Posted in purpose, Spirituality

Letting Go

Life isn’t happening to me, it’s happening FOR me. And as soon as I realized that, life really began to open up for me.

Sitting here writing this as I reflect and think on my journey, to every moment that led me to this current present state.

The older I get the less I realize I know.

The older I get the more I’m learning to surrender.

I’ve got a secret. Or maybe it’s not a secret.

But I, up until recently, was a control freak. And it damaged alot of relationships and ruined some good things. Well, I don’t know if I believe it ‘ruined’ anything. What I do know is, I know a different way now.

I used to think that if I didn’t make something happen, that it would never happened. I often wanted and pursued things out of desperation and lack. When I did this, I chased away the very thing I wanted and often settled for something that either wasn’t a match to who I really was, or it wasn’t entirely what I wanted but ‘good enough’ was better waiting on that thing that was just right for me.

The thing about ending up somewhere less than where we want to be is that we never let go of the desire to be where we really want to be. And as we move closer to that, anything that isn’t aligned with that desire, has to fall away. That in itself isn’t always a pleasant experience.

But in it, we learn to let go. To surrender. To not force anything that doesn’t feel right. And we know when something doesn’t feel right. We vow not to do anything that isn’t aligned with what we want.

We vow to let go. To take our hands off everything and let God do His thing, work His magic.

Faith is believing in something we cannot see.

Faith is letting go of desperation, of anything less than trust in our deepest desires.

Faith is letting go and letting God.

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Posted in Faith, higher education, Life, purpose, Religion

No Regrets on Purpose

“If you could go back and change one thing in your life, what would it be?” is a common question asked on a regular basis on a variety of different platforms and situations.
My answer? Nothing. Because the smallest change could literally change the course of my entire life.

My freshman year I [briefly] attended a HBCU in Virginia. And while now, I look back on my experience and time there fondly, at the time I was depressed, homesick and unhappy while I was there.

Years later I am able to set aside the depression I experienced and remember mostly the valuable lessons I was taught there, both in and outside of the classroom. Those lessons stuck with me and even shaped me into who I am at this very moment.

Leaving that school was devastating, as I looked at it as coming home empty-handed. No college credits under my belt, no degree, nothing. Just feelings of failure and embarrassment as I enrolled at the local community college.

But who knew that in the moment of my despair, the foundation was laid for my personal and character development? Who knew that depression I went through would strengthen me and position me to encourage others later on? Who knew coming back home would lead to even greater opportunities, meeting my husband, and discovering my passion for education?

God knew. Just like He knew in the Old Testament story of Joseph, that Joseph getting sold into slavery by his own brothers, being imprisoned and punished, would set him up to be one of the highest ranking officials in the country, putting him in a position to save his family’s life during a famine, one of the worst ever.

I’m sure Joseph never saw any of that coming. But I’m sure if he were alive today and you asked him if he could go back and change anything in his life, his answer would be the same as mine.

“Nothing.”

And how do I know this?

Genesis 50: 20 told me so.

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

You may have lost a loved one. Or some friends. or a job. You may find yourself in a situation you never expected to be in. But God allowed it to happen. It all has a greater purpose.

You losing your job led to a career change, or allowed you to be able to take care of a sick relative. Losing friends allowed you to make new friends, appropriate for the season of life you are in now. God knew what you needed before you did, before you even opened your mouth to ask Him.

Your pain, your frustration, has purpose.

God is interested in our happiness, our success, our triumphs, absolutely He is. But He is more concerned with making us like Him. And whatever He has to do or use to do that, He will.

Take comfort in knowing that God wants you to be the very best version of you possible and He will bring you to unexpected places so that can happen. Trust that God knows better than you or any of us ever will.

And in times of trials, frustration, devastation, despair…know there is a purpose, a reason for it all.

Posted in Faith, Life

The Comparison Trap

No more looking back

Comparison, I’m coming to find, is the ultimate stumbling block in our own success and maintaining perspective.

I’m not just talking about comparing yourself to your peers and counterparts. I’m talking about comparing yourself to your ideal life and what you dreamed/thought your life would be at your current age when you were younger. We all have those dream lives that we had planned out as kids or teenagers.

I can tell you right now, at times, my current life looks nothing like I dreamed it would be as a kid, and it often leaves me unfulfilled [as far as ideal location and career goes ] but it’s no reason to beat myself up about it. It’s tempting to compare my ideal life to my current life, instead of problem solving and making the best of my situation now. It may not be perfect, at times I find myself disappointed & feeling like a failure, when I know that my track record proves that I’m far from that. I just am not where I thought I would be.

Comparing your ideal life to your current situation, often causes us to forget how much we’ve accomplished thus far. Even if you feel as if you’ve accomplished nothing, it is most likely not the case.

Perhaps you aren’t where you thought you would be at your age. That’s okay, not many of your peers are either. You’re not alone. A delay is not a denial, a detour is not a deterrent. No path is ever straight in life.

We’re definitely not the first generation to encounter trials and tribulations in our formative adult years. Things may not be how you thought they would be, but comparing your ideal life to your reality might be one of the worst things you can do. 

Resist the urge to compare. Enjoy the ride, hills, bumps, detours, curves, u-turns and all. At the end you’ll overcome, and maybe even have an awesome story to tell. If you do nothing else, celebrate all that has happened up to this point. Celebrate the fact that you’re a first generation college graduate (or maybe you’re continuing the great tradition of higher education in your family or proudly serving our country). Celebrate joining the workforce, even if it’s not your dream job. It’s a stepping stone. Celebrate your personal growth & coming into your own as an adult. Celebrate life as it is now, what is to come that is unknown, and try to avoid the comparison trap.