“When I was in my 20’s,
I lived like a 40 something.
Now in my 40’s, I am living like I am in my 20’s.”
That is the thought I had one morning as I was getting ready for work. Scott and I were in the midst of training for a 5K. I have run them before, but after two ankle surgeries, I wasn’t sure if I could still do it. I decided I didn’t have anything to lose, so I decided to go for it.
As a young adult, I took everything in life too seriously, was a perfectionist and had very low self-esteem and self-confidence. I was afraid of many things, but my worst fear was the “f” word: FAILURE. Unfortunately, because of all these things, I did fail, and miserably. I spent years working on myself, making amends and learning that I couldn’t take myself too seriously. The biggest lesson though: I was able to do much more than I thought I could. I was stronger than I thought I was, and when I let Him, God redeemed me.
As I got older, while I was able to relax more, and even laugh at myself at times, I still didn’t always have the confidence in myself that others did. I was living life everyday but not really challenging myself because I still had that fear of failure in my gut. Failure did come again, in 2001, when my marriage ended just shy of my 10 year anniversary. I moved back in with my parents. It was another dark time but I had to keep going, and I did. In 2002, I was blessed to marry the love of my life, my best friend, and my biggest cheerleader, Scott. He really taught me how to be spontaneous and enjoy life and live in the moment. He challenges me to be the best me possible.
Life went on with good times and bad times. We suffered the loss of both of our moms in December 2007, one week apart and then four years later, on March 19, 2011, my world changed forever. God took a very difficult time in my life to wake me up and show me a better path.
My dad passed away unexpectedly in his sleep. It hit me to the core of my soul when I lost my dad, and it made me realize that I wanted more out of my life, I wanted to accomplish more, I didn’t just want to “get through” life. At that moment, I began a journey of growth: physically, spiritually, mentally and emotionally.
Life is a journey and everyday we each have to decide how we are going to live it. I had to decide if I was going to stay the course of status quo, or stop being afraid of failure and striving for better. I chose the latter and I am very thankful that I did. But I could not have done it alone.
In the past four years, I returned to school, earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Journalism studies, and a Certificate of Journalism. Scott and I left our church (I had attended for 20+ years) and began worshiping with a new church family. I left my long time retail job and started a new job, that has turned into a career that I love. My husband and I became determined to work our way out of our ridiculous debt that we got ourselves into, which meant cutting expenses to bare bones and working to create a budget and stick to it. The most important thing we decided to do is to read the Bible in a year as our daily devotions. It has made a huge impact in my life, Scott’s life, and our life as a couple.
One of my favorite passages is Philippians 4:4-7: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
God tells us to focus on Him, and Him alone. He tells us HE has the details in our life. He tells us to look to Him in times of joy and in times of trouble, and to trust Him and His plan. He never says to do it on our own, because we can’t. As we have read the scriptures daily and together, my focus (and our focus as a couple) is less and less on the things of the world, and more and more on the things of God. We realize where our treasure lies, and it isn’t here on earth.
I am thankful for the dark years, because I can look back and see where I was, and I grew from those experiences. I love that God continues to show me where my weaknesses are, as well as my strengths. I am glad for the lessons learned so I can help others when they are struggling with the same issues and situations that I have experienced.
Today, I don’t feel 46. I really do feel younger. I am not afraid to try new things. If I don’t succeed, then I can try again, or decide that it wasn’t meant to be and move on.
I encourage you today to decide to “go for it”. If it is something you are meant to do, God will bless it and guide you. Pray about where you are and let yourself see where you can go. Don’t live status quo. Life is short, and the lessons are many.
What will you learn today?
Until next time,