Born Royal

Overcoming Insecurity to Become the Woman God Says You Are

About the Book

A revolution for women to live confidently in their God-given identity and united in the call to bring goodness to the world, adapted from Born of a Woman, from speaker and pastor of the influential Shoreline City Church.

“In these pages, you will experience the beauty of a friend who says, ‘Royal sister, take a seat. We have been waiting for you!’”—Charlotte Gambill, pastor, author, and global Bible teacher

We know women are meant to bring powerful and lasting goodness into the world because God repeatedly called women to do so: He trusted Mary to give birth to Jesus, Esther to save His people, and Deborah to lead His kingdom. Yet so much of our potential is limited by our own insecurity and fear. It’s time for us to stand confident in our stunning worth as royal daughters, unite in community, and walk in the unshakable hope of Christ. 

In a message that’s both vibrant and conversational, Pastor Oneka McClellan reminds us that God has uniquely positioned and gifted women to be a source of life, wisdom, and strength. Through insightful biblical truths and real stories of women showing up in powerful ways, McClellan equips you to

• completely trust your God-given identity
• lead with courage and wisdom in any room 
• fight for the flourishing of others
• celebrate the greatness in every woman
• see with eyes of hope that God can redeem any story

To every woman who’s ever felt held back, pushed down, or disqualified from stepping fully into her purpose, McClellan’s Born Royal offers hope, encouragement, and empowerment. It also sounds a liberating call for each and every one of us—including you—to walk boldly and precisely as the women God has created us to be.
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Praise for Born Royal

“In her book Born Royal, Oneka McClellan encourages each of us to join a royal sisterhood by letting go of our insecurities and fully embracing our position as the loved-beyond-measure daughters of the King. I have seen her walk out this journey, and I know her words will encourage you!”—Holly Wagner, author of Find Your Brave and founder of She Rises

“Oneka McClellan reminds women that we have been created uniquely and intentionally, on purpose and for a purpose. When we know our true worth and belonging, we live and love from confidence, not comparison. The moment is now to rise up and live crowned for such a time as this!”—Madison Prewett Troutt, bestselling author of The Love Everybody Wants

Born Royal is a call for the women of our generation to step into our true identity as daughters of the King. Chosen, prepared, and crowned to say a confident yes to all that God intends for them.”—Jennie Lusko, pastor of Fresh Life Church with her husband, Levi, and bestselling author of The Fight to Flourish

“Be inspired to walk confidently and securely in who you have been created to be, while cultivating the same growth in other women as well. We don’t have to allow the dysfunctional ways society have normalized for women to determine how we behave as chosen Christ followers. We are challenged to be the biggest cheerleaders of other women and pass down biblical and practical knowledge to generations that follow. Be prepared to be forever changed for the better and evolve into the reality of what it means to be Born Royal!”—Irene Rollins, co-founder of Two Equals One marriage ministry and author of Reframe Your Shame

Born Royal is a God-breathed vision for women of every generation to no longer settle for any lesser label than ‘daughters of the King.’ McClellan’s journey is an impartation of hard-earned wisdom from God’s Word and an infusion of encouragement—from the queen of encouragement herself.”—Julie Mullins, senior pastor of Christ Fellowship Church

“Oneka McClellan is the world’s greatest cheerleader. You will be inspired, equipped, and compelled to step into all God has created you to be and do all He has placed you on the earth to do.”—Christine Caine, founder of the A21 Campaign and Propel Women

“In Born Royal, Oneka McClellan does what she does best—she reminds us of who we are and whose we are, and she compels us toward all we can be. If you’re ready to step into all God says you are—read this book!”—Shelley Giglio, co-founder of the Passion Movement and Passion City Church
“For twenty years I have watched Oneka McClellan live out the message of this book. This is the cry of her heart—to let every woman know they are seen. In these pages, you will experience the beauty of a friend who says, ‘Royal sister, take a seat. We have been waiting for you!’”—Charlotte Gambill, pastor, author, and global Bible teacher
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Born Royal


your time is now

I remember when I became a mom. I remember what I thought it would look like. I remember all the things I saw in magazines (there was no Instagram at the time), and I remember seeing moms fit back in their jeans two days to two weeks after giving birth. I remember everyone telling me how incredible it would be and all the love I would have and how I would fall more in love with my husband. And all those things are true.

But what I didn’t know, what no one told me, was how sleep deprivation would turn into anxiety. No one told me that our firstborn would cry for no reason or that I would hear crying even when he wasn’t. No one told me how hard my first day of solo parenting would be when my husband went back to work. No one told me how difficult breastfeeding could be or about the challenges of recovering from a C-section while also caring for one of the greatest gifts in my life. My reality was the opposite of the pictures I saw, the opposite of the stories I was told. I felt like a failure because my life wasn’t matching up to the examples I saw in magazines.

So do you make it through the sleepless nights? You sure do. Do you eventually get your body back? It’s totally possible in many cases. But is it still hard eighteen years in? Heck, yes. Is it the most rewarding delight and the joy of my heart? You’d better believe it. I say all of this not to scare you but to prepare you for when what you face is the opposite of what you feel prepared for. You’ll be stronger on the other side. You’ll be able to hold the hand of moms that come after you, and you’ll wake up a new kind of fight and determination that you never knew you had.

For many of us, the tension we carry every day is deep and painful. Maybe we don’t know what we’ll encounter at home, at work, or at school from a roommate, friend, spouse, boyfriend, or colleague. We might feel confident and strong one day, while on other days we’ll feel overwhelmed and think, I’m going to sink under all this pressure! Can you relate?

For some of us, this pressure manifests in our own minds, in our thoughts. Many of us battle negative thinking constantly, especially in today’s world, in which we’re bombarded by bad news—it comes at us from all sides. On the outside, we might look like we’re doing just fine, but inside, our minds are waging war. In fact, we may feel the physical effects of all this negativity in our bodies, with our health taking a hit. One day we might receive a positive health report from the doctor, and we feel fantastic. But after a particularly stressful season, we might receive a very different report on our health. We all face struggles in different ways.

The Bible gives us story after story of how God showed up for people who felt unprepared.

When Joshua took over the leadership of Israel after Moses died, God told him, “Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9).

To the Israelites taken captive and forced to live in the Babylonian Empire far from their homeland, who surely felt unprepared for and confused about their new life, God said, “I know the plans I have for you. . . . They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. In those days when you pray, I will listen” (Jeremiah 29:11–12).

When the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary, she felt confused and disturbed about how her life may be changing, but the angel had said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary” (Luke 1:30) and promised the Holy Spirit would come to her (verse 35).

And when Jesus ascended, leaving the disciples to carry out His work on earth with the Holy Spirit—and can you imagine the state of their emotions?—Jesus reassured them: “Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).

I give the same message to you, reader: God is with you.

God is with you.

He’s with you on your good days and your bad days. He’s with you when you have it all together and when you feel like you’re about to lose your mind. Sometimes you just have to know that God is with you and that He is there to bring you peace, grace, strength, and hope. God also reminds you that no matter what battle you are currently facing or will face in the future, He sent His Son in the form of a baby, and this promise is just as relevant to your life today as it was yesterday. I think sometimes we forget about the hope of the world: Jesus is here with us now.

The road wasn’t easy for Joshua, the Israelites, Mary, or the disciples, but what might have felt like the wrong time was truly the right time.

I love Galatians 4:4: “When the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman.” Look at that first part: “When the right time came.”

When I read those words, I recalled the time many years ago when God placed a dream in both my husband, Earl, and me to plant a church. While we were on staff at a church in Austin, a business leader came up to us and said, “I feel like you guys are supposed to go to this conference.” It was prophetic. He continued, “I just feel like I’m supposed to pay your way to go to London.” This offer was an out-of-the-blue blessing. My mother-in-law then paid for us to take our son, Parker, who was five years old at the time. So Earl and I packed our bags, bundled up our son, and caught a flight to London.

The first night we were there, Earl woke up in the middle of the night, having had a dream. He turned to me and said, “This sounds crazy, honestly, but I feel like we’re supposed to start a church.”

“I’ve known that since I met you in college,” I responded. “I’m so glad you got that revelation.”

But we waited a few years before we moved on that dream to plant our church, Shoreline City Church. We could have gone to Dallas prematurely, but we waited and prayed and planned, then went at the appointed time. At just the right time, God assembled a team. At just the right time, He provided finances, volunteers, and more. At just the right time, He provided a movie theater when we needed a second building. At just the right time, He provided a cute little church on Town North when we needed a third building. And at just the right time, He provided our current building. After experiencing every step in this miraculous journey, I can tell you with confidence that God is in control of every moment of your life. Every single thing that you’re waiting, trusting, and believing for—He’s already got it all worked out. And guess what? It’s going to turn out even better than you’re thinking or dreaming today.

Just because we felt ready didn’t mean we were ready. We wanted to get married a year before it was truly time. We wanted to launch our church a year or two before it was truly time. I’m so glad we had people who had gone before us praying for us and giving us wisdom. We thought we were ready, but in reality, we needed more time to prepare for what we were stepping into. Now eleven years into leading our church, I can truly say that slow-cooking our way to becoming pastors prepared us for all the curveballs we encountered in starting something from the ground up and leading our church family through the pandemic—all while raising our own family.

How do we know if we’re ready? I’ve learned to trust I’m ready to move forward after praying and directly asking God if the timing is right, turning to Scripture and reviewing the promises in His Word, and consulting trusted mentors and friends. There is such wisdom in the advice of respected and trusted role models.

And what do we do if we jump too soon and find ourselves in over our heads? Ask for help, and remember that His grace is more than sufficient. He will always send you guidance when you ask for it. So find rest in knowing that whether you feel prepared or unprepared, your heavenly Father has you and will never fail you.

So, when it comes to timing, we don’t need to force it. I’m so glad we didn’t rush the dream and move to Dallas two years earlier, because I wouldn’t have been ready. Starting a church is real—like, real. I didn’t know how much faith or strength or backbone I would need for the journey. I didn’t realize just how much time I would need to spend on my face crying out to God. So I’m glad we moved when it was God’s perfect time.

We’re called to give life to powerful things. You know it’s true, because God chose a woman to bring Jesus to this earth. He chose a woman because He knew that He could trust her to nurture this promise. What a calling. Yet so many of us women constantly deal with insecurity, doubt, fear, and backbiting. We experience bullying and judgment from other women and from our own internal critics every day. If women could simply remember what we’re capable of bringing forth into the world and recall that God picked a woman to bring the Son of God to the earth, I believe that realization would give us power and confidence.

If women remembered what we’re capable of bringing forth into the world, it would give us power and confidence.

About the Author

Oneka McClellan
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About the Author

Lisa Harper
Lisa Harper is known for combining solid biblical teaching with comedic wit and masterful storytelling. A popular Bible teacher, Lisa speaks nationwide at retreats and conferences including Women of Faith and is a frequent guest on radio and television programs. The author of several books, including A Perfect Mess, Lisa holds a master of theological studies degree from Covenant Theological Seminary. She lives near Nashville, Tennessee. More by Lisa Harper
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