RelateHER: I Changed My Definition Of Success

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Written By: Johanna Taylor- Awaken Her

We throw around the word "successful" a whole lot. A successful career, a successful person. A successful company.

I just finished my undergrad in journalism four months ago, and one of the most common questions I get asked (naturally) right now is "what's next?" Am I on the job hunt, pursuing a career in journalism, and doing all the things I should be doing to get on the road to "success"?

I job hunted for about three months shortly after my wedding. Going to interview after interview, I slowly started to realize, that even if I got the job I was interviewing for - I wasn't sure I even wanted it. I was so conflicted inside myself. 

I started working at a new café (the coziest one in the world, in my opinion) as a barista, closed the door on corporate life, and I have not looked back. Nor have I missed the interviews or the thought of a cubicle desk. However, this season of struggle and stress challenged me to the core. I placed so much pressure on myself to get a job that fit the world's definition of success. Real talk, I've always wanted to be thought of as successful. In this time, I felt God urging me constantly to ask myself, "What is my definition of success? Is it the world's definition, or a heavenly definition?"

It's not bad to desire success and growth. But having a worldly view of what success means is not necessarily God's view of success. See, one of the most beautiful things about our faith in Jesus, is that our identity is not wrapped up in our job, our relationships, how big of a house we have, how much money we earn or how popular we are. NOPE. Our identity is in Him alone. And that ALSO means our definition of success changes. It must change for us to fully grasp our purpose on earth. We need to adapt heaven's definition of success.

1 John 2: 15-17 says, "Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity."

Heaven's success is salvation. It's healing. It's miracles. It's faith. It's emotional, physical and spiritual wholeness. It's knowing Jesus.

The Lord's prayer says in Matthew 6:10, "Your Kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven."

WOW. What if we actually got THAT in our spirit? As it is in heaven. Heaven's definition of success is bringing a Kingdom culture and mindset into a broken world.

Now, don't get me wrong, I KNOW many people have a calling to be in the corporate world. I am not saying that everyone should quit their day job! My husband is very much a corporate businessman. But the important thing, is to remember WHO our true identity lies with, and that success EVEN in the corporate world should not look the same for people who have put God at the centre of their lives. Getting to the top of the ladder in your workplace is no more "successful" in heaven's eyes than the job you work right now TODAY.

In heaven's eyes, you have an opportunity where you are right now to be an encourager and influencer to the people around you.

One of the best parts about looking through this new lens is that you realize YOU'VE ALREADY WON. You've already got everything you need in life, and God has already blessed you above and beyond anything the world could even offer.

Beyond that, you start to identify the stuff that's actually important to you beyond any kind of material possession. People are important. Prayer is important. Relationships and building the Church is important. And most of all, a relationship with Jesus is the most important thing we will ever possess, and the highest success we could ever reach. It's legitimately what we were created for…ya know, THE REASON God created you!

What could your world look like if you started to ask:

  1. What is my definition of success right now?

  2. How is it different from heaven's definition of success?

  3. What ways can I actively start to change my mindset to make it more like God's definition of success in my life?

Take some time and answer those three simple questions for yourself. Write them down, mull over them and really take the time to think about how your perspective could be transformed.

 - Johanna


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Pray for British Columbia

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As Canada celebrates 150 years, Gather Women has committed to pray for our nation the 1st of every month. Let’s celebrate with thankful hearts the rich diversity of each province as together they unite and strengthen our nation. This month our prayer focus is British Columbia.

  • Pray for British Columbia’s new provincial government during these early days as they negotiate the future of the province. Pray for wisdom for Premier John Horgan as he leads. Pray for a deep desire for all government leaders to work together for the good of the people in the province..
     
  • B.C. will be recovering from a season of wildfires that are the worst in recorded history. Pray for wisdom on how to rebuild, especially for those who lost homes and business as well as communities that were significantly impacted.

  • Pray for the educational system, the Minister of Education and those involved in leading schools and educational facilities who are dealing with a number of very important but sensitive issues. Pray for wisdom, grace and understanding to be evident, and an open door for the voice of truth to be heard and the enemy to be silenced.
     
  • Praise God for His beautiful work through partnerships evidenced in so many local churches throughout B.C. Pray for an increase in partnerships and a growing sense of unity among the churches. Pray the church in B.C. would continue to grow from strength to strength and from glory to glory.
     
  • There is a real cry in the hearts of Indigenous communities for reconciliation and we have seen so many rise up and come alongside to stand with them. Pray that many will be a part of shaping the future for the beautiful Indigenous people and that the love of our Saviour who reconciled us to Himself will be seen and His love will bring healing and hope.
     
  • Pray for many women to gather at the National Gather Rise Event at Peace Portal Alliance Church in Surrey, B.C. on October 21. Pray for the many voices of Canadian women to bring encouragement, challenge and inspire women of faith in Canada. Pray for those who gather to connect and build relationships for Kingdom impact.

God keep our land glorious and free. In Jesus Name. (2 Corinthians 3:17)  

 

Thank you for joining with other women across Canada in prayer.  
The Prayer Team in partnership with Helen Burns, White Rock, British Columbia

LeadHER: When You're Stuck

Written By: Cathie Ostapchuk 

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A few years ago, we were packing to move to our new home and I was left with the task of taping up boxes.  However, my best attempt left more of the tape attached to my thumb, and then my fingers and in a few seconds, I was quite literally….stuck.

As a leader, you can find yourself stuck for a number of reasons.  It could be lack of confidence.  It could be fear of failure.  It could be a challenging voice that is telling you things are not going to improve and it might be better to just quit.  Sometimes, that voice is not the voice of an enemy but someone you trust. 

What gets me stuck most often is when I have had to make a decision to risk a little more than I am comfortable with.  It’s when I have had to go out on a limb and take team members to a place that none of us have ever been but we need to go there to expand the vision and mission of the organization we serve.  Sometimes, I get stuck if I think too hard and too long about the risk, and become paralyzed with fear.

When I am stuck, I have a go-to set of principles that create momentum for me so I can become unstuck.  I have learned the longer you let the fear hold you back, the farther away your dreams for yourself, your team, your family, your ministry, or your organization, will seem. 

  • Don’t forget your daily rituals.  Rising early, reading from God’s word, spending time in prayer and journaling, and healthy self-care are often forgotten when the stakes are high.  Do what you know to do to establish order and stability in your life.  Investing in the everyday disciplines can create a wealth of new insights because you are focused, paying attention, and asking questions of your life.
  • Make your first lifeline call, not to a friend, but to your Best Friend.  We often call someone to help us out of our situation and expect them to respond like it is a 911 call.  Picture Jesus reaching out to you as you step out of the boat, and saying, “Do not fear.”  That is always His word to you when you are in His presence.  Go to Him first and receive the peace that He offers.
  • Gather your tribe.  Process what is holding you back with trusted friends.  Spiritual friends.  Friends who are there to challenge you and pull you forward.  There are friends who may want to keep you back, because you are someone they know they can keep pace with.  Choose friends who are calling you to move into your future and even make risk seem natural.

Are you stuck?  What rituals do you have in place to keep you grounded?  Who will you reach out to first?  And who are those you can gather as your tribe that will say, “take the risk”?   We all become stuck. 

At some point you have to move forward.  Jesus reaches out His hand and says, “Come to me”.  You’ve got this.