Another year is almost in the history books, and I’m finding myself both encouraged and tired, all at the same time. During this season, we take time to reflect on what we’ve accomplished throughout the year. It’s also a time where we meditate on the consequences and outcomes of choices we’ve made, understanding that every decision brings a consequence, whether it be positive or negative. So, while I’m encouraged by my accomplishments this year, I’m also tired from the consequences of some of my choices.
Not to mention, when we turn on the television or scroll through our phones, we are bombarded with negative news. More sickness. More death. More destruction. More injustice. I’m tired.
In these moments of frustration and mental tiredness, I must remind myself and YOU to give yourself the grace to be all that God intended you to be.
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." - Jeremiah 1:5
There is so much to unpack in this scripture, and I want it to plant a seed of hope for a future you could have never imagined. See that little girl above? Before there was a chance for society to box me in, He knew me. God was so specific and tactful with shaping my personality, my quirks, what I’d like and dislike, what things pulled at my heartstrings, and every natural skill and talent was on His radar before I was even born!
Growing up, we are often painted this picture that we can be and do whatever we want. But what isn’t communicated right away are the obstacles we have to face to get there. We aren’t told about the risks and sacrifices that would have to be made to achieve our goals and dreams placed by God in our hearts. Why? Because risk is scary. You don’t know what could happen, but this is where faith comes in to usher you on that road of uncertainty. We must take risks to give ourselves a chance.
This little girl, who still lives inside of me, deserves the best, and I’m not going to allow fear or any other obstacle to get in the way of that. So as we come to the close of 2021, I’m preparing to be the woman this little girl needs to see to have hope. I’m preparing to show her that with God first, followed by intentionality, risk-taking, consistency, and resilience; she actually CAN set her sights on the desires of her heart, even with the obstacles that come ahead. And I'm going to do that with these five steps below. I know they’ll help you leap into 2022 as well, catapulting you even closer to that John 10:10 life.
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
1. Recognize and acknowledge that a leap is necessary (Get your mind right).
Here is where all those negative thoughts and reasons why you shouldn’t move forward begin to pop up in your mind. Whether starting a new business, going after a new title at your current job, or maybe, like me, accepting a new position with a new organization, you become susceptible to paralyzing doubt and fear. Sis, don’t let these things scare you. Instead, unpack those thoughts one by one and see how they can work for your good. Not EVERY anxious thought will go away. You’ll have to be okay with some thoughts and work to not engage with them. When you unpack these ideas and recognize that the conqueror in you can handle them, you can move on to the next step.
2. Prepare for the leap (Do your homework).
Whether it be for a new position or title, or maybe it’s a goal you truly want to engage with from your vision board, it’s time to get ready. Talk to the people that are where you want to be. Ask them what they would’ve done differently—network with other like-minded women who are encouraging and willing to help you get there. Look at your qualifications; what new skill could you acquire to make you stand out from the rest? What areas do you typically shy away from, and are there any classes, certifications, or conferences to address them? Once you have your research completed, time to jump, lady!
3. Leap (Take action).
It’s time to present that business plan. It’s time to apply for that new position. It’s time to ask your manager for that raise or promotion. What’s the worst that can happen? Your request is denied. Here’s the thing to remember about denials or hearing the word “no,” - you’re still standing! You’re still here to fight another day. You have another chance to leap into a “yes!” It’s imperative to remember that both open AND closed doors are learning experiences and blessings from God, which leads me to the next step.
4. Praise Him for favor, grace, and mercy (Assess the outcome of your leap).
If you hear “yes,” praise Him. If you hear “no,” praise Him. If the door opens, praise Him. If the door closes, praise Him. Sometimes we have in our mind what our blessings are supposed to look like and when it’s supposed to happen, but God smiles and probably says, “She has no idea the better things I have in store for her.” His timing is perfect! If I could tell you about all the closed doors that I thought were missed opportunities but were actually divinely orchestrated interventions, we’d need a few more blog posts. Look back to where you came from. Look forward to where He’s taking you. But don’t forget to get present with Him now, and thank Him for it all.
5. Take a deep breath and repeat steps 1-4.
The cycle of growth through risk and uncertainty will forever be in your life. Sometimes it may come in the area of your vocation. Other seasons will be in your finances, relationships, health, etc. The same steps still apply! As long as He is with you leading the way, you can’t go wrong. Trust me; I speak from experience.
When the unfamiliar comes your way, instead of running from it, study it; get to know it, then when ready - take the leap of faith required for you to grow and progress. He can’t take you from glory to glory if you’re not willing to leap! This little girl deserves a chance to be great. She deserves a life well-lived. She deserves to bask in the inheritance to which she was promised. And I bet your inner little girl feels the same way.
I want us ALL to get to that place, but it requires us to step out of our comfort zones and take some risks. We can’t live in the safe zone anymore. We can’t live in comfort anymore. The abundant life that Jesus promises us in John 10:10 is ours to take, but we have to take steps to get that promise. Will you step out in 2022? I sure hope so, because I’m cheering for you!