Friday, October 9, 2015

It is Good

When reading the creation story in Genesis recently, something stood out to me for the first time. After each thing God created, He made a point to acknowledge that it was good. And after making man and woman (the pinnacle of creation) He took it a step further and acknowledged that all of His creation was VERY GOOD. In other words, God gave Himself props! This made me think. How often do we take time to reflect on the good things we have done and pat ourselves on the back for a job well done? As believers, we are taught not to toot our own horn. We don't want to be perceived as big headed or full of ourselves so we downplay our successes and accomplishments. But there is nothing wrong with celebrating the kingdom impact you have been able to make through Christ's strength. The bible says that the error is in thinking too highly of yourself.
Sometimes I get so caught up in the busyness of life that I don’t stop long enough to catch my breath and acknowledge the things I have done that are good. Once I complete one project, I’m off to the next. Interestingly there have been times in my life when I have felt like I haven’t done enough or accomplished enough. I’ll get down on myself because I feel like I should be further along than I am. But honestly, I’m right where I am for a divine reason.
In a recent conversation with my husband, he encouraged me to to take a moment and list out my accomplishments of the last three years. He bought me a poster board and insisted I write everything down. At first the thought made me extremely uneasy, but after a while I realized that creating the list would be a great way to see just how God has blessed and been able to use me over the years. The list would be a reminder of His power and His ability to take seeming impossible and hopeless situations and use them for His glory. The list would give me visual touchstones and help me focus on the fact that God always answers prayers, makes ways, and has the final say in my life.
As I sat and wrote out my list, I couldn’t help but smile. My mind was flooded with memories of some pretty amazing things I have been able to accomplish with God’s help—I’m a published, best-selling, award nominated author, I am the co-founder of a powerful inspirational newsletter for Christian young women (C.A.L.I. Girl), I have spoken at multiple empowerment events for young women throughout the city of Los Angeles, I co-lead a weekly women’s bible study at a homeless shelter, I have been able to make a few financial contributions to organizations I respect that support and uplift young women in urban communities, and I have helped others realize and accomplish their kingdom assignments as well.
I haven’t done nearly as much as I hope to do before my time on earth ends, but I definitely have reasons to be proud of my accomplishments. I don’t need outside validation because I can give it to myself. I’m living in my purpose and I’m on the right track.
If you haven’t already, I encourage you to think about the things you have accomplished over the past three to five years. Write them down on a sheet of paper or on a poster board and title them “It is Good.” Visit this list as often as you need to remind yourself that although you still have work to do, you have already made strides in the right direction. Avoid including things you hope to accomplish—as the place for those things would be a vision board. Remember, the purpose of your list is not to make you complacent, but to help you see all that you’ve been able to accomplish with God’s help in spite of the challenges you’ve faced. It’s your testimony! I pray that your list will encourage you along your journey as mine is encouraging me.