365 days. WOW. The Lord has done so much in just 365 days. I look back and laugh at how funny and crazy it is that I sit here right now writing this.
Let’s throw it way back for a little context.
When I was younger like 3rd, 4th, 5th grade I took painting classes and writing classes. I loved to write and I loved to create. I told my parents that when I grew up one day that I wanted to write and design my own book.
Then, as I grew older, writing and creating were thrown behind me and rarely thought of again. My focus was sports. That’s all I wanted to pursue and work towards.
When I reached college, I decided to end my soccer career so I could have time to pursue other things. But even in college writing and creating never came to mind. I was a science major. The left side of my brain was always at work while the right side was rarely used. In fact, I said with a strong passion that writing was my least favorite thing in all of college. Writing a paper was my worst nightmare. My brain didn’t think like that, I didn’t have a very large vocabulary, and the thought of writing more than a paragraph seemed daunting. I would stick to the sciences.
Post college. I graduate, get married a week later, and begin a job in the healthcare field; continuing on with my science interests.
Then, a few months into marriage I start to feel a conviction to share my story. If I was struggling with these things and this new season, I figured someone out there was too. I wanted to encourage, to challenge, to share, to be real, and to fight together.
I remember clearly one night I was sitting in our tiny little living room of our apartment and I looked at my husband and said, “I think I’m going to start a blog”. Which was literally so out of character for me. He looks at me and says, “I think that would be great. You should”. – What? Just like that? You don’t have any questions or hesitations? Don’t you know how bad I am at writing? And I especially shouldn’t share it with the world, right? LOL. But for some reason I did. I started writing. And terrified out of my mind, I shared my first post.
At that point, Living Unshackled wasn’t a thing yet. I was just writing.
In the two years leading up to this point, my struggles with insecurity, anxiety, comparison, and more had lit fire in me for women’s ministry and for seeing women live in freedom in these areas. As I started writing my blog, those two passions began to merge; writing and women’s ministry. What if I could write to encourage women? What if I could encourage women to be warriors in the kingdom? What if we could fight together to live in the freedom Christ has already purchased for us?
All of these things were stirring in my heart and mind. As I was praying through them, I decided to start a separate instagram account. I wanted it to be about women walking in freedom. I tossed around several names for a few days, honestly not knowing what in the world I was doing. Then Living Unshackled began to resonate with me deeply. I even had my family vote. Living Unshackled was their fav too. Yay! SO that was it, Living Unshackled was born; nothing big or glamorous.
Living Unshackled slowly evolved overtime. I knew what some of my one-day dreams would be, but it took me forever to even start heading in that direction. It’s been a crazy year of trust, heartache, excitement, setbacks, and celebration, new friendships, humbling… I could go on forever. What a year.
Y’all. I tell you all of this story and background to give every single bit of the glory to my Father. Living Unshackled literally came out of nowhere. The passion to write and create that had been pushed down and forgotten since I was eight years old, was remembered and brought to life again by the Lord. This is so not of me. I have been fumbling around for a year trying to figure out what in the world I’m doing with this ministry, and yet somehow the Lord has used it. There has been one incredible & encouraging story after the other since Living Unshackled has started. Despite my lack of talent, my knowledge, my fear, and my inclination to protect and promote myself… the Lord has been at work. Praise Him. Praise Him. Praise Him. Hallelujah!
I still wouldn’t consider myself a great writer. My words aren’t by any means fancy or eloquent, I know for a fact I mess up my grammar and punctuation a lot (forgive me grammar people), and yet the Lord is still using this.
My story of blogging and the ministry of Living Unshackled has been nothing but another story of the Lord using “the least of these” to bring about his glory!!!
The past year has been a thrill and huge time of growth as I step out in obedience and trust the Lord in this area of my life. As always, he has been faithful and good. There are big dreams that I continue to dream for this ministry, but the more I dream the more I am on my knees; continuing to be reminded that I can do nothing good apart from Jesus, and “Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain” –Psalm 127:1
Who knows what God has planned in the next years ahead for Living Unshackled… but let thy will be done, even if it means that Living Unshackled is no more. Thy will be done and thy name be glorified!
Praise you Lord for all the work that you have done and will continue to do. ALL glory and honor and Praise be to the King of Kings! A million Hallelujahs! Amen.