This is the third and final post in a series in which I'm going to share my story with you guys. Because it's so long, I'm breaking it up into more manageable pieces (if you missed the first or second ones, you can catch the first here and the second here). My hope is that you can relate to some part of it, find hope in it, and walk away thinking about your story and how you want it to continue from where you're at right now.
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Life After College
After graduating from college, I worked for a little while as a temp at my mom's office, followed by a period of unemployment during which I helped start up the church I still go to. After that, I nannied part-time and worked part-time at a tea shop. Almost a year after graduating, I thought I got my big break, getting a call out of the blue from a temp agency I had talked to months before, asking me if I was still interested in a full-time job. Of course I was! And the position was offered to me at the interview.
Spoiler alert: it wasn't everything it was made out to be in my head. It truly has been a blessing; I believe that without a doubt. And I'm grateful that I wasn't offered my dream job on a silver platter so soon out of school. It wouldn't have taught me to dream bigger, work harder, or think outside the box.
It was while working that job that I got the idea for Notes from Jessie (after writing at Live Like Love for a while first), and where I developed the entirety of my budding business. While I don't love that job (because yes, I am still there currently), it has taught me so much and been the much-needed motivation to work to create other opportunities to work in ways that are more meaningful for me.
Even though my day job wasn't exactly dreamlike, it gave me the opportunity to do other things I otherwise wouldn't have been able to do. It financially provided for me so I could pay off my student loans, buy groceries, and buy a house last year with my sister. It gave me the freedom to invest in my church and take weekend trips to visit friends because I no longer had an unpredictable schedule to have to work around. And it gave me the chance to hone skills and build friendships with the people I met through my job. I wouldn't trade those things for the world.
The Path That Got Me Here
I've always loved writing (as evidenced by my Communication Studies major in college and this blog), but I felt burdened by a message last winter, and I just couldn't shake the feeling that it was too big, too important for the blog. It needed to take on a different form. I follow many entrepreneurs, writers, and influencers, and one of them recommended a self-publishing program, and I initially hemmed and hawed for a while (like I typically do).
But in the end, I followed the little voice inside of me (which I fully believe was the Holy Spirit's way of prompting me) telling me this kind of a strong feeling was undeniably greater than my own selfish desires, that it was something bigger than me, and that this message needed to be shared. I felt a great deal of fear over this new venture, but I jumped anyway. And boy, am I glad that I did!
Writing that book was one of the most challenging things I've ever done, but it was also incredibly rewarding! And it was the springboard that started my deep-dive into the world of entrepreneurship. It was what fueled a fire in me to help other women live and love their one-of-a-kind purposeful lives, and for that, I'm so incredibly thankful!
Embracing the Unknown
Living life requires embracing ambiguity, and the journey isn't always smooth sailing, much to my dismay. There are a lot of unknowns in this life, but I know things will come together in the end, even if I can't see how when I'm standing in the messy middle of the story.
I've learned that life won't unfold just the way I want; it's not my story to plot out. But God's plan is even better and more beautiful than mine, and I'd much rather have that, anyway. When I focus too much on what I alone am capable of, I put God and what He can do inside a box of my own limitations.
I am working toward a life in which I expect great things, but don't tell God how or when to do them. I know that I can make a difference, but I need to leave margin for the when and the how. I want to explore my passions, giving God room to work with them and fashion them into a meaningful way to spend my time and invest my life.
What I'm Working Toward
Today, as I'm building my business, I'm working to live every day with purpose and intention. I'm prioritizing the things that mean the most to me (which right now looks like relationships, my business, my health, and making my life and home look, feel, and run the way I want them to).
I'm working to understand what it looks like to live every day by faith, giving it everything I've got, respecting my limits while pushing myself outside of my comfort zone, and trusting God with the rest. I know He's at work even when I can't see Him-- in my life, in the lives of those around me, and all over the world.
How I'm Choosing to Live
I'm endeavoring to live every day with purpose and intention because I know that my purpose extends beyond the confines of a job. It's my passion to help other women live and love their purposeful lives, and that starts with me. I need to live purposefully and create a life I love.
The way I do that is by reminding myself to slow down, focus on what's really important, and make more time for the things and people I love. I'm reminding myself that my identity lies in Christ, and nothing I do or don't do can ever change that. I am His beloved.
There are many things I can do to live life to the fullest, and I'm endeavoring to pursue them while also managing the balancing act of carving out time and energy for self-care. It's a challenging tightrope walk, and I have a tendency to lean to one side or the other, but I'm learning every day, and that's all I can really ask of myself.
For more of my story, check out the video I made a few years ago for CRU's My Story campaign or some of these other posts that give a bit of insight into my heart:
What's your story? I'd love to hear it sometime!