I thought I knew what it looked like to be successful. To be successful, you made honor roll every grading period. To be successful, you won. To be successful you were conference champion, or state champion, or a record holder. Success was high paying careers and big bank accounts. It was marrying the right person into the right family. It was followers, subscribers, likes, and comments. Success happened when beauty met brains. To be successful, you reaped the fruit of all you “when hard work meets talent” efforts.
I was not wrong. Being successful can look like that. Those are definite signs of success. But if these were the only signs of success, then some “successful” people would not be committing suicide and celebrities would not have mental breakdowns. Mental health and minimalist movements would cease to exist. There would not be big money in shows about little houses.
So, knowing this, what does it really look like to be successful?
To be successful, play your role.
I did not understand for the longest that my role was necessary. The show could go on without me. I could not organize it. I constantly got lost in the details. I did not have the patience for the research and the planning. My timing was always off. My paperwork was never in order, and I certainly could not contribute to the funding…
…but I loved the people. I loved to be a part of the show. I love to watch them – to interact with them. I had to be a part of the show because I had to be with those people.
Only recently did I find out that the people were my role. The people needed me to play my role. The people needed a cheerleader. The people needed encouragement. They needed a sympathetic ear and a helping hand. They needed someone to share in their drama, their victories, and their defeat. Some people could not put on their show without my role. Their success hinged on me playing my part. They needed a coach. They needed a mom, a wife, a teacher, and a friend.
The show needs your role. Maybe you can cook. Maybe you can clean. Maybe you can style hair, or wardrobes, or rooms. Maybe you can speak well. Maybe you can write well. Maybe you can organize or plan. You can do something well…so well you do not even recognize it as a gift. You have a purpose. The show will fall apart without it. To be successful, you have to use what comes naturally to you. The show cannot go on without your part.
To be successful, you must adjust in the white space.
If you do not already have white space, you need to make white space. Even the best of planners cannot account for things they could not possibly see coming. Life has a way of hitting you with the unexpected – both good and bad. Sometimes you lose your job unexpectedly. Sometimes the opportunity of your dreams falls into your lap unexpectedly.
I saw being a mom and a wife in my future, but all the plans in the world cannot prepare you for the realities of motherhood and wife life. I went from mom of two to mom of three in a matter of weeks. I did not have 9 months to prepare my mind and my home for the change. I had to adjust…and to adjust, I needed white space.
You need white space. You need room for adjustments both expected and unexpected. To be successful you must have the ability to adapt when the situation calls for change.
To be successful, you must trust God to do His job.
Your job is not to know the final result. Your job is not to figure it all out. Your success depends on neither of those factors. You find your purpose. You play your role. You rest. You adjust, and then you let God work. You trust that He knows what He is doing.
I read a blog yesterday that mentioned my favorite verse.
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28
She focused on three words…”and we know.”
Knowing means believing. Believing means trusting. Trusting means accepting that even your best made plans for success may pale in comparison to God’s perfect will for you life.
I constantly question, “What if this does not work?” What if I do all of this work, and I fail? What if I put all these hours with my track team and they lose? What if I do all this prepping for my students and they do not pass the state test? What if my children grow up to be menaces to society? What if my husband leaves after he discovers I am too broken? What if I invest all of this money into what I think God is calling me to do and the project does not succeed?
“If you think you’ve blown God’s plan for your life, rest in this. You, my beautiful friend, are not that powerful.” (Lisa Bevere)
Even if what takes place does not match the picture you had in your mind, remember God’s plan trumps yours. He used your plan to be successful – to create beauty out of life’s worst tragedies. God cannot fail.
Sometimes He gives exactly what we ask Him to give us. Other times, He gives us something better. Trust that even in your disappointments, God is saving your life and the lives of those around you. Trust that He is good and what He has for you is good.
To be successful you must find you role, play your role, adjust your role and then trust God to take care of the rest. Success is peace with the person you were then, are now, and will become. To be successful, find that person, be that person, adjust that person and give that person, in her blended beauty of gifts and flaws, to God.
What are some ways that you know to be successful?
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