“Only by being yourself can you achieve your dreams”
I have no idea where I heard that quote, but it has resonated with me for a while. Being a dreamer and having an entrepreneurial spirit are part of who I am, but sometimes I often struggle with who I actually am and aspire to be. First and foremost, I am a sinner saved by grace through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross and resurrection from the grave. This truth is the most important part of my life and really the only thing that matters in this life. I try to live as Christ and follow Him daily, even though I fall extremely short of His standard…DAILY!
My Christian identity is who I am, but I still (at times) get caught up in who I think I should be (although it really doesn’t matter who I am outside of being a servant of the gospel). I am a son, husband, father, friend, brother, uncle, and many other roles. Something that has taken me a long time to accept is that I am who I am because God made me this way.
Growing up, I always felt like I was destined to create something bigger than myself. I vividly remember sitting in the Fourth Grade classroom at Westminster Academy and the idea of being an engineer and owning my own international engineering firm came to me. Yes, I said international…I have no idea why I thought someone like me even had the potential to do something like that, but I did and, quite frankly, still do! After earning my degree in Civil Engineering from Mississippi State University and working in the engineering field, I felt the Lord was leading me to another opportunity (enter Tootle Homes). I can’t wait to share more about how the Lord orchestrated that venture in the future…
Although the dream of an international firm has kept me going in all of my endeavors, I have still struggled with who I am as a person. This may be a surprise, but I was not very athletic when I was younger and found joy and contentment in creative activities. It was hard for me to get over the fact that I enjoyed drawing, music, building things, and other artistic ventures more than I enjoyed sports. I am thankful that my parents allowed me opportunities throughout my childhood to explore who I was and what I enjoyed to do, but it was still hard for me to accept who I was. Don't get me wrong, I was definitely not a nerd, but I also wasn’t the first to get picked for a game during recess (if you know what I mean).
Until I was able to get out and make my dreams become a reality, I was insecure with my God-given talents and abilities and what I was able to bring to the table. As I look back, I realize that I was not always finding my worth in Christ, but was constantly comparing myself to others. I had to (and still have to) remember not only who I am, but also WHOSE I am. Now that I feel I am living out the Lord’s calling in my life, I am confident in knowing HE is in control and that my worth is not in me, what I own, who I am, or what I do, "but in the blood of Christ that flowed at the cross!"
Dream, then dream bigger! - Kyle