“When you realize you have the power to make a decision, you have tapped into the ability to just be.” – Jordyn Austin
You might hear it all the time, “don’t settle.” I think people are notorious for spewing cliche statements, but never explaining what they mean or what they look like for you personally.
I’ve learned over the course of 8 months, that when you let God completely take control of your life, He’ll treat you better than you ever thought. People assume that means everything will be all sunshine, butterflies, and rainbows; however, I’d venture to say that it may hurt or be uncomfortable at first, but “trouble don’t last always.”
One of the biggest areas of my life I settled with was my friendships. I felt like I was obligated to stay friends with the same people I started this journey with. It felt like a constant strain on my life, trying to stay connected with people simply because “we put so much time in.” However, I knew I wasn’t the happiest because of it. I knew I wanted more.
My friends then and even some now don’t really follow Christ, and their lifestyle started to pour into mine. Their values or lack thereof started to compromise mine. I know people say that you can be your own person and make your own decisions and that is most certainly is true as you’ll find out if you read on. However, 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, “Do not be mislead: Bad company corrupts good character.” We have to watch who we let into the deepest parts of our lives. I am not saying that I had to live in a “holy bubble” and not associate with non-believers, but I was mature enough to realize, people influence you one way or another. So I made the decision to do better for myself.
I wanted and expected more out of my friendships, so I prayed about it. I told God straight up, that who was in my life right now was not good for me. He immediately showed me where the issue was.
I started to pick up on the friends that do the “bare minimum” to stay connected. A little text here and there, but nothing more active than that. I took note of the people who listened to my problems but didn’t share theirs (we all struggle with something). I began to pick up on the people who made it clear I wasn’t a priority. I also took note of the people who mocked me or made snide comments when I didn’t want to participate in the same toxic activities of the past anymore. I never realized how much I was putting up with just to have people in my life.
I was tired of going above and beyond for people who had no desire to reciprocate. Don’t get me wrong, I am not talking about our duty as Christians to serve others. That is totally different. I am all about giving my all to people who need it. But when I have “friends” who ride along and take advantage my kind heart, with no plan to give that same kind love back, I have an issue. I got so tired of settling in that area. So I gave it to God. I prayed that He’d bring friends into my life who were serious about their walk with Christ. I wanted friends who would pour into me and pray with me, like I did for others. I wanted friends that would match my loyalty. I wanted friends who were concerned with my well-being and allowed me to express when I was in trouble or feeling low.
I’ll be honest and say it felt like I was deserted at first. This was also happening to me as I was going through a break-up, ironically enough. God did not really answer me for awhile, and now I see that he was trying to reshape my heart and mind. He was showing me that I depended way too much and other people’s ability to make me “happy.” He wanted me to be fully content in him before he allowed other people to come into my life. He did not want me to settle either. He had greater. He softly whispered in my ear and reminded me that in order to have greater or go greater, I needed to BE greater. My “greater” was secretly hidden in my ability to fully trust God.
It’s funny how quickly we forget that the very being who knows how many hairs are on our heads has the ability to give us the most satisfying lives. And it’s even funnier that God’s plan of what that satisfying life looks like is totally different from ours. It’s crazy how God will reveal to you desires and passions you didn’t even know you had. He knows what we enjoy, our passions, our desires. He knows us better than we know ourselves, so what makes you think He doesn’t have amazing things planned for you? What makes you think you have to settle?
I love this quote by Grey’s Anatomy character Meredith Grey. It says:
“So do it. Decide.
Is this the life you want to live? Is this the person you want to love? Is this the best you can be? Can you be stronger? Kinder? More compassionate? Decide. Breathe in. Breathe out and decide.”
At the end of that quote, I like to add…. “then give it to God.” So reread the quote with that added at the end if you want.
We don’t EVER have to settle for less than God’s best for our lives. God’s will is always greater.
Think about the areas in your life where you’re settling for the sake of comfort. Are you in a relationship that doesn’t glorify God? Do you entertain friends who really don’t put in any effort? Are you going back to the guy or girl who thinks nothing more of you than a “good time.” Are you pursuing a career simply because you’ll make good money? Are you letting other people define you or remind you of who you used to be?
You don’t have to stay in a toxic place. You don’t have to stay friends with people who mean you no good. You don’t have to pursue the degree your parents recommended. You don’t have to lower your morals and (reasonable) standards to get a relationship. You don’t have to put a wall up so people never get to know you. You don’t have to be tough or mean to let people know that you’re not a pushover. You don’t have to let your boyfriend’s disrespectful behavior slide because “you love him.” You don’t have to get your degree in 4 consecutive years. You don’t have to feel ashamed to talk about God on your social media.
I could go on forever. But to refer back to my quote at the beginning of the article, “When you realize you have the power to make a decision, you have tapped into the ability to just be.”
Depending on how you use the word, be serves many purposes and has many definitions. I hope you caught that. Be is who you are. You too, have purpose and definition/identity. We run into issues when we settle and let others tell us what those purposes, labels, and definitions should be.
We have the power to make decisions about anything in our lives. When you realize that power, you have created the ability to embrace nothing less than what God called you to be. You don’t ever have to settle.
You can just be.
You can just exist.
You can simply thrive in life God called you to live, according to Him and no one else.
Whatever that may be.
– Jordyn Austin