You probably know by now how Dr. Tony Evans has profoundly impacted my life through his ministry. Watching his sermons and reading his books has helped me see how impactful someone can be when they truly read and study the Word of God and then live it out. I was blessed with the opportunity to be on the book release team for Dr. Evans newest book, Kingdom Men Rising.
I’ve never been one to look too deep into age or set specific goals based on how old I was. However, something about age 30 triggered a shift and opened my eyes. I had most of the things I should have wanted: married, my own house, my own business, great family relationships, established friendships. But I was miserable. I knew why, and there were some significant events and rocky times of the past few years of my life that lead to this feeling, and I knew a change was needed. After trying many things to bring me happiness, I realized it was all so temporary, and I walked away from everything. After a particularly bad episode, I got in my car and drove almost 7 hours away from the life I spent the past 3-4 years curating.
It took me a month of going through all my feelings and emotions before I started to think about what I wanted from my life. I realized that some of what made me, me, had been long forgotten to please and take care of others. Even trying to bring some things back into my life, inevitably, they would end up on the back burner, be discouraged by others, or I would become so paralyzed with fear about what people would think. I didn’t feel good enough…qualified enough…smart enough. I could give myself a mean pep talk, but it wasn’t reaching my heart and just remained surface level.
I started to think back on my life to find what it was that I actually enjoyed. What goals did I have for myself that wasn’t influenced by others? What did I love to do before my husband offered his opinion? Before friends gave their input? Before my parents spoke ideas over me? It took a lot of digging and spending time with God. He would bring back to my memory times when I wanted to just run away with an endless supply of books. Or when I would lock myself in my room and just read for hours at a time. I had stopped reading for me and could probably count on one hand the number of books I actually finished. Something that I have loved doing since before I could remember. I even set a 2018 goal not to buy any more books! I don’t even understand how or why this happened.
So I picked my books back up and started to fall in love with reading again mostly because I remembered how reading was a getaway for me. A hideaway, really. I ended up reading 90 plus books in 3 months’ time thanks to free book options on the eBook apps. Most were romances, and I probably couldn’t tell you a thing about them. But they did the trick of reminding me of my love for books.
I decided at that time to use this Sabbatical to get back to reading books for my love of learning, for fun, and to reflect. In addition to books, I searched for free classes available online. Most importantly, I opened my Bible and started reading and studying like never before. I truly believe God used my time with Him and my obedience to continue to open my ears and hear better from Him. I slowed down with the additional resources and started to dissect and apply them to my life. What could I learn from this book? What was this class showing me about God? What could I share from this conference to help others? Then it clicked for me. I still loved helping others and sharing information.
That’s what brought back the idea of my blog. The blog I created in 2016 but was too scared to do anything with. The blog I put on the backburner in 2017 because a friend shared their dream of blogging, and I didn’t want to step on any toes. The blog I hid in 2018 because I wasn’t the blogger, I was the organizer. The blog in 2019 that is no longer hiding, under a shadow or empty, because I will use it to share with you what I’m reading, what I’m learning and how I’m using it all to get back to me.