Wednesday, October 17, 2012

31 days: reminding myself growth isn't always linear

While at Influence I was lucky enough to hear Anne from the Modern Mrs. Darcy speak.

Her words were pretty life changing. 

It was a last minute decision to go to her session, and I am so glad I did. 

If you were on Twitter Friday morning you probably saw a few tweets from me, they were sent during my time listening to this amazing woman. 

Her message was about "Making the Most of your Influence Online". This is something I struggle with. I want to be sure I look back on what I put out into the world wide web and don't cringe from embarrassment, but I also want to be real.  I also want to write from my heart and connect with others going through my same struggle. 

She said so many amazing words of wisdom, the first being this:

"We can do great things for God in these messy winding years."

How great is that?? How great is it to know we don't have to wait to have it all together to share our story?!

photo taken by alissa
{headband: target // top: forever21 // scarf & necklace: h&m // skinny cords: target // boots: nine west}

She touched on how the 20's are the years of learning and the 30's are the years of editing. Being at the end of the 20's and soon approaching my 30's I could not agree more. I look back on all that I learned in my 20's and wouldn't trade that knowledge in for anything. But now as I see the 30's on the not so distant horizon I am ready to make changes. I am ready to edit my life to include only things that are meaningful and worth my time. But most importantly things that serve Jesus.

Going back to the quote about doing things for God, I know through my struggles and through my 20's I wasn't always doing things for God, but I can take those situations and share them now and show others they are not alone and life isn't always perfect. 

Anne reminded us that Growth is not linear and boy is it messy. That was a great reminder for this type A girl. I am not always going to move forward or take steps forward, but I am still growing.  

My favorite nugget Anne shared with us was this simple statement:

"Real growth can look a lot like being lost." 

{photo courtesy of ashlee}

Truer words could not have been said. I spend so much time thinking I am lost and not on the right path when in fact God is taking me to exactly where I need to be. 

I can use a very simple explanation for this. The road to Scott getting into OCS was long and hard. Dates changed often for his package to be reviewed and a few times we thought it was going to be cancelled all together.  We did eventually get that life changing letter that said he was accepted. But things didn't stop there. When he left for Officer Candidate School in January of this year he was supposed to graduate in March. God had other plans for us, an injury set Scott back 2 months and he graduated in May. For the longest time I didn't understand why God was doing this. I didn't want to accept the fact that we were trying to control our lives and God was giving us a not so subtle reminder that he is in control {another point Anne made}. He was showing us that if both Scott and I do not let him lead us we will not get the right outcome. 

We've been in Virginia for a little over a month and even in this short time I can see why this was God's plan. I can see that Virginia is where Scott and I were meant to be at this time in our lives. I can see how his injury happened in order for us to get here.  I have met new friends quickly, got involved with organizations and connected with an old friend I met at a BlogHer 11 who is going to be a great friend and mentor. God knew exactly what he was doing. While I thought I was lost and could not make sense of the first half of 2012 I can now look at it and say that is ok. I didn't have all the answers then but as Anne reminded us, that is ok. 

Anne also mentioned a verse in James {I need to find the exact one} that reminds us to count it Joy when bad things happen. I remember looking at Scott's injury and after knowing it would not affect him finishing OCS I knew it was part of God's plan. I knew to look at it as a positive. It was a time for my husband to grow his faith in the Lord even more and a time for us to continue to connect through our letters, emails and phone calls. It was a part of God's plan and while it wasn't  Scott moving forward in OCS we were both moving forward in our faith.

Since I have left the conference I keep going back to Anne's session.  I keep repeating the words she said and the connection I had with them.  I have so much more to share with you about her session. I hope you'll stick around and learn with me.


Kristin Cho said...

Girl I loved this post, and your outfit!

Your recap has certainly inspired me.. I'll be 31 in just a couple weeks and in full-on edit mode :)

That verse you mentioned at the end is James 1:2.. I recently completed Beth Moore's study of the book of James and it is phenomenal! I highly recommend it!

anna lizbeth said...

love your outfit! I must admit I am obsessed with stripes!

Kasey said...

wow....I love that quote "Real growth can look a lot like being lost" that is so true and I am so glad I read this post :) your pics are adorable, super cute outfit! Sounds like Influence was such a great success this year for so many :):)

Mandy @ This Girl's Life said...

You look so cute in your stripes! This is a really great reminder about growth, and is it sad to say that I'm 34 and still trying to figure out what my path is? It seems to me that the messier our growth is the better the end result is...or at least I'm hoping that is the case. :)

Nelle Creations said...

I love that scarf!
Hope you can take a second and enter my giveaway:)
Win a Lace Denim Shirt!

Steph Shackelford said...

Thanks so much for this recap - I SO wish I could have been at the Influence Conference! As someone in her early 20's I need this reminder that I don't have to have it all figured out.

Ania said...

What inspiring words you have written and shared. I am in my editing stage, I am also becoming true to myself in my 30's. In my 20's I didn't have the strength to stand-up for myself always. Also your outfit is super cute, love your scarf.

Alana of Domestic Bliss Diaries said...

Love what you've shared here! I really hate that I missed the Influence conference but I'm praying that I can go next year {Lord willing}. Even though I didn't make it, I've been pondering the whole idea of influence and becoming the woman that God would have me to be. So, even though I wasn't there to hear all of the speakers, I still feel like I've learned so much through those who have gone and shared what God has been doing in their hearts... like you've done here.

I'm your newest follower! {Found you via Cornerstone Confessions Link Up}.

Rekita Nicole said...

Hi i saw your blog on what i wore wednesday, just looking at blogs I might have missed and i am your newest follower. your photos are so cute and i love your style.

have a great day!

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