I have not arrived. I am on a journey, as we all are, through this life. I am not completely the person I want to be yet but neither am I the person I used to be. I have grown. I have changed. But the struggle is real. Even in personal growth, maybe especially in personal growth, it is sometimes very challenging to push through to a new level. And yet, that is my desire — to level up in all areas of my life.
When I started this No Longer a Bystander journey about 2 ½ years ago, I didn’t know myself very well. I mean, I knew my weaknesses, my inadequacies and my failures but I didn’t know how strong I am or how determined I can be when I set my mind on something. I had been living on the sidelines for so long, I forgot who I was or who I could be.
That has all changed for the better but it is not finished. I am not a finished product of all my learning and changing. In actuality, I don’t think we should ever think we are finished because there is always room to grow, new levels to achieve and new truth to discover.
Changing your life is a process. Just as it took years to create the bystander version of me, it takes time to recreate myself to the No Longer a Bystander version. I was hoping that if I made the decision to no longer be a bystander, then it would just magically happen. That somehow my desire to be different would overcome the obstacles and “poof” I would be a new version of myself.
The truth is, life is a journey and change is a process, lived out over time and experience. Old patterns, habits and ways of thinking have to be discovered, dealt with and replaced with new habits and new ways of thinking. This is what I am in the middle of and it is not always easy. As I said, I think I’ve made some pretty huge strides but I still struggle with old thoughts.
One of the things I’ve learned about myself is that my natural bend is to find comfort, to take the easy way, the path of least resistance. But I’ve also learned that the path of least resistance is the path of least reward. I’m changing that mindset to push myself to new challenges and I’m discovering that I like the rewards. I enjoy the feeling of being proud of myself for getting up at 5:15 am to go to the gym five days a week with my husband. I enjoy the feeling of accomplishment when I push myself past the point of comfort in my workouts. I like the reward of knowing I put in a full day’s work and can check items off my calendar. I enjoy the freedom of having a schedule and planning out our meals. I like knowing I am feeding my family healthy foods and not just eating mindlessly. I love being in control of my own health and being proactive and mindful in my nutrition.
Life is about growing and changing. If we’re not growing and changing, are we really living? I want to live life more fully as God intended. In John 10:10 Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” I’m tired of allowing my potential to be stolen, my dreams to be killed and my future to be destroyed. I am going to live an abundant life and embrace all that God has in store for me!