These past few months I would not have dreamed of using the word 'empowered' to describe how I felt. My family is going through some of the hardest times we've been through at the moment. Well, actually it has been like this for a while but I have never felt comfortable sharing that part of my life with anyone face-to-face let alone online. I know that there are, sadly, millions of folks out there who definitely have it worse than we do and that fact has helped me to keep ploughing through all these years but it appears I have not been handling things as well as I would have liked.

It is in my nature to retreat into my safe bubble that is devoid of all outside noise and work through my problems, with little to no help from others, by adapting to the current situation and taking it from there. But it became glaringly obvious these past few months that this ability of mine had definitely reached its limit. 

Yesterday, I attended 'Empowered' - an event hosted by my church to fuel, encourage and equip women to live a purpose-driven life - and left with a lighter, joy-filled heart that definitely has hope for the future. The ladies I met there were funny, enthusiastic, brilliant and very welcoming in their own unique way; it was humbling and comforting to know that we all have hurdles along our life path & they can all end up in our rear view mirrors. It is just a matter of remembering that God loves us and we need to start seeing ourselves through His eyes. I know that this belief might not be shared by all but just hang tight for a sec.

Shit happens. Fact. And clearly, I am no expert at dealing with the my shitty moments but even I have to admit that there is something powerful about a coming together to build one another up by talking (as openly as you can muster) and truly listening to one another. And when this is done from a place of love, your burdens, even if it only for a few hours, start to look a little smaller and conquerable and you feel like you can kick it to the curb. The victory dance might not be immediate but you begin to believe in it again and can see the light at the end of the road with more clarity. Most of the time you alone can/have to solve your problems but you still do not have to go through it alone. Having people cheer you on or share some valuable tips or lend an ear as you take each step closer to the end of a chapter of your life not only boosts your spirit, it sheds a lot of light on the good parts of that chapter as well. And that, to me, is God at work.

Being there for ourselves and others, not losing hope or faith in the fact that things will get better and realising that our weaknesses can be turned into strengths are a few ways that will keep empowering us to push forward and try again and dream bigger. And I am incredibly grateful that I got reminded of that yesterday. 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
— Joshua 1:9
PersonalMo Ray