Moving out from home at 19 years old has taught me so much. Learning to live on my own, becoming more independent, these are all things I have dreamt about forever. And while it might not have been the ideal picture so to speak, as I entered a new relationship (where we both lived in shelter for about 10 months) to now living in a beautiful home with loving and supportive family, I am still incredibly grateful. In this process, you really get used to just “doing you” and moving confidently. In any and every area of my life, I have made it a point to do things that work best for me, whether or not someone else agrees.
In the beginning stages, it was really tough as I was so scared of how my parents and relatives would respond. So wrapped up in how it looked to others, I took on a lot of stress. Although I tried to hide it, it crept in and took a toll emotionally. There were just moments in the day that I’d break down because I just wanted so much support. It no longer became about my happiness but about someone elses’s comments and disapproval with the way I was living my life.
As time went by though, God led me to the understanding that this move wasn’t for everyone else. Praying to Him, He showed me and used other people in my life to make it clear that this move is so much more significant than I realize it to be. That I shouldn’t worry about how it looks because He is using this moment in my life to stretch me for a greater purpose.
Fast forward into 2018, and I am really seeing the progress unfold. Off a semester from school, working full time with children, becoming more involved in my Church home, it has really been such a rewarding journey. I have never felt so much freedom and joy. Because for the first time in my life, I am not being ran by a tight and rigid regimen (and instead of being observed by the microscope, I am surrounded by encouragement to keep on pressing). Not bound by the demands of school work and job tasks. Not restricted from fulfilling by purpose nor drained of my time and energy.
How Private Time with God Helps
Last summer, I really got serious about establishing a deeper relationship with God. Wanted to read the Bible, and really understand His Word. Wanted to learn more about Him, and prepare myself how to live by faith and faith alone.
There were so many days where I’d read for hours on end. Living in Far Rockaway at the time, there were a few days where I’d just walk by the boardwalk or chill on the beach with my Bible wide open, my notebook handy and my YouTube playlist filled with sermon preachers (s/o to Joshua Eze and Heather Lindsey). Just wanting to know Him, and figuring out the anointing He has placed on my life. In this process, I have learned to not be moved by the opinions of others but by God’s instruction. Because in depending on Him solely for every single thing, I have learned that as long as I remain faithful He will continue to do what He has promised.
“Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord.” Jeremiah 17:5 (KJV)
So many people live in absolute fear and worry of another person’s judgement. Scared to make a move because they think before doing anything, they need to run to someone else to ask for their permission. We see it happen, and have even been caught up deep at one point:
Entering relationships to find themselves and/or to prove a point. Appearing to be happy but suffering deep down knowing that’s not where they should really be.
Enrolling in expensive private schools costing them a ridiculous amount of money all because of a name/title.
Working for companies that leave them dissatisfied with absolutely no motivation. Because it is all they know and are taught, they’ll never leave…no matter how much they complain.
Becoming so caught up in materialism (new clothes, house/apartment, car) causing them to forget who they are. So involved in staying trendy, and keeping a public image that their purpose in life is completely thrown out the window.
This is exactly why it is time to drop pleasing others all together. Stop living your life because you think it seems like the right thing to do since everyone else is saying or doing it. Success and liberation does not require you to runback to a friend, family member, significant other or even stranger for their opinion.
Think about it like this
What will happen when they don’t like your ideas? If they mock or criticize you for thinking “too big”, then what?
Don’t be the person who clings on people’s support because you will fall short on the plan God has in place for you. Success is not easy, it will cost you therefore if you want to pursue something, pursue it! Stop being dependent on man’s “yes” and “no” and start moving on His. If God tells you to distance yourself, start/end relationships, leave your job, shift your mental focus, let go of old baggage….DO IT!
The only thing stopping you is yourself. No other opinion ever matters that much. We tend to complicate everything when it really is just that simple: stop caring. Don’t live and die by the sword of man’s approval because it does and will continue to rob you of your joy and peace.
And don’t worry, you will not be alone. When you speak to Him, remember to ask for strength. Ask Him daily to renew your mind and heart. Ask Him to align the desires of your heart with His. He will leave you with such an indescribable peace and set of confidence leading you forward, and not back.