My Lifestyle Was Out of Whack Until I Learned This.
I am dying… But before you freak out and make plans to come to my funeral, let me explain. I am not dying physically or literally but metaphorically. My hectic lifestyle and the person I was is dying.
My lifestyle and Tiffany as you know her is dying.
I have been quiet and have retreated for the past several weeks to do some deep reflecting on my inner life and my lifestyle, surrendering to Jesus, and to live my in person life a bit (sometimes you just gotta shut off the devices). I wanted to share with you the lessons I have learned and the process Jesus has taken me on during this latest hiatus.
My health has been an up and down struggle for many years but after returning from performing at SXSW this last March, my body needed an extended break. My mind needed an extended break. My hectic lifestyle needed a pause. And my Spirit needed a recharge. Hence, why I have been missing for a while.
During this break I learned so much about how God wants us to live our lives and how to personally live mine. It’s amazing how us human beings learn huge lessons and grow in massive ways only to forget it so quickly. I feel like that has been my tendency, especially when it comes to my work lifestyle and pursuing my dreams. I have had to practically hold myself down and not do anything for the last several months except heal, rest and seek Jesus. Resting does not come easy for me. Breaks are foreign. And I don’t like being a couch potato. It just goes against who I am. But sometimes (most times) God has a different plan for us than we have for ourselves.
I realized that resting and taking a break, for me, was the most extravagant form of surrender to Jesus that I could ever show. And it was where God has the opportunity to speak to me and guide me.
Because I like to run my own life. I like to control things. I like to make plans. I like to achieve goals. So, unknown and surrender with someone else steering the ship is not comfortable for me. And I am learning more and more that so many people have the same problem. Which is why I feel it is important to share this message today.
As a Christian, you will hear all over the place how we have to die to ourselves, or how we have to die to live. I have heard that for years and it was always a nice sentiment. But if I was being honest, I did not understand what it meant in a current, practical, applicable way. What does that truly mean?
Well, I learned in a huge way what that means over the past several years and in huge huge ways over these last several weeks.
Can I be honest with you?
I’ve spent a huge chunk of my life miserable, stressed and not able to enjoy life. There have been many times where I don’t even know how to enjoy myself and my busy lifestyle is enough to leave me pulling my hair out. I am always pursuing the things I “think” I want or need, or trying to do something that will validate my worth or bring me the happiness we all desperately desire. And over the last several months I have found the problem, the reason for the lack of fulfillment in my life, the reason for the misery and stress.
I was running my own life.
We are so conditioned to think that running our own lives is a sign of empowerment or power or something to be bragged about. But the reality? We are not smart enough or powerful enough to run our own lives. Certainly not an abundant life. That’s what Jesus came to give us. I always wondered if He came to give us an abundant life, why was I so miserable? Why was nothing working right? Why did everything I thought I loved to do become something I hated?
I learned a HUGE lesson in surrender recently. I stopped praying for my own dreams to come true and God to get behind me and bless my own plan and agenda. I stopped having to have a certain outcome to be happy. I stopped working myself into the ground. And most importantly….
I let go.
I let go of my standards and rules I place on myself. I let go of my ideas that everything had to go exactly how I thought it would, to be happy. I let go of my own agenda. I realized that the life that Jesus came to give us is always and forever a better option than what we can come up with. Once I began to walk in obedience to His Word and how He tells us to live our lives, my life began to change from the inside out. I began to prioritize what He says is important. I began praying that He would take the reigns and lead me where HE wants me to go. My scripture for this season has been Isaiah 48:17:
“I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go.”
He is the only one that knows what’s truly best for us. And the only one that can lead us to victory and an abundant life. But we have to get out of the way and stop fighting.
I am in a season of dying to myself.
By resting and surrendering. By letting go of the reigns. I am shedding my superficial skin and allowing the Holy Spirit to work in me and bring out the REAL me. The me He created me to be. Not the me that I thought I was all these years.
I am not defined by my accomplishments or my goals or my work or even my own opinions.
Jesus has the reigns in my life. And that is the only way my life has gotten back into balance. By complete and total surrender and letting go. He has restored hurts, He has changed my perspectives. He has broken off the pieces of me that needed to be gone. He has turned my heart to people, to ministry, to worship and to peace. Since truly allowing Him to come in and do the work only He can do, I have seen miracle after miracle in my life and the people around me. He is so good.
My eyes are off of myself and my own goals and on to what HE wants for me. Because that is the only place any of us will find perfect peace and fulfillment in what He has called us to do and who He has called us to be.
And guess what? I am finally enjoying my life! 😉
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