Several weeks ago, our youngest son, J, stood in a room with a few other young men with their right hands raised pledging to honor, defend and protect the United States of America. Thus began J’s chosen adventure with the US Army. An adventure that required selflessness and courage — all to be a part of something bigger than himself. He chose to heed the calling God had wired him to pursue. All because he wanted to make a difference. I’m pretty sure his desire to be a difference maker is not unique because God wires many of us with that same desire. To serve and live out our calling to be purposeful and mission-minded.
That last hug after he was sworn in is ingrained in my memory forever. This 18-year old kid who was always curious, resourceful, filled with wonder and imagination has stepped into something so selfless, so honorable and so courageous and yet, he didn’t see himself as anything other than himself—limited; scared; weak; filled with fear; invisible in high school; not the smartest guy in the room; quiet; shy and the list goes on. His view of himself was far different than our view of him.
The same goes for us–my view of me and possibly your view of you is limited and somewhat flawed. We tend to be our harshest critics. Oh, if we could only view ourselves from God’s perspective–as a capable created human being wired for a greater purpose.
Unfortunately, the enemy tries to have us believe lies. He is, after all, the great deceiver. He has us focus more on our insecurities and then our inner critic tries to trip us up and stop us dead in our tracks staying trapped in a cycle of fear. We don’t need the criticism of others to be held down, we do just fine when we view life from our own limited sight. I’m so thankful there’s another way to have a victory over the limitations of our thoughts and views of ourselves. The very wise King Solomon said:
Trust in the Lord with all your heart;Proverbs 3:5-6
do not depend on your own understanding.
Hmmmm…I don’t know about you, but when we depend on our own understanding, we can tend to be misguided. We can tend to be critical, judgmental, negative, narrow minded, limited, not curious, and not understanding.
God in all of His infinite wisdom knew that we would need more than our own thoughts, opinions and limited views so He not only sent us a Savior, but He sent us the gift of community. When we have accountability partners, friends, sisters or brothers, we are given the opportunity to observe, listen, learn and shift our perspective. He also sent us the gift of His Word and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. Ahhhhh….He really does love us that much! We are only able to live an abundant life and make the difference we want to make when we conquer the limiting beliefs and mindsets once and for all. When we tell the old enemy “NOT TODAY!”
More Lessons from J’s Story:
Where J views insecurities and uncertainties, we–his family–view him as finding his way. What he views as being afraid; we view as brave. Where he views a weak kid with limitations, we view a driven young man who is teachable, resourceful and always learning and pushing himself.
Yes–we can learn a few things from him. Shifting our views can make all of the difference. Where Justin doesn’t believe in himself, we have extraordinary respect, confidence and belief in him. Our belief, along with being constant in prayer, is certainly what will fuel him on those scary days filled with uncertainty. Our belief in him, is giving him wings to believe in himself. Of course, the Army believes in him too, which is why they welcomed him with open arms. What they saw was a strong, buff, young man who will be a dream soldier. (Pretty scary as his mother; however.)
Getting someone to believe in us, can be the fuel that shifts our thinking and perspective to believe in ourselves. When we believe in ourselves, we WILL make a difference.
J has inspired our family members including his cousins to believe in themselves. We also have been able to add more perspective in every aspect of our lives. He has inspired me personally to continue to make a difference by serving my God doing what he’s placed in my heart to do for a couple of decades now, which is coming alongside women who are seeking to pursue their own calling and make an impact in their own spheres of influence.
Are you ready to make that difference that God has placed on your heart? If so, commit those plans to Him, pray and seek counsel from those who can help you along the way. For J, his counsel is coming in the form of drill sergeants. For you and me, the counsel may come in various ways. If you’re looking for someone to bounce ideas off of to pursue your own purposeful calling, I’m here and happy to help! Contact me today!
Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.Proverbs 15:22
Wishing you a beautiful Memorial Day weekend — may we never forget that this unofficial beginning to summer was brought to us by those who sacrificed and gave their very lives so we could live in the land of the free.
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