It was this time last year that I made some of the biggest steps towards discovering true FREEDOM. My church was offering a 12-week small group with a curriculum called FREEDOM. Feeling very hesitant to commit 12 weeks of my life, I attempted to find every excuse on why I should not do this class. But what it ultimately boiled down to was FEAR. Fear to be real with myself. Fear to take bandaids off of old wounds. Fear to dig deep and understand the cause of those wounds. And the fear of replacing those hurt places with truths.
No doubt those 12 weeks were rough, but weekly I found myself having radical encounters…from endless streams of tears (releasing things I had just been hanging onto), understanding and accepting what my Heavenly Father really thinks of me and discerning lies from truths. Definitely an emotional time for me, but out of that came so much growth, development, self-love, compassion, grace and a willingness to meet people where they are. One of the things that marriage exposed to me about me, is that I am one of those gals who likes to bottle it all up. I like to keep a lid on my emotions and just keep moving forward. But rather than dealing with the truth and how I am feeling, I would just stuff it into my emotional crock pot and stew on it…which would eventually lead to a massive Candace explosion and shut down, which naturally spiraled into a dose of depression and anxiety. What’s most interesting about discovering yourself, you realize that your reactions to things are not just sudden. But rather a culmination of experiences that have happened over the course of your life that bring you to the present moment.
Let’s rewind to a rough year prior to FREEDOM. Knowing that I had layers of emotional wounds (we all do, regardless if we want to admit it or not), I was feeling the urge to take a step. But I wasn’t sure what that step was. Shortly after, I had coffee with a woman who inspired me to take a leap…to speak my truths and to be honest with my feelings. My time with her planted a seed in my heart and really enabled me to start delving into the depths of Candace. As I further grow into womanhood, I have a much deeper understanding of why it is so IMPORTANT to connect ourselves with women who can inspire, empower and encourage us to be FREE and confident within ourselves. For some of us, that is through personal relationships and for others of us, that’s finding amazing women in the world who are standing up and confidently sharing their voice. There’s one woman in particular who has really inspired me and her name is Achea Redd. In fact, she’s the gal I had coffee with. Achea recently published her very first book, Be Free. Be You. And ladies, it’s an incredible read! I have pages upon pages highlighted and folded down. The book officially launched last month and Achea celebrated with her official book launch this past Tuesday night (so sad I couldn’t be there)! Because I believe in sharing, I wanted to be sure to share this information with you all. The importance of speaking out about mental health is growing by the minute and I want to be sure to use my voice and inspire others to find their FREEDOM.
I share all of this for a couple of reasons:
- To let you know that I am by no means perfect but am working on becoming the best version of myself daily.
- To let you know that it is ok to be honest with your emotions and to seek out emotional healing.
- To let you know about Achea Redd’s new book, Be Free. Be You. and the movement she is cultivating! It’s truly powerful, inspiring and empowering.
- To let you know that I would like to gift one of YOU a copy of her recent book. Details will be happening on Instagram..stay tunned.
- And lastly, to let you know that you are loved and that I am cheering for YOU. Take that next step, whatever it might be. I promise you it will be worth it.