By Wendy Campbell, Wendy's Divine Travel
For as long as I can remember, I was trying to please other people. It took the majority of my life to realize that the one person I had not given any thought to was me.
I grew up in a single-parent household. But I was surrounded by so much family so I always felt loved. There is something to say about a father’s love and attention that brings a different kind of life to a young girl; I did not have that. My Dad was the popular guy in town and the hometown athlete. I thought if I played sports as he did, he would notice me. But he did not. Or at least I didn’t feel that way.
I carried that mindset of “not deserving” through high school, college, and my first marriage.
I had an opportunity to go to Hawaii with the band in high school. I did my part and raised the funds needed to go. But I needed $250 for incidentals. I knew my Mom couldn’t afford it, and if she could, I knew it would be a burden on the household. I asked my Dad, and his response was one I never forgot. He said I didn’t deserve to go to Hawaii. He had never been to Hawaii, and I couldn’t go before he did. I carried that mindset of “not deserving” through high school, college, and my first marriage.
It was not hard for me to get a guy’s attention. I was cute and bowlegged and I did not have to say anything to turn heads. I found that because I didn’t have the confidence to establish boundaries or know what I wanted from a relationship, I was not happy in any of them. I liked the attention. It didn’t have to be positive attention; negative attention was appreciated and embraced. I accepted being treated like a piece of meat—being used for money; not laughing most times. I found myself being a detective to find proof that the relationship wasn’t for me. With each relationship, I swallowed the empty feeling to really try and make things work. But it never did.
After being married for several years and two children later, I felt that there had to be better for me. I was in a marriage where I felt like I was alone, and I was most times. My husband was doing his thing, and I thought I was being a good wife by not nagging or making requests that would make him not like me. I thought I was being the cool wife. I was not being cool, I was leaving the door open for other opportunities. I started going to church and I liked what I was hearing. I liked how the strangers made me feel welcome without wanting something from me. Even my girls liked going to church. I decided that the marriage was not working for me and I divorced my husband. I knew I deserved better, and I got the courage to stand up for myself and I filed. I told my husband that I was doing “this” by myself so I may as well be by myself. I told him it was unfortunate that I was married when I realized that I need to be by myself and find out who Wendy is and what Wendy wants. I felt good about my decision and I had peace about it.
Years later I returned home to Arizona after hearing from God. I never wanted to return home, but I always said that Arizona was a good place to raise kids and retire. I was doing the former, and I wanted the Girls to spend time with their family; grow up with their cousins like I did. I found a church that had a wonderful kids program and started attending. One day the Pastor spoke on how we see God. He asked if you see God like you see your earthly father? And that question provoked some in-depth praying, thinking, and awakening. I did see God as the same type of Father as my earthly Father. I thought I had to perform and do good things for Him to love me, for Him to bless me, and for Him to see me. That was not true. God showed me it was not true. I started reading about God’s promises and how I could have them. He told me, “I have a plan for you, and it is good.” I trusted God more and more and He showed me the strength that He planted inside of me; the desires and dreams that he put in my heart. He began to heal my relationship with my father and he asked me to forgive him for some things from my childhood. God can do all things.
I started a business and it was not the business I thought I would get into. Travel. I loved it, and I found myself growing and learning and doing me. God led me to this business, and the personal growth and development that has been incorporated in the business plan is amazing. The personal friendships are phenomenal. I never imagined myself surrounded by business-minded people because I used to think I wasn’t worthy, but God has shown me different. He has shown me that I deserve every promise He has made to me. And those promises are allowing me to live life on my terms.