This morning I was thinking about the fact that in January, our daughter Jorjia achieved 4 years clean and sober. So, about 5 years ago, she was in active addiction and homeless. I was in awe thinking of the changes that have happened in those 5 years. Honestly, 5 years ago I couldn’t hand her a $20 bill. If she needed gas or food, I literally had to give that specific item to her, and not trust her with money. Not because she was a bad person, but because the addiction ran her life, and would cause her to make bad choices. Now? I can honestly say that I give her my credit card number to purchase things for me. The difference is phenomenal. But what changed?
Then I thought about how if you would have asked me 5 years ago if my mother would live with me, how I would have laughed in your face. Sorry, but true. I love my mother, make no doubt about that – but my lifestyle was certainly not routine enough for her to be comfortable here. I have always told my parents that I would put them in the best nursing home that we could afford. I was honest. I told them that I would visit, but that there was no way that either of them would live with me. It has been 19 months since my mom moved in, and while it is taking some adjusting, we do make it work. But what changed?
My mind drifted back to 5 years ago and our lack of travel. Life revolved around survival it seemed, and planning international vacations certainly didn’t qualify as survival. Nor did planning 3 vacations in one year. Just a few months ago, Ken and I sat and went over his vacation requests for work for this year, and scheduled time off for a trip to Paris France, then Ohio and then California. A huge difference from our agenda 5 years ago. But what changed?
I then thought of a little boy who was hesitant to spend the night away from home 5 years ago. A preteen that struggled with confidence to make decisions without a lot of help from his parents. Now today, I wait to see him when he drives himself home in one of his two vehicles that he purchased on his own with cash. He has been gone for a couple of days, staying alone in Sarasota in an apartment of one of his friends. His life is completely different. But what changed?
I recall when homeschooling Michael was a battle of wills, and how 5 years ago we wondered how he would ever make it through. These days he does bursts knocking out weeks worth of lessons in a day. He’s on pace to graduate, and is enrolling to take summer programs at a University. But what changed?
I ponder on my best friend, Shane, and where he was 5 years ago. I have never known anyone to survive all the emotional and financial devastation that he experienced. Over the years he has overcome challenges that would have derailed anyone, much less a man in his early 20’s. Now, he has found his soulmate, lives in Los Angeles and travels internationally! But what changed?
At this point, my dear reader, you are most likely hoping that I will finally reveal what you have been searching for. That golden nugget. That allusive gem that is the answer to all of your woes. I’m sorry. It’s not a simple snap of the fingers to fix whatever is going on in your life. Honestly, it is a lot more painful than that. It’s certainly not just a magical potion.
Change just happens you say. I say really?
See, reminiscing over those tales I shared, I can tell you that day after day dealing with whatever mire we were wallowing in – nothing seemed to change. Nothing. It was the definition of insanity. Continuing to do the same thing over and over expecting different results. Yet nothing changed.
Jorjia humbled herself and asked for help.
I humbled myself and begged God to show me how to help mom.
Ken humbled himself and did a financial fitness program.
Michael humbled himself and started applying personal development lessons.
Michael began associating with others that wanted more out of life and he humbled himself to learn how to apply those principles.
Shane humbled himself, moving in with a family he didn’t know to work at a job that hardly paid minimum wage (after making 6 figures just prior) and opened himself to what God had in store for him.
HUMBLED : Check Yourself B4 You Wreck Yourself (credit Ice Cube) : Showing strength by admitting weakness : Being open and honest and seeking revelation of areas in need of improvement
Being humble may not exactly be popular; but I can tell you that probably every successful person out there has had to be humble at some point.
To ask for help; to ask for feedback in areas to improve; to accept feedback or help – these are the trademarks of champions.
I am so incredibly proud of Shane, my children and my husband for being champions. I am so grateful that they humbled themselves.
Humbling oneself is the 1st step. It doesn’t end there. It then takes intentional progress toward the necessary changes to become the champion you are called to be.
Jorjia didn’t just decide to become clean and sober. It took making different choices. It took stepping out of her comfort zone. It took applying tried and true techniques and principles. It took effort and a lot of prayer.
Michael didn’t just wake up a different person. It took choosing to no longer associate with people that were making negative choices. It took being honest about what he wanted and asking for help to get there. It took learning what worked best for him and adjusting to his learning patterns.
Ken didn’t just begin thinking different about money. It took consistently listening to audios of others that were living the lives that he wanted to live. It took breaking old habits and patterns so that he could apply these new principles.
Shane didn’t just hop on a plane and head to Europe to find a wife. He believed in himself and the vision God shared about his future. It took serving even when he didn’t feel like it. It took saving money to afford to take time off and to pay to fly to Europe to volunteer and serve. It took knowing God had a plan and that Shane was there to learn and serve.
But wait! There’s more! It also took being intentional to consider the future that we wanted. Perhaps even envision the future that we didn’t want.
I didn’t want my mom to be in a facility while her lucidity was still more prevalent than her lack of awareness. I wanted her to be able to enjoy a bit longer being included in the family and family activities; for however long that might be.
Michael didn’t want a future without a high school diploma. He wanted to be able to have the chance to go to college if he chose to.
Ken wanted to be able to do trips with family, and have options that being consumed by debt wouldn’t afford.
Jorjia wanted to stop feeling miserable and desperate for her next fix. She wanted a future with her girls, a future full of hope and life.
Shane wanted a future sharing the hope of God’s love, preferably with a wife that had the same heart for ministry.
We all had to stop, somewhere along the line and ask ourselves the hard questions.
Are the choices I am making today taking me closer to the future I want?
If I keep doing what I am doing now, will I get the results that I want?
What will it take to achieve what I want, and am I willing to do what it takes?
So, today, March 31, 2020, in the midst of the Corona Virus / COVID19, as we all sit in an environment that is drastically different than it was just 5 months ago, much less 5 years ago – I ask you……… Where do you see yourself 5 years from now? Perhaps this during this time, while your life is already in a state of change; perhaps it is time for you to consider what needs to change to secure the future that you want!
Eyes on the future, Amy
As always – a heart felt thank you to you. Our subscribers, our friends, our followers – we thank you so much for encouraging us to not hide the talents God has given us to take ‘pen to paper’ and share our hearts, lives and lessons with you.
Please like, comment, share and follow us.
Philippians 4: 6 & 7
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God,which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
(Biblegateway.com New International Version)