2018 it has been a year of hills and valleys. It has totally challenged me in more ways than one. A year of stepping out of the box, walking in faith, learning from my mistakes, and not to mention experiencing God in a whole new way. There have been days that I have worn a big smile because of huge wins and there have been days that I have laid in bed and balled my eyes out from a bad decision, a hurtful experience, or from questioning whether or not I made the right decision.
I’ve achieved some milestones, accomplished some goals, and been able to mark some things off of my vision board. I’ve taken some crazy leaps of faith, gained some new friends, and I have seen God restore relationships that were once damaged. I’ve also had to come to terms with some very tough things. Through it all I grew as a woman, a wife, and a mom.
I have learned more than ever PRAYER ….is the key. It’s a daily act that helps keep me grounded, focused, humble, strengthened, and courageous enough to take steps of faith even when it doesn’t make sense.
In summary, 2018 has taught me some valuable lessons that I thought I would share:
- You can’t put your expectations on other people. It is easy to think about how you would handle a situation. We must understand that everyone doesn’t think or react that way. That’s okay. The moment you remove your expectations you will no longer be disappointed by people’s reactions.
- There is no perfection. No one is perfect and people will disappoint you. We disappoint others. We can’t hold people to a standard of perfection. We are all human. Forgive quickly. It is easy to write people off and to move on.
- The greatest gift you can give yourself and others is forgiveness. I know you may not see it right now but one day you will need the same forgiveness you need to extend today.
- Love yourself and give yourself permission to LIVE. So often we work to live up to the expectations of other people whether its culture, family or friends instead of living the life we have been called to live. LIVE life without regrets and choose to do things you have always desired to do.
- Other people’s approval should not be your measuring stick.Trust God and put him first. I know talking about God in public and outside of the church isn’t popular. Trusting God, putting him first, and walking it out doesn’t come from the number of boards you sit on, committees you lead or church services you attend. It comes from relationship that is only developed from seeking his face.
- Your life is the example that people see. There is nothing wrong with quoting scripture or posting pictures of your church attire. Just remember your life is the example that others see. This goes for every post on social media, every time you choose hate over love, unforgiveness over forgiveness. Just remember people are watching your reaction. It goes for every year that goes by and you life shows progress or stagnation. It goes for every time you preach faith but you are seen only achieving the things you can achieve in your own strength. It goes for every waitress you refuse to leave a tip for because you were not happy with their service or every cashier you give a piece of your mind to. It goes for every person you turn a blind eye to that you think isn’t worth of a hello or excuse me. People come to know him by the life we live, not the words we speak.
- To everything there is a season.At times people come into your life and others may leave. It doesn’t mean a relationship that was once close and is now distance should result in hate or rolled eyes. It means our season for now has ended but one day our paths may cross again.
- Without change there is no growth. It is simple. If you always do what you have always done then you will always get what you have always got. If you want change then you must enlist the help of others to find a different way. Do not allow pride to stand in your way of asking for help. Most of the time people are willing to help but if you never ask you will never know. Don’t keep going around the same mountain.
- Don’t Hate. Congratulate. The moment you see others winning and achieving that isn’t the moment to get upset or become jealous. It is a moment to be happy and to know that your season and time is coming. It is a moment to celebrate because you see the win but you don’t know what it cost to get there. Just know that if God did it for them, he can do it for you. The result is based on whether you are willing to go through to get there.Let those around you know you appreciate and love them. It is easy to think something and never say it. It is best to say it so people will know.
- Tomorrow is not promised so say it today. Never take a day, or a moment in time for granted because none of us know the day nor the hour. If you love them, tell them. If you appreciate them let them know. If you support them, then do it so in the end there are no regrets.
As we go into 2019 choose to draw your circle, examine your own life, and work to BECOME YOUR BEST SELF. The only one you can change is you. It is more than changing your circle. It’s more about changing your HEART! It’s BEING THE CHANGE FOR THE WORLD TO SEE!