By Amanda Fraser
I have always had a desire to find my purpose, find what I loved and to devote myself to it. In recent years my life has totally changed, and I’ve become a stay at home, homeschooling mom. This was not the path I ever thought I would be on, but because of medical issues it’s the path I’ve been given. Since the beginning of my time at home I’ve struggled to find something I can do that’s just for me.
Struggling to find my passion and purpose outside of my family. I admit there have been times that I don’t even feel like a whole person outside of them. The needs from within my family were so great sometimes, that I’ve had to take up less space in my own body in order to fill all the needs of everyone else. In these times I have often felt like I was playing a supporting role in my own life – never the main character, always trying to accomplish things to support my husband and children.
In addition to this, for so long while mired in Evangelical Christianity I found it difficult to embrace my own worth. As a woman, I felt as if I didn’t have enough to offer, felt as if I couldn’t serve like I was called to because of my gender and the limited role I was relegated to in the church.
Since stepping away from evangelicalism I have embraced who I am, discovered my worth, and I have been able to embark on the journey to heal my ‘religion induced’ trauma. Finding out what I really wanted from life, what I wanted to focus on, and who I wanted to be has been a huge part of this. Through beginning this journey I have been able to focus more on rewriting the parts of me that I was holding back, giving them value, and allowing myself to focus on the things that make me happy and more fully like ‘me’. This journey has lead me to going back to school, ordination, and eventually to training and working as a coach, speaker, and writer.
In my search to find an authentic faith, I realized that all of the things I have done throughout my life have helped to prepare me for what I love to do, and being able to realize this has made a huge difference in how I view myself and my place in the world. The real love of my life is helping women. I’ve coached women through small business start ups, mentored moms of children with special needs, and taught more women than I can count in faith based settings. For me, helping women realize their potential, their worth, and also working with them to achieve their goals has always been the most important work.
I believe our journeys as women are intertwined, and when one of us finds our joy, our purpose, or works to make ourselves happy, it helps all women.
Along my journey there have been many things that helped point me in the right direction. A few of them are contained here in the attached workbook, and I hope they can help point you towards focusing on the things that make your heart soar.
There are many seasons of life that we go through as women, some where we have to take a step back, focus on what needs to get done, and push through. Many seasons are tougher than others, some of these leave no room for us to dream. But I have often found that if I have an end goal, or if I have written down the direction I want my life to be taking, that very often after putting my intentions out into the universe I will begin to be led in that same direction.
So take a few moments, just for you. Spend some time thinking about what you want out of life, who you are, and who you want to be. Complete the workbook and put your intentions out into the world, take a breath and rest knowing you are valued and you have someone in your corner.
Imagine with me if you will, a world full of women who know who they are and are anchored in their innate, beautiful worth. Imagine all of these warriors putting their intentions out into the world and embracing their gifts and talents and using them to not only make the world a better place but to lift other women up alongside them. When we stop competing and work to lift each other up we can make a real difference. I am so honored to witness your journey.
The Passion Workbook attached here is something I put together with a few of my favorite resources to help you dig deeper into your goals and dreams. Now of course this is a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Everyone, in reality, is in a different season, coming from different places, and dealing with a million things day in and day out. Some people will be able to make actionable change with a short workbook, while others would be better served by a month long intensive retreat. But let this be a first step. A first step toward claiming good for yourself, a first step to feeling whole again, and a first step toward being who you dream of being.
“Each time a woman stands up for herself, she stands up for all women.” – Maya Angelou
Amanda Fraser is a self-professed word nerd with a passion for reading, writing, female empowerment, and is also a complete coffee addict. Amanda became an ordained minister in her mid-30s and is currently working on her Bachelor of Divinity while raising her kids. She recently began an Instagram page, @thoughtsonfaith, to connect with others going through the journey of deconstruction, hoping to ‘light the way’ and offer her thoughts and support. You can also find her on Facebook. “When I am dust, sing these words over my bones; she was a voice.” – The Book of Longings (Sue Monk Kidd)