There I was, standing on stage looking at a multitude of beautiful faces whose smiles filled the theater. Behind me, I could feel the warmth of joy radiating across the stage as our team accepted the applause from an overwhelmed audience. The night was truly unforgettable. I remember standing there holding back my tears as my heart pounded viciously inside of my chest. I couldn’t believe that over two hundred people came to witness a story that I was once afraid to share. I mean, sex-trafficking? The average person doesn’t even fully understand what that is, but there they were, over two hundred beautiful people, willing to embrace my story with open minds and hearts.
When I finally accepted my truth about being trafficked, I remember feeling worthless and ashamed. I was sure that my future would forever be enslaved by my past and that I would never be able to overcome the labels associated with such a horrible experience. As a result, I felt incapable of success. For a while, I lived my life trying to please people by investing my time and energy in everyone else — fearful of pursuing my own dreams.
That night, when I stood on stage with the wealth of talent standing with me … I felt unqualified. Shortly after the production I even started to feel a little doubt. Crazy, right? I know. The play was amazing (because I had an amazing team) and we received wonderful reviews! Yet, I doubted that I would be able to pull it off again or sustain the applause of the crowd, who now, had an expectation of continuous success (or so I thought). I convinced myself that the play ended that night — I did it! I pulled off one great night. Surely, that was my one taste of success, right? Besides, how could this once trafficked, single mom with no honorable awards to justify the absence of a college degree, go any further than a stage play? Surely, writing a stage play would be my only taste of success, right? Wrong! Oh, was I wrong! Here’s why:
1. “I” didn’t do it by myself, so saying that, “I could never do it again or do any better” is like saying that all of the wonderful people who shower me with love DAILY … all suck, and their support means absolutely nothing. *Don’t believe the lies your insecurity tries to sell you.*
2. Success isn’t measured by WHAT we do, but rather HOW we do it. During the process of writing the play, I gave it my all. I wrote it with love and with a grateful heart. I wrote it with the confidence that it would change lives, spread awareness and bring healing (for myself) … and it did! I experienced the success of the play before it even hit the stage. *Do everything you do with pure intentions, a grateful heart and with the expectation of winning*
3. It wasn’t my plan to begin with! The moment God rescued me from trafficking, He began to prepare me for purpose. Actually, He knew my purpose before I was born. He knew that I’d suck at life on my own. He knew that I’d turn away from Him a few times before I would fall to my knees before Him. He knew that He was going to use my testimony for His glory. God knows everything! He is the CREATOR, which means: HE is our visions and dreams. God supplied me with the tools to execute HIS vision, not mine, and the play was only the beginning! His plan isn’t limited to degrees and titles, He chooses whoever He wants, our only job is to answer His call and to trust His process. *If God called you to do something, don’t limit Him to your perception of success. He chose YOU on purpose*
Gems are precious and valuable stones that need to be cut and polished in order to be used as jewelry. Sometimes, we go through the cutting (which is painful) and the polishing (which takes time) stages of life, especially when we are operating within the purpose God has for us. We may not always feel qualified to execute the vision, and it can be intimidating at times when your vision doesn’t look like everyone else’s. Good news: rarity is one of the main characteristics of a gem … and that is exactly what you are to God – a beautiful, rare, uncommon gem! If he calls you to do something, he will prepare you for it. Are you qualified? Probably not. But, what’s better: qualifications or the fact that God CHOSE YOU to get the job done?? Success is simply saying YES to God’s plan.
Face your dream, grasp your vision, stand on purpose … because you my friend, are God’s unqualified gem.