Overcoming! Part 4

 

This is the last of a four part blog series, inspired by the girls who have called Courage House home – a home for victims of sex trafficking – and all the courageous overcomers who fight for their healing. Author Jenny Williamson, who is a huge football fan, uses Tom Brady’s historic comeback win in this year’s Super Bowl to encourage us all, in not only dreaming big dreams, but in courageously pursing them when obstacles are thrown our way. Jenny is Founder/CEO of Courage Worldwide, an organization that builds restoration homes for victims of sex trafficking.

Overcome.

To gain the victory; to win; conquer: to prevail over; to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; to defeat.

That one little word, whispered to my spirit during intense times of prayer, hours of soul-searching, and while watching this year’s Super Bowl, held more promise for me personally and for our organization, Courage Worldwide, than any word I have received in the 17 years I have been doing this. If you are also facing difficult circumstances, embarrassing situations, a recent failure, or if you are just plain tired of fighting the good fight because you have not seen the results you have hoped for, this blog is for you.

6. Play for Something Bigger Than Yourself.

Tom Brady plays for his team, his fans and the Patriot organization, but on that Super Bowl Sunday he played for his mom. His Mom and Dad had missed all the games this past season because she had been battling cancer. Her doctors only approved her attending the Super Bowl days before kickoff. I am sure as Tom Brady searched for his mom in the stands, his suspension and allegations of cheating paled in comparison to his mom’s diagnosis, chemo-therapy, and radiation treatments. Focusing on her battle allowed him to put his situation into proper perspective.

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As I began to reflect on the word—my word, Overcome—my focus and perspective began to change. I changed my focus from my disappointments and pain to my adopted daughters, the girls who have called Courage House home here in the U.S. and the ones currently at home in Courage House Tanzania. I thought of the over seventy-five courageous young women and girls who had been held captive in sexual slavery where bondage, torture, and rape were their consistent, daily experiences and circumstances. (Please don’t think I am exaggerating what they have gone through. The words we now commonly use to describe their trauma – human trafficking – glosses over the reality of the brutality they encountered physically, emotionally, and spiritually.) When I remember what they have had to overcome and still have to overcome in order to obtain healing and begin a new life, my difficult circumstances and despair melt into oblivion and my resolve to continue is re-engaged. They are courageous overcomers.

As I continued to think about this word and its implications in my life, I remembered the over 375 phone calls we have received from social workers, probation officers, and parents who are desperately looking for a place or a person to help begin the restoration process for a young victim. Their despair and discouragement was much more than anything I had experienced. They were left feeling daunted and hopeless when they realized they had little to no placement options due to the severe shortage of homes and services here in the U.S., and around the world, for those who have had a history of being sold as a commodity. My passion to do something about that fact was re-ignited.

As I thought about the hundreds of thousands of children here in the U.S. and the millions around the world who suffer hideous abuse and torture to their bodies and psyche, who believe no one cares, that she has no value, no future, and that overcoming her present situation is impossible, my challenging year and circumstances are not even worth mentioning.

Quitting seemed much less attractive when I remembered all of this, as well as our tireless volunteers, ambassadors, donors, and supporters who continue to fight beside us and who encourage us to keep waging war against this evil.

Abandoning this calling and these children was completely taken off the table once and for all after I received a letter from a man who is a “lifer” in prison. He wrote to me saying that when he heard of the child sex trade he was appalled and he wanted to let me know that he started a “NOT IN MY PRISON: NOT IN MY LIFE” campaign in his prison to raise awareness and money for our organization, as well as to train “those lucky enough to parole; teaching them how big and evil human trafficking is and that no one should ever sell another human being.” He shared that he had entered prison for the first time as a juvenile when he was a foster youth. I learned he has never received a letter or a visitor during the entire time he has been incarcerated. However, he made no excuses for his life or his choices; he wrote simply to tell me he wanted to do something for these children. He wanted to rid the world of this evil and help these young ones overcome their circumstances. He wanted to teach young men who were incarcerated in prison that it was wrong to sell a child for sex. My resolve to overcome hardened as I read his vow to do everything possible for these children while locked behind bars for the rest of his life. My circumstances and obstacles could not compare to his.

Being a part of something bigger than yourself is a much needed requirement in overcoming setbacks, failures, and obstacles. Quitting isn’t an option when you are playing for others. The collective good, energy and joint commitment to a common goal propels you through your personal hurdles and hiccups in life.

7. Pick a word. Ask for divine inspiration. It may just change your perspective and maybe even your life. Mine did – especially this year. Overcome. To gain the victory; to win; conquer: to prevail over; to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; to defeat. Here’s to all the overcomers!

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Follow us on Facebook Page and/or Twitter page for a month of encouragement in overcoming the obstacles to your dreams.

Make a $50 donation this month to Courage Worldwide using this link and receive a free autographed copy of Jenny’s book Do You Have the Courage to Be You, an inspirational read about finding your unique purpose and destiny.

Announcement: Jenny’s newest book, a workbook and study called Uniquely You, published by PTLB, will be available online in June 2017.

Overcoming! Part 3

 

This is the third of a four part blog series, inspired by the girls who have called Courage House home – a home for victims of sex trafficking – and all the courageous overcomers who fight for their healing. Author Jenny Williamson, who is a huge football fan, uses Tom Brady’s historic comeback win in this year’s Super Bowl to encourage us all, in not only dreaming big dreams, but in courageously pursing them when obstacles are thrown our way. Jenny is Founder/CEO of Courage Worldwide, an organization that builds restoration homes for victims of sex trafficking.

Overcome.

To gain the victory; to win; conquer: to prevail over; to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; to defeat.

That one little word whispered to my spirit during intense times of prayer, hours of soul-searching, and while watching this year’s Super Bowl held more promise for me personally and for our organization, Courage Worldwide, than any word I have received in the 17 years I have been doing this. If you are also facing difficult circumstances, embarrassing situations, a recent failure, or if you are just plain tired of fighting the good fight because you have not seen the results you have hoped for, this blog is for you.

4. Pursue Big Impossible Dreams.

It’s only impossible until someone has the audacity to do it; ask Tom Brady. He has the most Super Bowl rings of any NFL quarterback – 5 and he is tied with Charles Haley for most of any player! No one had ever won a Super Bowl in overtime until Tom Brady did. No one had ever come back from a 25 point deficit until Tom Brady and the Patriots did this year. He had the most passing yards in Super Bowl history (466 ) and broke Jim Kelley’s record of 58 completed passes. Who dreams of a 5th Super Bowl win, when you were benched the first four games, and becoming the MVP – for the fourth time? Tom Brady did. He had the audacity – not just to dream – but pursue a dream,  in spite of the obstacles that many would call impossible.

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I have always been accused of dreaming crazy, big dreams or wanting to change the world. When I was young that embarrassed me and I hid from its implications. Now as an adult, over halfway through the time line of my life, I realize that is what I was made for – it is what YOU were made for. Each of us is created on purpose, for a purpose, and that unique purpose is designed to change our world!

For those of us who profess a faith in God, impossible is not in our vocabulary! We often need to be reminded that we serve the God of the impossible.

Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20

What would we attempt if we really believed this? That is worth pondering in prayer.

Grab a piece of paper or your journal. What big, audacious, impossible dreams are you pursuing? What steps are you taking today to make them a reality? What obstacles are standing in your way? Maybe you have a dream of going back to school and your obstacles are time and money. What will you have to do to overcome them? Maybe your dream is changing careers; what do you need to do? What obstacles do you have to overcome? As you dream on paper don’t let the obstacles discourage you from taking a tangible step towards them. This process requires discipline, sacrifice, passion and mental toughness to overcome all obstacles between you and your dream. But your dream; your destiny is worth it! The obstacles we overcome make the victory sweeter.

It is not enough to dream or imagine a goal; you must take steps to pursue it and courageously overcome each obstacle in your way. Combine your faith with the God of the impossible and you will overcome any mountain in your way!

5. Prepare & Practice — even when you’re benched. When I was going through my difficult season this past year, I felt like I was benched from the game. I was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted. There was a huge temptation to quit before I worked through the three steps above. However, as I made the choices outlined above, my energy returned and my faith increased. I decided to use this time – this lull – to get better, to learn from the situation, and to focus on the things in my life I had control over and leave the rest in God’s hands.

I’m not sure Tom Brady gave his situation to God, but I do know he practiced as if he was playing on Sunday instead of riding the bench. He did the same daily three-hour workout, he ate the same healthy foods, and he threw the football over and over again as if he was in a game. He prepared to win. I went back to the gym (which I had stopped doing because I was so busy). I attended conferences and trainings that would make be better at my job. I focused on my family, and I prepared for the day when I would get back in the game – when we would have girls back at Courage House Nor Cal. This preparation was key in moving me forward and kept me from dwelling on the difficult and unfair.

Part 4 of this blog series will be sent on Thursday, March 23th.

Follow us on Courage Worldwide’s Facebook Page and/or Twitter page for a month of encouragement in overcoming the obstacles to your dreams.

Make a $50 donation this month to Courage Worldwide using this link and receive a free autographed copy of Jenny’s book Do You Have the Courage to Be You, an inspirational read about finding your unique purpose and destiny.

Announcement: Jenny’s newest book, a workbook and study called Uniquely You, published by PTLB, will be available on Amazon in June 2017.

Overcoming! Part 2

 

This is the second in a four part blog series, inspired by the girls who have called Courage House home – a home for victims of sex trafficking – and all the courageous overcomers who fight for their healing. Author Jenny Williamson, who is a huge football fan, uses Tom Brady’s historic comeback win in this year’s Super Bowl to encourage us all in not only dreaming big dreams but in courageously pursing them when obstacles are thrown our way. Jenny is Founder/CEO of Courage Worldwide, an organization that builds restoration homes for victims of sex trafficking.

Overcome.

To gain the victory; to win; conquer: to prevail over; to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; to defeat.

That one little word whispered to my spirit during intense times of prayer, hours of soul-searching, and while watching this year’s Super Bowl held more promise for me personally and for our organization, Courage Worldwide, than any word I have received in the 17 years I have been doing this. If you are also facing difficult circumstances, embarrassing situations, a recent failure, or if you are just plain tired of fighting the good fight because you have not seen the results you have hoped for, this blog is for you.

Photo property of: cbssports.com

“To win the Super Bowl, nothing is negative about this,” Brady said. “I just want the focus to be on positivity and that’s just kind of how I am and how I’ll always be.” —Tom Brady

1. Stop Feeling Sorry for Yourself. (That was supposed to feel like a bucket of cold water thrown in your face or a swift kick in the butt.) I certainly needed to hear those words when I was struggling through my own difficult circumstances. In order to overcome the obstacles in life that will be thrown our way, we must stop feeling sorry for ourselves when they come.

Tom Brady, the New England Patriots quarterback, was publically accused of cheating – something he said he didn’t do. He fought it in court and lost. When the decision went against him, he didn’t spend energy on blaming others or feeling sorry for himself. Whatever internal battle he was going through, he did not let it propel him into quitting. In fact, it seemed this obstacle caused him to re-double his efforts to overcome the failure and proved everyone wrong by winning his fifth Super Bowl!

When we get hurt, disappointed, or face, what we believe, are insurmountable odds, we tend to start navel gazing. Our view and lens goes from outward to inward, thus it becomes incredibly easy to be hyper focused on ourselves – our pain – our circumstances. This is so dangerous. When we feel sorry for ourselves we begin to convince ourselves that we have the right to be bitter, angry, and unforgiving. We begin to feel justified in aligning ourselves with these emotions, wrapping them around us like a comforting old blanket. Stop! They are not going to make you feel better. Quite the opposite, actually. These feelings you may believe you are entitled to are energy robbers and motivation stealers. Left unchecked, they will embezzle your health and hijack your destiny. These feelings are sinister whispers trying to convince you to quit.

2. Think Different Thoughts. You have the internal power and personal choice to take every thought that pops into your head captive, and then decide if you will come in agreement with it. I can’t pretend to know what Tom Brady was thinking when he was accused of cheating or when he was 25 points behind and just minutes away from losing the Super Bowl. But I can tell you what he told his team at halftime. We will win this game. He told the reporters after the game he knew they were going to win. He referred to his team as being “mentally tough.” That is what I mean by taking every thought captive. They focused on the goal of winning, not the scoreboard, and took control of their thoughts and emotions, which in turn produced winning actions. Do you?

When you experience random, negative thoughts birthed when you have been hurt, disappointed, and/or experienced failure, do you change them, or do you come in agreement with them? Enticing thoughts such as, “How dare they do that to me after all I have done for them!” “I deserve better!” “It’s not my fault.” “It is not worth it – I’m quitting,” conspire to enslave us.

If we come in agreement with these negative, self-serving thoughts, we give them power – power to influence our emotions, produce our actions, and control our outcomes. To overcome, we must hijack the destructive, arbitrary thoughts that originate from pain, unfairness, or failure. To overcome, we must not only capture them but kill them off before agreeing with them. It is a discipline. Winners think winning thoughts. Overcomers think overcoming thoughts. When these types of negative thoughts pop into your mind after you have been hurt or are struggling in the middle of difficult, impossible circumstances, you must shift your focus from the difficult to the divine. Ask for a heavenly perspective on your situation. Pray. Focus on your goals and dreams – not the man-made scoreboard. Our thoughts ultimately produce our emotions, which in turn generate our actions; therefore, it is critical we decide which thoughts we are going to align ourselves with if we are to overcome.
“… We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:5)
3. Don’t take it personally. In order to overcome, we must become less offended. Yes – less offended. We also have this power. We need to view every circumstance as a test or an attack, not a personal assault. A test is to win – an attack to overcome – both make you stronger. When you continually experience offense, hurt feelings, and/or blame others for your circumstances, you make them the author of your story – you give them power over your dreams and goals.

Tom Brady wasn’t happy about being accused of cheating and his subsequent suspension for the first four games of the season, but he didn’t waste time and energy blaming NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for handing down that sentence. He remained focused on what was good and positive in his life. He didn’t let the temporary obstacle ruin the entire season or re-write his story. He retained that control. Though the Commissioner had power over this one particular decision, he did not have power over Tom Brady’s life, his thoughts, or his actions.

For those of us who profess a faith in God, we need to take our hurt, pain, and discouragement to Him for perspective and comfort – not other people. Often when we are hurting we seek validation from people we love or whom we know will agree with us. We start forming a team with our names on the back of the jersey, whose sole mission is to agree with us and make us feel better. But often what we really need is that cold bucket of water or the swift kick in the butt telling us to get over it and move on. To overcome we must stop taking “it” personal.

Part 3 of this blog series will be sent on Thursday, March 16th.

Follow us on Courage Worldwide’s Facebook Page and/or Twitter page for a month of encouragement in overcoming the obstacles to your dreams.

Make a $50 donation this month to Courage Worldwide using this link and receive a free autographed copy of Jenny’s book Do You Have the Courage to Be You, an inspirational read about finding your unique purpose and destiny.

Announcement: Jenny’s newest book, a workbook and study called Uniquely You, published by PTLB, will be available on Amazon in June 2017.

Overcoming the Obstacles to Your Dreams! (Part 1)

 

This is a four part blog series, inspired by the girls who have called Courage House home – a home for victims of sex trafficking – and all the courageous overcomers who fight for their healing. Author Jenny Williamson, who is a huge football fan, uses Tom Brady’s historic comeback win in this year’s Super Bowl to encourage us all in not only dreaming big dreams but in courageously pursing them when obstacles are thrown our way. Jenny is Founder/CEO of Courage Worldwide, an organization that builds restoration homes for victims of sex trafficking.

Overcome!
To gain the victory; to win; conquer: to prevail over; to get the better of in a struggle or conflict; to defeat.

That one little word whispered to my spirit during intense times of prayer, hours of soul-searching, and while watching this year’s Super Bowl held more promise for me personally and for our organization, Courage Worldwide, than any word I have received in the 17 years I have been doing this. If you are also facing difficult circumstances, embarrassing situations, a recent failure, or if you are just plain tired of fighting the good fight because you have not seen the results you have hoped for, this blog is for you.

Photo property of: abcnews.go.com

Did you watch Tom Brady and the Patriots overcome a 25 point deficit to win the Super Bowl in a never done before, historic comeback?!?! Even if you don’t love football like I do, most anyone can appreciate the audacious comeback the Patriots orchestrated in the first ever Super Bowl overtime. Watching that game was like watching the word overcome – literally come to life. It may sound strange to you when I say, God used a football game to confirm my word and focus for the year, but that is exactly what happened.

I stink at New Year’s resolutions so much so that I stopped doing them all together in the year 2000. It was the year I was turning 40 and I was tired of proclaiming resolutions that I rarely succeeded in accomplishing. (Losing weight, exercising more, sending out Christmas cards next year, or going back to school were my most common, reoccurring declarations). In the beginning of a new year, I would “feel” motivated to accomplish my goals, then my feelings would wane, and so would my commitment. (Don’t judge me.) Thus, 17 years ago, I resolved to do something different. What I did, changed my life!

I picked a word.

I decided I wanted to have a word—a single word—to encourage me, sustain me, and provide focus for my entire year. The process went like this. In October or November of each year, I would sit down with my journal to reflect upon the ups, downs, challenges, and successes of the current year; I was trying to see threads of lessons I had learned, struggles I had overcome, and failures I experienced, as well as choosing new goals to accomplish. I would read my Bible, inspirational biographies, and books I found encouraging to see if there was a word or theme of words that made my spirit leap, or as some would say – my heart soar. Every single time I did this, there would be a word (or words) that leapt off the page, attached itself to my heart, and became the center of my thoughts. When this happened, I would claim the word as mine for the year.

After several years of doing this, I thought it would be an interesting spiritual exercise to ask God to pick a word for me. I used the exact same process, but included conversations with God asking Him for the year’s unique word and focus. When I included prayer and added a dose of faith, the chosen word(s) became even more powerful and encouraging. Not only did it provide focus for the year but also divine direction in my own purpose and destiny. Through the years my words have included – believe, prayer, fulfillment, foundations, forward movement, restore, abundance, and expand—all words filled with possibility and hope.

I repeated this now familiar process this past November during a very difficult season in my life – one of the most difficult six months I have ever encountered personally and professionally. I experienced humiliation, persecution, false accusations, and betrayal. My personal and professional reputation and motives were criticized, mocked, and maligned publically on the front page of our local newspaper—not once, not twice, but four times! The calling I believe I had received from God to rescue and restore children who have been trafficked for sex was called into question as was my faith and my character. As I approached the end of the year, I was desperate for a new word – for encouragement and divine inspiration, because for the first time since I learned that I lived in a world where children are sold for sex, I considered quitting. I hate admitting that but it’s true. My difficult circumstances conspired and taunted my resolve to continue fighting for these vulnerable children I had vowed to love and call family. After ten years of engaging in this evil war that robs them of their innocence, I wondered if I had the strength to continue. Until… I watched the Super Bowl and my word for the year was confirmed in living color!

Overcome.

That one little word whispered to my spirit during intense times of prayer, hours of soul-searching, and while watching this year’s Super Bowl held more promise for me personally and for our organization, Courage Worldwide, than any word I have received in the 17 years I have been doing this. If you are also facing difficult circumstances, embarrassing situations, a recent failure, or if you are just plain tired of fighting the good fight because you have not seen the results you have hoped for, this blog is for you. During the next several weeks, I will post 8 lessons I have extracted from my personal journal – lessons God has been teaching me about overcoming!

I pray you will be encouraged.

Part 2 of this blog series will be sent on Thursday, March 9th.

Follow us on Courage Worldwide’s Facebook Page and/or Twitter page for a month of encouragement in overcoming the obstacles to your dreams.

Make a $50 donation this month to Courage Worldwide using this link and receive a free autographed copy of Jenny’s book Do You Have the Courage to Be You, an inspirational read about finding your unique purpose and destiny.

Announcement: Jenny’s newest book, a workbook and study called Uniquely You, published by PTLB, will be available online in June 2017.

UNLESS

“Unless someone like you cares a whole
awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” – Dr. Seuss

I loved and love being a wife, and I loved and love being a mom of boys. I would give my life, my time, and my last dime to the men in my life. My longing to matter does not diminish these roles. I believe I am a better wife and mother because of this journey.

unless3Since I said yes to my water walking destiny and opened Courage House, homes for children rescued from sex trafficking, there have been over fifty girls who have called Courage House home and have called me Mom. Each are my daughters. Some are from here in the United States and some are from Tanzania, Africa.

When each arrive at Courage House I tell them that they were created on purpose for a purpose and that before time began God imagined them, planned them, and that He has something for them to do that only they can do and if they don’t do it—it won’t ever be done. I tell them that they are water walkers, giant slayers and history makers. I tell them that I cannot wipe away or even begin to explain the why of their past, I do promise them that we will walk with them into their future. I promise them that we will be there when the nightmares and flashbacks come. We will love them when they don’t love themselves. We call them family. I tell them that they will always have a home and a family. For those who leave … we keep a light on for when they want to come back home.

And for those who are still held captive, I promise you, I will not quit using my voice to shout out loud that it is wrong for children to be sold for sex. I promise you, we will engage a million people, to build a thousand homes in a hundred cities and countries so that hundreds of thousands of you can be rescued and restored — so you can be and do all you were created to.

Spotlight: For more information on the organization Jenny founded, or to be one of the million somebodies that are going to build a 1,000 homes in 100 countries in 10 years so hundreds of thousands of children can be rescued from the evil of sex trafficking, go to courageworldwide.org.

It Matters if You Quit!

You Have A Purpose,
An Important Part To Play On This Planet.

There is something for you to do that only you can do; and if you don’t do it, it will never get done. Your unique contribution matters—and it matters if you quit!

Your destiny may be tied to loving and believing in someone when they can’t love or believe in themselves. It matters if you quit! Your destiny may involve consistent and persistent parenting for a child who struggles to learn. It matters if you quit! Your destiny may require you to build, write, or create something tangible to share with this world. It matters if you quit! Your destiny may be a discovery that literally saves lives or may involve a hug to be given or a note to be written that makes another feel life is worth living. It matters if you quit! Your destiny may be one of persevering in prayer for someone’s safety, salvation or healing. It matters if you quit!

You being you matters. Much is depending upon you having the courage to be you. Quitting is not an option.

“I would literally be dead if you had quit or said no. Thank you for having the courage to be you.”

My adoptive daughters have spoken those words to me on numerous occasions since I met them five years ago; both had pasts that involved extreme sexual abuse and exploitation. Loving them and calling them family was a part of my destiny. It was difficult but quitting was never an option.

When I began my journey of purpose I never imagined or contemplated what would have been at stake had I settled for less than I was created.

Now I do. After hearing my daughter’s story, now I do.

Be Bold

Don’t let other people’s opinions distort your reality.Be true to yourself. Be BOLD in pursuing your dreams. Be unapologetically you!” – Dr. Steven Maraboli

There are children who are living in hell – children who are being sold for sex. These children, my daughters – or so it feels. They are not going to come knocking on our doors for help. Someone is going to have to rescue them. Someone is going to have to fight for them, figuratively and literally. I learned that my destiny would require me to do just that – to be one of those somebodies.

It was going to require me to take bold action. Your destiny is going to require you to do the same.

be-boldFirst you are scared. You take courage because you need it desperately. But then one day you wake up and you aren’t scared anymore. Something has changed. You are fearless. You have become bold and now you are dangerous.

The dictionary says that to be bold is “to trust, to be confident, secure, sure, to be frank in speech, confident in demeanor, outspoken, blunt, assured, to be bold, to be free, open and plain, commanding, break the silence, courageous, daring in all things and in all matters, in speaking and acting.”

I love this. It really is a picture of what it means to be living your destiny.

Boldness comes from following your Creator from the ordinary into the extraordinary, from the impossible to the possible, from the mundane to the miraculous. , You have never felt so alive. You now have something you can live for, but you also have something you would die for.

You are fearless. You are bold. You are a water walker, giant slayer and history maker. Quitting is now never an option.

Where Does Your Story Begin?

I don’t Know Max Personally But I Feel
Like I Do Because I Love Reading His Books.

He is a great storyteller! His book Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot was a tool God used in my search of my purpose and destiny. There is a fabulous assessment in it called S.T.O.R.Y. In it you are asked to write down very specific memories—one from childhood, one from your teen years, and one from your adult memory—memories or moments when you were completely and utterly yourself. Not just happy memories but significant moments when you were simply and completely being you.

Here are the guidelines to follow when thinking about your moment:

• It must be important to you, though it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of it.
• It must be a specific accomplishment to you, but not a milestone, such as a birthday.
• It must be specific in actions. For example, I was good at … or I succeeded at …, not “I loved to play the piano” or “I loved to play softball.”

Mine childhood one immediately came to mind.

dont-be-ashamed-of-your-storyI performed in my first play when I was five years old. I loved every minute of being on stage. I loved everyone watching me. I loved performing for an audience. It didn’t matter if I was a pilgrim or an Indian, a farmer or a cow, a tree or a flower—I played each part as if it were opening night on Broadway!

I would stand in front of a mirror for hours perfecting my performance. Neither mirrors nor a stage frightened me at that age. A few years into my young acting career, the annual productions were not frequent enough to fulfill my need to perform in front of an audience, so I started writing and producing my own plays. Not only did I write the plays and produce them, I had the starring role. I found the costumes for the other actors, who usually included my brother, sister, and all the neighborhood children, I assigned them their parts, I advertised the event, I sold the tickets, and I knocked on doors inviting everyone I knew and anyone I didn’t to come and watch. My favorite part was seeing people come together in one place, at one time for something I had a passion for. Today I am doing the same thing.

This memory was an important clue to me discovering and fulfilling my destiny.

I am destined to bring people together for a common purpose that is bigger than themselves; a purpose that has the potential to impact another and change the world. My journey led me to a group of children being sold for sex and now I bring people together to build them homes and call them family.

What is your story? What is your memory and moment – when you were completely and utterly yourself? It may be the clue you need to find your destiny.