Seven Things I learned in Twenty-Fifteen.

One

Let others help you. For when we step out to be vulnerable, to let others into our pain, our hurt, or even our joys – it strengthens relationships. So often we try to be proud and brush others off. Sometimes it’s out of fear but other times it’s because we want people to ask us more, to urge us to talk about things. One of the greatest things I have come to realize – is people don’t know unless you tell them, so rather than feeling hurt when people don’t keep probing you, asking you what’s wrong when you keep saying no but there is actually something, step out to tell them. Be vulnerable, be open, for others will respect that. Let others in. Let others care for you and support you. Listen to their advice (although, believe me, I know it’s hard, it’s humbling and most of the time we hear what we really didn’t want to hear, but it’s exactly what we did need to hear.) People want to be there for you, but you have to let them. You have to let go of your fear of needing people or realizing that you can’t do it alone. So don’t push those who love you away, look for those whom you can trust and confide in them. For the more you keep hurt in, the more it will fester, it will grow and it will debilitate you. It won’t be easy at first, but it’ll be worth it.

Two

Don’t hold on so tightly . Not to the things you love, your past, your failures, your insecurities, or all that baggage you’ve been carrying around with you. Let things go. Hold onto Jesus. Realize that all things here on earth are temporal. The things we love will one day fade. People we love, never meet expectations (and we too fall short of theirs), animals pass away, accidents happen that take away our ability to do the things we love, so the less we place our hope and life in the things that are temporal and more in Jesus, the richer our lives with be. We make mistakes, forgive yourself and let it go. For Jesus has. Move past the things you have let take a hold of you, the insecurities, the fears – don’t be afraid to seek counselling or help from a good friend to walk through those things with you. For I have come to learn that the only thing that remains in this life is Jesus. And although I can place my hope and happiness into other things, it won’t last. We will have more joy, and the ability to whether hard times and storms, when we yield and walk with Him. There is freedom in letting it go.  For we won’t be placing all of who we were or are, in things that get shaken or can leave, but in the One whom remains for ever. Let Him heal you and restore all that was broken, all that is hurt, all that is numbing.

Three

If you aren’t meeting your expectations, be okay with that. If you aren’t meeting the expectations of your spouse, your friends, your family – look to see where truth is. Are you aiming to please man or God? Are your expectations realistic? Why are you striving to meet these expectations? And are these exceptions actually spoken out or ones you’ve boxed your oneself in by? The more expectation we place on ourselves, the more failure will paralyze us and the joy sucked out of us. Learn to be okay with failure, and remember to pick yourself up and keep moving. You don’t need to be perfect, or have it all together, keep your eyes fixed on the Lord. Be gentle with yourself and realize that just as you are is enough. You are able to do beautiful, wonderful things with your life, whatever that looks like, wherever you are – live well, in this moment, in this day. His grace is sufficient for you.

Four

Rather than seeing what isn’t, see what is. Don’t get so caught up on what you don’t have, what you wish you had, what would make your life, oh so much better. But rather look at all that you do have, regardless how little it may seem. Don’t compare yourself, or your life to others. Keep perspective and your heart set towards the truth. We don’t need all the world claims we do, to be happy, or content, or satisfied. We can live simple lives, valuing those we love and who love us, deepening relationships, and enjoying the things we do have, the things we can do within our means and create a life full of abounding joy and laughter.

Five

Most of the things in our life, we can’t change. And that’s okay. If you could change it, I know you would. So may you accept where you are at, and this season you are in. May you learn how to live contently in it while still walking, pursuing that which is past it. May you not let your circumstances hinder your vision in seeing the bigger picture, in seeing past this. Keep your eyes focused, and heart set on that which is before you. And accept where you are, even if that means letting go of your expectations or what you wish you had at this point in time, or the plans you hold so tightly. Loosen your grip and be present where you are. You’re here, be all here and come to be okay with it.

Six

Stop making excuses and love those around you. For whatever season you are in, whatever job you are working, and if you aren’t working, whatever community is around you – step out. Love deeply, do good things to those around you. If you aren’t working, look for places that you can go to build community. Don’t limit yourself. Bake for your neighbors, help shovel driveways, use your gifting’s and skills to be someone whom others can call on. You don’t need to be doing great things to be making a difference. Do all things with love and it will change the world around you. Right where you stand is holy ground. All things can be used for Gods glory. Whether mopping floors, taking children on trail rides, washing dishes, being a doctor or even being in school. Love those around you, be His hands and feet.

Seven

Numbing yourself will not fix you. It will not fix your problems, your brokenness…it’ll truthfully make them worse. Whether it’s busyness, drinking, drugs, cutting, relationships or suppressing feelings and ignoring problems – get to the root. Figure out why you turn to these things, what you are trying to avoid dealing with and talk to someone about it. There is no shame. Let me say that again, no shame in talking to a counselor, a pastor, a good friend, someone older you respect about that which you are going through, have gone through, and want to work through. But you must come willing, come willing to let things go, to listen to advice and to slowly start finding better coping mechanisms. Change is hard, but it is an oh so beautiful thing. May you find people who will support you, challenge you and love you while they point you to the author and perfecter of our faith and the only one whom can save you and redeem you, Jesus Christ. All those things I mentioned above about numbing cannot save you, neither can people. I pray that Our Father would begin to show you the areas in your life that He is wanting to heal, for you to open up, for for His truth to seep into.

Your beautiful life is worth living, worth embracing daily whole heartily. May you keep living in this present day, and whatever you do, do all for Him. Allowing Him to purify you and to take you from glory to glory. May you never be okay living a mediocre life, in continuing to live not confronting the things that are keeping you from being set free. Free to embrace right where you are, the people who surround you and all that you are capable of doing right where you are. You don’t need to travel around the world to make a difference, the difference first starts in you and influences the world around you.

You’re loved friend, have a wonderful day!

joejoe

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