Girl Talk with Maren Hamm

From living with Late Stage Lyme Disease, wheelchair bound and in constant pain, to not only living a full life healed but traveling the world healing others, Maren Hamm knows what it looks like to take the word of God and plant it as a seed in her heart, producing MASSIVE results.

She didn’t come from a super spiritual background.. didn’t know much about God at all. It wasn’t until she started to understand who her Heavenly Father really was, and how good He is, that she started to experience all of the amazing things He had in store for her.

Too often we feel like we need to do all the right things, be all the right things, or understand all of the right things to finally receive our healing, freedom, peace, joy (fill in the blank) from God. Maren is no stranger to this but she didn’t stop there. She found that she didn’t need to do anything or become anyone else to get set free. It was simple and uncomplicated. And it can be the same for you!

Her story will inspire you and hopefully, empower you to walk out of whatever “hard things” your facing now, and step into the incredible purpose God has for you.

It’s time to step out of the wheelchair. It’s time to take the limits off. It’s time to rise up as the Daughters of God who don’t settle for what we see, but walk with a Heavenly vision and a determination to see His goodness manifest on this earth.

Grab your cup of coffee and let’s have girl talk with Maren as she shares what shifted in her that led to her complete healing, freedom and purpose.

Don’t give up! There’s more for you than what you’ve seen…

Cheering you on,

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The Struggle to Really Be Good Enough

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Upon hearing that, her accusers slowly left the crowd one at a time, beginning with the oldest to the youngest, with a convicted conscience. Until finally, Jesus was left alone with the woman still standing there in front of him. So he stood back up and said to her, ‘Dear woman, where are your accusers? Is there no one here to condemn you?’

Looking around, she replied, ‘I see no one, Lord.’

Jesus said, ‘Then I certainly don’t condemn you either. Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin.’
— John 8:9-11 TPT

The beautiful words of Jesus never cease to amaze me.

His kindness, his generosity, his goodness, his faithfulness. He meets us right where we are and yet because he loves us so much, he refuses to let us wallow in our mess. Like a good Father, he picks us up, dusts us off and leads us down a much better path, one that will lead to happiness, joy and peace.

But that’s not quite the story that’s painted for us Christians today…

Like Martha in the kitchen, we leave our Sunday services with a conviction that the more we do for God, the more we are accepted by Him. This may feel fine when we’re doing everything we think is good, but once we make a mistake (whether big or small) the overwhelming stress of unworthiness floods our minds and hearts, to the point where we start to disqualify ourselves from the plans and even the love of God.

We have to stop thinking that it’s what we do that determines how God sees us. In fact, it’s the other way around. What you do affects how you see God. When we mess up or go off in sin, it tends to distort our perception of God. The enemy will use your mistakes to paint a blurry image of a distant God, whose ready to scold your every misstep.

This is toxic thinking and it has to stop before it takes you down a road of bitterness and resentfulness.

When I first got married, I was a never ending mess of tangled insecurities, fears and unmet expectations. The longer I wallowed in my fears, the more of a burden I felt I was to God, to my husband and all of my friends, who had to put up with my insecure mood swings and eye glares.

All along I thought I was the victim but in reality, I was doing all of this to myself! The self-defeating thoughts and attitudes were in my mind by my authority. I chose to hold on to them. I chose to accept them and ultimately, I chose to suffer in my insecurities until one day, I just couldn’t take it anymore.

I thought to myself, “This isn’t working. I’m miserable. Either I need to change or it’s only going to get worse.”

Falling into insecurity and fear is a tricky thing, because the more time you spend as a prisoner in it’s chambers, the more you start to doubt if you’re worthy of being rescued. The freedom you long for so desperately is the one thing you discredit yourself from every receiving.

Mistakes don’t define you, but they can refine you… but only if you let them.

You weren’t saved because of something good you did or some merit you received, but because of who you put your trust in. The Christian life is a continuous journey of learning to trust on him for everything you need, want and dream about, not because of what you’ve done, but because of whose you are. “Grace” isn’t just a five letter word that got you on the nice list this year. It’s a deep magic that bound your tired soul to God’s everlasting peace and life. You are sealed by His love, bought with His blood and cared for by His faithfulness. Nothing you do will ever change that.

Should we want to do great things on this earth for Him? Of course! But not so that our picture can earn a more prominent spot on His fridge. You do that and your life will be full of stress and worry, never really knowing where you stand.

Don’t put your trust in something as fickle and uncertain as your performance. We all have bad days, seasons, years… God knew we couldn’t do it all on our own. That’s why He came on the scene and established a plan to get us back to Himself.

Like the Pharisees did with the woman caught in the act of adultery, this world will always try and tell you who you are. But if you’ll listen (or read His word) you’ll see someone else on the scene, whispering what He thinks about you. The question is, who are you going to listen to?

One condemns you without offering any solution to help, but the other bends down, lends a hand and gives you the power to live a life bigger than you could ever imagine. Jesus’ words to her are His same words to you, “Go, and from now on, be free from a life of sin.”

This doesn’t mean you won’t EVER sin. We all make mistakes because on this side of eternity, we’ve still got some old ways, thoughts and habits to deal with. He’s not expecting perfection from you. It’s an invitation to a life fully trusting in His ability, and not your own. He’s asking you if you’d like to join Him on the journey ahead, instead of sitting in our mess.

You make mistakes. You are not a mistake.

Stop caging yourself in to what other people have said you can and can’t do and start listening to the one voice that truly matters. Allow Him to untangle you from what’s held you back and start writing the story of your life well.

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How to Overcome Chronic Comparison

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Comparison is the thief of joy.
— Theodore Roosevelt

We’ve hear it a million and one times… comparison is the thief of joy. It won’t make you happy, you’ll be miserable and it will keep you trapped to other people. And yet we still do it… ALL THE TIME! It’s one of those issues we all agree is wrong and detrimental, and yet it’s also one of the most widely accepted habits in our world, almost to the point where it’s considered normal and part of everyday life.

Yes comparison is something that everyone has or is dealing with, but it didn’t originate with our modern technological world, like so many would like to believe. “It’s not our fault! It’s our modern society!” Absolutely not… Comparison is an ancient problem that’s been around since the days after the fall of mankind. When Cain and Abel both offered sacrifices to God, Abel’s was accepted but Cain’s was not. Immediately Cain began to compare himself to his brother and this led to quite the turn of events.

Cain talked with Abel his brother [about what God had said]. And when they were [alone, working] in the field, Cain attacked Abel his brother and killed him.
— Genesis 4:8 AMP

Now, this might seem a bit extreme, but comparison doesn’t produce any life in us, but rather discontent, frustration, greed and possibly even anger. It’s a ploy of the enemy he’s been using since the beginning and his goal is to steal away your strength and in turn, disrupt your future.

We all know the famous words of Teddy Roosevelt, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” We know, we know, comparison doesn’t make us happy.

NO! It is literally stealing away your joy!

But why is that important? Let’s compare this quote with scripture…

...for the joy of the Lord is your strength.
— Nehemiah 8:10 ESV

So now if comparison is the thief of joy, and the joy of the Lord is your strength, then that must mean that comparison ultimately zaps you of all your strength and energy! Can you see the subtly in this! We all know comparison usually makes us unhappy with ourselves, but I bet most of us haven’t ever thought of it stealing away our own strength.

Have you ever woken up ready to take on the day? You get inspired by new ideas and you can’t wait to implement them into your blog, brand, business, home or life. Then you open Instagram and the scrolling begins. You pass over photo after photo of insta-perfect lives with their insta-perfect kids, the perfect fishtail braids and perfectly scripted captions (perhaps just what you were wanting to share that day, but now…) You start to compare yourself to the numbers under their profiles and slowly you begin to question if your ideas are really that good after all.

You go about your day with a little less enthusiasm as before and by the day’s end, you’re exhausted and mentally drained, yet you really haven’t done much. Or is this just me?

I would get super excited about what I wanted to do and the things God was showing me, but then I would log on to social media and without even fully realizing it, I would compare myself to every other blogger out there… “well she’s got this program, maybe I should be doing that. Well she’s got this many followers on her podcast, maybe starting one is a stupid idea after all… “ It’s a never ending cycle of comparison that is quite quickly chipping away at my own strength. Before I know it, I feel as though I’ve worked an entire day and it’s only lunch time! My ideas seem small and insignificant and I quickly dismiss them as child’s play.

Although this is an age-old problem, our modern society has definitely made it a million times easier to make comparison a daily part of our lives, like drinking our morning coffee. But if this habit of comparing ourselves to other people in our lives (and usually those we’ll never meet) is truly this troubling on our souls, then what’s the answer? How can we combat this comparison game in a cyber world?

Hannah was a woman well versed with comparison…

While she held the heart of her husband, his other wife held their 10 children, leaving Hannah with a lonely spirit and a sense of failing as a wife. Everyday, she had to look across the breakfast table at Elkanah (her husband) and his “other” wife as they got their children fed and ready for the day. She probably noticed the look on Elkanah’s face as he looked into his son’s eyes. She could also see the look on his other wife’s face as she gloated under the admiration of the man they both loved.

But Hannah's breakthrough didn't come while stalking and sulking over what she didn't have. She turned to God for her answers and got back more than she could have possibly imagined. She brought her petitions to Him and trusted God to be her defender, provider and ultimately, to get her sense of worth and value from the One who made her.

Scripture records these next five words which I believe God is trying to speak to all of His daughters today…

...and the Lord remembered her.
— 1 Samuel 1:19

Hannah went on to have a son named Samuel who became one of the most well-known Prophets of the Most High God, anointing both King Saul and King David to the throne. God’s plan for Hannah was quite unique, but it didn’t come to pass until she gave her worries, comparisons and frustrations to God, allowing Him to speak His will into her existence.


God has a plan for your life but it isn’t going to look like HER life or HER calling or HER purpose.

And you won’t find His plan for you by looking at someone else’s life, comparing your insides to her outsides and competing with someone who isn’t running your race. If the shoe isn’t fitting right, then it’s probably not your size! And if you’re tripping up and not getting very far, then you’re probably trying to run someone else’s race.

We need to stop getting so distracted by what’s going on around us and begin to press in to what God is speaking to us individually. He formed you for a purpose, crafted you for a reason and scribed the story of you life in eternity. But it doesn’t happen automatically. God partners with us to accomplish his will and we are joint heirs with Christ to do good works on this earth.

Here’s a crazy thought, do you realize that your race doesn’t finish after your life on this earth? We will be spending an eternity with God in his Kingdom and if we don’t learn to run our race well here, then we’ll certainly learn to there. I don’t know about you, but I want to give it my all down here so I can experience everything God intends for me in this life and the next.

That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.
— Galatians 5:26 MSG

You are an original and you won’t live up to your full potential while you’re trying to look like someone else. Fight the habit to compare and give yourself a mental detox. Refocus and realign your thoughts on God’s thoughts and listen as he whispers to your soul, “I remember you. You’ve never left my mind.”

In a world of cyber comparison, be the exception and give others a reason to find value and worth within themselves.

Live original,

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Feeling stuck in your bible reading and unsure where to begin?

 
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I totally get it! Check-out my Drawing Near Bible Reading Plan that will help you lean into God’s presence and understand the true heart of your Maker.

Whatcha waitin’ for girl, let’s get started!

 

Should I Get Back Together with Him?

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And then suddenly, he was gone... 

Just as quickly as he had come into my life, he left and it seemed like it was going to be forever. He was off chasing his big dreams while I was left standing there disappearing in his rearview mirror, quickly becoming a faded memory. It hurt me. It hurt bad. But then something happened. 

HE CAME BACK! 

Not at first obviously... I cried, sulked and eventually started to move on with my life. I grew closer to God and learned more about the gifts he had given to me and the plans he had for me. I made new friends, finished school; I even went on my very own adventure with God and moved to Saint Petersburg, Russia for six months (highly recommend)! However, after about two years, something happened that I would have never guessed. Yep, he was back and I would have a decision to make. 

Now I'm not going to lie, I had dreamt of this moment for a LONG time. But when it finally happened, I didn't quite know what to do. Looking back on it now, I wish I had handled myself with a little more grace and tact, but hey, what's a girl to do? I was a bit shocked to put it lightly...

But thinking back to that moment, I realized that there's probably a lot of girls out there who have had to deal with a situation like this, or perhaps you will soon! But really, how do you navigate this anyways? What do you do when everything you thought you wanted walks away from you and then walks back? How do you know if you're making the same stupid decisions as before or if this is just another chapter of your story you'll tell your grandkids someday? Where's the guide book on this thing? 

I'm not sure there can ever be a guidebook and I'm certainly not an expert, but I do believe that there are some important things to consider before making a decision like this that we don't always think about in the heat of the moment.

So, here are some vital questions to ask yourself before saying yes to him... again:

1. Why do you want to be with him? 

It may sound like a simple and unimportant question, but what would your answer be? Is it rooted in fear of abandonment, worry about what other people may think or unsure that anyone else will ever accept you? Your answer may surprise you and it could help uncover your true intentions for being with the guy. 

2. What was your relationship with God like while you were together? 

This one I can say was a good red flag for me. A lot of times when I would start dating a guy, I realized (not till much later) that I wasn't really pursuing God much anymore. Looking back, I think I knew if I sought God about the relationship, He would say no. So it was just easier to not ask. But how silly is that? We keep praying for God to send us a man we can spend our lives with and then we resist him if He may not like what we grabbed? God will always lead you into what is best for you, including the right guy. 

3. Do you both want to chase each other's dreams? 

This is huge! I know it may seem a bit "far off in the future" to be thinking about, but I can think of nothing more miserable than to end up with someone who didn't support my dreams or whose dreams I didn't love. So much of marriage is teaming up with your best friend to go take on the world together, one adventure at a time. Can you truly do that with someone who thinks your dreams are beneath him, or unimportant or prideful? 

You may think it's a bit extreme, but how does he see your dreams? Does he support you? Does he encourage you? Is he seeking God about the dreams that are on his heart? There's a lot of amazing people out there in the world, but they won't all understand you and your heart in the way that special person will. Trust me, he's worth the wait. 

4. What do close and respectable friends and family think? 

The key words here being close and respectable. I'm not talking about your roommates who just love to gossip or your crazy family who never have anything encouraging to say. I remember when I was dating this guy, my friends were supportive, but I could tell they didn't like it. I thought I had to stand up for my relationship and defend it to the world (something a lot of us girls tend to do) but these were the girls who knew me best and whether I realized or not, they loved me. 

When I finally started to date Jeff, it was almost weird how everyone was so supportive saying things like, "yeah, it's about time," or "you guys are just the greatest couple." That was all new territory for me and it almost threw me off. Just make sure you're not letting a false sense of "staying strong with your man" keep you from a love story others can see too. 

5. What is God saying to you? 

Yes, you can hear the voice of God. If you've been believing the lie that you can't or your not holy enough yet, then you need to throw that out right now. The bible says that his sheep hear his voice. So if you're born-again, you can hear and follow after the wisdom of your Heavenly Father. And guess what? He cares! Yes, he cares about your messy love life, every twist, turn, and sometimes scary part of it. It's all part of your story and he cares very much about it being written well.

So spend some time with God and ask Him what He thinks. Ask Him if this relationship is healthy and if it's His absolute best. This isn't selfish at all because if this guy isn't the best God has for you, then guess what sweet cheeks, you aren't the absolute best for him! Protect both of your hearts and seek after the advice of the best advisor around. 

6. Are you operating in fear or peace? 

I would say that for most of my relationships I was operating in legit FEAR. It was almost as if as soon as a guy liked me, the goal was set before me. And once he asked me out, I knew I was worth his attention. When this particular guy came cruising back into my life, I had to think about each senerio and consider how I felt about it. 

To be honest, I had spent so much time acting out of fear I'm not sure I was able to recognize it. But what I did know was the peace of God. It was the same peace I felt when I decided to move from Georgia to Colorado Springs after graduating High School to go to Bible College. It was the same peace I had when I decided to move to Russia in the middle of winter. And it was the same peace I felt when I decided I didn't want to get back together with him. 

Now I am NOT saying to just simply follow your emotions.

Peace is not an emotion so much as it is a knowing that this is the right thing.

And if all else fails and my world crashes down around me, I know this was the right decision. Peace is also a fruit of the Spirit. So if you want to be able to follow your peace, you need to get with God and start growing that fruit. It's in you but you won't experience it unless you draw it out. 

So... should you get back together with him?

Well, I wish I could tell you… but I can't. Only you can make this decision but you don't have to make it alone. God cares very much about who you end up with and He is VERY protective over your heart. The last thing on this earth He wants is to see it get broken and He will be with you every step of the way. 

These are not a set of rules to live by but simply some questions to consider when making this very big decision. I said no, but when I did finally meet the right guy, it seemed like all the rules had changed again! I'm not sure there are any rules; there's no map that will work with every guy all the time. That's why you need a relationship with Jesus and you need to stay close to Him. He will be the one to guide you through the tangled mess of love and men. 

He's the one who led me to say no this particular time but He's also the one who told me that my heart would be safe with Jeff. By the time the right guy came along, I was so full of fear that I couldn't trust every emotion I was feeling. But I could trust His voice. And His voice is the one who will lead you into the greatest love story you have ever known. 

You are worth a great love story. Never doubt that.

But you'll also be writing this story with a very imperfect guy (Prince or not). No man can reach the standard of Jesus. Allow yourself to be loved by Him, and only then will you be ready for the right guy to come along.

It may be this one, or it may not be. But what you must always remember is that you are a treasure to someone and that's who you're waiting for. 

Cling to Jesus and I promise you that He will write this story well. 

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5 Things the Enemy Doesn't Want You to Know About Who You Are

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Satan had made it his aim to distract you from who you really are and what the purpose of your life really is. It is his focused objective to lure you out of the path of strength, life, and authority and into a course of intentional destruction.
— Lisa Bevere, Girl's with Swords

One of the most common tactics of the enemy is to come against who you truly are, who God says you are. We assume, "That's too good to be true," or "Well I'm just not that holy… not one of those spiritual elite." We exclude ourselves from the love and promises of God and then wonder why we don't feel very close to him. 

You see, all of your power in this life is wrapped up in your identity - a royal daughter of God, fiercely loved, uniquely formed and vital to the greater story on this earth. But if the enemy can lead you to believe that you must earn this love (something we all make mistakes in), that there is not really anything special about you and your role on this earth is one more of an ensemble than a leading role, then you will not only live a below-destined life, but you won't even try! This is his plan. 

But the truth of your identity is not hidden from you, it's been revealed in God's word, scribed in heaven and resides on the inside of your spirit this day. You can know who you truly are and in doing so, unlock your power, purpose and the unique role that is your's alone to take. 

Don't let the enemy have the final say in your life. The only way his words have power over you is if you accept them into your life as truth. So here are five things the enemy does NOT want you to know about who you are. Go over each one and ask yourself if you truly believe it, if this is a foundation in your life. It's time the Daughters of God stop playing hostage to the enemy's lies and truly believe everything their Heavenly Maker says over them. 

 

1. You were created on purpose

You formed my innermost being, shaping my delicate inside and my intricate outside, and wove them all together in my mother’s womb. I thank you, God, for making me so mysteriously complex... How thoroughly you know me, Lord!
— Psalm 139:13-14

No matter how you feel, or what your circumstances might suggest, you are not an accident to God. You're not even a disappointment to Him, a sloppy seconds that He didn't see coming. Your heart was hand-stitched in secret and splendidly revealed to this world. Your Father chose you before the foundations of the earth and He never chooses incorrectly. 

There are plans written over your life and a purpose you were created for that no one else in this world was designed to do. Don't get distracted by what someone else has or what you lack, but begin to see with your own eyes what your King has revealed in you: a stunning glimpse into His own heart that only you can reveal to this world. 

 

2. You have a unique beauty to unveil 

You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes...
— Song of Solomon 4:9

I know this area of our lives is a tough one for most of us to fully grasp, but we must if we are going to be a light in this incredibly hazy world. No matter what you see in the mirror, no matter how frizzy or underwhelming your hair seems to be, and no matter what your Instagram feed measures up to, you have a unique beauty to unveil. Meaning you won't find it while searching out what everyone else has. 

God designed every detail of you and He decided that it was good. Do you really think God makes mistakes? That His creations would suffer from a lack of interest or follow-through on His end? No... He is the Master Craftsman and He doesn't make mistakes. 

On the outside, you are a magnificent creation, a holy temple set aside for good works, and a dwelling place for the Spirit of the Living God. Think about that; God Almighty decided to take up residence in you. And He said He would never leave you nor forsake you. He's in this for the long haul baby. Talk about commitment! 

You also have an inward beauty that speaks of the heart of your Maker. There is a piece of God's nature that can only be revealed through a woman's heart and another piece that you uniquely reflect. Don't dim His light in you because you wish you had someone else's. Shine His beauty and your's too will be revealed. 

 

3. You have a vital role to play in this story 

I believe that the attacks on your life have much more to do with who you might be in the future than who you have been in the past.
— Lisa Bevere, Girls with Swords

There is a much bigger story going on than the ones we obsess over. Good versus evil, love verses hate, redemption versus destruction. The story continues and you have a vital role to play, one that is your's alone to take.

The enemy would have you believe that there is nothing truly significant about your life on this earth. But he never wastes time attacking what he is not threatened by and there is something on your life that terrifies him. 

The attacks on your life have more to do with who you might be in the future than who you have been in the past. It's time we take up our swords and choose faith in the story scribed in heaven for us, bringing it into our reality. God wrote it, but we must choose it and we must continue to choose Him. 

 

4. You are sealed by true love 

This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins.
— 1 John 4:10

One of the most sacred truths that the enemy wants you to never know is that there is nothing you could ever do to make God stop loving you.. even for just a moment, even just a little bit less. God's love wasn't based on your actions to begin with. After all, He did die for your sins over 2,000 years ago and I'm pretty sure you weren't around to earn that either. 

God's love is not a medal to be won, but a gift to be received. If I thought my husband only ever did stuff for me because he thought it would make me love him, and then when he did something wrong he pulled away from me, it would break my heart. How much more does a perfect Heavenly Father love us, His cherished creation? 

So here's a truth you can hold on to, God is bigger than your past. Stop giving it power over you. There is nothing you could do to make God love you more, just as there is nothing you could do to make God love you less. Yes, there are still things we do that may change the way we view God, but God's view never is shifted or foggy. He chose you and He'll never change His mind. 

The cross sealed your separation forever. There once was a separation between you and God (not one of His doing) but because of the sacrifice of Jesus, it no longer exists and there is nothing stopping you from a relationship with Him. No sin, no shame, no lack of good deeds can ever come between you again. 

 

5. You are crowed in royalty 

If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.
— C.S. Lewis

You were not created for this world - fallen, corrupt, sinful. But you are destined for another one, a new one that will be revealed to us soon enough. But until then, we are ambassadors for God, placed on this earth to combat the workings of darkness and reveal the true heart of our Father. 

You have authority over all the works of the devil and Jesus has given us His name to use in His place. You have a glorious future ruling and reigning with your Maker and there is nothing the enemy can do to change that. You are positioned not here, but seated next to Christ in heaven, a position of royalty and peace. The war is over and Jesus has won. Don't let the enemy fool you into thinking you are fighting a losing battle. You may have lost a few battles but Jesus has won the war. Cling to this and you will never be defeated. 

The greatest battles we will face in this life are the ones waging in our minds.

It says in John 8:32 that you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. But you see it's only the truth you truly KNOW that is going to produce freedom in your life. Cling to these five truths as if they were jewels, write them on the tablet of your heart, post them up across your mirror. Get these words down in your soul so deeply that when the enemy does come to deceive you, you won't be fooled. You'll be armed with truth, fighting your battles well. 

Don't focus so hard on what not to think about or what you should be doing. Instead, focus on what God says about you and your battles will become less about you and more about Him. After all, true freedom lies in knowing him. And as you get to know him, you might just start learning a bit more about yourself... your truest self. 

Fight these battles well.

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Need a hand changing your perspective on yourself?

 
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Download “A Daughter’s Declaration” and begin speaking God’s word over your life and changing the way you see yourself. Post it on your mirror, save it on your phone or pass it out at your next small group meeting.

It’s time to awaken to who you truly are!