Right before all the holiday craze, I was asked by the beautiful Kennesha, over at Restoration House Interiors to share my story. I’ve always gone back and forth with sharing more intimate details here on the blog, wondering how many of you who come to visit for beautiful pictures of interiors and pretty decorated room, really want to read more intimate details on my faith and how I got to where I am today.
But sometimes I think there is freedom that takes place when you know more about someone, other than seeing their highlights online displayed in perfectly staged photos. So while we get ready to launch a new site for my business and a new site for my blog, I thought it would be fitting to share my story here with you, in hopes it gives you courage to take a step of faith in the direction you are feeling called.
Welcome!! I’m so glad you are here. Grab a nice hot beverage and get to know a little bit more about me. I am passionate about interior design, and love all things decor, but I’m even more passionate about others being set free by God’s saving grace. Breathing that freedom in, walking in that freedom, and ultimately serving God in that freedom. Perhaps it’s because I’ve experienced that freedom time and time again in my own life, that I’m so passionately for others to experience it too!
I’ve been in church my whole life, however that doesn’t mean that I’ve had it easy or a perfect life by any means. I first experienced God’s saving freedom when I was 13 and my family was broken apart by divorce. I had every reason in the book to turn my back on God then, but He showed up in such a powerful way and saved me from going down a very destructive path. Fast forward a few years, I started dating my now husband, and we have been happily married with 2 little kids for almost 10 years. I had always dreamed of becoming an interior decorator, it was something I enjoyed doing early on. I think I was the only 12 yr. old who would create vignettes in her room out of all my friends. I would rearrange my displays just for fun, and turn any flat surface into a beautifully decorated canvas. I would cover my walls in giant collages of cut outs from magazines and photos of me and my friends. There wasn’t an ounce of wall left to be seen, and it all inspired me. It wasn’t until we had settled into our first house, and after the birth of our 2nd child that the passion to decorate started bubbling up again. I had always decorated our apartments nicely, and thankfully had the freedom to paint in both of them, but this was different. This time we owned and I was bound to put my mark on it. I started my blog so I could document all the changes along the way.
About 9 months after I started my blog, I began to feel my heart strings tugged again to start exploring becoming an interior decorator. I had my hands full with two babies eighteen months apart, a new home I hadn’t even scratched the surface on all my plans for yet, and still I had this undeniable urge to start my own business. You see though, I had been here before. Everytime I got this close, I came up with an excuse as to why not, and talked myself out of it. I would either tell myself I don’t have the time to take the classes, or “I never went to school for that, so who would want to hire me anyways”? Then I started having kids, and put all my energy and focus into that. My husband was so supportive along the way. Seeing my desire to create and decorate, he always encouraged me, or put up with it when I was trying something new out. This time was different though, this time I had seen others, who maybe hadn’t been to school, and they were doing it. I had done enough decorating for family members and friends and finally been asked one to many times when I was going to finally starting doing this as a business. Something was still holding me back, and it was more than just doubt. I wasn’t afraid of failing, this went much, much deeper than that.
Have you heard of Holley Gerth? She is an amazing christian author, and talk about a women who is obedient to doing what God calls her to do. She has such a gift for expressing God’s heart towards us, and has written many books. She wrote a devotional called “God’s Heart for You” and it was at the end of this devotional that I experienced God’s freedom in my life once again. Of course it was in the very last chapter of this devotional when God’s truth spoke over me, and I realized I had been believing a lie for the past 18 years. I read the verse “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6. I read that scripture and instantly I was taken back. It touched me to my core, but then I smirked. And instantly I asked the God to forgive me for doubting His word, and asked him to show me where that came from.
He took me back to when I was in elementary school, and I over heard a conversation between my 5th grade teacher, my mother and my rivals mother. Now there was no issue, it was friendly conversation. But you all know what I mean. There was that one girl who no matter what you did, she did it better. She was a better student, a better athlete, got voted for all of the superlatives. She was just your all around A+ student, star athlete, the most popular. She was everywhere in all my classes, all the sports I played, she always got the positions I would try out for. I felt like I lived in her shadow. Well one day, in casual conversation, my mother was talking to my teacher about how well of a student I was, boasting, like any mother does. I remember smiling with confidence, and then the other girls mother said “oh that’s nice, but it just comes naturally to Susie(fake name), she’s just better at everything” And looks at our teacher for affirmation. Instant defeat I felt, I wanted to hide behind my mothers legs and cry. I don’t even think they knew I was listening. But it was that very moment that I took on the lie that “I was not good enough”. I carried it with me through the rest of my school years, throughout every sport I played. Anything I put my hands to, I never put forth full effort because deep down inside I always believed I wasn’t “GOOD ENOUGH”?!
I broke when God revealed that to me. That in my heart all these years, despite being saved, and doing many great things He had lead me to, I carried this around everywhere I went. It might as well been tattooed on my forehead. Oh but I hid it well. I concealed it so good I wasn’t even aware it still existed. I asked God instantly to heal that part of me that had been broken so long ago, and allowed Him to speak truth over me. No longer was I believing this lie anymore. No longer was I doubting myself anymore. I used to shrug off compliments or words of affirmation, thinking I was never good enough to amount to what people were seeing. You can imagine the deep sigh of relief I felt after that sob session of realization. But it was truly releasing those lies to God and asking Him to show me how he sees me. The purpose He created me for. My own divine gifts. At the end of each chapter in Holly’s devotional she closes with the most heartfelt of statements. True affirmation for the area that God is speaking to you on in that chapter. I want to share that chapters statement with you today, and allow His truth to wash over you!
I shared this with my husband later that day. He prayed with me, affirmed in me, and encouraged me to stop holding back, and to walk out in all that God had called me to be. I now felt purpose. Like I was seeing things clearly for the first time. No longer did I brush things off as wishful thinking. We came up with a business name, and for the past 3 years I have been “Inspiring others to Love the Space the Live in”. We also build custom furniture, and create custom decor pieces as well. I still write my blog, and share most often on Instagram my interior design. I wear many hats, I am a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, an interior decorator, But most importantly I am His. And I am walking in His freedom, creating by His grace, and I want you to experience that freedom too!