Oh the places you could go!

book-cover-front.-.png

Last year, I had the opportunity to take part in an amazing book project, She’s Ready, and learn all about Statement Junky, the organization it would support. I simply answered a call to action through an Instagram post, and before I knew it, I became instant friends with the organization’s founder Rashell Evans and a champion for opening the world of travel and endless possibilities to young girls who one day will be our world leaders.

From the very first hello on the phone to discuss my involvement with She’s Ready, I felt like Rashell and I had been friends for years. And her enthusiasm and passion for her work oozed through my phone receiver and infected me almost immediately. Just like that, I was all in and eager to help make an impact, too!

Statement Junky, as described on its website, is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization devoted to creating a positive safe space for girls to thrive and build lifelong relationships.  Its youth development and global leadership program, Passport Queens, prepares teenage girls for the global stage. At the conclusion of the program, each girl is gifted with an essential key to access the world – her first passport. With this tool she’ll reach beyond the borders of her community, see the world and ultimately change the world, utilizing the experiences and knowledge gained through travel.

And as an extension of Statement Junky, Rashell launched She’s Ready in January, which I had the honor of contributing a chapter to. She’s Ready is the manifesto for women who aspire to explore the world and find themselves at the end of their journey. The inspiring stories and guide full of step-by-step advice and thought-provoking exercises highlight the positive impact travel can have on women seeking to align who they are with their life’s purpose.

When advice comes from a surprising source

I’m not sure if this is the best way for me to introduce you to me or to start a blog all about my life as an author and my writings, but here goes anyway.

My prayer in my writing, both nonfiction and fiction, is to be authentic—to tell stories with true emotions and real characters who are relatable and in some way have an impact on readers.

And in that vain of authenticity, I confess that I am very much human. I am a sensitive girl human who cries easily and loves whole-heartedly every time. I am flawed, very much so. I am driven by performance and fall sin to caring too much about the thoughts and opinions of others. I am in recovery.

Recently, however, I came across some amazing advice that spoke directly to me and the situations I found myself going through. Funny, it was a journal entry written by a wiser, younger me. I’d like to share it with you here in hopes that it will uplift and encourage someone else. Here goes:

February 23, 2005

I was driving home from class when it hit me, and suddenly a lot of things just seemed to make sense.

IMG_0100.JPG

I’ve always felt there was some great calling and purpose for my life. But the older I get the more doubtful I become of every getting there.

Over and over, I tell myself I’m not smart enough; I’m not pretty enough. I’m too shy and too overweight (mind you, I was a size 6 back then). People don’t really like me. No one (except my parents, brother, and dog) will ever fully love me. I’m not organized enough; I’m not creative enough. I’ll never follow through with anything. I don’t have enough money. I’m not caring enough. People will never take me seriously. I’m not strong enough. I’m selfish. I’m undesirable. I’m damaged goods. And I’m to blame for all of it.

Over and over, I’ve been telling myself these things all my life; I have journal pages full of such comments. And today, as I approached the overpass on Ogden Ave., I realized each one of these thoughts comes from the pit of hell.

The devil is so very cunning. For almost 26 years, he’s been whispering these things in my ear, disguising his voice as my own. Far too often, I’ve allowed him to steal my joy and my self-worth. But he cannot kill me. I have been already bought by my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the day He died on the cross. And in the name of Jesus, I demand satan to get behind me and far away from my ear.

Lord, I thank You so much for all You have done in my life and continue to do. I recognize that I am under attack from the enemy and pray for your help and guidance. Lord, in my flesh, I acknowledge that I am indeed faulty, but in You, the devil is made a liar. I am not worthless; I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I am a joint heir with You! How could I ever doubt my worth?

Lord, I pray for Your healing. Mend what has been broken. For all these years, I allowed the devil to know me down. Now, I need You to pick me up and build me back up. Lord, give me strength to stand and wisdom to let You fight my battles. Most importantly, continue to pour out Your grace and love.

Lord, now that I recognize where all of this negativity is coming from, I need Your help to know what to do next. I’ve tried it on my own, and every time have failed. Please, tell me what to do. God, I don’t want to spend another moment in this valley of worthlessness, low self-esteem, and unproductiveness. I pray, right now, that You move me in a mighty way. I want You to write my life story. I want to become the woman You’ve called me to be! Use me!

And God, I’ll continue to give You all of the praise and glory. I love you, Lord, with all of my heart.

Amen.

What a great reminder to myself at 25! Today, I pray that prayer over myself and each one of you! Remember whose you are and never lend an ear to the negativity and stinking thinking!

Have a blessed day!