Sep 28, 2010

Walking with Confidence, Part I

Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and has made

the Lord his hope and confidence.
- Jeremiah 17:7


In college, I was worry-free.  A lot of that might have been that my parents were footing the bill for my life, but a majority of it could have been that I knew what I was working towards: a degree.

There was never a doubt in my mind about this.  I would be in college for four years and I would obtain my Bachelor of Science.  No skipping out before that.

But once I graduated, things got a little nauseating.  It was essentially "time" for me to make a huge change in my life and start my career.  "Career" is a scary word to a lot of people, because most assume you can only have one, and that if you don't start off on the right foot, you'll be forever doomed.

So yeah, it was a lot of pressure figuring out what I needed to do.  What was my goal?  I have so many things I want to accomplish!  How will I know what is right?  What if I fail?

I could have stayed in Texas, having lived a very comfortable (and fun) life.  My family and friends were at my side and I was familiar to the lay of the land.  And frankly, Texas is amazing.  I love that state.  But in my heart I knew that was not going to make me happy, because I was not called to work at a salon the rest of my life.  Sure, I love all things beauty, but I aspire to be more than a receptionist, and I knew that the plan God has for me required me to take some big risks.  One of those risks was doing something I always wanted to do and venturing out into the unknown.

Here's the thing: when I made the decision to move to California, I was not afraid.  I was excited!  I was starting the beginning of my journey.  Sure, I was leaving people and things behind that I cared very much for, but I didn't see it as "leaving them behind," because I knew if God willed them into my life, they would be there no matter what, because that was God's plan.

It was this one thought, that God has a unique and special plan for me, that has always gotten me through even the roughest of patches.  And that is where true confidence comes from.

I'm not talking about arrogance, something that usually is uprooted from insecurity.  I am talking real, bonified confidence, that puts peace into your soul.  You may worry, you may wonder "why?" and "how?" but you always know that you will be provided for and comforted because of your faith in God.  Get to really know God, not just know of Him.  Finding a divine relationship with true love, grace and faith will allow you to be all God has planned for you!

There is no fear in love; for perfect love casteth out fear.

- I John 4:18

Making the big move turned out to be a very trying experience.  First off, I had my new goal: get my career going, but there were so many different avenues I could go and I had no idea where to start.  Plus, I wanted to get to that point right now, not later (patience is a virtue, right?).  Second,  I missed (and still miss) the comforts of home more than anything.  I missed being able to know I had solid plans on the weekends, I missed my family and friends, I missed that I had people around me who loved me for who I am.  I literally took myself from that and to a place where nobody seems to care about anyone except for themselves, and people crumble morally to get ahead.  I think my biggest fear out here has been that I will be influenced by these types of things and will evolve away from the person I was raised to be.  I pray about this still, however reminding myself that am working under God's plan has put me at peace with this fear.  Heck, people actually like me more because I'm from Texas, because I'm a Christian and because I want to do good.  It's sad, but this mentality is rare out here.  I know, it's probably California's biggest stereotype, but that's because it's true.  So many people are dying to "make it" that they put aside any pride or values to get where they want to be.    

Once I realized that God was controlling everything in my life, I knew I would be perfect.  I already knew this, but sometimes the devil likes to make you doubt yourself and God's grace, so it's good to be reminded.

Also, for awhile I was relying on others and other things for my happiness.  But when things got uprooted or change happened, I felt anxious, and I didn't know why.  That was God reminding me as well: being confident doesn't rest of the shoulders of others (or other things).  Too many times we put the price of happiness on things or other people; if we just had that new job, if we just had more money, if we weren't sick, if that one person would just.... you get the drift.  But these things and people will come and go.  The only constant you have in your life is God.  There is nowhere you will go that God will not be with you.  Isn't that resassuring?  There is no peak too high, no discouragement too low.  He has a plan for you, a plan he has known before you were even born.

If you put your happiness in a paycheck, what happens when it runs dry?  If you put your happiness in another person, what happens when there is trouble in the relationship?  Finding happiness doesn't revolve around the outside, it comes from within, and from your relationship with God.

Knowing all things are going to work out -- they might not go according to your plan, but they will go according to His -- will allow you to live your life the way it was intended. 

Whosoever trusteth in the Lord,

happy is he.

- Proverbs 16:20


That doesn't mean you won't feel certain things, like insecurity or fear, but I'll get into that in Part II. 
To quote Henry David Thoreau, go confidently in the direction of your dreams, and have faith that God is going to lead you in the right direction.  Enjoy your journey with Him and stop worrying about the end goal, you'll get there when He feels you're ready.

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