This week I turned twenty-five, and just like that, a decade past my metamorphic teenage years. I have been contemplating a lot lately, like what it felt like to be young and naïve at fifteen. I remember not being able to perceive much beyond “SELF.” I was preoccupied by daily anxieties: my physical appearance, my grades, and seeking a sense of belonging. I was still trying to understand true “calling.” My involvement and commitment to faith was compliant to what my parents wanted for me (I thank God that my parents consistently planted that seed with love). I just couldn’t comprehend the grander scheme of God, greater than “SELF.” God, who gave me purpose regardless of my achievements and self-righteousness.
I was convinced I needed to have my entire life planned before college. I thought if I didn’t, then I was way behind in life. In this mindset, purpose was only found in achievements and appearance. I didn’t look to serve anyone but “SELF.” Purpose and calling were about me, and I was going to stop at nothing to be a success story. As always, God has different plans for us, and He was ready to expose a world of purpose, grace, and unconditional love that I didn’t know yet. God knew what He was going to do with me, way before I had any idea (Jeremiah 29:11).
So here are 3 of the most important lessons God has taught me in the last 10 years. Things I would tell fifteen-year-old me if I could:
1.) Loving on people will never be out of style.
I know you are preoccupied with how “busy” you are. I know you think you don’t have time for anyone but yourself. I know you skip family dinners and coffee dates with close friends to “get things done” or because “you just didn’t have time.” But along the way you’ll learn that you make time for the things you prioritize, and you might just have your priorities in the wrong order. Step outside of your “SELF” box for just a moment. Go to pizza with your parents. Take 15 minutes to call and check on your friend. Go the extra mile to help your sister with a project. And if you are really that busy, take 10 seconds to say “hi,” to someone you usually intentionally avoid. It’s okay to love someone other than yourself because one day when you’re gone, people won’t rave about the things that made you busy, they’ll talk about the way you loved, served, and impacted them. Jesus’s mission in life was serving others with unconditional love. Jesus didn’t tell people he was “too busy” or He “had other things to do.” He served people without hesitation and loved on them audaciously.
2.) Your calling has nothing to do with you.
In fact, your calling was made for the exact opposite. Your calling has everything to do with making an impact on the world and leaving an imprint of the gospel anywhere you go. Your calling doesn’t have to come to you in a burning bush, and probably won’t be written in the clouds. Be patient. Be cognizant. It may be right in front of you. I know you think it has everything to do with your accomplishments and your own righteousness, but God is going to meet you right where you are regardless of what you’ve done. He isn’t going to call you because you’re equipped but will equip you because you are called. Stop worrying so much about doing and focus on the heart, the passion and intentions that go behind the calling that God has for you. He is calling you to love on people and share the Good News with the gifts that He’s given you.
3.) Grace comes in abundance.
I know you think that when you mess up, that God is angry and might smite you with lightning. I know you think that because you were forgiven for your sin last week, that God can’t possibly forgive you again. That isn’t how grace works. God doesn’t give you a limited amount of grace. John 1:16 states: “For from HIS fullness, we have all received GRACE UPON GRACE.” It’s never ending. Not because of you, but because of Him. What you do or don’t do, has no effect on God’s grace over your life. It’s unconditional. It’s abundant. It’s infinite.
I must admit, these are things I still have to remind myself daily. It doesn’t come naturally. If this resonates with you, I pray that God’s love and grace over you would be something you embrace. Your calling is much bigger than you and will require an element of surrender. I pray, today that you would experience unconditional love, and that you would share it with others boldly and audaciously through service with the gifts that God has given you. I pray that you, like me, would stop sweating the small things in life and embrace the grander plan God has for you. Amen.
My name is Crystal Wojdyla (VOY-DEE-WAH). That’s a little difficult to say, so feel free to just say Wojo (WHOA-JOE)! I am a writer, fitness enthusiast, passionate speaker and dreamer always pointing to the name of Jesus.
Now, to be transparent, nothing in this world makes me happier than a book in hand and a cup of coffee that’s darker than night. I enjoy runs along Lake Michigan, traveling, and making people do burpees. Just kidding. I am, however, in the process of becoming an NASM Certified Personal Trainer, and love all things fitness.
I was born and raised in the city of Chicago; sometimes it’s beautiful, and other days it’s winter! But a Chicago gal, I shall always be. I am blessed to be married to a phenomenal, God-fearing man, who goes by the name of Anthony August. My home church is @peoplechurch in Chicago. We are always looking to connect Jesus to people and people to Jesus.
Above all, nothing screams Crystal more than my love for Jesus. Through all the challenges and changes I have encountered in this lifetime, I know one thing that remains consistent: my passion for articulating God’s heart to His people. I pray one day to speak globally and write countless books to show people the IMPOSSIBLE that God is capable of.
I’m a trailblazer because I speak boldly in my writing the truths that God has revealed to me in my relationship with Him, in hopes of guiding others into their own personal encounter with Him.
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