Government, Churches, Schools, Health care, Media, The FDA, The workplace, Your sphere of influence… They all have opinions, they all have a direction, an expectation, a standard, a current or path that wishes to instruct you, shape you, and show you “how it’s suppose to be done”.
Certain churches might tell you, you have to do A,B,C before you can get to heaven, the school may tell you that your child talks too much or has “behavioral issues” and needs pills, the media will on one hand, tell you you’re too fat and offer you diet pills, and on the other hand convince you that Pop Tarts are considered a perfectly nutritious breakfast. Your doctor will push medications and vaccinations as a cure to your problems, your workplace may offer promotion in exchange for your integrity, peace or family life, your sphere of influence might encourage you to take out loans for things you cannot afford to keep up with people you don’t even like, and the government might try to convince you that they are a god… and we’ll leave that one alone.
Often times alot of these organizations, or individuals will use bully tactics, manipulations, lies, propaganda, sales pitches, guilt trips, threats, shame, or fear to get you to eat what they are serving. And for lack of knowledge, understanding, option or help most of us jump in the current, and swim in the direction we are told to, the path of least resistance.
Have you ever taken your shoes off, rolled your pants legs up and walked into a river with a strong current? It takes alot of energy and work to go against the flow of the water and often times you end up either getting out of the way or yielding to it’s strength and direction. There is a current in the world that is much the same, it’s moving strongly in a direction and it’s difficult to believe that there is any other way. Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you make the decisions you make when it comes to your health, kids, education, food consumption, faith etc.? Have you ever really researched and educated yourself to find the truth about what decision is truly best for you and your family?
Let me be honest, I’m a bit rebellious by nature. Okay maybe alot rebellious, and those of you who know me well are probably having a good laugh right now. Just ask my poor mother, I’m sure she can attest of my strong-willed attitude as a little girl and my husband could give strong confirmation of my insubordinate tendancies as well. I’m not sure whether I should blame my full blooded Irish great grandmother or the incredible amount of German heritage that I have on my dad’s side of the family. Either way, as much as I work hard to correct the extremes of my personality as to build respect for authority, and submission to leadership, I have also learned why I appreciate my process of challenging the system, asking questions and finding my own answers. When I first became a young adult, and a mother I remember how dependant I was on the opinions and directions of the above listed entities, and wondering how I was ever going to fit in the box that they were tucking me into, I was empty and un-fulfilled, but then again so was everyone else so I accepted it as the way it was destined to be and jumped in. It didn’t take long before I was deep into debt, anxiety/depression, sickness, broken relationships and feeling like a failure.
Break on Through!
I was really discouraged with my life as a young adult, and frankly I was looking at those around me who’d been adults for a while and I wasn’t liking what I was seeing. I’d seen the product that the system was spitting out, and it wasn’t all that appealing. I was growing increasingly frustrated with my situation but it wasn’t until my husband and I got married and we started doing alot of reading together, that I began to see a paradigm shift in life. Each month we would read one new non-fiction book covering topics such as marriage, health, finances, parenting and education. I began to see a whole new side to the world, a side that offered hope, individuality, greatness and freedom. I would read about how to overcome my past and the pain that shaped my insecurities, how to break out of the box. I was challenged often times to question the decisions I’d made in areas where I’d just gone along with what I was told was the “normal” way to do things. I began to really look into each area and make decisions about what was best for me and my family even if that meant it wasn’t widely acceptable or flowing with the current. I began to feel much better about taking control of my life instead of letting society make all my decisions for me, but there was still a void that I couldn’t seem to fill.
A Need for The Compass
When I was pregnant with my second daughter, a business partner and friend invited us to attend his church one Friday night and we accepted. I sat and listened as the pastor told me about the love God has for me just as I was, and how He wants to have a relationship with me, a friendship, that He wasn’t interested in throwing a rule book at me, but changing me from the inside so I could become the greatness that He’s put in me. The scales began to peel back from my eyes and I felt new life spring from my spirit! I’d found the compass that I’d been missing and with that I found new purpose, new vision, new hope and excitment! Wow, even though that time was close to 10 years ago, I remember that brand new growth and excitment like it was yesterday, because I’m still growing and still excited about life! See, once I broke through and began to grow, I never stopped, as long as I continue to hunger for growth, truth and meaning I find myself being fed with knowledge, excitment and vision!
Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.”
Acts 2:28 “You have made known to me the paths of life; You will fill me with joy in your presence.”
You Have to Know You’re Free!
I’ve often heard different perspectives told of how slavery was abolished and captives were set free from their masters back years ago. What a glorious time that must have been, how happy and excited they were to be free, all of those wonderful people must have immediately packed up their things and headed out to explore their lives. The truth is though, that there were many that stayed slaves for years after slavery was abolished. Not necessarily because they chose to stay, although there were some who did, but because there were some that didn’t know they were free! They hadn’t been told that they were free, and didn’t know any better.
I look back at my life in the earlier years and realize I was in the same lack of knowledge, I had no idea the kind of freedom I had as a woman, a mother, a wife, or a child of the Most High God. I thought that what I had done in my past and what I was told to do in my present, was the end for me, there was no other way. Truth is a treasure and rewarder of those who diligently seek it. How do you know if what you are doing or how you are living, is right? If you could know the truth about life, would you want to know? If you were living a lie, would you want to know it? If there is a better version of your life waiting for you, would you want to find it? I dare you to challenge the norm, search for truth and answers and see what you come up with!
John 8:32 – “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
I will say this again, would you quit buying things you can’t afford, with money you don’t have, to impress people you don’t even like?! It’s absurd the trouble we get ourselves into, just to keep up with the standard. I am certainly not saying to live a mediocre life, I believe God wants us to flourish, no I’m saying live a high quality of life because you are blessed not because you are self-proclaimed, when you force it, it shows, everybody knows it, and it’s unattractive. When you force yourself into a lifestyle that makes you appear more important than you are, it eats away your peace and joy, it causes stress and ugliness. So what you’re left with is large amounts of debt, a bad attitude, high blood pressure, and a Porsche, really? really. When you are focused, instead, on chasing your dreams, achieving your goals, and growing into a blessed life, it will speak of it’s own quality, you will be at peace, you will be a giver, and you won’t be afraid to share every piece of your abundance with those around you because you own it, it doesn’t own you.