This past weekend, I had my first official book signing at my home church back in Moorhead, MS. I was so excited to present my book to them. I took pictures with a few people and sold all my books. Yet, it still haven’t hit me that I’m an author now. I thought about pulling back from the excitement but received another opportunity to do a book signing at another church. I didn’t believe this was going to happen and thought people would not like my work. God can show me many things but yet I have a hard time believing them. I listened to a wonderful message by Dr. Matthew Steveson called “Difference”. In that message, he was talking about that we are more afraid to be our true selves( hope I’m not misquoting). It’s scary to become someone you never seen. I never seen a “ShuCora” before but it makes me think of Galatians 6:4-5 (MSG) “Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you have been given, and then sink yourself into that. Don’t be impressed with yourself. Don’t compare yourself with others. Each of you must take responsibility for doing the creative best you can with your own life.”
It’s like God is giving us permission to find out who we really are and taking that information to make the most out of our lives. A Great God doesn’t make average people but Great people. Sometimes we don’t live up to the expectations God placed on our lives. We will pass up great opportunities because we don’t see ourselves correctly. In the pic above, the black and white photo was taking while I was in college. I was dealing with a lot of insecurity and low self-esteem issues. Honestly I thought that was a cute pic…(how is looking sad a great photo to take….Crazy world). In the other pic, I am smiling for the camera as I prepare to release my first book. In this picture, you may see the same person but I see two different people. I can’t help to wonder if the ShuCora back then would have acted different if she knew where she will be today. You maybe asking yourself the same question. Are you playing the role of something that you are not? I can pretend to be a sad girl who hate herself but I’m really a confident, powerful woman of God. Which narrative I’m going to live by? Depressed or Conqueror? Do not sabotage yourself by living beneath who God made you to be. If He made you to be a CEO, then start thinking like it. If He made you to be an author, start working on your speaking skills. If He made you to be a “change-agent”, then stop following after the ways of this world. Don’t give people a “false” version of yourself. You never know who needs you to be YOU. They need to see that people can change, that you can overcome hard obstacles and be everything God wants you to be. I do not want to regret passing up an opportunity because I felt I wasn’t worthy enough to have it, or rejecting God’s man for me because I allow my past relationships to define my love life, or missing out on great friendships because of my distrust and insecurity. We have to look at ourselves the right way and realize we are valuable. Don’t MisRepresent Yourself ;)…
In Other News:
In January, I started writing this short story, Parris’s Hope. So far, I only wrote three chapters of it but got busy and discouraged. Sometimes I base my success off of numbers and didn’t think my stories matter if a lot of people weren’t reading it. I am sharing this vulnerable moment with you because I want to encourage you to keep pushing on. We don’t know who’s watching us or need what God placed in us. If you think a lot of likes, views, and/or comments prove that you’re successful, then you are sadly mistaken. Maybe in the world’s view it matters but not in God’s eyes. His concern is seeing a life changed by it. I started this blog because I wanted to freely speak my heart with no boundaries and tell stories people can relate to. This is the place where I can just write. (As I’m writing this, I feel encouraged again 😉.) Two lessons I want you to learn.
Never start anything that you don’t plan to finish. Small beginnings to me are learning stages. I learn about the process of things, given room to make plenty of mistakes, and humbly appreciating every step of progress. It’s hard to keep up with something that’s not part of my routine already. When it came to my social media, I had to decide what I can keep up with and what I cannot. Commitment is a big part of that as well. Commitment is not based on followers or likes but sticking to a task no matter what. When your platform starts to grow, people are going to check you it out. They want to see quality stuff or atleast updated material. So keep writing the blog, making the videos, etc. and don’t stop.
Never cast down godly motives for some likes and clicks. Believe it or not, this is a temptation that people face. We start off doing things for God but change once the huge support or enormous crowd starts to come our way. People are not going to keep you at the top but God will. Your worth is not found in opinions but God. Of course, I can learn from people’s critiques and advice but that’s not validation for my calling or gifting. Don’t be discouraged because you’re not getting the response you hoped for. We beg for huge success but may not be ready to handle what comes with it just yet. So enjoy the ride and keep going.
In saying this, I want to be committed to what I start. So whoever stumbles across my page, they will find plenty of stories to read and godly content that will encourage them not an empty page that I gave up on. I will be putting up Chapters 4,5,6 & 7 of Parris’s Hope this weekend for you to enjoy. On next Tuesday, I will be discussing my thoughts behind it. I hope I said something that encouraged you! Have a great day peeps!
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