Whenever I think of survival, I can’t help but picture someone floating in the middle of the ocean on a flimsy life raft, with dry cracked lips on the verge of being a hungry shark’s next meal. Thriving, on the other hand, conjures up a vision of bright eyes, energy, and a sense of excitement for the future. Which one explains your current reality?
I think I’ve been leaning towards survival off and on for a while now, and maybe you are too. One of the definitions of thriving is “to grow or develop vigorously; flourish.” How can we change from surviving to thriving?
How to Change from Surviving to Thriving
Acceptance: Have you ever faced a challenge that’s so disheartening and frustrating that acceptance seems like giving up? The truth is that when we refuse to accept our circumstances we end up threading water, just surviving. Acceptance gives us the freedom to see our lives as they are, and the courage to believe for change.
Be Present: Instead of wishing for things to be different, be present in each moment and observe what your challenge is offering you. Is it the chance to be a better listener? Perhaps it’s time to slow the pace of your life.
Responding with Grace: When I’m in survival mode I’m unable to respond with grace consistently. But if I have surrendered my situation to God, I start thriving, knowing that although many circumstances are out of my control I can trust God. This enables me to quiet my soul and choose to respond with grace, instead of unkindness.
Holding onto Essential Relationships: My grandma used to joke that my mom would keep in touch with every person she ever met. I’m much the same. I truly love people. But sometimes relationships are unhealthy and you can’t keep them going. Or sometimes there’s simply not enough time in the day during certain seasons. But if we want to thrive we must hold onto essential, life-giving relationships—people who are kind, compassionate, and willing to show grace.
I know this can sound unachievable, and it is if we are trying to be perfect. No one’s perfect, except God. But each day we have the opportunity to set our intentions. I encourage you, and myself today: choose life, choose joy, and choose to grow—even when life isn’t what you expected it to be.
I have chosen to be faithful; I have determined to live by your regulations. Psalm 119:30 (NLT)
Are you struggling to thrive? What step above will you choose to take today?
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