I had a conversation this week and met somebody for the first time. It was actually a daughter of a client who’s been with me for three and a half years. It was a beautiful conversation, great connection. Just happened to be in the same place at the same time, she shared some things going on in her world; tough stuff. I wanted her to know she wasn’t alone, so I shared some of the tough stuff my wife and I have been through…
Two miscarriages when we wanted to have kids and it was heartbreaking. We did get our miracle baby girl who is now 15 and the two boys that followed.
There were times when things were financially not going well. Getting a knock at the door on a Saturday night, finding the constable on the porch serving up foreclosure papers… and my wife didn’t know we were behind. That was bad.
Another day I went out to the driveway where I parked my car… and it wasn’t there, just the scrap marks where my car had been pulled out of the driveway in the middle of the night: repossessed.
And I remember the night when my wife looked at me and said, “I don’t think I really want to be married to you anymore.”
And then she asked me, “How did you get through that? How did you not go into depression or despair, or whatever?”
I was not prepared for that, I was set back at first thinking… like how did I? I mean there are things that you don’t necessarily think about… but when I really think about it all, those tough things are what make me who I am today. They gave me a voice to sit at that table with her. They gave me a voice to help you take back your power and create the life that you desire. These experiences have given me a voice to be a pastor for 25 years and to make a difference in a lot of people’s lives.
But what really got me through that tough stuff, the stuff that just sucks! And I was honest with her. At first when going through tough stuff, I played the victim. I acted powerless. I pointed fingers at other people and blamed them for a long time. And here’s the big one; I used my faith in God as a scapegoat for me doing anything. I prayed for God to take care of all of these things because I was taking care of the church. I was like, you got to take care of me, just drop it out of heaven. I used my faith as a scapegoat to stay in that victim mentality waiting for God to drop a miracle out of heaven.
Eventually I got tired and sick and tired of being sick and tired. And so I made a huge decision at this point to TAKE BACK MY POWER! There is a reason I say that all the time! You have the power to take it back, you have the power to choose and therefore you have the power to change. Do not play the victim. Stop acting powerless. Stop blaming other people because you can take it back and create the life that you desire.
The biggest reason I am so passionate about this message is because I wasn’t doing it for sooo many years. And when I hit rock bottom; my wife didn’t want to be married, foreclosure papers, cars repossessed… and when I didn’t have any other answers I had to say, you know what? It is all in God’s hands… BUT GOD put the same power that raised Jesus from the dead on the inside of me. I have the power inside of me and potential that I WASN’T TAPPING INTO.
I’m sharing this just to be real, transparent, vulnerable, unscripted to say: no matter what is going on in your life, no matter what your circumstances are… You are the sum total of every decision you’ve made, (my pastor taught me that 20 years ago), so don’t act like you got where you’re at because of somebody else.
Now, I will say bad stuff does happen, like if you were abused, molested or abandoned by a parent. Those are real things and I’m not diminishing your circumstances, the pain, or the hurt. But what I am going to say to you is don’t tell me what happened to you, tell me what you are going to do as a result of it. How are you going to take back your power and choose a new path?
Because no matter what happens circumstantially, you are not a victim of your circumstances. You are the creator of your life. From this point forward right now, what are you going to do? You are the sum total of every decision you’ve made and no matter what has happened or happens, you still have the power to choose.
SO, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO TODAY TO TAKE IT BACK?
That was the defining moment, when I stopped playing the victim and I realized that my faith without works is dead and I better start doing something about it. And instead of praying prayers asking God to fix it, I started praying prayers asking God to show me my part, that I was ready to do what I needed to do without holding back. I was ready to no longer make excuses and things changed.
After that came accountability, came relationships, getting into a mastermind, hiring a coach, putting myself in new environments, and becoming obsessed with my growth. All these things followed but everything hinged on that beginning point.
So how do you get through the tough times?
Stop playing the victim. Stop acting powerless. Stop pointing fingers of blame at others.
MAKE THE DECISION TO TAKE BACK YOUR POWER.
And then you can have the joy of creating the life that you’ve always desired because you have the power to choose, the power to change. You might be going through tough times right now, no matter what it is… YOU’RE TOUGH. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe your business went under. Maybe your marriage is falling apart. Maybe your health is deteriorating. One thing you can do is take back your power! I hope this encourages you. Know that you are a powerful person… and it is time for you to start acting like it so go out there and give your greatness to the world because somebody needs what’s on the inside of you! Have a great week!