Updated: Oct 8
When He says "I'm for real this time..." I, like a defiant child, roll my eyes and huff "Fine!" My Father has been making it OVER THE TOP obvious this past year and a half that I am to take notice to the message of Esther 4:14 and not brush it off... like I've been unsuccessfully trying to do. He's for real this time.
"Me, Father?! There's no way you wanna use me. Do you know ANYTHING about me?! "
Yes, my child, I know EVERYTHING about you. I know you rebelled against me when you were 15 because you were desperate to be accepted.
I get it. I forgive you.
I know this lead you down a path that you THOUGHT was the right one because it at least didn't make you feel the deep shame you experienced anytime I, your Heavenly Father, was brought up.
I get it. I forgive you.
I know you got that job at Hooters when you were 19 because it sounded like fun and you would DEFINITELY make more money over there than at your job at Abercrombie & Fitch, across the street.
I get it. I forgive you.
Want me to keep going? Ok...
You got pregnant out of wedlock when you were 21, didn't marry him like you were "supposed to" and have since felt deep shame for being a "bad mom"? While part of that is true, you ALSO moved back to the west side 15 years later FOR your daughter and live half a mile from her dad and his family. You have a great relationship with Josh and Tara and they've helped you SO much with Blake during this huge transition. You're an amazing mom!
I get it. I forgive you.
You recently left an unhealthy (on both sides), abusive marriage and "ripped another family apart" and feel even more shame about your job as a mom now? While part of that is true, you ALSO SAVED your family. (Think it was a coincidence Kelly was there with you at Connection Pointe to hear Pastor John preach that message and reaffirm the message I'd sent just for YOU?) You ALSO live half a mile from Blake's dad ("Baby Daddy #2 as you *jokingly* call him... not even realizing you're shaming yourself yet again when you say this). While you have EVERY reason to despise him, you don't. You had him over for dinner two nights ago (which is normal now for both of you) out of LOVE for him because you know his sin is NO WORSE than yours. You verbally told him you forgive him and aren't mad at him...you're angry with SATAN. You hugged him and told him you love him because you KNOW the enemy isolates the weak and human's NEED connection.
I get it. I forgive you.
(Shout out to Aaron Brockett and his sermon this past Sunday. I told you this was NO coincidence. 💜 Watch it here 👉🏻https://youtu.be/It15GqGZkc0
My dear daughter, you should really practice what you preach and forgive YOURSELF like you do everyone else. I've forgiven you. I sent my son to die FOR THESE SINS. To stay stuck is doing a disservice to me, yourself, your family and all of the "strangers" on the internet I've called you to serve. Aren't you always quoting Maya Angelou "When you know better, do better"?
Well, you know better now and you've healed and DONE BETTER. I'm going to *lovingly* say this to you ONE more time...
I've been dragging my feet to announce this, but my last day behind the chair at Five Zero Boutique Salon will be Friday, February |2.3.23|. Thank you so much to every single one of you that has supported me in this career that I absolutely love and adore these past 15 years. I'm not exactly sure how I'll make ends meet in the interim, but God has ALWAYS provided and I trust He won't fail now.
God has called me to put the energy I'm currently using at the salon into serving others on my blog and my new project, Untamed Soul Collective. He's asking me to have the very personal conversations I've had behind the chair about my mental health, divorce, religious trauma, and substance abuse...to name a few...and share them with the world, via my personal blog and new business venture.
I've known, my whole life actually, that there was more for my soul than what the world and well-meaning people tried to tell me since I was a little girl. I, unfortunately, was tricked by the lies of the world and believed I could find happiness somewhere out there. The noise was so loud and I was so unsure about myself. Everything sounded more appealing to 15 year old Elizabeth than laying my life (well, more so my social life) down for a God I never felt loved me for who I was and I couldn't ever seem to make proud anyway..."He" always made me feel this deep shame.
I tried the party scene... that equaled some fun stories, but even more regrets. I tried the dream house and picture "perfect" family, but *shockingly* that didn't work either.
Come to find out, none of it was EVER going to work because it wasn't based on the truth...right down to the very religion I grew up blindly following. (And my dad is currently serving as bishop at.)
That's the one I’m most angry about.
Not mad at any human being, but angry at Satan for deceiving SO many. I'm angry I missed out on the intimate RELATIONSHIP God intended for us to have all along. I'm angry that I was never taught about God's REAL grace...not the grace the Mormon religion believes in...that's NOT grace. (This will be a post for the future. Not ready to open that can of worms today! lol)
I’m angry that when teenage Elizabeth had questions about God, they were dismissed…therefore making her feel dismissed. Then to add insult to injury, when I showed anger (that I JUST found out at 38 years old is a NECESSARY emotion) over not being seen or heard when I had GENUINE questions, I was put on medication and told I was mentally ill.
This narrative, that I "come from a long line of crazies" has haunted me my whole life... until June 2019. That's when I believe I "saw the light" so to speak. Truth be told, God didn’t just find me, fix all my problems, and love me back to life. The next two years were spent fighting THE ENEMY...codependency and addiction... and unraveling the lies that had been embedded in my mind.
During this time, I bought an online course, "Love Over Addiction", because I was DESPERATE to make some sense of what was going on in my life. My friends and family did their best to support me (thank you ALL), but they hadn't been in my situation and naturally had bias opinions, so it wasn't the healthiest and most helpful of advice.
This course was life changing... and I never even started the actual course! The podcast and FB group (that I never even posted in!) answered SOOOO many questions for me and I slowly, but surely began to feel less crazy.
I dove headfirst into this self-help world of podcasts, workbooks, social media pages... anything I could get my hands on. This resulted in giving up that "dream life" and moving the kids and I back to the westside, where I grew up. I was able to rock the 💜 again (even though it was for the Bulldogs this time) and tried to find the silver linings in the midst of my mess.
The first purchase I made for my new place was a "NOT TODAY SATAN" keychain. At the time, I didn't even know if I believed in Satan, but it was silly and I knew it would make me laugh. That thing is broken in half now and falls off my keychain just about every other month...but it's STILL hanging on and serving laughs!
I went back to church cynical, with alllll my questions, TRYING to poke holes and prove that God wasn’t real. I wanted to live and love like this man named Jesus, but I wasn’t convinced he was my Savior…yet.
If He was, in fact, real like they told me, that meant two things:
Number 1: I’ve missed out on this RELATIONSHIP He’s wanted all along.
Number 2: My dad was right (to some degree, anyway)…and I was wrong. (If this doesn’t sum up our relationship, I dunno what does..lol…love ya, dad! 💜)
I’ll be talking more about my spiritual journey over on my blog (after I recover from the inevitable vulnerability hangover that will ensue from this).
I TRIED to launch my blog in January of 2021, but had an overwhelming feeling of "Stop! This isn't it!" (After I'd spent months and lots of dollars getting lifewithlizdonovan.com up and going) I KNEW it was Him telling me to stop...so I did.
Even though I hadn't fully given into the idea of that he was, in fact, my Lord and Savior, I knew my decisions up until then had not turned out the best; might as well give Him a shot.
What happened at the end of January 2022, will forever be my IT moment. My friend, Brittany Kime (coincidence that's her last name?! My maiden name is Keim, pronounced the same. 🙃) ordered me a beautiful bible, told me to KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS, and offered a bold and courageous challenge to me that literally changed my life, specifically romantic relationships, FOREVER. (More on this later on the blog...and yes I'm still single. lol)
The following month, God reconnected me with my friend from Jr. High, Kelly when I saw via Instagram that she also lived in the burg AND owned her her own small business, Fire Within Candle Company |Passion Ignites Purpose|. I was excited to catch up with my sweet friend and have mom and small biz chats, thinking that would be the extent of it.
Very quickly we realized that even though our relationship statuses were completely different (she's happily married to her hs sweetheart), we were struggling with a lot of the same issues...that we'll be talking about a lot more on the gram. We instantly bonded over
wanting to feel connected to a community of women that support AND TALK ABOUT the true, messy normalcy of life.
After months of conversation of "this needs to be talked about more", we decided that we have the power to do just that... and now we own a small business together, Untamed Soul Collective.
Our Mission: To help you TAME your inner critic and UNTAME the confident, joy-filled ally that has always been in you
We currently have two workbooks, "Unravel" and "People Pleaser" and a couple more in the works as well as an endless list of ideas in our heads. We plan on expanding these into courses and workshops, but really wanna stay open, flexible and just see where and how we can best serve our clients.
Although we have MANY things that make us anxious about being so open and vulnerable on this journey, we know we are aligned with our purpose and feel empowered to turn our mess into our message.
Soooooo, THIS explains why God put a halt to my ideas...because He (per usual) has a better plan IF/WHEN we choose to surrender to Him.
Here ya go, Father! I
I'm ALL IN...no Plan B!
My blog (Life With Liz Donovan) will be focused on my healing journey with Jesus and using the creative talents and spiritual gifts He's so graciously given me. I'll, of course, have decor, beauty, travel and style stuff (Enneagram 4 over here 🙋🏼♀️🎨), but want my main focus to be my newly-found, intimate relationship with my Father.
Untamed Soul Collective will be all about community, encouragement, as well as TALKING ABOUT the normal stuff in life that most are uncomfortable talking about...let alone publicly.
Our mission is to help you TAME your inner critic and UNTAME your inner ally!
Check it out and buy our workbooks HERE:
If you've made it down this far, THANK YOU! Seriously. For my naturally introverted self, this is absolutely terrifying to be so bold and unfiltered…so open and vulnerable. These last few years have turned my world upside down, literally. In the middle of this storm, I fell in love with Jesus and I want nothing more than to spend the rest of my days following Him.
My word for 2023 is FLY... First Love Yourself...then fly. 2022 was all about getting to know Jesus, loving others like He does and, most importantly, loving and seeing myself the way He intended me to. With that kinda love in my corner, I have NO DOUBT I will FLY in 2023!
I KNOW that He needs me to tell my story, for His glory and so I can help the next ones in line...much like SO many other “strangers” on the internet have done for me these past 5 years. I'm laying it all on the altar, Lord. I'll go wherever you want me to go...except Antarctica...we've talked about that one. ;)
I trust that if I keep my eyes on You, first and foremost, you will lead, guide and protect me every step of this mysterious adventure we're on together. If this helps just ONE person, it will be worth ALL of the pain discomfort I've experienced during my healing and growing journey. Thank you, Father!
Bracelets from the local, philanthropic jewelry studio, HopeAnchor & Crew.
Since I will be stepping away from the salon, I'm going to need all the love and support you guys can give me, my kiddos, and my businesses and currently have a sale running on Spring Mini Sessions at Liz Donovan Photography.
Matthew 5:16 has been "my" verse since I was a little girl and I'm going to make up for lost time by shining extra bright, for His glory. ✨ I promise to give this my all and steward this calling with love, intention, and integrity.💜