Hi There! If you are starting on this Page first, let me warn you you're about to enter the Longer Long Story Short version of the Getting to Know me, so if you'd rather hop over to the simplified Long Story Short, you can click HERE and come back here if you later choose to.
Grab Your Coffee and a Blanket, slip on your Slippers and Join me on my Comfy Online Couch. Here we go...
I reeeealllllly do not like talking about me, but I know this is a necessary part of the Get To Know between Me & You. But can I tell you....I am soooo looking forward to getting to know YOU better too!!
So, here's a Little Bit More About Me and My Heart, My Thoughts and My Mission. My name is Michele, and with all the Michele's in the world, I am known as Michele with 1 L and Michele with All the Hearts.
I am a Jesus Lovin' mostly Shy Introverted Creative who has broken free from perfectionism, overthinking (I think-lol), insecurity, fear and anxiety. I told God back in 2008 during a valley season that if He really did have plans for me greater than what I was seeing and feeling, He would have to be my rescue breath and carry me through it all and He has! He still Is!
While sadly insecurity has been a lifetime struggle, Where Faith Is was birthed in a valley season in 2008. I believed I was meant for more than what my anxiety and insecurity told me I could have. Fear truly is a liar and this was the refining season of Trust & Truth in the belonging.
I thought I would have little to no impact in such a vibrant world of seemingly perfect Christians. I lived in fear for most of my life, always striving. insecure about my appearance or enoughness, my lack of talents or high intelligence ...fear of the boogie man, fear of harm, fear of judgement, fear of rejection, fear of failure, fear of disappointing others and even more so....fear of disappointing God.
Rich in Mercy and Grace scooped me up and held me, and has been showing me His Heart for me ever since.
We need Jesus, Grace and Mercy! Through this journey, I have learned to overcome and heal secret places of insecurity in order to be God's vessel of hope and faith. Together, we are a city on a hill. (Matthew 5)
For years, I felt weak and helpless: physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was drowning in the deep waters of insecurity...I became the Queen Of What If.
I hustled daily to meet the assumed expectations of what I thought a Life of Faith was supposed to look like, hustling to prove myself "enough" and striving for what it meant to honor God and live a life of meaning. It was exhausting work smiling when I felt like crying.
Those would be the secret tears caught in sacred moments with Christ alone.
The more I fought to be enough, the weaker I felt. The Word told me do not fear, do not be anxious, stand firm, have courage. I knew I should and I hoped I could, but I wasn't.
It took years and years for me to let go of the reigns and the need to be in control. Faith meant surrender, and that's tough for recovering Perfectionists...especially shy, introverted ones who live most of their life in the shadows of others.
I began to grow in courage, faith and freedom when God did His thing, of course, but in my Chiseling Season, He blessed me with Seasoned and Intentional Mentors. He deepened relationships with L4 Sisters who came alongside me to lift, lead and love me.
Now, it's MY honor to come alongside YOU!
I used to hid my imperfections out of fear of rejection, but I would also sit in my imperfections to hide myself from being hurt until God called me out of that crazy cycle within my soul, to no longer hide but shine, to share and not hold back.
Now that I have matured out of that season of immaturity and lack of trusting self and God, I boast in my weaknesses!
We need each other!! We were created for community. Look at God Himself, He is 3 in 1. Through this journey the Lord has called me out of my shyness to share and encourage other women to feel the power and strength of His Amazing Grace. What a joy and honor it is now to share these experiences and encouragements with other women who are ready to be seen and heard, just as they are, where they are, eager to Light up their world, connect authentically with other women and live where faith is and not by fear and insecurity.
As a Mom, it's so easy to go Motivational Speaker Mode on my children when I see them act in fear. It's easy for me to comfort them and encourage them into positive prayers, hopes, thoughts, to gird up strength and not give in to fear, to help them avoid pits I forsee in their path, yet when I stood facing myself, there was no cheering.
Insecurity shows you all that isn't. I didn't see the lion in me, the courageous spirit it seemed all the other Christian Woman had. I was always scared, always second guessing and always hiding in the back.
I felt sorry for that girl in the mirror because I knew she wanted to believe the same way about herself as she did about everyone else, but all she saw was imperfection and insecurity, a constant need to prove herself to herself in order to prove herself to God and others as a woman of excellence.
It breaks my heart to type that out because I didn't want it to be true. If you are familiar with the movie Avatar, you know the concept of playing a role in a virtual world. Having grown up in the decade of Winne the Pooh and Cinderella, I lived each day dreaming my dream life, just beyond its reach. Both a dreamer and a realist. I dreamt of the castles. I dreamt of the conquering and connecting with others, yet a glance in to my Midnight Mirror always returned me to the reality of life, not royalty, serving her home and others but feeling like she never measured up to what she dreamed to be as a powerful, confident, gifted Woman of God.
Remember the Tree of Life in the movie where they all sat together on the ground, equal, in love, in peace, in unity, together?!? What a beautiful image of the heart and soul connection we can have with each other with the blood of Christ as our bonding agent.
Years ago, I would have sat in the back of the field watching with great joy at their connection and worship.
Today, I long to not only participate and pray for these connections but I long to create them for others through workshops and retreats. We've come a long way friends! Glory to God!
At the feet of Jesus is where my strength comes from. It took a while for me to receive strength from community because of the wall fear had built. I believe we were created to walk out this life with others, where 2 or more are gathered in His Name. Worship is found gathered around the heart of God. What a beautiful and powerful experience when shared in community with other like-minded women.
I am not called to lead Worship from a musical stage, I feel like I am called to lead Women into Worship in their heart...through God's heart revealed in mine through my writings and gatherings online and off, refreshing a little heart flame into a consuming fire of life that burns away the meaningless antics and shines bright in the darkness. I find great joy seeing hope ignited and hearts refreshed!
Writing is worship for me, to lead others towards His Heart, to bring Light and Love into the conversations, online and off. I am certainly not the greatest writer, maybe a little on the wordy side...okay, a LOT of wordy words, but this is my heart's unfiltered expression of surrender. Even us Introverts have many words, lol!
This is my worship. Come worship with me!
While I am shy by nature, the enemy would like me to hide behind that and instead, I have chosen courage and boldness. Why? Because I have finally learned it's not about me. "Not my will but Yours Lord" is surrender.
It's leaning in when afraid and casting the same net another time, it's stepping out of the boat, it's crossing an ocean, it's talking to a bush, circling a wall 7 times with others. It's walking with Jesus and touching the hem of His garment in sheer belief He Can.
My heart has learned to trust and in that trust, surrender which deepens my trust. I have also learned the importance of boundaries. In this surrender, I trust the experiences and people God places in my path. I am not someone who has a lot of friends but the ones I do, I enjoy so much because they have shown themselves trustworthy. I guard my energy and invest it where I feel God is asking me to pour in or receive from instead of wasting energy trying to please all the people, all the time, often completely missing the mark or avoiding it all together.
One of the broken pieces of my heart taught me Sisterhood shouldn't be a one way...we need people in our life who are that spirit circling, sharing a no filtered life together. Not everyone has that and I feel blessed I know these kinds of Sisters. I have been burned yett in the burn, I was refined. We learn heart lessons and deeper dependency on Christ when our hearts fall weak.
I could go on and on about all my insecurities that have been my truths. I could share all about the Mama and Marriage woes that didn't line up with Cinderella's story. Pieces of it are what has made up my original blog Where Faith Is which I began in 2009 after a collision of of fears, perfectionism, exhaustion and unmet expectations with my faith and lack of my soul identity in Christ.
Even though I was born in the Church Nursery and rarely miss a Sunday for most of my life, it wasn't until 2009 I saw His Heart and feel in love and surrender and deer trust with my God my Father, Faithful Friend, Savior and King.
Many of us grew up fearing Him and His powerful acts of destruction. I never saw His powerful acts of Love and Long suffering. I didn't know Him as Father and Friend. God was Judge, Creator and King. I served Him, afraid of His wrath should I fail Him, becoming a pillar of salt looking back, or not seeing the rising waters and being shut out of His Ark.
Then, I feared serving Him boldly and confidently because it meant death, just like the Apostles, just like the Disciples, Just like Jesus.
Over these precious years, I have come to understand Grace, Peace and Courage and how necessary it is to leave space for it. I have also learned the important of spending time with Him and receiving His love that comes from His and through others He sends.
Like Julia Roberts in the Runaway Bride, I ebbed and flowed, molded and shaped into what was easier and necessary for peace and sense of security. My insecurity and fears muted me for a long, long time. When God gathered that mud and spit in it and washed my eyes to see, my heart began to hydrate and the protective wall began to crumble, brick by brick.
His Spirit is soul hydration. His Love is a consuming fire.
His heart is for us and He has a purpose and a plan for each of us.
So here I am choosing to share a moment...well, many moments of worship with you. I have worshiped through blogs, social media shares and posts. I have hosted small Women's Retreats and led Women's Events and I even wrote a "book" and now my heart holds many in the creative space in my soul to formulate into words, to worship on the shelves of community.
We all have a story and trust me...I am way more interested in hearing YOURS than sharing mine but I know we live in a world of "You first." Well, God does tell us to love others because He first loved us so there's that!
I hope you find this space encouraging, helpful, and practical. I'll be sharing writings and products that have helped me walk in Grace. But most of all, I pray you find Peace, Grace and renewed Joy. And Lord willing, I pray we find a Sisterhood Community together. I would love to have more friends F*R*I*E*N*D*S, more Golden Girl lifeline friendships. I am blessed to already have Winnie the Pooh friends and how precious they are to me.
Above all my words is Jesus. Within my every post and prayer is Jesus. He's my everything. I pray through my story you see His Glory. I pray you see His Hearts and through them, you are refreshed!
I look forward to connecting with you!
I am H.I.S. (Heart in Service & Surrender)
Hugs & Blessings Sisters,