Jul 12, 2019
“And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast”.
~ 1 Peter 5:10
When approaching a challenging situation what is your thought process? Do you build yourself up to take on the challenge headfirst, do you look for an alternative route around the challenge, or do you give up before taking a chance? Depending on ones mindset a challenge can be viewed as one of two things. For some, a challenge is an opportunity to discover a new way to become realigned with life. For others a challenge is something new for them to complain and stress about.
When a challenge occurs, it causes disturbance of some form. Disturbance can be defined as the interruption of a peaceful condition. Not all challenges are negative. Some come to shake you into a better position than your current, BUT you must see it as such. Allowing any challenge positive or negative to place fear on you is considered bondage.
There are many things physically, spiritually, and emotionally that develop against us to keep us confined. It is up to us to be aware of the bondage and break free. As a young, black American woman, with three children (having my first two by age eight-teen)
society has placed many judgements and limitations on how successful I would become in life. If I were to have embraced these limitations, I technically would not be this far along in life. It can be extremely difficult to see the light at the end of the tunnel when all odds are stacked against you. The key is knowing the light IS THERE.
Acknowledge Your Thoughts “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ”
~ 2 Corinthians 10:5
Recognizing the thoughts, you entertain is a key factor of your situation’s outcome. Dr. Lisa Firestone speaks on the importance of your thoughts in her article The Importance of Choosing Your Thoughts. For so long I would constantly allow myself to listen to and believe all of my negative thoughts. “There is no way you will be able to graduate high school with a baby; your life is over”. “You must be crazy to think you can complete this medical assisting program with two kids and a full-time job”. “No one is going to support you while you pursue your associate degree”. “Being at a university is going to be too challenging, you might as well give up now”. “You are not capable of owning and operating a business”. “You don’t deserve a happy healthy relationship”.
When I would entertain these negative thoughts, I was placing limitation on my life and the lives of those around me. I had created a hole for myself and all the things that made me feel COMFORTABLE. Anything that fell into the hole and caused a disturbance pushed me to keep digging my hole deeper in effort to run from what I was unwilling to face.
The moment I allowed myself to acknowledge my thoughts and the effect they had on my outcomes, it was time to SHIFT. Prayer, faith, and God’s word has been my source of hope. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths”.
Proverbs 3:5-6 From my experience with doubt and fear I have discovered the power that comes when I speak victory over myself. Instead of speaking against what I am capable of I started to speak highly of my capabilities. I began to view myself in a way that would be pleasing to God.
Feeling confident in myself and the way God needs to use me comes from the Holy Spirit. I have chosen to no longer allow myself to be ruled by flesh. I now understand that God created me with a purpose. It is important for me to think and act in the spirit at all time.
When you take control of your thoughts and place them in a positive place, you open your self to great and endless opportunity. Find Your Strength “I can do all things through him who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13 Along with recognizing your thoughts, strength is needed to push through challenges. Strength is needed physically and mentally. When things are going well, and you are in a comfortable state there is a sense of security.
In contrary, when your situation changes and the disturbance comes,
you are placed in a position to fight or flight. Understanding that challenges and disturbance are going to happen at some point in life is important. What is even more critical to understand, is you have all the tools you need to overcome ANY challenge. Once you have begun to acknowledge your thoughts and place control over them you must ACT.
You must make a mental and physical effort to remove yourself from anything that is not benefiting you and your journey to a greater future. This may include letting go of people and/or things that have severed you for years now but have become more of a burden than a blessing. When you find your mental strength to acknowledge the people/things that need to be removed, you must apply your physical strength to make the change happen.
It takes strength to make changes and it also takes strength to carry those changes out. Use your mental strength to assure yourself though the changes are hard, they are a contributing factor to a successful and healthy future. Use your physical strength to discover new habits that allow you to grow and become more in tune with who you are and what you stand for.
“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have”.
~ Bob Marley
I have been faced with several challenges along my journey. Some challenges being more severe than others. Rather small or large each challenge put me in a position where I had to decide if I would conqueror or be defeated. In some cases, although I may have felt defeated, I still allowed myself to gain from the circumstance. I may have gained knowledge on how to handle a situation differently, patience with others inconsistency, or simply understanding that things will not always go my way.
By allowing myself to receive these lessons I was able to accept that God has the final say.
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps.”
~ Proverbs 16:9
Press Forward! Once you have acknowledged your thoughts and found your strength it’s time for you to soar. Open your mind to believe you can go higher. Allow your visions of your future to blow your mind! There is no limitation on your life. God is mighty in all His ways.
Despite the negative thoughts that try to curve my focus, the failed relationships that left me heartbroken, and other challenges that surface, I had to accept that I AM enough. I had to believe in myself to know that EVERY challenge I have faced and will face serves a purpose and even if it slows me down it can not take me out of the race.
As a reminder even when you get on track with your walk with Christ, challenges will come but you can do this. You are bold, you are enough, and you deserve the very best that life has to offer.
I challenge you to acknowledge your thoughts, find your strength, and continue your walk towards your destiny with your head held high. Be wise enough to filter your thoughts properly, be strong enough to face any challenge that develops against you, and be bold enough to GO FOR IT.
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