Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Living Out Her Purpose - Keesha Barreau

Charismatic.  Inspiring.  Ambitious.  These are the words that come to mind when I think about Keesha Barreau's personality.  I've had the privilege of interacting with her and experiencing her gifts-in-action throughout our 4 year friendship... on Facebook!  We first linked up back in 2008, based on our connection with a mutual friend. Since then, we've chatted back on forth regarding just about everything under the sun-- natural hair, weddings, pictures, spirituality, etc...  I was intrigued by her craft as a make-up artist, so planned on asking her to share a little bit about it here at Unstuck and Unstoppable.  The Lord had other plans, however, and our conversation revealed that there's even more to this bubbly woman's mission on earth, than I'd originally recognized...

What would you describe as the role that God has created for you to fill?
My role in life is to encourage other women, older and younger, to be who they are, to love who they are, and to be confident.  

When did you discover that this was your purpose?
I've known for a long time that I enjoy talking with people and encouraging them.  My mother is a pastor, and has always been a very encouraging person.  So, as a typical "mommy's girl", I'm very much like her.  Before she became a pastor, she was a probation officer, and a counselor.
When women were released from custody, my mother would always take the time to encourage them and reassure them that that they were going to do well once they were on their own again.  That was the example that she provided for me.  Because of that example, I choose not to judge people at "face-value", or what they seem like on the outside.  I get to know them first and understand who they are, and then I build from there. 

So, since discovering that being an encourager is your calling, in what ways have you pursued this role?
Opportunities to encourage others have always found their way to me-- particularly opportunities to encourage other women.  When I first began attending The Faith Center in Sunrise, Florida, I joined just about every ministry-- drama ministry, the choir, single's ministry, etc... I'm not a shy person, so I was happy to get involved at that level!  Through that participation, people had several opportunities to observe me addressing the congregation, and interacting with other ministry members.  So eventually, when a need would arise for a particular event, people began asking me to speak.  And whenever I was invited to speak, I would always accept! At one engagement, I was the keynote speaker for a kindergarten graduation.  At another engagement, I spoke with girls at an urban high school about having a positive self-image, and understanding what it truly means to be a young lady.

Over time, the word spread, and eventually I got my first invitation to preach.  I was at a women's retreat, and the pastor who organized it invited me to come to her church as a guest speaker.  All I kept thinking was,  "I don't know how to preach!  What am I going to say?!"  But even though I was nervous, I accepted the invitation anyway.  I just prepared my sermon by staying in the Word, and letting the Holy Spirit guide the direction of the message when I stepped up to preach-- whether it was on the topic that I had planned, or not.

What has the experience of living out your purpose been like?  
I don't think that I have fully been living it out yet.  A few years ago, life threw me a couple of curve balls that stunted my self-perception.  And it's difficult to minister when you're broken.  But then God sent me my husband, Tony, and he healed my heart, and taught me how to love again-- starting with myself.  So after pulling back, and learning "me" all over again, I feel that I'm now in a better position to use my experiences to help others.

I'm a make-up artist by trade.  But for me, make-up artistry is not just something that I do--  it's also its own vehicle for ministry.  When I'm doing someone's make-up, I may end up working with that individual for 2 to 3 hours.  So, during that time, in addition to working on that person's face, I'm also engaging in conversation with them, and getting to know more about who they are.  Sometimes, this leads to an invitation to do something else, or to attend another event.  In either case,  I find that God has been using it as a stepping stone to get me back into women's ministry.  Right now, at this stage in my life, I can see where the doors are opening again, so I have to accept that the Lord is telling me, "Okay, Keesha, this is your calling.  I need you to encourage women.  I need you to let them know that they are beautiful-- inside and out.  I need you to explain to them who they are to Me".

What is the next level to which you'd like to live out your purpose?
Recently, I was invited by a community leader to speak with single women about confidence.  I know that this is the platform that God is getting ready to use me in, so I need to be prepared.  I'm working on creating my bio, so that I'll have one to submit for this upcoming event, and for any other events going forward.  Since encouraging women is the role that I am here to fill,  I want to be ready when I'm called to speak!

What words of encouragement do you have for others who are still seeking out their purpose?
Know who you are and know what your passion is.  If you have a passion, embrace it, and use it for the betterment of others, not just for yourself.  In whatever aspect of life you have been called to walk, express from within.  Find the positive in yourself first, so that you'll be able to encourage the positive in someone else.

Keesha Barreau is an international make-up artist who resides in South Florida.  She's married to international photographer, Tony Barreau.  Together, they run AVD Photography and Studio.  You can visit their website at  You can also join Keesha's make-up blog at

Thank you for sharing your journey with us, Keesha.  We're rooting for you, here at Unstuck and Unstoppable!  May you, and those that you touch, be blessed as you move boldly into your purpose...


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Unknown said...

wow Karen... i speechless ( and that never happens, lol). Thank you so much for even considering me. You brought my words to life and for that I am grateful. May you continue to use this gift to bring a community together... near and far. I love you and thank you again.

Anonymous said...

Congrats to Keesha for all that she has accomplished and prayers for all that the Lord is about to do through her. Hats off to you, too, Karen, for a fantastic start. Blessings. Ardice

Karen said...

This story, and the ones that will follow, are here to INSPIRE-- starting with the person that it's about, then me (since I get to see it before anyone else), then the readers. I consider myself blessed to be the facilitator. Keesha, I love you, too! And thanks for trusting your story with me. And Ardice, Thank you for your encouraging words!

enthusiastically, dawn said...

Wow! Gorgeous inside and out. What an inspiring lady! Women need women who are gifted, available and God focused- so great that she is heeding the call.

Nicky CL said...

Beautiful Keesh!!! Very inspiring...I pray that the Lord will continue to use you to inpire and encourage Everyone that crosses your path..not just women...You are a real and true blessing..Love you girl

viviene @ thejourneyofawoman said...

She's a beautiful woman inside out! =) I love that even as a make-up artist, she looks at it as a way to minister... Indeed, whatever we are doing, it's an opportunity to encourage others =)

Karen said...

And isn't that a beautiful thing? You don't have to be like someone else to live out a God-serving purpose. He made you the way you are so that you can serve in a way he designed just for you.

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