I recently read an article on women and success and it really got me thinking, “What do I define as success?”
We see more and more women on the rise, striving to reach the top, owning their own businesses, becoming CEOs and CFOs; putting off things like dating or getting married or having children to pursue their careers and dreams.
The pressure to make it big is at the forefront of our day to day lives with sayings like “Go big or Go home”, “failure is not an option”, and “just do it.”
Now please don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying success is a bad thing if done with right intentions; I am a huge dreamer and believer in following your heart but sometimes our hearts are tainted by what the world’s standards are:
If you’re not an entrepreneur you’ve failed; if you haven’t climbed to the top, you’re not a winner; if you don’t work-from-a-laptop-in-some-fancy-coffee-shop then you just haven’t made it – but wait!
What happens when you’ve made it to the top and realize there’s no one up there with you?
Or you’re sitting in the coffee shop with no one beside you?
What happens when you climb to the top of the mountain, plant your flag and still don’t feel good enough?
It took me some soul-searching and close intimacy with God to really start answering these questions within myself.
I’ve always been an over-achiever and always striving for more but the more I gained – the more I wanted.
The more I reached the top – the less satisfying it was.
The more I focused on me – the less I focused on others…boy did I have it all wrong!
I looked at success as achieving a huge challenge or goal; I put my satisfaction in the outward things and not the inner things; I hungered for success but I was never satisfied.
I thought I had my plans all figured out until one day God revealed something to me; it wasn’t my plans I was to be seeking, it was His plans.
I think He’d actually been revealing it to me for some time; I just wasn’t ready to listen.
The more time I spent in prayer and seeking His guidance, the more I was open to hearing Him.
His word say’s “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.” (Luke 12:31)
He also said “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
We go about chasing our goals and our dreams and man-made successes but what about God’s goals and dreams and purpose for us?
After all, God knew us first!
He knew the plans for you and I before we were even born, “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5)
No wonder we struggle and stress and are unsatisfied when we make our own plans without God’s direction.
No wonder we fear the future instead of embracing it.
We’ve placed success at the altar, we’ve made it this grandiose achievement that one must attain in their lifetime because after all, as the saying goes “you only live once”.
So I ask, what does success mean to you?
I told you what it used to mean to me until God did a work on my heart.
I’ve learned success is not an ultimate goal of achievement but instead it’s the subtle unseen things that are lived out day by day.
Like being a godly wife, I want to be one who respects and loves her husband and shows him every day.
Like being a godly parent, one who loves and nurtures and leads as God intended.
Like being a godly friend, one who comforts and listens and prays for those she loves.
And most importantly, I want to be a success in being a godly woman, one who seeks God first, trusts in Jesus and is led by the Holy Spirit – that to me is true success.
Just think about it for a moment, when you think of successful women in your life, I’m sure it’s not Oprah or Hillary Clinton or some other celebrity, right?
No, it’s most likely your mother or grandmother or someone who made a profound impact in your life.
So instead of striving to reach that one-time ultimate success, you can be a success in Christ every day and it starts right where the Lord has you, whether in your marriage, as a parent, your friendships, in your career, at school – wherever!
The SECRET is…be FAITHFUL in these areas and everything else will be added unto you.
“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
Luke 16:10 NIV
To all my successful godly women out there, may you continue to seek God in all that you do and may He grant you the desires of your heart.
Did today’s post speak to you? What does success mean to you?
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Do you know someone who could hear this today, please also share with those you love.
Thank you for visiting, God Bless.