God always has a way of putting a message on my heart so that I can share it with others… and then He continues finding ways to make it impossible to ignore the message… and then I come here to share it with each of you. This is one of those times.
In the past 3 1/2 years since my diagnosis (Wow! Time flies!), I have experienced growth. Growth through experiences (good and bad). I continue every day on my quest for even more personal growth. For some people, it’s financial growth. For others, growth is expanding their family or buying a bigger house. For some, it’s learning from their past relationships and then finding a better, healthier relationship for themselves… or sometimes just being alone so they can figure out who they are as a person so that they can be a better version of themselves for themselves and the next person they end up in a relationship with… For others (like myself), it’s about gaining as many experiences as possible in life and learning from each experience and figuring out how to better myself from it all.
In an interesting “God thing” kind of moment (after already having the idea of writing about “growth” put in my heart), I ran into my sports program director this weekend. This man and his program is one of the most important things that helped mold me into who I am now as a person. We were reminiscing and he pointed out that never in his life did he picture me being a person that would end up getting into doing 5k’s and half marathons… and he’s right. I never thought that in a million years either (and I certainly never thought that I would actually ENJOY doing it). Even before my health started to decline, I was doing them though. I’ve realized that I like competing against myself, because I get to continually find ways to improve myself and set new goals each time. I like finding new ways to grow and to focus my energy on positive things, especially when I feel like I’m falling apart emotionally. I like challenging myself… and every now and then, I like to look back on my past and say “Wow! I can’t believe I did that.” or “Wow! I look way healthier now than I did a year ago.” Sometimes we need to remember where we were to truly appreciate where we are now. We need to acknowledge our own growth and learn to be proud of the little milestones. We also need to acknowledge when changes need to happen. Sometimes that can be a painful process and it can hurt our egos and make us question ourselves, but sometimes we need to do that to ourselves to help motivate us to make a positive change. That doesn’t mean we won’t ever regress back into old habits or negative mindsets or doubt ourselves or our abilities… But as Dr. Phil says… “We can’t change what we don’t acknowledge.”
I realized recently that I still have the desire to be a mother. I’ve always had that desire, but with my health issues, I had to put that on the back burner for a little while. I have my doubts on whether I will be a good mother (as I’m sure most women question themselves on that)… but I know in my heart 100% that being a mother is part of God’s plan for my life. It will happen in His time for my life. I know my husband will be the most amazing father and I want us to have that for our lives. I don’t know when or how it will happen or if it’ll happen in the way we hope, but I have faith that it will happen some day. A couple of years ago, when I was struggling the most on the fact that I felt like most everything in my life was put on hold because of my health, I had guilt. I thought it was MY fault that I had cancer, and I was so angry at the situation and myself. Now, I can look at my life and know that I am in a much better place in my life than I was back when I really THOUGHT I was ready. That is growth. It might have taken God telling me over and over, “Be patient… I have a plan. Trust me.” over and over and over, but I can say with absolute certainty that I’m ready, with an open heart, for God’s plan to unfold in the way that it’s MEANT TO BE.
This mindset has slowly spilled into my business Shine On Music City as well. I’m still trying to figure out what I want it to look like and the type of artists I want to represent. I have my days where I want to scrap the whole thing and find something new to get into, but then God ALWAYS has a way of showing me that I’m on the right path. My GROWTH with the business has been much slower than I intended on it being, but I can at least look at what I’ve done and be proud of where I am at the moment. It has served a rewarding purpose in my life bigger than I ever imagined that it would. I can’t even really imagine actually scrapping it and giving it up. I’m proud of what it has become so far, and I know that God has something wonderful coming from it.
On a side note, I have reflected over and over about the fact that I didn’t get the outcome during the Ms. Wheelchair Tennessee 2017 pageant that I had hoped for (I won 1st runner-up and “Ms. Congeniality”). I always thought that when I did decide to actually go for it and compete in that division that I would win it. That wasn’t God’s plan for me (at least not yet… possibly never… who knows). From that experience, I realized I do still have a lot to share with the world and it actually helped me get motivated to get back into writing. I’m truly considering writing a book at some point. I’ve started brainstorming and writing down ideas for chapters, etc. I might even use some or most of my blog entries in the book, when I do actually go for it. That is growth. God saying “Not yet. I have more in store for you.” was just the reminder that I am still growing and I still have potential to do something useful and meaningful in the world. Maybe it won’t happen. Hopefully it will… but I’m thankful that God puts these reminders in my life so clearly and loudly that I can’t ignore them and I try to go for it. God continues to show me that I am a work in progress, but that I AM making progress as I live the life that is MEANT TO BE for me.
As I wrap things up here, I want to remind each of you to be open to GROWTH and change. Be open to new experiences. Keep challenging yourself. Keep growing, keep finding your way to SHINE, and be open to living the type of life that God designed specifically to be MEANT TO BE for your own life.