Dear Friend,

Allow me to begin by saying, "I get you."

I understand; I do. It feels like the world is moving ahead without you. Everyone around you is making progress, but you remain stuck.

You're overwhelmed. You're exhausted. You feel like a failure. And anytime someone points out something you could be doing "better," you just add it to your never-ending list of insecurities.

I get that. I've spent far too many hours living in the darkness of that shadow.

But today, from my deepest heart, I want you to know: You do not need to stay there.

You do not need to spend your days staring at that shadow that follows you around no matter where you stand, constantly reminding you of your place.

You see, it's actually perfectly okay to not be where you want to be in life right now.

What's not okay is doing nothing about it.

From a tough love perspective, you can't expect to gain progress from moping around in your corner expecting things to change.

Because they won't.

The raw & honest truth is: life happens, and it's not always pretty. In fact, a lot of the time it's not pretty at all.

But you can't let that stop you; you have to keep moving toward your mission.

Yes, it will take a little courage, but I believe in you. You can keep going. It won't be easy, but in the end, I promise you it will be worth it.

Often times, the most difficult roads lead to the most glorious destinations.

You are an individual with so much potential, and you are here for a purpose.

In Isaiah 43, the Lord gives the sweetest reminder to us that he is literally "in our corner."

He says,

"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

And when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.

For I am the Lord, your God.

You are precious and honored in my sight, and I love you.

Do not be afraid, for I am with you."

[Isaiah 43:1-5]

So with those words of encouragement, I hope you never forget who you are, but also whose you are.

You are never alone and always loved.

I hope each day you are able to do something that your future self will thank you for.

I hope you are able to grow continuously and bloom where you're planted, even among these seasons of autumn and winter.

Friend, remember: it will take time to get to the place you want to be. But don't allow time to discourage you.

Find gratitude for the little things that make life sweet.

But most importantly, acknowledge your progress every day. Focus on that progress and hold it in your heart knowing the best days are yet to come.

God makes everything beautiful in his time, and sometimes his time tables don't quite fit in our plans.

Do you think, maybe, that's why he granted us patience?

With a heart full of hope for the days to come,

A young woman in your shoes