I embarked on my internship with trepidation. It is difficult as a wife, mother and business owner to leave everything behind and open the door to unassurity. However, the lessons I have learned through this summer go far above hospitality and tourism.
I have struggled in the past with seeing myself as a strong individual, but I did learn through this summer that I have what it takes to achieve what I set my mind to. With the strength of God, I have developed into more than I ever expected. I realize that it is often too easy to sit back and be the same person today that I was yesterday.
So, how do you become stronger? It does take tenacity, but it takes more. It takes an ultimate decision to push yourself out of the normal routine. You have to take baby steps every day in order to take a leap when it is time. Often times, the only thing stopping you from being stronger and jumping in faith is the invisible fence you've put around yourself...the fence of comfort, the fence of relying on others, and the fence of dependancy.
When walking around the Evergreen Lake this summer, I found this gate. It sits on the edge of someone's property, keeping nothing in and keeping nothing out. A gate that is attached to a fence serves a purpose. Without the fence, the gate has no meaning.
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me." (Psalm 23:4) While many people see this scripture and think they are protected through the valley of death, what is really being said is that there is no valley of death...it is simply a shadow of a valley of death.
What is a shadow? According to Webster, a shadow is a dark shape that appears on a surface when something moves between the surface and the source of light. Have you shadowed the plans God has for you by fear or unmotivation to change? Are you happy and content with what you have, never wanting to push yourself-never wanting to step out of your comfortable place?
If you want to be stronger with each passing day, take the time to realize that God is not in control--you are. He loved you enough that he gave you free will. "I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. So, CHOOSE life in order that you may live...." (Deuteronomy 30:19) God does not have a hand manipulating you. He simply sets before you the choices. If you are quiet, and you listen, He will give you the answer. You must choose how far you go in life. You must choose to be strong in Him and through Him. He can only work through you if you are willing to listen to Him, work to open doors around you, and push yourself, but He will not make you do anything. That is your job.