Christian woman testimony growth

The Learning Years

I believe that You’re limitless
I know that You’re boundless, Lord
If it feels like I’ve reached the end
I won’t believe it.

Kristene Dimarco ‘Limitless’

‘Why don’t you go to University?’ One friend said to me in April this year. I looked at her to see if she was serious.
Her face showed no sign of sarcasm. It was a genuine question.
‘Oh no, that is not for me, I will never go to Uni, I am not academic enough’, is what came out of my mouth far too easily and quickly.

You see, as soon as I had left school at 18 with two and a half A Levels, I knew University wasn’t for me.
I didn’t earn enough UCAS points to get in. If it wasn’t for me then, why would it be for me now?

Today, my dismissal of this makes me not only smile, but shake my head, at my own ignorance. There in a moment I was far too quick to limit myself; too easily believing I didn’t have what it took to step in to something that was beyond what I had limited myself to.

How easily do we do that? Limit ourselves and say we can’t do something just because it’s foreign to us.

Seven months after I said to my friend I would never go to University, I received my first offer to study a single honours Sociology degree.
The next time I am faced with a question that forces me to see beyond what has become familiar in my life, I pray I won’t be too quick to rule it out and become blind to it.

It was in August that God changed my perspective. I was struggling to see what the future held for me.
As a result, I let fear creep in. A fear that started to tell me I had nothing more to offer, that I had taken a step back in my life and not forward.
A fear that was trying to keep me blind to my God-given potential.

It was while driving South on the M6, one sunny Saturday morning in August, that I had an encounter with God.
There, in a moment where I felt limited and constrained, God awoke me to the truth that I have limitless potential and I would not be sitting with that feeling of fear forever.
I had a new revelation that there is more to me than I know, although I have yet to discover it.

But, I will.
In all the future days where I choose courage over fear.
I was never meant to live a small worry-filled life.

I felt God plant a desire in me to discover this potential of mine, and the way I would do it was to open myself to learning again.
So, I applied with not enough UCAS points. On paper, my qualifications did not meet the entry requirements.
If I was meant get in, I would.
And I did.

It takes courage to look yourself in the mirror and face the truth that there is more to you than you know,
that you are not the finished article, that you don’t have all the answers
and to admit, you’re still in your learning years.

If you can, you may find you meet a side of yourself you never knew existed, a side you are proud to be.

My learning years are out ahead of me as well behind me. Not just in the three years I will be studying at University, but beyond that.
There is always something new to discover about who we are, who God is, and the world around us.

May you find God in the the brave choice to take steps in to places you have never been to before.
In the overwhelming feeling of being in a unfamiliar place, may you hear His comforting and reassuring voice, guiding you through your maze.
May you refuse to walk the same roads, hearing and seeing the same things.

Embrace the foreign, embark on your pilgrimage wide eyed, because as you do, you will discover the new that changes your life.

This is Living Beyond the Familiar.

Going beyond the familiar is about recognising we have potential
and that we are ever evolving and transforming.

It’s about remembering that we are never meant to shrink back in to what is comfortable,
but to push ourselves beyond what may come naturally.

It’s about daring to dream a new dream when one doesn’t work out.

It’s about persevering when we’re not seeing the results we want
and having faith that God is working behind the scenes.

It’s about letting things pass to give space for the new.

It’s about shutting the door on the things in our lives that try to diminish us,
letting go of what we have come to know, even when it may be painful.

It’s about expecting nothing less than God bringing about good for us
regardless of what situation we are currently living in.

It’s about being willing to learn again.

It’s about trusting what we cannot see.

It’s about taking the first steps of an undefined and unknown journey.

It’s about being brave enough to walk down the undiscovered roads in our lives,
rather than taking the well-worn road we’ve chosen a thousand times before.

It’s about being a pioneer and running ahead.

It’s about not settling in to worldly norms and cultures, but seeking after Godly standards.

It’s about changing our ways when we know we’ve done wrong.

It’s about living in the grace that offers countless second chances.

It’s about living in the freedom we’ll find when we give up our control.

It’s about refusing to stay content with what we think we know about God,
tearing down the boxes we try to put Him in.

There is always more to discover. Our best days are ahead of us and not behind.

So, here’s to a life lived beyond the familiar.

Now glory be to God, who by his mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes.
Eph 3:20 Living Bible



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