Getting Out of the Way.

What a personal journey the growth of Palm Beach Women's Network has been for me! I really don’t like crowds, women’s only events (I love all of you) or networking. I’m an introvert by nature, and that is why it’s almost comical that I’m leading PBWN.

When Chelsea Gunn first came to me, I had recently started my company, StoryWork, and she thought that it would be a good fit for me to take PBWN. I specifically heard God say to me, “I want you to do this.” It wasn’t part of the (my) plan. But, I knew that there was a plan much greater than mine, so I said ok. And since then He has revealed the vision, driven a very clear mission, and put together a map of events with people on a team that I couldn’t have dreamed up.

I'm realizing now that this is all related to identity. Through this process, I have learned to get out of the way, and listen for a voice greater than mine. When you do this, life is so much more exciting! An adventure unfolds right before your eyes that you couldn't have thought of - you just get to go along for the ride (much less stressful too).

If this is sounding good to you right now - I would encourage you to start seeking out who made you and who you were created to be, who does God say you are?

How does that differ from what you believe about yourself?

This isn’t about self esteem or empowerment, it’s just about walking in your inheritance, and you want to throw off anything that’s not part of your inheritance.

So start journaling through the lies you might believe about yourself that aren’t true, and figure out where it came from (usually some part of our childhood) and seek out people to talk through this with. And you’ll be amazed at the process that will start to unfold, these are the lightbulb moments that I want to share with women in Palm Beach County, because once we are walking in who we are without things holding us back, then our vision, mission, and how we’re going to do whatever it is we’re going to do all become clear.

Don’t settle for less, you were made for so much more. And it might not look like what you thought it would, and it might not be something “big” in the worlds eyes, but none of that matters, when we walk in our identity, we are truly fulfilled.

However, before I stepped into this current season, there was a lot that needed to be cleared out. I was carrying around past hurts, wounds, baggage and false beliefs about myself that held me back from doing anything.

When I had my first daughter, I was paralyzed with fear, I didn’t even know how I would go to the grocery store, let alone do anything else. I’m a lifelong overachiever, perfectionist, striver, and seeker of approval. And I had no idea how to be a parent. I could never read enough books or study enough strategies to pass this test. I’ve struggled with anxiety and depression my whole life, and I had constantly tried to fill that hole with achieving to earn my parents (and others) approval.

But over the years, I’ve seen God gently lead me through a process of redemption. I have struggled, I’ve seen the really ugly side of myself, but I’m learning to trust God to lead me, instead of me striving for the next level or the next thing that will satisfy me.

I constantly felt lost in my life prior to these past few years, and big decisions would paralyze me.

Not now - I know that I’m free and all I have to do is listen for God’s voice and just walk, and move when He tells me to move.

This seems totally backwards in a world filled with distractions, busyness, and technology. But the more I lean in, the more growth I experience. I am the biggest example of how a constant striver can turn into a girl who is learning how to walk and maintain a state of rest.

So how did I get here? It’s been a journey the last 5 years, it doesn’t happen overnight, but I also wasn’t ready for all of it at once, so it’s a good thing this is a constant process. Journaling, an accountability group (close friends that will go deep no matter what), counseling, inner healing (ask me more if you want to know about it 😊) and prayer have all been tools in my tool belt.

The combination of these things has transformed my life. I don’t feel that deep sadness that I’d previously felt my whole life, I don’t feel overly anxious or worried about my future or what I should be doing. I’m learning what rest looks like (coming from a girl who never can sit down to just watch a TV show), and I’m probably “doing” more than I’ve ever done.

But in this place, it doesn’t feel like it, it’s just a daily journey of a girl listening for her Fathers voice, asking what she should do today.

- Lauren Shippy

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