Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Challenges + Change = My growth

Challenges change us and then grow us.  It may often feel as though we are bending to the point of being broken, and maybe to a certain degree we are.

Perhaps, it's breaking the creeping wall of pride that was built within us and resided longer than anticipated; becoming a part of who we are. It could be breaking through a fear we wouldn't let go of because we were afraid of what failure may look like. 

But challenges also have the opportunity to build us up and grow us out. The challenges we overcome could give us the burst of confidence we needed to get past whatever hurdle we had been facing. Courage then turns to confidence building strength. That courage allows us to alter our perception of our past and future challenges and what we may once thought to be impossible may look completely different. 

For myself,  my challenges have included many uncomfortable changes that ultimately forced me into acceptance of what I could not change.  As I've allowed this part of my growth, I am finding that if I look hard enough I can find something rewarding in it even if it appears to be very small.  

Challenging myself,  means I'm open and willing to grow.  I'm willing to become vulnerable. I'm choosing to admit, I don't know it all. I'm risking to lose something so that I can gain something greater.  Change may not always occur immediately, which in a society that is programmed with a "NOW" mentality is hard to take. It's a process of learning how to be alright with the fact that the results may not even show up on this side of Heaven, but on thing is a FACT for this gal; every challenge I have faced after it passed I changed a little bit more, and I was able to come out of it with a valuable lesson. Knowing I was able to pull something out of a difficult experience has replaced that difficulty with a reward. That reward is Peace in my life.  A peace and fulfillment that is unexplainable. Reflecting on what I was able to overcome is an "Ah ha" moment.

The challenges and changes I've encountered in this last year have been transformational.  I am not the same person I was.  When I look in the mirror I see someone completely different.  My view of my own self has changed ~ Changed for the better. 

When people ask what me what the change was, and I answer them, some may look at me and think, "You gave up what?  You're doing what?  You read what? You've joined what? Your attending what?"  Honestly, a year ago I would have been ashamed, embarrassed and self conscience about what others had to say or how they felt about me, and even today when I'm having a not so great day,  I may have a lapse of these feelings because I am human, but the growth and strength I've found in learning to love myself even with the emotional scars, past behaviors and everything else that has molded me into "me" is who GOD has made me to be.   He created my personality.  He created my physical flaws, he allowed me to go through what I needed to in life to build my character, learn valuable lessons, but most importantly so I would depend completely on Him to get me to where I am today.  I did not do this on my own accord, but only through His strength, love, grace and mercy.  All my circumstances and experiences up to this moment, makes me who I am ~ Tyza.

So if people question why I've chosen this path in life, I can only answer with this......Because the path I tried to choose on my own will, never gave me what I experience today....absolute JOY, PEACE and LOVE that fills my soul beyond anything here on earth could offer.  

Don't get me wrong, I still have moments of sadness, disappointment, anger, fear, frustration and all those other "normal" emotions people go through, but one thing I have in addition to that is the faith, hope and promises that I will overcome whatever is placed before me. Not because of my own strength but because the strength that resides inside me through Jesus Christ.  I have confidence in the promise that even when life feels rocky, with God as my foundation, it is solid.  

When I am challenged, when life shows up, I have a choice.  I can chose to let go of the things that provide me that "temporary" happiness which eventually turns into emptiness after the excitement of the circumstance, possession or person has lost it's excitement/newness OR I can choose to focus on the what gives me eternal happiness and invest my life into those things. 

Being "Fit for Christ" for me will always be more than just the physical aspect of fitness, it is getting spiritually fit for the Eternal Kingdom. 

Everyday is an opportunity to be challenged, to be changed and to grow. 
In the last few weeks I've been able to experience people close to me challenging themselves to be different and the changes occurring in their lives have been amazing.  I would encourage anyone to take a step forward and see what amazing things could happen in their life just by challenging themselves to change one small thing in their life and allow themselves to experience growth.  Let God amaze you! 

Healthy changes in 2014 started with a challenging 1st time hike up Mission Peak for my son!
Challenging ourselves in 2014 will create GREAT changes in our lives! 

The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. - Psalm 18:2

For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. - Psalm 84:11

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