Twenty-Two Years.

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I always thought I needed to do something ‘big’ and ‘amazing’ with my life to bring God glory, to impact the world, and to leave an imprint.

But I was wrong.

And this past year has shown me that.

Because I have learned that we don’t need to do ‘big things’ to do something beautiful,

God can use our everyday lives, everyday situations and the people who are already in our lives to begin a change.

This past year,

I have had the privilege to learn a few things here and there;

I have learned the beauty (and hardship) of commitment,

I have learned that there is something beautiful about putting others before ourselves.

The Lord has taught me so much through Kid (my pup) already,

He has taught me that there is great joy in being selfless rather than selfish;

In taking care of something other than myself and even on the brink of wanting to get rid of him, God showed me the beautiful fruit that comes from commitment.

I have learned a lot through my faithful mare, Agape.

More than I could write in this one letter.

She is a great teacher, she is patient and most of all, she is oh so trusting.

Going through bush, chasing after cows, she is so willing to go through anything.

She has taught me the beauty of love at it’s deepest level and what it looks like to get over fears. Despite coming into training her without much knowledge, she has been so willing and that has taught me so much about Our Fathers heart.

She also taught me, through being two kicked, what it looks like to walk in a gentleness and humble heart.

I have realized how much we can learn from kids, how much we have forgotten about living when growing up. How joyful it is to be silly, to dance and to laugh.

I have learned how important it is to let people into my life, to be vulnerable and to let them see the parts of my heart which I felt would show me as ‘weak’ if I revealed them.

People need to see our brokenness, they need to know they aren’t alone in this world, struggling and hurt. For we all have something we are going through, we all have a past, we all have something that is hard to shake; and that does not make us weak. It makes us human and it is beautiful.

For I have found that people (especially growing up) make fun of what we are truly good at. Growing up, I was bullied for my hair and now people love it. I was bullied and made fun of for riding horses, and now people tell me how much they wish they were doing it. People made fun of my voice and now they like it. I am not saying this to boast at all, for I don’t have anything to boast about – I am saying this to remind you that anything people made fun of or tried to diminish and maybe you allowed them too by laying it aside – pick it back up and no longer let others make you feel as though you aren’t capable for you are.

There is no point in being afraid of others opinions or thoughts, for us as humans are bad at building up because we tend to tear down for fear of insecurities, and jealousy. When we look to others for value, we will surly become more broken, for we are mess ups and will continue to say the wrong things or not say what we should.

But I have found that, that’s okay. There are people out there who do encourage, who do love freely and who build people up. But through coming to realize that truth, I came to see that God is the only One who knows my heart, who knows the words I need to hear and will establish me in His truths so that I will continue to come to Him to be reminded of who I am, not man.

Also don’t be afraid of messing up or failure that you don’t do what you’ve always dreamed of. Do it. Embrace is and enjoy each step of the way. You don’t need to do what others are doing, only do what you desire to do.

I have learned that people only leave if it’s there time to leave. I worked through my fear of abandonment by seeing that, if people leave, it is the best thing for that to happen.

Especially when coming to acknowledge and accept that God holds it all. He holds my little life in His hand and if someone leaves, it is always for the best. Because looking back, all the people I felt had abandoned me, it was a good thing that they had left and it was time. But they always came into my life for a beautiful reason and I will treasure all that they brought to my little life.

I have learned how great friendships can be, how beautiful it is when you have a couple people who know you, who you can sit for hours, whether in silence or talking and be content.

And through gaining those beautiful friendships, I have come to see how it takes time and it takes two people willing to lay down their insecurities, fears, pride and be willing to be vulnerable to have a deep friendship.

I have learned that people don’t define us; what they think of us, because what they think doesn’t matter and once we get over the fear of man daily, we can live knowing that we are beautifully and undeservingly accepted by God.

If I can say anything; laugh more, dance around, be silly, grow in wisdom and gentleness, love others and don’t dwell on your imperfections. Realize that some of the things you are holding in such importance, aren’t that important in the long run.

I have come to see, that even in our brokenness God is with us.

Even when I tore my ACL and am going through the process of getting surgery, the Lord has shown me that His hand is on it. And even in my frustration, He has shown me that He holds it. He holds me and He holds my recovery.

When being two kicked by my horse, I learned two major lessons; how scars are beautiful. Whether visible or not, their story is worth telling. And I learned that even in the midst of hardships and pain, there is something beautiful to be found if we are willing to seek it out.

Through the truck accident I was in, the Lord continues to show me how fragile life is, but how in His hands, we can trust that He carries us. He showed me how great His grace and mercy are. He showed me that nothing is out of His reach.

He has taught me to not be paralyzed by the fear of greatness – fearing that I wouldn’t do something big enough with my life that I was not being content in what I was already doing. I was so fearful that I wouldn’t measure up to what others expected me to be or do, that I became so confused. However once I came to see that the Lord doesn’t expect us to do something ‘great’, but rather seeing how beautiful it is what I am doing and how He can use it for His glory.

Even the ordinary everyday things matter, they actually matter the most.

For it is how we talk, how we treat others, how we treat ourselves in which others notice. Above all else, our hearts are what God look at, not just our actions.

May we respect one another, in how we talk, in how we act, because we all deserve to be loved and to be noticed. Even those we walk past on the street, those who we try to ignore, the cashier in a store, the waiter at a restaurant – we are all people and we all deserve to be treated with love.

I have learned that forgiveness is powerful and to not hold onto any of unforgiveness, if there’s someone you aren’t forgiving, do it for yourself and forgive them.

Also never miss an opportunity to remind those in your life how much you love them, appreciate them, value them and need them.

He has taught me how important it is to take care of ourselves, to come to Him to find rest and restoration. To continue to let Him refill us – no matter how busy our day seems, coming to Him daily.

And to not overwork because we are afraid of doing nothing- rest is important and we need it. There should be no guilt in taking time for you.

I have come to realize that stressing and worrying about things does nothing to add to my life but rather it seems to take away the joy and contentment from me. I am thankful that I have a God who is bigger than all things, who is the Creator and who holds it all that I no longer have to stress about trying to control every circumstance or situation but to leave it in His hands.

I have learned how skewed our culture has become and how we perceive beauty and acceptance at such a wrong and immeasurable standard. I choose to not try to obtain something that will do nothing by wreck my self image and my mind, for I am thankful for who I am.

All the riches, money, clothing, cars, body, partying, houses and success will not fill that void in my heart, they will leave me only more dissatisfied.

For through my mare, I learned that we all have a gap in our heart. Something we try to fill with so many things that do nothing but make us long for more. I have realized that only blood and flesh can fill that gap in our hearts, through Jesus we can truly become satisfied, no longer longing for the things the world tries to deem as ‘happiness.’

I have learned that life is what you make of it, in every situation, we have a choice in how we want to react. Where I am at now in my life, I can choose to make the most of it or to be discontent.

I have come to see that we don’t need to try for anyone to want to be with us – whether friendship or relationally. Be who you are, and those who see the beauty within your heart will come. For we are each so different and that’s the beautiful thing. We don’t need to be liked by everyone, but we do need to love one another. However some people just won’t connect with us the same way as others and that’s okay, that does not mean you aren’t as pretty, valued or unimportant . Never change who you are to try to attract anyone.

I have come to realize that running every time similar situations come up or the same fears in my heart – is not the answer. Also not dealing with something, whether it be a past regret, a past hurt, anything that we are holding onto – is not the answer. No matter how much it hurts revisiting it, it is so, so, so important to work through it.

I would have never thought that at 22 I would be living in Alberta, helping run a horse program at a camp, owning my own horse and pup.

I would have never thought that even through three main accidents that I would still be full of hope and joy.

I would have never thought that I would be where I am now, and I know I don’t deserve any of it, but I am thankful that by His grace and mercy, I am able to serve Him through my passion of horses.

And I have come to see that I am who I am, where I am at, with all that I have,

Because of Him who loves us.

Him who came to set us free to live the life we were created too.

I am thankful because even though I mess us daily and make mistakes,

He still walks with me and opens my eyes everyday to the beauty He has placed in front of me.

I wish I could continue writing down all that I have come to learn and realize, but I think it would take pages upon pages.

I am thankful that we have a gracious King who loves us, even when we feel unlovable or undeserving, He loves us with an unending, everlasting love.

And above all else,

The biggest and most beautiful thing I have come to see (okay two things)

To know God as He is, to push aside every preconceived notion and come to know Him through the Bible, it changed me. For I came to know Him for who He truly is, a good good Father, a loving God; full of mercy and grace.

And from knowing Him,

I have come to see who He created me to be, who He calls me to be and who, through His Son Jesus, died for me to be – a beloved daughter of God; one who is valued, loved and forgiven.

And He has done the same to you.

You are so loved, my sweet friend.

 “But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.  What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ  and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God on the basis of faith.”
Philippians 3:7-9

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