Finding My Voice

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All my life, I’ve doubted myself. I’ve looked to other people to tell me what I should think and do. I’ve asked so many different people about my life, that I’m swirling in a sea of voices. But there’s one voice that I’ve drowned out, and that voice is mine.

The Role of a Mentor

It’s probably no surprise that when I was in the throes of addiction, my mentors (if you want to call them that) were not healthy people. The people I sought approval from did not have my best interest at heart. Nor did I.

Through my recovery, I’ve learned to surround myself with healthier people. Additionally, I found mentors who are worthy of that title.

Mentors can come in many forms – sponsors, pastors, counselors, teachers, authors, etc. I’ve had them all. I’m grateful for them. They guided me and offered advice when my brain was healing and the fog was lifting.

When I wasn’t really quite sure what a healthy response was, they taught me. Furthermore, through these mentors, I learned to form healthier relationships.

Life is an evolution and lately, I’ve been having a new epiphany about the role of a mentor.

Mentors are really good. However, I believe the most important job of a mentor is to encourage their mentee to think for themselves. And as a Christian, the most important job of a pastor is to encourage their sheep to learn to hear the voice of God for themselves.

For some reason, I’ve always been drawn to mentors who will talk and think for me.

It’s not their fault. It’s what I was looking for. And it was what I needed at one time.

Finding My Voice

However, tonight as one of my mentors was talking I realized something. I realized no one is really listening to me. Additionally, I realized it’s because I’m always asking what other people think of my decisions.

I’m not really sure I need that anymore.

Sure, there is a time and a place to bounce things off of the important people in our lives, but overall, I know what I need to do. Furthermore, I have access to the same God and hear clearly.

I realized I don’t really need the approval of others if I have the approval of God.

Moreover, I’ve realized I really have something to say. And now I have the confidence to say it.

Photo by Josh Rocklage on Unsplash

When The Teacher is Ready, The Students Will Appear

There is an Asian proverb that says, “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” I am experiencing the converse of that proverb is also true. I’m ready to teach and I have students lining up. Women are asking for my guidance.

Let me repeat that to convince myself it’s real, women are actually asking for my guidance.

Am I going to sit on the sidelines and let fear prevent me from embracing this? The old Deanna would say yes, but Deanna 2.0 says heck no!

In my writing, I’m getting to know my true self. Maybe you, as the readers are seeing it? I don’t know because I cannot look in from your perspectives.

However, I am noticing something. Whenever I bare my heart and soul, you leave heartwarming comments or send me emotion filled emails.

I don’t know if this blog is changing anyone’s life but I know it’s changing mine.

I’m finding my voice…finally.

Photo by Les Anderson on Unsplash

Where Do We Go From Here?

So the thing I wrote vaguely about in my post on Monday, is that I feel led to go to Africa. I suspect I may be called to teach orphans there but first I must go on a short term mission trip and see if what’s on my heart is God’s will for my life.

I’ve told my family about it so I can write about it.

A lot will have to happen before this short term trip can occur but I’ve started to take action. Mainly, I’ve reached out to a pastor who leads short term mission trips to Uganda. I put the word out that I’m interested in going on one in 2020.

From there, it’s yet to be determined what will occurs after…

Teaching Here and Now

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

For now, this teacher (me!) has students here to teach and that is namely women who want to do better with their money.

I have a full-time day job which I enjoy a lot. Additionally, I blog on the side which brings me a lot of joy. As we’ve just established is allowing me to find my voice!

Now, though, I’m ready to guide some women in their financial endeavors.

How will I have time for all of this? Great question. As I’ll be working on some financial curriculums, I may have to reduce the number of posts I release per week. Currently, I post on Mondays and Thrusdays and I’m religiously disciplined about it.

For now, I’m not changing anything about my blog but I will begin working on some financial curriculums geared towards women. Potentially, I see the possibility of teaching them at recovery and sober houses. I’m sure, as the curriculums begin to take shape, I’ll get more clarity of where to teach them.

The Curriculums

As I think more seriously about teaching to women here, I think about the basics in financial literacy:

  • Budgeting
  • Saving
  • Spending
  • Giving
  • Getting out of debt
  • Investing
  • Planning for the future

As I meet more women in recovery, there seems to be no shortage of those who need to gain financial literacy. Being in the personal finance world, I see so many great teachers already out there and it’s easy to think, who the heck am I to teach on this stuff too? #ImposterSyndrome

And then I’m reminded that people are most apt to listen to someone who’s come out of the trenches themselves, dug their way out of debt, found freedom in budgeting, learned about investing, became mindful about spending, and is embracing a high savings rate. That’s me!! And I know I have nothing if I don’t give it away.

So I’m ready to take up this mantle as a teacher.  After all, this is not a dress rehearsal.

Photo by James & Carol Lee on Unsplash

Closing Thoughts

I’m continually reminded that life is an evolution and we are either growing or dying. We need to be willing to take calculated risks and go for our dreams, our purpose, and our passion.

Who is not being helped when I’m not living on purpose? Seriously, if I’m meant to help others in this manner, then who am I to say no?

So I’m ready to guide women into getting their financial ducks in a row so that they too can have the capacity to dream, be on purpose, and find their passion.

How about you? Are you ready to take action in your life? Who is not being helped because you are not doing your purpose?

Theme Photo by Frida Bredesen on Unsplash




14 thoughts on “Finding My Voice”

  1. Good for you, Deanna. Helping those in recovery with their finances is huge. As you know better than most, addiction is a killer for finances. Most addicts (including our son) who’ve spent time in the system come out with lots of debt to repay.

    In most cases they have to “check the box” on job applications about having a criminal record. Though many employers are banning this practice, it’s still very hard for them coming out of the system.

    Having a guide and mentor who’s been there would be huge. You’d be a perfect fit. I applaud you for listening to God’s voice. We never go wrong when we do that. I look forward to hearing about this journey.

    Well done.

    1. Thanks, Fred! You are absolutely right that addicts typically have money problems. It’s such a crucial piece of the bigger picture to a lasting & healthy sobriety.

      I’m excited to step into a role I’m qualified for. It’s hard to say no to God!

  2. Amen and amen! When we are in the darkness we do not know why, when we come out of the darkness we realize why God held us there. You have been blessed with the gift of teaching my friend and you are obediently using your experiences to bless others.

    ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

  3. Absolutely love this! I am so happy that you have found your voice through this blog because I and many others benefit from your words daily! You are inspirational, and a great mentor!

    1. Aah, thanks girl! Sometimes I think I am writing in vain but I really, really hope it helps others. This is refreshing to read your comment 🙂

  4. This is so amazing! What a beautiful post and I’m so glad that you will be sharing your story and lessons with others. I can’t wait to see and hear more about it!

  5. This is so great! You’ll be a fanastic teacher – and the world needs more of those.

    I look forward to reading about the curriculum you develop and your experiences.

      1. I’ve taught everything from elementary school to university teacher and administrator classes. I currently have the honor of running schools for kids who have slipped through the cracks or been pushed out of other school systems. It’s a lifelong passion, which is why I’m always thrilled to see others approach it with the same passion.

        1. That is great! Do you have a subject area of focus? I taught at a drop out recovery school about 8 years ago. Those are the kids who need the passionate teachers. Keep up the good work!

  6. Pingback: Being True to Yourself - Ms. Fiology

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