Here's the ironic thing. I tried living life my own way - on my own terms. And I thought this was a GREAT thing. I was making my own plans. And trying (or striving) to accomplish them.
Here's the part I didn't like: It felt like I was ALWAYS STRIVING.
There are two definitions for striving: to make great efforts to achieve or obtain something. And to struggle or fight vigorously.
It think the word striving definitely encompasses BOTH. The struggle was real. I was always trying to: "make moves" and make things happen!
And in our Western culture, we actually praise that. The self-made millionaire. The self-starter. The entreprnuer. The self motivator who can make things happen.
But what if I told you there was a better way? Something that I've ALWAYS been passionate about is the idea that we can live a stress-free life. Especially as Christians! I would ask many people in the Christian sphere, assuming that they'll say: "Yes of course!" Since JEsus is often described as the Prince of Peace.
But would you know that I didn't get any yesés? I got all kinds of reasons and excuses as to why we CAN'T live a stress-free life..."well, there will always be worries, troubles, struggles, etc...."
But now, I disagree. I believe the best way to live a stress-free life is to GIVE UP yours. Give up your ideas of success, and what you want for your life. And ask the KING of the Universe what his plans, ideas, thoughts for you are?
The way to live stress-free and get rid of striving is: Total Surrender.
This was not fun for me, especially in my business because I had a perfect vision of what it should be like. And I knew in my heart the Lord wasn't calling me to do my business that exact way. But the way he was calling me to do it...I didn't want any parts of.
I told him: "I'll seem cheap. I'll get sucky clients. I need to be expensive so people will respect me and pay me." And I studied all these messages that backed that belief. And I went ahead to be a high-end boutique studio (whatever that means) and I got some bookings, made a little monies but I was ALWAYS stressed out! Wondering how to get more clients! Chasing the clients I already had. Feeling like I wasn't giving enough for what they were paying for. And just a general un-satisfaying feeling.
Surrendering to Abba God and saying: You are the King of my life. You know best. I give UP my entire vision, dreams, goals. And my business. I will lay it all down, for you. Let me know what you have in mind and I will do.
And since then he has filled me with this INSANE passion for this business - with one condition....it is no longer mine. It is HIS.
That's why I re-named it Divine Photography! Because I want it to be all about HIM!
We sit down together for lunch and I just ask Holy Spirit to speak to me, lead and guide me, and I write out notes, vision, direction and strategies that are Holy Spirit inspired and it is so awesome!
I have this peace knowing that I dont have to STRIVE to make things happen any more. That I'm not in charge of this business - HE is. I'm just a manager. I am stewarding this for him. I am his hands and feet in this business, to work this thing in a way that brings him JOY!
If you're like me, then you probably had 1290342 ideas in your head for what you want your life to be like. And you HATED The idea that there is this God up there in the sky who wants to tell you what to do/how to life your life.
My prayer to you today is that Spirit of the Most High will minister to you and show you a new way of thinking. This isn't about being a robot under control of some mad-scientist who wants to dominate your life.
This is about following someone who loves you SO much that they know the best for you. This is about giving up that little present you are clinging on so tightly to, so that Abba can relax your hands, and gently place a HUGE whopping gift in your hand - that is easy to carry and fill of unimaginable things that deep down you've always truly desired.
My prayer is that isn't of trying to strive for approval, striving to be great and "make something out of yourself" - realize that when you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior you are grafted into the Kingdom. Choosing to walk in the Kingdom means you are a SON or DAUGHTER of the Most High.
Guys, this means that Bill Gates is your dad! Is there nothing Bill Gates can't afford to buy you?!! This means that you are more Royal than the Royal Family sitting in London. That you dine at the table with Prince Harry and William, and are taken care of for life.
This is the gift that Jesus gave us upon his death - a relationship with our Father, the King. So we are a royal priesthood, in relationship with our Father. That we don't have to strive for anything anymore, that He will take care of it all.
But what does it cost, you ask? Well, the gift is FREE. Jesus died and this gift of grace and sonship is free to all who ACCEPT.
All it costs is your total surrender to saying YES to your Abba Father, King. And saying: "I choose YOUR LIFE instead of my own."