By Daneen James
Each of us is uniquely gifted by God. We are never happier or more fulfilled than when doing what we're made to do. So why do we make it so hard?
Here are a few of the lessons I've learned.
Unique on Purpose
We can misunderstand our "unique" qualities. Dismiss their value and link to our purpose. Our
natural inclinations offer clues about the distinct ways we are meant to impact the world.
When channeled constructively, our gifts glorify God.
One of my "special gifts" is recognizing when something is out of order or needs improvement. Whether it's a crooked picture on the wall, an item that has fallen from a store shelf or the misplaced cart in a store parking lot. It cries out to me and I feel compelled to fix it. Suffice it to say, my "helpful attention" isn't limited to carts and store fixtures. People (myself included) and situations get equal play. Admittedly, I've not always considered my attention to detail a positive trait. It can be exhausting. But I’ve come to understand that God created me to uplift and inspire others. So, I've learned to embrace the beauty in seeing what others miss and consider the desire to leave people and situations better, a gift. A gift that helps me do what God has called me to do.
We Get In The Way
That being said. The journey to embrace my calling challenges my tendency toward perfectionism and "overthinking". I push for the best possible result in whatever I do. While the pursuit for excellence is admirable. My pursuit for "the best" can be never ending. I always see how something could be better. What should take me days to complete, often takes weeks (sometimes longer) because of my constant refinement and revision. God has made it increasingly clear, that in order to effectively do what He's created me to do, I must get over myself.
Greater Is He
He’s helped me realize that whatever I do comes through me but is not about me. Yes, I maintain a commitment to excellence in everything I do. But there's no scenario where my efforts, talents and focus alone are sufficient. I need God. So, rather than being so consumed with doing and saying everything right, I make space for God’s Spirit to work through me. Whenever I get fanatical or feel nervous, scared and insecure, I ask God to help me refocus. He calms me. Assures me that He is with me and reminds me to trust His power. When we step out on God's assurance, become vulnerable and do the uncomfortable, He is glorified. People see God in us and reach for the God in them. That's the Creator's plan.
Live Your Light
Until I was willing to embrace God's plan for my life and accept that my purpose was bigger than the life I was living. I fought the process and sabotaged my progress. Fearful of what living out my potential required, I shrank to stay safe. But the light within me longed to be lived out and I lost the willingness to deny it.
Each day we get to choose whether we'll live a life consistent with who God calls us to be. I don't want to leave this world without giving all I have to give. I'm hungry for everything God has for me.
How about you?
Here are a few ways to live your light:
Make This Your Prayer
Today I can’t settle for a life half-lived. Not going to talk myself out of reaching for the dream that shouts to me in the silence. Won’t forfeit another opportunity to walk toward my potential. Refuse to be shackled by the hurdles in my head. Today, I see the truth of who I am. I don’t downplay or diminish my shine. Today, I’m going for it and I’m not leaving anything behind.
“The sovereign Lord is my strength, with Him I can do mighty things. He makes me as surefooted as a deer able to tread upon the heights.” Habakkuk 3:19, Psalm 60:12.
Now go for it, then repeat.
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Daneen James is an inspirational author, speaker and develops uplifting
products and media through her company, SPARKSAFLAME.
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