I See You. I Get You. I Am You.
Beautiful younger soul,
Where do I begin? This journey is more than I could have imagined and has taken me places I couldn’t have thought of. It has made me stronger in ways I would never have dreamed of and, of course, only possible with God. To you, it may not seem that I have conquered mountains, done big things, become well known, but to this anxious, highly sensitive introvert who grew up scared, unsure, uncomfortable, nervous and at times lonely, only HE could use me how He has and we are only getting started I believe.
For me, it’s more about my growth than where I have ended up. I don’t have tons of successes yet or at least what would be seen as worldly successes. I am still en route, not sure where I will end up, but I know my faith and trust is intact even when I’m not sure where we are headed.
Before I truly knew God, as a young girl, I was insecure, uncertain, extremely shy and held a high pressure on myself to always present as perfect. It was exhausting, but I was so unaware of God’s grace that I kept moving forward. I made choices I wish I hadn’t made looking for love, acceptance and escape in unhealthy ways. Nothing crazy, but nothing that was good for me.
I hid behind the façade of what I thought everyone wanted, so truly afraid to be just me and be loved for just that person. I dealt with extreme emotions of shame, fear of embarrassment, fear of failure and just fear in general. The sad part was I didn’t know it any other way. I thought this was just how life was. I thought everyone felt lonely and isolated like me underneath it all.
I stressed about new situations, meeting new people, speaking in front of others – you name it, I was nervous about it.
I want to hug that girl, my younger self. I want her to know she is not alone, she is seen, she is loved and she is enough, exactly as she is in this moment.
I love God’s sense of humour and how He truly does choose the most unlikely people to step out for Him in ways they could never have imagined – though I couldn’t see it then.
Becoming a mother, I began to find my voice and my confidence. I realized I could do hard things and I did have a lot to offer to my family and to myself.
I began to know God in a closer relationship than I had never realized was possible.
I still struggled with old wounds as a mom. Feeling like I wasn’t measuring up, that I would fail living up to the mom I had dreamed of. The doubt was deafening at times. But I learned to lean on God, not on my own strength, very slowly.
After years of working hard at being a mom, maybe a little too hard, I had pushed myself too hard, my body had had enough. I had to step back. Slow down, take a breath. God had been talking and I wasn’t listening. He showed me with a firm hand that I wasn’t the sum of all I could accomplish in a day. I was enough just being me. Oh my younger self, if only I could have believed my worth in Him and in myself regardless of what I could produce and prove in a day and to others.
I began to find balance, if there was even such a thing. Balance between following my true path with Him, and slowing down enough to be who I was besides all the proving. I was kind, loving, smart, organized, sporty, creative, giving and had a heart to serve others and help them feel less alone as I had.
One day I said ‘yes’ to becoming a consultant for a clean beauty company when asked by a fellow mom at school. For some reason, I had this overwhelming feeling of ‘why not me’? Why couldn’t a quiet, anxious, super sensitive introvert mom be successful, step out of her comfort zone and her own way to build something just like the other women on the team? Why not me?
So, I stepped forward into something that I would have laughed at years ago. Each day, each video on Facebook, each reach out, each in person event, I chuckled to myself that the girl who was terrified to speak in front of others was now choosing to find her voice. Don’t get me wrong! I was beyond scared at first, but I had a new armor that I hadn’t seen before, His armor.
This one simple yes then led me into wanting to help moms in other ways, growing my following from clean beauty to realness and authenticity in the mom space. I wanted moms to know without a doubt that they were not alone, they could be open and real about their struggles and their victories. I wanted them to connect and share. And I was going to go first. I shared my journey and my new found strength. I wanted to use my story to help others. I wanted to help them to connect; no one should feel alone as I had.
I looked back at my younger self and said ‘thank you’, thank you for all that you walked through. All that you have been through has brought me here, and God was going to use it all for good, I knew that.
I am not sure where I am headed, I’ll be honest. Some are slow days, some have closed doors and then some present opened windows. So I keep walking and looking upward.
I do know that, what I have learned and what He was trying to tell me all along was maybe, dear younger self, we had all we needed all along. We were enough just as we were.
Our journey is meant for growth, stepping out of our comfort zones, but maybe, just maybe younger self, we were well equipped to begin with, with Him and in our own belief and hope.
My journey ended up being one of peeling away the false beliefs, the lies, the shame and the fear to truly get down to the core of who I already was.
Work in progress here, that’s for sure, but younger self, your journey is worth every valley and every mountain.
And most of all younger me – you are SO SO not alone. I see you. I get you. I am you.
‘Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place’. Paulo Coelho.
Older & Much Wiser You
“I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
Jeremiah 1:5 (NLT)