What is Success?

A husband. My own children. A career. Financial stability… These are all the tangible sources of success I’ve been working toward for as long as I can remember now. I’ve always wanted to be a mother and a wife – even back when I was a child myself. I flipped back and forth between wanting 6 kids and a daunting, crazy 12! I had a certain age limit to obtain all of these things, of course, and it was way before I turned 30. But here I am, scratching at the surface of my early thirties and not a single one of those things has happened for me. And I have to be transparent with you: I often feel like a failure because of it. Am I not beautiful enough for a husband? Have I ruined my body too much with reckless eating and depression to be fit to carry a child? Am I not worthy enough to have a successful career? Have I made too many mistakes to finally be fully financially independent?

These are the questions that torture my mind nearly every day. As much as I try to hold on to my faith in God and that He has a perfect plan for my life, there are times when I just want to throw in the towel of my hope and accept the spoken and unspoken lies disguised as truths about myself. Why? Because I can’t see it. I cannot see His thoughts about myself. I cannot see His plan for my life. And my dreams and desires for my life are so much bigger than me, I know I cannot do it without God. But what if I fail? What if I’m wrong? What if I don’t get to do any of the things I love so dearly and want to accomplish? Am I the only one who fears failure? Am I all alone in this journey I’ve chosen for my life? Because after moving to an entirely new place, where I know no one, it certainly feels that way.

Lately I’ve been able to spot a recurring theme in these questions, and maybe as you’ve read above, you’ve been able to spot it as well: seeing. Vision. Or should I say, the lack there of. My vision for my future has stopped just short of perishing all together. To be honest with you, as that’s what I created this space for, it’s waivered in and out for quite a while. My vision would ignite with a fiery passion at every new project I started and a few months later, it would begin to slowly diminish until I found myself repeating the same destructive cycle of my past. I wasn’t truly growing, although I could fake it for a while. But for true growth into the woman God has called me to be, I needed a move – a shift. I needed a new whirlwind thrown into my every day routine. Even more than that, I needed something to shatter my every day routine. It wasn’t working for me anyway.

I know it may sound contrary to questioning feeling alone earlier, but I believe God called me out here to Texas for a reason: to restore my vision for my future. And I think part of that process involves confronting the questions that have burdened me for so long now. I never knew how to be my own person. I would often times hide behind the security blanket of my friends and family, accepting that I was grafted into their lives but never fully accepting that God has a life for me as well. Questioning is okay. In fact, I think God likes it. When we begin asking questions, it means that our hearts are opening to Him and to His truth. Some of those truths may be easy – we may laugh, we may feel foolish for wasting so much time worrying about such an easy answer. And some of those truths may be difficult. Some of those truths may hurt. Some of those truths may reveal things about ourselves that we don’t like… some of them may even bring up pains and scars and bruises we either thought were gone or just ignored all together.

But that’s the beauty of growth. Through these experiences and through these trials, through these questions, we learn who we are. We learn who we can be. We learn who we’re called to be.

I’m currently in a season of redefining success for myself. The whispers of the world (the same whispers that leave impressions on our hearts of who they think we should be) place success in careers and relationships and money. What do I place success in? What do I believe true success is? I took to social media the other day to ask others what they think and over on my Instagram my (incredibly wise) mom hit the nail on the head for my life. She said, “A large component of success is refusing to listen to the enemy who is constantly telling you that you are not good enough, that you could have done better, achieved more.” Who doesn’t struggle with that from time to time, honestly? But she’s absolutely right. I cannot achieve success while I believe the lies of the enemy chattering away in my mind. It’s time to silence the enemy and define my own success. It’s time to define who I am in God and settle my heart there. It’s time to not just read the scriptures but move into the reality of the Word of God so that my heart can mold into it.

What defines success for you? I would like to know. I also invite you to find peace in your questions tonight. It is okay to question. Question everything. But also trust that God has an answer, even if you don’t receive it right away. Be patient in your waiting and be strong in your growing. You’re not alone. And you are a success.

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