As I look back over the year, I realize that life (God is life) has given me many lessons. Whether it be in the people I have touched or have touched me, or the situations I have been placed in, times of happiness and times of sorrow.
I have been blessed to have many new relationships, rekindled old, and severed toxic ones. In all of that, I have learned many things.
As a Christian, we only extend grace when it leads to salvation. This was a lesson taught to me by a great woman of God, Rocky. Many times, we ignore situations or cover them in the name of 'grace" but when we do that, it just builds. Like when you sweep a pile of dirt on your floor, and decide not to deal with it and just put the small pile under the rug, until one day you flat out trip and fall over that pile. I see this happening every day. We can love someone through a situation but it is never a good idea to ignore it or excuse it. And just because we are faced with the truth, it does not mean the person hates us, in fact, how much MUST they love us to come to us.
I learned that if a whole year goes by and you do not make time for your friends and family, your priorities are not where they should be. These are the people who stand by you, who support you, who love you. Yet you have not seen them or talked to them (texting and facebook do not count!). Pick up the phone, call them, set a dinner, lunch or vacation date!
I also learned that just because you are born into a family, that does not mean that God intends for you to be part of that family forever. Our spiritual family is far more important. You stand by each other, hold each other accoutnable and love each other through sorrow and joy. A mother or father is not always someone who gave birth to you. Sometimes severing THOSE ties is the best for you and them. Although the longing for something "normal" is there, it was not meant to be. And when you turn that back to your own family, you will be rewarded 10 fold.
I also learned that no matter what tribulation you are going through, there are many who are suffering far greater than you. Just because you can not see them, they are there. Just because you can not hear them, their cries are still being bellowed. Just because you can not hear them, they are in fact suffering. Open your eyes, your ears and your heart. Feel them, see them, hear them. They need you, what can you do? Pray. That simple, yes!!! Knowing someone is praying you through a situation is so comforting.
I have learned that our family is deeply loved. Faced with what was a scary situation for me, I was showered with love, food, company and Prayer. I am deeply touched by all of the comfort and support.
I have learned that just because someone is a Christian, it does not mean they can walk over you. I have learned that I need to speak up and say no sometimes. I see that boundaries needs to be set, and if someone decides to break through the barricade, I have to speak up. Just because I think they should know better, does not mean they do. And before I am put in a situation, I need to stop it before it starts.
I have learned that just because someone says something, does not make it true and by falling victim to listening to them, you will in the long run be the victim. Maybe not physically but you will fall prey to their lies and manipulations. Do not take being forewarned and gossip the same way. Wise cousel is a must. But you should know that if someone is trying so hard to convience you of something, that it is wrong.
Proverbs 20:19 (NIV)
"19 A gossip betrays a confidence;
so avoid anyone who talks too much."
You will loose valuable friendships, family relationships and more. Whether it be a parent, a friend or a fellow Christian, beware of idol gossip. Gossipers often have a goal of building themselves up by making others look bad.
I learned that just because you do not have a lot in common with someone does not mean you can not be bffs!!! Sometimes, someone who is the complete opposite compliments you in a way that is necessary for your friendship to last. Although, your values must be the same. And you must like Barbies...
I see what great daughters I have, I see the future God has for each of them and it makes me so excited. I see the hope and love in their hearts. While I long for the little feet that use to follow me around, I also envision the steps that their future holds. The women of God they are turning into is so amazing.
I have been reassured time and time again this year at how much I love my husband. And how very blessed I am to have him. As we grow not only old together but deeper in God, I see that with our faith and marriage, we can overcome any obstacle. I see that two are better than one. I see that in any situation, we is better than me. I hear his suffering, I feel his pain, I rejoice in his joy. God could not have put a better partner, lover and rock in my life.
My relationship with God has taken a whole new turn this past year. I have learned that one of my gifts is empathy. Although it is not a pleasant gift at times, I have found myself crying over other's loss, aching for them as if it was myself. I know that God would want that, that he calls for us to have empathy for our fellow Christian. I also rejoice with you, but the sorrow I feel when you hurt, is deep.
I know there is more I have learned, some things I may never even realize were lessons.
In all, the sorrow, the joy, I am blessed