Friday, January 6, 2012

Learning through Life


It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything here. I’m sure some of you thought I just ceased to write or care. That is not the case at all. Rather, God was doing a work in me in 2011 – a work that was hard and painful sometimes; joyful and easy others. It was a work that required me to spend more time with Him than I spent on other things.

image by google
And, it was a work that asked me to be still and silent before Him; to lean on Him instead of my friends and family; to trust that He really did know best, even when my heart was hurting and my head was swimming.  2011 was a year unlike any other I have experienced. And while I won’t “bore you” with all the details, I wanted to come back to Mainstream by sharing with you the lessons I learned while I was mostly silent in the valleys of last year.

Trusting God Is NOT Always Easy
It’s a simple lesson, and a simple message. It’s one you’ve probably heard a million times, but the reality of it became apparent in my life in 2011. I had to choose in a dark moment whether to trust Him or trust the world. I chose to trust Him. I had to choose to love Him instead of hanging on to what I wanted to understand. I had to love Him when I didn’t know how to love right. I had to give my tears to Him. I realized that I wanted so much to believe that God wanted what was best for me; but it was so hard to see that in the valleys. Learning to trust His plan for my life when I felt like everything was spiraling out of control was and still is not an easy lesson.

God Doesn’t Need Me 
God doesn’t need me to accomplish anything He has planned, but He does want me to be there, walking with Him and learning from Him. It is naïve and childish to think that God won’t do something just because I throw a (thirty)-two year old temper tantrum about it. But, life is better when you walk with God instead of against Him. He is GOD. He doesn’t need me to do diddly, but He wants me to do so much more than I could ever imagine.

There is Peace in Unlikely Places
When it seems like the battles are too hard to fight, it’s funny where peace can be found. For me, I found peace in my job – a job that is crazy, hectic, exhausting and frustrating at any given moment. I found peace in a place where God was everywhere, but I still had a task to accomplish. I found peace in my to-do lists. That may seem silly, but having a purpose gave the cloudy skies a little sunshine. Wherever you can find your peace, go there. And, don’t be surprised when that peaceful place changes on a regular basis.

Not Talking about it is Okay
One of the reasons I stopped blogging and became somewhat quiet in the world was because I was learning this lesson. I want to share everything when I am hurting – but maybe that is not the most helpful approach in the world. Instead of sharing everything with everyone, I shared a little with a few people. And a little with a few more people. And a lot with a handful of people that had walked these roads before. Not talking was a hard lesson, but it gave me an honest perspective on my world and my place in God’s bigger plan.

Joy is a Choice 
This was a big one for me. I learned in 2011 that having a joyful heart and a joyful outlook on life was a choice I had to make myself. It is not an inherent part of my DNA – I could give Eeyore a run for his money on any given day – but choosing to find happiness and joy in life made me realize that everything – big or little, good or bad – was being done for a purpose, and there should be joy in the journey. That doesn’t mean every day has to be happy, but there can still be a deeper sense of joy in the God who wouldn’t give us floods if He hadn’t also promised rainbows.

I could go on and on, but that’s just a little of why I was quiet and why 2011 was different for me in so many ways. I am excited to face 2012, and am hoping that these lessons aren’t ones I have to relearn!

1 Spout:

Interesting that my daughter is struggling with something and realized she is at a place to balance talking to people and going to God. She didn't go to people for advice, and then she took the big step, being very brave. Then she realized she wanted to talk about it perhaps too much than was helpful. She realized the other day that she needs to find the balance. I am so proud of her. This is a hard time for her. I want to send this to her in the mail as I can only send short emails as she can text a little.

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