Are You Pursuing Your Passions?

Are You Pursuing Your Passions?

Do you ever come across something and it brings you to a whole different place in your life? Maybe an object in your childhood bedroom or something packed away in a box in the attic or stuffed under your bed? And when you find this thing it transports you way down memory lane and you are reminded of a whole different side of yourself that has somehow remained under the bed or in the dusty corner of the attic along with that object? Well yeah… that happened to me the other day.

Since I’ve been married, it has taken a few trips from my parents house to get all my belongings into my new home. Deciding what to keep, donate and throw away proved more time consuming than I thought it would be because I realized just how much stuff I had kept- mostly from high school. Oy.

One specific item that really tugged at my heart was a poem that I had written my junior year of high school about my all time greatest passion at the time- running. I still love to run to this day, albeit a very different experience from when I was in pristine condition and going for an 8 mile run after school was nothin’ but a thang. Now I struggle to run more than a mile and a half because well… I don’t have a coach and a team to train with and keep me on my toes. I ran through college but towards my senior year it became more a way to blow off steam and destress from the day rather than a regimented workout routine.

When I do run, I still find such joy and fulfillment in it. I love the feeling of accomplishment and the endorphins that I get from a good run. And yet lately, when I contemplate going for a run I find that I am consistently talking myself out of it because I know some sort of insecurity will creep into my brain. Whether that be the way I look in my running clothes, or the fact that I can no longer run a mile in under 7 minutes, or even the fact that I have to run on city streets and neighborhoods instead of dirt trails or country roads (which are definitely my preferred roads to run on).

It is moments like this one I had today when I am reminded of the passion I have for running. Reading that poem I can see the honesty in the words I wrote, and I can feel a motivation rise up from inside me urging me to lace up my sneakers. THAT is passion. When mere words written years ago can still awaken a hunger in the deepest part of you- then you know with certainty that this is something the Lord has given you a passion for. So now my question is- are you pursing that? Are you allowing yourself to make space for that in your life?

I realized that the devil was absolutely making camp in this area of my life, because those doubts and hesitations that entered my mind every time I thought about going for a run (even as simple as that may be) were coming from him in an effort to keep me from something that would bring me joy and glorify God. (And yes- I believe that going for a run can glorify God because I am using the body he has given me, taking care of it, being a good steward of it and thanking Him for the blessing of having an able body to run with.) So yeah- those doubts were from Satan and unfortunately they came full circle because when I don’t keep my body in good shape, I feel disappointed when I look in the mirror and compare my present self to the way I know I look when I am running consistently. Then those thoughts weaken me mentally and make me feel more despair when I think about changing that because I know how far I have to come. So basically it is a whole big, messy, exhausting mental game the devil plays and wreaks havoc on the state of my heart.

Working through all of this in your mind and in your heart can be tiring, but to come to a conclusion and find solace in the answers brings so much peace. So take time to work through it in your heart- what passion are your not pursuing? And why?

Here a few questions to help you uncover this in your own life:

  1. What is a heart-held passion of mine that I have not been pursuing?
  2. What are the excuses I have been making to avoid or not face pursuing these passions?
  3. Am I afraid of pursuing this passion?
  4. What tactics is the devil using to keep me from focusing on this area in my life?
  5. What practical changes can I make to my daily life in order to make space for this passion?

If God has given it to you… USE IT! He has given each of us a specific and unique set of skills, and I’ll bet ya that many of those skills and talents can be used to build, grow, and work on that area of your life that has been sitting in the dusty corner. It’s time to start dusting things off my friends!

Let me know how it goes! 🙂

Hills and Valleys

Hills and Valleys

Do you believe that God is a God of the hills and the valleys?

Search your heart and try to answer that question honestly to yourself.

In my opinion, it’s much easier to proclaim that God is a God of the hills rather than the valleys. Hills are filled with light, there is a view to look out upon seeing how far you have come and everything you have accomplished. On the hill you are literally on top of the world and you feel that strength beneath your feet. How easily at these moments do songs of praises and rejoicing come from our lips with a sweet ease?

Yet when we find ourselves in valleys there is little to no light, we can only see how much more ground there is to cover and any progress that has been made is difficult to view. Feelings of overwhelming frustration, loneliness, and a loss of understanding flood our hearts. In these valleys- do I still proclaim that God is sovereign over every circumstance in my life?

I’ll be honest- I have been so convicted when I honestly ask myself this question. The past six months have been filled with such change and transition. And at times I feel as though I should be past the difficult days. Then I am reminded, it doesn’t matter what days come, what things I am struggling with, or even the frustrations I may feel- God is still good. He is still God. He is still sovereign. His ways are better than my ways and that is something I should always rejoice in.

Songs are a very powerful tool that I believe God uses to speak His truth to us. Here are some lyrics from two great songs regarding this topic that speak assurance and encouragement into my heart.

“Hill and Valleys” by Tauren Wells

On the mountains I will bow my life to the one who set me there //

In the valley I will lift my eyes to the one who sees me there //

When I’m standing on the mountain I didn’t get there on my own //

When I’m walking through the valley I know I am not alone //

 

“Not For A Moment (After All)” by Meredith Andrews

After all you are constant // After all you are only good //

After all you are sovereign // Not for a moment will you forsake me //

 

So when we are walking through the valleys let’s keep our eyes looking up, knowing that God will not keep us here forever. And through our journey of life through the hills and the valleys- know that God is God every day, in it all.