Ten years ago, I was engaged to be married and discovered six days before the wedding, that my fiancé was cheating on me. I was in a great season of life. I was running a successful sports agency where I managed professional athletes. I had just signed a $62 million dollar client—the highest paid defensive end in the NFL. I was on television regularly and had a book out at the same time entitled, Skirts in the Boardroom. Life was really good, and on top of that, I was engaged. I was in this “sweet spot” in life, and so, to have it all come crumbling down was not only devastating and humiliating but humbling.
I had been walking with God my entire life, and there was a part of me that thought, ‘Well, if you are a believer you must be exempt from certain experiences,’ but that’s just not the case. I went through the process of working on myself and trying to figure out how I was going to pay my bills because I had closed my sports agency for this relationship. When I called the wedding off, I didn’t have a plan B.
It was through this that I learned that disruption is as divine, and as part of destiny as anything else. I found this scripture in Isaiah 48:21, in what I now call a “cliff rock” moment, which describes how God sometimes leads us into the desert, to these hard places, but in the middle of this rock there’s this new life—this water that comes out. God had gotten my attention, which I realized He had been trying to do all along, in order to show me that there was new life on the other side.
My book, Believe Bigger, was not something I wrote while experiencing heartbreak, because I had no desire to tell a story about infidelity. But, it was through taking these faith steps and trying to figure out how I was going to pay my bills that I developed workshops and seminars, which later became the largest business coaching company for women of faith in the country, and a multi-million dollar enterprise.
I have a passion for helping women of faith become millionaires, and it always kind of makes people uncomfortable when I say that, but I think that’s the kind of tension that we need to face. These toxic thoughts that we have around money and faith, I try to call them all out to the carpet and put them in the same place together. And so, from being broke, to making seven figures, and from being depressed to helping develop destiny in others, has been my journey. I ended up meeting this amazing man who said, “You can’t help other women tell their stories if you are not going to tell your own,” and so it would be my husband who told me that I needed to write this book.
I discovered the 5 Stages of Divine Reinvention (which in the book I call the “purpose map”), while speaking with women who were re-inventing their lives, identifying what their gifts are, and moving from their careers into their calling. I recognized a pattern as we went through these 5 stages, and most were stuck in the middle stage. What I recognized, was that disruption plays a very significant yet necessary part of the purpose journey, stripping
us from who we are, to help us become who we could be.
The first stage is called Discovery. Here we learn the rules of life—the dos and don’ts of who we are supposed to be, which really puts us on this path of formed identity as opposed to born identity. Meaning, the rules that we learn at home and in our communities, media and even at church, are the things that shape us. As we shoot down and pick a lane, that lane becomes our life and we end up in stage two, which we call Talent.
In the Talent stage, we climb the mountains that I call in the book, the 5 Success Mountains. We adopt these identities and these titles of mom, wife or mogul, and these titles become idols and enablers that tells us something about who we are. Most people end up retiring in stage two. The problem is, we are not called to retirement but to reinvention. We don’t know that there’s something greater—and so, in the midst of praying, fasting, serving and working on ourselves, we might be having incremental change without experiencing radical change. So, disruption comes in to take us outside of ourselves, out of our element, out of our comfort zone and places us in this middle stage called the Gap.
In the Gap, we ask the question, ‘What’s happening to me?’ because it will seem like you are under attack. But, I challenge you to believe bigger than an attack and to see it as an invitation into alignment—meaning, use the opportunity to be renewed by the transforming of your mind. You are going to unlearn, and it’s going to feel like a war zone, but it’s really a growth spurt that takes us into making “believe bigger-type” decisions. In the book, I walk you through six to seven blessing blockers and the steps you can take to get out of this gap, which is where I believe most women are today—as they are trying to figure out, ‘What’s next? What am I really made of?’ and ‘What’s happening to me?’ And that takes us into stage four, which is what we call Gifts.
Here we discover our gifts, we discover our calling and we discover what I call our “superpowers.” Our talents are what we are trained for, but our gifts are something way deeper that’s ingrained in our DNA. Our gifts are all about how we are uniquely designed to move others forward. They are often hidden by your talent because your gift is not usually aligned with all the stuff you were told or encouraged to do in life—and so most of us have not actually developed the essence of what we were really created for, and who we really are. For this reason, you cannot look to purpose as a passion, because you can’t be passionate about something you have never done. Often, we think that purpose is about our passion, but your passion is a by-product of your existing experiences. But what if you were never exposed to the greatest part of you? For example, I didn’t know I was a coach, and that I had a gift around branding, messaging and design because I went to school for law. So, when I started advocating for people it was based on experience, not necessarily on destiny.
Your purpose is not lost or hidden and it’s not something that you discover but something that you uncover. It is already who you are. It’s in your personality. It’s about interest and aspects that are already part of your DNA (Divinely, Noteworthy, Attributes). Each person can have different gifts. Some are scientist, others can be artistic. I walk through three different types of master gift assignments. Whether you are a Puller, a Pusher or a Planner, everything about our gift is designed to move others forward. Now, although my gift is different from yours and yours is different from mine, our universal superpower is our voice. I believe we are created in the image of God and we create the way God creates. He started this whole thing by saying, “Let there be light.” Each of us has a voice, and each of us has a story, which is a sign of God’s strength. If we begin to look at our lives through His lens, all of the stuff, all of the junk, and also the victories will begin to make sense, because it’s not just about our achievement—but it’s about a glory story that He is writing through our lives. In the Gift stage, you begin to discover all of the things that you didn’t know of, or believe about yourself, and how all of it is a part of the story that He is trying to re-write. As you step into your gift, you’ll realize that these are the things you were uniquely designed to do. In the Gift stage, we learn how we are designed to be life changers, which takes us into the last stage, Influence.
This is where we ask the question, where am I being led to lead next?—Not whether you are here to lead, but where you are designed to lead. And for that reason, we don’t focus on what is my passion or what is my “why”? Because we usually make up our why. We say, oh, it’s my kids, or it’s even a desire to help people. But, I believe ultimately our “why,” is a by-product of our “where.” Let me explain. Your gift is designed to determine your “where.” For example, when something is made, i.e., a product, it goes somewhere. So, the question is, if you are made a certain way, where is your unique model needed and how is it designed to impact others as they move toward their destiny, or their promised land? Leadership is about finding your unique where. Where is it that you uniquely move other people? And that’s how you find your place. That’s how you find your purpose. And your deployment in terms of your calling. But, your calling will change over time. This idea of just having one purpose will evolve and mature. Just as Christ had different assignments over time and different deployments, we too have different assignments and different deployments. But, there’s one master purpose—which is to bring glory. And it all comes down to that.
God moves us from our comfort zone, through this middle zone that often feels like war, to ultimately put us in a glory zone, which is almost like operating in another dimension. While the comfort zone is like being on earth where there’s gravity at work, which rules the atmosphere and limits what you can do, there’s a whole other unexplored territory in the glory zone. And like outer space, it takes courage to go there, but that’s where the great stuff happens—it has the best views—and the miracles. This is not just about a mountain top experience but about new horizons and new frontiers that have yet to be tapped into. After all, what is faith for?