Who Do You Think You Are?

“Who Do You Think You Are, A Princess? Quit daydreaming. You will never be who you think you are going to be. Get used to the real world Missy!”

My mother would squash my dreams often with her cutting words. She couldn’t understand that even in our hard circumstances of life, one could have hope in themselves.Who I felt like was someone who could rise above our circumstances. It was deep inside of me. I couldn’t help it, it was stronger than even a mother’s demeaning words. There was a spirit that wouldn’t give up.

I recently attended a B.L.A.S.T. Next Level Training in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I have been in this program for a year. My life coach, best-selling author Shannon Ethridge, invited us to come spend four days with her and her team to take an extended course  as a special treat for us all. Our group was from all over the United States; California, Detroit, South Carolina, Florida, Nebraska, to name a few. We had been talking by Zoom Conference, phone, text, Facebook to bond with each other. There was something special going on with our group, and Shannon saw it right away. She kept telling us ” I have never had a group become this close with each other before.” We continued to help and support each other. We pushed each other forward. We critiqued our work, and we shared our stories. The focus was precise. We improved our skills. As our graduation from this program was near, Shannon made the decision to bring us all together and share her best nuggets of information with us. She believed in our ministries. She believed in us.

This particular program had never been done before. Shannon knew it had to be done with us. As we all made our way to Tennessee, with some interesting stories of missed flights and  crazy arrivals, we hugged each other like old friends. We settled in that first night and caught up on our lives. The next morning as we were in the trenches of completing our video for our speaker platform, we sat down for some training.

The question was posed to us “Who do you think you are?” My heart stopped. My palms started to sweat. I heard those words in a different form. The words the way my mother used to say them. However, the question Shannon was posing was different. She knew we had worked hard  this past year. We had created our platform based on a guidance that surpassed even a good parent. We had listened to the whispers of God telling us exactly who we were. That was what Shannon wanted us to remember. We had all been sent there after listening to  and acting upon the promptings of the Holy Spirit within us. This ability to speak and write of my past with a difficult mom and allowing God to show me a bright future, was not in vain. I had a responsibility to share this with others because He has equipped me. I also had to do the hard work to study the things that would guide me towards excellence in my field.

My life shifted in that room. I can’t explain on these pages what those four days were like. There are too many details to add to this blog post, but I came away knowing exactly who I am. When you know your purpose in life, it makes each day a little more meaningful. I will not be afraid any longer of answering my truth. My life long dream was never to be a speaker/writer on hard subjects of mother daughter dysfunction. But God knew. He knew when harsh words were spoken to me as a child, my heart would be protected. He knew that deep down, those words would not stick and make me bitter. He knew that He would not allow me to stop dreaming of a purposeful life. He knew He would make me a Mama Mentor for many other women whose hearts are tender from bitter words spoken from broken places.

This month I graduate from the B.L.A.S.T. program but we never say goodbye. I still talk to my new-found friends. We still give each other advice. We can all say Shannon Ethridge is not only the best teacher, but our personal friend. We will always have access to the program on the Facebook page and on her website. We all found out in those four days who we are. I am sure of that now.

Now I ask you; “Who do you think you are?” Can you answer that question with confidence? I pray you can. It’s important you know. It’s the whole reason you wake up each morning.

Find your passion and purpose and do it! Don’t give up. Find the support that will move you in that direction. I believe in you!

Anna Vatuone