Aug 8, 2011

The importance of going through struggles

2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4

What a beautiful piece of the Word to start off this week. I got to church late yesterday, but just time to see two beautiful infants baptized into the church, which was really a prideful moment for not only the families, but the congregation as well. They looked like two little cherub angels up there.

I absolutely adore the church I go to. If you're in LA, check out Bel Air Presbyterian. I consider myself someone whose more spiritual than anything; a non-denominational type of gal, but I totally dig this church. It's so uplifting and our Pastor is really gifted.

Anyway, this past Sunday we looked into how we interpret the Bible and how we actually read it. Has had us flipping through our Bibles to a few different verses, and had us come upon the Book of James. I should have been focused on what he was teaching, but my eyes immediately driverted to the first page of the Book about trials, where the above scripture was written.

I know for myself personally that the past two years since graduation have brought me tremendous growth, while enduring the struggle of growing up, love, heartbreak, finances, and all the things that we can let consume us from time to time. Even the past year has been a huge feat and to quote John Mayer, if you hadn't seen me in a year, "you wouldn't know me if your eyes were closed." Well, perhaps that's not completely true. But you get what I'm saying. Crazy where a mere 12 months can take you.

So, chin up. I know things can be hard. (Real hard.) LIKE SERIOUSLY. I know. Basically you're just a big ball of worry, wondering how things will turn out or if you'll ever feel a certain way or if you'll ever find a job you dream of, blah blah blah. But at the end of the day, there should be some twinge of hope and joy knowing that while you're feeling low or unhappy, you are being molded by God's plan, and every success and failure was perfectly placed by Him to help build your character. If all you had was happiness, how would you appreciate it?

Right now in my life, I feel like I am more than capable, strong and content. I attribute most of this to faith, but a lot of it to how my parents raised me: with the eternal feeling that anything is possible. (Maybe why I'm still holding out for Justin Timberlake?) All kidding aside, I feel secure because I know that my foundation keep being built stronger by my experiences and frankly, right now I know what I want more than anything. Per a conversation with my friend Rachel this weekend, "We're smart. We know what we want. It makes things hard for us sometimes." Ladies and gents, while many may scoff or persecute you for being sure of something in your life -- no matter what it is -- know that you will receive, in abundance, many blessings. You just have to keep those goals, dreams and standards close to heart, and always, always, always speak of them.

"I have become my own version of an optimist... Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present." Joan Rivers

I learned this lesson recently. In LA, practically everyone out here gets stars in their eyes and wants to give fame a shot. Or at least find a job related to the entertainment industry. So it's really difficult when someone asks "Why did you come out here?" because they will inevitably ask, and they will always look disapprovingly at you if they're not in the industry and you're trying to be, or they'll see you as competition if they are. Kind of a bummer sometimes.

When I first moved out here, I dealt with a lot of uplifting people, but I also kind of kept quiet about my dreams of having my own talk show and being on TV, mostly because several people around me were trying to do the same thing, and they'd scoff at the fact that I was interested in those things too. Which is shocking, given that's literally what everyone moves out here for. I love to write, I'm good at PR, and I enjoy events, but at the end of the day, I moved out here to follow my dreams having my own show, a la Oprah. While I get those are some heavy shoes to fill, in my mind, it's an aspiration to have. I'm not trying to be Oprah. But I would love her career path. I really would. 

“Each of us has an inner dream that we can unfold if we will just have the courage to admit what it is. And the faith to trust our own admission. The admitting is often very difficult.” Julia Cameron

When you tell people, "I'd like Oprah's career," they laugh and exclaim, "Who wouldn't?" Hearing that all the time can get you down. Kind of like, "Yeah kid, you and a million others want the same thing." I'm sure that's the same thing for a lot of your my age, trying to accomplish your dreams, no matter what industry you're in. But I had an epiphany a few weeks ago. How is God supposed to grant you the desires of your heart if you're ashamed to admit your dreams? 

 You have to take the first step. Acknowledge what you want so it can come to you. Regardless of if it ends up how you wanted or not, it will lead you to your true calling in life.

So just remember: “Keep away from those who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you believe that you too can become great.” Mark Twain


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