One hour before throwing a surprise birthday party for my soon-to-be 15-year old, I called a friend to ask a small favor and as soon as she said, “Hello,” I knew.

“What is wrong? I can hear it in your voice.  You are not doing well.” She started crying and said she wasn’t doing well at all. Postpartum darkness had settled in and it felt ugly. Nothing makes you feel like you are not enough like the times you don’t have what your children need.  Milk production was a continuous struggle and fatigue left my friend completely depleted. Everyone knows that when you are depleted, every part of life feels harder. I immediately felt prompted to help her and started asking questions.  

We talked about shame and not being enough. 

We talked about letting go of comparisons and expectations. We talked about all the pain and hurt. We cried and decided that maybe focusing on the next fifteen minutes was the best goal for right now. I poured belief into her, knowing that she has unique gifts inside her that WILL come out.  The cracks are present right now but we all know that is when the light starts to come through. We took some deep breathes and talked about all the hard things. All the real thoughts that are tormenting her, how beautiful her new baby is and how much guilt she feels as a mother/woman/wife. And we cleared out all the lies that are shouting at her in every tender moment. And hope was found as we talked back and forth for the next 30 minutes.

The call was inspired. I was able to clean the toilet, do dishes, pick up messes, make whip cream and a charcuterie board all while receiving distinct and clear inspiration that my sister needed in that very moment. She shared that her desperation had been so overwhelming and how she didn’t know what to do. What she needed most was to be seen, heard, and loved no matter what. She needed to remember that she is enough, whether she has enough milk or not. She needed to remember that she belongs, even when she isn’t liking herself. 

She belongs and so do you. Even though and especially when.

This week, I have done 3 impromptu calls like this from women that I love and count as sisters. These women are like you. Women with deep reservoirs of faith that still want to know, “Will it work out? What is going to happen? Does God see me? And do I even belong?”

The adversary (lower case a because he doesn’t deserve the respect of a capitol A!) is seeking to destroy us. He wants us to feel broken and without hope. He wants us to forget our divine heritage, our eternal missions, and our connection with each other. He wants us to feel inadequate and foreign, forgetting our tools to survive. His entire goal is to create unhappiness and dispair. He wants you to forget you are a powerful Goddess in training. A woman destined to be a force for Good on the earth. A woman created for joy that impacts thousands. He wants us to forget we are in the midst of a beautiful story. He wants us to believe our ugly stuff won’t be accepted and that we are never enough. He succeeds when we disconnect from our royal truths and it is those very truths that will set us free and give us the courage to fight back. 

He will tell you that you aren’t enough if you don’t do this or that. It’s a lie. 

He will tell you that you aren’t enough if you don’t have this or that. It’s always a lie. 

The truth is that you do belong!! The lies will tell you that you aren’t enough and won’t be accepted and absolutely don’t belong because you are different. And it is never true. Your differences, your challenges, your brokenness is what makes you just like the rest of us and you do belong. 

The truth is that God does see you. He sees your pain, your brokenness, your heartaches and struggles and He is fighting for you to remember your true self. The beauty inside that isn’t based on what kind of mascara you use or if you made it to the gym or if you set the table tonight. The beauty that is you because you are His. The beauty that only increases as you age and become more of who you already are. 

The truth is that you are enough and always were. Not because you did all the things or achieved this or that, but because He declared it and paid for it. This type of “enoughness” can’t be taken from you and can’t be purchased. It can only be accepted and felt one moment at a time until you suddenly remember and believe that you are enough, right here, right now, even though and especially when. 

The truth is that it will work out, but it may be a bit of a ride in the process. The challenges are real for all of us and we all have moments of despair but we must remember that we are partnered with a God who loves creating miracles. That is what He does and focusing on His power to sustain, to lift, to create, to carry, to provide is the only way we can handle the seasons that stretch us. 

The truth is that all of know these things and all of us forget so we need each other! We need to share our moments of pain and allow others to carry us and cover us in prayer. We need to share that we feel broken and where we find solace and how we heal. We need to share our belief in God and our battles with the adversary. We need to share our shame and our pain and how we survive and overcome the daily challenges. Because in that vulnerability, we come out of hiding. We discover we aren’t alone and we find the answers to surviving the next 15 minutes. Sharing our experiences opens our personal power and we connect to an eternal power that unites us all.

We all struggle and we all have heartaches, but we are enough and belong. Always. We just need to sometimes be reminded of those truths.

Thomas Edison stated, “If we did all the things we are capable of, we would literally astound ourselves.”  I have been giving this attitude much thought as I am knocking down old false beliefs.  Yes, even the teacher has negative ideas that stop me from progression.  Right now, I am preparing to launch my energy training program.  The time has definitely come and I am determined to empower others, yet the old silly lies continue to show up… “Who am I to teach others?  What do I really know?  I don’t know how to do this…” And that is just the tip of the iceberg!  While I do have self doubts, I also know that there is a God in heaven that walks by my side.  Everything I have ever learned or accomplished has been by His power.  He is the God of miracles and if He can help Esther, Moses, Adam and so many more, He will surely help me.

Sometimes I wonder why we are afraid of growing and developing ourselves.  It is one of our greatest purposes – discovering our own greatness, yet that path can be filled with potholes big enough to get stuck in.  Mr. Edison knew that there was a deep power inside him.  He knew that he could only fail if he gave up on himself.  Despite being kicked out of school, blowing up labs, and tremendous disappointments, Thomas pressed on.  He knew that there was something great lying inside himself.  He would not accept anything less than bringing forth his vision.  Surely he had mastered the negative thinking and had determined to not allow any present circumstances or others to stop him.

Why do we stop our progress?  The reasons are varied and too numbered to list, but two come to mind.  One, we compare ourselves to others.  We look to our neighbor and decide that we fall short and are not enough in some way.  We then allow that thought to spiral until we are certain that we really don’t have any business pursuing that crazy dream!  For instance, there are many forms of energy work in the world – some are brilliant and some make me uncomfortable. I have studied many books, learned from great teachers, and even attended some courses, but at the end of the day, the way I do energy is totally different from anything I have encountered.  I have been taught moment by moment and client by client.  I have brought questions to the Lord and He has taught me the next step to helping others release negative energy.  Am I an energy expert?  I don’t know if I am an expert, I do know that I have learned a lot about energy over the last ten years!  More importantly, I uneqivacolly know that there is something that happens when I help others discover their own truths so they can feel alive and connected!  I have watched clients come alive and be present once we clear out the negative thinking.  I can have an awesome experience unless I allow self doubt to creep in and wonder how my own approach compares to others.  Comparison is never a winning approach.  I either cut down another or cut down myself, either way I am left feeling empty on some level.  If I want to make progress, I have to keep my eye fixed upon an immovable standard.  For me, that standard is always a question like these: “Am I accepted by God? Am I doing the right things for God? Is my heart in the right place?  Am I pleasing Him?” If I am pleasing Him, I am on the right path and it doesn’t matter what others offer or do.  My path is my path and I get to honor that fact.  I choose to let go of any comparisons and progress in exactly the right ways at the right times according to His will.

Another reason we don’t progress is that we overthink it! Overanalyzing can cause us to completely stop progressing.  It is okay to move forward without knowing all answers.  It is exhilarating to take a step of faith.  Progress, not perfection, is the goal.  When I overthink my projects or business ideas, they often never leave the ground.  When I just move forward, trusting it will all come together, my ideas do take flight.  Yes, sometimes there are some unanticipated bumps, but I am going for progress and so it is okay.

I challenge you to let go of the habits of comparison and overanalyzing.  Move forward with faith and courage.  Develop the confidence needed as you make simple steps to become who you really area and fulfill your personal mission.  For me, my next step is launching my Purely Alive energy training. I am ready to astound myself and take that leap of faith!

“Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (John 15:2) Sometimes there are seasons of planting, weeding and harvesting. I love those seasons! I have learned how God works in each of those situations and they are comfortable to me. I have recently figured out that I am in a season of pruning. Pruning is not comfortable. Pruning leaves you feeling raw and naked.

I remember as a little girl watching my dad prune a fruit tree in our backyard. It was so odd to me to think that he was cutting a tree that seemed to have it all together. A strong trunk, solid branches, green leaves and fruit scattered throughout the tree. The tree even had fruit hanging from it as he was pruning it. He seemed to know what he was doing but it seemed crazy to me. His cuts seemed to be causing more damage than good, but what did I know about trees and such?

The last 16 months have been filled with growth. Some days I have felt like I hardly know myself. I have wanted God closer, even though He is right there. I have wanted to feel normal, yet somehow even with a great life, I didn’t feel normal. At times, I have felt like a house undergoing an endless remodel, with no end in sight. And it is one of those remodels where you can’t just change your mind and turn back – I am far enough into the process that we must just keep moving forward, no matter how long it takes!

Little burst of encouragement come from the Spirit, but the challenging thoughts have seemed so much louder. The little bursts keep me focused and moving forward, but I have missed the clarity and peace of other more peaceful seasons. My thoughts have been in conflict, my heart and mind confused, and my actions have not been in harmony. And even though I have turned to the scriptures, prayer, meditation and all the other things that I rely on, the peace has not lasted like I want it to. Questions come, and even though I teach others how to receive revelation, I have wished that Heavenly Father would answer my queries with sky writing. I know that is not how it works, but wouldn’t it be nice to have sky writing now and then?

I have wondered what I am doing wrong. I have wondered how to make it right. And yet, it would be hard to describe to anyone what needs to be different. I just know I have not felt 100% like myself and I haven’t known what to change or how to bring the balance back. Normally I would engage in deeper relationships, or serve more, or write or blog, or just live a little more, and I just have not felt like it.

As I read the scriptures this week, I just prayed that there would be something just for me, for this weird season I had found myself in. This season was lasting far longer than I wanted. I opened my scriptures and started reading about pruning and that is when I knew that Heavenly Father knows exactly where I am at. He knows He is pruning me and He even knows why He is doing it. Even though I felt so comfortable before, this pruning will make me even better. As I read the scriptures I realized that sometimes even trees that are bearing great fruit need to be pruned in order for them to bring out even better fruits.

I realized that the pruning, while uncomfortable, is the best thing for the tree. The tree will be limited without the pruning. The pruning is critical in order to produce the very best fruit possible. The pruning doesn’t happen because the tree is broken. The pruning happens so that the tree has the very best shot at making a difference to the world. It isn’t that something was wrong with me, rather it was time to do some necessary pruning.

When a tree is being pruned, it doesn’t stand in self judgement and think, “Why am I not producing the fruit like that tree over there? Why am I not producing even the small fruits I know I am capable of?” The tree goes into a resting phase and prepares for the next season of blooming. The tree trusts that the fruits will come again. The tree trusts that the branches and leaves will fill back in. I for one, can’t wait for that day. Yesterday as I read the scriptures, that quiet voice said, “This is the pruning. I know it doesn’t feel natural, and I know you don’t like it and you want it to go away, but it is critical. For you to do what you are here to do, there has to be a pruning. Trust the process, let me in.” So right now, this is me being naked, while the Lord sets about pruning this branch and that one. And rather than resisting the process, I am breathing it in and seeing that this is just a season. So for now, I am practicing self compassion, I am being still, I am listening, I am taking care of myself, I am slowing down. It won’t last forever and it is okay to be vulnerable in the process. The day will come where I feel like myself (or rather a better version of myself) and know that the season of pruning was all worth it. If you find yourself in the pruning process, know this: A gardner would never take the time to prune a tree unless he had total hope in what the tree could become. God is there. He knows us. He sees more than we see in ourselves. He is helping us learn to love ourselves so we can love others more and ultimately help bring others back to Him.