Tuesday, November 24, 2020
Home Authors Posts by Donna Burke

Donna Burke

In the grand scheme, you matter!

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Is there anybody out there?

A sceptical and anti-theist Scientist by the name of Laurence Krauss once said to a large audience in America,

“You are all alone, insignificant and the Universe doesn’t care about you.”

If you already felt unimportant but had questions about life and your place on this earth, then hearing this will not have been good news! However, this statement was never meant to bring comfort any more than a sense of hope, but only to announce that if there is no God who created you or the universe there is no hope and after this life, there is nothing else. But, what about the hope that 2 billion people on this planet hold onto through the Good News of Jesus Christ?

The Universe may be a vast and hostile place, but could God have really forgotten about us and left it to mere men to have the last word? After all, no one knows all the information in the universe.  So, how realistic are scientific claims that announce – as fact – that there is “nothing out there,” – certainly not a God that cares for you?

More than an accidental mix of atoms

Some scientists still believe today that our ancestors were once just a mixture of lifeless chemicals that dwelt in a small warm pond a billion years ago and only came to life after a bolt of lightning struck the water. If we were once mere chemicals, then why do we feel things. Could the fact that we have emotions be the DNA of a creator God who made us? It’s clear that science falls short of some real answers to life.

We are more than random molecules – we think and we feel emotions such as love and compassion. When God created mankind, He made us in His own image. He put things within us that was of His character.  This includes the ability to know right from wrong. If there is no God and we are mere molecules, here by chance, then why do these things still matter?

All according to plan

A scientific fact is measured as true because of our ability to witness something and to test it repeatedly. But who witnessed the dawning of time or the big bang? No scientist was there! So how can scientists claim that the universe exploded out of nothing?  Is it reasonable to accept that we randomly developed from one cell in a small warm pond? How are these things any more believable than God’s existence and his plan for humanity? Fast forward to 2000 years ago and we do have witnesses that wrote about the life of Jesus Christ, his death and resurrection. At one point it’s recorded that 500 people saw his resurrected body that had been raised out of a sealed tomb.

The Bible tells us:

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    before you were born I set you apart;
    I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” – Jeremiah 1:5

He made you in his own likeness and put eternity in your heart so that you could be connected to him for all eternity. Do you think that having done all of this he would be able to withdraw himself from you – his own child?  Just as a parent loves their child unconditionally God wants to have a meaningful relationship with you too.

You’re one in 7 Billion

The Universe may be a gigantic place, but much of it is vacuous and scientists have not measured it all out. Despite their bad reports that there is: nothing out there, the best-selling book in the history of the world (the Bible) tells a different story that is really good news. God says that you are neither alone or insignificant. No one has the same DNA as you. God has a plan for your life and through Jesus, you can dwell in safety; confident that He accepts you as you are.

You see, in the grand scheme of things – you matter. It was our own sin that separated us from God, but the one single act of Jesus’s going to the cross, paid the price so that we could be reunited with God for all eternity.

If you would like to know how you can connect with Jesus, please click on the link. We would love to help you discover more.

Reinventing You

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Make a change

Have you ever wished you could start again? At a click of a button, go back to the beginning and have a second chance – be a different you to the one that you currently are?

The question is how do you do that?

Step by step

The process of changing some things in life is fairly obvious.  Do you want to lose weight? Simple – Watch what you eat. Do you want to get fit? Easy – Start doing exercise.  Maybe you want a better job? You need to acquire the skills and work on your CV.  But how to make changes in other areas can be less apparent.

Most of us have at some stage wished we could be different.  Maybe you want to be more confident or you would like to be more self-controlled?  How about being wiser, having a more engaging personality or just being happier.  Is it really possible to change and be a new you? Or do we need to accept who and what we are and make the best of it?

“…anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” – 2 Corinthians 5:17

Somethings are hard to change.  You can’t wish yourself shorter or permanently change your eye colour.  Even letting go of a bad temper or breaking certain habits can be tricky, but the Bible tells us exactly how we can have a fresh start if we want one.

A helping hand

One of the reasons Jesus, God’s only Son, was born and died was so that you could draw a line under your previous life and get a brand-new beginning. When you accept the gift of a new beginning with Jesus, your past mistakes and bad choices are no longer held against you and God sees you as a new person, without any faults or issues.  He takes away the things that keep us separated from God and held in a life which is less than He intended for us to live and give us a life of abundance and purpose.

If you would like to know how you can become a new you by getting to know Jesus for yourself, please click on the link, we’d love to help you discover more.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

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It’s not all roses

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it – Charles R. Swindoll

If you’ve lived long enough (sometimes it doesn’t take very long at all) something will happen in your life that is unexpected, unwanted, unavoidable or all three rolled into one.  I’d love to be able to say that life is a beautiful experience and each day will be a joy and a wonder but in truth, life is sometimes hard, unfair and tragic.

Whether the hardship you face is due to circumstances beyond your control or a mess of your own creation, difficult times can easily become part of your identity; part of who you are as a person.  The question of whether this is a good or a bad thing, however, lies in your hands.

Living with the scars

A child who loses a parent at a young age will be forever shaped by the experience of living without that person in their life.  Similarly, someone who faces a life-threatening disease or who has to overcome some kind of disability will undoubtedly be influenced by the circumstances in their life. However, the influence doesn’t need to be negative.  It is possible to use hard times as motivation to do more, become stronger and rise above.

We are confident that God is able to orchestrate everything to work toward something good and beautiful when we love Him and accept His invitation to live according to His plan. – Romans 8:28

God has promised that when we choose to let Him into our lives and accept the price that Jesus paid for us to be able to know God personally, He can take our difficulties and struggles and use that to make something beautiful.  We don’t need to carry the scars or burdens of past tragedy in a way that labels us as a victim, or somehow damaged.  We can give the marks left to God and He restores us and strengthens us.

If you would like to know more about how Jesus can make all the difference in your life, please click on the link.

It’s time to overcome your identity crisis

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Have you noticed one of the most common questions raised by people meeting for the first time is, ‘So, what do you do?’

It’s a strange question really, what does it even mean? I eat, breathe, walk, talk and sleep. I do a whole range of different things every day. Yet when we are asked that question we instinctively understand the enquiry: ‘How do you make a living? What line of work are you in?’

Why do we do this? Without even thinking, we seek to immediately classify each other.

We first look at what the other is wearing and the way they are groomed to help us determine if they are rich, poor or somewhere in between. We check their sense of style and see if there is a wedding band or engagement ring present. We listen to the way they speak to detect an accent, giving us an idea of their cultural background. We look at the fine lines on their face and hands to estimate their age. And then we ask the ultimate question – what do you do?

A doctor, mechanic, artist, teacher, domestic worker, student, mother, or entrepreneur perhaps? This final piece in the puzzle allows us to create a well-rounded picture of the person who stands before us, right? It instantly helps us decide if we are staying for a coffee to chat through our common interests, or if we are excusing ourselves because we already know we are far too different to ever be friends.

What happens when the answers to these questions are no longer obvious? What happens when the person, position, promise or promotion that made you, you, is gone? Who are you now?

Ahhh, Identity Crisis!

Every day countless people wake up, look in the mirror, and see a stranger staring back at them. Someone who isn’t the genuine version of who they were created to be, but a fake copy made up of everyone else’s expectations of how they should behave, think, and strive. While every day,  more people wake up filled with a deep sense of disappointment, failure or loss, born out of unmet hopes and dreams.

Redefining You

In one way or another, we are all in crisis. We fill our days searching for things on which we can hang our identity, only to have them endlessly stripped away, leaving us bare, vulnerable and in desperate need of a break from it all.

Let’s choose to stop. Acknowledge that we are confused about who we really are, where our life is actually going. We are confused about what we are ‘supposed to be’ doing. Let’s find something stable by which we can be defined authentically.

Psalm 139 says this:

Lord, you know everything about me. You know when I sit down or stand up. You know my thoughts even when I’m far away. You see me when I travel and when I rest at home. You know everything I do. You know what I am going to say, even before I say it. You go before me and follow me. You place your hand of blessing on my head. You knit me together in my mother’s womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!

Despite what we have been led to believe, we aren’t designed to strive, compete or juggle our way through life. We are designed for a specific purpose, by a master craftsman who came up with an ideal plan for you and me. It’s wonderfully unique, tailored to our specific skills and talents, written with wisdom and care, and let’s face it – far too complex for us to navigate well on our own… that’s why we are in crisis! Luckily, He has promised to guide us through each and every page.

This is our identity. We are deeply loved and purposed, full of potential and worth, regardless of who we are or what we do. What an unshakable sense of security and peace this offers in a fast-paced competitive world.

Allow this to take the pressure off and refuse to be disappointed or disheartened by missed opportunities and misunderstandings.

God is in control of all the puzzle pieces which make up our lives. If something is out of place, He’ll fix it. If a piece is missing, He’ll find it. If we need to start over, He’ll clear the way – all that we need to do is surrender. Put our hands in the air, open our clenched fists, and drop all the labels, ideals and identity tags we have been holding too tightly to. When we do this, we not only make room for Jesus to slip His palm in ours, but we free up our hands to reach for new possibilities as Christ guides us through our story.

So, next time someone asks you, ‘what do you do?’, consider your response carefully. Will you find yourself defined by a set of man-made categories, or will you challenge the norm and say something different?

To learn more about our master craftsman, the one whose image you have been created in, click on the link below and we’d love to share with you.

Let Jesus take the wheel

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Yearning for more

My mom was a strong woman who came from an immigrant family. She grew up being marginalized and ignored because of her race. Because of this, I was raised to be strong, independent and opinionated. We knew our rights, had a voice and knew our dreams.  We were almost raised to be too confident!

There is a vivid memory from my childhood of a sports tryout. When the participants were told if they made the team or not, they received their notice in an envelope.  I opened my envelope to find out I did not make the team and my first assumption was that it was a mistake!

I assumed I was brilliant, as my parents had told me time and time again, and there must be something wrong with these people who did not see the vision I had for my life! It took me a few moments to realize the news was true, and that maybe I could not do EVERY thing I thought I wanted to do.

Confidence and self-assurance was not a problem for me growing up!

Steering my own course

As my life progressed, my dreams began to intertwine with the dreams God had for my life. These attitudes sometimes became hindrances rather than strengths.  It seems that the Kingdom of God works differently than the Kingdom of Man.  In the world I grew up in you had to claw and fight your way to the top and you deserved the best of the best.  Once I began to learn about Jesus Christ, it seemed His message was a little different from that.

“Then (Jesus) told them what they could expect for themselves: “Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self.” – Luke 9:24-25 The Message Translation

In my early years of learning to follow Christ, I often found it difficult to discern which path to take.  How do I know what it means to let Jesus lead my life?  How do I know which way He wants me to go?  And even more, how do I let Jesus lead my life when my entire life I have fought to lead it myself.

As with many things, the way we answer HOW we do this is by starting with WHY we do this.  WHY do we want to lay down our lives and follow the way of Jesus?

My sporting team example taught me time and time again: I often did not know the best path for my life and heart, and furthermore, I often wasn’t enough for what I dreamed for myself.  We see this all over the world; people striving and straining to be something that they were never meant to be.  This is why social media can be so exhausting. The way of God actually tells us not to try but to surrender, not to fight, but to lay down, not to live for myself but to die for Jesus Christ.

Letting Jesus take the wheel

Jesus teaches us that when we lay down our own lives and desires for what He wants for us, we find our truest and best self.  He doesn’t want us to miss out but instead wants the best for us. He needs us to let go of what we had previously held as the right path and the right way.

In my own life, self-sacrifice and putting Jesus in the driver’s seat has not always been easy but it’s always been worth it.  I may not have made the sports team but my life has grown to become more than I could ever hope or imagine.  My life has grown to give God glory and not shine the light on me.  Truly, this life of laying down and letting go has brought the greatest victory I could have ever dreamed of.  Put Jesus in the driver’s seat and get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

We would love to chat more with you about what it means for you to lay down your life for Jesus and gain everything He wants for you.

The value of your identity

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When it comes to my identity, I’m a bit of a melting pot. Africa is a continent rich with diversity – people from all over the world find themselves here with an array of languages, skin tones and cultures. I am no exception to this rule. My father is from Algeria – an Arab country near Morocco, Egypt and Libya in the Mediterranean. My mother was born in Kenya, her family is from Scotland and England, and moved to South Africa when she was six. After this, my parents met in London and had me there in 1994. We moved to Cape Town when I was eight years old.

Who am I?

The move was a complete culture shock for me. I struggled for many years, right up into my adult life, to make sense of where precisely I fit in. I wasn’t ever quite South African enough, and when I went back to England, I found I wasn’t really English enough either. On top of that, I speak such limited Arabic that it’s difficult for me to connect with my Algerian family.

For a long time, I was left with a feeling of insecurity around my identity, an aching hole in my chest that I had no answer for. I had no roots, no one particular culture to define me – and as a result, I rebounded onto the identity that I felt I related with – my English identity. Instead of making me feel as if I had roots, it ostracized me further from those around me.

My parents have little to no English identity, and neither do any of my friends. It became a source of contention in my life. I was never happy where I was, I always wanted to go back to England – I thought to go “home”. Now I recognise it was actually a longing to go back to before I felt out of place and insecure in my own identity. Some children, when they make a drastic move, are able to adapt quite quickly but unfortunately, I was not one of those.

All the pieces make a whole

It has taken many years for me to recognise that neither one of my three cultural claims identify who I am. They are a part of my story, yes, but they do not define me. I think people strive to find security in a community, which isn’t always a bad thing. However, a love for your heritage should never be confused with finding your identity in that heritage.

While we can celebrate our uniqueness, our skin tones and our cultures – we always need to be careful that they do not define who we are. Simply because they are not able to! The truth is that we are complex, beautiful creations that cannot be contained in our entirety by any label whether that be your political standing, nationality or what sports team you support.

We are so much more than this. We are divinely crafted by a Master Creator and He chose to use extra paints with me for a reason – so that I would find my identity in Him, Jesus Christ, and not in anything or any place.

At the core of who I am

First and foremost, I am a child of God. All the other bits and pieces of who I am are wonderful but secondary. There is no need for me to feel insecure, or to look for my identity in a nation, while I can see clearly who I am in the world-creator Himself. Today, particularly in the world of the internet, there are so many labels that can define, and limit, who we are. Feminist, vegan, skin colour, gender an so on.

While none of these is bad or wrong or negative, they are secondary. They do not tell us how valuable we are, how perfectly created we are, or what we are capable of in life. The only ‘label’ that can tell us that, is the label of being one of God’s children – it is a label that supersedes all others. In Him, we find our true identities, an identity that brings peace and not confusion. An identity that doesn’t depend on any worldly attribute, but fully rests in the knowledge that we are wonderfully and purposefully made by God and for God.

If you are struggling to know who you are and where you fit we would love to talk to you.  Please click on the link.

What makes you, you?

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identity
ʌɪˈdɛntɪti/
noun
the fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

Where does our identity come from? Is it something we are born with, part of our DNA and therefore, unchangeable? Or do we create and evolve it over time, like an author coming up with a character in a novel? Anyone who has ever considered the question of who they really are has wrestled with this at some stage.

So, what is it that makes you, you?

Some people base their identity on their culture or skin colour.  For others, their religious or political beliefs are a core part of who they feel they are.  Your job, your relationships, your financial status or material possessions, your likes, dislikes and personal preferences; all of these things combine to form a picture of who you are as a person.  But is that all there is to it? What happens if you strip away all these things? Who are you then?

Back to the drawing board

When you’re not sure where to start, it’s best to start at the beginning and for humankind, the beginning looks like God. Some people argue that we began as a happy mistake. They believe that we’re just a collision of atoms that evolved and mutated to become human, with no thought behind the process.  That’s all good and well but it doesn’t give you much to go on in terms of your identity.

The real you

There is, however, an alternative view and that is that the human race was created, intentionally and thoughtfully by God and made in the image of our Creator.  This doesn’t mean that we look like God or are the same as Him, but it does mean that who and what we are is in found in who and what He is.  While other aspects of our identity may, and most likely will shift over time, the fact that we are children of God, made in His image and loved by our Creator will never change.  Whether or not you choose to embrace your true identity is up to you, but the only way you can be who you were fully made to be is by knowing God – and to do that you need Jesus.

When humankind (in the form of Adam and Eve) chose to be something other than God intended for them to be, our relationship with God was broken. We were no longer able to connect with Him as we were made to. The distance between God and His creation was too great for any person to bridge. So in order to restore the world back to His original design, God sent Jesus, His Son, to give us back our true identity and shows us who we really are.

If you would like to know more about who you were made to be and how you can know what you were created for, please click on the link.  We would love to chat with you about who you really are.

Redemption was the remedy to my addiction

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Restless living

When I was seven years old, my parents took me to see a child psychologist. My behaviour at the time could be described as a little odd. They found nothing wrong and blamed my parents for my behaviour. Throughout my teenage years, I was a wild child dabbling in drugs, sex and alcohol. I never felt satisfied or loved and a constant sense of restlessness ran through everything I did.

I became a teenage mom at 18 and had two children by the age of 21. My relationships were disastrous, violent and controlling and by the age of 22, I was on a path of destruction as a crack cocaine addict. Crack cocaine consumed my every thought and action for several years. Anyone who has ever been an addict will know that you do things you never thought you would do. The shame cuts deeper than you could ever imagine, and this is it, you can see no way out.

Light in the darkness

Eventually, I saw a way out and I stopped smoking crack but my life was still restless. Some things had changed, and situations were different, but I still had unsettling feelings and thoughts that would creep in. I felt like I was always teetering on the edge, waiting for something to go wrong for me. It was in this restless, unsettled space that I first heard about Jesus. The message of forgiveness and a fresh start was one that I not only needed to hear but believe, and so I did.

The person who gave me that message turned out to not be all they seemed but that’s okay, because I’ve learnt that people are not God, they are not Jesus either, they come nowhere near. If you get that clear from the start, then you will save yourself from a lot of heartache. People and relationships are important, but they are messy, confusing and hurtful even when the people are Christians. Christian does not translate to perfect!

The journey continues

When I was asked to write my story I started to think about the most important things I wanted to say about God and one of them was that believing in God is not easy. It is hard, heartbreaking and sometimes harrowing but it is healing, cleansing and freeing too.
When your life changes and when you are free from whatever addiction grips you, life does not suddenly become a walk in the park. You must embrace the fact that life is a struggle, you will have a different set of problems that will feel just as hard as the last set, albeit different. Jesus Himself said it would not be an easy ride if you are walking in the footsteps of a man who was brutally crucified for His love of the world – why would anyone ever think it would be? I hope this does not seem pessimistic – because when we believe and live like we are worthy, forgiven and loved, then we have the strength to face those problems and not buckle as we did before.

Keep moving forward

If you are seeking, searching and wondering, then be yourself on that journey; you don’t have to change who you truly are. When we live in light and truth we change at a pace that is unique to us. You have wounds and pain that need healing, we all do. It’s not an easy process but you need to forgive, and to be forgiven. In a world of instant everything, we need to be patient. Wholeness is a process and what you need from God as a parent is unique to you. I have children, each one is different and needs something different from me. God knows what you need from Him, try to just rest in that from time to time and don’t strive for the next thing or pressure yourself too much.

When I got baptised everyone tried to tell me what I should do with my life, and I allowed those voices to crowd out my dreams. I felt guilty for having a dream of my own and I couldn’t even hear my own heart over the noise of all the voices. Listen to your heart.
Your dreams are your dreams for a reason and just because bad stuff has happened, does not mean that God changed his mind about His plan and purpose for your life. You chose the wrong path, He didn’t. His intention has always been what was right for you and the restoration you will receive will reflect that.

Take the first step

How do you start? Start with you – God made you and equipped you with everything you need to succeed. Don’t try to be another person, that was the worst thing I did, I stopped being me and tried to be like the people I saw in church. I am unique, special and bring so much to the table as myself. My life and experiences have shaped me and I’m often a mess, sometimes the shame gets me again, sometimes I feel unforgiveness creep in. I get angry, I make bad choices that do not reflect who I truly am but I have come so far and I am going forward. I’m seeking, searching, wondering. Life throws stuff at me, I mess up, I fall, I get up and light overcomes the darkness in my life every single day.

My story is my story and yours may read differently but regardless of your journey, the one truth that is consistent is that Jesus can meet you where you are. Whatever your struggles are, the answer to the questions you are asking is a relationship with Jesus.  If you would like to know more, please click on the link.  We would love to introduce you to Him.

 

How the Bible helped me beat travel terror

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Growing up, a lot of my time was spent on aeroplanes. My extended family lived far away so we’d travel regularly to see them. Somewhere along the way, I went from a happy and carefree jet-setter to an overwhelmingly fear-struck prisoner! I began calling the aeroplane a ‘metal tube of death’ and had extreme anxiety take over my body and mind while we were flying. Regardless of how many times I had travelled before, I was now flooded with dread each time. I’d make ferocious eye contact with every flight attendant so I could study their every move and emotion. I would take out my Bible and read Psalm 91 over and over and OVER again as we flew.

“If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
12 they will lift you up in their hands,” – Psalm 91:9-12

More than a quick fix

In my fear-filled space, this passage of scripture wasn’t a pleasant reflection from the heart of God. It became a desperate demand for God to bring angels to surround my plane and make it the most perfectly smooth, and trouble-free flight of my life.  Each time I landed safely, but once I was on the ground, I stopped trusting God’s promises and lost the sense of being filled with His peace.

One day I had a realization that I could not continue like this.  I needed to travel regularly, but I was also in need of the words I was saying to become the truth in my heart. I was living in a constant state of worry and anxiety and that needed to change.

Years later, I can honestly say God has changed my heart and that I’m able to fly for hours while enjoying travelling. This came from realising that God was right there with me, in the midst of my fear.

One step at a time

It was a journey but here are some of the things I did to find peace:

  1. I began reading God’s word and making it a part of my heart, not just an occasional read. The Bible had to become more than words and something I really believed.  I started to memorize scriptures that spoke about peace and began to recite them again and again, outside of my being fearful.  They slowly became true to my heart.
  2. I prayed for God to change my emotional state and for His peace to cover my fear. I began to truly believe that He could change the terror I felt. Praying for a change of heart then believing that God would do it, allowed this transition to occur.
  3. I spoke about what God had done in my heart, again and again, knowing that my heart change would be made all the more real as I said it aloud. I began to speak positively about travelling and even would list all the things I loved about flying.  Slowly these words became heart truths.

Today I am a changed person on an aeroplane.  I look forward to travelling and relish in the ‘metal tube of fun’ as I now call it.  I thank God for changing my anxiety and allow me to find peace in the centre of the thing that scared me.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” – Psalm 91:1

A helping hand

Is there something in your life that’s causing you to worry? The Bible tells us that the only way to God is through His Son Jesus. When we understand that we are separated from God by the wrong things in our lives, we are able to enjoy the kind of relationship that He intended when He made us.

If you would like to learn more about this Jesus who can transform your fear into faith, please click on the link below and we would love to chat with you.

Making peace with yourself

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Accepting or settling?

When I started thinking about writing this blog post, it made me wince.  Ambition is something I have struggled with since a young age – I’ve always wanted more from life, and from myself.  I’ve come a long way but it’s still something that I have to work on daily.

I believe that God wants great things for our lives. The Bible puts it this way,

“Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think,” Ephesians 3:20 (New Living Translation).

I truly believe that He wants us to thrive, have beautiful families, great careers and be financially stable.

But what happens when we feel as if the path we are on is not enough? What happens when we aren’t satisfied at work? Or with ourselves? What happens when we find ourselves wanting MORE?

God first, always.

As I mentioned, I do believe God wants great things for us – and He does want us to desire a fruitful and fulfilling life. But above all of that, He wants us to desire HIM first. James 4:14 reads that, “your life is like a morning fog – it’s here a little while and then it’s gone”. All earthly things, like money, fame and success, will one day fade into nothing but God is eternal and everlasting. By putting Him first, which is a daily choice, we are reminded of what is of true value – not things that will fade, but all things eternal – like Jesus, the Church and our own souls. No car or job will ever give us eternal life, or allow us to have peace no matter what trials we are facing.

#TheHappyNow

#TheHappyNow is a hashtag that’s popular on Instagram. It’s one of the few that I really like the message of as it’s about focusing on the joys of the moment. In the world we live in, it’s easy to get caught up in dreaming about the future. While there is nothing wrong with planning for our future, it becomes dangerous when we think of the future more than we focus on the present. It starts to rob us of joy, and we find ourselves becoming discontent with where we are right now. My fiancé and I are getting married early next year and I’m so excited to go to Europe for our honeymoon, but if that’s all I focus on, then I will miss out on the excitement of planning a wedding and all the memories that come along with that.

The Serenity Prayer

We’ve probably all seen it somewhere. That small, framed prayer that you’ve seen on the back of bathroom doors and hanging in the kitchen of your aunt’s house.

“God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr.

It’s a little cheesy, and old-school but nonetheless, it remains true. There are some things in life that we won’t be able to change. I’m short, I have always been short and I will always be short. During my high-school years, I used to look at my friends with their long legs and flat tummies and feel frustrated. Now, I’ve made peace with my height and it’s become one of the things that I love about myself. It might seem like a silly example – but we all have that one thing about ourselves or our lives that we wish we could change. God made you, you for a reason. In learning to love yourself and to be content with the unchangeable, you will start to discover more about His character and more about yourself!

Living your best life

I believe that if you put a relationship with Jesus first, you focus on the present, and you make peace with what you cannot change – you will begin a journey towards contentment and fullness of joy. This will also allow you the clarity to see where God wants you to grow, and the areas that He wants to stretch you in. God’s plan for our lives will truly be so much more satisfying, sweet and blissful than our own plan could ever be.  By embracing Him, we can embrace all the goodness that He has in store for us. We just need to take the leap, to commit our lives into His hands and watch our journey unfold.

If you would like to know how you can move towards a place of fulfilment in life and discover how Jesus can help you do this, we would love to talk to you.  Please click on the link below.

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