I was that girl. I planned my life out a long, long time ago. It was the perfect plan. Graduate early. Get married at 25. Go to grad school. Start a business at 27. Have a kid or two. And live happily ever after. But that master plan … well it flew out the window so long ago I’ve honestly forgotten its intimate details. And because my plans failed, I’ve let my fear of failing again define me. Sadly, I’ve also let it dictate my future. I’ve been stuck. I’ve been scared to believe in a bigger, better plan for fear life would rob me of my heart’s desires again.
There I said it. Let it go. As I reflect, I now see how easily I’ve let depression and brokenness rewrite my story. I’ve let what should have been life’s speed bump become my life’s roadblock. Instead of living life, I’ve been busy reliving it – every stinking last painful moment of it. Over and over again, I’ve let every painful thought, word and deed torture me. I’ve allowed my memories of pain to haunt me, and I’ve let them cloud my view of God’s bigger plan. I’ve let my suffering define me when in reality it was there to refine me the entire time. So it’s time I face my demons head on and bury them for good. It’s true. I have not been living my best life. Goodbye demons. You must go!
I’m often asked how my business has survived this long; fourteen years to be exact. Through a post 9/11 economy, mortgage crisis, recession and more, we’ve survived and built a strong business despite a system that was set up against us. Yet, I’ve never given up on my business. Not one single time. Instead, each and every time I’ve rewritten the plan as many times as I’ve needed to in order to succeed. So why haven’t I been able to transfer this lesson to my heart? How come I haven’t offered my heart the same grace and courtesy?
Perhaps I’ve been so busy entertaining messages from self-pity, doubt and shame that I’ve been unable to hear Love’s message clearly. “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11) And so it’s true, I’ve been believing life’s lies more than I have embraced its truth, and as such I’ve allowed myself to wallow in my own tragic story for so long that I have been unable to rewrite the new one.
So today, I’m getting up and getting over it. I’m dusting myself off. I refuse to roll around in the pain of my past any longer. Instead, I’m picking myself up, holding my head high and embracing the truth of who I really am. I am marvelously talented. I am beautiful and brilliantly made. I am an over-comer. I am a princess warrior. I am a wise and beautiful sage. This phoenix is rising. My past does not define me. It makes me greater. I’m writing a new story.
Today, I’m silencing the voices in my head who judge me, condemn me and that tell me no one will ever love me the way I want to be loved. Shut. Up!!! I will stop looking for reasons I can’t love harder, be better and grow more. I’m removing the steel cage around my guarded heart and opening it to receive the pure unadulterated love it deserves. It’s a new day. I’m turning my old failures into new dreams, new hopes, new love, and new life. I’m all planned out. And so I’m setting myself free. I’m wearing my scars with resilient pride, and I resolve today to begin living my absolute best life.
I forgive myself for wasting years trying to figure out where my plans went wrong, and I set myself free from self-hatred, self-condemnation and self-blame. I am smart enough, pretty enough, wise enough and I did know better. I did my best. That’s all that matters. Life moves on.
So this morning as I rise, I give thanks to God for these beautiful scars and the gift each has brought me. I embrace them all in love and can now easily call them by name. Forgiveness. Humility. Grace. Dependence. Patience. Hope. And Love. May these gifts bless you each as much as they’ve blessed me and may we become all God intended us to be.