Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Living My Life

At a time when the noise of others' opinions rang loudly in my ears not so long ago, I came across the following words from Aaron Chavez:

"Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drown your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary."

Well, my initial reaction to all of this was a combination of fear and insecurity.  "Why is my time limited, God? Where am I going?  It isn't my time yet! What do You MEAN by saying my time is limited?!" I frantically thought as an old, yet familiar, feeling of panic rised within.  However, because God has graciously delivered me from the suffering caused by the mental anguish of panic and anxiety, I was quickly able to put a lid on those dreadful thoughts and re-direct my focus to the true meaning of the words as a whole...
Since first reading that post by Aaron Chavez, I have re-read it multiple times in an attempt to decipher what it is I'm meant to learn.  I don't know much, but what I do know is I'm not who I used to be.  Though others close to me find that unsettling, I'm learning to find it quite comforting, sometimes scary, and always adventurous. For a good portion of my life, I've been trapped in a sort of dogma. It's not that I believe anyone has purposely set out to trap me into anything.  On the contrary, I trapped myself by receiving validation through the wrong channels of approval.  Though it's always nice when we effortlessly please everyone around us, our lives shouldn't be aimed at the cause.  Mine almost always has been.  I didn't even know who I was or what I wanted until recently - the latter portion of 2010 to be exact. 

To those of you who had your life figured out well before you were 30, my hat is off to you.  For me, it was a tumultuous trip filled with some good decisions, a lot of bad ones, and a reluctant spirit to move forward in the direction I was being called.  I didn't like where I felt I was going so I tried to fill the space with ideas and plans that "made sense," but more importantly ideas and plans that made sense to those around me.  It was never even about me until it finally became about me.  Still following?  When everything I tried came crumbling around me, I finally got alone with God and asked Him what He wanted.  "What do You want from me?" I screamed at God the day I knew I was about to drop out of nursing school.  "All of you," is what I heard back.  I didn't get it.  The following weeks were wrought with emotion, heartache, self-loathing, self-discovery, and a deeper closeness to God than I had ever before known.  Suddenly, I needed more - but for the first time in my life what I needed more of wasn't other people's opinion and approval; I just needed more of God. 

I was born again in 2007, but in no way did I commit my life to God.  I committed to trying to live with this new found presence in my life, but beyond that I offered Him nothing.  With each year, I softened to Him and allowed Him a little more access into my life. By 2009, I was a seemingly "together" Christian.  I had a published book targeted towards "baby" Christians like myself and felt good about how much I had progressed.  It was in 2009 that I really started feeling something deeper inside, but it wasn't something with which I was comfortable so I kept walking down my own self-created paths to success.  I failed.  It was no surprise to God; He knew I would.  In 2010 He was waiting with open arms when I finally turned to Him completely, and since then my life has never been both more challenging and rewarding.

Living my life means, for me, living for God. However, as amazing as it is, it doesn't come without cost.  I heard Joyce Meyer say on today's show that if we make the decision to live for God we better be prepared to see people scatter.  I've seen just how true that is, but think about it.  What were you like before you turned your life over to God?  Did you even believe He existed? There was a time I actually didn't.  I was wild, to say the least, in college, and after that didn't really settle down until I had my son.  I got married and was still known as the fun-loving party girl of get togethers.  My point is - I was a completely unlikely candidate for representing anything related to God.  When people around you realize that the turn towards God you've taken is real, they start waiting for you to do a couple of things: 1.)judge them and everyone else and/or  2.)cease to be fun.  They expect to see a "holier than thou" attitude start sprouting from your core and they will probably start talking about you behind your back.  If you were anything like I was before I gave it all to God, then this is probably not the worst to have happened to you, so get over it, suck it up, and stick with God anyways! His approval is all you need.  Besides, telling people they're wrong gets you nowhere unless you back it up with showing them.  If it's hard for you to embrace changes, imagine how hard it is for them to see you change, right?

So, as I reflect one last time upon the words written by Mr. Chavez, I declare that no matter what it costs or what people may think, I am going to continue living for God.  What does that mean?  Ministry?  Preaching? Church? For some, yes; for me, I don't entirely know yet.  All I know for sure is that writing is a part of it all.  He's leading me one day at a time with only what I can handle on every given day.  Change isn't easy for people around us, and it's also not always a cakewalk for the person who is experiencing that change.  All I know right now is that I'm determined to live my life for God and I'm going to continue living my life! 

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