2006 was the year I graduated early from college. I had my entire life planned out. I was going to move to another state to be with a guy I was dating, go to grad school for social work, get married and have a few kids. That was my life. I was sure of it. Did it happen? Absolutely not! My entire plan fell apart with one phone call, really, with one sentence. The guy that I was dating told me, “if you come here, then you will have to get your own place, and we can see where this goes.” I was heartbroken and devastated that I had sped up my life to follow a man that was not serious about me. Come to find out, he was engaged to someone else, and he did not have the courage to tell me. So what did I do with this new information?
I joined the Army, prayed to a God that I didn’t know and told Him to send me as far away from the United States as I could possibly go. He sent me to Germany! From that moment on, I rushed everything. I was supposed to go in the Army as an Officer, but I refused to wait to retake the exam, so I made a choice to enlist. I was supposed to go in as an Administrator, but I refused to wait and decided to go in as Military Police. As I let my emotions lead me and guide me, I rushed time. I wanted out as quickly as possible. Guess what? This all happened within a month from that phone call.
I was headed off to training, and my life was forever changed. As I entered into basic training, I stopped and thought to myself, “What the heck am I doing here?” I was so mad, frustrated, and embarrassed that I ran away instead of dealing with my new reality. I made decisions emotionally that truly impacted my purpose….so I thought. I was miserable in the Army. I did not fit in at all. Every leader I ran into asked me the same question, “What are you doing here?” I didn’t even know how to answer the question. I spent over seven years in a career that I never desired to be in. I was only there because I was too emotionally unhealthy to deal with my reality. Even at the end of my service, I was scared to leave that same career that was not meant for me.
As a single mother of two kids, I had no plans after I got out. One day, I walked into a young adult Bible Study, and our mentor challenged all of us to read a Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. I made a decision that I was going to follow the instructions of the book and only read one chapter a day. As I read this book every day for 40 days, God literally started speaking to me as clear as day. I knew exactly what I desired to do with my career path and my life in ministry. I was already serving in my community and at my church, but it was bigger than that. The fear of me not knowing what I was on Earth to do, was gone at that time. I was confident, and it did not matter that I was 24 years old when I accepted Jesus Christ. I was called to encourage. I was created to tell people no matter how hard life is, don’t ever give up.
That is my purpose. It is not about me. My purpose is a solution to a problem that grieved my spirit. I was genuinely tired of seeing people suffer and not have adequate resources to live a better life. My purpose was discovered through my passions and frustrations. I picked up and read The Purpose Driven Life almost 10 years ago, and it changed me forever. In the first chapter, the first 5 words stuck with me: “It is not about you.” I desire to help people that are the helpers. The ones that are overlooked and that everyone depends on. The leaders, the pastors, the teachers; they are my assignment. They are the ones I am called to serve.
So, there I was at the age of 30 with no job and entering into a master’s degree program that would take a minimum of 3 years to complete. I had to make a choice: pursue my purpose or continue to live a miserable life doing something that I was not called to do? At the end of the day, time was going to pass by. I was either going to be working to thrive or I was going to be working just to survive. It took me longer than the average person to finish my degree, 5 years to be exact. I struggled at times. I quit at times. I cried a lot of times. I was discouraged at times. I questioned God at times. But one thing remained the same: I was constantly reminded that this journey is not about me. During my internship, I became so burnt out and overwhelmed that I literally almost lost my mind. I kept seeing clients that I could not fully help in the capacity that I desired to help them. I was so frustrated with God because I knew He told me to do this. So why was I feeling this way? It wasn’t until one of my clients told me, “You are needed. I almost did not make it through this, but I am glad we crossed paths.” That was the confirmation I needed.
Still, I felt stuck. Like I couldn’t fully do what God had called me to do. So again, here I was, frustrated, mad, and confused. Then the opportunity came of Life Coaching. I said, “God, why the heck would you make me do 5 years of schooling, 700 hours of internship, and see over 50 clients to turn back around and make me go back to school to be a life coach?” He said this, “You needed the education to recognize the people I sent you to help and the tools to send the ones that need to go to other people. I allowed you to go through it all because you had to understand it was in pursuit of your purpose. If any steps were missed, then you would have been off track and wouldn’t be able to fully walk in your purpose now.” This confirmation pushed me to launch Transform U.
Still, the idea that I graduated early, served and medically retired from the Army, became a single mother, worked over 75 hours a week all because I was called to help others naviagate through the difficult seasons in their life is mind blowing to me. If I never had the heartbreak, I would never be able to say to a recently dumped 20 year old, “I understand.” If I never joined the Army, I would never be able to tell a veteran that there is life outside of the military. If I never went through a divorce, I would never be able to tell a single mother that they are going to make it. If I never went back to school, I could never tell someone, “It is never too late to pursue your purpose.” ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER. Today you have a choice: stay where you are at, or get up and start your Pursuit of Purpose.