Letting God Set Your Goals
Last November, a friend sent me an interesting text message. As in a 6’6, tech entrepreneur, macho male friend of mine texted to say “Recently read that Rachel Hollis book. She reminds me a bit of the way you speak / think.” At the time, I hadn’t heard of Rachel Hollis. But I googled her, read about her awesome work, and joked with my friend that I didn’t think she’d be his style. “More for a girly mom audience?” I tossed. “It was on the bestseller list and I was curious” he rallied back. “I’m a hidden mom. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Mom.”
All jokes aside, I’ve just finished reading Rachel’s aforementioned bestselling book, Girl, Wash Your Face, and see where my friend is coming from. I think part of the reason I was surprised he read the book was that he’s more of a quantitative than qualitative person. And when he reads ... man I remember when he was trying to sell me on Blinkist. Rushing through a book? To only get the main points? No way! Half the fun of reading is savouring the words and learning the stories and emotions behind people and situations (fictional or real). As I read, I love getting fired up, brewing ideas, shouting “Yessss!” and making endless notes in the margins. The book is good for all of these things. But back to understanding my friend’s point. While I couldn’t relate to all of the book (think it’ll be a good one to re-read when I’m a mom), we are two of a kind when it comes to believing hard in mind over matter (i.e. you can do whatever you put your mind to) and that ultimately all our strength comes from God.
So You Say You’re Ambitious…
It’s funny. I started this post thinking I’d write about ambition because Girl, Wash Your Face reminded me of how awesome it is to have your soul feel like it's on fire for a certain passion or purpose. I’ve had these feelings many times in my life … where I feel like I’m exactly where I’m meant to be or doing exactly what I’m meant to do.
God’s given me a personality that is highly motivated … but by internal rather than external factors. For example, I’ve moved to big cities twice (Singapore and Hong Kong, from Canada) without knowing anyone not for career opportunities (though those that made it possible to move) or money but for the PURE JOY of personal growth. When I had a few months off between semesters of grad school last year, I decided to hyper focus on writing my first novel manuscript in the mornings, evenings and weekends … when I wasn’t working at my full-time job, working out, going on dates, attending church and small group, or reviewing restaurants (a side gig). (The novel is … not very good … at the moment aha but that’s a story for another day.) All this to say that I LOVE learning and growing (oh look at all the CAPS in this section haha) but I always did it for my personal fulfilment.
Now that passionate “meant to be” feeling comes when I’m spending time with God. I’ve surrendered all my hopes and dreams to him and regularly ask him to show me my purpose instead. Before I used to set a million goals and then start acting on them. Now I still have a million goals but I pray and ask God to direct so I chase after the things he’s meant for me … and I pray whenever I want but trust him to answer in his perfect timing. You probably don’t know me in real life, so I wish I could emphasize how life changing this has been. Please believe when I say that perma planner me has never been happier or more confident letting go, walking with God, and trusting that he will provide. And I 100% believe that what he’s planned is way, way, way better than anything I could plan for myself. God is always making something beautiful and I’ll follow even if I only see the beauty at the end. Whatever he gives me, whatever life throws my way, I know I’ll always be ready to smash things with him by my side.
Wash Your Face
The “wash your face” philosophy is that “you, and only you, are responsible for who you are and how happy you become” (xi).
I own this responsibility and choose Jesus.