“You gotta shift your perspective.”
How often have we heard that phrase? Maybe you heard it in a sermon from your favorite preacher, read it in a book, or even were given this advice from a friend. As cliche as it may sound, it’s true. A few weeks ago, I was in a really bad funk. My depression was creeping back up on me, meanwhile my anxiety was running rampant like a wildfire. My catchphrase for the time was probably, “I’m over it.” And I really was. I was so over feeling less than. I was over feeling powerless over my future. I was over feeling helpless over my circumstances. I was over being broke and feeling broken. I was tired of crying and even more tired of being too tired to cry. I was frustrated and tired of asking friends for prayer because I didn’t feel strong enough to pray for myself. I was exhausted from mustering up the little bit of strength that I could find to fervently pray for a breakthrough I low key didn’t believe was coming any longer. I was weak. But that’s the thing with weakness: it pushes you to be honest with yourself on a level deep enough to access your strength. I suddenly remembered one of my favorite scriptures that says:
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. -2 Corinthians 12: 8-10
So, with tears in my eyes, I prayed again, this time knowing He wasn’t going to just take the “thorn” away. I prayed again, this time, admitting my weakness. This time, admitting that I truly needed help and needed a human vessel for Him to speak through so that I could receive the message (because clearly I wasn’t getting it on my own). A few minutes later, I hopped on a call with one of my sister-friends I had asked to pray for me. And funny enough, one of the very first things she said to me was: “You gotta change your perspective.” She reminded me, very bluntly (and lovingly) that I have to do the work and shift my mindset. She reminded me that nothing in my life would change until my mindset changed and until I actually, fully and wholeheartedly believed that breakthrough was going to happen.
I knew immediately that she was 1000% right. Speaking with her, I realized that for such a long time, I had adopted a defeatist attitude. I unintentionally spoke negative things (i.e. Being broke, unemployed, lost, lonely, a mess etc.) over my life and consequently gave that negativity a home. But it was time to put that mentality to rest. I was once again reminded by my friend that fear and faith could not coexist; I’d have to choose. As she shared more pieces of her testimony with me and poured buckets of life into me, I became filled with a feeling of peace and an overwhelming knowing that it was all going to be okay. It became very clear to me that I can be uncertain of my future, but assured of His favor. Never, in all of these 24 years of my life has God left me hanging. Sure, there have been plenty of times that things didn’t go according to (my) plan, but I am still here. And that is all that truly matters, because that in itself is evidence of His grace and my resilience. He will never give us more than we can bear. So why fear? After all:
Brushed off the dust from the pile of bones
Breathed the breath of life into me
“My daughter, I have made you whole”
So march on
With an upwards drawn crown
Feet firmly planted on the ground
[After all, He only builds on a firm foundation].
And if I fall,
It will be into His Almighty hands.
-An excerpt from Awakenings, by Whitney McNulty
I dare you to have faith.
I dare you to start again.
I dare you to let go and fly.
I dare you to dream bigger.
I dare you to try.
I dare you to take the limits off of yourself.
I dare you, to receive the favor and set fear aside.
I dare you to choose freedom.
I dare you to shift your perspective.
I dare you to