April 1981. A twenty-year-old girl digs through the trash for cans and stuffs them into a pillowcase, while her five-year-old daughter plays in the dirt, feeding chips to a bird.
"Christy, quit playing with the bird and come here and help me!" The little girl makes her way over to her young mother, who is leaning over the trash can so she can dig deeper, when a car drives by and someone yells out the window "Slut!"
Carolyn had become pregnant at age fifteen. In the small Kansas town where she lived, she was deemed a disgrace to the community, expelled from school, and thrown onto the streets.
What happened to that young mother and her daughter? Their road was not easy, full of twist and turns, and it got worse before it got better. but the story is not over, for both mother and daughter are now focused on inspiring others to push through what seems impossible.
What if I told you that you can make a difference in this world, no matter what season you are in? That you signed up for everything you encounter in your life? That before you entered this physical body you signed an agreement that would require you to face challenges and adversity yet also allow you to experience whatever your heart desires?
As we begin to embrace our past and accept that we have control only over what's happening right now, that is when all the pieces start to come together and make sense.
We are not our past. Our past is meant to grow us. A flower begins as a tiny seed that sprouts and stretches itself towards the sun. Sometimes it will receive water and sometimes it won't. Just when the soil begins to harden and the flower is at its darkest hour, an opportunity appears and brings it back to life.
I was that struggling sprout when network marketing came into my life.
Like my mom, I was twenty, pregnant, and I didn't know what I wanted to do. I knew I was destined for something great, but how could I ever achieve my dreams? I knew I wanted a home, a beautiful husband, financial freedom, travel and endless opportunities to be and do whatever I wanted. I never wanted anyone to tell me I couldn't be everything I wished or desired.
Starting a network marketing business was scary. I had never sold anything. While I could tolerate working with men, I didn't like working with women. I had no friends and no money. Who would ever have guessed that I would make it to the top position of my company in less than two years, earning more than a million dollars before turning thirty?
Of course, it was incredibly hard work. The first five years of my business I was obsessed with promotion and success. I knew that if I could build the right foundation, I could set my family up for life. When I said yes to this opportunity, I put everything else on hold. I decided not to have a social life. I would read five personal development books a month. I would live, eat, and breathe my business. I would be in the business of serving others, not selling others.
To turn your life around, you have to get to a point where you are committed, no matter what. If you believe in your product and the ethics of your company, you need to stay and work through the challenges. Some people will fly by you and break records. Others will quit. People will leave your business for other companies. You will be put in a position as a leader where you make the unpopular decision for the betterment of all. You will have to spend time away from your family; you will get attached to corporate staff, and they will leave, too. Your friends and family may not believe in you and may tell you that you are not going to make it. You will experience criticism and hardship. Does this sound like fun? Of course not! Had my sponsor told me all this would happen, I probably would not have signed up—I would have been too scared to take the leap.
Now, let me tell you the flip side of all this adversity.
If you have ever birthed a child, you spent nine months preparing for the delivery. During that time you fed your body the best food, took vitamins, exercised, and visited the doctor for check-ups. When that baby came into the world you struggled just trying to figure out this parenting thing. But you finally got the hang of it and you realize that you can no longer feel those initial labor pains. You are now holding in your hands a gift—the gift of life. Although there are times you want to scream or when you don't know what to do, you push through and trust that it will all work out.
This is how I relate to my business. I had labor pains and I pushed through them all. Today I have an international business with leaders in four countries. I have traveled the world, tasted the best food, stayed in the finest hotels, written books, spoken in front of thousands of people, produced a film, served battered women and children, and have been able to watch a life I never had become a gift to the ones I love: my children, my husband, my teams. I see their eyes light up when they can dream, taste beautiful things, discover the world and believe that if I can, they can too. I have been able to prove that it doesn't matter what your story is, it doesn't matter what your circumstances are.
Just know that in order to have a testimony, you have to face a test.
I gave you a glimpse of my story. What about yours? We are all being tested. I was never a good test taker in school, yet today, I know that if I work hard, love fully, and give and receive wholeheartedly, there is no test I can't pass.
CHRISTY DREILING is an actress, model,
writer, film producer, philanthropist,
multimillion-dollar earner in network
marketing, and the mother of three boys.
Her passion is to inspire people not
to wait and to live their best life now.