I love to volunteer. I especially love volunteer events where I get to tutor children. I recently had the opportunity to discuss careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) with Chicago 7th grade kids at a primarily Latino school.
The kids in this part of the city often times don’t have access to many of the tools and resources that kids who are educated in the suburb take for granted (myself included). Positions in STEM aren’t filled by people that look like these kids. Many STEM positions are filled by Caucasian males and many of the students in this class were Latino or African American.
These kids were so excited to learn about career options that they didn’t even know existed. Seeing the look of excitement on their faces brought joy to my heart.
Every time I volunteer at events like this I can’t help but think about how fast time goes by. I remember sitting in those same seats like it was yesterday. I remember feeling like I was on top of the world. Many of the skills that I possessed I didn’t realize were talents, I just felt like I could do and be anything in life. However, as I got older somewhere along the way that zeal for life began to fade. I’m sure many of you may feel the same way.
As you get older you start accumulating more responsibilities like bills, kids, and all those hopes and dreams quickly fall by the wayside. My dad passed away when he was 43 from colon cancer. He was born in 1960 and passed away in 2004.
Many times when we look at an obituary or headstone, we look at their birthdate and date of death, but what about the dash? That dash is more than a punctuation. It’s our life. What will your dash look like? The year my dad died was the same year that I graduated from college. I vowed that I would live a life of no regrets. Yet, inadvertently by not pursuing/or honing in on the talents that God gave me left me with some regrets.
To get rid of my regret and regain what I had lost by not utilizing my talent. I decided to let God guide me. I want my dash to be filled with peace and happiness. Last year, when I turned 35 I decided to make a wholehearted concerted effort to create my ideal life. However, it became very clear to me that this type of life is impossible without God.
I was unemployed at the time so I had plenty of time to reflect and rediscover my passions. Even though that was an extremely tough period in my life, it gave me the time I need to reflect on my dash. My unemployment was a much-needed wake-up call.
Fast forward to 2018, God helped me to rediscover my passions and hone in on the talents He gave me. My point of this episode is to share the love. Below are some of the steps I used to align my soul with Christ:
1.) Close the door to fear
You can’t experience success with a fearful mindset. Fear is a destructive spirit. It’s impossible to succeed with this mindset. Fear paralyzes us and turns our life into a meaningless existence. This is why God demands us to close the door to fear (2Tim 1:7).
In order to do this, we must speak spiritual words that are filled with the power of God and watch out who we hang out with because fear is contagious (1 Cor 15:33-34). This way we will not give Satan an opportunity to enter our life (Eph 4:27, Prov 18:21).
I cannot stress this enough, Satan can’t fill our mind with negativity unless we give him permission to do so. When you’re on the path to rediscovering your talents, Satan is going to create all sorts of mental and physical obstacles to keep you from succeeding.
2.) I filled my soul with God’s word.
The only way we can free ourselves is by filling our soul with the word of God. God’s word is the only thing that can give you the stamina to keep you going and tear down all obstacles that stand in our way. The more you fill yourself with God’s Word, this will slay all those demons that try to deter you.
Being filled with God’s word is the only way His blessings are going to start chasing you down (Deut 28:2). Why? God rewards those who seek Him first. I can personally attest to this fact.
God has been dropping blessings at my feet like crazy lately. I’ve always been told that I had a nice voice. Never thought much about it, until last year. I was given the opportunity to do a voiceover project and that completely transformed into a fairly decent side hustle for me.
I’ve always been told that I’m very thorough and have a gift for explaining things, which is one of the reasons, I started teaching English online. God has given me an overflow of blessings in this areas and more. I work full time and many of my students are located overseas so unfortunately, I’m constantly turning people away. If I had more time I know my day would be jam-packed with students.
Another way God helped me to hone in on my talent is through exercise. I love to exercise. I’ve taken just about every class in the world but martial arts, boxing, and dance fitness classes have a special place in my heart.
Most recently, I made the decision and obtained my Zumba certification. I’ve already had people asking me when am I going to teach and received offers to teach even though I haven’t even finished my routine. For the record, I probably won’t start teaching until next year. I don’t want to rush and screw it up-LOL Guys.
In every one of those examples, I NEVER advertised for a single one of those side hustles. They are literal examples of blessings that simply fell at my feet.
3.) Let God daily direct my steps
The only way I was able to experience my blessing is because of point #3. I let God daily direct my steps. So many of us get so focused on the resource that we forget the Source (God). Many of us (myself included at one time) devote so much time to our jobs or other activities that we don’t have time for God.
I we put God first in our life, I am here to tell you that God will free up your schedule so you can have more time to pursue your passion and talents? Now, guys have a balance, I’m not saying quit your jobs or don’t give it your all, but show God that you’re willing to put Him first.
If you have to wake up early to do Bible study then do it. Don’t give God your leftover time. Start your day with Him. In doing so, you will start to see a major change in your perspective and your life as a whole. Putting God first, things will start to work out in your favor because God will cause all things to work for your good (Rom 8:28).
4.) After doing the aforementioned, God showed me to hone my God-given talents.
If you put God first He will work out your schedule so you can enjoy the abundant life Christ came to give us. God provided me with the resources/people in my life to help me take my talents to the next level. I know for a fact that the next chapter of my life will involve those talents intersecting and becoming my main hustle.
Now, things don’t always happen overnight, so don’t get tired of doing the right thing. Don’t give up. Remember, God’s timing is perfect Gal 6: 9. Just know that your talents will materialize at the right time.
5.) Last, but not least, I’m using my talent to help others rediscover there’s (i.e. this podcast) as God leads me to my destiny.
There are so many people hurting in this world, so since two of my talents are my voice and love for writing, this podcast is one of my ways to give back. I want you to feel the joy that I’ve been able to feel this year as a result of finally rediscovering the talents God gave me. I want this podcast to serve as your cheerleader telling you that you can do it. You got this.
Don’t delay your happiness for another second. It’s time to get to start working on your dash.
James 4:14 tells us that our life is like a vapor. It appears for a little while and then it vanishes away. So tell me what steps will you take to make sure that your dash mattered?
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