Moment of Truth: Facing My Feelings

He’s gone. God give me strength. #Wife #Husband #NationalGuard

I wasn’t planning on sharing this on my blog. I’m trying not to lie, but I’m having a hard time being open about this. This has brought a lot of mixed emotions. On the outside, I am cool, confident and secure. On the inside, I’m nervous, worried, and anxious.

January 4, 2016, my husband left me.  He left to complete his basic training at Fort Jackson in South Carolina. I’m so proud of my best friend because he has been trying for so long to join. The past two years have really challenged the both of us, our marriage and our spirituality. I remember when he first told me he was signing up for the military while we were engaged. I was shocked. I always thought he would be a regular joe. A man who clocked in and out every day. I was obviously happy on the outside, and knowing my husband, he knew I wasn’t entirely eager on the inside. A couple of months after we got married, he found out that he was horribly deceived. He signed up just like everyone else, filled out the application, paperwork, and forms. He completed physicals and drills, only to be told lies. One minute he was in the army and the next he wasn’t.

I still don’t know what happened, how he got the boot and why. Although I was disappointed on the outside, I was relieved on the inside. But, my husband was wrecked. He was disappointed that all his hard work was in vain. He was humiliated; after telling so many family and friends of his next big adventure.  Being publicly humiliated, left with empty pockets made him feel so small. I was so frustrated and sad for him because he was a victim, yet some treated him like a villain. It was a battle I couldn’t win for him. It was difficult watching him struggle. He had questions, he was hurt, and he looked alone.

As horrible as the past two years have been, I am so grateful that it made me fall down on my knees and pray. All the bad, inconveniences, and deceit the past year made me depend on his Word like never before. It wasn’t easy watching my best friend be gutted like a fish, so helpless to vulnerability. My husband went through so much back-stabbing, gossipers, betrayals, liars, and two face crooks. I saw sides of him that made my heart ache.

So, when my husband told me again that he was signing up for the military. Can you imagine my face? An eruption of emotions bellowed from me. I was confused that he wanted to risk the everything again for nothing but uncertainties. I was insulted that he would risk our relationship to try another attempt at failure. Not to mention, it would now mean leaving me alone with our daughter. I kind of came off as unsupportive and as you get to know me, I a very supportive, loving friend and wife. Just, after the roller coaster of the disappointment last time, I really didn’t want to get on the ride again. He kept telling me over and over that this time will be different. So, I bit my tongue and held two thumbs up and made sure to hold back my tears until everyone went to sleep.

DSCN1316I’m trying not to lie, my prayers were a little conflicted. I would tell my husband that I’m praying for him to get in, but behind closed doors, I would tell God to belay that prayer and bless him to stay home. I just didn’t want to sign up and watch my husband go through the same horror. Can you blame me? I would ask God over and over, moan and groan, and lament for another story for my husband. One that didn’t require him leaving.

As romantic the idea of being married to a soldier might be, it takes a huge commitment. As honorable as the position is, I don’t take it lightly and appreciate every military family because of it. It’s not an easy task. Once he learned of his departure date, it was sealed. My husband was packing up to be a soldier. It’s been a couple days since he left and I’m cool. Taking it a breath at a time. My worst fear is that he comes back home broken and disappointed again. If you are married, then you know how challenging it can be to hold up a broken man. So, it’s out of my hands and all I have left to do is pray.

Life Lesson: Follow God’s Word

 

Proverbs 21:5 says, “The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty”.

This year I don’t want to doubt, worry, or stress. I want to have complete confidence in God’s plan for my life. I want to wake up, pray and hustle. I want to busy myself with getting deeper in my relationship with God, my husband, and friends. I have spent far too long of my time living unsatisfied. I’ve pushed back passions and dreams long enough. I have ideas and plans that I want to glorify God with. I don’t even want to hear the word “limit” unless it refers to unlimited. My goals for this year is to live, eat, sleep the Word of God in all aspect of my life. I have so much I want to go and a God who can do it for me. Before I share my goals, here is a list of scriptures that will determine my success. I am laying the Word of God before me — before I make any concrete decisions, moves, or actions.

Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 says, “And the Lord answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end, it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.”

James 4:13-15 says, “Go to now, ye that say, Today or tomorrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain: Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.”

As many goals and dreams, I have locked  up inside me, submitting them to God is the most important. Humbly set goals and recognize that God controls our destiny.

Psalm 37:4-5 says, “Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass.

And realize that as amazing as you think your or my dreams are, they are nothing compared to how grand God’s plan for our lives are (Isaiah 55:8-11).

I don’t know about you, but I am excited. With these scriptures and words of wisdom, my dreams have no choice to submit and soar. I would love for you to share your goals, quotes, motivational phrases you have for this year. Even better, leave a link to your 2016 goals and I will feature them! Make them count!

Life Lesson: Keep Jesus First

“And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him… Colossians 3:23

The New Year is almost here. A new month brings a new beginning. Prepare yourself for change. Make sure you carry a new mindset, focus, and attitude if you hope for great things. To start, don’t begin the New Year to please men, but God. Write down goals that give thanks to God first.

DON'T FORGET.jpgAs you organize your dreams, passions, and goals don’t forget to acknowledge God. He comforts us in Matthew 6 not to worry, that God considers the lilies and the well-being of birds. We have His guarantee that He will take care of us because He values us more. So, why not in return focus firstly on Him since He knows our end from our beginning. So, tackle writing and setting resolutions that honor Christ.

I am guilty of putting God below my number one on my to-do list. I have not always “seek first the kingdom of God” in my day-to-day decision making. More so, I have whined and complained about why I haven’t received “His righteousness and all things.” In the past, I too complained about not having the money, the status or fortune but I never really did what was needed to be done to receive it. You can only blame yourself if you didn’t get that promotion. There are things in life you are destined to receive but if you don’t do your part in life, don’t expect them. It’s not God’s fault if you didn’t put God first to be blessed. Growing up, I’ve learned that when I put Jesus Christ first that nothing good will be kept from me. You don’t believe me, then believe the spoken word:

Matthew 3:16-17 says that Jesus was baptized and as he came up from the water, the heavens opened to Him and the Spirit of God descended like a dove; and alighting upon him.”

If you hope for good things to happen then you need Jesus. If you desire a spouse, a family, employment, friends or accomplishments you must keep God and his son, Jesus Christ first. Anything you or I want or need must go through Jesus. In Romans 8:32 — “He that spared not His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?

If God gave you his beloved Son, what makes you think he is going to refuse your request for financial security? God doesn’t value anything more than His Son. God gave us his most valuable gift, Jesus. Nothing is more valuable than Christ. The Bible says as long as the Father sees the son in your life he will not withhold all things (Psalms 84:11; Matthew 7:11; Psalm 34:10).

“Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in my name, I will do it”(John 14:13)

As you plan your goals and resolutions for this New Year, keep Jesus Christ front and center. Do plan for riches, happiness, and success; don’t forget Jesus. Planning your goals is importantly, but having God is more important. So as you list your priorities, put your relationship with God first. Don’t plan next year to make others happy. “Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men” (Colossians 3:23). Place the absolute important things at the top of your list.  Don’t worry, I’m doing this as well. If you want to know my goals and resolutions, comment below. Share some of your techniques to goal success.

Life Moment: Christmas Eve

 

Christmas was always a conflicting time for me when I was younger. I struggled with celebrating Christmas because of Santa Claus. As a Christian, I loved celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. On the other hand, those classic entertaining stories of “How The Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Santa Claus” movies (the Tim Allen version is my favorite) and “Jack Frost” has always been a warm way of celebrating the winter season. I always felt like I was cheating on Jesus if I celebrated Santa, hung a decorated tree, and sung about grandma getting ran over by a reindeer. But no one wants to be the oddball not giving or receiving any shiny, decorative gifts. Maybe it’s just me but I felt like I was serving two masters.

I never could pick a side. At school, I was the Santa Claus loving, ho, ho, ho, and jingle bells girl. At church, I would sing hymns, learn about the meaning of the star and participate in Sunday School plays.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas music and the flashy decorations but I always knew that the real reason for Christmas was Jesus Christ being born. I don’t know about you but I always felt conflicted about celebrating Christmas the “Santa” way and the “Jesus” way. Have you? Not anymore!

I love the nativity story about Mary and Joseph having baby Jesus in the manager. It is dramatic and compelling and shows me that anything beautiful and good can come out of a bad situation. Mary’s integrity and reputation were on the line when she agreed to carry the Savior. Back then, having a baby out of wedlock was actually a bad thing! Not to mention, Joseph was probably feeling hurt and betrayed.

He assumed that Mary was cheating and was almost ready to get rid of her. It’s beautiful how Joseph looked past her current state and saw the promise of God in her life. He didn’t look at where she was, what others said, but had trust in God that everything will work out. They both started out with nothing and still loved and respected each other. Their character, reputation and marriage was tested. Mary and Joseph walked in total confidence in God. They had the entire world against and they didn’t let that stop them from being the best spouse and parent they could be.

Now how can Santa compete with that! I mean, yeah, he brings all the good children amazing toys and the bad children get coal. But Jesus’s gift is for everyone. Good or bad, right or wrong, everyone can get a gift from Jesus. Santa Claus is a nice guy and everything but at a certain age, unless you never grow up, he starts to become irrelevant. While as Jesus Christ never gets old. I mean he grows up to die for all mankind. Santa Claus mainly drinks cocoa and cookies. The most credit I will give Santa is he is an incredible entrepreneur. Makes me laugh because as loving and kindhearted as Santa can be, he is nothing compared to Jesus Christ.

Life Lesson: My Voice Has Power

I’ve shared before how much I love writing and how writing gives me a voice. But, my writing isn’t just for me but for you and importantly for God. What I say and how I say it has power. In the Bible, Proverbs 18:21 says that what we say can either bring death or life. I know it’s pretty drastic but really think when you compliment someone you brighten their day and when you say something negative it can bring them down.

As a believer in Christ, it’s only that I desire to affect people positively with my words too! I want nothing more than my words to comfort, encourage, and empower you. Obviously, you want to hear something comforting and familiar. I love reading articles or stories about people that have been where I’ve been. Stories that allow me to release my emotional baggage, calm down and refresh are powerful. Comfort brings loved ones together. If you ever found yourself nodding to something you heard because it touched you, that’s what I want my words to do.

Encouraging words keep the fight strong in us! Without an encouraging quote or motivational story, we ALL would have given up a long time ago. Those times when the sky is dark and no one is around to help, it’s uplifting to stumble across words to a song or a poem. Stories like that let me know that there is so much fighting for. My story and your story is worth fighting for and sharing!

My favorite thing to do is empower! Empowering others make me happy. When I see an empowered chick walking down the street in her heels I got no choice but to compliment because she is walking in her power (and I want those shoes!). I love coming across sites and blogs that empower me to dream of great dreams and light bulb ideas. I feel pumped and sorta invincible because I’m in that mindset that I won’t let anything stop me from accomplishing greatness.

I want to see you soar and see you accomplish your dreams. I hope that whatever blog post I post or link I share pushes you to try harder and work harder to accomplish it. I write because it could open the door for someone else to do something incredibly. I want to remind you that you can make it. I want to encourage you that when you are tired, don’t quit! I want to comfort you because I’ve been mad, disappointed, hurt and you can overcome just like me.I hope that sharing my story and my life will see that you really can do and be anything you want to despite your circumstances or your past.

Moment of Truth: Being Her Parent Is Worth It

Being a mother has its good and bad days. Sometimes I wish there was a manual that guides you to a perfect parent life. I’ve been blessed to have this little girl in my life. I get to be a part of her adventures every day. She grows and learns every day. I’ve only been a mother for 10 months and counting and…I’m already pulling my hair (rather it’s falling out)!

I’m overwhelmed by news reports and articles on baby do’s and dont’s. The back of a food label can give you nightmares for days. It seems like parenting is more of a horror story without a happy ending! Even after reading articles, books, magazines, along with listening to doctors, child experts and moms, I still feel like I’m not giving her enough.

Those moments (sigh) when your exhaustion catches up to you! Some crazy incident involves your baby eating paper or kitty litter. Your alarm goes off and you pray and hope your kid’s arm won’t fall off. Trust me, you’re not the only one to use Google or go on WebMD to self-diagnose your little one.

My advice:

  • First, step away from Google and take a deep breath.
  • Remind yourself that you’re an amazing mom or dad.
  • Think about all the good things about being a parent.
  • Don’t stress over every little thing.
  • Don’t dwell on the negative. It weighs you down like an anchor.
  • Keep a positive attitude on the absolute worst days.

Most importantly, have faith everything will work out. Becoming a parent is an honor and rite of passage. My life has taken a new meaning with new priorities and a new reason to smile. Having a child (or children) will come with a mess but relax…it’s a mess only parents can clean best!

1609788_10153372978827152_4309837560169015771_nSince I had my Elizabeth, I’ve taken my new role and responsibility as if it was a super power. It’s NOT to be taken lightly but life’s too short to stress over what you don’t have and what problem lies ahead. As you go through the day, promise yourself and your kid(s) that you won’t take being a parent for granted. Don’t be afraid to wave the white flag and ask for help. As a new mother, I sometimes feel when I ask for help, it means that I’m failing her. I’ve learned these past few months it’s the other way around. I fail her when I don’t acknowledge I’m tired and need a break. Although I like to consider myself Super Woman, I’m only human (with a really cool kid). Get a moment to yourself. Remind yourself you’re not a failure when you allow overbearing grandmas and moms to jump in. If the opportunity comes…run as fast as you can!

Ignore the scolding and judgmental looks from so-called “expert moms.” Just because their kids are grown and functioning in society doesn’t mean they’re perfect. They’ve made mistakes too. Don’t let other parenting styles knock you off your rhythm. After a couple weeks of spending time with my baby (only because my lady business was still getting herself together), I connected with her and started to understand her more. I learned her cries and knew when and why she was fussy. I learned her schedule of when she wanted to eat and sleep. So when other parents tried to chime in their opinions and “philosophy”, I was an expert on MY baby. I listened to her instead of what others said. When you know your baby, nothing else matters.

Finally, trust your instincts. A lot of parenting books and articles don’t stress it enough. Most guidance from the media comes from statistics. A group of kids responding to a variety of ways is just data! Your baby isn’t a number. Rely on your natural instincts if all else fails. So what if you didn’t use a specific lotion or healthy snack? So what if you gave your baby something that’s really sugary? It’s your baby and no one can out love him/her more. When your bones are tingling about something and everyone else is saying something different…listen to that gut feeling! Of course don’t ignore sound and wise advice, filter it. Just because using Johnson & Johnson worked for your mom’s mom doesn’t mean it will work for your baby. You might need Aveeno or something cheaper for the frugal Frans. Some advice isn’t applicable. I received a lot of products for my daughter. I didn’t use them because it didn’t fit in with my baby’s needs.

Smile and take a sip of the bottle. Know that you’re not the only struggling and juggling parent out here. I’m always here so now there’s two of us! From one parent to another, I hear it gets worse! Keep smiling…sooner or later it will be their turn.

Moment of Truth: Did You Think It Would Be Easy?

I’m not going to lie, I thought it would be. I was hoping I would jump out and start flying. I was naïve to think because I’m saved and I have God on my side that everything will magically work. The scriptures say, “Everything will work for my good.”(Romans 8:28) I literally thought everything except me would work and I would reap all the benefits. Growing up has taught me that even though God is on my side, I still have a part to do.

Bad habits are hard to quit! When I got married and had a baby I believed that life would only get better. I have a great man who loves me and a beautiful daughter that I’m proud of. I thought because I was saved and he was saved that we would always enjoy marital bliss. I didn’t disregard the work but I didn’t acknowledge how hard it would be. To be honest, I don’t know what I was thinking. Marriage comes with ups and downs. Marriage comes with good and bad.

So, a couple of days ago Dave and I were arguing. To be honest, we usually argue so it’s not a surprise. I don’t even remember what it was about or who started it. Sometimes arguing with my husband is irritating and other times are just hilarious. You know when you are in the heat of the moment and you’re so angry you speak before you think. Your words come out but don’t sound right and the person you’re arguing with looks at you crazy like, “What in the world you talking about?” I have been there so many times with my husband and every time we find a way to work it out.

Whenever Dave and I fuss or argue about something my mind instantly reverts back to Hosea and Gomer. In the bible, there is a book called Hosea that talks about this incredible love story between God, Israel, Hosea, and Gomer. At that time Israel was in chaos, doing her thing, being big and bad. God was heartbroken and fed up with their mess and told them that they’re going to suffer for their actions. God used the life and marriage of Hosea to demonstrate and prophesy what will happen to Israel. Most importantly, he used this man and wife as an example of how much he still loves them. Incredible right! Gomer started out as a faithful wife and mother but lost her love for her husband. She started to have promiscuous sex with other men, bore children by these affairs and eventually ran off with the man she deemed her “soul mate.” She embarrassed Hosea, broke his heart and ran over it until it was in a million pieces.

But, here’s the twist: When Hosea heard his wife got dumped, had debt, and was currently on the slave market for slave his response was crazy. I mean, most people would have laughed bitterly, screamed out, “that’s what she deserves;” but instead he ran to her, paid her debt, cleaned her up, and took his baby home.

Now, I’m not saying my husband drives me crazy enough to cheat. But whenever friction is between Dave and me, my mind automatically goes to Hosea and Gomer. I don’t know if Hosea and Gomer had similar marital problems or not. I’m not even sure how they communicated, but it warms my heart whenever I argue with David because it challenges me to love him unconditionally. It’s hard for us to love someone unconditionally because we were fashioned to favor conditions. As long as he treats me right then I will love and respect him. As long as she gives me booty then I will treat her like a queen. It is very hard to love someone flaws and all, mistakes and lies without expecting anything in return.

One particular day I was looking up new scriptures to help me better love my spouse and I was led to Hosea and Gomer. I read the entire book and was blow away at the dramatic, awe-inspiring love. I mean I was surprised at the intensity of their love. You think you only see it in movies, but right before my eyes, God was showing me how much he loves me. Only God can love me unconditionally. No matter how many times I mess up, fall, lie, act selfish, ignore him, treat him and others wrong, he is always waiting to run and clean me up and take me home. My God loves me so much that he will even throw in some conditions just to make me think that I’m doing something to earn his love. You don’t believe me! In the bible, the Lord tells Israel that if you keep my commandments that He will be with him forever (Leviticus 26)! God already promised them over and over that he is their God, he is their guide, their king but he holds them accountable. God doesn’t want fake, forced love but the real thing (John 15). Even though we could never earn his love, he sets it up so we can still receive his love. That is amazing.

Moment of Truth: I’m God’s Beloved

“You are my passion, My one desire, You Lord, Only You lord, Only You!”

 I felt that others saw me as ordinary compared to my brother. Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t. I should have been focused on how much God saw me. He told me I am his original masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). He makes me special and never forgets us. I am God’s adopted child (John 1:12). I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). There are so many scriptures of love, encouragement, and uplifting for anyone who feels unappreciated, disrespected, or alienated. In 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 14-18 lists all the wonderful and many gifts that anyone of us could do for Christ. Don’t think about your flaws and think about how God thinks about you. If you ever have a low moment just think on these:

  • God knew me in my mother’s womb (Jeremiah 1:5). He saw my potential, passions and my destiny.
  • As odd or insignificant you may feel, you were created on purpose with purpose!
  • Follow your dreams despite all odds. Don’t allow judgments of others birth bitterness.
  • Follow your passion, figure out what you love to do – what you were made to do and never look back.
  • Don’t forget Jesus! He created you in his own image and knows every little detail about you. He is the only creator that knows how to make you really shine brightly. When you include Christ, you include the “shine”.
  • Be willing to take the next step forward. Don’t just dream of it but do it.
  • God will complete the good work He started in you – Philippians 1:6
  • Don’t put dreams on hold in favor of practicality. God promises to supply our every need.

The truth is that listening to God is tremendously tough. God is perfect and we are imperfect. God is not bound by limits while we are limited. When you don’t trust God’s plan – you instead take matters into your own hands. I know I didn’t always receive his love and the gift he wanted me to have. It’s much easier to sin and live selfishly than humble ourselves and accept his way. But our lives are better when we obey God and live freely. Without God, living our dreams is impossible. Without God, you set yourself up for failure. Failure is never the goal, but God can still use it for you to learn, grow, and change (James 1:3; Romans 5:3-4…).

God gives us strength and protection when we’re vulnerable to criticism from people. No one likes being laughed at or scorned. But with Christ, you will have confidence and assurance that no matter who is laughing, God is smiling. I agree, it’s much easier to find shelter in the known than risk stepping into the unknown where anything can happen. But that’s it! Anything can happen with Christ Jesus! Step away from the bad and open your mind to every good and wonderful possibility! Risk the humiliation, the setbacks, the heartbreak so you can receive those “anything can happen” blessings. So tell yourself to no longer pick at your scabs. Refuse to critic yourself to the point of oblivion. We all have special talents and gifts. Your gift is only useful when your greatest passion combines with the Spirit of God.

We All Have A Destiny…Part 3

God patiently waited and beckoned me to him. When I thought I wasn’t worth it, he reminded me that I was (Ephesians 2:10). When I thought I couldn’t measure up, he assured me that without him I wouldn’t be (Philippians 4:13). Every time I missed an alter call, ignored a message – he waited. Finally, I was sick of feeling empty. My desires stirred up confidence, boldness, and hunger. I was tired of being ignored and unfulfilled. I started to chase after God (which is funny because once I said yes I didn’t have to pursue him, he readily revealed himself). I read the Word of God until I received strength like Samson to fight for what was mine all along.917091_1434080843512623_284009758_n

The process was painful and at times weary. I felt stupid, dumb, and any other word you could tell yourself to keep you down. Overcoming the past freed me to finally pursue God and what he had for me. Even though I struggle to recover from the old, I struggle forward, closer to victory. For years, I never felt I was capable of doing anything notable for God compared to others. Through time, prayer, waiting and watching I learned that my capabilities, talents, and gifts cannot be compared to others. Just like an ear cannot be compared to a nose. An ear is no greater or more important than a nose. Both parts are needed for the body to function so without one, it wouldn’t be capable of hearing or smelling. If the ear wanted to be a nose, then who would be the ear? My part in God’s plan is something only I can achieve. I won’t have to measure up to others because only I can fulfill it wonderfully. I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me (Philippians 4:13).

I’ve truly come so far from how I used to think and live. I’m no longer the little girl with a great voice. Now, I’m a wife, mother, blogger with a self-assured, word-inspired, victorious voice. I’m not just a singer – but a writer. I can officially say that unafraid, unashamed, and free.

When I say I write with purpose it’s because I do! I write (and blog) to remind myself to never go back. Writing shows me I was birthed for more. There is more to me than just how I dress, walk, or speak. I refuse to be defined by just one part of who I really am. My purpose is sealed in Christ and no one can change that. I refuse to allow visions of others weigh me down. I can no longer accept the image of man but carry on the image of God. My gift is to write and if I happen to sing – then I’ll sing of his wondrous name!

Life Lesson: We All Have A Destiny…Part 1

We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith, if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach, if it is to encourage, then give encouragement, if it is giving, then give generously, if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Romans 12:6-8


What is your passion?
What is your favorite thing you love to do more than anything? When I think of Romans 12:6-8 I believe that everyone has a part to play in God’s plan. I believe that from the smallest to the biggest, anyone can do something for Christ in a special way. When I was a kid I loved to write. I’ve expressed this passion in previous posts. However, my confidence and passion for writing weren’t always self-assured.  I struggled with insecurities and feeling inadequate. Mostly, in the body of Christ. I struggled for years with how I fit into it all.

At home, I was the responsible older sister that kept things together. At school, I was the reliable, dependable student that always did her homework, never got in trouble and usually did the extra credit. At church, I felt alone. I was stuck in the shadow of my older brother, matched set with my sisters, and rarely treated as an individual. For the longest I felt like three entirely different people. So, I proceeded to act as how I was treated, never fighting for my voice or giving my passion a chance to live. While everyone else complimented and praised me I silently suffered. I was receiving approval and support for something I didn’t have a passion for.

For so long I was living to maintain what others wished to see in me. I never pursued what I dreamed of being. I was consumed with the visions given to me by others so much that I never bothered to ask what God had for me. I thought that the approval I received from others was what God was directing me to do. I was really drowning in discontentment, dissatisfaction, fear, and ultimately giving up on my destiny. I was playing it safe for so long that I was petrified if I broke out, then no one would see me. If I spoke out about how I felt, no one would hear me. One day I realized that people were already bypassing the real Victoria. I allowed myself to be muted and invisible.

 

To be continued…