When I left my job last year to pursue a God-given dream of writing and speaking, I had no clue what was in store for me. A year later, I can honestly say, I have grown more this past year than any year prior, but not in the ways I would have imagined!
I’d like to share with you 5 of the most valuable lessons God has taught me over this past year. (Maybe they will save you some trouble on your own journey!)
1. God is Not Concerned with what You can do for Him
Maybe this comes as a surprise, but it’s true! The truth is this: God’s primary concern and goal for your life is two-fold–He wants you to be with Him, and He wants you to be like Him.
God taught me this in the early stages of my entrepreneurial journey. He made it clear that He was not concerned with building a business, writing a book, or giving me a platform where I could speak. Instead, God re-named my adventure from an “entrepreneurial journey” to a “faith journey.” This journey wasn’t about what I could do for God. It was about knowing God and choosing to follow Him.
I’ve learned that when our intentions are pure–to know God and to be like Him–everything else, including the things we do for Him, falls into place.
2. The Value of Community
I am an introvert by nature. So when I started working from home, I thought, “This is great! I can be by myself all day!”
That’s when God jumped in and forced me outside of my comfort zone and the four walls of my house. I started investing in relationships, even if it meant meeting for something as seemingly unproductive as coffee. And guess what I discovered?
Community is how God moves the Kingdom forward!
Over the past year, at least 90% of the speaking opportunities, writing material, and other tangible steps I’ve made for my “business” have come as a result of being connected with other people.
Community is how God gets things done!
3. How to Prioritize
This is the one I’m working on now. I went from being all alone all the time to being over-committed and over-involved!
Now, God is teaching me the value of discerning between “good opportunities” and “right opportunities.”
Not every “good opportunity” is the “right opportunity.” God would rather have us concentrate our time, relationships, and resources than to be less effective by spreading ourselves too thin.
Our culture may tell us that more is better, yet all this does is leave us worn out, burned out, and completely ineffective in every area of our lives. But lesson #4 is helping me change this!
4. How to live on Mission
Mission statements aren’t just for businesses. You can (and should) create one for your life.
These are some of the questions I’ve been asking myself lately:
- What does God want me to accomplish within my lifetime?
- What things would God want me to prioritize?
- How do I want to be remembered by family and friends?
- What is the story my life was made to tell?
If we start with the end of our lives and work backwards, we are able to prioritize and filter out the “good opportunities” from the “right opportunities.”
Sometimes we have to let good things go–friendships, business relationships, leadership positions, committees, and organizations–in order to focus on the ones that are right for us.
Choosing to live on mission really is key. It is when we align ourselves with the mission God has given us that we are able to finally break down the silos in our lives into one congruent portfolio!
5. How to Trust God
This is probably the hardest lesson to learn, because it requires us to “just do it”–just trust God and watch Him work.
Every day since leaving my job, I’ve given God more space to work in my life. And every day He takes that space and turns it into something amazing.
Here’s the most valuable lesson of all. If you can grasp this one thing, your life really will be forever changed. Ready? Here it is: God is good. Not only is He good, He is ridiculously good!
I can try to convince you of this truth, but really, the only way it will sink in is for you to experience it. Just trust God. Give Him some space in your life. I promise you’ll be amazed at the journey and the lessons He has in store for you.
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