The sun is peaking out as we welcome back the hot summer days and the swift evening breezes. Time is passing and the weather is not the only transition breaking through. Lately, I’ve been reflecting, something I haven’t had or made time for recently. A handful of events have come to pass and there are decisions that in time will eventually impact my life. Through all that has and will come, I can’t help but meditate on a simple yet influential question that has caused me to reshape my thoughts, goals, values, and the way I approach experiences in life.
How do I want to view the life I have lived when I am 70?
Ideally when I’m 70, I would hope to say I was someone who was joyous and loved constantly. I hope when I look back on my life I would be able to know that I walked in God’s love and with purpose.
But as I continuously reflect on the chaos and busyness of these past few weeks with the endless nights of studying for finals, planning youth ministry events, and work with my kiddos, I can’t help but feeling a bit unsettled and even unfulfilled. With all my days on my planner filled and the to do list piling on, I feel blessed and filled with gratitude to be given the opportunities I have received. It’s not the matter of being overburdened with to do list that makes me uneasy, it’s the reason of attempting to please or reach certain expectations set by others that is leading me down a short road of exhaustion and unsettlement. Especially when I began to realize the influence I was allowing others to have on my personal decisions as I sought to reach their expectations that I soon realized would never be truly satisfied.
Whenever we are involved in anything such as sports, school, work, music, etc, we are always told by society or others how talented, smart, and capable we must be in order to be great. We are told that we must achieve the top grades to receive admissions to the top schools, carry ourselves a certain way in order to viewed as acceptable, or achieve high placements in the work or activities we are involved in. It’s as if we are given a check off list of certain standards or expectations we must meet in order to be accepted. It no longer becomes what we really want rather than a mental list we are checking off in our personal lives to ensure others are satisfied with who they expect/who we are selling ourselves to be. Especially when it comes to making life-impacting decisions, it is so easy to become entangled by standards that are voluntarily passed onto us. When we become tied up in the California speed of life, constant activity, and pleasing others, we then become too consumed and exhuasted by seeking the approval or meeting others standards that will never be met, not because we are incapable of reaching them but because it is impossible to fully please others. The cycle of pleasing others is never ending, which is why we must choose to embrace who we were created to be.
Society has a way of secretly tossing unexpected curveballs to distract us from becoming who we were called to be rather than who others expect us to be. When we wake up in the morning we must know and remind ourselves constantly of what we deserve, what we want, what we are worth, and the life we have been called to live. We must set our own positive goals and healthy expectations for ourselves rather than allow others to do that job for us. We must remember that we are different than our neighbors, relatives, and friends. We all have a calling, but they differ.
When I’m 70 years old, I want to be able to say I had lived a fulfilled, joyful and regret free life because I lived the life I was uniquely called to. I want to be able to know that I lived according to the life God had called me to rather than one I missed out on because I attempted to please those who couldn’t be pleased. I want to of lived fearlessly to the life God had called me to because I knew He would not let me fall.
God is in her she shall not fall
God created you uniquely and beautifully. You weren’t meant to reach expectations or standards that others may have set for themselves. You’re never going to please others and that is okay. We shouldn’t live to please others, that’s not our job. Someone else’s purpose is not the absence of your own. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and who you were called to be because He is with you. (Isaiah 41:10)
Live life who you were called to be, be yourself because you are more than enough, and know you worthy and loved.
Tips on how to thrive and be who you were created to be:
- Think and write about the life you hope you would have lived by the time you are 70.
- Set personal and healthy goals
- Grab a buddy that can help keep you accountable for your goals
- Know you were created uniquely and who you are is beautiful
- In all you do, do it with purpose
- Always remember, “He has made everything beautiful in his time.” – Ecclesiastes 3:11
- Take it one day at a time
We have the ability to make our own decisions and choices. Don’t allow others to influence or distract you from who you were called to be. You weren’t created to be anyone’s clone – you were created to be you. Who you are and what you have to offer is enough. So erase the thoughts about how others are trying to tell you to live and live your own life with purpose, joy, and fulfillment. Most importantly, when it comes to planning, goals, and decision-making, always remember:
God has more in store for you than you can ever imagine