|360 Degrees of Transformation||
When asked to describe yourself, you usually run off the list of items necessary for public knowledge. My name, my age, my family. My education, where I work, and my hobbies.
My name is Leah Potter.
I am 30 years old.
I have two daughters and a cat.
I have a BA in Human Development, I work as an Independent Beachbody Coach, and also at The Red Door Thrift Store. My hobbies are reading, swimming, writing.
What does this mean, though? Does it really tell you about ME? Does it tell you what inspires me, what makes my heart break, and what makes me weep with joy? Does it tell you my greatest dreams and my deepest fears? Do you know my trials, my sufferings, the things that did not break me, and why they did not break me? No. So how, then, do you find out? You can ask, but how many people ask? And why would you want to know?
Conversations with me began like this:
"Hey! Nice to see you! What have you been up to?"
Me: "Nothing much, kids start school soon, work is work. Nothing new to report."
For many years, I labored under the assumption that people didn't really want to know what was going on in my life. Why did I think that? It is because I learned that to tell people what I am struggling with is to invite criticism and attacks. Or when I did start to expound on my trials, I would get cut off, or ignored. So I just shut my mouth. I would lie.
Now, however, I realize that I can't be upset with people when it isn't their job to fix my issues, or to even listen to my troubles. That is GOD's job. One He is very good at. Now, if I wake up in the middle of the night, plagued by over-thinking, I have learned to give it to God rather than stay up all night worrying and being fearful. I live my life trusting Him to see me through, and I don't suffer from sleepless nights much anymore.
How many people really want to hear all about the disasters in your life? Truthfully, not many. How many want to hear about your triumphs, your transformation from a life of despair to one of joyfulness? Probably most everyone. By all means, share your story, your struggles, you difficulties. But share them with the intent to get help out of that hole, or to help others out of their pit. Don't wallow in the mud, and then proudly display to all that your life is a mess. No one is going to drag you out of that pit. You have to take the steps to help yourself if you expect someone else to help you.
When I finally started asking for help, and wasn't getting it, I had to figure out why. People usually want to help, but most of them aren't counselors or life coaches. They need specifics on what they could do to help. I finally wrote an email to a woman I trusted to help me, telling her exactly what I needed and why. I also told her what I wanted in my life. The result was the beginning of great new friendships, a greater understanding of my identity in Christ, a co-leadership position in a women's outreach discipleship ministry, a self-published co-authored book, and a new business venture as an independent coach. Within two years, I had gone from asking for help out of that pit, to journeying towards 360 degrees of transformation.
So, it is not a question of WHO AM I, but a statement of WHO I AM.
I am a single mother, raising and advocating for two beautiful children, one who is special needs and another who has experienced the heartbreak of parent abandonment. I am a woman who has lived through failed, traumatic, abusive relationships, sexual assault, depression, social and general anxiety, and PTSD. I've been hospitalized for attempted suicide, lost my best friend to suicide, battled for custody and protection of my children in court more than once, and earned a college degree, while staying home with my children. I moved across the state with my daughters to a place where I knew no one, to ensure their survival and mine. I am overcoming an identity crisis. I am creative, an author, a swimmer, a learner, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a coach, a leader. I listen, I hear, I see, I think before I speak. I take the hard baby steps on my journey. I no longer hide from fear. I fall down, and I get back up. I cry from grief, from joy, from the presence of the Holy Spirit. I laugh, I smile, I look into the eyes of people when speaking to them. I hold my head up high. I place a high value on my family, which includes people who are not related by blood or marriage. I see God moving in everyday, and I recognize now when He steps in to guide me, when He is teaching me, and when He provides rest. I am learning what it feels like to have a father love me. I am ROYALTY, a PRINCESS, the daughter of the King of kings. I am saved by grace, forgiven, redeemed, made new, qualified, called to a life of missions. A disciple, making disciples. I am alive, free, blameless, a masterpiece. I am LOVED, REJOICED over, ENJOYED. All these things and more. If you only take one thing away with you today, take this: I can do nothing and I am nothing without the Awesome presence of God in my life. He is what transforms us 360 degrees, if we let Him.
We might be in different places, but all of us are on a journey.
Leah's Life Verses