My friend Lindsay shared a statement on social media last year that has impacted me so greatly:
“When I stop trying to create my own destiny, I can finally allow God to fulfill His Destiny in my life.”
I mean—mic drop.
That statement opened up an opportunity for me to really take a look at my life through those lenses. I shared a lot in my previous blog about being a dreamer and always chasing after and striving fo something. I was always looking to arrive at THE final destination in which I would have completed that very BIG thing. I guess I expected TOTAL FULFILLMENT upon reaching that FINAL destination…
Best of the BEST
One personal example was in my business several years ago. We had an annual conference and one aspect of it was Awards Night. Individuals and teams would get recognized for performance categories, whether it was top sellers, top recruiters or top in an overall average of different areas.
I remember going to my first few conferences, looking up in awe at these women and all they had achieved—thinking how That….THAT MOMENT right there should feel like making it to the top of the mountain and being the very Best of the BEST. They would wear beautiful gowns and receive incredible gifts (usually jewelry) and roses. In my eyes, it was like watching Miss America cross the stage. When I was looking from the ground up, and seeing how much it took to climb, I guess I still believed this would lead to complete fulfillment. The top of the mountain seemed like that was IT…It would be THE place where I would reach my destiny and fulfill a greater purpose. But IT was just a dream because I truly didn’t think I’d ever be in that position.
And then I was….
My business experienced many highs and lows over 10 years, yet I always had a heart to grow other leaders and see those on my team growing in confidence and making their dreams become reality too. At the final conference I attended, my team DID receive the honor of that #1 Spot in our category. It was so surreal to be able to be in that same spot I had seen from before and I realized it was a complete team effort. The night was perfect and I remember all of the work it took to get there! A few days later, I found myself asking: “NOW WHAT?” The build-up seemed like my whole life for an experience that lasted less than 24 hours…
Please hear my heart. I am not discounting this experience in any way. I was and AM grateful to have stood on that stage on behalf of my team to receive such an honor! But I learned a very valuable lesson!
There is NO ARRIVAL!
I felt like stepping into my purpose and destiny was a weight on my shoulders. It was something that I believed was so vital, but it was totally up to me to create it and chase it. I thought that stepping into my destiny was more or less doing something to arrive at a specific destination, instead of a state of being. I believed that the destination was the goal and that would bring the happiness.
A year after that stage summit experience, the company closed.
I believed that THAT business was the vehicle to ALL of my goals and dreams. It felt like they all came crumbling down in a 10-minute corporate phone call. I believed that career was my purpose and now it was GONE! It took me years to realize this was a lie.
While I still believe stepping into my destiny and purpose is vital to living out ALL the goodness God has for me, I have also come to learn that I can’t live out HIS Destiny for me when I keep trying to create My Own Destiny all by myself! It turns out that we are designed to keep growing in our God-given destiny!
God Changed My Heart in an Unexpected Moment…
A couple of years ago, after pursuing freedom, I realized that, in regard to business, I was walking on a path that God no longer wanted me on. It was a great thing, but as I’ve said before, not a God thing for me to continue anymore. He was stirring up my heart, but I was so reluctant to listen because I believed the lie and was asking myself:
What will others think of me?
Will I look like a quitter if I stop now?
Will I let down others who are on this journey with me?
And of course, “God what am I supposed to do instead?”
Let me tell you, there was no clear answer to that last question. At least not in the form of some new career path. It was truly an act of surrender as I was led to surrender everything and just let it fall piece by piece.
It was the first time since I was 16 that I wasn’t “working” and earning money in some form. I didn’t know how the financial gap would be filled. I didn’t really know how to be still most days (this is still a process, by the way). Yet despite all the unknowns, I had an overwhelming peace that I was doing the right thing… and I will say there was a new mystery to life now that I wasn’t clinging to control.
One evening, I was sitting in a women’s event at church, and I had an instant heart change. They were taking prayer requests and for the first time in a while, I started to consider my own more seriously. In my business and goal chasing days, my number one dream was to go to Europe. I kid you not when I say, I literally felt as though I could not die without taking a trip there. And that dream was pushed back and back and back and I had no idea how or if it would come, now that my “vehicle” to get there was gone.
The first realization I had was that my dreams didn’t have to die as the ship went down. It came as I realized the ship was never the dream. The dream was what and where the ship could lead me. God helped me snap out of my pity party and let me know that the things on my heart could come in other ways and I saw it unfolding right before my eyes. It made no sense to me how the very things I was so sure I had to strive for whether it was a financial need, vacation, vehicle, (even down to a piano), He actually provided in ways I didn’t even seek out. Now, that European trip hasn’t happened yet, but He did give me a heart change there, too.
As I was seated at this women’s event, I started to revisit some things that I honestly gave up on- regarding specific relationships- and praying for God to move in them some way, somehow….HIS Way. As I started filling in my prayer card, I sensed this:
If I can see this specific relationship in my life restored to truth and mended and I never never go to Europe, it will all be okay. You see He opened up my heart to things that mattered even more. Not that He doesn’t care about my dreams of seeing the green hills of Ireland, or eating handmade pasta in Italy… or looking out from a rooftop in Santorini Greece… okay I digress… but He helped me see the even bigger matters of HIS heart – His people.
It was the heart change I needed to renew hope and to trust that there are so many other riches in this world, even if I don’t get to see all of it.
So back to Lindsay’s quote…
I can see that where I was (and sometimes still am) trying to chase my own destiny wasn’t getting me ANYWHERE. I had experiences that were very short-lived and unsatisfying doing things my own way. Yet, when I see where I am today, I see the lessons and some of the turns that felt so wrong or like failure, leading me to the right place.
If I didn’t go through that business closing, I wouldn’t have met Elizabeth. And Elizabeth couldn’t have introduced me to MOPS. And I never would have met Charlie, another mom at MOPS. And if it wasn’t for all the changes of being in a pandemic, I wouldn’t have chosen to homeschool. Yet, as God put homeschooling on my heart, He then led me to reach out to other moms I knew who homeschooled. That led me to look for a community in my area… which is where I found Charlie’s mom as a director… which led me to reach out to Charlie to ask where to even start…. which led to her invitation to the community that we are now a part of… the community in which I’ve been able to watch my son flourish in our first year of homeschooling.
So God is teaching me that nothing… NOTHING at all is wasted!
And what is even greater is the way He opened up one door that led to another, and then another, until I arrived in this beautiful place where I feel peace! The process of letting Him do it is so much better than my being paralyzed in pursuit of trying to figure out where my door even is…!
Love & Blessings,