed to hear and I. Was. Shook.


I’m still a bit speechless but what I can say is: I travelled home fully aware of God’s favor, love and attention. I was encouraged and reminded of not just God’s plans over my life, but how He was so mindful of my current needs.  


Remember those things that I was overwhelmed with before the trip? I’ll be done with these last two classes by next month. My work for my brand and those I write for have been manageable. And the national pageant is now over, thank God.


I won second runner up and am the Heart Truth Champion. I had no PR representative, no pageant training, no state director. It was all GOD.


I don’t necessarily consider my standing in the pageant as God’s reward for going on the missions trip. Something else is coming, something bigger.


The number 8 shows me that. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered it biblically symbolized new beginnings— and since then, God has been dropping the number 8 in my life in every way He could. I launched Dressed for Battle Podcast 8/8/18, not knowing why but knowing the date was special. When the pageant contestant order was released, I discovered I was number 18. While here at the pageant, I received a $8 donation with the message, “new beginnings.” And tonight, as I reached into the bowl for my numbered question, I opened up the piece of paper and saw the number 8 scribbled on it. My spirit leaped. My mouth agape. All I could say was, “I hear you, Jesus. Thank you.”


As I walked across that stage one last time, my favorite scripture was read aloud: Isaiah 43:18-19 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not see it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” I remembered, no matter the outcome, God utilized this platform to elevate me further. The Miss Black USA title may not be my “new thing.” But it sure is here, in JESUS name.


Your obedience to God will be rewarded.

Whether your sacrifice is big…or whether it is small, you will be rewarded for it. Whether it is obvious or whether your sacrifice is one that only you know about, you will be rewarded for it. God sees what you put on hold to tend to His instructions. He does not overlook your obedience.


Your reward is on its way. 


God sees what you put on hold to tend to His instructions. He does not overlook your obedience. Your reward is on its way. Click To Tweet


Want more inspiration?

Click to conquer with my empowering newsletter HERE.

Subscribe to my podcast, “Dressed for Battle” on iTunes, Google Play and Soundcloud.

And please follow along: @adornedinarmor | @dressedforbattlepodcast

August 21, 2018

  1. Queen Karen says:

    Amen. Glory to God. Obedience is better than sacrifice. As I read your blog post, it reminded me of a scripture that I read today about obedience. The Lord revealed this verse to me earlier this month but while opening my Bible today, my heart settled on this verse again. The title of that chapter is Reward For Obedience. Leviticus 26 ‘Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the Lord your God. 2 “Observe my Sabbaths and have reverence for my sanctuary. I am the Lord. 3 ‘If you follow my decrees and are careful to obey my commands, 4 I will send you rain in its season, and the ground will yield its crops and the trees their fruit. 5 Your threshing will continue until grape harvest and the grape harvest will continue until planting, and you will eat all the food you want and live in safety in your land. 6 ‘I will grant peace in the land, and you will lie down and no one will make you afraid. I will remove wild beasts from the land, and the sword will not pass through your country. 7 You will pursue your enemies, and they will fall by the sword before you. 8 Five of you will chase a hundred, and a hundred of you will chase ten thousand, and your enemies will fall by the sword before you. 9 ‘I will look on you with favor and make you fruitful and increase your numbers, and I will keep my covenant with you. 10 You will still be eating last year’s harvest when you will have to move it out to make room for the new. 11 I will put my dwelling place[a] among you, and I will not abhor you. 12 I will walk among you and be your God, and you will be my people. 13 I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt so that you would no longer be slaves to the Egyptians; I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.”

    On the topic of missions, the Lord has laid it upon my heart that I will be attending a missions trip with my church this year. There have been enough confirmations and I’m excited. I honestly had the fear but I believe in my heart that as I make the necessary deposit, the Lord will make way for the rest of the funds. God is Faithful. I remember watching your mission trip experience a few months ago on Youtube and it was a blessing. It’s good that you obeyed this time around to Cuba. God had a purpose. Thank you for sharing Tarah 🙂

  2. Gerty SL says:

    Dear Tarah,
    We thank God for your talents. You are truly a blessing. Trust and obey, that is exactly what the Lord is asking from us. We did it! We listened to His voice, we went to Cuba and He used us for His glory. He touched people’s hearts through us! What a blessing! What a privillege to be the Almighty God’s messenger. His glory our rewards!
    May God continue to use you.
    May His light continue to shine on you.
    With Love ,
    Sr Gerty

  3. Aaron says:

    Well said. A life lived for God is a life well lived, my friends.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Daughter of the King, you are deeply loved. Sign up for The Armory List to receive encouraging emails (think of me as your personal cheerleader), life updates, and my popular “Affirmations for Queens” freebies. Yeah, there was just no way I was going to let you leave this place without you knowing who and Whose you are!

Download Biblical Affirmations for Queens

donate via paypal



Your support means the world to me. If you’ve been blessed in any way, feel free to send a donation and help me share God’s love. Please know any donations will not be considered tax-deductible. 

Your support means the world to me


Lovely meeting you

with love, Tarah-Lynn

I'm Tarah-Lynn – a confidently vulnerable woman,  emboldened by love and on a mission to get you to live purposefully and to believe bigger. Call me your cheerleader; I look forward to encouraging you
 into victory! 

Get Around

Get Around