The backstory to this picture; It was the summer of 2022. I was asked if I would like to speak at this stage, which was a huge honor. Of course, I said “YES” without hesitation. I had been public speaking for over two decades at that point; however, I knew this time would be monumental for me because I knew it was time to share the biggest SECRET I had been carrying my whole life. Only my family knew my secret. Let me give you some of my history.
I married young, and if I am being honest, I have never dated or had any boyfriend other than my husband. ”Gasp, I know ” (or at least that is most people’s reaction when I share that.) You see, I became a wife and a mother at the age of 15. While other girls my age were preparing for H.S. and all that brings, I was preparing for a baby. A BABY. Looking back now, all these years later, I can see God’s hand so tightly guiding me every step of the way. Isaiah 43:19 states God will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. And that is what he has done all my life. Now you probably think that was the big SECRET. No, it’s not because that is much easier to say than what I am about to share with you.
So, here it is, I did not graduate from H.S. Even writing that still feels very raw and vulnerable. The best way I know how to describe that kind of vulnerability is like being naked in front of a crowd. It’s that HEAVY. I asked God” WHY” I had to share that part of my story. He said, “ because you can not share the sweet without the bitter.” When I turned 48, I felt nudged in my spirit to get my real estate license.
My husband and I are real estate investors, so it made perfect sense to learn all I could about the market “right.” HaHa God has a sense of humor. Here is why. As I was filling out the application, it asked, you guessed it, what year did you graduate!!!! Are you serious? God knew I would not LIE. I love that he knows me so well. So, imagine what I did. I went back to school. Yes, at 48. Some of my family asked, “why would you do that? You are already successful; if anything, you are an example of a “self-made millionaire.” But, I knew it would release me from the SHAME I had carried all those years, which would no longer be able to hold me captive.
So, what should have taken me 18-24 months to complete took me two months. It was 24/7 studying and pausing everything in my life, literally. I cried, fasted, prayed, and prayed some more. But, finally, that last brick was removed from my chest, and now I own my STORY, my TRUTH, which is my superpower.
Thank you, God, for complete FREEDOM.
Reader, can I encourage you never to stop dreaming. Never settle for anything less than God’s fullness over your life. It is a life that can not be measured.