In my last blog, I mentioned the last conversation I had with my little brother before his health declined rapidly, which led to his departure home. I will see him again someday and I cannot wait! I briefly talked about how much he encouraged me and gave me strength. I also mentioned how I remember every word he said and how I promised him I would live by his loving words of being the fearless woman God created me to be. I wanted to share in more detail a small part we talked about. I hope in sharing I can encourage someone else that might be feeling the same way.
Seeking God through the darkest time I’ve lived through when Bobby was terminally ill, I found God in a much deeper way. It is amazing how when we draw closer to Him, His plans are revealed. Many times we don’t even realize these plans are even there. And if you are like me, you remember that plan was always there but had gotten so distracted and completely forgotten about it.
I was praying one morning and reading my Bible when I felt this overwhelming peace. But this peace was different. It was a peace that made me feel so safe. The reason it made me feel so safe is because it was so powerful! So, so, so powerful! I will try my best to explain what I mean. Knowing something so powerful was so close to me made me feel safe. Safe because my spirit knew that He was for me. He was loving me. He was fighting for me and always would. I felt safe in His power.
Later that day I started thinking about school. Why?? I have absolutely no idea! I had plenty to keep me occupied. Yet school was all of a sudden at the top of my brain. As I sat there thinking about school and really trying to figure out what this thought was all about, I got so emotional and started crying. All by myself, sitting in my backyard while my baby girl played on the slide. It was in that moment that part of this “plan” suddenly became clear. You see, I never had a chance to go to College. But I never really thought much about it. When I was younger, straight out of High School, I was a timid girl. In many ways, I seemed very strong. I had a job, paid rent, bills and saved money for a used car. I was what anyone would call independent. But the truth is, I did all that because I had to. Deep inside I was always afraid. I remember wanting to go to college but I didn’t even know where to begin. I didn’t realize what a big role fear played until that day I was sitting in my backyard. I always thought that I didn’t go because I just didn’t have the opportunity. But the whole process scared me. I felt intimidated. I read a book recently that talked about how the way we perceive ourselves determines the size of our dreams and goals. Boom! That spoke volumes to me. It’s true! Why hadn’t I gone back to school? I wasn’t that seventeen year old anymore. I have grown into a woman that understands God’s love and power. At this point, having 4 kids under the age of 10, it seems crazy I know, but then I remembered that overwhelmingly peaceful power that cradled me that morning. A power so big that everything seemed small in comparison. As I sat there and really allowed myself to think this through. I decided right then and there that I would go back. It didn’t matter if I had four kids, I knew I could do it. I called my husband and told him all about it. I told him how I had started crying and how I didn’t realize how important this dream was for me. I knew there was a reason why all this happened that morning. Over the next few days, I went online and started looking into reputable colleges that offered degrees over the internet. I spoke to a few universities and finally decided on Southern New Hampshire University. Their acceptance rate isn’t high so I knew that it would have to be my God opening the doors for me. I applied to federal pell grants and prayed. I knew that if it was from God, everything would fall into place. Well, a few weeks later I was awarded the maximum pell grant and was accepted into the university I had prayed for. Praise Jesus! I remember around the date I was accepted I talked to Bobby. I had not told anyone other than my husband and sister Jessica. During that conversation with Bobby, I told him about it. He was so happy! He told me that he was so proud of me and that he was so excited for me. I remember telling him I was scared. Scared of starting something and not being able to finish it. That is literally my worst nightmare! I hate when I am not able to finish something I started. I was scared of the unknown. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be smart enough, after all, it has been seventeen years since I graduated High School! Yes, you read right, seventeen! What if I couldn’t retain information? I mean let’s be real here, sometimes a simple quote seems too complex to understand, I have mommy brain twenty-four seven! All I do and think about is my four kids and everything they need. It’s a lot! But I will never forget what Bobby told me. He told me that fear was not from God. And that my fear was just the enemy keeping me from fulfilling my destiny as God created me to be a fearless woman. I cry every time I remember this. He told me that every time I felt fear, to tell that little sucker to kick rocks! Ha! I was laughing so hard! But he was so right! He also told me how if he had more time, he would do all the things he ever wanted to do. “Live every day to your full potential,” he said. Wow! That is all I needed to hear! Why do we live like tomorrow is promised? I told him I wasn’t sure if I should commit right now since he was having health problems. But if you knew Bobby, you know he wasn’t one to ask you to put your life on hold for him. He didn’t need that, he was so selfless. He told me to go ahead and do it! He kept saying, “Heck yeah dude!” He was so happy. That day I promised Bobby I would go ahead and enroll.
I was supposed to start my first term March 13th. But Bobby got real sick and my grandma was diagnosed with terminal stomach cancer just weeks before. I flew to spend time with both of them. Then my grandma passed away so I went to El Salvador for her funeral and burial. The day after I got back from El Salvador, my baby boy went home to be with our Heavenly Father. Needless to say, I put school on hold. I was a mess.
Fast forward a few months later and I remembered the promise I made to my baby. I called my academic advisor and told her I was ready. Again, I was worried and scared. This time, however, I told that little sucker to kick rocks! ;) I started my first term May 8th. The boys got out of school for summer break a few weeks later, it seemed like the worst time to start college. But I wasn’t going to let that stop me. I know that there will never be a perfect time to start. It has been tricky trying to adjust. However, my amazing husband has been so supportive and encouraging. I cannot thank Derick enough for loving me so selflessly and encouraging me to go after my dreams. I love you hon! I am getting ready to finish my first term with a 98% and I am so proud of myself. I did it! I have another four years to go, give or take, but I am excited! I am pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, something I have always enjoyed. But more importantly, I know God has a plan and I am excited to walk fearlessly and be the woman He created me to be.
If you are anything like me or have identified in one way or another, I just want to tell you to go for it! Whatever your dream is! Whether it be school, applying for that dream job, making healthy lifestyle changes like weight loss or working out. Or perhaps it’s traveling or starting that business you’ve always dreamed of? Whatever it may be, don’t let fear of failure stop you! Take one step at a time. Just put one foot in front of the other and teach your mind to obey God’s commands.
You were not created with a spirit of fear. Now, this might be new to you but start calling out the warrior in you! The fighter! God gave you a spirit of power!! You are powerful! The devil doesn’t want you to know this about yourself, but guess what? I’m here to tell you that you are powerful! You were created with a purpose. A destiny bigger than you can fathom! You have a calling, start living your destiny without fear! You were created to have a spirit of love. Love yourself enough to know that you are more than capable of achieving the dreams God has placed in you. Remember the way you see yourself, your self-esteem, will determine your dreams. Even if you do not feel that way, start verbally calling out the conqueror in you! And lastly, a spirit of self-control. Control your negative thoughts and embrace the positive changes that God is revealing to you about yourself. If there is one thing I hope you take away from me being this vulnerable and sharing my heart, is that any dream you have ever had is not your dream. Know and believe that those dreams have been placed there by God. It is your destiny! He will equip you, you just have to have the courage to put it in motion. The next time fear tries to discourage you, tell him, in Bobby’s famous words, to kick rocks! ;)