Learning to Love My Design

I came across a quote the other day that truly captivated my attention:

“God can do more through our deepest surrender than our best performance”

Phewwwwwww. Let me tell you that one stopped me dead in my tracks. You see, this has been a journey of learning to live from this place. Let me invite you to a bit of my story of learning to let go of performance… in case, you, like me, are hungry to be enough as a “BEING”, not a “DOING”.


See at my core, I want to know two things when it comes to relationships– that others authentically care and that we are connecting. And I want them to feel that reciprocated… that I genuinely care for and want to connect with them. We all want to be seen and known, the problem is, we don’t always understand the unique design in which we were created, in order to live and be loved from that place. Deep down, I’ve never wanted to be loved and accepted for my doing, but instead for my character and compassion.


As someone who wears their emotions on their sleeves, I have shed a LOT of tears in my life. Crying a couple times a week is NOT unusual for me, but it doesn’t mean that I’m a melancholy, depressed individual. I just feel REALLY BIG. I operate more from an emotive stance. I’ve been that way as long as I can remember. Yet, between childhood and adulthood, my perception became, “you will be seen and loved based off of what you accomplish, not by how much you care.” Not so much seen, because trust me, people see you when you are crying and deep in your emotions, but I wanted to be affirmed.

To be quite honest, in my personal experience, I wasn’t often embraced in that place. It often scared others away, or at least that was my perception. On several occasions, I was told by family members, friends, leaders and/or by significant others, that I was emotionally weak. And I hated that about myself.

I hated that I would cry in movies as if their pain was my pain.

I hated that I would suppress my thoughts and feelings, in order to appease others, to the point that my emotions erupted.

I hated crying while listening to others’ stories, because I was moved by the trials they had overcome.

I hated crying over past pains that I thought I had “gotten over” or “dealt with”

I truly believed that others would always excel and I would always fall short, because they were strong and I had too many feelings.

“Pull yourself together”

“You’re stronger than this”

“Get ahold of your tears”

“Tears = weakness”

These became the thoughts I would often repeat to myself. 

Honestly, I just wanted a hug and safe place to verbally process my feelings. It didn’t always mean something was wrong, I just primarily processed it through emotions/feeling and wanted someone to let me know it would be okay and just give me a hug! Seriously. Let me get it out.

What I often experienced was others resistant or scared by it – often feeling they couldn’t help me or were at fault for something, which wasn’t even the case. I didn’t need a Mr. or Mrs. Fix-it. I just wanted a safe place to process… a listening ear. I see now that those not wired in the same way, mean well and WANT to help, they just didn’t know how to meet that need. I do believe that ultimately people DO have the best intentions at heart and do the best they can. Just like my methods to meet a need may not match what another individual ACTUALLY needs.


I believed there was more praise, affirmation and therefore love for the strong, persevering, achiever, and I desperately wanted to prove myself. Prove that I was not, in fact, emotionally weak, and could be seen as strong and capable and the key to that was to achieve… success… as the world sees it. So, I quickly tuned into a lifestyle of performance.

I was trying to live in this cycle of doing, performing, achieving in order to appear NOT weak and to prove myself. I thought that would make me feel fulfilled, seen, affirmed and therefore loved. I don’t know who I was trying to make a point to more…myself or others. I can say this… myself was never satisfied. And performance became a ferris wheel of exhaustion, rather than a fun journey of risks and endurance that it appeared to be for many others.

A few years ago, it was actually easy to step into performance, when it was just me at home. Then, as my family began to grow, I found it harder to not just keep up, but to slow down and enjoy connecting and caring, which was really what’s most important to me. I was so caught up in still having to prove myself!


I’ve always loved to encourage others, yet through years of sales, I started to believe I could only add value when I had “arrived”. I was convinced that until I proved myself worthy by achieving a certain status, nothing I had to share would be worthy, if that makes sense.

Part of me wishes I could stand here and tell you I have arrived in total freedom here, and that I have it all figured out, because again, I’ve always believed that had to be the case in order to provide value.

Instead, my hope is that we begin to find value in the vulnerability. By taking off the masks and just learning to be loved and enough as we are. As human BEINGS who are still in process. Learning we each have unique designs that make up all the pieces of the puzzle.

As a friend and I were chatting about this recently, she asked a powerful question:

“What if it isn’t so much about being a certain position, as it is being IN position.”



It wasn’t until being introduced to a powerful design profile, that I started to understand my emotions are actually a design gift from God. I promise the last thing I thought of those pesky emotions were gifts. They had seemed like nothing but baggage, setbacks, and barriers my whole life.

I am learning to trade counterfeit belief that I am emotionally weak for the truth that I have empathy and eyes to see people in their pain. I’ve learned that while emotions are a big part of me, I don’t have to be controlled by them, nor do I have to suppress every tear. It is not the only gift, as there are 7 gifts, yet it is one that is a display of Jesus and I GET to be that expression day to day. So when someone else is running on empty, I can say “I see you”, without trying to fix them or short cut their pain.

I get to trade my badge that once read “weakness” to one that now reads “compassion”.

I am choosing to surrender the life of performance and pushing for a position, so I can get IN position and alignment for what He has for me. Because I know it is better than anything I could strive for myself.

I am not sure what your primary grace gift is, but I am excited to tell you that you do, indeed, have one! In fact, did you know you carry all 7 gifts, just some higher than others? 

The good news is that you are complete. You are enough. I invite you to exploring the amazing way in which He designed you, so we can live from position together!

Love & Blessings,


If you are interested in learning your unique design, go to www.oaksrising.com/kllp  to take the KLLP Design profile.

You can also schedule a Design Session with an Oaks Rising Certified Communication Coach to “Unpack Your Profile” to really increase your confidence and understand how to improve your connections and communication.

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