What's your New Year’s resolution?
One of the best ways we can reach our goals is to surround ourselves with people who will walk with us. These are people, who will celebrate with us when we're up, and when we're down and "accidentally" eat that box of donuts, instead of shame they bring those encouraging words that inspire us and challenge us to be better.
One thing I've learned about resolutions, goals, and vision is that they're not easy and they don't ever happen on accident. They're intentional.
When we hear about that person who lost 300 lbs., or that successful business person who was born in poverty, or that inspirational teacher who was raised by a single parent, or that kid that became the first person in their family to ever graduate college...these stories inspire us.
The common thread that runs throughout each of these success stories is that none of them started on the finish line. They all began on the starting line of adversity and impossibility. They were told it couldn't be done, quit while you're ahead, no one else in our family has done it, you're the wrong color, you'll never make it, you’re not smart enough.
Maybe you've been told one or more of these and you're having a real tough time getting these words to stop ringing in your ear. I feel ya! Every time I look in the mirror I still see that chubby, little, curly headed boy and I still hear the names people used to call me. I feel ya! I'm not sure if that part ever goes away...I'll let you know if it does.
What makes these stories so inspirational is not so much the finish line but the journey and how they got there. I guarantee, none of these people woke up one day and just found themselves on the finish line. It started with a vision; they set some goals, made a plan, and began walking toward their vision. It was intentional...not easy, but intentional. Day by day, week by week, month by month, and year by year walking with intention. Each step had a goal, each goal had a plan, and eventually through the pain, adversity, some ups and more downs the vision was in hand.
The most difficult part of a vision is not getting started (anyone can do that), or at the finish line, but in the journey. It's in the journey where most people lose heart, give up, and lose sight of their vision. It can seem so far away and so intimidating that we lose hope.
Have you ever eaten an entire elephant? Ya...me either! But if you do, make sure you don't try to gobble it down all in one sitting. You'll end up frustrating yourself and probably hurting yourself too. Let me help you with that elephant. When you decide within yourself that it's time to buckle down and eat that elephant don't do it all at once. Take your time. Enjoy the process. One bite at a time. Don't expect to see results tomorrow for things you did today. Most good things take time and the more time spent typically equates to greater value. Have realistic expectations and stop comparing your worst moments with other people's highlight reel. You'll thank me later.
The feeling to quit and walk away seems unbearable at times and that's why surrounding ourselves with other people who we can trust is so important. They're there to celebrate our mountain top moments and to inspire, encourage, and challenge us when we’re in the valley. They give us a sense of accountability and help keep us grounded. In a healthy relationship we too will return the favor.
At Joy, we're intentional about our relationships and have created environments where we can grow and develop together. We're for each other and understand the importance of healthy relationships. That's why we've created Connection Groups. These groups meet once a week (typically in someone's home) with a focus to encourage and equip each other to pursue intimacy with God, healthy relationships with each other, and influence in our community.
Resolutions. They're not easy but I know you can do it! Be intentional and surround yourself with people who care about you and would love to walk with you through the process. I'd love for you to connect with us today. Follow the link below, fill out your info, and I will personally make sure you get connected. Love ya and I’m looking forward to hearing from you! -Pastor Brandon Myers