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7 Secrets to Finding the Life You Were Created to Live

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Today I am happy to welcome back my friend Tammy Strait from Grace UncommonTammy is the author of the inspirational book, Pretty: Breaking Free From The Illusions of a Superficial Life. I am so honored to have her share her heart &  life experiences on this subject with us–please join me in making her feel right at home!

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7 Secrets to Finding the Life You Were Created to Live | Faith & Inspiration | The Life You Were Born to Live

I was sitting on a bail of hay on my brother’s farm in northern Michigan. The air was heavy with fog and my thick skin was wearing thin. Truth is, my heart was worn right through. He was feeding the horses while I sat in a heap crying. My young marriage to my high school sweetheart and my rebound relationship with the “love of my life” had both ended. All in the matter of a few disappointing years. What am I going to do? I choked out through tears. I’d flown fast, from the small life to the high life, and this time I crashed hard.

He was quiet. And then he said, you don’t know how to be alone. He was short on words that day, but what he said was true. I’d never been alone. My whole life, my identity was wrapped up in who I was with, and what other’s said about me. I didn’t know who I was.

From the time I was twelve, I went from relationship to relationship trying to find my identity in others. I learned I was pretty good at being anybody! The truly sad part of that statement is I thought that was a good thing. Who I really was? I realized I didn’t have the first idea, and I set out to find it. While I’ll always be a work in progress, here are the 7 secrets I’ve discovered so far.

You need to stop pretending in order to live your best life.

 Stop pretending

You’re not doing anyone any favors pretending to be someone you’re not. The greatest gift you will ever give any relationship is yourself. Sometimes we need to get away from what feels normal in order to find what is real. Take some time to be alone. Travel, journal, sit in the silence of your own mind. Amazing discoveries happen when you embrace solitude and encounter yourself.

Working out and staying active is key to bettering yourself.

 Do the work

We are only as strong as our greatest weakness, and we’ve all got them. The question is whether we admit them, talk about them, grow through them, and let them change us…or allow them to limit our strength. I’m not willing to let my fear keep me small. This journey is about being bold. As you walk through life you’re going to encounter your weaknesses. You’re going to encounter things you thought you left behind. Deal with them now so you can use them to build your strength.

 Be intentional

Boldness demands that we live our lives with intention or we risk missing the point. How intentional are you with your life? I’m a creature of habit. I do the same things over and over and if I don’t make sure those habits are healthy, I’m likely to find myself night after night eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream with crushed candy canes and chocolate Hershey bar! Or sucked into social media, mindless television or the myriad other ways I can numb out of my real life. What we focus on becomes our destiny, both in thought and action.

Embrace who you are to live the best life.

 Embrace your story

Your story is unique and no matter how hard it has been, there’s a gift. Every one of us has a redemption story. We just need to find it. The truth is we can never leave our past behind. It is always going to be with us, threatening to hold us back. But when we make peace with it, accept it for what it was and not what we wanted it to be, then we get to rewrite our story. We get to design how far it will propel us forward to the life we were created to live.

 Design your life

You hold the power to design your life. The greatest war we face in this life is the battlefield of our mind. Sometimes what we know in our heads has a hard time making it to our hearts – we just don’t feel it! We mistakenly believe that if we don’t feel it’s true, then it can’t possibly be true. These are the parts of the journey where we just have to do it anyway. The first steps will most definitely be scary! They’re supposed to be. You’re doing something new and brave and hopefully different than you’ve done in the past.

Gratitude is key to living your best life.

 Be patient

This is not a race. There’s no destination and you will never find a perfect map. Sometimes you’ll find yourself running to get somewhere only to find that it was the wrong way. It’s okay. Because despite all the ways I have fought to prove myself capable, sometimes my greatest lessons came in the quiet moments inside the cavernous walls of impossible where God whispered to the still places of my heart: Wait. Great things will come. Sometimes you just have to wait.

Enjoying time with your family is important to live a happy life.

 Have fun

This is hard for me. I’m wired to equate value with production and too often believe that I can’t play until all my work is done. When the house is clean and the laundry is put away and everything else is done – THEN we can have fun. You can imagine this doesn’t leave much room for fun. I recently heard Mark Batterson say: “Don’t write a sermon. Get a life!” It hit me hard because the times I most deeply struggle for words, are the times I’m just trying too hard. Play is not a reward for success, but is essential to success.

When you think about your life and the story you have lived, ask yourself: Is this the story I want to tell? You don’t get to change your past but you do have the power to write your future. And while there’s no map or destination, you already hold everything you need to begin.

It’s been a long journey figuring out who I am and the truth is, I’m still on it. Honestly I don’t know if I would’ve taken this road if I’d been given another option because it was hard. But looking back, I know we were made to do hard things. There’s an anonymous quote I love that says: “Nobody said that it’d be easy, they only promised it would be worth it.” This path is exactly like that. And one of the biggest problems with a path like this is it’s never straight or without pothole or dead-end. It’s not without wrong turns or u-turns or stops in the road. All I know, is it’s ours. And it’s good.

7 Secrets to Finding the Life You Were Created to Live | Faith & Inspiration | The Life You Were Born to Live

As with all journeys it’s good to have a friend to travel with. I share my story and the lessons I learned along the way in my new book, Pretty: Breaking Free From The Illusions of a Superficial Life, which is now available in print! Order your copy now and get my study guide free as my gift to you!


Tammy is an encourager, contemplator and deeply soulful spirit. She writesTammy is an encourager, contemplator and deeply soulful spirit. candidly on her blog: Grace Uncommon about the common struggles that bond us together as women, and how we can boldly design unhindered lives. She just released her first book, Pretty: Breaking Free From The Illusions of a Superficial Life.


7 Secrets to Finding the Life You Were Created to Live | Faith & Inspiration | The Life You Were Born to Live


  1. I was a pretender for a while — I wouldn’t necessarily change my personality, exactly, but I would pretend that I was OK with situations, or happy to do things that really I didn’t like. Ironically, getting pregnant knocked me quickly out of that. Maybe I’m still acting a certain way for another person — my baby — but the way I see it is that I have to look out for myself, and keep myself happy and mentally well, or the baby will suffer. It has helped me become more content with life.

    • August 25 at 11:46AM

      You are so right Alexandra! Family definitely suffers when we’re not emotionally well. What a gift your precious little one gave you. Blessings!

  2. July 25 at 09:51AM

    Oh my gosh, thank you! I’ve been searching for words to explain how I felt from 2nd grade (earlier?) on, I was always “trying to find my identity in others.” I was doing it because I was uncomfortable in my own skin. Getting better at it though. Excellent post! Very helpful! Thank you.
    Kristine :)

    • August 25 at 11:47AM

      I’m so glad to hear it blessed you Kristine! You’re definitely not alone. xo

  3. July 26 at 06:54AM

    This is so inspiring! I’ve been trying to learn more about myself and who I am but it’s a long road to go!

    • August 25 at 11:48AM

      Oh Lutetia, isn’t that the truth? I think it lasts a lifetime. But I’m always so glad to know I’m in good company. Blessings to you!

  4. July 27 at 02:19PM

    We’ve been working on being intentional for quite some time. We used to have the TV on all the time mainly for the noise but we did watch it in the evening. Now we would rather have the quiet and have watched very little TV over the past few months. Anyone want to buy a seldom used TV?

    • August 25 at 11:49AM

      We did the same thing Mrs. LC, we actually disconnected our service last month to make it official. TVs abound!

  5. July 27 at 09:16PM

    Great post. It is when I take the masks off in my life, that I truly am able to see the life God has designed for me! Thanks for this post and thank you for reminding us of the importance of FUN AND PLAY too!

    • August 25 at 11:51AM

      So true Dorothy! The masks prevent us from being who we really are…and connecting with the people who will love us the most. It’s such hard work, but so worth it. xoxo

  6. July 28 at 02:41PM

    What a thoughtful and true post. We have to do the hard work of knowing ourselves – and it is hard work. We must first know who God created us to be and to find our identity in Him, then we can go impact the world! I especialy liked your points about being patient (change doesn’t happen overnight), and go have fun! Oh that we would LIVE WELL – and so much of this with our close relationships is simply enjoying one another! Wonderful, honest words.

    • August 25 at 11:54AM

      It’s such hard work Krista! Ted Dekker says, “life is a process of forgetting and remembering who we are.” I find that is so true in my own life. Thank God for grace, that He designed us to live with joy and purpose, despite our stumbles. xoxo

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