I woke up thinking about some of the hardest situations we have to push through. It can feel unbearable in the moment and often times cruel and unfair. We cry out asking why and begging for a fast forward button that never seems to come. We must find the courage and strength to stand up and take a single step at a time. There are some days we can only breathe because the thought of doing anything more overwhelms us to the point of despair. Sometimes we must be so completely broken so that there will be no path left to the old self we are forced to leave behind. We have to remind ourselves that the picture we can see is so limited but there is so much more to the story that is beautifully transforming us than we imagine is destroying is. There is always hope even on the darkest and most difficult days. I challenge myself and you to look for it no matter how small it may seem. You never know what tomorrow holds. You just have to hang on in faith until the sun comes up and that new day is here.
I went for a walk last night and I noticed a tree in the neighbors yard. It had split down the middle and half of it was still standing while the other half was on the ground. I remember times I’ve felt this way. When my world had been turned so upside down that I felt half of me was destroyed or I was missing the very heart of me. What now I thought as that tree stood there completely exposed? It could never be put back together and it looked very different than it did a day ago.
The truth is when half is all we have it becomes our new whole. There’s a period of transition that is difficult even uncomfortable but eventually we start to grow new branches we didn’t have before. The sun will still come up tomorrow and slowly but surely we will begin to adapt. The transformation may just surprise you and you may end up even more whole and beautiful than ever before.
Sometime I look at people and I see their shame. They wear it like a coat that blinds them to the truth of the very things that make them unique and amazing. I see the cloak of guilt that follows them around relentlessly whispering you are less than, you will never be enough. We learn to hide behind the lies that we come into agreement with. We start to believe that we do not even deserve a seat at somebody’s table.
Sometimes I look into the hearts and eyes of people that I love and I can feel their heaviness. Sometimes I wish people could see themselves through my eyes instead of their own. Sometimes I wish there were more hands available willing to lift people up than there are pointing fingers knocking people down. There’s a heaviness on people that we put on one another. It’s not supposed to be this way. We are not meant to live in pain. We are supposed to lay it down. We are not meant to judge and criticize and force our way on somebody else. We are meant to support, encourage and lift up. I pray that eyes are opened. I pray that the truth comes to light. Why can’t people see the angst they cause? Why can’t they see they are the problem when they think they are being the solution?
You are NOT less than. You are more beautiful than you could ever imagine, far more beautiful than a single, flawed human eye could ever see. You are more than. More than who people say you are. More than your choices. More than your regrets. More than your mistakes. You are so much more than you think. I pray someday you discover your worth and no one ever holds the power to define you again. You were made in the perfect image of God and He doesn’t make mistakes. Step into who you are and hold your head up high. You are beautiful and you are loved and there IS a place for you at the table. Just sit down and claim it.
Secrets can be so painful. The more they stay tucked away inside of you, the more power they have to destroy you. I’ve met so many people lately that seem scared to death to share the innermost parts of themselves. I have always been pretty transparent and bold when it comes to sharing but I have also kept some things to myself and allowed them to have power over me. Let’s be honest, people don’t always have the best intentions and it is difficult to know who to trust and lean on in the hardest times in life. So what do we do to release the poison that is pulsing through our veins. What do we do with the one thing we need to share to find release but will also cause some to gossip and condemn us? They say the truth will set you free but how do you tell it to a world who is willing to hand us a coat of shame?
I am on a new walk in my life. I am really focusing on who God says I am and that has robbed the value of the opinions of others. The freedom that comes with being free to be who I am and tell it like it is has allowed me to soar higher than even before. I’ve also learned that when I take the risk to share with others, slowly and surely they start to trust me and open up too. The depth of my relationships has been the greatest reward.
Secrets are a silent killer. They kill our spirit and rob us of our peace and joy. Today I say be bold. Own it all….every experience, each and every circumstance. Walk with your head held high and never ever agree to partner with shame. Be unapologetically you and don’t let anything hold you back from the freedom that’s waiting for you. Step into it! I promise you will love the way it looks on you.
One thing I learned in the public school system is that rules and laws cannot apply to some and not to all. Rules and standards of behavior must be consistently followed by everyone or the lines between what someone thinks is wrong or right completely fades away. Rules and laws are for our protection. We don’t get to dismiss them because they hurt our feelings or tug at our heartstrings. The world is filled with so much gray area that there is very little black and white. It’s no wonder that people have become so confused in their thinking and that so much chaos has showed itself the last few years. People need consistency and clarity as well as consequences for behavior and not a pass because of who you are or what position you hold. The mixed messages and double standards are tainting the thinking of many especially our youth and as a parent I find this near impossible to overcome. I feel sad that I have been forced to take my kid out of school so that what I have tried to teach him in our home is not undermined at school or out in the world. It is a tough balance trying to reach a place where our children develop sound thinking. How are we supposed to get them there when everywhere they look there is contradiction? Shoutout to the parents that keep fighting the good fight. You have a responsibility that goes beyond what you may never even comprehend. We can’t give up. Our children deserve better.
I am reminded today not to look back. I don’t live there anymore and nothing good could come from glancing over my shoulder. I must look in the direction I want to go and put one foot in front of the other even if it’s only a baby step at a time. I don’t have time for regrets. I don’t have the energy to nurse the old wounds that are ready and willing to rip wide open if I give them enough attention. I cannot enjoy today if I am constantly traveling back to yesterday. Right now I am at peace as I sit here on this beach and feel the waves washing over my feet. My heart is full as the sound of the waves keeps me grounded in the here and now. It is well with my soul and I am grateful for this moment. Eyes forward to the direction I am going…
It has been 7 months since one of the hardest seasons of my life. Looking back, I know it was no accident that God strategically placed me in the middle of a beautiful group of ladies who would mentor me in ways that would forever change my life. I didn’t realize that the words I allowed out of my mouth would literally bring death or life to every situation and relationship I would ever walk through. I was unaware of the poisonous negativity that was oozing from my own lips. When I sat in a class that taught me about using my words to breathe life into everyone and everything, my life dramatically changed. At first they were just empty words but eventually those words led to new thoughts and an amazing new confidence regardless of what situation life threw my way. I knew as soon as heard this amazing concept that this was exactly the key that was missing in having a life free of fear and worry. My dream is to pay this information forward and to coach people into recognizing how their words affect every outcome. Awareness is the first step and I am so excited to pass on what I have learned. My heart is so full as I think of the dramatic changes I feel in my heart and mind. I never could have imagined that I could sit here feeling so much joy, gratitude and excitement about my future. But God right? He is so good!