I met a man who made me cry.
Cry because never had I felt more cemented in what my reason for being was as that time I spent speaking with this man.
I’d heard about his work- read a few media articles about him- and yet when I met him I found a story more incredible than I’d ever imagined.
Various media platforms had interviewed him and nowhere had I seen the remarkable story, of his life, that he shared with me.
It was a story of courage, passion, inspiration, survival, determination, perseverance, redemption, salvation and love. Exactly the story my show Dream BIG seeks out.
After we spoke I went back to my car and cried.
In that moment I felt God.
I felt an inexplicable flood of love and affirmation as I realised with such conviction that what I’d been assigned through my work was much bigger than me- it was bigger than anything I’d ever imagined. This was God using me- using my talents and using everything I’d ever been through in my life to produce life that would impact others all over the world.
And not just through Dream BIG but in my writing, in my speaking engagements– in everything I’d allow God’s power and love to flow through and empower.
This past week has been quite something for me- a very emotional week.
I’ve felt happiness and joy that just makes me shake my head in disbelief because finally, finally, I’m beginning to get a sense of God’s love in my life.
I didn’t come to this place only because I chose to follow my heart and do what I love- I got to this place because I began to discover that God loved me.
When I started this blog my desire was to share the many remarkable principles I was discovering and experiencing about what made successful people (and businesses) so.
Never did I intend to share my life on these pages- and it was never really my intention to share my faith either. But now… now it’s increasingly harder to do my work, or share aspects of my work without talking about my own personal life and my faith.
Just over a year ago I would’ve died.
I’d been through bouts of depression before but the depression that gripped me last year was something else.
It wrapped its fat claws around my neck until breathing- just breathing- was hard for me.
There were times I’d catch myself feeling as though I were suffocating- I’d stop whatever I’d be doing and consciously take deep breaths.
I’d realise I hadn’t been breathing properly- literally. It was madness!
I wept often.
The coming of morning terrified me because each time I woke up I was overwhelmed by panic and anxiety- I didn’t know how I would manage, yet, another day.
Sometimes, because we speak of death so lightly these days, we don’t understand the depth of sorrow and seriousness with which a person may say, “I just want to die.”
That time of my depression last year… All I wanted to do was die.
I felt it was the only way to stop the sense of deep loneliness, emptiness, hopelessness, rejection, uselessness, pain, helplessness, exhaustion and loss I felt.
Saying I was miserable would be a huge understatement.
I guess even in that chaotic state I knew I couldn’t take my own life- I had a tiny, minuscule, amount of faith to keep me from that- but more than even my faith what compelled me to get out of bed and trudge through another day was my son- for his sake I could not just give up- I couldn’t fathom my son growing up without his mom- And so I kept trying. Trying to make sense of my life. Trying to get better. Trying to claw myself out of the pit I’d sunk into.
So having gone through that you can imagine the jubilation with which I live now actually experiencing a full life, filled with purpose, joy and love.
One of the first steps I took to getting better was the choice to abandon things I felt were contributing to my depression.
When I started to do this things began to turn around quicker than I thought they would.
By the time this New Year had come around I was in a better place. But there were still chunks of me that were falling apart- I would still experience really bad lows- I was still struggling to breakthrough to this awesome life I knew I was meant to live.
And then I started hearing about God’s grace toward me. That begun to free parts of me I didn’t even know had been bound.
The more I learned the truth about God’s grace, love and His true Heart toward me- feelings and accusations of not being good enough- of not being worthy- of having to earn love- of having to perform to be accepted- all that fell away like leaves in autumn- The Hannah I’d always dreamed of being was being birthed.
And then I discovered the truth of not being alone- not because of the people around me but because God Himself had adopted me- birthed me as His very own child and placed me in His family.
All my life I’d carried a deep solitude that grew worse in my early twenties and got progressively worse over the years.
Something broke this year as for the first time that solitude was lifted- and finally I found out that I too belonged.
And now I’m in the space of love- God’s love for me. I’m discovering more and more how much He loves ME.
Someone said the other day that God looked at us (at me) and then at His Son- He had to choose who He would spare- and He chose to spare me (us).
I’d heard about such things all my life- but now I truly get it.
Now I can call God: ABBA, Daddy! He is filling my life and healing me in parts so broken I could never ever have had the courage to tell you about them.
Here’s what I know for sure- when we live doing work we hate- we die.
Work, personal life and faith cannot be separate things for us who believe.
I’m not saying your work has to be in ministry- your work could be teaching, or lawyering or nursing or building or drawing or singing or dancing or designing or engineering or Mommying or Daddying or just finishing your schooling at this stage- no matter what gifts you’ve been given, when you do them from a place of God’s love for you- you will find joy you never dreamed possible.
The healing I’m going through in my personal life is being reflected in my work- I get messages from people, some I’ve never met, telling me how much my work is impacting their lives- what so many don’t know is how my work is changing my own life.
When you’re doing work you were meant to do- work you love- you will find that it impacts your life beautifully.
Our gifts are meant to bless us first and then others.
If your work doesn’t bless you- you need to re-think…
As a young girl I’d always felt as though whatever God would “call me” to do, whether I liked it or not, I’d have to accept my assignment and fulfill “His Purpose” for my life.
If you’ve ever thought like that then you too, like I have, need to embark on a journey to discover how much God loves you.
God’s assignment for you is the desire of your heart. It’s something you love, something that brings life to you and it’s something that makes your eyes light up when you just think about it- it makes you want to soar when you speak of it- It’s something you’ve dreamed of doing for many many years… that’s God’s assignment for you. And when you do it you will feel loved and honoured and you’ll wonder how You- little, ordinary, You could be chosen to do something so spectacular.
This has been my experience.
I’m alive, truly alive, because God loves me.
Where once I dreaded managing through another day because of the vast emptiness I had inside, now my days excite me- I love mornings because I can’t wait to see more of God’s splendour and favour in my life- my future is exciting because I know that everything I can think- anything I can imagine- God’s plan, and what will eventually happen in my life is exceedingly and abundantly more massive than my most gigantic dream.
Live. Allow true love. Be alive. It’s why you’re here.