Tell Someone You Love Them

I know 2020 was a crazy, hard, sad, disturbing year for so many of us. I look back and see how God carried my family through a lot of things. While others were losing jobs or were struggling financially, we were blessed with promotions and financial gain that we had prayed about but didn’t know when God was going to make those things happen. I started a podcast in 2020 with a new friend. I also started the process to become a certified life coach and I am in the process of opening my own practice. I feel like I am walking into one of the greatest seasons of life and that it will only get better.

But there were also a lot of things that grieved me within the past year. Seeing black men and women be murdered and all of the social injustices really affected me more than I feel like it’s ever have. It’s not that these issues were new but it’s that light was being shed on them in a different way. In some respects, it brought us closer to people and in other ways it created a deeper divide. I can’t explain to you what it feels like to see someone murdered and to hear other’s justify it because of the persons behavior or character. I recall one day being at work and being so deeply grieved that I couldn’t get through one task without sobbing. I would just stop and cry and cry and cry. I told my boss that I wasn’t good and I went home for the remaining part of the day where I laid in bed and cried and slept and then cried some more. Thinking about the people who had lost their lives and thinking about my husband. Praying that he was safe. Being grateful that he drove to work in his uniform in hopes that if something crazy happened they would see he was a U.S. Soldier and show him some grace. He serves our country and I’m worried about him being some how pulled over, attacked, and murdered. Even now typing this the emotions of all that was happening during that time frame are rising up. I know I’ll never forget it and truthfully I don’t want to. I want to be able to share with my kids and I want to believe that one day they will live in a world where it won’t be like this.

And to add on to the year that was 2020 Covid 19–the coronavirus. I never in my life thought that I would be going through a pandemic, worried about the safety of myself and my loved ones and seeing so many people die. So many people losing loved ones and these loved ones being alone on their final days. The devastation this caused! The division it caused with many believing it wasn’t even real. I work in healthcare….it is very real. The amount of stress it caused on each and every person who worked in the healthcare field whether it was office staff, administration, definitely nurses and doctors cannot be put into words. I have had some heavy experiences at work but this was by far one of the heaviest time periods I had ever encountered. Whether people believed it to be true or not, some didn’t think it was as serious as it was being made out to be, none of that matters because there were thousands of people who begged to differ when their loved one passed away and they could’t even say goodbye.

With all that was and with all that happened in 2020 the one thing that I was prompted to do more of was to spread love. I wanted to spread kindness because in many ways these things reminded us that the people that we love, care for and do life with aren’t guaranteed to be with us every day. We are’t promised to be around either. I think these situations also brought out the good in people. It wasn’t all bad. People realized the importance of family and spending time together. We learned to prioritize each other. We learned to be more supportive, to be better listeners, be more empathetic. I learned patience in a whole new way! My oldest daughter was living in Italy with her Dad and stepmom and COVID delayed me seeing her. When I saw her again it had been a year and four months. I cried the whole way home from the airport. But it taught me to appreciate the time that I have with her and my other kids. It reminded me to value the time I have with my husband. We both lead really busy lives and while we aim to make time for each other with date night and family time, I learned that some things could wait.

2020 and all that it encompassed reminded me of one very big thing: Tell someone you love them. Both of my parents passed away many years ago and I wish I would have had the chance to just say “I love you.” But it taught me to say it to the people in my life now. I randomly text the people that mean something to me, that have taught me something, that have brought value to my life, that have been there for me through good times and bad, that have hurt me or let me down, that are related to me or that aren’t related to me…..that I love them. You notice none of those categories describe a set of perfect people. There are no perfect people. There’s just people. People who make mistakes, people who are hurting, people who are confused or frustrated, people who are depressed, people who are lonely, people who have made some poor decisions, people with bad attitudes, people who need Jesus, people who have Jesus and need more of him. Just people. I may not always like them. I may not always agree with them. I may not even talk to them but once every few months or even not at all. None of that matters to me. I just want them to know that they are loved and so I text them and say “Hey! I love you. That’s all.” I honestly feel like I don’t do it enough but when God really nags at me about someone….I’ll text them or send them a card or call them. Remember the phone y’all? And calling people? LOL

So tell someone you love them. Whether you do it every day or not. Tell someone you love them even when you’re mad at them. Tell someone you love them even when you don’t like them or the decision they’ve made. Tell someone you love them when they are well. Tell someone you love them when they are ill. Tell someone you love them when they’ve disappointed you. Just tell them. We do not know what today holds, tomorrow or the next. And if all I’m ever remembered for is always telling people I love them or making them feel loved as often as I can, well, I’m ok with that because I think that’s what God wants us to do anyway.

Attitude and Expectations

So I know we all have expectations. Expectations out of life, relationships, work life etc. I’ve learned to adjust mine in relationships accordingly over time. Have you ever expected those around you to behave a certain way, react a certain way or support something new in your life and the response you got was less than enthusiastic or you barely even got one? Yeah….I’ll be honest I’ve had those experiences and it’s made me feel some kind of way. But as I was thinking about this one day I felt God reminding me that it’s not about me. It’s that they don’t understand. Not fully. It makes since to you. You’re excited and super passionate about it but if it’s not something they’re experienced or have knowledge of then they simply just don’t get it. That’s ok. Expectations and our attitude have to be adjusted sometimes.

I was talking one day with someone about a joint venture we were doing for someone else. We were more than a little frustrated because this person appeared to have all of these expectations on what we should or shouldn’t be doing (that had not be previously or clearly communicated) and their attitude towards us was being perceived as ungrateful. While what we were doing was for them, and we wanted them to be happy, they spent a lot of time complaining about the process of how we were planning things or complaining about how it wasn’t what they wanted. This was making it harder and harder for us to do the things we felt that were laid on our heart for them because they were making us feel as if what we were doing was not good enough. Yes, regardless of how someone is making you feel you should still do what God has laid on your heart to do. He’s where your blessing is coming from anyway. But, but, but, but sometimes our attitudes can cause us to lose blessings or at least delay them.

Most of the time people don’t know about expectations if you haven’t told them. For example, I expect my husband to read my mind. Come on ladies LOL. I don’t know why we do this!! I get upset about things or get my feelings hurt over something he’s said or done and then I expect him to know exactly what he did that bothered me. Not only that I expect him to know how to fix it like ASAP. Meanwhile, he is clueless and moving along with his day (which further irritates me by the way). When I finally get out of my feelings and go talk to him about whatever it was, not only is he like “I’m sorry that’s not what I meant or that wasn’t my intention.” but also, there might have been something he planned that he wanted to do and I got in the way of it. Now my attitude and my expectation has gotten in the way of something nice he had planned or even something nice he wanted to say. While people want to bless us, they don’t necessarily feel all warm and fuzzy about doing it if our attitude, well, sucks. This taught me a good lesson. I had to work on managing me, my emotions and my responses to situations better. I also had to learn to be more willing to be open and transparent about things that bothered me.

Listen, we all walk around every day with a set of expectations of how things should go or be around us all day. I expect my kids to behave, do their homework and their chores. I expect my coworkers to be courteous and professional. I expect my friends to be honest, caring, loving, supportive and trustworthy. But does my attitude always welcome those actions or expectations? Have I thought about the times when I’ve had a bad attitude and then my child also has a bad attitude but I’ve told them to change their perspective; think about the positive and get their attitude in check. Meanwhile I’m still walking around irritated? Totally not leading by the example I’ve set for that expectation. I’m expecting my co worker to be courteous and professional but I show up one day totally irritated, snapping and rolling my eyes, sending “per my last email” emails but when they respond to me in a not so courteous manner I’m totally taken aback. Now I’m asking my other co worker what’s so and so’s problem and making statements like “They need to leave their bad attitude and what happened before work at the door.” If I’m expecting my friends to be honest or trustworthy or supportive but when they tell me the truth or show support in a way that reflects support to them and I respond poorly to that now they choose to no longer be transparent. The support that they were showing they now limit that because it didn’t seem like enough for me anyway. These are all important things to think about when we are focused on the things we are requiring of others but may not be exhibiting ourselves.

Sometimes we are expecting things out of those around us and we are not getting the responses we desire because of our behavior; because of our attitude. We may not initially see it or even recognize it. But in an effort to always be growing and moving forward I sometimes have to stop and really evaluate certain situations. It’s wise to take a step back and look at all the moving pieces. One being it’s always great to communicate your expectations to be sure that you and those around you are clear on where you stand. Once again, no one is a mind reader. It’s also good to do a little self check up. You’d be surprised at what you’ll find. Often times I know it’s a heart issue. I have to ask God to check my heart. I love the verse in the Bible where David asks God to create in him a clean heart. I don’t want to hold hurt, malice, bitterness or anything else damaging in my heart. I want to do things with the right attitude and the right intentions. That starts with me checking myself. And sometimes we need to change the lens in which we are looking through when it comes to expectation. My youngest daughter has the hardest time keeping her room clean but she asks me every day if there is something I need. She is constantly asking me if there is something that she can help me with. While I expect her to keep her room clean (and she does try!), I also expect her to be considerate and caring. She exhibits those behaviors consistently. So I have to remember to acknowledge that because that, too, is important.

I’ve started a small business and I expected a lot of my friends and family to support that. Most of them haven’t but I’ve had to adjust my expectations and shift my focus to the ways they are supportive. Some are great listeners. Some provide additional ideas that could help my business flourish. Some like a post or two on social media. Their support doesn’t look like what I expect it to look like but it doesn’t mean it’s not there. Attitude and expectation. We really have to learn how our attitude affects the expectations we have of those around us and remember that people are people. Everyone is different and interprets things differently. I think we would all hate to find ourselves in situations where relationships are damaged beyond repair because of an expectation or an attitude we had towards an expectation that was misunderstood or communicated in a way that was less than kind. Remember the same things we are requiring of others we, too, at some point have to demonstrate or inherit those same expectations in some way. If we aren’t then we need to adjust our attitude towards those we’ve placed these expectations on. No one is perfect and that’s why it’s important to make sure we work on ourselves so that we can be better. We can’t control the behaviors of those around us but we can control our perspective and how we respond to others.

The What If’s

I love having conversations. Not small talk but actual conversations. I don’t know why it is but small talk is weird for me. I think it’s because I’m the type of person who likes to be connected to others. I like to learn about people, their stories, their families. So while I know small talk serves a purpose, I want to get to the nitty gritty of it all and really talk about the things in life that we are experiencing. I’ve found through conversation we often learn that we are not as alone as we think we are. Conversation is one of the best ways to encourage each other.  So anyway, as I was saying, LOL I love to have conversations and I was having one the other day with some co workers. I was talking about how sometimes on social media people post these messages. These posts can sometimes go on and on and on about what will happen in the future, what can or will happen if we don’t do this or don’t to that. 

I have learned over time to not spend a lot of times in the what if area. I used to though! There have been so many times where I’ve stressed over and wondered what if we don’t have the money for this bill, what if we can’t take the kids to celebrate their birthday the way that they want, what if I do something wrong at work, what if, what if, what if? It’s a crazy cycle and a deep rabbit whole to go down. I used to drive myself bananas constantly wondering about what might happen in the future and how to handle that. I had a plan a, b and maybe a c. I want to clarify that I don’t think there’s anything wrong with thinking about the future and having a plan. But I also think that we shouldn’t allow ourselves to get so caught up in the thoughts of the future that we miss the moments we have that we should be present for. All those “what if” moments of wondering what might happen if we didn’t pay something or didn’t have the money all seeming worked out so well that I don’t even recall the stress of it. What if you don’t have the money to pay a bill….well let me tell you, you can’t give what you don’t have so you do your best and keep moving forward. These are the things we need to tell ourselves when presented with situations where we’re worried or stressed over what can happen. 

My oldest daughter lives in overseas with her dad. Both him and his wife work for the government so they live near the military base there. The experience of having her be so far away and then with everything happening right now in the world, not knowing when I’ll get to see her is beyond tough. I have cried about it. It has hurt me to my core. I have also been angry about it. It feels unfair! Not just to me but also to her.  I have had moments when we were trying to work this out where I’ve thought “Well what if she doesn’t get to come home for summer? What if we can’t celebrate her birthday? What if it’s Christmas before she comes home?” But I had to catch myself. Mostly because the realization of not knowing made it harder. It made the feelings heavier and instead of focusing on all the fun things I could do once I see her I started feeling sad that I wouldn’t be able to during the time frame I’d like to.

And that is what the “what if’s” create. If we let them they can remind us of what we don’t have or cause additional stress that we don’t need. It will allow us to focus on what we are losing instead of what we are gaining or even what we could gain. Sometimes instead of thinking what if this happens or what if that happens, switch it a little and say what if this happens? And what’s the benefit from this happening? How do you see the benefit of something that seems sad,  awful and scary? I’m so glad you asked?! LOL. While it is so hard for me to wrap my mind around all of the delays in seeing my daughter, to help myself move through these moments emotionally I have asked well what are the positives? Right now she’s in an environment that doesn’t have corona-virus cases. She is asthmatic and that could greatly affect her so that’s a bonus. They are trying to move back stateside and their goal is to move to Georgia but the position her Dad has in now in North Carolina. North Carolina is certainly closer than overseas but it’s not the same as Georgia and well that’s where I live! So maybe in this moment of delay God is working things out so that they can move to Georgia and she can be even closer! 

So if I’m looking at my what if’s and I answer my own questions- “What if she doesn’t come home for summer?” I’ll see her later when it’s safer.” What if we can’t celebrate her birthday on her birthday?” We’ll celebrate when she gets here. I’ve also got to slide in that I got this answer from my spiritual mother. I’m so grateful to have people in my  life who shed light on the positive and don’t let you linger in that rabbit hole of never ending sadness. Celebrations don’t have to happen on the day of. It’s the memories that count! So her sweet 16th will be just that much sweeter when she gets here. “What if it’s Christmas before she comes home?” Well that’s the best time of the year! It’s a time where you are reminded to be grateful. We’re typically surrounded by family and everyone will get the chance to see her and love on her. It’s about working through those moments of uncertainty and not allowing it to drag you down. Doesn’t mean that it will be easy every day all of the time but the more you push those what if’s to the side and think about the good things the easier it will be to not stay in those hard places.

As I previously stated, the “what if’s” also keep you from being present in the moment. They keep you from enjoying right where you are. Right now I can’t physically see her but we can face time and text most all day. I bought a devotional that I wanted her and my youngest daughter to start doing together with me and we’ll start that soon. Right now she can’t  hold the book and follow along with us but I can take pictures of the devotional that we are reading for that day, send it to her and we can face time to share in the moment together. Right now I cannot have her a birthday party or gathering but I can, and I have, invited loved ones to participate in a zoom call and we can have her a zoom party where we celebrate her and sing happy birthday. If I had stayed in that place of “what if” wondering and being sad or stressed over them coming true- and some times your what if’s come true people!– I would not have been able to refocus and use the present moments of right now. 

I want to encourage you to take your “what if’s”, whatever you are struggling with- whether it’s trying to make a decision or the fear of the unknown, your finances, how you’re going to start a business- whatever it is. Write your what if list out and then think about a bonus, a positive, a plus that could come from that what if happening. Think about how it can work for your good. Think of ways that if it happens how it can benefit you. And then think about your present. If the what if doesn’t affect the present moment and doesn’t change anything in the immediate future stop focusing on it. Stop giving it steam so that it can continue to steam roll through your day or even your week. Don’t let your mind keep creating scenarios that could possibly never even happen and keep you from moving forward, being present, staying positive and living life. And if they do happen God has already given you everything you need to work through the situation or to learn and accept the benefits attached to your what-if moments. You are already a winner!

The Journey to More

The other day I was sitting with my husband having dinner. We were talking about how much our lives have changed in ways we hadn’t even anticipated. We have always been givers. My husband feels prompted to give in ways I don’t and vice versa. I like to personalize my giving. My desire is that the person on the other end receiving feels like what was given was meant specifically for them. My heart just explodes at the thought of making someone’s day with something that really touched them or made them feel better. While I have always loved giving, there was a part of me that held back from the fear of running out. Often times I let fear talk me out of doing something that I knew would either bless someone else or make them feel loved. There are so many times I wish I could take back those moments of not doing what God was telling me to do.

As I was talking to my husband I began to explain to him why recently I have just been giving randomly and then letting him know after the fact. That is typically not how we do things. Sometimes, yes, I give without his knowledge but anything big is usually something we discuss. But I took that moment to be honest with him and transparent about where my thoughts were so he would better understand where I was coming from. For a long time I lived where I had either not enough or just enough, as a single mom. I am not complaining. Financially God always met my needs. He always filled in the gaps. My kids were blessed, I was blessed. I was attached to awesome people who poured into my life and my kids lives emotionally, mentally and financially. But because I felt like I always had to be on top of my finances and control what went were and how much, I didn’t freely give as much as I wanted to or when I felt pulled to do so.

I’ll never forget this moment when I was at a women’s conference. The conference had ended for the day and a group of us went to eat lunch at a restaurant. I paid my bill, tip and all but for some reason I felt this tug to give $20 to the waitress. I don’t know why. Maybe she was having a bad day. Maybe she needed it. We don’t always know why God is telling us to do what He’s telling us to do. Well I left and didn’t do it. Even when I was driving in my car I had moments where I felt like I should turn back but didn’t. That one moment gnawed at me for several days. Especially because I let fear talk me out of it. I had the $20 and it wasn’t going to break the bank. But in always planning and thinking about my future I would let the amount deter me. (Let me just slide in here and say it’s not always about the amount it’s mostly about obedience.) I was always afraid of flat out running out of money. If I had taken just a moment to let God’s voice be louder than the other voices I was hearing I would have been reminded that never in my life has God allowed me to just run out of, well, anything! And I’m fortunate to say that because I know many people who have had the opposite experience. Have I had moments when I didn’t quite have enough? Sure. Have I had moments when I didn’t know where the money for something was going to come from? Absolutely. But it all eventually worked out some how. I let myself forget that in that moment.

So I had some changes that I had to make. Those changes initially started with my husband and I seeking God for a plan to get out of debt. I came into the marriage with debt still from my previous marriage. My husband had some debt too coming into the marriage and between what we already had and what we added to it we really had to do something different if we wanted to meet the goals we had for our lives. I had things that I personally knew God had put inside of me but those things couldn’t happen if I didn’t learn to really surrender the fear of lack and enhance my giving, our giving. I also had to release control and stop trying to always plan each and every thing without seeking God for His plan. We prayed and sought God for a plan on many different things and of course God came through but what really changed things was our obedience to the change. Once we both got on the same page about our goals (and we talked extensively about our goals), our future, what we wanted for our children, and the plan for our finances it became much easier to manage life moving forward. God started doing new things in us and through us. Our giving increased because our finances started to increase. We were making smart decisions. I’m sure you’ve heard people tell stories of random checks coming in the mail. That started happening and we were like ok what is going on?! Things with my husbands work also changed where he had opportunities to make more money, which we continued to put towards our debt. The choice to really submit this areas of our lives to God and allow Him to help us maneuver through our bad decisions really opened the door to more.

And this is not just more in our finances. God really liberated me more so in the effort of giving and not just finances but of my time. While I love encouraging others through conversation and even through my social media pages, I wanted to do more. I wanted to personally reach out to individuals to encourage and bless them. He opened my eyes and allowed me to find a different way of sowing into others. When I started mailing out cards with scripture and encouragement every month I became more and more passionate about giving. One month was sending gift cards to people another month cool journals and every month that I think about just making someone’s day with something simple I feel more and more liberated. Which brings me back to that conversation I was having with my husband about why I’m giving and then telling him about it after the fact. Because I let fear control me for so long and God has helped me break free of that, I now do what I feel right when I feel prompted to do so. I never want to feel like I felt that day when I didn’t give the $20 to the waitress. There is freedom in truly trusting God and what He is doing in you. There is freedom in following His lead even when you don’t know initially where the road is leading you to.

This road I’m on of letting Him lead has lead me to more peace, more joy, more excitement, more vision, more of recognizing that the dreams that I have in my heart can come true. What I am feeling is real and there is nothing that I want to do more than to spend my time listening to who God says I should spend time talking to or listening to or helping or giving to. I truly sit down some days and go “Ok God who should I be praying for? Who’s on your mind?” There is no way to describe how much happiness I feel inside from spending time doing more for someone else than I do for myself. I was shopping the other day and found myself putting stuff for myself back! Not because I didn’t want it (Honestly, I probably didn’t need it) but because I wanted to put my money towards things to give to someone else. I am excited even typing this y’all!

The road to more is not limited to finances but it’s what we tend to focus on sometimes. We think having financial freedom or more money solves a slew of issues, which in some instances it does! Don’t be afraid to talk about wanting more money. It’s ok to want more for yourselves and for your family. But don’t limit wanting more of it just to being able to spend freely. Think about ways that more can help someone else. And then think past the more of finances and more into mental, spiritual and emotional growth. What have you done for someone else lately? Who have you checked on? Who have you prayed for? Who have you given your time to? A small gift to? Who have you thought about more, yourself or someone else? One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received and acted on is when you are feeling sad, lonely, depressed, like you don’t matter…..serve. Helping someone else and giving to someone else during a time when you need additional care or love changes something in you. It leads to a place of abundance that is more valuable than anything else. Start that journey to more today! You will not regret it.

Seeking Rest

The other day I was reading my devotional and there were so many things about this particular devotional that stood out to me. It was talking about the space to inhale and the importance of rest. I love that this particular devotional I’m doing now is an actual book and not one on an app because I can highlight the things that jump out most. Not that I can’t do that in my Bible app but it’s something about a book and being able to open it that really just sticks with me a little more. I’m a book nerd, what can I say LOL. Anyway, my devotional reminded me not only of the importance of resting or taking a break but that we should. I don’t know about you but I lived in a world for too long (mostly in my head) where relaxing and taking breaks either seemed impossible or I felt lazy for doing so. Let me tell you! I am grateful not to still be in that same space or thought pattern.

What I found most interesting that day though as I read the devotional was that we should pursue rest. I know that sounds crazy to some but it is something we should actually make a goal to do or pencil into our schedule. I’m not talking about every three months or something. Taking a break from the world and the busyness of life is something we should aim to do weekly. YES, weekly! Listen, I have had weeks from start to finish where every day was jam packed with a list of things to do. Sometimes those weeks and those moments are unavoidable. Working, caring for home and everything else can take up so much of our time that it’s hard to even think about being intentional with taking some time to refuel.

When I don’t take time for myself to just sit and be with my thoughts and really to hear what God is saying I’m irritable and I miss things. I miss important things– things I wouldn’t normally miss like if my spouse or one of my kids is having a bad day. I miss a moment when God maybe told me to give, bless someone or put a particular person on my mind to check up on. I also miss personal questions or thoughts for myself. I totally disregard the warning signs my body or my mind is giving me like a huge red sign flashing “WARNING! OVERLOAD!” I just keep pushing through because there’s so much to be done and if I don’t do it now (or in general) it won’t get done. But I learned some lessons about this through the moments when I did actually stop and rest. I learned that I had to start trusting myself and my instincts. Meaning when I found myself in that place of irritation and missing important moments, moments more important than running to the store for something I don’t need that day anyway. I learned that if I let it go it will still get done. Maybe not by me, maybe my husband or a friend takes care of it further squashing my thoughts of it having to be me getting it done or the task won’t get completed.

We often convince ourselves that there are certain things we have to do and no one else can do them quite like us. And listen, friends, that may be true but sometimes in certain situations the task being completed is all that matters. It’s not worth allowing ourselves to be completely burned out to where we miss moments to be present for our friends and family or ourselves; we miss moments to be present with God and not just hear from him but to let him love on us. Too many times we are anxious to hear from God about what He says about us or what He’s telling us to do next that we forget to just be. We neglect the fact that He just wants us to sit with him for a while. He knows our needs. He has a plan but do we really need to talk about the plan allllll the time? I’d like to think not. In my devotional she writes “The preserver rests to to remember– to remember that it’s all about God. God’s rhythm preserves a space in us to hear His voice, reveals the places we’re off track, and prevents us from being filled with unnecessary clutter.” YES! That’s what time to yourself and with God can do for you.

I like knowing that if I’m intentional about my time to rest and intentional about my time with him he can help me declutter. He can cleanse me of all the things I’ve been carrying around and some of them were things I don’t need to carry or weren’t for me to carry. I love that I can spend time being reminded that I am loved, valuable, cared for and enough. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to do and to be everywhere for everyone. It’s not a bad thing to want to be actively involved in pursuing all that life has to offer, our dreams, our goals, caring for those around us. God wants us to do those things. But it’s also so important to make sure that in doing those things are you on the right track. Are you being lead by where God is taking you or leading yourself to a place of overload or exhausting thinking that you’re doing what you are supposed to be doing? So I really want to encourage you today to start being intentional about resting and spending time just sitting with God. Let him guide you and cleanse you so that you can be exactly who He’s called you to be!

A Good Challenge

So about three months or so ago I met with a friend that I felt like God had connected me with and we chatted about life and past experiences. The relationship was new and we were still getting to know each other. I also had something I felt lead by God to present to her. I wasn’t sure how it was going to go or even if I was going to bring it up. I came prepared with the materials and info I wanted to share but I prayed for God to open the door if this idea or plan was meant to be. As we talked, more and more there were so many things that we had in common and so many moments I felt God nudging me to share this with her. I presented this devotional that I felt would be great for us to do together and felt like it would lead to another opportunity for us to do ministry together. I was so grateful that she was just as excited as I was to do this devotional together and to see where it take us.

Now here we are, the devotional is completed. And it was amazing. It was one of the most amazing devotionals I’ve ever completed. What was so crazy is the last few weeks of the devotional we were both feeling this tug or push from God to step out; to try something new with someone new. I can honestly say this is probably the first time on my journey of trying new things that I didn’t instantly feel fear. I actually haven’t felt fearful one time. I have felt motivated and empowered. Putting yourself out there can be a lot. It can be scary. It can be emotional. But starting this blog and creating social media accounts where I share my personal thoughts or what I feel like God is sharing with me was scary initially. Sometimes it still is but it has helped me get to this moment right here. A moment where I feel more confident in branching off into something new because I worked the muscle of confidence and let my faith be louder than my fear.

As my friend and I are working through the start of this new project, I started thinking about the challenges that could and will come along with what we are doing. Challenges like time (we are wives and moms and we volunteer in ministry) and financial challenges to invest in ourselves; our future. I feel like no matter what you are doing in life there are bound to be some challenges attached to it. But here is what I learned: challenges don’t mean that you shouldn’t do it and challenges aren’t always bad. When I first started blogging my major challenges were time and what people would think of what I was sharing (mental challenge). I thought on more occasions than I can count– people are going to be like “Who does she think she is?” But I had to one, be intentional about my time because I felt like the blog was important. I knew God didn’t put this idea, these thoughts and these feelings inside of me just for me to sit on them and not try to help someone else. Two, I had to learn not to care about what people would say or think. It was not for me to worry about. If you are doing something from your heart and you feel like you were lead to do something to help or bless someone why does it matter what someone else thinks about that? Like how can people look down on or be upset about someone spreading positivity and love? We all know people who do have those feelings of negativity but those people have their own issues and internal work to address.

The good thing about challenges is when they show up it shows you how serious you are about something. Are you going to let a hiccup here or some frustration there deter you or are you going to work through those interruptions? If I had let all of the challenges and changes life threw at me after I started my blog and started sharing on social media with others stop me I don’t believe I would be where I am today. And I had some huge challenges thrown at me mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. But if it wasn’t for me making the choice (and God’s strength) to push through those tough moments I would still be in that head space of wondering what people would think and operating from a place of fear. I would have taken all of the frustration, confusion and pain as a sign that sharing my story or sharing what was in my heart was not a good risk to take and not only would I have hindered myself, I would have gotten in the way of God using me to help someone. Another thing I’ve learned is every time I pushed past those obstacles, some of them being internal struggles, God has shown me that I was on the right track. When I stepped outside of myself and my own reservations I have always gotten feed back from someone who needed to hear what I wrote or what I shared. Those moments of confirmation further encouraged and motivated me to look past my own feelings or the hurdles I encountered and to keep going.

I looked up the definition of the word challenge and thought “Wow!” Challenge: an objection or query as to the truth of something, often with an implicit demand for proof; to dispute the truth or validity of. Challenges are meant to push us to learn more and to seek the truth of something! How else will we learn the truth about ourselves and what we are capable of if we aren’t tested; if we aren’t pushed? Allow obstacles and challenges to change your mind set. When you are working on or through something or stepping into something new and things start to get difficult say to yourself “Ok let’s find out the truth of the matter! Challenge accepted!” Don’t let defeat sneak in. Don’t let fear over power you. Believe that what’s happening in the moment is meant to take you to greater in your life, in your job, in your relationships. You will never learn what’s on the other side until you embrace the things that create friction and mold you into your best self. Even God encourages being tested or challenged to prove the truth in what He’s saying. In Malachi 3:10 says He’s speaking of bringing tithe into the store house and the verse ends with Him saying “I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!” WHEW! So just know to get to your truth you will have to be tested and challenged and pushed but it will be so worth it in the end. The blessings on the other side are HUGE! #CHALLENGEACCEPTED

Facing Insecurities

I was talking to a friend the other day and one of the things we were discussing was insecurities. We all have them. Some of them are stronger and seem to take over more than others. I think even if you’re a confident person and love yourself or love so many things about yourself there are still some things you will struggle with. I am currently reading a devotional called 100 Days to Brave by Annie F. Downs and one of the things I appreciate the most about this devotional is how it’s bringing things to light within me that I need to address. Things that I never would have thought to address or that I have shoved under the rug and marked “Do not disturb.” It’s so hard to move past certain feelings or habits if we don’t actually confront those feelings. It’s also important to learn where those feelings may stem from. I’m learning that the more I sit with myself and my feelings; the more self aware I am the more change starts to happen in my mind and in my heart.

So let’s talk about insecurities. I’ve got a few. One being my weight (all the women say Amen LOL!). I know that it’s all about how I feel about myself but also how I allow outside pressures make me feel that I should look or be a certain way. Particularly after having babies, it can be difficult to feel comfortable in your skin and to learn to love your new body. My weight over the last few years has fluctuated but more recently it has bothered me more and more. I struggle with being consistent. It takes me a while to work up to that place where I am working out regularly and eating better. I can start and do well for a week or two and then I’ll get discouraged and stop. I’m self motivated to do a lot of other things but working out is not one of them. I do not enjoy it. Now before I got married and before I had my son I did enjoy it. I worked out 5 days a week for about an hour a day. I did Zumba combined with toning and strength training. I love Zumba but I just can’t get back into it due to some severe leg pain afterwards that my doctor cannot figure out.

What I’ve realized about this particular insecurity is it stems from two things: one, wanting to love the way I look and two, the fear of my husband not loving the way that I look. I’m sure there are some of us that can think back to a time where we were in shape, super skinny and could eat anything we wanted and still look amazing. I allow the fact that I was smaller when I got married make me feel like I am now unattractive to my husband. He has not said or done anything to make me feel that way. He actually responds the opposite of how I feel about myself. He is very encouraging, supportive and demonstrative in his attraction to me. But he’s also a fitness buff! He does cross fit 5-6 times a week and looks amazing. So I’ll be honest and say I’m intimidated by that. I do not want to be his overweight spouse. But in all of this I am realizing it is not his responsibility to change how I feel or see myself. He loves and cares for me but if I want better for myself, if I want to feel better in my skin then that’s for me to work out. Literally. I am grateful to how he cares for me. Sometimes it’s so hard for us to see ourselves how others see us.

Another insecurity I battle with is the need to have validation in my relationships. This is one that I am working on all of the time. I am constantly working through my thoughts and feelings because I don’t want to need validation. What I mean by this is there are certain relationships that with the slightest change in the person’s actions it causes me to have these thoughts of worry and wondering. “Are they going to walk away from me?” “Have I upset them or disappointed them somehow?” While their actions may have nothing to do with me personally, I still go down this rabbit trail which resolves nothing. I have also learned that even if their actions demonstrate the opposite of my thoughts it’s still hard for me because my love language is words. I actually need the people that I am in relationship with to occasionally say things to me that further confirm that I matter to them. I need friends and family to sometimes actually speak my love language as I am sure others have that same need. It speaks so deeply to my soul when people tell me that they appreciate the role that I play in their lives. I often get caught up in doing and being for other people that sometimes I can feel like an after thought when people don’t take the time to return the same level of care. Once again this is a me thing. I know it is. Does it mean that I still wouldn’t appreciate those I’m in relationship speaking my love language? Of course not, but it does help me to remind myself of the differences that we have. And when all else fails I have to simply rely on their actions and to stop myself from focusing on things that simply aren’t true.

Something big I learned when it comes to dealing with my feelings is actually saying things out loud. We doubt the power in releasing those feelings that we have floating around in our minds. And we shouldn’t just say them out loud to people we love and trust but also to the people in which those insecurities lie. I remember having a conversation with my spiritual mother one day and telling her that I felt stupid or silly when I would text them freaking out about something in the moment and she just made a face at me and said well you shouldn’t. I said “I know but I needed to say it.” I needed to say it because in sharing those feelings that insecurity lost it’s power. It’s like it was instantly squashed in that moment. Talking about what we are feeling and what we are struggling through not only aids in growth, but it also helps us to move past those feelings. Since I released those words to her I don’t have those thoughts anymore. I know the role they play in my life and they do too which means they want to be in that role! Look at that! We forget that the people we are connected to actually want to be connected to us and many of them know our flaws (and some of our insecurities) and graciously love us through them. This demonstrates the love of Jesus as our Father in Heaven does the same thing for us.

Talking about our insecurities may not always be an instant resolution but I do believe it helps. If talking about it seems too hard, and sometimes it will, write those feelings out. The goal is to face those feelings and to learn how to develop a greater self love for yourself. I recognize I am not perfect and never will be. I understand that there will always be things that I may have to work at overcoming. But what gives me great hope and pushes me forward is knowing that I can overcome them. It’s totally possible but it starts with me. It starts with me trusting God and leaning on him for guidance. It also requires me to be more open and honest in my relationships. There are some things that we have to talk through with other people. God gave us each other for connection and relationship. Having the conversation with my friend the other day about my weight was emotional and hard but it was real. It was a needed conversation because it reminded me that I am not the only person with body image issues and pressures. It encouraged me to keep taking one day at a time and then to do something about it. So what insecurities are you dealing with? What feelings are you suppressing or avoiding? I challenge you to really think about them and then do something about it! Talk it out or write it out but don’t let it continue to have power over you. You can do it!

Lessons in Gratefulness

I think it’s important to pay attention to what the people in our lives are teaching us. God brought them into our lives and connected us for a reason. It’s not always clear, initially, why these people are so important to our journey or even what it is that we are supposed to learn from them. I have been blessed enough to have amazing people in my life. I had amazing parents who taught me so many life lessons. They taught me how to love and care for others and they also taught me how to accept and love people who weren’t blood related but can be your family. Growing up a military brat really instills that in you and becomes a way of life. I have also been blessed to have amazing spiritual parents, aunts and uncles brought into my life via the military as well as a slew of amazing friends who are family to me. I’ve learned something from each and every relationship and it has blessed me in ways I will always remember. I think my first real big lesson in gratefulness came from my mom. She is one of the strongest women I have ever met. I am so grateful for the strength and guidance she instilled in me and my siblings.

When I was 14 years old my mom got diagnosed with cancer. She hadn’t been feeling well for a while. She had been to several doctors, at one point being diagnosed with high blood pressure. She knew that diagnosis was incorrect and later was diagnosed at Emory hospital in Atlanta with a rare form of cancer called POEM. At the time, it was most common in Asians. We later learned that it was contracted through a blood transfusion when my dad was stationed in Fort Knox, KY and she had gallstone surgery. Being 14 and learning that my mom had cancer was scary. That is the only emotion I felt during that time, fear. She went through treatment and had to stay in the hospital. I believe her and my dad shielded us from as much as they could of what she was going through. At the time it was just me and my two younger brothers at home. I remember seeing her when she lost her hair, which she hid that too for a long time and she had a lot of hair so seeing her with none was definitely emotional. The only way that I saw the loss was I accidentally walked in on her in the bathroom taking her wig off. She asked me not to tell my brother. I didn’t but once again there was fear there—seeing my mom weak, throwing up, unable to eat. I can’t imagine the strength it took for her to get up every day and to try to be present.

During that time frame I took on all the additional duties around the house. I washed clothes, ironed for my dad and brothers, attempted to cook meals, got my little brother off to school each morning, went to school each day to include my extra curricular activities and still maintained A’s and B’s. I think mentally to keep from focusing on what was going on I went into like helper mode. All I remember thinking about is what I could do to help. I know my parents appreciated it especially my dad. He was still trying to work on top of taking care of my mom, taking her to appointments or being with her on times she had to stay in the hospital, and trying to care for three kids at home. My oldest sisters lived in Atlanta.

Finally, my mom went into remission. She was cancer free! It was the best feeling. What was even better was watching her get back to doing things that she loved doing, like taking care of us, cooking, taking care of home, DRIVING. Oh my goodness. She hadn’t been able to drive for so long. She was so excited to get behind the wheel of the car and go to the grocery store. She had lost a lot of weight and never really quite gained that back but she was a small person anyway. Her hair grew back as well and it was healthier and longer than it had ever been. What I was seeing with my mom but didn’t immediately realize was gratefulness. She had been through a horrendous ordeal. I am sure there were moments when she was downright terrified and uncertain of the future. She always read her Bible. Both her and my dad believed in, prayed to and served God with all of their hearts. But I saw her reading her Bible more and more and relying on God’s word to keep her strong. I look back on that time frame and I don’t remember hearing my mom complain a lot and she had every right to! But she didn’t. She just took each day as it came.

Watching her journey first hand taught me that one, life will get hard. There will be things thrown at us that we cannot anticipate and it can be brutal. But we chose how to respond to that situation. We can make excuses. We can cry every day and be angry (and those are natural responses sometimes) but we can also choose to try to be positive. In the end, when we make it through that difficult experience we will realize we are stronger than we thought we were and that God will truly keep us. The second thing I learned watching my mom was gratefulness. There are so many basic things in life we take for granted such as cooking, cleaning, driving and being in good health. She taught me to appreciate those things and to appreciate the people in your life. Share in moments with them, spend time talking and laughing with them. I have so many memories sitting on her bed after being in remission watching tv and laughing. When she would ask me to do things for her like put this cream on her feet (her feet hurt after treatments and there was a cream that helped with that-she would ask me and only me to do it because I had soft hands LOL) I would be so happy to do that small thing for her. That small act of kindness taught me how important small acts of kindness are.

Although she’s no longer us, she was in remission for several years but passed in 2004, I carry the memories of her and the lessons learned in my heart. I am grateful for the short time I had with her and I am humbled and blessed by how she lead by example to appreciate life- to enjoy life’s experiences no matter how big or how small. I’ve heard people say so many times that we all have something to be grateful for. It’s so true. No matter how bad of a day, week, month or year we are having there is always something in those moments that we can look at and appreciate. I learned if my mom could learn to smile and be grateful through hard days of radiation and chemo, I can certainly learn to smile through bad days at work and crazy kids. How can you change your perspective? What can you be grateful for today? Tomorrow isn’t promised so start today looking at your world and your life a bit differently.

Living Healed

I struggled with starting this particular blog and making it make since. I’ve shared so much of my personal journey; my struggles, pains, ups and downs, successes, failures just so many parts of myself I used to think I”d never be set free from; healed from. Sometimes we can operate for so long out of a place of pain or brokenness that it becomes normal. We don’t know what it’s like to be anyone else or to do anything else. We hold on to our feelings and our shattered pieces like it has to be a permanent part of us. As someone who has been through depression more than once, there’s a part of you that owns it. It’s like a safety net. It’s like a warm coat on a cold winter day that can give us this false since of security and in some ways breaking free of it can be scary. Like who am I without it?

When I struggled with depression it became, in some ways, like an excuse for certain behaviors or for why I just couldn’t do something. Not saying that what I was experiencing wasn’t real. It was very real. There were days where just doing basic life tasks such as cooking, cleaning, or being present were all just too much. The darkness of it makes you want to close yourself in your house and never have to come out to face people or really face why you’re feel what you’re feeling. I read somewhere once that people can struggle with depression because they focus so much of their time comparing their lives to those around them via social media or in their everyday life that it makes them feel like they are missing something; that what they have is not enough. When I look back on those time periods in my life I find some truth to that statement. Of course what I was feeling was not just limited to the comparison game. There were other circumstances that contributed to how I was feeling but in my head there were so many thoughts about how hard it was being single or being a single parent. I felt that there wasn’t anyone who could relate to my particular struggles whether it was going through a divorce, being single, raising my kids without their dad in the same area, taking care of babies alone after giving birth due to military deployments, friendship changes. But what I came to learn over time was that there were things in me that I needed to learn to face so that I could really walk in peace.

I was talking to my best friend of over 20 years one day and I was explaining to her the difference in how I respond to my kids, particularly my 12 year old. She has always been an emotionally and mentally draining child. Not necessarily in a bad way, she just requires more attention. She loves being around me and interacting with me. I know she really loves me and I her, but there were days where trying to be emotionally present for her was more than I could stand. I admit I didn’t always respond to her in the best way. I was snappy, easily irritated, super frustrated and at times had to go back to her and apologize for my behavior. She likes to be listened to. Talking about her day or her feelings and spending quality time mean a lot to her. But for a while I didn’t have space in my emotional tank to handle her and me. My thoughts and emotions were consistently all over the place and honestly having to listen to her took the focus off of me. Just typing that statement is brutal but it’s a reality I lived in because the broken pieces in me had just become a part of me. Sometimes we don’t realize that we are stuck; we are continuing to choose to hold on to our safety net of brokenness and it is affecting the ones that we love in deeper ways than we could ever realize.

But one day I made a choice. It wasn’t an easy choice but it was a necessary one. I had to stop choosing to hold on to what people said to me or about me. I had to stop living in a world where I felt let down, uncared for, disregarded, unappreciated and, well, depressed. I chose to stop letting my thoughts and feelings completely control me each and every second of the day. I had come to a place of no return. Either I was going to continue living my life to please others, making decisions that benefited someone else more than it benefited me, living in a head space where I felt like no one really loved me or cared and that all the bad things in my head were true, all the crazy things that kept happening to me were just the cards I was dealt and I just had to accept it; move on. OR…..or I was going to start living the amazing life God had given me. I was going to start realizing how loving, caring, kind, loyal, and amazing I was despite my flaws. Yeah my life wasn’t always easy, who’s life is?! There were hard blows dealt but I was still alive. I could make the decision to live and to love those who deeply loved me….even in my broken state. And part of those who loved me so innocently were my kids. Even when they maybe didn’t understand me. Especially my 12 year old. She just wanted my time and she wanted to be heard.

When I made the choice to let God in, and I mean really in, my life changed. Sometimes we let God in but only to the places we’ve designated safe for Him to enter. “Sure God. Fix my marriage, fix my finances, protect my kids, heal the sick, help my friends, open doors for me at work for promotion or just give me a whole new job, but my depression, my anxiety, my poor thought life- no let me keep that! That’s how people see my vulnerability and help me when I can’t help myself.” But we have to learn to help ourselves. There are some things that others cannot do for us no matter how badly we wish they could. Somethings we literally have to do for ourselves by submitting it to God and really allowing Him in to take those tiny, shattered pieces and start to slowly put them back together. And those pieces won’t form the old you….they’ll form someone totally new; someone who will fall in love with the peace they now live in.

Going back to the convo with my friend, I was telling her how now I’m a lot calmer. I don’t respond to my daughter the way I used to. I carefully listen to her. I hug her more and spend time with her more just watching tv or going to get Starbucks. We cuddle on the couch and when my hubby is not home or in another part of the house sometimes she comes in my room and lays on the bed with me just because. When I see her irritation and frustration do not rise up in me. I’m not worried about what she’s going to say and how I’m going to emotionally handle it because not only have I placed her feelings and needs in a place equal to mine, I’ve also healed. I want to say simply healed but there was nothing simple about it. I had to put in some serious work to get to where I am today and every day isn’t perfect. I still have struggles. But my family and my kids are worth the work. My friendships are worth it and I am worth it. So tell yourself that you are worth happiness and peace. You are worth letting God in to all of your ugliness and bitterness and brokenness so that you can move forward into happiness, joy, peace and simply being who you are. Choose joy. Choose healing. Choose you.

Growth Tools

Have you ever been going through looking at your history, clearing your mind or looking back at your past and realize there were things you used to rely but don’t anymore? The other day I was clearing out my email. I have literally have like three or four email addresses and there was one that was just full of stuff that needed to be deleted. Anyone else just let their email pile up and completely ignore it, look at it one day and there’s over a thousand emails? No? Just me? LOL. Anyway, as I was deleting the emails I kept seeing receipts for Hinesville Takeout Express and I literally stopped for a moment and laughed. Those emails (and there were some Chic Fil A ones too) reminded me of a time frame when there were days where even attempting cook dinner would be a no. I relied on and was grateful to be able to call in a food order so the kids and I could eat. It was during my husbands deployment and, well, some days that was the best that I could do.

Honestly, I would feel bad about it at times. I’d think to myself “you really just can’t cook a meal today?” or “Today wasn’t that bad you’re just being lazy.” But I now recognize that moment in time there were certain tools I needed to help me maneuver through that particular part of my journey. There were, of course, other tools and other resources that helped during that phase but what I’ve noticed most is what I needed then I no longer need now. When we’re going through life and living through certain experiences we can feel bad for using the things that we need readily at our disposable. I’ve asked myself “Well, why is that?” a couple of times. I’ve come to the conclusion that sometimes it’s related to shame. Other times it’s because we want people to think we are strong and needing help makes us feel weak. We can feel like if we tell someone we need help or even open the door for help that it means that we cannot handle the situation at hand.

A common experience I’ve had with military spouses and stay at home moms is wanting support, wanting encouragement but not always knowing how to communicate that. Many of us also don’t always know how to receive it. During my times as a stay at home mom I wanted help, Lord knows I needed it, but I didn’t always want to explain how I wanted to be helped. I needed someone to say “Hey, go read a book a lone.” or “I’ve got the kids just go do whatever you want.” I know so many times I felt bad for wanting to be alone. I felt bad for needing to rely on others. But I look back on that time frame and see so many tools or resources God placed in my path. Whether it was people who randomly encouraged me or came over just to hang with me and the kids or places to take the kids that kept them busy so I would have to spend less time entertaining them, it was exactly what was needed during that time.

Even my time in therapy was a resource that really helped me to maneuver through different, deeply painful experiences. Going to therapy is not something people always openly talk about. Once again, for some, shame comes into play here. Initially, starting therapy was not something I wanted a lot of people to know about. I’ll be honest in saying that for many years I thought therapy was only for people with really serious issues or people who had mental issues. I think that many people still feel this way and it’s attributed to lack of knowledge. I’ve heard people say that they don’t want someone in their head, in their business, telling them what to do all the time. But it’s not about that. It’s about growth and learning about yourself. Therapy can teach you to work through your thoughts and issues, learning to trouble shoot and mostly learning to accept who you are. Therapy was a tool that helped me realize my pain, my issues, whatever I was struggling through didn’t define me.

As I grow, and continue to grow, I’ve learned that there were certain things I needed that helped me but weren’t a permanent part of my journey. I’ve learned not to be ashamed of how those resources were brought to me and how God used them to help me make it to the other side. If it wasn’t for other military spouses who had been through or were going through deployments, I wouldn’t have had the outlet I needed. I wouldn’t have had someone who understood where I was at and who could help encourage me or even to remind me that I can make it. It’s always nice to connect with something or someone that reminds you that where you are won’t last forever. If it wasn’t for the stay at home moms that I encountered during those periods in my life I wouldn’t know that it’s normal to want to hide, to cry, to not want to have to be with your kids sometimes, or to be so unbelievably overwhelmed somedays that you just wanted to run away. I also wouldn’t know that it gets better as they grow and become more independent. Having other moms that I could relate to and talk through these moments with was invaluable.

And seriously if it was not for the option to even order take out for my kids and I during some really rocky days I’m not sure how those days would have ended. Probably with us eating cereal, which, hey, that’s still a meal if you ask me! But it wasn’t so much about the cooking. At times, we can look at situations and not see the feelings or meanings behind why certain things are needed. There are some things you don’t always want to have to think about. There are moments when all you’re thinking is “What’s the simplest way to resolve this so that I can move on to things my attention needs to be focused on?” And sometimes after a very long day full of work, appointments, errands and kid things such as homework or extracurricular activities you need to have something subtracted from the list of things to do. For me, on some days, that was Hinesville Takeout Express or Chic Fil A! So to tie all of this together, if you’re in a season of life where you’re feeling like you’re having to rely on friends, therapy, or whatever else is helping you push through your days, don’t be ashamed. Don’t hide behind those feelings and allow yourself to feel like there’s something wrong with needing something to help you.

We all need help sometimes. But I challenge you to look back. Don’t linger there too long but look back at maybe a phase you just finally moved out of and look at who was there or what was there. Examine what helped pull you through to the new phase and then give yourself a pat on the back for moving out of a space where maybe those same things are not necessary anymore. You grew. You learned. You survived. You acquired life long lessons that helped you become a better version of yourself. You added knowledge and wisdom, that God gave to you during those moments, that will not only allow you to continue to be better but will also open the door for you to help someone else. Be proud of choosing not to give up. It’s about taking each day and each moment as it comes, taking the good and the bad and choosing to continue to focus on the good. Be proud that you’re an overcomer. As you move through where God has you right now thank Him that what He’s provided you with is exactly what you need, for now. Because where you’re at won’t last forever. There is definitely light on the other side.


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