By Tricia Halsey
I thought I knew myself.
For three years I worked hard doing a job I absolutely loved. I poured my heart into bringing about positive change for other women, yet all the while paying little attention to myself.
Then God got my attention. He pulled me out of my position and left me without a job. An intervention that made me stop, step back and reevaluate where I was and where I needed to be.
At first the achiever in me wanted to charge, full-steam ahead, into the next opportunity that seemed to be a good fit-that is until I realized I had no clue what a “good fit” actually looked like. I spent so many years letting others define who I was and what I was good at that, although I often excelled, I didn’t feel fulfilled. While caring for others and striving to achieve, I forgot me.
After three months of unemployment, I realized that God was saving me from this “not real” me. My soul was in decay because I was not living authentically as he created me to live.
How common is it for us women to shrug off the hard work of deep authentic living and go for what seems easier-- losing ourselves in doing good? It’s far harder to dig deep into our souls to unearth and understand our talents and strengths, weaknesses and sins, passions and dreams than it is to simply put our focus on others. Living authentically is hard work.
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You were created by God to have unfathomable influence and impact in the world, yet you will never-not ever-come close to fulfilling your potential if you do not know yourself.
What a tragedy when your potential for impact is minimized!
Seeking to know who you are, as God created you, is not a pursuit you should brush off. It is a matter of properly positioning yourself to partner with God in his work of redemption for immeasurable-incomprehensible-impact. Never forget that God commissioned you to join with him in his work of redemption. He has plans for you, but you must actively engage with him as a steward of the talents he’s given to you. The results could be far bigger than you can comprehend.
- What are you passionate about?
- What do you feel uniquely gifted to do?
- What are your strengths?
- Even harder, what are your weaknesses, your fears and your unconfessed sins?
- How do all of these weave together with your experiences and personality to distinctively position you for life-giving work?
Discuss, reflect, pray and confess with people you trust. Utilize tools like personality and strengths assessments. Seek counseling and find mentors. Most importantly, ask God to reveal who you are and what you can do best. He created you. He knows you and the potential you have. He will help you as you seek to use your gifts, but you need to ask. And you need to be willing to do the hard work.
Tricia Halsey has her MA in Leadership from Denver Seminary and is passionate about developing leaders and coaching women to embrace and live according to their full God-given potential. She is a wife and mother of two very busy young boys.