“Let your light shine before men that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
– Matthew 5:16
I love sharing stories of everyday changemakers. For these guys, forget the grand stage and applause; they are all about causing impact however they can, with amazing testimonies of God’s grace in their lives to boot.
Case in point, Jermaine and Conscious Coore, a young couple I got the awesome privilege of e-interviewing last month.
I first stumbled across Conscious’s blog, The Impeccable Love Story, about two years ago. It was a big source of comfort for me, back when I was experiencing a confusing breakup. I’ve followed her journey as she has consistently pushed the life changing gospel of Christ, marrying a fellow soldier while still making a difference with the platforms God gives them.
From their interesting takes on purpose and obedience to their unconventional courtship, there’s truly a lot to take home from the Coores’ story. Thanks for being a blessing to the body, guys. And to you dear reader, be inspired!
Please tell us a bit about yourselves.
C: I’m not sure where to start. My name is Conscious. I graduated from Louisiana State University in 2014 and now I teach 5th grade at a charter school in Harlem, New York.
J: My name is Jermaine. I graduated from Rutgers University in 2013 and now, I work in ministry.
When and how did your walks with Christ begin?
C: I always say that I’ve always had an awareness of God, but I would say my walk only really began the summer right out of high school. It was mostly a result of seeking the true meaning of love. At the time, I was in a really calloused state of mind and I reasoned that if love was what I had seen, then I wanted no parts of it.
Being raised in a Christian home, I decided that the biblical approach to love would have to serve as my last resort. Since then, being able to distinguish the love of Christ from all sorts of false depictions of love has helped me understand what it means to be in a relationship with the Lord in all areas.
J: I got baptized when I was 17, but my walk really started after I backslid in college and returned to Christ. I grew up in the church so I mastered things that pertained to God, but never pursued a genuine relationship with Him. It wasn’t until I hit a low point in life that I started seeking God beyond the superficial things about Christianity. That’s when my walk with Christ really started.
Some would say your journey to marriage was seemingly unconventional. Please share a bit of your beautiful story.
C: Well, in 2015, I ran a blog called Impeccable Love Story. When I wasn’t writing my own blogs, I would host a guest blogger every month. Jermaine expressed interest in submitting a blog in April of that year and the title of it was “Finding True Love is Impossible Without Finding God”. The title and the blog itself really grabbed my attention because I was in such agreement with it.
J: I was really looking forward to this collaboration with her because I was really blessed by her previous blogs. After the blog was published, Conscious and I didn’t talk for a few weeks. Mostly just jokes on twitter and a few direct messages here and there. We became friends during the biggest transition in my life at that point in time. God blessed me with a degree in journalism and media studies And then He blessed me with a job at the top of the industry. WABC Eyewitness News in New York City.
Despite being with the cream of the crop and having a fairly easy job, I wasn’t fulfilled there. It was really racking my brain how I could have such a great job in the field that I went to school for, but still feel like I wasn’t in my purpose. So, I went on a 14 day fast and in the midst of that fast, God led me to put in my 2 weeks to leave to pursue purpose. At the same time, He was aligning me with someone who would later be the most helpful regarding my purpose.
Conscious had asked about what I did for a living and after I told her about this great job, I had to tell her I was leaving. To my surprise, she totally got it and she was excited. From there, God would lead us to talk about different elements of my purpose and those conversations would challenge me to embrace aspects of [it] that I was reluctant to acknowledge. I didn’t tell her this but [her] challenging me in that way was exactly what I was looking for in a wife.
We continued to pursue the friendship and I let her know a month later; I expressed my desire to be in an exclusive relationship with her. And then 5 months later, we got married. I know that seems kind of quick but when God gave me the revelation that this was my wife, I didn’t need anything else to confirm who she was. I’m not against premarital counseling or waiting until you’re sure or certain but if God gives you the word, what else do you need?
What advice would you give to a person/couple with strong convictions of being led by God in a certain area, but with no support from anyone (even their church)? Might be in marriage like you guys, career/business or ministry.
J: Obey God. THEY are not going to be held responsible for YOUR disobedience. They don’t have to do what God told you to do.
C: …and I would add on that not everybody is listening for the will of God concerning your life. Many people will follow the norm and will suggest that you do the very same thing. It’s not because they want to put you in harm’s way, they just couldn’t possibly know why God is leading you the way that He is. So, if it seems that God is taking you the scenic route, or a seemingly precarious path to something, chances are it is to accomplish much more than anybody could know. God wants us to trust Him, not necessarily understand why He instructs us as He may.
You two touch on Purpose vs Preference in your YouTube channel, Coore Values. What exactly do these concepts mean and how can a Christian truly differentiate between them?
Purpose vs Preference is based on the scripture Isaiah 55:8-9. God’s plans for our lives are so much greater than what we usually prefer. So, by prioritizing purpose over preference, we align ourselves with God’s best according to His will. Though our preferences may not be inherently bad, they do tend to get in the way when the Lord wants to lead us to a certain community or teach us a certain thing. Sometimes, we learn better under conditions that we wouldn’t necessarily prefer but because we obey God going into those conditions, we walk out of them more mature in the things of God.
Any general lessons learned on hearing from God, from the start of your walk and up till now? Surely you’ve made some mistakes right? How did you bounce back from them?
J: Mmm… Isaiah 55:8-9 Lol. I have been wrong about a few things in the past and I probably will be wrong about a few things in the future simply because God’s ways are so much greater than ours. It’s not so much about bouncing back. It’s about humbling yourself and repositioning yourself completely so that what you hear from God reflects what He wants (and not what you want) more accurately.
C: I’ve recently learned that disobedience is lethal. Nothing God tells us to do is optional and nothing He gives us for wisdom needs corroboration from others. When I think to say “something told me..”, or “I was thinking..” I have learned that it truly grieves God when I don’t acknowledge Him. It may be fear of being wrong, it may be a sense of pride in my ability to reason, or it may be something else. But, when God leads me to do or say something, it is so crucial that I know it’s Him so that I do not take it lightly, and it is most crucial that I obey. Sometimes it’s small conveniences that He wants to send my way and other times, it’s purpose that’s on the line. Practicing obedience is a principle thing.
What does the future hold for the Coores? Apart from beautiful, blessed babies of course 🙂 Any projects in the works?
J: To be honest, God has us in a perpetual state of amazement. If you had told us last year that we would be living in New York City in our own apartment while I attended seminary school and Conscious worked as a 5th grade teacher… we wouldn’t believe you. But here we are and we can’t explain any of it. I don’t know what the future holds for the Coores, but I know God. So, I can’t wait to find out just like you lol.
Thank you, guys! May your light shine brighter and brighter…