I am so honest to God full of emotion right now. I really don’t know where to start, but these are the times when writing is the only thing that makes sense. Yesterday, my dream turned into reality. As I sat in my kitchen holding the proof copy of my first book, The Love Project, I met myself at the corner of my pain and my destiny. It was one of the single most, powerful moments of my life. A moment I’d dreamed of for 12 years. I always wondered what it would feel like.
I waited all afternoon for the UPS driver to arrive. When the package finally came, I retrieved it from the front porch and placed it gently on my kitchen counter. I walked around the kitchen fidgeting with random things to distract myself. I was afraid to see it. So I opened the shutters. I checked my computer. I grabbed my phone and neatly adjusted the brown package again. “OK!,” I told myself. “Whatever’s inside this package doesn’t matter. Even if it’s not perfect. Just be proud that you have gotten this far.” I took a picture of the package. I wanted to freeze even that moment in time too, and I said a quick prayer of thanks to God for the vision despite the outcome. And then I carefully cut into the brown paper box and pulled out the most beautiful book I’d ever seen. “OH. MY. God!!!” … I stared in disbelief. And just like that the movie reel of my life started scrolling backwards through the timeline of every painful experience that had led me to this exact moment. Each one flashing before my eyes was a reminder of the pain required to appreciate and respect the reality of this accomplishment.
The hospitalizations. The day my husband told me he was leaving me but couldn’t explain why. The morning my sister told me over the phone that my dad died overnight. I collapsed to floor again in my mind while standing in the kitchen staring at my book. I relived the moment I, the fragile one, held my mother up and steadied her down the aisle of my father’s funeral strong, solid and beautiful just six days later. And I relived the ongoing struggle with depression and suicidal thoughts that fought me throughout it all. I was back on those couches, reliving the countless years of therapy absolutely required so that I could simply live and not die within myself. I was back with those friends and family members who comforted me and ushered me through the most painful times of my life. The rejection. The shame. The embarrassment. The soul sick hurt of it all. It was all there with me as I looked at this thing I’d created. This beautiful magnificent little book about loving myself the way God loves me.
The other moments were there too. The healing. The release. The laughter. The self-love that has replaced the shameful parts. The beautiful person I’ve become twelve years later, she was there too holding our book and smiling, celebrating me and cheering the loudest of all. The power it has taken to live my life unapologetically, in full view of others unafraid of their judgment, their curiosity about it all and the mystery of me yes I owe this part of myself to her. She is resilient, beautiful and brave. She is the best part of me and is the embodiment of God’s grace, power and love.
So there I stood in my kitchen yesterday holding my book, trembling and staring in disbelief at what God had done with and through me. And I sobbed. Almost an ugly cry, but I’ll deny it if you ask. But for the first time in my life I cried true tears of joy and was thankful, truly thankful, for every single solitary lesson my pain and suffering had birthed. And I was even more grateful for God’s safe passage through it all. Every hurt and every wound was necessary for this moment. And so I celebrated myself with my tears and embraced the truth of who I am and who I’ve become. I am a conqueror. I am a phoenix who has risen. I am a princess warrior. I am an overcomer. I am a beautiful, resilient survivor of life’s worst made into God’s best. And I am honored, humbled and grateful He chose me. Not a moment was wasted. He used each and every moment and worked it out for my good. Today I walked into my destiny and I was blessed.