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  • Writer's pictureDeana Brown Mitchell

Reflecting on New Beginnings...

I am being led to share something very personal today. I have learned to be vulnerable in the last couple of years, but it is still hard. I am reluctant, but obedient because when I feel the call it is usually for a reason. As I am writing this, I hear "what could be harder than sharing a failed suicide attempt" to which I replied in my head, "oh yes, there's that"!

I was on the deck this morning reading the daily devotional in my Jesus Calling book and soaking up the sun for a short time. The message for today was "Trust Me in all your thoughts"

which was fitting as I have been second guessing a lot of things lately. Again, validation that I needed to share.

The thing that really caught my attention was a note in my own hand writing from exactly two years ago...

2020 - Organization, Momentum, Ideation, New Beginning

Two years ago in this very week, I made the pain staking decision to close my award-winning multi-million dollar business that I built over ten years. In less than a week after the pandemic shut everything down, I was forced to lay off my whole team. In the following weeks, all of our business for the year was just gone.

It was surreal and numbing, and I was not sure what to do with myself. I dug into all the logistics that had to be taken care of, but I felt defeated and broken...

A couple of months earlier, I had started The Realize Foundation because I was being called to share my story to help others understand they were not alone. I was spending all of my extra hours doing research on non-profits and suicide prevention.

Once the decision was made, closing down everything took time. I kept busy emptying

storage units and selling or donating all of our rental inventory.

Our website and beloved blog was all gone with the flip of a switch. I was abruptly done with all three boards I sat on and my industry memberships vanished because they were all

tied to something I did not have anymore.

I spent countless days in the Denver apartment (pictured here in transition) processing my own mental health journey so I could use my story to help others.

I took this photo that day for myself, for reflection on that time in my life, never ever thinking anyone else would see it. For those of you that know me, I cannot stand being in photos and I never take selfies... but I feel like it is a marker of this time in my life and it has meaning in this story.

What led me to writing this blog is the note in my hand-writing on that day. If I could be in the middle of all of that chaos and write those words, what was it that gave me hope? What was it that helped me to think about the future and possibilities? What was it that made me feel grateful?

It was the "Trust Me in all your thoughts" message that resonated with me even in that moment. You see, my husband put that book in my stocking several years back and the messages contained in it have changed my life in ways I cannot explain. I have always believed in God, but now I have a personal relationship with Jesus that I always heard people talk about. I never understood it until it was there, and I cannot put it into words. It is a peace that passes all understanding.

Even in the midst of losing everything, I had a sense of calm, a sense that there was a reason this was happening. I had a gratefulness for the scars in my journey. And I knew in my heart the best was yet to come.

My hope is that you also, in your own way, can find that calm, that peace, that gratefulness. Our world is a rough place right now and everyone needs some hope.

I am always here if you need a shoulder, or a chat.


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