It is at the crossroads of the ordinary obstacles that we have the opportunity to change the trajectory of our lives. We can take the everyday obstacles and turn them into purpose and use them for good. Oftentimes, we are forced in one direction or another and in those times, we can take a leap forward and create the beautiful life we want with what we have been handed. Instead of feeling stuck, we can take those obstacles and use them to propel forward. A lot of this is mindset and refining the tools we can cultivate within. The cliché of “we only have one life here” makes it even more necessary that we walk into our greatest selves and make it worth living.
As a first generation Indian woman born and raised in the south, I faced the challenges that many ethnic groups faced and still face…but I knew as a little girl in Greeneville, TN that I was meant for a greater purpose. It was something in my heart that could never be shaken. And at 50 years old, it still is firmly planted. I had no identity-I wasn’t white and I wasn’t brown. In fact, I tried so hard to assimilate in the white American culture that I grew up with a lot of hate and anger towards my family, towards Indian people, towards white Americans. Pretty much everyone. I felt unseen and unheard for a large part of my teen and early adulthood. I was wronged in my career and by people who wanted to hurt me because of their own unhealed parts. The anger only ended up hurting myself and keeping me in a victim mentality. I couldn’t connect with people at the deepest level because my belief was that no one understood me. I didn’t even understand me fully---my power. And, if I harnessed that power for good, I could impact so many lives.
Here's what happened when I found God...
Spring means it’s time to plant things. Fix up the yard. Finally put something in that empty pot in the front yard.
I'm an amateur gardener at this point in my life. I have a small space in the yard with a few veggies sprouting up. There's an arch entryway with morning star jasmine trailing up the side. While I still plant things that don't survive and put things in the wrong place in my yard, for the most part I'm finally successful at keeping more things alive than not. But, I had to start somewhere.
Years ago, when I planted my first real plant, my grandmother was the first one I called for advice. She's a green thumb if there ever was one and an expert when it comes to spring gardening.
Tending to Life's Garden
As the pear and magnolia trees begin to blossom, and the daffodils, crocus, and hyacinth begin peeking through the earth to bloom, I find myself wanting to wander through the forest slowly soaking in the awe and wonder of spring. Not because I’ve got lots of extra time on my hands. But because I know I need to savor the truth that God is changing everything.
And when I give myself permission to do this, to soak in the wonder of the certainly coming spring, I connect more deeply to that which is truest and deepest about myself. God is changing me, too. I don’t have to do everything. In fact, I cannot do everything. With every breath our creator so generously gives HE is reminding me I am accepted and empowered and I have the strength to keep going because HE is changing everything.
Do you need this reminder today, too? Does winter’s cold and darkness make you weary? Have you been in a long season of waiting and praying for something that still has not happened?
One of the first times I ever heard the Holy Spirit’s voice was in my car.
I had just moved to Fort Mill, SC. I had no friends. I was angry and lonely, trying to figure out what I was doing in life, when I heard a soft whisper on the way home one day. I instantly felt safe and joy rushed over my body. Some of the questions I had been dealing with had just been answered directly and exactly when I needed them.
This was the place where my prayer life began 𑁋 my car.
Kaley Rivera Thompson is an author, copywriter, public speaker, and musician. She serves as the Director of Communications and Donor Relations for the student sports-centric nonprofit she and her husband, Gage, run called Twelve. When she's not championing other women, cheering on the rising generation, writing or playing her guitar, Kaley loves to sip strong coffee, go on hikes, or take a day trip to the mountains with her family. She takes the most pride in being a mom to two little girls, Lina and Lili. You can follow her on instagram at @kriverathompson or find out more on her website at kriverathompson.com.