Six Transforming Truths This Year

I have always wanted to hold a position of authority. To be the one up on the pedestal and totem pole telling others what to do. This is partly because I was never “right” as a child, I never got to have my own thoughts and feelings, and I was sure never allowed to “one-up” anyone. I was always the underdog, always the odd one, always the black sheep, always the runt in my family.

But in 2011 I said, “No more.”

No more will I allow things I did not get from my childhood determine my future. No longer will I blame my current actions, thoughts, and behaviors on anyone else. I refused to live another day of my life at half-throttle and the results have been mind-boggling.

I want to share a few of my transforming life lessons with you today as we close one year and open the doors to a bright new future. I hope they can serve you as you begin thinking a planning your new year. And I hope you join me in making 2012 the best year of your life!

 

1. Whoever would be great among you must also be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave. Matthew 20:26-27 

As the world transitions out of the information age and into a new age this teaching rings truer than ever. I began this website in January of 2011 to supplement my health and fitness article in the local newspaper. A few inches a week was not near enough space to give such vital topics as nutrition and fitness their full treatment.

I will be honest with you. I first I thought of myself as my your authoritative teacher, telling you this information that you would not know otherwise. I wanted to hammer the truth about food and the importance of healthy nutrition into you and then raise an eyebrow when you did not follow it. Why don’t people want to feel better, I thought. Why won’t they just do it instead of complain about their health, body image, and weight loss struggles?

But along the way something interesting happened. I learned a powerful lesson from this passage in scripture. I am not above you. Even if I want to be a great leader, I will not get very far on a pedestal alone. And just because I was always the underdog as a child does not excuse me seeking out authority positions in my adulthood for the express purpose of feeling like I am on top for once.

“No more.”

We are in this together and I am in the trenches with you in our quest for health and vitality! I am here to serve you with the information I have found is true in faith, food, and fitness. I may be a little further down the path than you at this point, but I am not elevated above you.

When I can serve you in any capacity with the powerful lessons I’ve learned in life, it is more than worth it! What about you? Think about your favorite teacher, boss, or mentor. What was it about them that impacted you so? I’ll guess it was their servant heart first and foremost!

 

2. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:14

It amazes me how this lesson applies not only to salvation, but to any lofty goal in life. Many people want success in whatever area, be it faith, fat loss, work, etc., but few are willing to put in the sweat, blood, and tears necessary for success. Few are willing to take the narrow, rocky path up the mountain, instead favoring a meandering, easy way in the valley.

After beginning my blog, I realized that people make a real living from website businesses and I thought it would be the greatest thing ever. Of course trading my time for money is inefficient! Of course I want to work from anywhere in the world. Of course I want to make my own schedule and be my own boss! And so I began searching how to attain this status that others enjoy.

I quickly found that making a living requires consistent, strategic work. That the way is difficult. That few have paved a path sharing how and that I had my work cut out for me. That there are haters, naysayers, and discouragers because most people have never seen someone do this. But I knew I was sharing a great message because my clients, friends, and readers were achieving incredible results following my nutrition recommendations. So I kept going.

Through consistent effort, lots of mistakes, and mainly a determination not-to-give-up-no-matter-what I am taking the narrow path and learning how to achieve my dream of recurring income and financial freedom from a web-based business. The way is narrow. Few find it.

Anything worth obtaining in life is difficult and does not come without struggle, difficulty, or sacrifice. In order for me to feel my best and live my highest self every day, I forego all grains, processed foods, vegetable oils, and otherwise inflammatory, life-sucking foods. That was a huge sacrifice for me because I LOVE LOVE LOVE cereal and “worth it” brownies”. Who doesn’t? But after that initial difficulty and comparing my current energy levels and health with my former state, the way is now easy and sure-footed!

The truth is that few people are willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears to obtain a dream. Why not set our sights higher than the status quo? Why not live at our highest selves all of the time? Why not dare to be different, holy, set apart for the work of God?

Why not take the narrow path?

 

3. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. Col 3:2

I wandered aimlessly through life without a vision for 24 years. I possessed tons of energy but no direction. Only in the past year have I took the time to really dig in and develop my vision for the rest of my life. In Christianity, this entails studying and developing a strong sense of the coming age when all things will be made new, when God will redeem the earth and make everything right. Developing a keen sense of our next life pulls me forwards, makes my heart beat faster, and leaves me giddy with anticipation.

Our vision for life should be that way too. I cannot wait to share my full vision with you in the coming weeks because it is big, exciting, and even a little scary!

Do you have a strong, compelling vision that pulls you through life? If not, now is the time to start. And it starts by thinking BIG. Bigger than yourself and the incremental goals you think are possible. If we BEGIN with vision, the PATH to get there will soon follow!

Now that I have developed my vision, it doesn’t matter who my “haters” are, what people say, or how people judge my work or myself. My focus is on the prize, on the big thing above, not on minor things like what other people think of me.

 

4. Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Matthew 10:38

I never understood this verse until this year. I always assumed my mission in life was to tell people about how God saved me from drugs and alcohol or how I lost 30 pounds through Paleo, but these are only pieces of my story. I never shared myself fully. And because I refused to take up my cross – the truth about my childhood sexual abuse and the transforming, redeeming power of God – I was not worthy of wearing his name.

When God revealed the truth of my cross to me this year, I was resistant at first. Anything but that, I thought. Surely ‘that’ is over and I can get on with my life. But God is good and persistent in spite of my resistance! And when someone said, “People who have gone through what you have gone through are not doing this well” I knew it was time to take up my cross and share my story with the world. What happened to me as an adolescent is my ultimate source of my sadness, pain, hurt, disappointment, and acting out in my teenage years. But God brought me through all of it and I do not even consider myself a survivor, but a ThriveHer, because it no longer holds me back, beats me down, or controls me as it has in the past! If sharing my story will bring glory to God and help even one person not choose the destructive paths I chose, then it is all worth it.

Have you taken up your cross this year? Do you know you should share more of yourself with your family or kids? Are you avoiding what God is leading you to?

 

5. It is more blessed to give than receive. Acts 20:35

In conjunction with the above lesson, I have learned that it is much more blessed to give than to receive! I used to take, take, take because I was scared to open up and share my story, my knowledge, my perspective, and my heart. But you are more than encouraging when I share all of this things and I want you to know how much I thank you!

The more I’ve given this year, the more I’ve connected with people on an authentic level, the more I’ve healed, and the more I’ve been inspired (by you) to give more. It’s a scary thing, giving of myself, because I give everyone the ability to hurt me and stomp on my by making myself vulnerable. But you know what? Seldom does that ever happen.

The people I admire most in life are the ones that give. Not just of their time, but of themselves. They are the ones who are fully present with you in the moment, not checking Facebook or text messages, not thinking about the past or the future, but fully devoting their time and energy to you in the present. And they give. And give. And give!

Be a blessing in 2012. Really embody this and give the gift of presence, of giving of yourself, of being with people.

6. Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you. Mark 5:18

All of the powerful lessons I have learned in 2011 culminate in this one final simple phrase, Go and tell how much the Lord has done for you. I’ve always discounted my story because everyone goes through stuff like this, right? I’ve never thought I should share it because it is painful, shameful, and awkward. But that’s part of being a servant, the gate to the narrow way, it is key to taking up my cross, and it is paramount to giving.

The Lord has brought me from darkness to light by leading me to share my story of triumph over sexual abuse. He and he alone is responsible for my transformation out of drugs and alcohol. He is to be honored for leading me to counseling in 2007. He is to be glorified for igniting this insatiating desire for truth within me. This desire began my quest for the healthiest way to live. To his glory and honor do I eat real foods and share the simplicity of food with the world.

This year I have fully understood the power of story, my own story and your story. No one can fill our shoes in the exact way that we do. No one has the ability to impact and influence those around us in the exact way that we do. No one has the exact same mix of thoughts, feelings, and life experiences that we do.

So it is up to us to choose the path less traveled, to develop the heart of a servant and give of ourselves by taking up our cross and telling what the Lord has done for us. I’ve learned those lessons this year and fully commit to living them in 2012. I know it will be the best year yet!

Look out for more info on how to do this more fully in the future. For now, enjoy your holidays!

What about you? What do you think? And what are your resolutions? I cannot wait to hear them! Comment below!

4 Comments

  • Laura

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    This is great! I’m blessed to know you and read all of your wonderful thoughts 🙂 I struggle with being able to trust myself not to fail when starting new things. I know I was made to be a giver and that’s something I want to work on in the new year. No fear to take the narrow road!

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply January 1, 2012

      Thank you for your kind remarks, Laura! Clint and I were just talking about how much we are going to miss y’all. And thank you for sharing. I can sympathize with it being difficult to trust yourself, but you are already doing beautifully on increasing your giving! I pray for richest blessings on your 2012 and know you will succeed in giving much! Love you lots. -g

  • Melinda

    Reply Reply May 25, 2012

    Gerilyn, first I want to say I’m sorry that I am just now reading this. I am so bad to not read emails right away, but I have always put the ones from you in a folder to keep. Now that school is out I’m trying to catch up. You are amazing and very brave to share your story! I want to have the strength you do! I think it’s great that you have decided to take what you have been through and try to help others. I want to have the courage to do that also. I would love to stand up for Zach, and get involved with MADD to help prevent drinking and driving but something keeps holding me back.I guess it is just pure fear! I want to have your courage and determination! You are special in that you have a purpose, and you know what you what to achieve and have your goals set. I know you will achieve those goals! You are in my prayers, and I want you to know that you and Clint both have blessed our lives in so many ways! You have our support and if we can ever do anything to help you along your journey, we will be there for you! We love and miss you!

    P.S. I may have to get you to put a little fear in me to get motivated to start working out again! I’m being lazy…I may need a little foot against my behind (gently lol)…I need a routine! lol

    • gerilyn

      Reply Reply May 26, 2012

      Hi Melinda!

      No worries! Better late than never! That’s why it’s on the internet forever. 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement! It helps so much! And you do have the strength! I know every time you talk about Zach it boosts your confidence a little more. I know you touch lives now with your story and will continue to do so in big ways in the future! 🙂 I admire your perseverance and know that when the time comes, you will have everything you need to share your story in a big way. 🙂

      Thank you so much for your influence in our lives. We LOVE spending time with y’all and enjoying your company and seeing y’all bless each other and Lindsey in amazing ways.

      On the motivation, I sent you an email yesterday! 🙂 We have weekly vitalityBOOST calls that light a fire up under you every week! 🙂 Talk soon!

      Love you bunches!
      -Gerilyn

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