I was making pretty good strides in my life. I was 32, I held a great job. I was respected, I had a great community, I traveled every year to Europe, the Middle East, Africa or South America, I lived in a beautiful city. I was in a relationship. I believed I was doing quite well, running a community fitness program and sending aid to Africa. I had a great relationship with my family. I went to church. I read the Bible. I worshiped. I believed in good things. That good things could happen. But inside it was all wired wrong. I didn’t want to face myself and make changes. I had insecurities and fears deep inside of me that had been bundled up into a mess of despair. It was my ball and chain. And at a moment of weakness on a trip to South America, what was not dealt with inside, led me to slip. And my world, came crashing down, and then it got worse.
After the dust had settled, a few painful months later, I had a decision to make: Do I pack it all in and call it quits… or do I rebuild? I chose to rebuild. I’d done some rebuilding in my life before, but they were more renovations than a full tear down and building back up. Similar to a building in a real life, the rebuild always takes more work, investment, time and care. I knew through those dark days I had to take a whole new approach to my rebuild. I took what some might call, drastic measures. Here’s how I transformed my life, exceeding many of my dreams and goals in the short period of 9 months.
- Step Back. Sometimes when it feels like everything has gone wrong, we just need to take a step back. When we see what we’ve got we can realize there is resolve for the situation. All things can be made anew and everything will be okay.
- Vision. Set your vision to new heights. Don’t look down anymore. You were meant to look up! We are all capable of great things. I have held onto this vision for my life. I learned to stand for something, and not for everything. Only then could my vision withstand the test of time.
- Focus. Focus is key, but it’s actually more than just moving towards your vision. It’s focusing on raising others up. Only then can your dreams become a reality.
- Sans Alcohol. Beer is a love, and that had to go. It stood in the way of clarity, composure, speed and my focus in my life. My health improved, I lost weight, I slept better, I could think clearer, I ran a triathlon, I set new and bigger goals. I felt good again. I felt great.
- Meditation. Sitting in a corner and closing your eyes works, but I took a whole new approach. I sang. I would stop doing everything else and just sing and raise my voice in exhalation.
- Energize. I ran, I biked, I trained. Yes, these all helped. Where I found new life though was carefully analyzing what went in and what made me feel alive. It was music (Hillsong namely), it was good people, it was good (and revitalizing) food. I got on to lots of green tea, spirulina, Açaí, chia seeds and some other super foods that changed everything for me.
- Write. Not simply writing to myself, but publishing my thoughts online (better known as a blog) helped me process and create accountability for my beliefs. Blogging is not for everyone, but writing things down really can help.
- Good People. The camp needed to be moved, and some needed to remain. The people in our lives are a reflection of who we are. If we have the wrong people in our lives that aren’t life giving or light, you’ll be slowed down or come to a full stop. As my heart changed so did my desires for what I wanted in my friends.
- Counsel. We are all here to work together, to be together and to learn from each other. Realizing this, I knew I had to go deeper and discover what was mis-wired in me. I sought counsel from my pastor, close friends and professionals. Yes, it was time to deal with those issues and face them head on. It was tough, bringing up past mistakes and failures from years ago, and more recent ones. What I learned though, was through all those hours of counsel, I was able to finally be free.
- Discovery. I needed to get to the heart of who I was and realize some things. What were my strengths, and what were my weaknesses? I knew I was organized, a bit of a perfectionist, strong willed and enjoyed exploring. There were some new things I had to discover. I realized I was an overly friendly person. Too friendly, yes I know this sounds strange, but it more than often put me in precarious situations. I loved excitement. I think that’s why alcohol and to some degree attention from the opposite sex had been a draw for me. I wasn’t addicted, but if I kept it open I could very well have been.
- Face Fears. Fear is an emotion, but it doesn’t need to be a reality.When it comes, the best way to remove it’s grasp is to meditate and pray that it be lifted. I asked God for this very thing over and over again, until eventually the fear was replaced with freedom.
- Perseverance. One of the most underestimated traits of all. We all fail from time to time, and we’ll need to get back up. Whether we try again or turn and run is the story you get to write. Rising to the occasion and pushing through can change everything for you.
- Centered. I needed to center myself. Not on myself. On the one true God. I needed to proclaim His name from the mountaintops. I no longer could be a closet Christian or a Christian of convenience, hiding my beliefs when it wasn’t convenient. My all, my mission in life, had to be for Him. And it is.
I look back 9 months and I have to pinch myself. It feels like I’m living in a dream of a person I could only imagine, but fear told me I could never become. There was a journey through the center of the earth, exposed to the heat of the core, the demons, the fear that lies there, but I came out on top. He has taken me to new heights. Through the flood I anchored myself to Him. It was God’s hand that saved my life, and took me out of despair and loss to a whole new level of His glory.