The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (John 10:10)
For a long time, I have loved Oprah Winfrey’s slogan ‘Live your Best Life’. Anyone who reads her magazine and watches her network will know the popular ‘LYBL’ tag line. Though some of her spiritual beliefs are not in alignment with mine, this catch phrase has always resonated with me as I firmly believe this is God’s will for all His children. To live their best life! But this has so eluded me for years. It’s been on my profiles – Google, BBM, WhatsApp as (LYBL), but was I living my best life? Spiritually, emotionally, physically, health-wise and indeed in marital life, I most definitely was NOT.
I struggled on every side to be happy, to find peace or joy, talk less of LYBL. ‘I laugh in Chinese’, as my Naija friends would say. Meaning it seemed like an impossible feat. As each year of my life wore on from my early 30’s to my full grown woman of 43 today, I could safely say I was unhappy as a person, having spasms of happiness that I would fear would be short-lived and true to word, a self-fulfilling prophesy – those times would rarely last.
This year, I had an epiphany after a trauma and heartbreak in my personal life caused me to look at my life closely and more critically. I suddenly realized that If I do not make changes in my life, choices, habits, walk with God, and approach to things, I could not live my best life. I would continue to be miserable and live sub optimally. I began to own up to causes of my own failings in the areas I mentioned earlier and my heart was open for change.
I started with my mind, meditating on and feeding on God’s word and all that I judged would edify my soul; I worked on my personal relationship with God, improved my prayer and quality of meditation. Once this was on track, I could see clearer, hear more accurately and God began to lead me to focus on the important game-changers in this phase of my life.
I focused on my emotions. Boy, oh boy. Emotions, fickle as can be yet so powerful as to control your life, responses and reactions to situations. After failing at this for over 12 years, I realised I was hopeless at managing my emotions and being the spirit-controlled woman that I desired to be. I therefore called on the Holy Spirit to help me in this area, for He alone can; I cried out to Him that I had come to the end of myself – I needed healing from many hurts and failings and, truly, He responded. I began to see a change. It was not a one day, week, month affair, it took time…. still taking time but no longer did I wear my heart on my sleeves, letting my emotions blow me to and fro like the wind. Of a truth, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst….for they shall be filled”. I realized I had in a way placed some things in my life far above God in a very ‘roundabout’ spiritual way. One example for instance is that under the guise of prayers, believing, and faith, I was so obsessed to seeing success and victory in my marriage, it consumed me. God was not my Father, He was a means to an end. So, another step.
I had to place all idols at God’s altar of sacrifice! I realised that even my marriage had become an idol and even that did not give me the LYBL I desired. As I ‘truly‘ surrendered this (and I mean truly, not the lip service we sometimes do as we sing our favourite hymns such as ‘I surrender all’; I mean a 100% let-go-of-control; a let-go-of-understanding-what’s-going-on; a let-go-of-fixing-things-my-own-way and leaving God to do what He alone can do), my heart began to heal in little doses and when those waves of pain, regret, bitterness came, God held me through it. Through this process, believe it or not, my purpose and what God wanted me to do and His will for me for now emerged. I almost could not believe this by-product of surrendering all!
I took these seemingly simple sounding steps and it became clear that:
- I cannot Live my best life without God – without His help, without his purging and cleansing of those ugly parts of me that lead to a life devoid of peace or joy (the very things I so yearned for).
- If I continued to strive in my flesh the way I had, it would be only a use of my power, yielding nothing.
- Being wholly surrendered to God was not about ‘living a best life’ but actually being the ‘best me for God”. Only then would I find fulfilment, joy, peace and even when the storms come (and they will come), my anchor would hold because I am being the best I can be for God – doing God’s will Gods way.
The best is yet to come; the best ‘me’ is yet to emerge in Jesus’ name. One step at a time…..
“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:2)
Written by Bee
Be Your Best Self for God series