For about a year and a half, I became a "follower". (Which if you know me at all, is not who I am as a human). I dove in 100% to different podcasts, books, social media pages, and courses. I spent thousands of dollars learning from the best business women in the world how to be "successful."
It was 2002 and I was entering my first education course at Concord College. Mrs. Smith was my instructor, but I can't remember the class name. She walked in and explained our first assignment was to write a a paper on our definition of success. '
I was 19. Pregnant. Unhappily Married.
I wrote my paper eloquently, because I was an English major, and passed that assignment and that course with an A. I supposed I wrote that as a teacher success would be changing the life of even one student. I'm sure I mentioned happiness. I was probably too wise to say money = success but at that time in my life I can promise you that's what I actually thought because I had NONE of it.
As my college career continued I learned that everyone probably got an A on that paper because everyone's definition of success IS different and should be different and truly whatever you believe success equals, is what success is to you.
BACK TO NOW:
After spending months listening to these smart and highly wealthy women tell me what success looked like, I adapted my definition to theirs. I began to believe that success meant hustle. I began to believe that to be successful I had to do more, be more, achieve more, and make more. I don't think I ever fully bought into the idea but I did certainly buy into their brands. I purchased the books, bought the journals, and spent money on the equipment they said I needed to be more - do more - achieve more.
One of my "mentors" often preached to women that it is ok to be selfish. It is ok to focus on business. It is ok to put yourself first. This was hard for me and hard for most women I think. Although I think sometimes this philosophy is sound, I also think it is quite misleading to a Christian wife and mother. I would read lines over and over and try to process them and look up to her for her boldness but still couldn't quite pull of being that much of a feminist.
My admiration for this mentor began to fade in early 2020. I'm not exactly sure why but it just drifted away. I kept trying to align my personal goals with my business goals but her teachings didn't really allow for that. This woman taught millions of women, I'm sure many amazing and wonderful things but also some practices that could be very damaging to girls like me. I believe that so many women left conferences and finished books inspired. Inspired to put family and others second to personal goals and financial aspirations.
After teaching on marriage and hosting couples podcasts, in May this person announced she was getting a divorce.
Success. What is success?
Is a fat bank account success?
Is a goal reached success?
Is a completed check list success?
When I read DIVORCING, my idol fell. I would never be one to say I have idols. That goes against all of my beliefs but maybe that's exactly what she was. I looked to her for advice. I trusted her words and guidance when Jesus left words and guidance for just a time as this. My Bible never said to put myself first above all else and others. My God never once told me to put my workout above my kids.
What the crap was I doing? Where was I putting my trust?
People fail. Idols fall.
During COVID we all had to figure out where our faith lies. We all have been forced to look around at ourselves and each other and see who we really are.
Although I not thankful that family is being broken apart, I am so thankful for the wake up call.
Lord, let my faith and trust be in you. Let me remember to cultivate a life of peace and trust. Help me God to remember that sometimes Good is Good Enough. Sometimes more is not better. And always, let you be the only one I look to for guidance.