Who do you allow to speak into your life each day? Are they words of affirmation or are they words of destruction? We begin to believe what we hear and see, so this is such a vital component to living the life you were called to live.

You see back in my days of wandering, I was allowing people to speak into my life such things as, “You will never amount to anything” and “I could train a monkey to pass the CPA exam. It can’t be that hard.” I overheard people say things like, “Good thing you like to hang out with the “good” sister. The older one seems a little rough around the edges.” Do you know what began to happen? I began to BELIEVE them! My not-so-great actions became more dominant. I began to BELIEVE I would never amount to anything. I would be a “waste of space” forever.

I went through the motions of college and by God’s grace graduated with two bachelors degrees, one in accounting and one in finance. I began my career as a staff accountant and had a great job…still just going through the motions…doing what I had been taught to do. Go to school, graduate, begin your career, become certified, find a man, get married, have babies, you know the story. This had been pounded into my head since birth and I even tried to make this NOT happen in this particular order, because I didn’t want my parents to be right. No way! That was my goal in life…to defy my parents. They knew this. They always said one thing and I did the opposite. That’s who I was. Thank goodness they never stopped praying for me.

Life changed pretty drastically for me in 2010 and 2011. I ended a relationship that I had invested in for 6 years, because it didn’t feel “right” anymore. I hadn’t even been an adult without dating this guy. Who was I? Within 2 1/2 months I was engaged to Mike. Crazy, I know. But when you know, you know! When it is God’s will, you just know. A few short days after Mike proposed I found out I had passed the CPA Exam. See…I did follow my parents timeline even though I fought it with every ounce of my being for the majority of my life. Then…the panic attacks set in. I remember sitting in a client’s office on an audit with tears streaming down my face. The walls were closing in around me. I couldn’t breathe. The pressure was too much to handle. Why was this happening to me? I was about to break. Anytime I was away from Mike, panic would set in? Who was this guy I was about to marry? I hardly knew him. We dated for two months. TWO MONTHS!! Is he going to leave me at the altar? What would I tell everyone? Everything happened so extremely fast. The panic attacks continued. Enter January 2011…the heavy burden of “tax season,” suicidal ideation, psychiatric hospital stay. Who sat by my side? This amazing man who I call my husband today. He never wavered. He was there always.

We were married in June that year. I was asked to resign from my job in July. The feelings of failure set in. I was at the lowest point in my life. You know what though? I haven’t had a panic attack since the day I walked out of those doors. Praise God! Public accounting definitely isn’t for everyone. In August, I interviewed for a position in which I never even saw the job description for. I was depressed, defeated, struggled to smile, and couldn’t see my worth if it had hit me in the face. Why would anyone hire me? I don’t amount to much. I met with a woman that day who would change my life FOREVER. This woman would very shortly become my boss.

I began my new career for an absolutely off-the-charts amazing company. I was excited to go to work each day. No more busy seasons and massive pressing deadlines. I finally had work/life balance. Ahh! I became a mom to a beautiful baby girl in September 2012. When I came back from maternity leave my boss sat me down one day to ask about my family and my new baby. We began to develop a relationship. She saw something in me that I had heard about from my parents and husband, but they are required to see that, right?! I couldn’t believe them! She started pouring life into me. She encouraged me and built me up. She challenged my thinking and helped me to see there was someone deep inside of me that had walls built up all around that was a difference maker…a life changer. She began to meet with me regularly and started developing the strengths that were weakened over years of being told I was never enough. Do you know what began to happen? I began to BELIEVE that I was worth it. That I mattered. That my life was important. That I was loved. That I could make a difference. That I could amount to something…something great. Her belief changed my professional career and personal life entirely. I began moving up the corporate ladder rather quickly and taking on some phenomenal responsibility. Why? Because she BELIEVED in me!

My parents had told me all these things along the way and this verse rings true, “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” – Proverbs 22:6. My boss was the one to begin uncovering all the muck that was on top of that seed my parents had planted deep inside me. God always knows what’s best, doesn’t He? From every small decision to even those He places in our lives at the right times.

So in closing I ask you this, Who are you allowing to speak into your life? Are you allowing positivity or negativity? Are you beginning to BELIEVE them? I pray that you find someone who pours belief into you like nobody’s business! I pray that each you of has a “boss” like I had. It will absolutely change your life.

Today I thank you for those who pour words of life and belief into me. Thank you for shining your light through them and using them for your glory. If I am surrounded by people that are speaking words of destruction into and over my life, I ask that you help me to create a distance in our friendship. I know this won’t be easy and will require me to lean heavily into you during this huge change. Lord, I know that this is a necessity so that I can walk out your calling on my life. I ask that you highlight the people who can speak words of affirmation into my life, who can pour hope into me, and will genuinely BELIEVE in me. I seek your guidance and wisdom to know the relationships you want me to nourish and those you want me to deplete. Father God, most importantly, help me to rest in knowing that YOU believe in ME and that these people I am surrounded by are your way of showing me your love and belief here on Earth. Lord, help me to pay it forward by believing and loving others as you have done to me. Thank you, Lord. I am so grateful my life is in your hands. I couldn’t have written a better story even in my wildest dreams.

In Jesus’ name,