It's hard to be the person you want to be.
It's easy to identify what your goals are, and who you want to be. Just close your eyes and picture it. What's the goal version of you. I can make a list of qualities. There's so many things my little crazy pants brain thinks up. I just have a lot of things I want to do! My problem is, I think of this big, long, crazy vision of who I want to be, and who I think God wants me to be, and then I'm like, well shoot. That is definitely not where I am now. And that sends me on the bus right over to being discouraged. You've been there, it's the giant pit that makes you feel like a loser.
You can't just think about who God wants you to be and wake up the next morning happy and perfect and ready to attain all of your life goals. Which is unfortunate, because that sounds great. But, some of the best advice that I've ever heard is that you won't be something in ten years that you aren't working on being now. For instance, maybe you feel like God really wants to use your generosity. But, if you aren't working on generosity now, you're not going to be generous in ten years.
The best way that I've found to work on being something is to dwell on the person I think of when I ask myself, "who does God want me to be?". I am really bad at dwelling on my mistakes. I tell myself all the worst lies that Satan throws at me, and that's who I think of. I dwell on my sins, my muck, my insecurities, and what I think people think of me. But it's pretty much impossible to become one thing when you're telling yourself you're the exact opposite.
Satan is really good at distractions. He has a lot of spiritual warfare tactics, and they work. His number one goal is to keep you from having a relationship with Christ and from being saved by His grace. But, once you accept salvation, then his goal is to keep you from doing God's will. He doesn't want you to be who God wants you to be. He's really great at making you think you're a loser who doesn't have a future. When you're dwelling on your identity in your mistakes, and not your identity in Christ, you're de-railed. The discouragement pit is a hard one to get out of. While satan's tactics are smart and they work, he's not very creative. Ask anyone what lies satan tells them. The number one answer is "I'm not good enough."
I'm not pretty enough, I'm not intelligent enough, I'm not fun enough, I'm not spiritual enough. Everyone will tell you I'm not fill in the blank with a lie enough. But our relationship with Jesus makes us enough. Jesus so wants us to dwell on who He makes us and who he calls us to be. Satan can't read your thoughts. He can wage warfare in your mind, he can read your actions and hear your words and work off of that, but Satan does not have the ability to read your thoughts. Only God has omnipotence. You can't combat Satan's warfare in your mind. Thinking it is not enough. You have to speak it. You have to speak against it. What I didn't realize for a long time is that when you dig Satan's lies out and you lay it at Christ's feet, you have to replace it with God's truth. So when you identify and say that you aren't ugly or stupid or whatever lie Satan feeds to you, you have to replace it with God's truth. You have tell yourself what God makes you, or else you leave it wide open to let Satan fill it with lies again.
My new little project, that I so hope you'll join me in, is the Who I am Book. I have such a hard time dwelling on the lies, and I have to physically write out the truths and my goals and the person God wants me to be to combat that. The Who I am Book is a project to help you speak God's truths about you into your life. I was a little bit inspired by bullet journaling.
To make your own Who I am Book, grab a journal. Get a cute one or a leather bound one, something that you're going to look at and like. Pick out a good one. On the first page write your name and write "Who I Am".
I love to doodle and personalize everything I have, and everyone's goals and God's purpose for them is unique to them, so make it all yours. Mine is covered in flowers and hearts and cupcakes, as all journals should be, let's be real.
You can add or take out whatever you like, but this is the basic outline that I use for my book. I have a little section for each of these topics so I can add things as I go.
A really important section I have is who I am in Christ. Take three or four or even five pages and write the things down that God thinks about you. When you see yourself in His eyes, it will give you a confidence like you've never experienced before. Write down attributes, skills, Bible verses, whatever God gives you. A good passage of scripture to write here is Philippians 3:13-14.
The next section that I really think has helped me a lot is all about goals. I wrote down a list of 31 things that I want to be, and everyday of the month, I look in my book and focus on one to work on that day. A good verse to write down on that page, that I have to reflect on a lot are Philippians 4:13, Psalm 28:7, and my one of my favorite kick-butt, yes Jesus verses, Matthew 17:20. You can't become those things yourself, so don't be discouraged when you fail. Christ is your strength and He makes it possible.
Another part of my section about goals is just a list of what I want to accomplish in the next five years. I l wrote general things like "finish college" and "have my own home", and things like that.
Another list I made was more open-ended goals of the person I want to become far later in the future, and ways I can work on those goals now. I wrote things like, "have a giving heart", and my way to work on it now was to give my time and financial gifts. Another thing I wrote was "be a good mom" [as in one, day, I don't have any children now, don't worry mom] and my way to work on that now, even though I don't have kids, was to be involved with the kids in my life and mentor them. A good verse to write down with this list is Psalm 73:26, Psalm 20:4, Proverbs 3:6, Proverbs 16:9, and Hebrews 12:1-2.
The best part about this project is that you can always add to it and grow it, so keep posting new ideas and topics to add, but it's all your book, so add whatever you want! Draw, add quotes, print pictures to tape inside, whatever you like! Read over what you've written. When Satan gives you lies and you're dwelling on your failures, open your book, read the scripture you wrote down, read the truths Jesus sees in you, and combat with the truth. Verbally tell Satan to leave. A prayer I learned this weekend at a women's retreat was to verbally say out loud, Satan, you or anything you're sending that's not of the Lord may not speak to me, you may not manifest here, and I send you to the foot of the cross. Read scripture out loud. God's word is living and active. It's the only piece of armor that's defensive in the armor of God [Eph. 6:10-18] so use it. It's a sword. Don't let the lies about you derail you. God has so much for you, and He wants you to see yourself how He sees you. He's got big things for you kid.