A few years ago I began a journey that I thought would be the greatest transformation of my life. I was pursuing my career and diligently working to reach my life’s goals. Over the span of three years I became so focused on achieving my goals within the specific time frame I had set for myself that I began to neglect my body and as a result gained 30 lbs. I was at a point in my life where everything that I had worked for was not bringing me the happiness that I expected. The hum drum of mediocrity, or what everyone else was calling “stability”, was driving me into depression and I could not figure out why I was feeling this way in spite t of everything that I had accomplished. I concluded that the culprit was my recent weight gain causing a plummet in my self esteem so I made the decision to change my diet and commit to a consistent exercise routine so I could lose some weight. I was very excited that I had found the missing piece to the happiness puzzle I had been working to put together for so long . Although it was hard, my hunger for the results pushed me past the challenges. It wasn’t long after that I began to see changes in my body and the way that I felt. I was able to lose 40 lbs. and regain a piece of my self esteem that had escaped me. The effects of my weight lose were exactly what I had anticipated. I had a greater confidence in the way that I looked, I felt proud of myself for what I had accomplished and I was able to fit all of my old clothes. I was also ecstatic at the fact that I could once again shop for more of the fashion forward styles that I loved to wear in the past! I was on top of the world. I had regained the girl that I once was and could flaunt every piece of my femininity without shame! I was finally the best me that I could be, or so I thought!
*WARNING results may vary!*
After months of enjoying the new and improved me, an old acquaintance paid me a visit. It was my old enemy emptiness! I was instantly confused and angry when she showed up at my doorstep. I thought I had gotten rid of her for good. How could she be back? What does she want from me? I had done everything on my checklist to get rid of her. I had obtained a college degree and began a Master’s level program. I had great friends and family in my life who loved me. I purchased a home and was moving up in my career, and now I have lost 40 lbs.! I thought to myself, “What else do I have to do to get rid of her? Why is she harassing me again?”
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (ESV)
Society places a big emphasis on image and influences us on what we should obtain or look like in order to be “acceptable” to others as well as ourselves. Many people spend their entire lives stuck between the places of dreaming to get something, working to get something, or obtaining that something only to immediately want something else, then the cycle starts over again. It becomes a mental prison many times mistaken for drive and ambition. When I found myself right back at the place of emptiness after I had accomplished all that I could, it was an emotional defeat that I could not bear. So I waved my little white flag, convinced myself that I was wrong for not being happy when everyone kept telling me that I should be, and prepared myself for a lobotomized life that if I continued to work hard, at it’s best would allow me to experience tiny bursts of temporary thrills from job titles and material possessions.
It was all a setup!
It is contrary to think that one’s perceived defeat at life, immense mental anguish, or flat out tired of being sick and tired state resembles anything near what God has for his children. But I found out that is exactly where he wants us! It is at that point that he can say, are you done now? Are you ready to stop this foolishness and hand everything over to me? At my point of surrender I had nothing left up my sleeve. No new training or degree to pursue, no new wardrobe that would suffice, no relationship to throw myself into, and no position that would get me back into the game. I was absolutely done with trying to find happiness, I just couldn’t care anymore. Until God showed up! It was at that moment he began the real transformation indeed. God could care less about how much you weigh, what you look like, how much money you have or who you know. It is the transformation of your heart that he is concerned about. It is in the service that we extend to our brothers and sisters around us out of love that we find all that we need. It is Jesus Christ that makes us whole. I found out that the minute you release the pressures and expectations of this world you experience new life. You experience freedom! I found out that it is through service that you experience true fulfillment. This revelation changed my life. It opened me up to the healing, growth, love, and fulfillment that I had been seeking for years! When I began a relationship with God, he began to show me exactly who I was. I couldn’t believe it! He continues to reveal the woman that he created me to be. All I had to do was let go so God could take over.
As my journey continues I know that there will still be challenges and hardships that I will be faced with and have to overcome but what a difference the blood of Jesus makes. When I am facing a battle, I can stand assuredly on his word and know that he is with me. I can continue to serve and be a part of building his kingdom through it all. My fulfillment comes from God regardless of the circumstance that I am in. He is waiting for all of us to let go, so he can take over. When I look back at everything that has happened in my life good and bad, it becomes evident that my steps were indeed ordered. I am now able to see that it was through all of the adversity that I was able to totally submit. I can see that everything happened the exact way it was supposed to and be thankful for the weight of hardship that broke me down. For it was at that point God was able to take over and my true journey of transformation began. It was through God that I was able to transform inside and out.
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