Dear Sis,

Sometimes you learn your greatest life lessons by listening to your own words.

It happens to me all the time.

A person may ask for my advice, and before I know it, I'm blown away by the words that come out of my mouth.

I consider it a gift... a ministry even -- because I am 100% certain that this innate wisdom is not of my own, but God-given.

Well, last week -- it happened again.

I was hosting a shadowing visit for a student from Ohio State University. Like any eager graduating senior, Megan Mathews did all of her research, and came locked and loaded with tons of questions about the news industry.

After a tour around the station and a few introductions to people in the newsroom, Megan asked me a question I didn't anticipate.

"What do you wish you knew when you were my age?"

I paused for a second like a deer in headlights.

"Wow... let me think about that for a second," I said.

Unbeknownst to her, I began having flashbacks. Flashbacks of the fear I felt -- flashbacks of feeling inadequate -- flashbacks of self-imposed and society-imposed expectations to instantly succeed.

In an effort to break my awkward silence, I blurted out: "I wish I'd known that progress isn't perfect."

Whoa... where did that come from?!

I explained to her that I'd set a very high standard for myself, and had this fairy tale expectation that everything would unfold as I envisioned it.

Megan knew where I was coming from, because she looked at me with bright eyes and said, "Oh my gosh, that's exactly how I feel!!!"

I recalled having this deep, burning desire to impress my family and peers. So much so, I had anxiety attacks because I was so worried that I would miss the mark.

Some would say my determination to overachieve was a good thing. But, in fact -- it was detrimental. Why? Because it never prepared me for disappointment.

I was SO success-driven that any sign of failure would send me into a dark tunnel of hopelessness.

I call it Prosperity Dependence. (Yes, I made that up!) It's when we have trouble coping with temporary defeat. It's when we fall victim to the misconception that success only occurs when every. single. thing. works in our favor.

The illness can be so intense, that it takes over your brain and forces you to believe thatyou should just give up.

A couple weeks ago, I was harshly reminded that life will not always go well. Circumstances will change, trusted people will turn their backs on you, and you'll feel like there's no point in trying.

But, sis -- ignore the chaos!

Undoubtedly, there will be hurt and confusion along the way, but we can't allow the presence of imperfection to cripple our persistence! Embrace the journey... and, whatever you feel driven to achieve, go after it knowing that every high and low is grooming you for a better tomorrow.

Until next time,


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