Episode 003 – Michelle McKinney Part 1 of 2

 
 
00:00 / 00:41:23
 
1X
 

Listen in on this amazing conversation with Michelle McKinney! Michelle is the founder and Dream Architect of Dreams Unleashed. In Part 1, Michelle talks about losing her mother at a young age. She also shares about adopting her own daughter and how God taught her about pain, redemption, and calling from both experiences. Learn more about Michelle and her business at http://www.dreams-unleashed.com and share her passion for National Angels at http://www.nationalangels.org.

Episode Transcript

00:44 Hi, I’m Alexis and welcome to That Makes Total Sense! I am so excited right now to bring you these back to back conversations with my good friend Michelle McKinney of Dreams Unleashed. Michelle is the founder, she’s the CEO and she is the lead dream architect of her company. Dreams Unleashed where she specifically helps women to identify and live out their God given goals and dreams and I am just so excited to bring her to you. You are going to love her!

In this first episode, Michelle gets personal with us and I asked her to share some things about her story that have made her who she is and have built her faith up to where it is now. And in the second episode she is going to give us a mini free coaching session. She’s going to take us through some of the things that she does with her clients to help them identify where they are and help them get to where they want to be. So enjoy this here is my first conversation with my good friend Michelle. Michelle, thank you so, so much for coming on to That makes total sense! I really, really appreciate it.

Michelle: No, my gosh, thank you. I’m so excited to be here. So I’m looking forward so where, wherever the conversation leads us.


Alexis: Awesome. So because we are recording this for the audience, I want to let everyone know that Michelle and I are friends in real life and so I know we are. I told you guys a little bit about that when I introduced her, um, in the opening. But we are going to, we just talked about this. We’re going to try and keep our conversation where it’s going to be really applicable to the audience because we could go a lot of places today. Michelle, we could go

Michelle: A whole lot.

Alexis: Oh, a lot of places. Um, but the thing that really struck me and the reason that I really wanted to have Michelle on the show is because I was trying to think besides her amazing work that she does with women and their businesses and their dreams, which we’re going to talk about in the second episode with Michelle. Um, I was trying to think what is it, what was it that really drew me to her as a friend because she is an incredible coach. She is an incredible business moment. She is all these things. You are girl, but I think it’s your faith. I think it’s your faith that was that intangible thing that drew me to you as a person and as a thank you.

Michelle: That means a lot.

Alexis: Well, the first, one of the first times that you and I really chatted and we prayed together. I want to, I want to tell this story before we get going. Um, I was telling my kids, cause we were praying about it, I’m praying about something later and I said, listen guys, mommy met a new friend and my girlfriend Michelle, when she prays, first of all, when she prays, God listens. I mean anybody who’s around this, but you, and you may not even remember this, and, and, and you did it several times, but the first time you prayed and you thanked God that you woke up this morning, you thanked him. That we woke up, that we have bread, that we have lambs that move . I mean, come on. Like, can we do that? You know, can we just thank God, you know, instead of, you know, just coming straight to him with God, this is what I want. This is what I need. This is where I want you to move. It’s like, Lord, thank you that I even can move today. You know, it’s his mercy and it’s his grace that even gives us breath. And so that was my, that was my introduction to you, Michelle, and your faith. Wow, thank you. He got you up this morning and He,

Michelle: Hmm. Thank you. Absolutely.

Alexis: So a few of the things that I was chatting with Michelle about that I’d love for her to tell you is just a little bit, some kind of some milestones in her life story. So Michelle, are you open to go in like way back, willing to go way back, way back. Can you, um, can you tell us a little bit, um, a little bit about your childhood and specifically, um, about this milestone that I’m talking about with your mom? Because not everybody has heard you tell this story, but it is so impactful and so powerful.

Michelle: Yeah, for sure. So my brother and I, um, we by birth have same mother, different father, but our father who is my biological father is the only father that he’d known. Um, and so we grew up with both of our parents, um, up until probably around about, I was four getting ready to turn five, my mom, um, as a four year old, you know, she, I was, went upstairs to go wake her up or whatever room it was in that she was in and my mom was non-responsive. And so, you know, four year old didn’t know really what to do. So I ran downstairs to my dad’s. Um, the deal is that my dad was also an alcoholic. Um, and so he had been challenged and these are the things that, you know, as I came into my understanding, because there’s this, this space that shame can take up that took up my life for a really long period of time about talking about that part of my dad’s life.
Um, and so once I got older and began to understand more of his story, and this is after his passing, so this isn’t necessarily because my dad explained it, but I just think, God, four of your people who are Titus two or older women in my life who helped to give me perspective about life. And so, you know, when I take into account the fact that my dad was a Vietnam vet who like many other, you know, people who went over to serve, not understanding the conditions in which they were going to serve, came back home and were expected to live a normal life after seeing so many atrocities. And it was very difficult, you know, even now for military men and women to come back into civilian life, hadn’t seen like the worst of the worst of human horas and then be expected to be loving and kind generous and gentle husbands and wives and mothers and all those things.
And so my dad, I think like many others, came back to the States and didn’t know how to cope with all of that. Right. And so the, what he took to with alcohol, other people took to other things. You know, even today in life, we, you know, we all have some often some kind of advice that we may have dealt with at some point in our life. So that was my dad. So my dad anyway, um, he wasn’t necessarily, you know, of the biggest help the Akron remember at that time. So the ambulance came. Um, we were living with my aunt and my uncle at this at the time, they took my moms to the, um, hospital, local hospital. And that was where it, her last place was, was at the hospital. And so I remember when they called, um, my, I guess it was my aunt, my uncle who is my brother, my dad’s brother and his wife over to bring me to be able to get the news.
Um, I walked into the townhouse and when I got to the townhouse I getting up at four years old. But you know, that’s the thing is that people don’t understand that children even at four and three are very aware of what’s happening. They may not be able to put words to it or to understand it, but they are very aware and can sense and feel what’s going on around them. And so when I walked into the first floor of the townhouse, there were adults down there and everybody looked really somber. Um, and then I went back, went upstairs, which is where I was being directed by whoever the adult was. I got up to the top of the stairs. I kind of looked around before I hit the very top and I saw my brother and my dad in the room. And my brother is five years older than me.
And so of course I was four, he was already 10 at the time. I was getting ready to have a birthday. And I walked into the room and my dad says to me, Michelle, tell your brother to stop crying. And so when my dad told my brother, he told me to tell my brother to stop crying. You know what that said to me, even though those were not the words that he spoke, was that it is not okay to cry through this devastating loss in your life. And so even though that wasn’t what his intention was, he was just doing the best that he knew how to do as a grieving spouse also. Um, and a grieving father watching his kids. That was just the words that he knew to use. He didn’t have the right words. And so I took those words and I carry them with me all the way into my adulthood. Michelle don’t cry. And so the way that I dealt with challenges and problems that came my way is that I internalized it a lot, which, because I internalize it so much, some of that led to, um, quite a few bouts with suicidal thoughts and trying to figure out how do I cope with this life and this new normal. Um, and so those things were quite challenging, you know, to say the least. Um, but God has just continually been faithful.

Alexis: Michelle, Michelle, thank you. Like, thank you because I’m listening to this and I’m just going, I mean, you have such a perspective, but, um, obviously it has taken you some time and some time with the Lord to get there. Um, you know that my, um, I have an uncle who I never met because he came home from Vietnam. Uh, similarly to how you described your dad and um, no, the story that I got was that he was living, um, either with, or were close to my grandparents at the time, um, in the late seventies. And he said he was going to the store and he left and he never came back. And, um, you know, because he had, yeah, he, um, had dealt with some problems as a result of the war and the atrocities that those men and women saw when they were there. And so I just think the perspective that you have, you know, and when you’re talking about your dad, the other phrase that kept going through my mind is, you know, yes, tragic, tragic when you know, the, the, the entire story.
But just your, your perspective of, and I don’t want to put words in your mouth, but the phrase that came to my mind is he was doing the best he could with what he had, you know, um, in how he and how he was just relating to you and, um, and your brother and to the rest of the family at that time. And so thank you for sharing that because, um, what you said at the beginning that you had dealt with shame regarding that for a while. Um, it’s, you know, shame grows in the dark, right and underground in where we can’t talk about it. And so it’s huge for you to tell that story and I just appreciate it so much because, um, because we may not have the same story, we most likely don’t, but we all have some things. Um, our family’s history that, um, we wish were different, but they’re not, let me say this, you know, about what you’re, what you’re talking about.

Michelle: Right. The thing is that even though the words that you just recited, that, you know, that I shared in terms of, he was doing the best that he knew how to do, right. I didn’t get that language. And so I’m like, I had to forget sometimes how old I am. I think I w I’m 43 now. And so I didn’t get that language until I was maybe about 40, and it was a woman who is a mother to me now, or I’m named Lucille Eley. And we were at her, I was at her house and just talking through, you know, just still processing all of this stuff that happened, you know, um, growing up and not having my mom and how much I missed her. And she also happened to have a daughter who died of an aneurism, which is what my mom died of.
Right. And there were some other things that happened in the space of that with my family. But the deal was that, um, when she gave me that language, you know, and after explaining the story, she was like, Michelle, you know, you don’t know what quality of life had your mother live. God decided to allow your mom to live beyond the aneurism. You don’t know the quality of life that she would have had and, or what your dad had even been capable to provide for you and your brother. Because the other part of this story is that my mom was very young. She was 30 years old. And so she did not have a will. You know, granted, that’s no reason not to have a will. But you know, there’s, the truth of the matter is many of us don’t have necessarily will that state if something were to happen to me and our mass spouse, this is what’s supposed to happen to the children.
You know, when you are 30, when you’re in your 20s, you don’t think about that in that space. And so she didn’t, you know, she wasn’t in that mind frame. And so because there wasn’t a will in place, there was a lot of, um, and the way in which my mom died, cause there’s, have another piece to it too. There was a lot of hurt and anger within the two families, meaning my mom’s side of the family and my dad’s side of the family. And so with that hurt and the anger and not having a will in place, what happened was I went with one side of the family and my brother went with another side of the family, which was basically in many regards, you know, both side of the family has both best interests at heart. Right. Um, apparently my mom had made some wishes, but she did not document them on paper when she was sick.
Um, and so along with people looking to try to make the best decision, they will also making a decision out of hurt. Right. And so in order to appease and tried to comfort the hurt and pain that they were feeling, it was, well, we’ll take one kid and we’ll take the other. Right. Um, and that caused a lot with me and that’s where I think some of the suicidal thoughts and things like that, you know, came into play because right after my mom died, her birthday was September 26 she died September 7th, my birthday was October 4th. So much stuff was happening around that time and there was not a conversation with me or my brother, you know, from well-meaning adults about how are you all processing this and how do you feel? It was more so, okay, let’s get you guys in school. You stay here, you stay there.
And there wasn’t a processing of understanding that all in one swoop we lost everything that was family to us. Our home, everything was just gone just immediately. And so, you know, it was, my mom was no longer here and I didn’t know how to process that as a four year old, getting ready to turn five. My brother, who was, who I woke up to every morning, he was not going to be, you’re in VR anymore. Um, my dad was not going to be there anymore and we were just expected to move about life. And so that’s where there was just a lot of challenge of figuring out what my identity was. And so the, the beauty in that now is that as we allow time and as we also bring people into our lives, who we’re able to pour into us also, um, it helps with being able to tell your story from a place of power in that one of pain, because I used to tell my story from a place of pain and shame where it was, you know, this is, this is the end of my story, you know, that’s it.
But now I’m able to tell it from a place of, these are all the things that happen, but I’m still standing and I’m not, and I’m not still standing. My woe is me. I’m standing. And I’m like, wow, God, if you brought me through all of this, right, whatever I’m going through right now, or we’ll go through, you have been so faithful that I know you’re going to carry me through that too. And there’s been some doozies. I mean, because that in and of itself was a fundamental beginning doozy. But there’ve been so many other, as you call the milestone, things that have happened over the course of life that is just like, I can’t believe that God still chooses me to stand, even in spite of all this stuff that has transpired and all of it is not necessarily the dueling, the leather people. Some of it is my own doing too.

Alexis: Well, I mean, true for all of us. I mean some of it, some of it is, but I love what you said. It’s like going over and over in my head to, to tell our story from a place of power instead of from a place of pain and that’s not rejecting the pain or saying that the pain didn’t exist or doesn’t exist, but, but you know, two things came to my mind. One is telling your story from a place of power means you get to help decide what place that story has in your life. Um, you know, like you said this, this could have been the end. You, you could be telling that story and as a, as a fatalist and say, no, this is it. This is over. Um, but I also think with you, something that I see, um, as your friend is that you tell, I feel like you tell all of your stories from a place of God’s power over


Michelle: all day, all day long, all day, all day long. Yes, it is. I mean, I may not, you know, you know, we all have our different seasons. Like there are seasons where, you know, there’s like if people say the ebbs and flows, right? And so in those areas of growth, I may not be like a, you know, look how amazing guy, you know, there may be like a bit too, you know, bits of depression or sadness and you know, longing and all those things that exist in my unit. Um, at the same time I’m grateful quite honestly, that I have less of those and more of the other, and it’s really just because of what I choose to focus on. Um, you know, scripturally where it talks about, meditate on these things, you know, that are lovely, have good rapport, all the things you get to choose. You may not get to choose what happens in your life. You know, in terms of the challenges that come through, you may not get to choose that, but you do get to choose what you’re gonna meditate on.
Alexis: And the thing is, whatever you, you get what you meditate on. Say it again. Gets to choose what you meditate on. Yup.
Michelle: And the thing is, whatever you mad at, meditate on, that’s what will be magnified. Yeah. And so I want to magnify, you know, because there’s so much more that God wants to do in my life that if I stay in a space of meditating on the negative and the pain that’s happening, and it does have its paid his plate, right? Because even scripture, you know, there’s places where David, you know, where he put on his cloak and ashes and he mourned for a period of time and then he got to a place, you know, when his son was sick, we got to a place where he was like, you know what, I gotta take off the sackcloth and ashes and I got to get up and wash myself and now let me move on. Right. And so that’s, I think that’s where the balance comes, is that you have to feel the grief and you have to process the grief of whatever the loss is, right?
And loss doesn’t always have to be a physical person. It can be the loss of a dream. Um, but being able to give yourself time to process that grief and that pain, but then also making a decision to say, we not gonna stay here. Right. And it doesn’t mean that there aren’t times, but I don’t miss my mom. You know, that there are different milestones, like great milestones that happened in my life. You know, whether it’s graduation from high school, giving birth to my first child, you know, my children going to college. Those are all the things that when they happen, I’m like, man, I wish my mom was here. But at the same time, instead of staying in that place, it’s like, mom, you know, how incredible this legacy that you left here, I would love for you that join me in this space. But just the legacy that I am living out because of even in a short period of time, she only had four and a half years with me and a four and a half years timeframe that God allowed her to be here. She was able to plant some roots in me that long outlived that shortness of time that we have with one another.

Alexis: Oh, I love that so much. And, and I want to, I want to touch really briefly because like you said, this is not fatalistic. That was not the end of your story. Um, a lot of people who know you from your business, who know you from dreams on lesion may not even know some of the turns in your personal life that are related to this legacy of your mom. And the two that I’m thinking of. Okay. The big one I’m thinking of is about seven years old ish. She is your only girl. I mean you have some boys and I have some boys too. 11 boys. Um, but she’s your only girl. And so Michelle is an adoptive mom. The first time we talked, I think we didn’t realize the each other, we both had adopted kiddos and each of us have adopted from Africa, which is incredible.
But Salah is who I’m thinking of number one. But number two also a lot of people may not realize the work that you get to do with National Angels. And so I mean if you can just even just touch on those things and I’m thinking as a perspective of as that legacy that your mom gave you, but also as a progressive part of your faith as a persistent and persevering part of your faith that those things that, that affected you and had real impact on your life. There is real fruit growing, um, from those spaces. Those, there’s real fruit. So, so tell us whatever you want us to know about, about those couple of things. And I say things but Selah girl.
Michelle: So I’m going to come from a world view first because of something I recently saw and record and talk about where I got it from because it’s people figure out where they got it, you know, with they watch it themselves as the documentary I recently watched like two days ago. Right? And the thing that struck me, it’s this documentary about data and about, you know, a data breach to happen nationally, you know, um, or happen domestically rather. Right? And so one of the things that was shared was that one of the tactics of an individual was that they wanted to get people to allegedly to be able to um, do what they wanted them to do to make a decision based on their preference. Right? And so this is what the strategy said. It said, in order to change society, you must first break it so that you can mold it to what you want it to be. Well, right? So what the context of that was, it was that if we can break society by making people to fight with one another, right? So focus on what’s so different about one another. Then we break it so that they then become at odds with one another. Right? So there is great division among the land, right? So then what that cooked me too is just the idea of who God is. Like at the end of the day, what is it? What is his big idea? His big idea is reconciliation.
Alexis: Amen, right? Amen. And so
Michelle: When I heard that, and I thought about just nationally and even globally, where we are as nations is that there’s so much division and really I believe that the only thing that will heal the division in the lands is reconciliation, right? And restoration. And so when I, when I saw that and I heard that, and when I think about my own life and you know, you talk about these two milestones, one being my adoption and then the work that I do with national angels, it, Ron’s to me of just how much of our store and how much God is into reconciliation. Because there was a period of time, like I said, that you know, my story was about, you know, my mom died, my dad was able to take care of us. And so my parents, um, my aunt and my uncle ended up being my guardian who I also called my mom and dads.
But you know, when I got to, when I was graduating from high school, it was very clear because of a document that they had to file in order for me to go to college. And in order for me to go to college, they had to file a document that said I was a ward of the court. Right? And being award of the court. When you see that on paper, and I’m saying why we did it, it was the right thing to do, right? But when you see that on paper that the state considers you to be a ward of the court, meaning you have no parents that are, that are able to take care of you. And so you are basically governed by the state, right? And you are in care of someone else. So when I first, and I actually still have that paperwork just because it’s just a part of my story and I want to continue to, to have it as a reminder of who God is.
And so when you see that document that you are a ward of the court and that you are basically enforcing cause it goes through orphan court, is that, I told my story again from the space of I didn’t have my parents right. And so somebody else, my aunt, my uncle, thank God, decided to raise me and so it was from that space of, man, you know, I’m missing X, Y, Z. And so I would have never, there were, there was times later on in my life where I was like, you know what? I might be kind of good to be able to do foster care. That was the extent of it. Right. Then I got married and told me now we started having kids and so we had our first two. That whole idea about foster care went out the window because my kids got to an age where they were able to go downstairs on Saturday.
Alexis: Yes, I would, we’re not having any more kids. We done, right. All of my kids can buckle themselves in their car seats. I’m like, all right, we’re done. Not doing it right.

Michelle: Right. And so that became, this is what I want. And so what God challenged me with right around when he was throwing my heart for adoption was, but you didn’t ask me, what did I want? You’re, you are, dislike is not yours. It does not belong to you. I am stewarding this life to you, Michelle. You get the opportunity to live out the story that I created before you were even born and before you were thought of. Right. In terms of with your mom and your dad. And so, you know, that humbled me a whole lot and it’s like, okay God, well what you’re trying to say, talk to you though. What a, what’s up? And so around that time I started seeing, you know, different stories of people who had adopted. Um, and it wasn’t just domestic anymore, it was about international adoption. And the first people that I saw were, I think it was Carlos.
Um, would occur in his life. And then after that it was another couple who were not African American, didn’t look like me. Um, who had adopted from Ethiopia and all the other families that I saw that were in that space that were adopting from African nations, they didn’t look like me. Right. And so I’m just going to be very honest. This is Michelle, right? So do you know when you get me, you get the honesty of who I am, right? This, this, this grown up black girl with look at these story of people who did not look like me and I would honestly say, Oh, those are good friends, white people that they are going into these different places and they are adopting. I’m just telling you in my space, that’s where I was because I didn’t see myself as a part of that story because there was nobody else that I knew of at the time that were doing that. Because the truth of the matter was that in terms of what I knew was that it wasn’t that African Americans were not adopting it was that it looked different.
Alexis: Yes. That more families in terms of African American, um, communities, whether in the States or in other places, they end up taking in family members, you know, so
it’s like parent
Michelle: sister, sibling can’t exactly just like mine. They can’t, that person can no longer take care of their children. So that cousin or that sister, that auntie takes that child in, right. So it just looked very different. So I just didn’t know about, yeah,

Alexis: they have an awareness, very active in the adoption foster care community, but a lot of it is not technically with papers signed and stuff like that. At least that was my experience. I was in social work was so, so active in loving on kids and um, adoption and foster care in that realm of the world. But like you’re saying, it did, it looks different. Kind of. Um, it looked very different

Michelle: in the space of domestic. You know, granted, I knew people that adopted domestically, right. And adopted private or you know, through foster care, through adoption. So I knew about that space, but in terms of international adoption, so that just wasn’t even a thing that I had ever considered that would be part of our family’s story until God started breaking, you know, the on the pieces and building, breaking down the walls of my own heart, and it went from looking at other people’s stories who didn’t look like me to saying, wait a minute now I was writing a blog post is when I first had my very, very first blog and I remember writing a bucket list. Now granted I said this before, adoption is not something you put on a bucket list, but I was writing down the things that I’m, that I wanted to do. I was writing down all the things that I wanted to do and when I was writing, I was typing on the keyboard actually, and it said one day maybe adopt from a foreign nation, right? And whatever. The words were very similar to that. When I got to that last key stroke, my fingers jumped off. People will say that.
Right? Then my thought was, well, that’s not going to happen more if that’s you, that’s not going to happen. Because my husband’s never going to agree. Not only are we talking about adoption, but now you’re talking about international adoption. He’s back on greeter that we met. We never even had that conversation. If you remember, our conversation was, we’re done with kids, you know, and we’re going to raise our kids that we have. They’re getting a little bit more independent. So we’re done. Well, low and behold, because as he says, our ways, his way, our ways are not his ways. I am his boss. And our thought is that he began to, unbeknownst to me, he was already planting the seeds of my husband’s heart, you know, to be able to be open to this idea. And so I was on a sabbatical from work too, that hurt myself for a few years, um, during that time. And I said, okay, well I’m gonna ask him today. And so not knowing what you know, but God had been doing, I was surely just knew he was going to say no. So he ended up, he got in the house and I was like, Hey, we’re having a conversation, and I asked him about it. He was like, yeah, we should do that.
No, I was like, wait a minute, wait a minute.
But the thing is, even with that, this is what I tell women sometimes when my learning lesson from it is that I think a lot of times that in those situations where the, the woman you know has the idea first of the adoption and then she’s waiting for her husband to come along with it. I think in my own scenario anyway, that because I’m so headstrong and if God would have given it to him first,
Oh, and then he has to come my way to get let’s say the agreement with it, I would have gave him a hard way to go. I’m telling you, I know me. I would have. Right.

Alexis: That’s actually really resonating with me right now because, because I had it is because, well, because in our adoption we, we actually always thought we adopt, but when it came down to the time frame and when we were actually going to get started and all of that stuff, it was me. And I’ve always felt really backwards about that. But when you just said that, I thought, okay, Michelle, you know what, that’s probably it for me too because I can tend to be slightly headstrong as well. I know. It’s shocking. It’s shocking. But um, yeah, so I can relate to that. I can relate to that. Go ahead. Go ahead.

Michelle: Yeah, no, you’re fine. And so, you know, just I love, I’m appreciative of the fact that God did it that way because he was privately doing that work in his heart as he was challenging me because I was coming like, remember I said, Oh, that’s nice for those people, for them.
That’s great that y’all are doing that. And he’s like, wait a minute, you are then people. And he had to convince me that we were, because I had all the reasons why we weren’t wine was because you know, you know with me, like I said, you get, you’re going to get the real, this is what it is, right? I’ve said this before, is that when it came. So when it comes to adoption, right, whether private adoption in the U S or whether it is international, it’s expensive. Um, and so for Ethiopian adoption at the time when we were just starting, it was maybe about $28,000. Right. And I said this before, I was the girl that was calling Pepco, trying to figure out how to break up my payments so my lights weren’t getting shut off. And so it was like 28,000 that don’t even make sense.
That’s fine. Shame.
Well, we got that. We don’t have that, that there’s no savings, you know, there’s no 401k that can just, you know, be expunged and we just turn that over that way. Right. And so that was another, that was one reason. And then I started to have all the other reasons in my head. Okay. Got my credit score is nine. If they’ve checked in for credit and stuff like that, your background, I’m not going to pass that test either. Right? So I had told myself all the reasons and guide to why we weren’t the right candidates. And so
Alexis: How interested was God in hearing?
Michelle: See Pharaoh, he was like, okay, and what? Okay, well, okay. Oh so, so you want to tell me all this? And I’m the one that created the world from nothing.
Alexis: Right, okay. Just checking. Just checking if he was willing.
Michelle: Yeah. But yeah, so that was, you know, so those were, I think a lot of times what we are called to do, things that are outside of our realm, whatever they are in terms of what we can do in our own capacity, we try to talk ourselves out of, and second guess whether or not God’s called us to that day and he’s like, I’m just asking you, will you allow me to use you? He’s not always asking us to come up with the resources to do it. He just wants to know will you be, and we hear it all the time, but sometimes it’s hard for it to resonate and how it applies to allow me to be will you allow you to be with, because I’m saying it wrong. Can I be your hands and feet, you know, will you be my hands, his feet for this work that I want to empower to do?
That’s all I’m at. I’m at. That’s the permission I’m asking for. That’s the part I’m asking you to do. I will do the hard stuff, but real, you be the front man for me in this work that I want to do through you and that’s what it was. And so to see how we did this, and back to that reconciliation part here I was in that, my initial story was I am, you know this orphan person and God was like, no, that’s not the end of the story. The third day part of your story is that it didn’t just stop there. The third day, redeeming part of your story is that you will be the mother also of an orphan child who will have a story that you will understand the pain, but also the power in that story. And you will be able to help her to walk through those feelings, those same feelings that you had of abandonment, that made you feel like you want to take your life.
You’ll be able to understand some pieces in that story. Is she grapples with as she gets older? What are the pieces of my story and how do I show up? And so that work again also shows up with national angels, which they, national angels run by Susan Ramirez, who I love so much more than words gonna express. Um, the work that I do with them is I am one of, um, a few, a handful of people that sit on an advisory council where they come alongside families who, um, bring, who take in children who are in foster care and love them deeply. And so national angels comes alongside of, um, these families in the way of, of, of box. That is a very intentional sort of gift of practical things and just thoughtful things that the children and the caretakers of the children would need, but then also through another program that they have that empowers them to get the skills that sometimes children in foster care just may not have because they don’t have that consistent guiding adults as they are in the system to know how do I open up a checking account?
What is a savings account? How do I balance the book? When do I go get a driver’s license? Oh my gosh, I didn’t know that the in the United States that the state that I live in because I am a child that has been in foster care that I may actually be able to go to any in state school getting in state college free of charge, right? How do I do all those things? Right? And so that’s why I love national angels so much because that threat of foster care is still a part of my story. So to see how God is deeming the story that I thought was like, dang, I can’t believe this is the story. I get you guys like girl, that’s not the end of it. I’m redeeming this and so I’m going to use you to also be a mom of a child who’s had this experience but also to use the gifts that I’ve given you with strategy and being creative and all those things to come alongside this nonprofit to be able to help them in the work that they’re doing.
Alexis: I love it so much and I’m going to go back to what said and then we’re going to go forward to our next episode because, because you gave the perfect segue for it, which I mean amazing, but one of the things I thought was, you know, you’ve heard a lot of people say when you thought maybe you thought you were getting buried, you’re really getting planted and I think that pieces of fruit that are coming out of your life because of this time frame where maybe there were times you thought you were getting buried and God was planting you and he is. He, there are so many people who are benefiting from the harvest of these pieces in your life. And, and you gave the, the segue that we’re going to go into our next episode. So stay tuned everybody. But Michelle is talking about how, and she is, she was preaching about herself, but she’s preaching to us about how can we be God’s hands and feet.
He said, you’re going to be the front man. You’re gonna be the front man for some of these things. And now this, this is all Michelle’s personal, but in her business life, this is what she does. This is what she does, is she helps us. She helps you. He helps women understand how are we going to be the leading lady, the front person in these plans that God has for our lives, but to impact the people around us. Because we look at ourselves sometimes and we say, Oh, that’s good for them. Oh, that’s great for those people. And God looks at us and says, what he says to Michelle, which is a, you are those people. So get ready for what I’m about to do. So Michelle, thank you. Thank you. Thank you for sharing your heart, for sharing your story, for being so Tinder with us.

Everybody. Stay tuned. Remember, this is not the end of our time with Michelle. This is just the beginning. We’re going to the next episode. You’re going to want to tune in because she is going to, we’re going to switch the focus and she is going to talk to you, our listener, and she’s going to give us a little mini coaching session. And I have been inside of these, Oh, I have been inside of these in real life. You know, I have, and I won’t cry this time. I always cry when it’s just being Michelle, but I won’t cry this time, but it’s because she’s pulling out of me and she’s pulling out of us things that we know that God has planted in us so that we can impact the world around us. So stay tuned. Um, if you loved this episode with Michelle, just wait because it is going to get even better. So thank you again so much for listening.

Don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. Share the link with your friends. You can visit us@thatmakestotalsense.com and until next time, this is Alexis. Be steady, remembering to do well for ourselves so we can do good for others.

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