How do you move from hating your life to truly loving it? When Amanda Carroll suddenly found herself alone with three young children, she had to learn how to trust God for her future by learning to love the life she lived, regardless of circumstances she didn’t choose.
Amanda Carroll is a successful radio show host, having been a radio show host in local, regional and national markets. Her syndicated show, The Amanda Carroll Show, now airs in over 70 cities in the United States and Canada. But it hasn’t always been that way.
Four years ago Amanda’s husband came home and without warning told her that he was leaving her. With three young children—one just 8 weeks old— Amanda felt her world had suddenly crashed in around her. She “crawled into this little cocoon of life to heal” from the emotional trauma, postpartum depression, and weight gain the trauma of abandonment brought her. A year later, by learning to embrace the good days and forget the bad, she was “redeemed” with a new vision for her life and a new position as a show host at K-LOVE radio, where her words of inspiration reached 15 million listeners weekly.
Through it all, a favorite quote of Amanda’s is this week’s Inspire Me quote:
“ Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that, we are able to treat life as art.” — Maya Angelou
Amanda has a heart for single moms. She wants them to know that they don’t need to just survive; they can thrive despite their circumstances. But her message of personal renewal and hope is just as pertinent to anyone facing a debilitating circumstance.
“The struggle gives the caterpillar the ability to fly as a butterfly,” she says. Take away the struggle and something vital is lost. A focus on the future is critical to making it out of the cocoon. Amada quotes Viktor Frankl words in Man’s Search for Meaning, “He who has a why can bear any how.” You must find the “why” for your future. The key is to choose to focus on the future instead of what happened to you in the past and how bad your present situation is.
To get there, Amanda says it’s important to eliminate the negative things in your life and focus on the positive. She spent a lot of time listening to God, because it’s God who gives the strength to overcome any circumstance. “Where you get stuck in that place [the cocoon] is because you think you have to find the strength on your own….He’s the One to make you brave. To make you strong.”
“I can’t take any credit for the redemption that He’s brought into my life,” Amanda says. “The only credit I can take is that I was willing.”
Getting from hating your life to loving it requires that we stop comparing yourself with others. “The picture perfect life is attainable,” Amanda says, “it’s just the contents of everyone’s picture is different.” Limitations are limiting only when you allow them to be. To love your life, you have to look at the little things in your life that you love. Cultivating love for the little things fosters gratitude that makes it easier to forget the hard things in your life.
As Mayo Angelou’s would say, make life a pure adventure. “Instead of thinking about a calamity in your life, think about it as an adventure,” Amanda says. “Your mess in life is your message.”
Amanda’s advice to single moms: “The most important thing to remember is that you’re not locked in. You can do it. Don’t try to fix your situation as single mom as you possibly can with a relationship…Be who you are on your own. Find your own vision.”
Amanda’s Challenge Me challenge for this episode is to write down a vision for your life. And take that first step, a brave moment.
Resources mentioned or related to this podcast that may be helpful to you: