Striking Truth

If there’s anything I’ve learned about the life of a creative entrepenuer, it it this: it is hard and exhausting, overwhelming, exhilarating, and beautiful.


As I glance around the circle of strong, beautiful women He has surrounded me with, I am reminded that he first thing God did is CREATE. Maybe that’s why satan goes so relentlessly after anything that uses creativity to further God’s kingdom.

That’s my theory, anyway.

We each fight demons, obstacles, and challenges in our callings.
I’ve been blessed to meet visionaries, entrepreneurs and creative types all across the country. We lift each other up and share a knowing looks at conferences:  nods of “yes, me too” and encouraging texts that read “it’s hard, keep going.”

Sometimes I vox a friend with these simple words: keep believing in the Truth.

I first met Emily Dean in Nebraska a year ago. We were both speaking at a conference. On the second day, my mother and I sat in the front row of Emily’s breakout session, mesmerized. Her outward beauty was obvious. But her gentle demeanor, broad smile, and message that spoke deep truth were the things that resonated the most.


Emily reminded me of a slightly older version of my own daughter: A wise soul and a girl who had a story that could have been written in pain, but she was choosing every minute to write it for good. There is a certain light about a girl who knows who she really is at her core,  the child of a king.

Emily’s words that day came from a place of deep truth.  At the age of twenty, Emily spoke with more wisdom than most women twice her age. She knew she was beloved, but it hadn’t been an easy lesson.

She shared of her rise as a singer, actress, and model. How she had walked the hallways of high rises in some of the most sought-after modeling agencies in the world and still felt empty. I leaned close as she described what it felt like to be sized up and compared for roles and photo shoots, to be publicly criticized for any tiny physical flaw, any trait portraying anything less than “perfect”.

The modeling world left no area off limits for criticism of a woman’s body, and the messaging had taken a toll. It’s ironic to me that an industry that becomes the measuring stick for all of us about the perfect body, hair, makeup, smile, leaves in its wake insecure, fragile girls.

Like any story of redemption, slowly something inside Em changed during those modeling days. Slowly at first, and increasingly over time, all the places that were supposed to be filled by her rise in the industry felt hollow.

Emily began a quest to find everlasting peace, and as she did, she knew that the message spoken deep to her own soul was one desperately needed by other women.  Much like me and “Beloved”, she took the name given to her:  her middle name, Varee, and re-framed it in the light of truth.

Her business, Verity Varee, which means “to strike truth” was born a few years later.

I watched a version of  this video the first time we met, and it nearly brought me to tears, the beauty and honesty of it:


The next time I met Emily was at the Winsome Retreat, against the backdrop of the Allegheny mountains, in a quiet retreat center at a conference run by her mother and my dear friend Kim Hyland.




This time my daughter traveled with me. Seeing her eyes light up when hearing the truths in Emily’s story and mission is something I will never forget.   Emily’s love of fashion and her deep belief in inner AND outer beauty was refreshing.  They talked late into the night over hot tea, interspersing fashion trends with the gritty real-life struggles of being a young girl in a world that screams “you are not enough.”


Em and Shelby

I think Emily and her team are onto something,
What if we could get this message of true beauty out to every teenage girl who feels alone in her insecurity? What if we could put it into the hands of every young mom who stares at her  “Instagram” feed and feels like she just can’t measure up?  And just what if, middle-aged women like me could re-discover themselves by seeing the details of our own beauty in the wrinkled lines staring back from the  mirror and in another woman’s story?

What if we could reveal truth together, one story at a time?

I believe we can.  I believe in Emily and her team.  Mostly, I believe in God’s message being spoken through them.

So I’m asking you to join me. It’s a bold ask, and not one that I do often.


Renee’s  “reveal” as captured by Verity Varee team

So dream with me:  What if Verity Varee could reach all  generations of  women with this:  YOU are more than enough.  YOU are beautiful: with makeup, without makeup.  YOU are unique.  Let the lens of God filter all the flaws you see.
Here’s what I’m asking:
1. Pray for my sweet friend Emily and her team. Pop over to their FB or Instagram feed and follow along. Post a prayer there. Encourage.  Cheer. Visit their website (swoon!)
2. Contribute to Verity Varee’s Kick-starter fund. The money raised here will go directly toward the publishing of VV’s first printed book of reveals, getting the true story of beauty into more hands, and this important message into more hearts.  Together we can see women through a photography lens that captures what God sees.



Together we can see ourselves in each others stories. We can be women who cheer.

Let’s be women who strike truth into our sisters’ hearts.

Contribute to the Kickstarter here. 

Thanks for dreaming with us,




One Response

{Comments didn't migrate from my old site...but that's alright~ we can start the conversation now. I'm listening...}