For as long as I can remember, movies, music, and media have always been a part of my life. I grew up in the ’90s, listening to the sweet soulful sounds of Mary J. Blige, as she sang “Real Love.” Well before I was able to identify with the pain from which she sang “Not Gon’ Cry,” I remember belting all the lyrics from memory. I also rapped Lil Kim’s verse on “I Can Love You” as if I was in concert.
By the time the 2000s approached, I was deep into the Murder Inc Era; Ja Rule and Ashanti’s music videos had all the young women wanting to be a “Down A** Chick,” to defy the rules and their self-worth in the name of love. Through these outlets (and probably many other planted seeds), I became acquainted with the idea that pain is love. It became all-too familiar and natural for me to expect the mistakes and mistreatment of men and boys alike. I had been desensitized to this behavior, it was normal to me.
Excerpt from Chapter 2: An Ode to Pain
The devout Christian teenager with an atheist boyfriend and college girl labeled as a groupie. The young woman searching for her way out of the polygamous relationship, the adulterous women holding on to someone else’s husband, and the lax standards that helped me become all of them.
Kiara A. Johns,
A Disciple of Christ, Wife, Missionary, Mentor, and an Entrepreneur. She is the Founder of Not Our Blueprint Girls International and
I had been taught to reason using the logic of the rule of thumb, and that you are rarely, if ever, the exception to the rule. In my carnal mind, I looked at the natural attributes that made us different. She was beautiful - light complexion, nice, thin figure She also went to a Big Ten school and had a very good job. I thought because of these things, the access she had to men had put her in a better position. I had listened to her say that it was all Godly divine and orchestrated, but I could not bridge the distance between us. I didn’t see that the one connection that she and I shared alike- was the love of our father, Jesus Christ.
Excerpt from Chapter 5: Pinky Promise MISSION FAILED!
Robert Johns, Foreword
Robert Johns is a disciple of Christ, husband (to Kiara), published author, mentor and philanthropist from Detroit, MI. He has a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix. Robert serves as the Chief Executive Officer of BUILDING Futures, a Metro-Detroit based Non-profit organization.
Kiara is and has always been a mentor for young women and an advocate for women’s rights and equality. So, it is fitting of her to author a book that tells her story and exposes her dreadful past all in hopes to empower women to know their worth and never settle for anything short of what God has for them.
Nich Wolak, Editor
Nich Wolak is a former reporter and co-worker of Kiara Johns. He graduated from Michigan State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism, before working at the Huron Daily Tribune and Grand Haven Tribune (Bad Axe and Grand Haven, Mich.). Nich is currently a third-grade teacher.
It was such an honor to get to edit Kiara's book. Her vulnerability shines through in every word. I admire her willingness and ability to dive headfirst into some tricky waters. This is a must read for anyone who has struggled in their dating life or relationship with God. Her awful dating record will keep you turning the pages, but it's her deep soul that will stick with you.