Posts tagged true struggle
Unrefined, but Loved, Creation in Progress

There are dozens of versions of me I imagined as a child. Research scientist, doctor, gymnast, and a dozen more before I graduated high school. Even when I thought I had figured things out in college, my path changed again. The older I got, the more reality hit, and the more I worried I would see myself as a disappointment. I wasn't in med school. I wasn’t on my way to six figures. I didnt know how to reconcile the dreams I had as a kid with the reality of my desires and abilities as an adult. How could I look at myself in the mirror if I just became "this?” Who would care about the girl who does "that" for a living?

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Anchored in Love: My Healing Journey

Then, years later, the crash came. I’d managed for so long, but in the fall of 2016, my weary body started firing symptoms like sirens. I reluctantly put myself back into the hands of a doctor, and after running another panel of tests, she found the mysterious bacteria that had been oppressing my body for almost a decade. We were shocked and relieved, and I immediately entered into the necessary but brutal treatment. Love carried me through those months. The love of my husband who wrapped me in blankets every day just to get me into fresh air. The love of my friends who met me where I was at — in my bed. The love of my family who helped care for me. And mostly, the love of my Creator, who planted a peace in my heart not even the tears could wash away.

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I Love Myself, That's What Matters

Self-love is something I've struggled with. I struggle with comparison. I'm always comparing myself to others. I think that's brought me down a lot of times, and it's made me feel insecure. Another big thing for me is feeling judged — it's never fun to feel like you're constantly being judged by others. In these situations, it has really helped me to remember God loves me.

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Does Ambition Lead to Success?

I grew up believing ambition led to success. In school, if I studied and did the work, I would get an A. In sports, if I practiced hard, I was rewarded with more playing time. When I worked my first job, hard work equaled higher pay, more hours, and the admiration of my boss and coworkers. My achiever personality thrives in that environment! I can finish a project in record speed. When I set a goal, I don’t stop until that goal is completed. I love making lists and checking things off. (I’m one of those crazy people who writes something I just did on the list, just so I can cross it off…don’t laugh, I’m know I’m not the only one!)

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Grateful in Love

"I'm sorry you have to love me." These words have fallen from both mine and my spouse's lips more than once. Nothing makes you feel more challenged and more inadequate than taking on the responsibility of jumping into a lifelong commitment with someone. I never saw life coming when we fell for each other. It all looked like bliss. But Disney lied, y'all! Being in love is hard, and I have yet to meet my fairy godmother or get my animals to talk back to me. Feeling love is simple but living that love is a lesson in humility, compassion, patience, and growth.

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Finding Fatherly Love Amidst Heartache

When I was a little girl, my dad had a wife who hurt me deeply with piercing words of my worthlessness for years. Even though I only spent a few months with her each year as I was growing up, she had one of the greatest impacts on my heart and self-image as a child. She hurt my heart deeply. She convinced me I was lacking value — that I would never be as good as her daughter, that I was a liar and a waste of space. Each day my dad would leave for work in the summer, I felt abandoned. I felt left behind.

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Be Broken No More

Life comes with a load of brokenness. Depending on the season we’re walking through, sometimes our haul is manageable and other times we find ourselves huffing from exhaustion. Brokenness comes in many different forms and takes on personas we hoped it never would. I’ve experienced brokenness lately in an array of different shapes and sizes, each carrying its own burden. A few weeks ago I received a rejection letter for a fellowship I applied for. That thing took every little piece of me. I had never worked so hard at something and to see it all fall away is hard to accept.

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Series Introduction: Heartbreaks & Band-Aids

Hearts are the very source of life. It keeps blood, character and passion pumping through our veins. Our hearts beat with love for that which brings us joy — and, for the moments that inspire us beyond measure. Although it’s an organ with so much strength and capacity for happiness, it is no stranger to the slightest bit of pain. The human heart is incredible but yet, it can be frail and unsteady at times. I’d like to believe every emotion we feel stems from the heart. Think about it — in times of utter excitement, it feels as if your heart could explode. Or, in a moment of hurt, the heart feels heavy and burdened.

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Once a Victim, Now a Victor

Roughly three years ago, I faced one of the darkest times of my life. I was finishing up college in a beautiful mountain town just two hours from home. I flourished here. I found out a lot about myself I hadn’t known before and I felt so strong, so independent. Then, one night, everything changed. I am struggling to tell you this because this is a story I have never told publicly — and most definitely never in writing in such detail. But, Crowned Chics is a place for honesty and I promise to always communicate with you in a real way. OK, here it goes…

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Finding Victory from Fear

Fear is sneaky. It creeps in when you least expect it. It tags along when it is most unwelcome. It shows up when you are dealing with loss, with grief, with frustration, with pain. Fear knows no boundaries. It is no respecter of persons. Rich people fear. Poor people fear. Men fear. Women fear. The educated fear. The uneducated fear. It doesn’t matter what religion, what race, what your family looks like, what town you live in — fear will try to find its way in.

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The 'Why' Behind the Struggle

I’ve always been a worrier. Even when I was little, I would periodically go through different habits and quirks that helped me deal with the anxious feelings I experienced. It didn’t feel like anything abnormal, so I never considered it a unique issue. I worried. So what? I dealt with it. Well, then, I had my first panic attack. In May of 2017, just hanging out at my house, I started to feel like something was wrong. I was shaking, I felt all tingly, and my heart rate seemed to be racing. I was convinced my heart was giving out or something similar.

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What's in a Name

Naming my kids was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. How do you choose what a child will be called her entire life? How do you know from the moment you look at him, what name will fit his personality? It is a huge responsibility to choose what name a child will answer to, what name she will write on every form, what name she will speak over herself every day for the rest of her life. “Hi, I’m…” I believe there is power in a name. What is spoken over you matters. The words you use are incredibly valuable, and a person’s name is spoken over them again and again from birth until death.

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Adornment Isn't a Requirement

Sometimes, I think back to my college years, and I really want to apologize to my hair. In those days, I would never leave my dorm room without my hair and makeup done; sometimes, fixing and touching up my look multiple times a day. I was so convinced, on a campus where half of the population showed up to class in their pajamas, that I needed to look put together at all times. I have a little bit of an idea why I did this to myself and why so many of us put ourselves through so much beauty torture. Since we’re all friends here, I’ll let you in on a secret. I’m super self-conscious.

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True Love Actually Isn't a Fairytale

The kind of love we see plastered across the media and portrayed in the entertainment industry isn’t at all what a real relationship is like. It is because of these misconstrued ideas of love that often times we think anything less than means we’re settling — or simply with the wrong person. We base our “perfect match” on the love stories we see in the movies and think the relationship will come easy — like in a sunset on the beach, hand in hand, forever in love kind of way.

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Embracing Life’s Unexpected Crowns

My husband Aaron and I were so excited and full of anticipation as the tech started the ultrasound. We were pregnant with our third child. We had two beautiful girls already and I found myself secretly hoping for a baby boy. I was consumed with knowing and had anticipated this day for quite some time — all 21 weeks of pregnancy!  We loved the natural approach to childbirth and pregnancy, fully believing I was born for this motherhood role. Our midwife always gave us an option of having an ultrasound, it wasn’t mandatory. I had to know who this little baby was going to be!

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Put on Your Crown of Personal Acceptance

In a world where beauty seems to be defined in materialistic, physical attributes, it can be difficult to find the truth in it all. While there is nothing wrong with dressing your lips in a pop of color and strapping on your favorite pair of heels, beauty goes much deeper. What if we leveraged our God-given beauty to carry ourselves through the day? We couldn’t help but walk a tad bit taller as we shamelessly fall in love with the skin we’re in — wearing our crown of acceptance.

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Removing the Crown of Self-Deception

We lie to ourselves. Over and over again throughout the day without even a pause to consider Is it true? We lie over and over until it becomes true for us, and while this could be a useful method to create something beautiful in our lives, we often unwittingly abuse our own power by affirming what we don’t want.

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You've Already Been Crowned in Purpose

Anyone else out there desperate to find the purpose/calling/meaning of your entire existence? This is pretty much at the top of my hobby list. Everyone in my family seems to know exactly why God put them here, and I’m over here taking interest inventories every few months to see if there’s some magic answer that suddenly pops up.

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