A couple of weeks ago, I chartered a yacht and cruised down the Tennessee River with some amazing women who always inspire me to be the best. I know it has been a while since I sat at this computer and wrote a blog, but I’ve been doing some soul-searching, and this relaxing time on the river allowed me to reflect on God’s beauty and His amazing plan for my life.
A couple of years ago while living in Arizona, I reached out to a couple of universities in Mississippi to determine whether I could enroll into a program they offered. I only told close family and friends because I knew that if I told the wrong person, they would try to talk me out of it, be negative instead of encouraging, and attempt to dismiss my hopes and dreams. If you can’t be supportive, you’ll never hear about my aspirations because I prefer those who will push me higher instead of trying to hold me back. To make a long story short, the program was not offered online, and there was no way I could attend classes in Mississippi while I lived in Arizona. I wanted to get out of the legal profession. I had done my time and it was time to move on to something new. The law was the only thing I had known and that is what everyone expected of me, but I knew better and wanted better. I know what you might be thinking, “A law degree is better.” But, it’s not “better” when you know that God has another purpose and plan for your life. I have enjoyed the past 15 years, but I know that I have not fulfilled my purpose here on this Earth. The journey to find my purpose has been a difficult one — too difficult to explain. If you don’t know your purpose, or if you know your purpose and you’re running from it, you will become frustrated, stressed, and overcome with feelings of helplessness.
Fast forward two years later, and I’m back in the South where I recently found out that I can go to school and fulfill my dream. I just found out about the program in August, so hopefully, I can begin in the spring or no later than next summer.
For the past two or three years, I have been trying to find my purpose and to determine what I wanted to do outside of the law. During this time of soul-searching, I have learned that sometimes your purpose is not clear, but when it is your time, your purpose will find you. You don’t have to go looking for your purpose (which was what I was doing). When your time comes, you will know. Seeking and trying to make things happen will only lead to stress and frustration, but sitting back and watching things unfold has been the best thing I have ever done!
Many of us, especially as Moms, tend to put our wants and needs on the back burner so that others can thrive and move forward, but it’s really time to ask yourself, “Do I love the job I give all of my time and efforts to? Am I doing this for me or for those around me? Are there gifts and talents inside of me waiting to be freed from the imprisonment of other people’s expectations?” If so, it might be your time to move on and walk into your new beginning.
I love kids, and I am going to do all that I can to help the kids around me. That is my passion and my purpose at this time. And you know what? God might change that 20 years from now. I’m okay with that, and I will allow God to use me as He sees fit. I want to help others to be the best that they can be. As my Mom was lying in the hospital a couple of weeks before she passed, she asked my younger sister, “What will your legacy be? What will you leave on this earth when you are gone?” That’s the question we have to ask ourselves. What will be your legacy? Will you always wonder, “What if?” Many of you want to step out and change careers, start a business or a non-profit, and do something great, but you keep asking yourself, “What if I try and fail?” You need to change your thinking, and instead ask yourself, “What if I try and succeed?”
A dear friend of mine was working a 9-5 job and started talking about how nice it would be to have her own business. I told her to stop complaining and quit her job. Note: Make sure you build up your business and clientele before you quit your day job! I knew, however, that she could quit. She had built up a clientele and was one of the greatest in her field. Yes, she was single and would not have another person to depend on financially, but I could see her being successful as a business owner. She trusted God that this was the path she should take and this was her time. The next day, she said, “I have written my resignation. I am quitting.” She quit and is currently operating a thriving business. She recently told me, “I have no regrets!”
Do you have any regrets? Will you be 65 years old wondering what your life would have been like if you had at least tried something new — if you had at least stepped out on faith? Whenever I see a rainbow, I always envision God saying to me, “I am faithful to fulfill my promises.” I don’t know if you can see it, but this was actually a double rainbow. The second rainbow is very faint outside of the more prominent rainbow. Always know that if God gives you a dream, he’s faithful to fulfill it. You have to step out and believe Him. There will be some storms and struggles, but after the storm, there’s always a rainbow.
At the end of my life, I want God to say, “Well done, Shayla. You used every gift and talent I placed inside of you!” Trust me, you can impact so many more lives by walking in the purpose God has for you and by leaving behind the purpose that man has for you. Never underestimate the power and the dream that God has placed inside of you!