Comparison is the stealer of Joy

I have often blamed my anxiety on one source, but after diving into this discovery journey I have realized that was only the beginning, something used to plant the seed of self doubt, and to the notion that I was not enough and I would never be.  I remember so specifically one of my friends at the time saying to me- “no one will ever want you- you are tainted.”  I was 16.  The more the seed was sown the more the harvest reaped was one of pain and suffering.  I tried to turn to God but I didn’t know how, then things seemed to look up, I was elected to State office, and I saw a chance for a new start!  I went to college and Satan used what could have been the most beautiful journey to tear me down.  I was told by my most high at that time, I was not the one who should have held that office, I was not the chosen one and the seed began to sprout, I was in constant comparison of my team and I never measured up- as if Satan continued to say- see you weren’t good enough- I told you that this was to much for you.  This year was one of my greatest struggles , and happening at a time that I was forced to cover them, that I had to look like someone who had it all together, and I spoke to thousands of high schoolers about how to be successful and I was completely lost.    We neared the end of this year and everyone aspired for another but me, they all ran for president and I was content to hang up my jacket because this was not a beautiful journey for me.  I moved on and continued be lost and wondering.  I went through so many majors looking for something that fit, some purpose in life, always adopting what someone thought I would be good at it, but I wasn’t .  Louder than ever I heard YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH. Your life is not percieved as what we consider noble and acceptable because I wasn’t on the inside I felt lost and dirty and my whole world screamed at me.  I picked up and moved and decided to go to hair school.  Hair school did not save me, life only got more difficult my anxiety grew, and the spiral continued, choices lead me farther and farther away all while trying to be something I wasn’t.. whole.  God was working though,  he was using my circumstance to introduce people into my life that would stay a lifetime.  I ended up working at Express in the mall and he brought me Hollie, Chase, and Rick to change my life and open my heart.  Let’s start with Chase, he introduced an aspect of truth I didn’t expect- he let me into the broken parts of his life and I let him into mine.  There is one night in particular that comes to mind, I had been dating a guy I thought was pretty great, and Chase called and said you need to stop seeing him, he has a girlfriend I was devastated. YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.  I called him I confronted him with rage and two nights later someone tried to get into my apartment, the chain was on the door I knew better than to open it but trusting as I may be I had a disabled down stairs neighbor and concern out weighed the pounding on the door- the door hit me square in the face. I slammed it closed and called Chase without ever knowing who it was, he calmed me down over the phone but I was very alone.  Then there was Hollie and Amanda who lifted me high and told me I was enough- I was beautiful and special but God wasn’t done.  I had been taught my whole life condemnation- it was a part of religion you condemn the sinners, Rick changed that for me.  The over night hours showed me a man who had grown up gay in Idabel Ok, he cried for a choice he said was not his, and I believed him, and God began to plant in my heart I have called you to love- to love whole heartedly, comparison is your enemy.  Then God brought back someone had always been close to me to journey me farther, Clay, he had traveled this whole time with me I had spent countless nights on the phone to him in my deepest struggles and at this time a new leaf began to unfold.  On the day before his birthday we talked and I discovered he was going to be alone on his birthday- I decided to be there for him and showed up for him for the first time… how he hadn’t lost faith in me by that time I have no idea I had agreed to a million things with him before and let him down but on that day I showed up. Thank you God.  And with him God showed me unending love, my anxiety was not over but I now had someone who loved me exactly where I was knowing everything I had journeyed through.  Our road would not be without trial but we continued to journey together, life had brought me an ally, we learned honesty the hard way, we spilled many tears together and at one time Satan tore us apart, my anxiety sky rocketed.  YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH. I went into counseling, I checked out of life, I could not go to the grocery store because the idea of having to be in contact with people, it was a pain more than I could bare.  And I found another like soul, Mashunkashey and she taught me to run, and for once I put on tennis shoes and ran, I began to find accomplishment and self worth in my ability and decided to go back to OKC, my salon family packed me up and wrapped me up and brought me home.  I began to feel brave again,  the journey was far from over, but I was moving forward, this might have been the first time I listened to God.  I was there less than a year, and Clay begin to be presented to me over and over, we learned each others love languages and we decided to start our journey anew on a clean slab, in April of that year after being in OKC less than a year I received a phone call to take over a salon in Durant , I decided in days, God opened all the doors and the plan unfolded seamlessly, I felt him saying this is your door all you have to do is walk through it, so I did, I packed and moved into a house next to my parents in a place I never thought I’d be.  Growing my salon was hard, and Clay and I would continue to be presented with obstacles but God said stay and he bound us together so tightly we would never imagine it would.  We married, my salon grew, and things seemed to be perfect, we prayed for a child – which was an improbability with me – they had told me at a young age if I didn’t have children by 25 my odds were slim, I had been diagnosed with endimitriosis at an early age.  I was 28.  God answered I took 4 test and all were positive- we spent weeks dreaming of what our little tulip would be, and in July we went to the doctor to find out there were 2, which made me high risk, enter new anxiety.  God began to stir me that it was time to change my career, and just like he had brought me Kara he opened the doors for us to change the ownership of the salon, I made no profit on this I lost lots but I knew it was the right change but I shed a million tears because I felt I was losing my identity and I had no idea what that would mean.  I stopped working at 27.5 weeks, I enjoyed a few days of retirement and went into labor- YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH- you can not carry these babies to term – your fault Satan said.  They put me on a helicopter on that December night and I watched my husband fade into the distance and God prepared Hollie, Amanda, Clay and my family and Clay’s to rally around me, he brought a church family to pray for me that barely knew me because my FFA friend had pestered me relentlessly to come with her just a few times before this event.  My babies were born a month later, a month of prayer and millions of tears and laughter but God brought Clay and I to our knees together and nothing else became as important as our reverent prayers for our babies.  We spent 11 days in the NICU and came home, but we had to remain isolated during flu season and the sleeplessness and doubts crept in…God said lean in and he would provide.  I could not breast feed, they would not latch, I could not pump enough to feed them and again YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.  I felt like they screamed at me constantly , bed time was a nightmare and Clay was working an exhausting shift at the ER, we were depleted.  God began to stir us to go to church, this was hard.  I had never gotten children and myself ready and I had no clothes that fit, we got ready so many times and never made it out the door YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH.  I had nothing that I felt good in I watched all these girls bounce back and I did not but I had the most amazing support system to lift me up and show me it was a season and God would provide.  In April we made it to church for the first time even through the tears, it became priority, on several occasions I went alone while Clay worked carrying to carseats down the stairs of my old high school, in September God opened another door- in our exhaustion and what felt like drowning a new job opportunity arrived and we felt God saying I am opening the door- all you have to do is walk through, and we did.  We began to look for our first home in Tishomingo,  daily life still proved to be trying for me and my prayer for purpose and direction, patience and sleep continued, I felt like I had no idea what my purpose was and I began this blog, a journey to discovering my purpose with my kids.  God continued to challenge me, the noise of twin toddlers was sometimes more than I could handle, God was teaching me patience, everyday was not great and so many times Satan said you are terrible at this, YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH, YOU DO NOT HAVE THE PATIENCE, YOU CAN NOT DO THIS, YOU ARE SCARRING THESE KIDS. God spoke through my husband who continued to point me that I was enough, I was beautiful and I was so incredibly loved.  God was still growing me, and through this I was offered a job with the church over the nursery and Prek and God began to teach me what it meant to minister to kids… for two years he began to show me I was enough…. I could speak on stage… and make a difference.  Along with this he blessed us with our number 3 and began to sew a new journey into our lives,  The stress of Clays job was a big source for Satan in our lives and we prayed for direction and just kept feeling like it was not coming and just days after our little nugget was born God opened a door for Clay and we began a new journey as a family of 5 with the Chickasaw nation.  God had blessed us with great neighbors and along this journey we began to see how important it was to have friends who had priorities like ours, raising their kids in Christ and then to pour into our friendships the love that Christ poured on us.  There were heart aches and loss for our friends and we did the only thing we knew to do but have open lines and shelter for them,  God began to show me that maybe this was my place, to be the person for my friends that always said yes when help was needed,  Tiffany began to pour out to me that she felt like the daycare was killing her ability to a good mom and she didn’t know what to do and God said, keep her babies- so I said go back to work, who better to have Indy all day than me, then we found Holten was coming and again I said let me keep the babes you take the big kids, and I felt reassurance that this was my purpose, so I pass the torch at church and God gave me reassurance on my last baby dedication that I had the ability to speak and I did not need to be on stage to make a difference.  God continues to grow me and challenge me, I still get anxiety but Clay is always by my side, Satan still tells me on the daily I am not enough, I am not skinny enough, young enough, fast enough, but God uses my family to tell me I am wonderfully and beautifully made, I know my battle will never end but this journey is showing me more of the beginning-it was more than my high school boyfriend he was just the catalyst used to create self doubt, fear and insecurity, to kill my trust for people and to drive me from God.  I want to be open about my journey I never want anyone to feel alone, like their pain is unheard, or that it isn’t bad enough to warrant attention, or that God is punishing them for their sins….when you are a child of God punishment is not in his plan- Grace, love and forgiveness. Insecurity, self doubt, self loathing, fear, worry, these are not of God and so my story continues

you are mine

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