Life is a journey. Sometimes our journeys are not what we thought they would be or what we had planned. Often times our journeys surprise us and take us on paths we’d never have imagined for ourselves. Journeys are strange wondrous things, they can be gut wrenching and devastating, or magnificent and full of love. Our journeys do not define who we are – only we can do that – but they can be our teachers and, if we let them, our journeys can help us create our own strong world.
That First Step
Kate Strong began building her strong world when, at the age of 22, she decided to take a journey. She couldn’t have known then but that decision, that first step, would alter the course of her life and the lives of countless others. Kate was living in Alabama attending Auburn University when she felt that she needed to move to Utah. She soon discovered that living in Utah was very different from living in Alabama. Kate began to feel insecure about her place in her world but she adjusted – she was in it and was all about just doing it. Kate married, became a mom, and chose to quit her job and stay home to raise a family. But her world was not okay.
Kate felt controlled and isolated, “I started to lose myself. I lost myself in the religion, I lost myself in my husband, I lost myself in all the things that I thought I was supposed to be, and what it was supposed to look like”. But the universe had not lost Kate – It had a plan for her. Kate’s sister invited her to attend Impact Training and in Kate’s words, “It was the first time I connected to my higher self, connected to God, connected to me. It was the first time I’d ever meditated, the first time I’d ever envisioned things and created from a space that I’d never given myself an opportunity to do – and it was beautiful”.
When Kate was pregnant with her second child the universe stepped in again – this time it gave her a significant push. While watching Oprah talk about her first visit to Africa she felt a pull, “This thing inside of me that was like, this is your purpose, this is what you are here to do”. Kate spoke with her husband about starting a non-profit but he felt it wasn’t the right time. She didn’t get discouraged; instead she kept herself in a space of creativeness and openness to, “whatever God wanted it to look like”. Kate said, “It’s interesting because things started happening and I wasn’t even trying. There was this momentum and I felt that it would be harder to stop than to just keep going, so we spent the money to become a 501C(3)”.
What God Wanted It to Look Like
My Strong World was created and it was beautiful. They went to Africa and built a hospital. They built a school in Belize, helped the principal to further his education. They drilled wells in Belize for clean water and created the Onboard Drilling Company. My Strong World will be going back in November to teach them about drilling, how to run a drilling business, drilling four new wells, teaching about waste and gardening, and holding a Yoga retreat.
While all of these amazing things were happening and falling into place Kate’s world was going through the refiner’s fire. “I felt that if I just endured to the end God would give me something better”. Kate prayed for truth and it came in unexpected ways. While sitting on an Alabama beach she thought, “I can do this, I’ve got this”. Then Kate says, “When I came home the energy in my house was so thick and heavy and dark that my whole body could feel it. And I was like, nope – I’m not doing this anymore.”
Kate’s most important truth came during a trip to Amsterdam with her sister. While trying to decide between two Delftware flower pots Kate asked her sister, “What do you think? Which one do you like?” Kate said, “My sister was so frustrated with me, she turned and looked at me, and was kind of mad and said, ‘Ask yourself’, it hurt my feelings and I thought I don’t even know what she’s talking about. What does that mean – ask myself?” In that moment Kate began her journey to discover what, “Ask yourself”, means and what it looks like.
Finding Gratitude in Everything
Kate arrived home one day to discover that her basement had flooded. She could have looked at the situation negatively instead she chose to see something else. Kate said, “The greatest thing that I’ve been able to do is to find gratitude in everything. I had been praying for a new house and in that moment I knew that my house had just been cleansed and purified with water. It was the most amazing gift. It was everything I wanted it just didn’t come the way I thought it would. Because of gratitude I was able to see that, I’m grateful to see on this journey that we get to decide how we feel. It’s a choice.”
“All I’ve ever wanted to do is help people know that they matter, to facilitate in the path of finding self love. I want to support other women and their journey. My Strong World is my story. It is my journey on how to love my self and know what my purpose is. I get to chose and it’s been beautiful!”
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