Before and After

Before and After pictures are some of my favorites—especially the pictures of houses and rooms that have been transformed from hideous and unworkable to the beautiful and functional. It is like watching a magic show. Of course, you don’t see all of the hard work that went in to turning a once ugly and plain room into something wonderful, but in the pictures it looks like total magic. The rooms are transformed!

In my life I have Before and After pictures in the form of journals. There I wrote about when my life was filled with struggle and pain and recorded in them my journey documenting my questions, goals, and feelings. It can appear that my life today is the result of the wave of a magic wand, but in reality, the transformation has been slow, often times painful, and over the period of many years. My life looks nothing like it used to and if I choose to live a Spirit-filled life, it will look nothing like it does now in the future. It will have been magically transformed into something better.

In order to change our lives we have to stay close to the Source of our In-spiration. God gave us each a unique soul bestowal—a unique set of gifts that were given to us with our breath of life. It only makes sense that if we want to grow into our birthright that we would want to stay close to the One who knows who we really are.

Creating a life plan and setting an intention every day to do something towards remembering who we are, strengthening our connection to Source, and making changes in our lives is critical. To set an intention is to set a goal or aim—to make a plan about where we want to go. Without a clear direction we will wander through our lives without purpose and who knows where we will end up.

Of course, most of us care about the direction of our lives more than that, but we often act like it really doesn’t matter to us at all because we plan so little and neglect a life plan for our soul development. Maybe its because we have so little expectations for our lives. Depending on how you were raised you may believe that you don’t deserve much in life. You may believe that what you have is all you should have. We can be like the man in the parable who was given only one talent but then buried the one he had in the ground rather than develop it into something more because we are afraid of failure.

On the other hand, we can feel entitled to much more than we currently have. We can think that life is unfair because we feel we deserve so much more than we have. We can look at others and can be filled with envy. We sometimes want more without being willing to put in the time and effort it takes to achieve the results we would like to see. If you can’t relate, just think of dieting and weight loss!

The beautiful transformation of a house or a room takes much careful planning and consideration. It requires effort and time. But the results are well worth it. Creating a life plan—setting goals and intentions about what you want to accomplish in your life and in your day—also requires much careful planning and consideration. It requires time and effort and much help from the Spirit. But the results are well worth it.

If you want your life to look different, if you want to make a difference in the world, I invite you to start creating a life plan. Where do you want to be in one year? In five years? In ten years? What would you like to accomplish before you die? If you had only one year to live, what would be the most urgent thing for you to accomplish?

After setting a goal you can then set daily intentions about how to reach that goal. What is one thing that you could do today towards reaching that goal? Make a phone call? Look up some information?

The beautiful transformation of your life is in process the moment you start to plan, dream, and create. We should each have Before and After pictures of our lives and our picture album should keep growing every year. It will become an album of the power of the Spirit to transform. It gives God much glory.