• Jennifer Hastings

Four Ways to Embrace Who God Created You to Be

Updated: Oct 9, 2019


Have you ever avoided the very thing you want to do? The very thing you feel you just might be called to do?

I hate how as women, we beat ourselves up over nothing and everything all at the same time. We are our own worse critics. It is like when you have been doing good and eating healthy for seven weeks in a row and then you eat the office birthday cake and instead of giving yourself the grace to get back on the diet... you blow it again with doughnuts the next day. And the next day. And the next. I've been beating myself up over missing a month without blogging.

May madness hit me harder than I was expecting this year...and therefore I haven’t had time to write. All the extras seemed to zap the energy right out of me. I would think, tonight I will sit down and write about the idea I had today. Wrong! Okay, for sure I will find some time over Memorial Day weekend. Wrong! Before long, I was out of my writing routine and therefore- no blog post! My self-inflicted Thursday deadline... missed.

The first week I missed my deadline, I felt disappointed with myself, the next week I failed to make the deadline, I felt even more guilty. Then came the nagging little voice...it started attacking me with lies! It began to keep me company. Why do you even write? No one really cares what you have to say! The lies attached to my heart and my legitimate excuse- lack of time turns into fear and self doubt. Sound familiar?

I began to believe those lies...they were coming in all shapes and sizes. Some of lies were so outrageous I didn't believe them, but even still, they had me paralyzed.

Do you have lies swirling around in your head right now? Do you wish to silence them?

I turned to Netflix instead of silencing the lies...big mistake! Netflix was a time vacuum sucking up my time faster than my Carter can demolish a pack of gum. I hid in watching Friends with Stewart instead of exploring ideas. I even cleaned the house and ignored the idea about marking your moments I wanted to write about graduation.

Somewhere among my wallowing and self loathing came the voice of the Lord breaking through to me with this verse from Lamentations 3:22-23 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies are new every morning.

If he can forgive me, love me, and give me mercy every morning...then I should forgive myself. Offer the same grace to myself as I would freely give to another busy working mom. God's word has the power to destroy the lies you are believing.

I wonder if you are like me and have a passion or hobby you may have been ignoring? Or maybe you started a project a while ago and when you hit a bump in the road you gave up on it. Maybe you are hearing lies in your head just like I'm hearing.

Maybe you need to see yourself in a new light, in the light of the Lord. See yourself through his eyes and his new mercies every morning.

Those passions and projects could be just the path God will use to help you become who he created you to be. It is time to give yourself the gift of being you. I’ve decided, I like myself better when I am writing. I feel more alive and in touch with the world. Whether I write in my journal or for an audience, writing is a part of me.

What makes you come alive? If you had a day to yourself, what would you do? Maybe you find yourself like me grasping to hold onto a dream. Maybe you let go of your dream years ago and thought it was dead. It is never too late to start again. These steps are meant to encourage you to become more of who God created you to be!

1) Take Action!

Nothing will happen if all you do is think about it. Are you wanting to try a new hobby? Start a new project? Go on a mission trip? Take the class! Read the book! Buy the guitar! Pick up the paintbrush! Even one small step towards your dream will bring new momentum to your life. Take action. Just do it.

Winston Churchill took up painting and said, "Painting came to my rescue in the most trying time." Sometimes what we think is an indulgence of time can bring out the best in us in all areas of our life. Maybe Churchill's painting brought him to a place of appreciating beauty and it was that appreciation that fueled his soul to fight against the injustices in the world in a most trying time. Just think about how badly he probably needed an outlet. We may not be fighting a fight like Churchill, but managing a family and a job can be overwhelming at times. A hobby can give your soul rest and relaxation in a unique way, but you have to be the one to explore it.

2) Be willing to let your idea grow and change as you go.

Know and expect your efforts may not be perfect but your work will be rewarded in the area of learning. This step is hardest for me. I would love for every blog post to perfect, but with a job and three kids...I would never meet the deadline of perfection. Learn to offer yourself grace and learn as you go. Learning is actually the fun!

3) Pursuing your passion gives your life purpose and excitement.

I don't know what your passion is, but I do know seeking out what makes you come alive may be the secret to finding joy in the everyday moments of your life. If you find yourself living for the next vacation or Friday night... gifting yourself the time to work on a hobby could be the cure for your work-week blues. The decision to explore writing is helping me become more aware of who I am. I challenge you...is there a whisper in your heart you have been silencing? Give it a voice, listen to it, and see where it takes you.

4) Be Okay with the Unknown!

You have no way of knowing how following your whisper will turn out or where it will lead you, but I promise you this...you will be on your way to a better version of yourself. A year ago, the only whisper on my heart was to begin writing. I didn't know a blog was in my future or God would give me an idea for a book. I have no idea if my book will ever make it onto the shelves at Barnes and Noble, but it sure does feel good knowing I am at least off the shore and in the water and I'm swimming! Sure... life knocked me down this May and the waves washed me into the sand, but I’m wadding back in there and I'm picking up my pen again.

God will direct your path, but you have to be open to jumping in the water. Peter got out of the boat and he walked on water and now it is your turn.

I’ve decided I have the power to change my own deadline since it was not working for me and my summer schedule. I’m working on finding a new posting day and I’m shooting for twice a month instead of once a week to give me more time to work on my book.

Thank you for all your support and I would love to hear about how some of you make time for your creative outlets in the midst of busy times.

Love,

Jennifer


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