Discovering Your Destiny

by Barb Waldron

Could it be that reading this article right now, wherever you are, is part of your destiny? If we take God at his word that “all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 139:16), then it is no accident you are reading these words.

A good friend recently gave me a plaque which reads, “May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.” Being at LifeWorks right now is part of God’s plan for you. In the days, weeks, and months that follow, as you partner with us, we desire to help you bring lasting change into your life that takes you to a new level of personal, professional, and relational fulfillment. How does it work? By embracing your destiny.

I’d like to invite you to think about your life in terms of a simple acronym corresponding to the word, “destiny.” Perhaps these keys can help you unlock the life you were meant to live.

D: Dependence on God. In our society, independence is highly touted. And let’s face it - we wouldn’t have a country without it! While there are certainly positive aspects of independence, in terms of personal growth, the greatest place to start is radical dependence on our Creator. No one knows you like God. He designed you for certain activities and relationships, and discovering them can only be found in knowing Him and allowing Him to lead your life. If we attempt to do life independent of God, we will falter much and fail drastically. Jesus spoke of the importance of dependence on God when he instructed his disciples to “abide in me” and further clarified: “apart from me you can do nothing” (John 15:4-5). Develop your dependence on God by giving more and more of yourself over to His care each day. Start small, telling the Holy Spirit you are relinquishing certain parts of yourself to Him. Give gradually - and receive abundantly! - as you trust the Lord with your life. Make a daily commitment to spend time in prayer, reading the Bible, observing God in nature, connecting with other Christ-followers, and serving people as God has equipped you. Your life will shift from self- or other-centeredness to God-centeredness, which will bring hope, healing, and wholeness to your life. Dependence on God leads to freedom, which allows us to walk the path of our destiny. If you are struggling in any area of life, learn to trust God with it, and He will show you the path to take (Proverbs 3:5-6)

E: Encourage yourself and someone else. Just as we were not meant to live independently, we were not meant to live for our pleasure, but to fulfill our destiny and to look out for others’ welfare. This is extremely counter-cultural! Especially in times of crisis and stress, we need to begin by encouraging ourselves. King David demonstrated this in 1 Samuel 30:6. After a fierce battle, with his men on the verge of deserting him, we read: “David encouraged himself in the Lord.” This was the only way he could make it through! And so can you. Try this: When faced with an obstacle, as moments of crisis threaten you or stress takes over, remember God’s faithfulness in the past during similar difficulties, and then recall how He shaped your character, and how He provided for you. The fact that you are reading this right now is encouragement to continue on. God has a plan for you! Find small ways of encouraging yourself – a sport you love to play, a person you need to reconnect with, recalling a few positive words someone spoke to you, reading some affirmative words from a favorite author, checking into a club or organization you are interested in. Stir up your heart to live again! Speaking of stir up, that brings up the other aspect of encouraging – encourage someone else. The Bible tells us to “spur one another on toward love and good deeds” (Hebrews 10:24). Find a way to recognize or compliment someone else today, or encourage them to break free from a bad habit, if you know this is a priority for them. There is great power in believing in others and encouraging them to believe in themselves. As you encourage yourself and someone else, you enlarge your territory of influence, growing in your destiny.

S: Set your mind. The Bible tells us to “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). While this does not indicate neglecting earthly responsibilities, the focus of our mind should be firmly placed on Christ, His work in our lives, becoming more like Him, and serving others. Attitude is everything. When we choose to look up to God, ask Him to help us see circumstances and people through His eyes, focus on the future, and make the most of the present, our lives become tremendously satisfying. The pain of our past has to be dealt with. In large part, this unconsciously controls our lives. Once we face those hurts, then gradually release the pain and the people involved to God, allowing Him to generously heal and restore us, we can walk in victory, out of past hurts and into our God-given freedom. The mind is a major center of transformation. Norman Vincent Peale advocated in The Power of Positive Thinking, a three step process of engaging your mind to work for you, not against you. It is simply: “Prayerize, picturize, actualize.” First, pray about your situation and all of the people involved; next, envision your desired outcome and hold that mental picture in your mind (in essence, “set your mind”); and finally, carry it out. Take action steps, even small ones, to help you get closer to your goals and dreams everyday. Before you know it, you are on your way to fulfilling your destiny. God honors the initiative we take in completing the work He gave us to do. Expect to be awed as you set your mind on things above.

T: Thankfulness. Why is Thanksgiving such a cherished holiday? Because on center stage is nothing more than the simple activity of giving thanks. This is a powerful practice! Deliberately program your mind to be in a thankful state. It’s easy to be thankful when things go well, so why not make each occurrence an opportunity to recognize it? When good things come, a simple statement made silently to yourself, or verbally expressed to others and/or to God, sets in motion a stream of similar blessings to follow. Even when unfortunate things happen, you can usually find a positive element for which to give thanks. Keeping a gratitude journal is an excellent discipline. A simple notebook or notepad will do. Write down at least 5 things per day for which you are thankful. Reflect back on the last week or month of your gratitude notes. It won’t take long for you to see your life in a new spectrum. Your perspective on your life will change from defeated or run-of-the-mill to highly appreciative of the amazing things that happen when you embrace life with an attitude of gratitude. You will hasten your destiny by giving thanks.

I: Intentional living. What would it be like for you to “live in the present?” So much of our time is spent brooding on the past or anxiously anticipating the future, that we rarely embrace our present moments. Use your time wisely – curtail your TV watching and media use. Practice more meaningful communication with people you care about, pursue a job or hobby you are interested in, and a future you desire. Try establishing some helpful contacts in a field of interest and see where it leads. Carve out time each day for the people you love. Discover some shared activities to strengthen those relationships. Write a personal mission statement. It can be a simple statement, such as: “I was born to ______________________________ (fill in the blank with major ways you contribute to life on this planet.) What is one thing you wish someone invested in your life? Invest that in someone else’s life now. Be intentional in how you live.

N: New behaviors. As human beings, we get into routines. Change things up! Find a new way to respond to stress, crisis, and relationships in your life. Incremental changes add up. Are you embroiled in a conflict with someone? Respond in a different way than usual. It may defuse tension and allow you to see things, that person, and even yourself differently. Even asking a simple question or requesting information (“tell me about that”) may help you see things in a new light and propel you farther toward your destiny.

Y: Your future awaits you. If you knew you were destined for something marvelous like greatness, success, healing, or to make a major impact on the world, would it make a difference in how you live this day? Think of yourself as destined for ________________________ (fill in the blank with your dream or goal; go ahead – dream BIG!) Now all you need to do is back that up with action. Put some steps in place each day which lead you closer to your destiny.

If you knew that the impact of your decisions would send ripples into the next generation, would it make a difference in how you lived your life? Most of us won’t hesitate getting our act together when we realize we are affecting other people; but when it comes to thinking of our life alone, we are not nearly as motivated to change. Your family’s destiny is also affected by your own personal destiny. Live it out! Impact future generations!

God has a dream for your life. Are you living it? Are your sights too low? Are there limitations standing in your way? As the saying goes, don’t tell God how big your mountain is, tell that mountain how big your GOD is! Faith moves God’s heart to act on our behalf (Hebrews 11:6). Some of us did not have a good role model for a parent – a mother and/or father who was either deficient or absent. Even if your parents were great, we all fall short in some aspect. We are human and do our best, but sometimes we’re at our worst with the people closest to us. God can heal this. Even our shortcomings with a family member can be used to shine forth the perfection and fulfillment of Christ. “For when I am weak, then I am strong,” Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:10.

Decide on 2 ways this week to live out your destiny. Here are some ideas: find people it would be helpful to connect with, read a book to learn a valuable skill, take a class, find a mentor in your field of interest, reach out to your online community, engage in a new activity that fuels your energy, exercise, get up earlier to seize the day and spend some time with God before the daily onslaught of activities, reconnect with family members, apologize to someone you hurt, ask forgiveness, work toward resolution, write in your own ideas here:

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Unleash your potential as you abide in Christ (John 15:5). Unfurl your talents, gifts, and abilities God has given you. Don’t hold them in! That’s not what they’re meant for. Present them to the world and honor God by doing so. “Do not neglect the gift that is in you…” (1 Timothy 4:14).

Restore your relationship with God, yourself, and others. We have been entrusted with a “ministry of reconciliation” (2 Corinthians 5:18). Bring your relationships back into balance, or perhaps let go of a habit, grudge, or fear that may be limiting you. Use your past to make peace with the present and create a springboard for your future.

Try it out! Just for today, embrace your destiny: depend on God, encourage yourself and others, set your mind above, practice thankfulness, live intentionally, try some new behaviors, and be amazed as you behold – your future awaits you!

Just release - open your mind, heart, and spirit to God and your arms out to others. Become ever-learning and continually growing. Soar into the fullness of your destiny. The only one holding you back - is you. Make a difference in someone’s life. Help them find their destiny, too!


About the Author: Barb Waldron is a Master’s level intern completing her Counseling Psychology degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University in Orlando. She loves to celebrate life and help others feel appreciated, cherished and valued so they can experience the difference their lives make to others.

Access more counseling and coaching resources designed to save you time by solving stressful situations by visiting their counseling blog with over 150 complimentary articles and special reports at www.LifeWorksGroup.org

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