When you are expecting, you dream of what the baby will look like, the grin, the eyes. Hair or no hair? When I was pregnant with Cooper, our fifth and very unexpected little man, I spent a lot of time in disbelief, never really able to grasp what life would look like once he was here. Not only did I wonder what he would look like, but I also tried to picture him in our lives. It was nearly impossible to make the puzzle fit together in my mind. In all honesty, it all felt like a dream. When he finally arrived, I was overcome with emotion. As the nurses assessed him, I lie in bed crying. My doctor, who was concerned, asked, “Are your tears because of pain, or emotion?”
“Both.” I managed between sobs.
The pain of getting him here, the hard work, and the beauty of the moment caused this momma, who isn’t much of a crier, to literally overflow with gratitude, disbelief, love, and amazement. He was here! My body created that amazing little human! It was hard, it was grueling, it was emotional, but he was beautiful and he was mine.
Cooper came in November, but my new due date is May 1st. It’s when I expect my first book Lifted, How to Ditch Fear, Obligation, and Guilt and Live YOUR Best Life to be released. For two years now I have crafted this manuscript, edited more times that I imagined possible, planned, prayed, and wrestled with the vulnerability of the message. I have thought about it, dreamt about it, dreaded it and even watched others as they released their books trying to picture myself in their shoes. However, nothing could quite prepare me for seeing my book cover for the first time. Is that really me on the cover? Whose life is this? As I am putting the finishing touches on the content, as I book speaking engagements and book signings (who does these things?) it all feels so surreal.
Who am I to get to share my story?
Who am I to get to follow my dreams?
Who am I to be courageous enough to dive into this unknown adventure?
But then, I thought about successful women who came from humble beginnings. Cindy Monroe, the founder of Thirty-One, who also forwarded my book, calls herself an average student who struggled in school. But despite her “averageness” she was featured in Forbes Magazine in 2015 for being a “Woman to Watch” alongside women like Sandra Bullock and Taylor Swift.
Michelle Obama who grew up on the declining south side of Chicago was honored to be the first African American First Lady of the United States.
Ellen Latham was laid off from her job and started teaching Pilates in a spare bedroom of her home. I think she bounced back though; she is now the founder of Orangetheory Fitness, a company that reported $738 million in revenue in 2016.
So that got me thinking, why not me?
And for that matter, why not you?
Is something welling up so big in your heart that you cannot help but dream about what it might look like, how it might sound, how it might feel to see it for the first time? Are you spending your day job thinking about your side gig or your unspoken dream? A dream nags at you like the ache you feel when you’re ready to pursue having a child or the fullness you feel as your womb puts together a little person. Even if you have never physically carried a child, you can imagine it like a water balloon filled so full it’s ready to burst. You can try to ignore it, but it’s just there pushing back, making you uncomfortable enough that you cannot help but go after it.
Looking at the cover of my book, I asked myself, “How did I get here?” And the answer is simple; I chose one thing each week that I could do to get me closer to my dream.
Were there days when I was overwhelmed? Gosh yes! No calling from God will ever be met without opposition from the enemy. I encourage you to find one small thing you can do to get closer to that dream. Consistently be on the hunt for the next step and soon, you will find that your dream is staring back at you. You will be overcome with amazement, gratitude and pride because, my friend, this dream will be all yours.