Today, I turn thirty one. THIRTY ONE. That sounds like a pretty big number. I thought I’d have everything figured out by now, but thirty one came quicker than I thought. I thought we would have a home of our own, I thought we would have traveled the world together, I thought I would have babies to mother…but I don’t yet and that’s okay. I have something better-a glimpse of myself the way that God sees me. I’ve gone my whole life thinking I was never good enough, that I was never pretty enough, that I was never smart enough. I filled my mind with the lies that the world was telling me and I believed every single one of them. Do you ever feel that way? I think more people struggle with this than we might think. I still face battles, I’m still a work in progress, I'm still a sinner, but I’m growing and changing day by day and I’m so thankful for that. I used to be brash and judgmental and angry, but over the last two years God has been working on my heart and showing me how he sees me. He’s breaking down my hardness, showing me how to love myself, encouraging me how to use my talents to love on others and that’s the best gift I’ve ever received.
Last year on my birthday, I told myself that 30 would be the best year of my life…then we dealt with months of trials an tribulations and disappointments and struggles. Some of the hardest situations that I’ve dealt with in my life have come in the last year. It wasn’t anything that was going to kill me and certainly other people have dealt with much worse, but my faith was tested, my courage was strengthened and our marriage was changed. Through these struggles came the greatest revelations I’ve ever had in my life. Through questioning my faith, God has shown me unadulterated love. Through these tests of courage, I’ve learned to love and view myself the way that Christ views me. Through these trials, God has shown me how to love my husband more deeply and show grace to everyone I meet. He’s shown me that love, above all things is the most valuable gift that I can ever give anyone. I was not called to judge or condemn or belittle, but to forgive and love unconditionally. Be encouraged, because through hardships, we are made better.
I’ve dealt with a crippling fear and self doubt my entire life and God has used our business to show me, not only the beauty in the world around me and every person I meet, but he’s shown me the beauty that’s tucked inside of me. The last year he's taught me to accept grace and he's taught me give it away too. He’s shown me that I am talented and smart and that I am beautiful in his eyes. So here is what I am here to tell you today...don’t believe the lies that the world tells you. You are talented and smart and beautiful too. Don't be too stubborn to change for the better. Accept grace and give it away too. Though we all have different paths in life one thing will always remain true…God loves you more than you will ever know and he has a plan for your life.
Thank you for the part that you have played in my life, thank you for your encouragement, thank you for your love and thank you for believing in me friends.