LEAP towards your DREAMS
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."
~ Joshua 1:9
DREAM- a cherished aspiration, ambition, or ideal.
LEAP- jump or spring a long way, to a great height, or with great force.
Ever felt like your dreams and goals are way beyond your reach? Do you feel like settling for good enough and playing it safe? I want to challenge you to begin to see yourself going higher than ever. I want to challenge you DARE to DREAM again. I am going to tell you a story that I am hoping will encourage you to rise up and LEAP into your DESTINY:
A little girl closes her eyes and begins to think about her future. She could see nothing but greatness. She knew she was destined to do many things that would impact her world. She saw herself being a leader, a go-getter and a success story. When she envisioned what her life would be like when she got older, she was filled with so much excitement. She was motivated and was determined to get to her dream destination. Nothing was going to stop her. She was brave and fearless. Her future was so bright, she could almost taste it. But then, she opened her eyes many years later and she stopped dreaming. That girl was me. I stopped dreaming. I stopped believing.
As early as 5 years old, I knew what I wanted to be. Growing up, I was an over-achiever. I always aspired to do more than what was required and "good enough" was never good enough for me. I believed in being excellent in everything I did. I was in almost every organization while in high school and I was enrolled in every Advanced Placement class that was possible. Through the grace of God, I had no problem admitting that I was a nerd. As a matter of fact, I loved it. Being a bookworm did not limit me from being social either. I was still able to balance it all out and enjoy life. I graduated from high school with honors and attended Baylor University on a partial scholarship. I remember the day my mom dropped me off at my dorm like it was yesterday. I was so ambitious and ready to take on the world. I was so certain that I was going to excel in all my endeavors.
Then things went all the way....left! I got distracted by so many things (a relationship I had no business being in, trying to keep up with friends, working 3 jobs, among other things). Around this time, was also when I had my first encounter with the Lord which shifted the dynamics of my relationship with my family. LIFE was beginning to reveal itself to me in a way I was not prepared for. Slowly but surely, I began to compromise on my dreams. I began to doubt myself and though it did not show on the outside, I knew there was a battle going on within me. Fast forward to August 2009, I graduated from the University of North Texas and I was not able to secure a job. Things got so bad that at some point, I was willing to work at a fast food restaurant if necessary. For 3 years, I did not have a steady job but God kept me. I eventually secured a great job that came with a great salary. However, I knew within me that it was only meant to be for a season because I knew that I wasn't passionate about it. BUT FEAR....kept me from moving ahead when it was time to. (more on the story of how God dealt with me on that in the near future....lol)
I became complacent. Why? You may ask. Life has a way to taking us through so many twists and turns that sometimes makes us want to give in and just accept what it brings our way. It can sometimes kill the passion we once had and thereby inhibit us from aiming higher and aspiring for a better future. It can make us settle for less. For many years, I found myself settling and allowing fear to hold me back. On the few occasions that I would get inspired to dream again, I would think of my circumstances and just accept things as they were. Fortunately, God was not going to let what He had invested in me go waste. He began to place people in my life that began to speak life into me. These people saw things in me that I had forgotten were even there. I am writing this because some of you may not have people to encourage you like I did. Know that though I may never meet you, I am rooting for you and I KNOW that you are destined for greatness. LEAP! REACH FOR IT!
A couple of months ago, I stumbled upon a video on my Facebook news feed. That video truly blessed me. The video was on Steve Harvey's page and he was encouraging everyone to JUMP! He encouraged the viewer to take a chance and follow their dreams even when they appear unachievable. To be honest, there was nothing unusual about what he said but it was the PASSION behind what he said that moved me. I could tell that he sincerely believed what he was saying. THAT, woke something up inside of me. I realized that I had to get up and start chasing my dreams again. For so long, I had put away everything I wanted to do due to the challenges that came along with it. I kept telling myself that God will fulfill his promises to me but I was complacent in where I was. I almost forgot that God required for me to begin to believe and do my part. The Bible says that without faith, I can not please Him (Hebrews 11:6). This video was one of the things God used to encourage me to dream again. I began to see a brighter future. I began to see that there are greater things ahead. I became empowered to study more about walking in faith and applying it to my life and eventually, I decided to LEAP. One of the benefits of me doing so is this website. For many years, God gave me the vision but I held back. Looking back now, I am so thankful that I decided to move in faith. Though I barely launched the site less than 3 months ago, I am already seeing the Hand of God manifesting in the lives of people and mine as well. Friends, I tell you: There is POWER in OBEDIENCE. When we allow life to paint the vision of what our future would be, we are disregarding God's commandment to trust and try Him. I challenge you to not allow life to stop you from making fulfilling your mandate here on earth. The moment you decide to stop dreaming, you stop believing. The moment you stop believing, you stop moving. You, my friend were created to be a moving train. Do not allow anything to stop you.
There are 4 things that I have learnt in the process of LEAPING:
1. Do not be afraid to invest in your self.
Your dreams are not accidental. They were given to you by your Creator as part of His divine plan. Everything that is required for you to achieve those God-given dreams have been planted within you. All you have to do is water it with hard work and faith to reap the harvest. Will there be challenges along the way? Maybe. Will there be days where it will seem like you bit more than you chew? Probably. But will it be worth it when you get to the finish line? Absolutely. If your dreams are not bigger than you, then you are not dreaming yet.
2. I challenge you to take no shortcuts.
Aspire to keep your character in right standing with God while chasing those dreams. You will have moments where you will be tempted to compromise. I urge to trust God and not give in. If God gave you the desire to chase those dreams, He will ultimately make every crooked path straight for you. It may take longer than you anticipated but it will come with no extra baggage that may give you sleepless nights.
3. Run your race, remain focused and never get complacent.
One of the main things that God had to teach me through the years was to be comfortable in my own skin and to stay in my lane. If we are going to be honest, everyone of us has compared ourselves with someone else at some point in our lives.
I had to learn that while it is perfectly okay to admire and be inspired by another person, it can be detrimental to your destiny when you begin to envy others. Remember, God gave you that dream for a reason. It is yours and no one else's. Do not get distracted by what others are doing and covet what belongs to someone else. Also remember that growth is constant. Even when you achieve your goals, never stop being open to learn new things. It is God's desire for you to continually evolve and not remain stagnant.
4. Pay it forward
As you go through your journey of fulfilling destiny, do not forget that everything that you are doing is for God's glory. That includes being a blessing to others and being open to helping others reach their destiny.
I hope that you hold your dreams dear to your heart. I pray that by me sharing my fears and decision to rise above it will inspire you to do the same. We are champions!!!! Let's begin to live like it. :-)
I also want to take the opportunity to share something with you guys. To the glory of God, I have decided to take another leap of faith and launch my company. More details will be shared very soon. Please keep me lifted in your prayers as I do the same for you.
Remember that all things are possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23). Love you all.