We all have something about our lives we do not like. As much as we try to focus on the positive there is always something that we want to change or know that we need to change. For me, I KNEW I needed to stop smoking before God was going to use me to fulfill His purpose for my life. He had been preparing me for years but I didn’t recognize it. I kept sabotaging my life with poor choices. God wants us to willingly come to Him and intimately get to know and create a relationship with Him. God wants all His children to have the peace that passes all understanding and to feel and know His love for us.
But I had to virtually “go through Hell to get to Heaven.” I had to learn that in the tough times all I had was God’s love for me and His saving Grace. Then I had to make that slow journey home to come back to Him. I had to recognize and be willing to make certain changes in order for Him to bring me back. To stop smoking was just the first change. But, I felt trapped and embarrassed. Trapped, because I had tried to stop over and over only to relapse again and again. Embarrassed, because I was a preacher’s daughter and should know better. I was tired of hiding my smoking from family, friends and co-workers. I knew it was unhealthy and self-destructive but I just couldn’t seem to quit. Then finally, with God’s strength and grace I was able to overcome this addiction. I put the pack down and walked away from the cigarettes forever. This was the first of many changes I had to make.
I still feel there are many more changes to come but this initially gave me the strength to know I could get better. I could improve my health by calling on God’s strength to get me through it and I finally started to grow and find God’s purpose for my life. In my book, Are You Ready to Make That Change, I go into a lot more detail of my life as a smoker and explain some of the secrets and life lessons that helped bring me back home.
But, before we can change any habit we must ready ourselves to truly hear what God is trying to say to us. Please read below the steps that helped me become ready to change. I hope you can read with an open mind and heart and feel the tug of Jesus calling you back home. Think of them as God speaking directly to you. You can CHANGE anything when you are READY.
In life we all have choices. We can choose to remain where we are or we can choose to change. But with the choice to change there are several things to do:
Remember and learn from the past. The past is everything that you’ve experienced, whether good or bad in all your days leading up to today. We are a product of these experiences and much of our mindset and our beliefs are based on the outcome of those past experiences. If you will analyze and inspect those situations you’ll become aware of the possible trigger that caused you to make that decision.
Eliminate the negative thoughts. Our minds are constantly chattering away at us and most of that chatter is negative thoughts with the “should haves and could haves.” We are our own worst critic and until we learn how to channel our thoughts into more positive inner feedback and learn to forgive ourselves for any perceived wrong doing, our lives will be constantly filled with negative emotions that will spill out into all our activities and relationships.
Ask for assistance. Don’t let a stubborn attitude keep you from experiencing the full joy of reaching a goal with the help of others. None of us can reach our full potential on our own. We all depend on one another and in many ways all our actions affect others.
Decide to let go. Until we let go of whatever it is that is holding us back from experiencing our highest self we’ll feel trapped. Most of us have been through relationship break ups, death, failed businesses, or bankruptcy or some type of negative life experience that holds our thoughts down. Get Over It! Until you do you cannot become ready for the next adventure in life.
Yearn for what is best. Sometimes we settle too soon. We settle for something that’s good but it may not have been the best thing for us at the time. Don’t let the good interfere with the best. I’m sure everyone knows of one situation where a young person has settled far below their potential in life and given up on the best. If you are to become ready you must yearn for what is best.
In order to become ready for change you must be willing to ask God for assistance, never stop praying and never let go of hope! One day you will see that it all has finally come together for good for those that love the Lord. You will look back and wonder how it happened. There is a famous quote that says, “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.”
Now that we’re R.E.A.D.Y. , let’s go change ourselves so we can change the World!