This past week was especially challenging because I was stuck in the house for most of the week. I began to think about where I was in life and the different struggles I've endured over the years. I have to admit I was feeling very discouraged. I decided to do some reading to take my mind off of things and ran across some old journals of mine. As I began to read through the journal entries I wrote in 2002, I noticed my focus was primarily on the following:
2) Finding a high paying job in Corporate America
4) Buying a house
5) Having children
6) Going on Vacations
Yes, those were the things I thought would make me happy and successful in life. As I skimmed over several years of journal entries, I noticed a common theme. Every year I discussed my desire to find the right job, the right mate and more money and every year I was disappointed! Even when I reached one or more of my goals, I was still unhappy. I thought when I get a little more money or find the ''right" mate, then I will be happy.
Fast forward 12 years later, after the lay offs, the crappy paying jobs, the bills, the lack of men willing to commit and the ticking biological clock, the light bulb came on. It was time for me to reevaluate my goals and definition of success. If those were my main goals in life, then boy was I in trouble! I began to think about my definition of success and those I considered to have successful lives. I discovered that my definition of success was mostly based on society's definition than God's definition. I found it interesting that the first definition of success in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is "the fact of getting or achieving wealth, respect, or fame". (Things that make you go hmmmm)
For many years, society lead women to believe their primary goals in life were to marry a good man, raise children and be a good housewife. Although things have evolved some, women are still pressured to meet these goals in order to "feel" successful or even respected in life. As a result, there are many that get married and have children just to appease others. Many do this and suffer inside because they were so busy pleasing others that they forgot to seek God for His will and purpose for their life. Their lives become a routine of fulfilling their duties as a wife and a mother while their other God given gifts and talents lay dormant inside.
How many of us have chased after these things only to discover that something is still missing? I cringe to think of the amount of people that have committed suicide even after obtaining what the world considers success. It's time for us to re-evaluate our definition of success and make sure it lines up with the Word of God. Romans 12:2 (New Living Translation) says, "Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect."
In other words, you can go after all of these things, but if it's not in God's will for your life it will only lead to an unfulfilled life. Whether you're married or single, you should always seek to find God's purpose for your life. God allowed me to stumble upon a card I received earlier this month for my birthday that sums things up perfectly. It says, "God gives each one of us unique gifts, abilities, and passions. How well we use those qualities to have an impact on the world around us determines how "successful" we really are." (Tony Dungy)
For years I have lived a sad and depressed life because I was focused on the wrong things in life. There comes a point when you have to accept that life will not always work out the way you planned, but what makes it worth living is knowing we're here to serve a Purpose. Life is not over because you didn't get what you wanted. God has another plan for you and it's so much better than what you think you need or want. I challenge you to seek God and ask Him to reveal YOUR purpose in life. Let go of your will and grab hold of God's good, pleasing and perfect will for your life. I'm so excited because it's time to discover a life that will bring joy and make life worth living!
Blessings and Peace,