Do you have a personal motto? Some people memorize motivational or inspirational sayings to recall in times of trial. Some people want a mantra they can carry through life which depicts their purpose or calling.
As a teenager, there were two personal mottos I adopted and lived by for over twenty years:
– Dare to be Different
– Make It Happen
The first motto appealed to my rebellious spirit. I loved the concept of being different. And I reveled in the challenge of any dare.
For me, it wasn’t the idea of being different as in being odd. It was being different as in standing out. Being daring. Trying what others were afraid to try. Doing what others couldn’t or wouldn’t do. Being adventurous. Living on the edge. Pushing the envelope. Seeing how far I could go, and how fast. In everything.
In my mind, I had something to prove.
I didn’t want to be like the masses of people who meandered through life with nothing to show for it. I didn’t want to live a humdrum existence. I wanted to soar the thrilling heights of a charmed life. I had to prove that I wasn’t an ordinary girl from an ordinary, broken home. I was special. I was fun. I was fearless. And I was going to have it all.
Life was a competition. I was creative and determined to win. I dared to be different. I was going all in.
In one sense, my personal motto and life mantra served me well as I scrambled up the corporate ladder and scaled the walls of success. After all, that was my one tangible goal in life. To be successful. And in so doing, to honor my father’s memory and make him proud. To provide a better life to my future children than what I had growing up. To be able to give them all of the things I wanted but couldn’t have. To get and give all of the things that bring happiness.
Of course, it didn’t turn out this way. And success, wealth and “things” don’t bring true or lasting happiness.
The end of my original Dare to be Different chapter in life came when I was introduced to Jesus at age 35. I had reached the pinnacle of my career at age 33, and there was no one there to celebrate with. Success was empty. Life at the top was lonely. And I had squandered so many years climbing the mountain of the world that I never had the children I was doing it all for.
When I met Jesus, my world changed. I changed.
I no longer had anything to prove. I realized that nothing would fill my emptiness except Jesus, and so my goal in life was now to pursue Him. It may sound weird. But all I have is from Him. I am nothing without Him. By the grace of God, He has redeemed my life from the dark pits of loneliness and despair. He has given me a second chance and allowed me to experience new life based on eternal hope.
Today, I still dare to be different, but in a new way.
I dare to live my life for Jesus and make different choices than most people I know. I do it in the hopes that if there’s anyone else wanting to leave the past behind to move forward in new life, they’ll know it can be done. And I’m here to help them. That’s what sisterhood is all about.
So let me challenge you. Will you dare to be different too?
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by a renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:2
May I pray?
Jesus, many of us want a life that’s different than what we had growing up, and even different than what we have now. And many of us try to fill our loneliness with slick new toys, a fast and fabulous lifestyle, and empty relationships. But Lord, at some point we’ll end up at the bottom of a dark pit staring up and wondering, “Where are we, and where are You?” Help us to turn to You today and say “Yes”. Yes, we dare to be different and live our life for You. In Your holy and precious Name I pray. Amen.
Q4U: How will you dare to be different?