Last year I finished the Ultimate Journey and I had made a promise to myself, I would no longer be afraid to try. Trying before meant I could fail. I could belly flop and there was no way on this earth I wanted to do that. I had been laughed at enough in my life, I had been lonely and felt like an outcast long enough. The thought of willingly letting all of this happen to myself was more than I wanted to think about. Yet, after the “Journey” I knew I was different, I knew I had become confident in Christ’s ability to take me to new heights and new adventures. I was ready for more and Christ in me would accomplish whatever God brought into my path.
One of the blessings he brought into my life is Donna Hup, who introduced me to the North Iowa Bloggers. Writing for Donna’s blog allowed me to be considered an Iowan and to join this power house group of bloggers. It was one of the greatest blessings God could have brought into my life this year. He gave me women who would pour into my life, business and family. He gave me women I would be glad to call dear friends. They encourage me, support me and are wonderful at helping each other jump, remove or go around hurdles. Through this group I met Sara Broers, Julie Wright, Nicolette Brink, Liz Nead and other wonderful power house people who have are daring and adventurous, too.
September marks my one year anniversary of attempting to become a serious blogger and social media manager. It is definitely not something I thought I would do or be when I grew up. When I was a kid these positions did not even exist (I can’t believe I’m writing a sentence like that. I can’t possibly be that old can I?). It has been an exciting, adventurous journey and my favorite part of the whole thing is all of the kind, encouraging and supportive people I have met along the way.
The biggest surprise I encountered throughout the year was the ability of those around me to see my true potential. This combined with what my mom has always called tenacity and determination helped me to press through the year. There have been plenty of times I wanted to throw in the towel, moments when I threw myself across my bed and wanted to quit. God in his faithfulness would always send someone to encourage me. They would come at the exact moments I did not think I could go any longer. Times when I was sure anything I was doing was not going to encourage or support anyone.
The number one lesson I learned was to chose wisely who I allow to be my sounding board. The people I allow to be the closest to me are the ones who will reaffirm who I am on the days I struggle to believe in the good work being done. The ones who help me debrief and give me loving truth after an event or a blog post.
In many ways I have exceeded even my own expectations, yet I know in my gut there were areas I know I wanted to have ended with a different outcome. I have learned from the awesome people around me to learn from these moments, but not to dwell on them. I am not these moments and I am not the outcome I didn’t want, being able to separate these two makes a huge mental difference. If I were to hang on to these moments I would spend useless hours, minutes or seconds on fixing myself as the “failure”. I am not the failure, it becomes an important learning moment. One that has powerful potential to help propel me forward.
As I continue to pray, talk with others and really digest all I have experienced, tried and accomplished, you can be sure I will be sharing more with you over the coming weeks. How has your year gone? Have you tried a new, adventurous, out of your comfort box journey? For me, it has been worth all of the blood, sweat and tears.