Today we’d like to introduce you to Shea Edwards.
So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born and raised in Richmond, VA. As a teenager, and began my career in Entertainment as a panelist on the BET show, “Teen Summit”. With an affinity for the arts, I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Howard University, studied classical theater at Oxford University and earned a Master of Fine Arts from UCLA.
They say the best way to make God laugh is to make plans. In 2009, at the most improbable time in my life, I answered the call to ministry and was ordained a minister and Reverend at the First Baptist Church of Venice, in California. At a time when I thought my days would be spent driving from audition to audition, and #setlife on Instagram, I instead spent my days riding my rickety bicycle to a small church by the beach serving the community. In hindsight, this was one of the most profound seasons of my life, where I received the most clarity about my purpose.
I attribute receiving the focus and confidence to walk out my life’s mission through my celibate journey. After many years of partying and struggling with dead-end relationships, I decided to honor my body by taking a break from sex before marriage. It was during this time of celibacy, my now husband and partner in purpose, Brandon literally swept me off of my feet and now ten years later, we’ve been married for seven years with the sweetest four years daughter named Lulu and five months old baby, Bear. Brandon and I are co-partners in Ministry and we also own a production company where we create concepts for unscripted television, called “Cattle on a Hill”. Working with him and raising our babies together is a dream come true.
After having my first child, the depression and anxiety I’d struggled silently with for years took a turn for the worst during my postpartum period. Being an artist, I thought my frequent shifts in mood and bouts of depression were just apart of being an artist and I would always manage to pull myself out of it. Most people would never have known my secret struggle. Once the depression, anxiety and what I now know to be hypomania turned to suicidal ideation, I had to break through the stigma of what it meant to seek help from a psychiatrist. My life and family now depended on my courage to seek help. In 2017, I was diagnosed with Bi-polar 2 disorder. Getting the diagnosis was overwhelming yet freeing as I wasn’t to blame for being “crazy”, I had a chemical imbalance that simply needed treatment, similar to someone having diabetes needing insulin. Through prayer, my faith in God, a solid treatment plan, support from my amazing husband Brandon and close friends, I am able to live a peaceful life full of joy. While I am currently in the postpartum period again, I have some ups and downs, but I can honestly say I am on the other side of what could have been an early end to my life. I enjoy being married and motherhood more now than I ever could have without treatment.
I now add Mental Health Advocate to my list of life missions and am the proud co-host of “The Fight Squad Podcast” All in all, I am on a global mission to help heal and empower the masses – particularly women, innovators, entrepreneurs and artists – through the power of Christ. I am honored to live an intentional life of transparency to glorify God and serve people through my trials and triumphs.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I’ve always had a ridiculous sense of humor and can find the laughter in the worst of situations. For that, I am eternally grateful! My biggest struggle has been cultivating the patience to trust God’s timing for my life as it pertains to my creative career. Having dedicated the majority of my life training as an actress, to then become a minister has been very challenging at times. It’s not easy living in LA and being in the heart of entertainment when you’re going down a different road. It’s hard to not compare your path to others. I now know, God never wastes a gift He’s placed inside of us or a desire of our heart. I’ve done a lot of work to get to the point where I can celebrate the uniqueness of my own path. My acting career was simply placed on hold to be used at the perfect time.
My struggle with mental illness was the other biggest struggle, yet I’m grateful for being a survivor! I can’t wait to let the world know, there is hope and you can get better if you hang in there, seek help, trust God with your life and live for the next beautiful moment!
Faith Rocks! – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Faith Rocks is a Ministry which began as a YouTube vlog and Talk Show started by my husband and I. We are now continuing to expand it as a full-time online ministry. In the age of COVID, millennials are looking for inspiration from where they are. That’s what we’re building, a virtual ministry or (church in the cloud) where we can encourage people all over the world, 24 hours a day. When God gave us the vision for Faith Rocks, it was always to exist in the cloud, never a physical church. So it’s nothing short of Divine timing, we are bringing it to people at a time when churches are closing left and right.
We don’t want to beat people over the head with religion. Faith Rocks is all about having a personal, committed relationship with God through Jesus Christ. I’ve lived on both sides of life, walking with God and walking on my own. Faith Rocks is unique in that we are more than ministry, we are a movement! It’s our mission to share the peace, freedom and joy that comes from a surrendered life to our creator! Living for God is not only fun, but it’s so fulfilling and full of adventure and wonder. We also have merchandise for people to rock their faith!
I’m so proud of the release of my first book, “Success in Celibacy”. We had a fabulous book launch party with an amazing turnout! It was so much fun planning the event. I’m also co-host of a mental health podcast, called “The Fight Squad” where we encourage people to fight for their mental health. I’ll soon be releasing my second book, “Bi-Polar AF” (as faith) 🙂 which is poetry and prayers an expression of what it’s like to live with Bi-Polar Depression, undiagnosed and looking for God along the way.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success, for me, is defined as the amount of joy you experience from one moment to another. Don’t get me wrong, I want to make my mark on the world. However, I know that money, fame and an elaborate lifestyle can be fleeting and doesn’t produce real joy. Peace, joy, health, family and faith are the foundations for living your best life. Success is establishing a solid foundation mentally, physically and spiritually and building on top of that. Success is enjoying the journey and not dishonoring it with comparison. Success is having deep belly laughter as often as possible and not leaving this Earth before I’ve birthed every gift God has given me to help empower others.
- My Book Success in Celibacy is currently, $15 found on my website (www.sheascottedwards.com).
- Ready for a 30 Day Spiritual Reset? My, new, 30 Day Digital “Success in Celibacy” Companion Guide is only $10 on www.sheascottedwards.com.
- Website: www.sheascottedwards.com AND http://podcast.thefightsquad.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: sheascottedwards
- Facebook: faithrocksofficial
- Twitter: scottlynne
- Other: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=success+in+celibacy&ref=nb_sb_noss
Photo Credit: Jamaal www.photosbyjamaal.com, Podcast Photo Credit: Zane Stoddard, Creative Director Photo Shoot: Chanel Frampton, Location: Coffee and Plant, Pasadena CA, Wardrobe and Makeup Styling: Breanna K. Williams, Makeup Artist: Myself, Special Thanks to Lauren Ruth Felton