Writer: Contessa D.
As we all know, 2017 did not come to play with any of us and it sure did not give concern to any of our feelings. This year was the year of the edge, where edges were being snatched, the edge of seats were being sat on, and many of us felt like our lives were on the edge of a really crazy cliffhanger. 2017 was the struggle that was all the way real and it didn’t fail to stretch, tug, and pull us all in our processes for what’s about to emerge for us in 2018.
I can say that personally for me I felt like I was every bit of the old school toy favorite, Stretch Armstrong. I was being stretched in areas that I never really knew could be stretched, and the fact that they even needed to be was a challenge. It became a regular occurrence of me asking God, “What are you doing?”
You know the saying, “the devil’s throwing everything and the kitchen sink at you?” Transparent moment y’all, there were moments where I felt that I was a kitchen sink away from giving up on my process and throwing the whole of 2017 away. I was ready to quit. I felt every bit of alone (even though I knew I wasn’t), my business wasn’t taking off the way I wanted or expected, I was lacking a great deal of confidence in myself, and relationships seemed to become increasingly questionable.
Everything just seemed so…dry, like “desert sand mixed with baby powder” dry. I looked at my problems all year and with each one I was missing the point that they were opportunities to teach me to rise. My perspective was in a poor view simply because I was merely looking at my problems from a worldly perspective and not from the high view from where God seated me–in heavenly places.
There’s this quote that I often hear a wise influential leader say, “live above and not below.” Too often as believers we live our lives too closely to the ground when we overlook the promise that we were seated high and in heavenly places with Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:6 NIV). Well, I say it’s time to change your view from ground level to aerial. There’s nowhere to go but up from here, I mean nothing should stop you if you’re all the way up.
Here are some things to check off your list to make sure you aim high and stay high:
- Be Reflective – Take the time to go over your year. Where in your challenges did you fail to rise? Keep it real with yourself and with God. If you can’t see it for yourself then ask for help, ask the Holy Spirit to bring to light situations where you had a poor perspective of a situation and how you should’ve responded.
- Forgive – This is key for just about everyone. To go high, you need to forgive. Forgive yourself for where you may have failed to respond the right way in challenging situations. Often, we are the ones to inflict the most pain on ourselves— holding our own mistakes against us. Forgive yourself for everything you’ve held against yourself and be sure to forgive those who’ve also hurt and come against you.
- Rise – Nothing takes you higher and keeps you higher like rising to an occasion where others would normally retreat or operate out of a lowly choice. Choose to go high and stay there by shifting your perspective to view difficult situations as your potential opportunities.
- Build – Take the time to check out what it is that you are building. Over the course of this year have you managed to build community, healthy relationships, or even a business? If your answer is no, then you may want to reflect on why you missed out on the building process and what caused you to. Whatever we build is meant to further carry us up. If your relationships and community aren’t doing that then it’s time to reevaluate who and what should not be coming with you in the coming year.
- Be Transparent – Keep it real with God about where you are and where you want to be. Be sure to tell Him all that is on your heart, He knows it anyway so why not be open about it. God desires for you to become open with Him and just tell Him the truth. That is what will help you to build your relationship with Him. If you’ve been wounded this past year, I assure you that He desires to heal you if you let Him.
- Recover – This year may have given you quite a bit of loss. Well, now it’s time for your restoration to take full effect. With everything that was stolen, dried up, and lost, it’s now time to recover it all. In other words, GO. GET. IT. Don’t make the mistake of believing you can sit still to get all that was lost— no, go put in some work. Believe God, but also do what you can do so that He can do what He can do. You must get in alignment and agree with what God has for you and do your part in tilling the ground to see its fruit. If all that you tried before didn’t work, He is calling you to try it again and remain faithful that this time, it will work.
- Let it fall off – Simply put, everything and everyone that’s not meant to elevate with you shouldn’t. Let it all fall off as you ascend into new atmospheres. If you find yourself trying to carry the extra stuff, such as fear, anxiety, and some relationships then you will find yourself unable to go as high as needed to truly soar.
Take off – Five… four… three… two… one…. It’s time to go high. Nothing can stop you, you’re all the way up.
With these 8 steps you will be well on your way to not only achieving great heights in your life, but remaining on top. The year 2017 tried all that it could—putting you under pressure— but you didn’t break. You were being refined and built. You are ready to soar and I have a feeling that 2018 will be ready for you to fly. Keep aiming higher and never settle for lower.