28. INFLUENCE | with Mercedes Cruz
The spoken words of 13 different women I have connected with and the story of their spoken word from God.
These stories are to showcase the power of faith and how God whispered to them and they listened wholeheartedly in His plan.
I was 1.5 years old, when I met Mercedes Cruz. I have no memory of our first meeting but I do have memories of our growth together and the bond of what sisterhood means. She is beyond amazing and is a woman who found a voice for herself when for so long she felt she lived under the shadows of others. Here my sister speaks in her own voice and the leader she has grown to be to influence others, to find their voice as God allowed her to.
I believe the moments we are afraid, are the moments God is speaking to us. The question comes are we listening to Him? When asked this question, I definitely believe looking back on my life God has spoken to me when it comes to understanding my purpose in this world. Who am I to be and what am I to do? When I was younger I had an idea of what I wanted to do. I was blessed to have a vision of being someone to truly impact this world. Growing up I thought it was to pursue Law Enforcement. I made that decision my junior/senior year of high school. I went to college and pursued a degree. I even worked with the local police department to gain experience and get my foot in the door - first as a cadet and later as an advisor for the cadet program. However, when I graduated I got offered a teaching job through the cadet academy I went to, and taught elementary kids life skills. I took the position because I was open to something new and figured it was a great way to work with the youth/community. That's where my passion shifted from enforcing, to influencing. Growing up with my past and being the middle child, I felt lost in a sense of identity of who I was. I had known I wanted to make an impact and be a leader, hence the pursuit of Law Enforcement. As I dived further in my career of teaching, I fell in love and knew this is exactly what God wants me to pursue. I was afraid I had made the wrong decision going to school, but something told me I was meant to continue on in a role where I would teach, mentor, and influence. I had to figure out what that would be.
Although very honorable and noble to be a teacher, that was not the path for me. In addition to the impact I wanted to make, I also held the ambition to be very successful and wealthy so that I may be able to give back to those that love me as well as be an example to my younger sisters and stretch their vision. Sometimes our past will limit our beliefs in what we can do and achieve, and I want to be an example of breaking limiting beliefs. That you can be a victor of your circumstance, not a victim. So I went on to pursue a career as a training coordinator for Tesla motors. Yet something was missing. I turned 25 and asked myself what do I really see myself doing for the next 20-30 years, and would it be building someone else's dream? Did I waste so much time not fully being aware of what I wanted. I was afraid I had wasted efforts in so many places. Today I am pursuing a career in the financial services industry. A completely different field, but it has shown me a platform that allows me to satisfy what I am looking for in a career. Today, I'm living a passion of being a trainer/mentor in my profession and influencing others to build leadership roles as well as personal development. I'm making an impact in the world by helping families create and manage wealth. I'm also building something for myself and my future. Pursuing this path scared me, but it opened so many doors I was waiting to walk through. I've met a woman who became a true mentor in my life and lead me back to my faith. I quit bad habits. I became involved in an environment of people who are faith based and teach me to become more. I'm continuously growing and it doesn't scare me.