Guest Post by Angie Gruetzmacher
Who am I… you might ask. Or maybe just as I thought more importantly, who were you?
Let’s really back it up… I was a great child, but a confused teen. The cycle went as follows: depression was my low, partying was my high, and God was my rock. Manipulate it every which way and that summed up my teens to twenties.
In that time during my Senior year, there was a job opening for an “On The Job” training student through the High School. The job opening was at a local boutique – and I really wanted it.
There was one problem…this employer didn’t like me. Let’s rephrase that…SHE HATED ME!!!
I hung out with her son, and apparently had a bad reputation. She had kicked me out of her house, called me profanities and left me stranded in other towns when she had found out I was with her son. You could say I was a fool for applying for that job. But really I was desperate and “HUNGRY” to prove myself.
She did the unthinkable and hired me.
You see, she had nothing to lose, she would work me so hard and make my life miserable so I would quit. God was my rock, so I wanted to prove that good people who made bad decisions can still be good people at the end of the day. I was learning all about COURAGE, RESILIENCE, and AUTHENTICITY.
She knew I was so hungry for that position! I busted my butt and realized I loved that job and the people it served more than anything! I was bound and determined to buy that business and the building it sat in without a penny to my name. I said I would buy it, remodel the building, retire at 40 and have an art studio in the upstairs of the building. At the age of 22 I bought that business, and put a lot of things on the line to make it happen.
I was always that overweight self-conscious girl who – let me remind you – battled depression and now was trying to run a women’s boutique, MaCandis Boutique. The irony was that I would go on to make a career out of image, the thing I was most self-conscious about!! To me, it really never was as much about the fashions, as it was building relationships, and raising other women up in the midst of their life. It gave me and other women a platform as a safe place to talk. I grew so much as a human from the wisdom of this community of women.
I met my husband through my work, we had twins, with a 6 week bed rest stay. Ironically God had placed a person in my life just one short year prior who would become my business partner. 80 hour work weeks and being a Mom would not complement each other. I would like to say my life was great and that I got to have my cake and eat it too. But I still battled demons in my head…. I was not enough – comparing my weight and beauty to so many beautiful women inside and out, business hardships, and loneliness.
My business partner and I had a great run, but decided to close a 70 year old business because times were too volatile, the risks were too much, and we were simply getting burnt out. I loved what I did and my heart was shattered that it no longer made financial sense. I had to ask God “why” a few more times than I’d like. But I had a beautiful opportunity to be a stay at home Mom. Exactly what I dreamed of.
Holidays at home with the kids, the simple life of not caring what you wore, being an even sounder rock in our family. Truly aligning my values and morals and living an authentic life. Sounds perfect, right!? Embracing the minimalist approach of we don’t need all this STUFF to make us happy. We just need love and moments of joy. It sounded like a script for a Hallmark Movie.
My husband’s career was blossoming and my new role was to support him and our family. I went to a business event with my husband’s work, a room full of CEO’s, vice presidents, Sr. Executives and then someone asked, “What do you do?” It was like the nail going into the coffin. I held back the tears and gulped. I was not ready to answer that question. I could no longer say “WHO” I WAS. I was now a NOBODY, a NO-ONE! I was like a lone wolf. I no longer was a SOMEBODY. I was like a NOMAD traveling from moment to moment and place to place in life to find “food” to fuel my soul. I was lost and alone.
I had lost my Tribe! I was no longer there to fill up someone’s bucket that needed me to stand out in front of their dressing room and remind them they are beautiful no matter what size they wore, or if it didn’t fit, or hug them during a loss, congratulate them on a victory, simply just make them laugh, or be a lending ear. I no longer was a business woman winning awards, having success, fame and fashion.
I fought the demons: I’m a failure, I’m not enough, I’m a nobody, why aren’t I happy with what I have – the list went on and on. Even though my kids and husband LOVED me being home, in my head I was not enough.
I felt like I let so many people down when I closed the store. A community, employees, customers, family, and myself! But I knew that the merit of success no longer should matter to me. I thought I was fully ready to embrace life, kids, devote more time to God, on and on. I was so blessed to have this opportunity.
It was a moment that I hated how our society defines us by our career or belongings. ICK! I want to be a free spirit who embraces the moments, hugs the friend, goes to lunch with the kiddos, paints a picture, and or teaches bible study. But in my head I wasn’t enough. The paradox was there and I thought everyone now saw me as being a LAZY, NOBODY, because I didn’t work. The hustle in my head was going crazy with name calling!!! I couldn’t live my best life because of those voices!
I was having coffee with a friend and expressing the guilt I felt for having this life I manifested and dreamed of, but now feel guilty for it and what others are going to think. She said “you are worthy, just as you are”.
*GAME CHANGING MOMENT*
It helped me pivot and disregard limiting beliefs. I guess I just needed someone to tell me I am worthy of happiness, and it’s ok to cultivate the courage to be imperfect. That God looked at the world and said “TA DA, here is Angie…the world definitely needs one of her!”
So I come to you today and express the hardest challenge I’ve ever had in my life is just being ME. I have found ways to bring a whole new meaning of value to my life. I am mindfully practicing authenticity, grace, gratitude, joy, embracing emotional intelligence, continuing to treat others with kindness and respect, living in the moment, being fair minded, and yet embracing my core values.
I know that what I leave as a legacy or at the gates of heaven rings deeper than what I wore, how long I was in business, how many awards I won, what size I wore, how often I worked out – I am a child of God living my best life.
I may be a Nobody, but I am Somebody worthy!
Not so coincidentally after I had written this the next Sunday’s church sermon was about the devil tempting Jesus and tempting his identity. We are who we are and only have to prove ourselves to God. Pastor went on to tell a story about one of his past employees who was an ideal and perfect employee. Although at the bottom of the ladder as far as roles this guy showed up every day. When asked how he was so driven, he answered “he worked for God.”
So I googled scripture on identity and the first thing I found was from Proverbs 31 ministries saying “Only the enemy wants us to find our identity in what we do, because he knows when the lights dim and the ‘success’ is gone, so is our value. God, however, has another identity for us, one that’s unchanging and independent of our actions. When we reassign the source of our value, we are free from the sinful thoughts. When we believe the Truth our identity will be UNSHAKABLE.”
So needless to say – I think I’m on the right path and this is the mindset shift I needed to get me through my “Identity Crisis”. I have nothing to fix – just HIS power to get through and the desire to do HIS will.
I am a SOMEBODY, I am a child of God.
I was ready to submit this last week when COVID–19 hit. It made me feel like God was preparing me for this. To slow down and embrace what really mattered to me: God and my family! My devotional today was Psalm 40. Doing God’s will sometimes mean waiting patiently. While we wait, we can love God, serve others and tell others about him. God Bless!
- God is Good!
- Make the difference: Try to be the gamechanger is someone else’s life
- Success is not measured in titles or money or going and getting after it
- Success is found in Joy and gratitude
- You are worthy
- Be the BEST version of you.
- Know you are not alone
- We put up walls to protect us, it’s scary taking them down to be free
- Live a NO FILTER life. In a world of trying to be perfect, be you! RAW – NO FILTER NEEDED!
- Less can be more
- Stand still and sit in gratitude for what you have manifested
- Find your non-negotiables, the core of your being, why you exist
- Don’t let “identity theft” get you, it can be a silent killer!
- Do less, be more
- Connect more with others instead of self-improvement
A special thank you to Stacey Thousand for being that Gamechanger for me and reminding me I am worthy! A huge thank you to the Compounding Courage Team to create such a great platform and safe place for women. And thank you to the Gamechangers and the storytellers of the world who keep on making a difference.
** Limiting beliefs are the thoughts we have that hold us back most. For example: “I am not enough.” Let’s disrupt these beliefs so we can begin to live courageous lives. Use this download to help you start the disruption.