We left off with… I overcame the odds and landed in a stronger place with a solid foundation. See previous post here: Be You – Part 1 of 2
As I said last time, overcoming odds was awesome but only the beginning. I found myself in a professional career, surrounded by people with very different backgrounds than me. Interestingly enough, trying to fit into this world of successful people brought entirely new challenges of trying to look like, act like, be like them. I don’t share the picture perfect past of growing up ‘normal’ and following a prescribed formula of going to college, meeting and marrying your spouse, starting a family. No, my experience was a little different and seemingly not fit for casual conversation. My path included divorce, single motherhood and government assistance before I reached the college finish line. A broken tale of struggle and hard knocks makes a lot of people a little uncomfortable. They don’t know how to respond and that’s ok. I’m ok with it. But it is my story and I want to tell it in the hopes someone else, especially young, single moms or other women ‘with a past’, might take comfort and courage from it. Just like high school all over again, you can lose yourself trying to fit in if you’re not careful. Most of the time I feel out of place, torn between ‘I wish my history wasn’t so messed up’ and ‘Thank You, Lord, I know I can fight and survive when I have to.’
If I could share one piece of wisdom it would be to stop comparing with anyone except the person you were yesterday! Don’t give comparison any input or influence over your dreams and ambitions. And don’t even start with the shoulda-coulda-woulda’s.
Truly I am thankful for the scars and wisdom gained. I don’t wish my experiences on anyone but they did make me who I am. But I do believe they put me where I am and equipped me for my life’s work. I am past wishing anything was different and noticing more and more to be grateful for. How we respond to circumstances and experiences is our choice. We get to choose whether we have a victim or overcomer mindset. It’s not easy to reject victimhood and it won’t make the pain disappear but you can regain control of your future and stop the cycle of defeat. The key is making the daily choice to be an overcomer. If you forget or fall down, tomorrow is a new day and another chance to start. So be strong and courageous! The LORD your God, goes ahead of you and will not leave you or forsake you.
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