Time flies. It really does. It’s so crazy. It feels like I was just 18 yesterday- fresh out of high school and embarking on a new journey at Frostburg State as a freshman. I’ve come a long way since those days. I’ve lived, made TONS of really STUPID mistakes, and I’ve certainly learned. I recall plenty of lectures from my parents about staying FOCUSED and working hard to get what I want in life. I wish I would have listened earlier but my immature mind had to develop through the trials and tribulations spurred by my various mistakes. Through it all, I can honestly say I have grown from my mistakes, BUT, I’d be lying if I said I don’t occasionally find myself looking back with deep regret, thinking about the woulda-coulda-shouldas. Aahhh, how to get pass the past.
I’ve always had dreams and aspirations. As a kid, my imagination would just take off…I mean out in orbit. I would dream about so many things. I still dream about those same things as an adult 🙂 But when I was younger, I really battled with self-doubt and low confidence. I would dream about doing things and contemplate doing them, then this negative, self-sabotaging voice would emerge in my mind and say, “come on, that could never be you.” and I was foolish enough to believe it. I just didn’t believe in myself. My dreams just seemed to good to ever come true. So, I became a dream/success voyeur. Instead of chasing my own passions, I would just sit back and get excited from watching others succeed in theirs. I soooo wish I knew then what I know now.
Man. Joyce Meyer is right when she says, “Where the mind goes, the man follows.” In other words, your thoughts determine your actions, and if you convince yourself that you can’t do something, you are less likely to even try. It reminds me of Bandura’s self-efficacy theory. Over the years of building a relationship with God, I’ve learned that I am in this world for a PURPOSE. I’m a firm believer that God gives us certain ideas, dreams, passions, etc. I also believe that God has given us all gifts with the ability to use them. I believe that the ultimate purpose in life is to use those gifts on PURPOSE to help others, make positive impact, and bring Glory to God by leading people to the truth (Jesus is Savior) (Colossians 3:17). I believe that as we do these things, we will greatly please God, enjoy ultimate fulfillment, and prosper in all that we do (Deuteronomy 28).
If God has given us all gifts, obviously he gave us the ability to use them. It’s just up to us to nourish those gifts. For example, a writer should be writing CONSISTENTLY while learning from more experienced writers for growth and development. A musician should play on a regular basis to stay sharp and increase in skill over time. A singer should sing and train as much as possible. Whatever our gifts and dreams are, we (not God) are charged with the responsibility to MAKE IT HAPPEN. This is what I missed when I was younger. I was always sitting around waiting for stuff to just fall in my lap. Even upon accepting Christ, I just sat around with the expectation of miracles just raining from heaven, like someone was supposed to just call me and offer me what I wanted. Not so.
In Proverbs 10:4, Solomon tells us that Diligence (hard work) brings wealth and slothfulness (laziness) brings poverty. God promises prosperity to his children but He never once said that we are exempt from hard work and struggle. If anything, hard work and struggle make us persevere and perseverance develops character and maturity (James 1:4). I’ve come to realize I’ve had it in me all along. I’ve always had the ability to do the things I’ve always dreamed of doing. I’m learning that more and more as I pursue my dreams 🙂 Especially with God on my side, nothing is impossible. I wish I could smack the 10-year-old me upside the head and scream, “GIRL WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU! YOU CAN DO IT!”
It hurts because I feel like I’ve wasted so many years not doing what I could have and should have been doing. I feel like I’ve missed out on so many wonderful opportunities, experiences, etc. But even more so, I am amped to use my past mistakes as footstools to reach my dreams. Self-doubt and the “give up” spirit are beneath my feet and confidence and determination are clutched in both hands. It’s not about where I’ve been, It’s all about where I’m going. Yes I’ve missed some things, yes i’ve messed up. But God is restoring everything and what’s in front of me is far greater than anything behind me. That’s how you move pass the past.