As I hunt through the baseball-size key ring of emotions for the one which will open the opportunity door before me, fear, doubt, worry, and then some tumble aside until I discover IT—the key which opens the door. IT is the courage key…a necessity for unbridled freedom in chasing dreams. I have talked myself through many emotions recently, but this is the one that I’m hanging my hat on—courage to step out in faith. Our days are not promised; our health isn’t even guaranteed. We should not live another day unfulfilled, pushing down our dreams and knowing that our destiny is much greater.

This month marks the 10th anniversary of one of the most heart-wrenching days of my life…the loss of my beloved horse, Freedom. His death brought me to my knees. I believed my happiest days were behind me without Freedom. I have discovered since then that the depth of that pain turned into the ground floor walk towards the height of my divine purpose. My hunger to write is more powerful than I can control. We’re all created with a unique gift and once you figure it out and breathe life into it, watch out! Your purpose becomes evident to you. You realize that your gift is not something that you hang onto. A gift means you give. Once you begin to share your gift, you will experience joy and fulfillment unlike anything that you could ever imagine.

You see, tomorrow is the day that I retire after 32 years of civil service. I’ve worked with great people over the years and formed lasting friendships. I made a promise to myself from day one that I would treat the public as if I or my family members were in their shoes. In all the complexities of government, I tried to make their experience as simple and effective as possible. However, once you realize your divine gift but are unable to live fully in your purpose, you ache to the core. You feel trapped and incomplete as each page on the calendar turns.

Since I began writing professionally but wasn’t able to live and work fully in that environment, I have felt like a spirited colt circling a10’ x 10’ stall, unable to escape the confines of his corral and run free. I’ve heard it said, “Let your job support your passion,” and luckily, I was able to do that. But now, it’s time. I can’t wait any longer. I don’t want to look back at the end of life and wish that I had chased my dreams but opted for financial security instead. I hope that this new year brings you courage to go after whatever it is your heart desires. Our time here on Earth is truly short. You just have to listen to your inner voice and honor it. You have to have the courage to take a chance—to trust that everything will work out. You have to find a way to give your gift flight. Believe that you are destined to soar! You can do it! I know you can.

Denise Lee Branco
January 18, 2018

“There should be nothing bigger than your dream.
It’s the vision and ambition God placed in your imagination that won’t let you sleep at night until you act on it.
It’s the thing that wakes you up and stirs the very pit of your soul.
It is the vision for your life that is approved for God.”
-Bestselling Author & TV Host Steve Harvey