Identity

No More Chains

In life, we are often hit right in the face with change. Some change is good, some are bad, but we’re bound to face it no matter what. The actions and reactions we take when change comes to depend solely on us and how we handle it. Nonetheless, we are not alone in our journey or challenges we face. 

Wait…what? You just said it’s “solely on us”, yet are now telling us we’re not alone?  Yes, that is exactly what I said. I want you to take this next sentence to heart. While our actions and reactions are on us, we are provided, through God, the opportunity to live in community which means we have help. I was taught to believe everything that happened in my life was someone else’s fault, and that no one could or would understand me or my situation(s). This lead to me experiencing a tremendous amount of grief, anxiety, and depression. It wasn’t until I fully accepted responsibility for my actions/reactions AND sought help from God and those I could trust that God placed in my life to guide me through this journey and the changes that come with it.

Why is this so important?  Simply put, without embracing change in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today. My life and attitude is far from perfect, but they’re exceedingly better than they were in the past. 

Growing up, I was told I’d never amount to much of anything, do poorly in school, and that “can’t” would always be a major part of my vocabulary…so much so that I believed what I was told in my mind, heart and soul. Let’s put this into perspective – I was only 10 when I was told this. Rewind to the age of 1.5 and bring to light that my birth mom walked out on my dad and I and would continue even to this day cause me strife.  This young boy had options, but truth be told didn’t know what they were or how to execute them. So what did I do?  I became angry, bitter, and enraged with hate. Hate for someone or something I didn’t even understand or know. All I knew was that I didn’t feel like I belonged here.

My initial turnaround point, at age 14, was when one of my Boy Scout leaders asked me what I wanted to be in life. My response was “I don’t know and I don’t care because I will never be good enough; I just can’t do anything right.”  This person not only held the title of a leader but more importantly he was and always will be my first recognized mentor.  Here is what he said and it became my “why”: “Chris, don’t you ever think anything other than you are more than enough. God created you and all you have to do is believe in Him and work hard to become whatever it is you want to be.”  Wow!  Talk about revelation.  Although I didn’t fully understand how much that simple statement would change my life, I knew that I would be forever changed.

There’s that word again. Change. It’s a big one and something that I do not take lightly.  You see, when we accept God and His calling on our lives, it’s time to get dialed in and put on your armor because the devil is going to attack anything and everything he can. 

 So what happened next?  I began to set goals for myself (by myself) and just kind of float through life. I finished high school, started JUCO, my fiancé and I got pregnant, we chose to get married, we bought a house, and I began a decent career path that kept us afloat.  But of course, the devil attacked and quite honestly gained the upper hand. The next thing I knew, here came rejection all over again.  DIVORCE.  Although I knew this wasn’t the end of the road and I had more to accomplish, I put everything God had planned for me on hold, even more so than before.  All the anger, rage, anxiety, depression, and “I cant’s” came flooding back in.  Suffice it to say…I fell apart.

One might think I was ready to give up and live a life set on this hate and anger, but God said otherwise – He gave me another chance in the form of my Grandmother Joan.  She called me, said that I should baptize my son, and start coming to church again.  I knew she was right (she always was) and long story short I gained more mentors, more community, and even more opportunity for me to answer God’s call on my life.  I started to see new possibilities  – a life of hope, faith, and love.  My pastors took me in, molded me, shaped me and mentored me. During one morning at church, the praise band sang “Better is One Day” and it reminded me of a previous experience when that song was being played. An experience where someone years younger than me had placed her hand, in prayer, on my shoulder. She had no idea what was going on in my life at that time, or that I was a complete wreck in that moment, and here God was placing another mentor in my lif

Have you noticed a theme to all of this change?  A simple yet extremely powerful word: MENTOR.

You see, in my story, every time I was lost in anger, rage, anxiety, or  depression I thought I was alone. I wasn’t taking responsibility for my own actions or words and I didn’t seek what God wanted for me.

So how do we rise up?  How do we move forward?  How do we learn and apply the knowledge given us?  The answer always begins and ends with God and what, where, and who He places in between.  A lot has changed in my life and I know there is more to come, however I have not only learned to accept and embrace it, I’ve learned how to thrive in it.  I would never have the success I do now (this is not a monetary statement) in terms of joy, relationship, and hope if these mentors hadn’t come along in my life and poured into me.

Mentors are people that not only should we accept, but also reciprocate and continue to grow in our everyday walk and encounters with others. God commands us to “Love God, love others” (Matthew 22:37-40) and He commissions us to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).

My hope for you is simple. Lean on God first, accept and reciprocate mentorship, and create a more positive influence for massive impact in the world around you. The outcome is helping ourselves and others live happier, healthier, and more inspired lives.

Remember: “Make everyday great, Can’t Never Did, and God bless us all”.—With HIS Strength 

Warrior On!

Chris Tice

Chris Tice

Chris Tice is a leadership coach focusing on leadership communication, training and development, and safety/crisis management and avoidance.  He is also an inspirational speaker in which he focuses on mindset and forgiveness to live a healthier inspired lifestyle.  Chris has been in leadership for the last 20 years and enjoys helping others to become greater servant leaders. You can reach Chris directly at chris@eaglefireenrichment.com

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