Sunday, January 3, 2016

Your Purpose and Destiny Are Revealed Through Your Challenges

       Congratulations, you’ve made it through another year! If you had a successful year, you have something to be grateful for. If you had a challenging year, you also have something to be grateful for. You may ask why do I think that having challenges should cause you to be grateful? Well, if you’re still living despite of personal failures and disappointments, your level of strength, courage, and perseverance was revealed.

Change Your Mind about Your Challenges

     I spoke to a dear friend the other day to wish her a happy new year. During our conversation, she complained about many things that she thought was going wrong in her life. Every time she complained about something, I quickly checked her. I reminded her about the previous years of her life, her struggles, and the number of blessings God allowed to come into her life. She thinks that her current situation is not ideal, but I informed her about other people's situations that are worse. I also reminded her that she was still sane after all she had been through.
       If you can go through devastating challenges and still know who you are and where you are, you have something to be grateful for. Many people have experienced the same type of challenges you have dealt with, but they did not make it. You may have encountered some tough days, but remember everyone had something they had to deal with that was either shocking or unexpected. The beginning of 2015, my mother had a stroke. What seemed to be a minor setback, turned into a huge hurdle I had to pushed through every day. Since I am her only child, the responsibility of managing her personal care, home care therapy sessions, and medical appointments fell on my shoulders.

Be Flexible with Your Purpose

Although I had experience in helping to care of my late grandmother, my role as primary caregiver for my mother was a challenge I initially thought would be over within a few weeks. However, as time went on, I realized that my mother’s condition was challenged to the point where she needed to depend on me as if I were her mother. I was used to my mother’s youthful energy and desire to remain to committed to her church duties. After decades of foregoing her higher educational goals, she took advantage of the opportunity to pursue her associates degree at the age of 68. Although her educational plans were interrupted, she did her best while she was able to attend. She also took advantage of the opportunity to minister to elderly patients at a local nursing home. My mother’s dedication to her church service roles over the last 40 years reminded me of the scripture in Ecclesiastes 12:1 that says … “Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them.” In essence, this verse is saying when you have your strength regardless of your age, choose to do whatever God has called you to do.

Some people waste their time seeking other people’s approval before they can attempt to start working on the assignments God has given them. If you’re one of these individuals, decide that you will start working on the project or mission that God has placed on your heart before it's too late. You may be a little hesitant about your ability to fulfill your role, but God will lead you toward resources that will help you get the job done. When my mother was in the hospital, and I realized that her condition would take some time for her to recover, I begin to doubt my ability to handle the task I was unexpectedly given. As the days and weeks went on, God gave me the grace, strength, and wisdom to coordinate doctor appointments, meals, therapy sessions, personal attendant care, and other matters successfully. God also allowed one of my best friends from college, Theresa to come back into my life six months prior to my mother’s stroke. Theresa helped me and stay committed to lending her assistance as though my mother was her mother.

You may think that your purpose has to be called upon only for situations that you feel are important. Your thoughts may be focused toward your job, community volunteer position, or some other attractive platform. Contrary to these ideal situations, your physical strength, emotional, or financial support may be requested for jobs from the King that are not as appealing as other spotlight gigs. It takes a lot to remain committed to assignments where you may not get the recognition or appreciation you deserve, but Colossians 3:23 says … “Whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men. Knowing that of the Lord, ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Increase Your Strength and Move Toward Your Goals

The car accident I was involved in back in 2008 injured my back. As a result, I can’t do a lot of things. The struggle I endured physically, financially, and emotionally equipped me to handle my mother’s situation. You may think that the situation you’re dealing with now is too much to bear, but you must realize that you do have what it takes to make it. You must also understand that your journey of triumph will be someone else’s support system in the future. When you need extra encouragement to give you the mental and spiritual strength to overcome your challenges, “A Summons for Champion Strength” is an excellent resource. I have provided a list of scripture verses that are specifically targeted about strength. It’s called “Daily Scripture Fitness Plan.”  After reading this list of verses out loud, you will feel empowered and mentally refreshed. Sometimes, we can feel defeated when we constantly think about our failures and disappointments.  Now you don't have to wait for someone to encourage you because you can help yourself move beyond the weight of problems when you choose to… “Shake Off the Dust!”.  If you don’t make a conscience effort to move toward resources that will help you achieve your goals, you will remain … stuck on the steps of stagnation and bitterness.

When you face your challenges with a mindset that your outcome will be better than the process, you can become the type of entrepreneur, student, wife, mother, husband, business professional, sister, brother, friend, or leader that you want to be. Change starts within, and when you shift your mind from focusing on others who you think need to change, but won’t change, you can begin moving toward your destiny of success at a faster momentum. 2015 may have been a year of revelation regarding who your true friends are, but take it as a lesson to stay true to yourself regardless of what anyone else does. At the end of your life, you want to be confident that you did your best and treated others the best during your journey. Have a blessed beginning of the year!

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