Category Archives: Fighting My Own Insecurities

These posts talk about my very real insecurities and how I power through them even when I feel that I can’t.

No Longer Silenced

As you can see, this blog has laid dormant for a long time. I apologize for that! Almost 5 years ago, I walked away from all of my financial securities and everything I had known to follow God’s calling on my life. During that journey, as I searched fervently for God’s direction and would excitedly share those things that I knew God was saying to me with others, people I knew and people that I only had a brief interaction with would tell me that my story was inspirational. Having heard this over and over again, I knew this was God’s way of telling me that He wanted to use my story (His story really) to impact other people’s lives and hearts.

As I explained this to a coach I was working with 5 years ago, right after walking away from everything I knew, she said I needed to purchase the website and start a blog. So I did, even though I didn’t have clarity in my mind about how exactly I would use the blog since I hadn’t even written the actual Modern Day Noah book yet. I wasn’t sure if I should write the book out on the blog and then turn it into the book. I wasn’t sure if I should just start telling my story from day one of leaving my financial security, etc. The only thing that I knew for sure is that I wanted the blog to be REAL. I didn’t want people to feel like I was preaching at them. I wanted to be sure that people knew that just because you’re following God’s will for your life doesn’t mean you have it all together and you never have a problem. I wanted the readers to know that people who know and follow God don’t live in an alternate reality from the rest of the world. And I wanted people to really, really get that we are all put here for a very specific purpose – and when you live out that calling on your life, it’s the most amazing thing you’ll ever do!

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Because I didn’t feel like my story had that big ending that people would be looking for, other than walking away from all of my financial security and walking head on into my insecurities, I became somewhat paralyzed about where to begin writing. And although I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God wanted me to tell my story, I began battling with my own fears and insecurities. Who cares about my life? Who am I to think my story is so darn important? Why would I think I could make such a big impact? And so on and so forth. Yet, I knew that telling my story and writing this book, was God’s direction for my life.

Early in my relationship with God and church, I learned that Satan battles hard against those that walk around making a big statement for God. Granted, he makes everybody’s lives miserable, but especially those that are trying to point people to the hope of Jesus Christ. Why? Because he wants to silence them before they share the hope and love of Christ with too many people. I remember so clearly watching people at the first church I attended succumb to this battle. They were always the ones everyone noticed, the high profile people. The ones that were making the biggest impact. They were the preachers and the parishioners that were making a dramatic positive impact on the church and those that were exuberant about serving God and the church.

I remember one couple that took over running the youth ministry. They had great ideas for growing the group and connecting the youth within the group – and they were making a huge impact on all of the kid’s lives and relationships with Christ. Little by little, I watched as their lives began to slowly unravel. She began struggling with depression. I remember watching her trying this medication or that medication. The drugs had an obvious impact on her and she slowly became less and less involved in the church. Within no time, this couple that had been married for at least 15-20 years were getting a divorce. The youth ministry fell apart as their lives fell apart. Satan’s attack on these 2 wonderful people had successfully silenced them and killed any hope of them continuing to impact other’s lives for God. I could tell you many, many stories like this where Satan attacks those who are making the most noise for God with a vengeance. And that is what he has done with me for the past 5 years.

As I mentioned, when it was officially time to start writing the book (when I quit my other “real” full time job), I immediately began struggling with confusion about where and how to start writing and so I just didn’t. Slowly but surely, every insecurity I had became bigger and bigger. I began struggling with social anxiety and little by little I withdrew from everyone and everything I was involved with. Within a year, I spent most of my days alone with no interaction at all with anyone but my clients. Social anxiety caused me to be paralyzed at the thought of interacting with others. My weight went through the roof and unfortunately still is. That furthered my desire to hide away from others. All the while, I knew exactly what was happening. I knew Satan was trying to silence me from sharing the amazing story of how knowing and following God has impacted my life. I hated that Satan was successfully silencing me. But yet, I just couldn’t shake it.

My organizing business, Simplified Living Solutions, has been so successful that I am constantly busy with that. Although it’s a good problem to have, I know that it has been one of the biggest things that has kept me from writing this book and sharing my story. In August, I ended up flat on my back for about 3 weeks with a broken rib and strained back. I had to cancel every single client session I had for about 2 months. Although I hated letting down all of my clients, I secretly was thrilled to have everything come to a screeching halt. I also knew that while others might have seen this situation as a negative thing – money lost, letting clients down, etc – I saw this as a blessing and as God shaking the heck out of me and saying DO IT! I was thrilled that through this injury, He helped me take back control of my life in this way. I needed rest and I needed an opportunity to get myself refocused on Him. Thankfully, 2-1/2 months later, I am clearer on what matters most and have begun battling my social anxiety harder and moving back into relationships with people. So, today begins the official start of me making this book and blog my main priority. I hope you’ll follow along with me and that you’ll be inspired. And I hope that you’ll pray for me when you have a chance. I know my story is a strong, inspirational message of hope that many people need to hear. I just pray that enough people cover me in prayer so that Satan doesn’t succeed in silencing me again. Buckle your seat belt. Tray tables up. We’re taking off and I can’t wait!

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And So It Begins

4 years ago this week I walked away from every single ounce of financial security I had, to follow what I believed God was telling me to do. (Read more of the story here.) I didn’t have a safety net. I didn’t have a wealthy family to fall back on. Since I wasn’t married, there wasn’t another source of income to fall back on. I totally and completely left every single bit of security in the wind when I followed His direction. And I can tell you that I’ve never looked back and wondered if I made the right decision. I’ve had constant peace about my decision. Surprisingly, I’ve not had any financial struggles either!

Modern Day Noah captures my journey of taking a leap of faith when it made absolutely no earthly sense. By sharing my story, I hope to help others find the same connection with God so that they can live a more exciting, peaceful and purpose-driven life. A faith-centered life doesn’t mean you never have struggles, insecurities or doubts. It means that you know that you are safe in His arms. You realize that we are all here for a much bigger purpose than just an existence that is spent focusing on ourselves and getting through our daily struggles.

first-dayThis is a picture that my daughter took 4 years ago. It captures my first official day in my home office after leaving my full-time job after 27 years of service and just 3-1/2 years away from a robust early retirement – something I ended up giving up in order to follow God’s direction for my life. The reason I share this not-so-flattering picture with you is because I knew at that time (4 years ago) that God wanted me to share my story to inspire others (which of course is really His story lived out in my life), but I’ve let doubt, insecurities and overwhelm stifle me in that area – shockingly for 4 years!

Part of what has stopped me from doing this is that it is a bit awkward to feel like I’m bragging about what I did. I’ve struggled with how I can make sure that people understand even though the story is my story, it really isn’t about me at all. But rather it’s how God used me because I allowed Him too. The other thing that has stopped me from blogging is that I’ve never gotten around to writing the original Modern Day Noah book that was to chronicle my relationship with God and my big leap of faith in more detail.

This website was supposed to be the follow-up journey of a regular, everyday person that God used who still has daily struggles even after doing something so momentous for God. Because I didn’t write the book, I wasn’t clear about how I was supposed to use this blog. But then it occurred to me that I am living the everyday life with struggles after taking a huge leap of faith as I mentioned. There’s some value in sharing that. And since I’m struggling with how to use this blog, God wants me to just trust Him and start blogging. He will guide my words. I believe He has big plans to use my story to inspire others, give them hope and to bring them into a relationship with Him so he can bless their socks off too!

What I have known for quite some time, and what I always tell others, is that you’ve  just got to lean into the direction that you feel God is pulling you,  even when you don’t totally understand all of the details, the plan or what the desired outcome is. If I take small steps in the direction He is leading me, He will continue to show me the next steps. And so I begin today despite my hesitation, insecurities or lack of direction – because He has instructed me to do so. This is what actionable faith looks like. I hope you’ll make the decision to follow along with my journey so that you can see all of the amazing ways God will use you (and blow your mind as He does!) if you are open enough to let Him in and believe!

We’re Not Promised A Tomorrow

One of the biggest battles I had when it came to quitting my job was that I had already invested 26 year there and only had 3 1/2 years to go until I could retire with a great pension check coming in every month for the rest of my life. It seemed so foolish not to wait it out after sticking it out there as long as I already had. Nobody does that!

On top of that, I’ve always been a very responsible person that does what I need to do and what I am supposed to do without any regard to how I feel about it. I had two children that I had to support solely on my own and so there was no room for questioning whether to continue working there or not regardless of how miserable it made me. I considered myself a “lifer”, like a prison sentence.

But once I realized about 15 years ago that we were all put here for a reason, for a purpose that is much bigger than ourselves, I’ve had a different perception of life and what it is supposed to look like. And it’s made just doing life status quo much harder for me. For the first 25-30 years of my life I focused all of my energy on just merely surviving this thing they called life. I was so consumed by the hurt, pain and confusion from all of the injustices bestowed upon me in my early life that I couldn’t see or feel anything past that. I was doing life from a reactive place not a proactive place, from a victim mentality. I didn’t realize that we could create our own lives!

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As soon as I understood that we have the power to create the life we want to live, it was much harder to sit in a job that I detested. From the minute I opened the doors to my organizing business, Simplified Living Solutions, and the phone started ringing off the hook, I’ve battled with staying where I was. Every time I would remind myself how lucky I was to have such a great job with wonderful benefits and I only had 3 1/2 more years to go, those thoughts were quickly met with thoughts of how I want to live my life now, not later. What if I didn’t live long enough to do it after I retired? We’re not promised a tomorrow. I knew with such a strong gut feeling that I didn’t want to leave this life without feeling like I had lived it to its fullest. I didn’t want to take a chance that tomorrow may never come.

I don’t mind working at all, I actually like it. So I knew that if I had to, I could always go back to working a “real job”. But I knew I had to take this leap of faith because I loved the feelings that helping others get organized gave me (in addition to what it gave them). I loved the satisfaction of knowing that I had made a positive difference in someone’s life and I loved encouraging people and reminding them of their greatness. I loved knowing that I was making a positive difference in the world in which I live, rather than merely surviving it. Life wasn’t meant to just survive, we are meant to thrive in it! That’s what I’d like to help more people understand earlier in life than I did so they can get to work living their life to the fullest!

Make Someone Happy

Don’t You See, We’re All Jacked Up?

There is nothing I love more than sitting down and having a real heart to heart conversation. The minute I meet someone, I want to know everything about them. I want to get deep inside their soul. I want to know about their lives, what makes them tick, what makes them who they are. I want to know about their hardships, their victories and how those have impacted who they have become. I love, love, love psychology and I think that’s why I find exploring everyone’s lives to be so fascinating.

Interestingly enough, because of this curious, direct and non-threatening quality of mine, people tell me things they have never told anyone else. I know that they do that because they feel “safe” with me because I am sharing the same type of information about my life with them. I have no secrets and often share stories of my challenges and how they have made me into who I am today to encourage and inspire others. Many times I share how those very challenges turned into blessings in disguise.

Blessings in Disguise

Throughout my life I have always gotten the impression that being an “open book” was not a good quality. However, I don’t seem to have the skill set to do life any other way. I’ve never understood why we wouldn’t all be an open book. Why wouldn’t we want to share our burdens, hardships and victories with one another to encourage, support and educate each other? Why wouldn’t we want to just be honest with ourselves and others?

I have found that by being completely open about who I am, why I am who I am – in addition to my own personal challenges and victories – that I have been able to help and encourage others. It has allowed others to feel safe enough to lower their guards and just speak their own truth without hesitation. I sincerely believe that is one of the main purposes of Modern Day Noah – to share my journey in a completely honest and vulnerable way including my own imperfections and insecurities, but with the ever resounding “they’re not going to knock me off course” attitude so that others are encouraged to go after their dreams with that same resolve.

You Make The Choice

Do you realize that there is not one among us that is perfect? Do you realize that we’ve all had our fair share of heartache, pain and hardships? Do you realize that each and every one of us is “jacked-up” as a result of those things? Admit it. I’m jacked up, you’re jacked up. But the reality is that if we are open enough to look closely at the situation, we can find the blessings from the pain we’ve experienced and use it for good.

As I mentioned in another post, I was sexually abused several times by several different men. Would I like to have that horrible, horrible experience again? Heck no! Did I see it as a blessing when it happened? Heck no! But when I look closely at it, I’m able to be thankful (well if I’m being 100% honest, I’m only a little thankful) that it happened because it has helped to shape me into the person I am today. Because of those experiences, I truly understand pain. It has given me a compassionate heart that wants to help and encourage the hurting. I understand how it feels to have your own feelings and needs ignored – trampled on. I understand the impact that pain is having on them. I understand what they need to feel built back up again. I am able to use my own painful experiences to help others change the direction their life is heading in a positive way. For that, I am thankful.

No Need to Fear

Back in April, I blogged about my nest egg shrinking and shared that my natural inclination was to worry about that. I talked about how in those moments of fear, I have to remind myself that I should not worry about such things. He’s in control. Since I know with 100% certainty that I followed His direction for my life when I left my financial security behind, I just have to trust that everything will be OK. I also talked about the way that I combated my insecurities about my nest egg shrinking was to tithe 10% of my monthly income.

I ended the post by saying that I know that when you tithe faithfully, it all works out somehow. And I promised that I’d be blogging in the very near future about the way(s) in which He would blow my mind to provide me with very clear proof that tithing during times of fear was the right decision. I said that He would do that strictly so I would be encouraged, and so that I could share the story with you. I ended the blog post simply by saying “trust in Him” and honestly that is the bottom line in anything you’re dealing with.

So here’s the icing on the cake or the proof in the pudding as they say. It’s been almost exactly 2 months since that post and as I suspected when I originally wrote it, there have been so many “God Taps” to indicate He is in control and I have nothing to fear. Here are just a few of them:

The proof is in the pudding

#1: My organizing business, Simplified Living Solutions has been so busy since then that I have not even had any “free time” to blog on Modern Day Noah. From April 6th (when I tithed) to June 6th, Simplified Living Solutions sales represented 121 times more than what I tithed that one time. Yes, you’re reading that right – one hundred and twenty one times more! 

#2: Although there are very few people that even know about this blog, I received a call from a friend within 10 minutes of the post going live who said at the very moment she received the post, she was reading a book that said the very same thing – how important it is to contribute 10% of your income.

#3: Someone whom I had only met once before said that the post inspired her to help sponsor a local Christian radio station that is only on the air thanks to the generosity of their faithful monthly supporters.

#4: I wrote my first book over 2 years ago and it’s been lying on my desk ever since because I have felt stuck about what to do next. I’ve never written a book before, I’ve battled with my own insecurities about it. Is it good enough? Am I explaining things properly? Is it in the right order? And the list goes on and on. One morning when I woke up, I immediately got down on my knees and asked God to give me direction and the words I needed to tell the Modern Day Noah story the way He wanted it told. Without even connecting this prayer originally, I received an email the next day from my new friend, author and speaker Connie Cavanaugh. (How we came to know each other is a God story in itself. You can read more about that here.) She wanted to let me know that she was willing to read through my book and give me feedback and direction that would move me closer to finalizing the book so that I can get to work on the Modern Day Noah book! I never even asked her to do that! She said that she felt God’s prompting to help me and pay it forward like others had done for her when she was writing her first book! Tell me that wasn’t God’s hand in this situation!

The moral of this story is to always battle fear and insecurities with faith in action.