Dictionary.com defines Intentional as: Done with intention or on purpose; intended.
Although I talk about intentional growth (in life and marriage) in this blog, I have not always been intentional about my own growth and success.
I now know that success is intentional. But in the past I dreamed big dreams without embracing the fact that big things require big focus and effort.
Nudged towards intentional growth
I am grateful for the many circumstances that God used to nudge me towards deliberateness and focus.
The biggest prod, the one that lay the foundation for most of the growth came in the form of a request to step into leadership at my local church in Nairobi, years ago.
I was asked to lead a cell group (small group/mastermind group).
I said no.
“Why in the world would I want to lead a bunch of beady-eyed Christians?” I thought to myself.
I don’t know where the eye part came from but that’s the image I had in mind as far as leadership was concerned – one person forcing bleary-visioned people to toe the line.
The idea of leadership and other grown up stuff was not my cup of tea.
Yet it seemed that when God saw my twenty three-year old sharp tongued, cranky minded-with-a-heart-to- match self, He smiled and decided I was the perfect candidate.
A few days later on a bright Sunday morning, my name was called out from the pulpit before a few thousand people.
“Ngina Kariuki, Leader of cell 3A2E!”
I was shell-shocked, beyond furious. For some reason my “no” did not reach the church leadership.
I sensed the smile all the way up from heaven.
While the responsibilities of leadership helped me become more intentional, it wasn’t until 6 years ago that I began to grasp the depths of intentional growth.
Like most people, I still didn’t quite understand that significant growth often takes place in difficult “un-supported” environments. You can’t claim to be an adult if you are still being taken care of by others.
For us to fully grow and mature, some of the our support systems and props have to leave.
Within a period of two years, all my props fell out.
My dad passed away. I left my employer of seven years, three months to my wedding. My husband was laid off work four months after our wedding.
I was a volunteer and worked for free for almost a year. My cell group, the one I’d had led and mentored for almost a decade, got itself a new leader.
Later, I’d be thrown into unfamiliar territory when I started a business. (And two years ago, right about the time life was calming down, we moved 8,000 miles across the globe.)
A few thoughts
Next week we’ll look at some of the things that God began to teach me about intentional growth. We’ll look at how you can start being intentional in your own life.
I truly believe that God has a plan for everyone. He wants us successful. But He wants us to partner with Him.
Are you still dreaming big dreams for your life? Or have you downsized and scaled down as a result of life’s challenges?
Do you believe YOU can be successful? Really believe, not just mental assent? Your beliefs manifest through your words and actions.
Do you believe that God wants you successful? It’s easy to believe in God’s goodness when everything (or at least most things) are going well. But it’s not so so easy when you are climbing uphill.
Question – Has God ever re-directed/’vetoed’ some of your decisions, for His purpose? Please share in Comments. (Note – I am not suggesting that God overrides our will. While He may redirect some of our steps, we ultimately have to say “yes” and follow.)