Do you dwell on all the obstacles you think are in your path, and if so, do they give you the feeling that you are fenced in and can’t get out?
In this season of singleness in my life, I have had many things to rejoice over. The opportunity to pursue an education in a field I am passionate about. Traveling the world. Having deep friendships. I enjoy the freedom to watch a movie when I want to, get deeply involved in a good book all day if I so choose, go spend my money on deals at the mall without having to answer to anyone. This season also presents many obstacles. Sometimes, the array of choices can be overwhelming. I worry about messing up. I am also prone to worry and loneliness. I secretly sometimes wonder if I will ever settle down and get married and have a family of my own. And to be honest, the thought of being single forever scares me.
This is where I have to stop and remind myself that there are a lot of unknowns not only in the life of a single woman, but in the life of every woman. Instead of fretting over what I cannot control, why not take a proactive stance on what I can control? Isn’t this what God wants for me?
First of all, God loves me with an everlasting love, and he has not forgotten about me. My self-esteem must flow from what he says is true about me, not whether my needs are being met in any human relationship. Second, I cannot mess up his plan for me. The latter part of Psalm 139:16 says, “All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” What an amazing truth by which I can set my mind at ease!
I am single, and I desire a relationship, but I refuse to settle for less than what I truly desire. Can I control the fact that what I want to happen right now isn’t happening? Not really, but I can sure make a mess of myself worrying about what the future holds. A better choice would be to focus on what I can control. I can control my attitude. I can work on myself during this season of life in a way that no other season can match, because I am not hindered by pleasing someone else. I can fulfill my dreams of traveling, learning foreign languages, and working with kids.
Proverbs 31:25 says, “She is clothed in strength and dignity, she can laugh at the days to come.” No matter what the future holds, I pray that by the power of Christ in me, I will learn to control the things I can, and what I cannot control, will be left in his hands.
My name is Jordan Starling and I live in Jefferson City, TN. I am studying to be a teacher and I plan to graduate in December 2013. I enjoy cooking, backpacking, reading, writing, and going on mission trips. I recently returned from a mission trip to Africa, where I had the opportunity to do church planting in remote villages.
This is a business practice that I refer to as "Putting the Hurdles Out First". When working through a business transaction, rather than wait for obstacles to be brought up in the eleventh hour, draft a list of reasons early on as to why it might not work, what could go wrong or what reservations you or the other party might have:
- Consider the potential deal breakers
- Develop a list
- Dismantle the hurdles by talking through them with the other party
- Start the race to your desired outcome
Think through and confront challenges earlier than later.
If you are in a leadership role, you will need to learn to have conversations around things that may cause you or others discomfort. Not only will it be necessary to have such conversations, learn to initiate them.
Whether you sell a product or service, are leasing a space to start your own business, or are negotiating for your next job, practice clearing the track. It is better that you see hurdles early and disassemble them, than to have them show up later and trip you up on your road to success.
When my running partner forwarded me a link about the Austin Jailbreak 5K I knew I couldn't turn it down! The Austin Jailbreak is a 3.8 mile run with a total of 17 obstacles including (but not limited to) a gauntlet, water crossing, rock climb, police blockade (aka jumping over cars), a muddy crawl, and something called the "powdered donut" (which I was a little concerned about).
So...this past Saturday when my alarm clock went off in the 5 o'clock hour instead of a groan I excitedly pulling on my carefully laid out running gear like a student on the first day of class. Not quite knowing what to expect but looking forward to something new! After a ton of water, cup o' joe, and a banana, we anxiously waited for the gun to go off.
The run was one of the hardest I'd ever done - not because of the distance or the weather but because trail running is no joke! It takes a lot more energy and concentration - mentally, physically - to navigate over rocks and sticks on a totally new path than to navigate a well known sidewalk. We climbed bales of hay, jumped cars, ran over sand, water and mud, and army crawled through drainage pipes filled with gravel that cuts our knees...but we did it!!! It was great having people cheer us on and volunteers yelling, "you're at the front of the pack, keep it up!".
Isn't that just like life? It's easy to get comfortable in our routines, the same well-worn paths. And there is nothing wrong with consistency...as long as we're willing to try something new from time to time and stretch ourselves. We may get a little beat up along the way but the struggles will be well worth the growth and in the end we can say...we did it!!!