But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33
When you are from a small town in Mississippi, your dreams of a limitless life aren't necessarily on the top of the teacher's lesson plans. Many of our parents are simply trying to keep us alive, get us through high school and quickly push us into independent adults. Going to college and establishing an actual career is simply a bonus. As we journey about our life, however we decide to do so, we soon learn that path that we mentally paved for ourselves was modified by something that held more value; being of service to someone else. Being from a small town, sometimes reduces our dreams to be small ones, but there are so many that dispute the fact that it has to be that way. Deriving from a smaller community has it benefits, as it gives us more intimate connections and room to grow. I would know, I'm from Greenwood, Mississippi; a town barely spotted on a map. I know so many talented, intellectual and successful individuals from my small town and Casey Jackson-Ware happens to be one of them. Casey is a product of a traditional, working class family from Mississippi. She now has a family of her own and she wears many hats, including her latest, author. Today is a special day for Casey Jackson-Ware as she releases her debut as an author, Being Single Is A Ministry. Being Single Is A Ministry is currently available for purchase, get your copy today by clicking here. This book will change the life of so many single women, don't miss your opportunity for a personal transformation.
Casey is a native of Greenwood, Mississippi, where she graduated from Greenwood High School in 1999. She later graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management from the University of Memphis and National American University with her MBA. She has had a successful presence and influence in the financial sector for the last nine years, where she thrives; however, spiritual inspiration is where she finds her greatest joy. I could go on and on about Casey, but it wouldn't be an interview if she didn't speak.
Casey, let’s open up your interview with something transparent you want the readers to know about you.
Casey: Many people view me as strong, courageous, intelligent, willful, educated and independent. At one point in my life, I lacked the confidence that those words represented, and I knew they didn’t apply to me. Based on my life experiences, I can now own those words as a realistic part of my character. They now define me. I have been in the shoes of single women. I have worn the shoes of a scoured woman. I have owned the shoes of a woman that lacks self-worth. I have modeled in the shoes of a woman wanting and desiring the comforts of a man. I have sported the shoes where I look for others to define who I am. I have been in a place where I have lost myself in a relationship that didn’t even take me a mile upward. I have been hurt, abused, and most of all; I was a scarred woman who has been healed by the blood of Jesus. That is my truth, I own it and I live it.
What’s the name of your book and tell us why you chose that name?
Casey: The name of my book is Being Single Is A Ministry. This is the title the Lord gave me as I was journaling. He constantly reminded me that the position I was in was a ministering position.
Exactly what was going on in your life that made you decide to write a book?
Casey: I was in a ministry where the Pastor was strict and preached Holiness or Hell. He would always say, “there is no such thing as a boyfriend or girlfriend when you are in Christ”. Well I was in a relationship and I was trying my best to hold on to it. It wasn’t that I really wanted the relationship but I didn’t want to be alone. When God begin to convict me, I knew that I needed to let some things and people go. I learned that I can’t take everyone on the journey God has for me. So I begin to deal with myself. My outlet has always been writing; so I begin to journal my thoughts, my actions, my emotions and my day to day activity. I was writing everything down. I go back now and read some of things that I wrote and I just smile at my growth.
What did you learn about yourself as you drafted what is now your finished product?
Casey: I learned that I had very low self-esteem. I was a people pleaser first. I knew that I had the capability to succeed in all areas of life but I let others pull me down with their thoughts and opinions of me.
Think about the most challenging part of being single for you. If you could go back in time and tell the single Casey anything, what would it be? Why?
Casey: My most challenging moment while I was single was watching my son have to deal with issues of not having a stable man in his life. I felt like I needed to settle just so he could have someone he could call dad. I would tell myself again today, “Wait on the Lord”
What role did your faith play as your mind transformed as a single woman?
Casey: My faith in God played a major role in my transformation. Jesus is my life; I wouldn’t have a testimony if it wasn’t for Him. It wasn’t until I accepted Christ as my personal savior that I realized it was me all along. I was the one with the self-esteem problems, the insecurities, the lack of value and hope for myself, not the men I were in the relationship with. So when the Lord began to reveal myself to me, I knew that a transformation needed to take place.
What changes did you make in how you conducted yourself in your single status?
Casey: One way I begin to conduct myself as a single was to value my body. I learned that my body was a temple of GOD and first and foremost I needed to keep it sacred. I called it “secondary virginity”, I begin to practice abstinence; I became celibate until marriage. I decided to stop given up my most prize possession. It wasn’t always easy. In those hard times, I found myself praying and praying and praying harder until the feeling and desire would subside.
How was your self-esteem impacted as a single woman? Has it changed? Was marriage the reason for change? If not, what was?
Casey: I believe my self-esteem was impacted long before becoming a single woman. I think it was shattered when I was a little girl by society and people. Because of this, I stepped in and out of relationships, broken and looking for someone to put me back together. My self-esteem has changed. It wasn’t an overnight process, it actually took years and there are some things I am still working on. Now I have confidence in who I am, because of Christ. I have learned not to define myself by the appearances, material things, talents, and success of others. I measure myself by the word of God. I am fearfully and wonderfully made. So I love every curve and inch of myself I love my accomplishments and my mistakes. Although I desired to be married, marriage wasn’t my reason for change. I am the reason for change. Once God did a self-examination on me, I didn’t like the person he had shown me. So I had to do some self-adjustments for myself.
If you would have known as a single woman what you now know as a married woman, what difference do you think it would have made?
Casey: It would have made a lot of difference. I would have first saved my most prized possession for my husband. I wouldn't have allowed people to change who I was.
Facing our past and touching our pain puts us in a vulnerable state, so often times we don’t. We simply move on and hope we leave all the ugliness behind, but sometimes it’s not so easy. Do you think what you experienced being single effected you as married woman now? If so, how?
Casey: Of course. There are times in my marriage now where I have to step back and say, "Casey, this is your husband, not a fling, not your boyfriend; but this is your life partner -- until death do us part." I learned a lot about myself while I was single, some of which have served a great purpose in our marriage. Other life occurrences, sometimes cause me to put up walls when I shouldn’t.
As you look back, what positive lessons did you take from your single experience?
Casey: The most positive lesson I have learned from my single experience, is that I had to fall in love with God first and from there, he taught me how to love myself.
There are so many women wanting a husband, some are even desperate. What advice would you give these women?
Casey: Wait on God. Proverb 18:22, “Whoso find a wife find a good thing, and obtain favour of the Lord”….Women stop searching and let the man find you. That is his job not yours. Hide yourself in Christ. During this time seek ye first the kingdom of God and wait patiently on the Lord to add to your life.
What are your hopes for your book?
Casey: My hope is that single (unmarried) women will begin to value themselves and stop falling for what's given versus what you deserve. My wish is that they will allow God to mold them, heal them, rebuild them, and restore them from their brokenness; making them whole in preparation for the predestined Boaz God has for them.
You have the floor. What do you want to say to those reading your interview?
Casey: I want to encourage my readers to take a moment and evaluate yourself. If you have been waiting, hopping in and out of relationship or wishing that the right one would appear, I want to encourage you to embrace your single lifestyle. God put us in different situations and life experiences for a reason. Take this time to love who God has made you to be. Make improvement for God and yourself. Stop hiding behind the mask that you think other people want to see and be yourself. Define who you are as a single woman, so you won’t get lost as a married woman.
This day is extremely exciting for me, since Casey Jackson-Ware ismy best friend. As we cross the finishline to our dreams, we all are hopeful that we have the support of those we love, waiting for us. Well, I have my pom poms pumping in the air and I'm cheering from California to Minnesota for my friend. Casey has been present for every great milestone in my life. She has not missed one opportunity to be an extraordinary friend to me. She has encouraged me every step of the way and supported me mentally, spiritually, emotionally and even financially during our twenty year friendship. Words cannot express how much she means to me, so to say that I'm completely overjoyed to be the first one to interview her, is definitely an understatement. We all only dream to have everlasting, rare friendships; especially with individuals who want nothing but the best for us. I'm very fortunate to have been one to capture that rarity. Well let me stop right now, because my emotions are rising. I can't help it, I'm a water sign. Nevertheless, I'm having a proud moment for my friend, because I know how much she as anticipated this day. What a blessing it is! Congratulations Casey!