Moving forward: Past lessons learned open up new possibilities

IMG_4906It is a new year and many people are making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight, start that new career or business, let go of a bad relationship, etc. While making these resolutions maybe done with genuine intentions to execute, some woefully fall by the wayside. Moving forward on your dreams or making changes for the better takes guts. This is why your focus must be set as if you have on blinders. Even though this is a new year, do not forget the lessons you have learned in previous ones.

One lesson I had to learn the hard way took me by surprise, but I’ll never forget a statement my Dad made. He said, “Perhaps, it’s for the best.” At the time, I was perplexed at this simple, but profound statement. What did he mean? I was emotionally blindsided by a situation and I needed some comforting words.

In retrospect, those words were a source of comfort. They were words that were like that proverbial slap in the face when someone is hysterical and you are trying to bring them back to reality. I learned that despite how the situation ended, it was for the best. It had ended just the way it needed to. Of course, I could say that it should not have ended like that and I know I made every provision for it to turn out in a better way, but God knew. He knew that if he would not have allowed the situation to progress to where it was and end as abruptly as it did that I would be still nursing that situation. So, it was for the best.

In order for me to move forward and become the person I am today, I had to let that situation go or suffer more unnecessary issues. I was freed from myself. I learned that I have some characteristics that are genuine and good, but some people only see them as a way to take advantage. The saying, “God takes care of children and fools” depicted my state at that time.

God was definitely looking out for me. Now, I am more cautious, maybe too cautious. I am grateful that I am now at a place that I can see when a situation like that one is coming a mile away. I do know that some times things have to change and that I can be okay with the results. Do not get me wrong, there is still a struggle at times, but I am better.

Regardless of past situations or distractions, you now have a clean slate with 2016. Take it from my Dad, “Perhaps, it’s for the best” that that situation ended as such. You are now free to pursue greater opportunities that will enhance your life and not hold you back. You are now in a better state of mind to focus on what matters. Learn your lessons and keep moving forward.

Give from your heart

 

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I often wonder how people, more specifically “religious” people, say that Christ is Lord (Ruler) of their lives, however when he tells them to give or do for their fellow brother/sister they find all types of excuses or act as if they didn’t hear what he said to them. In the body of Christ, there is no lack. God designed his church to be self-sufficient. If one has, we all have. No one should go without.

Our willingness to give and be of service to our fellow brother speaks to our love of Christ. If Jesus could give his life for us, why do we feel it’s optional for us to do so, especially for our fellow brother in Christ? We are to show special love to those in Christ. We do this because the love of God dwells in our hearts, not because we want accolades for doing what we’ve been commanded to do in the first place.

“As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.” (Galatians‬ ‭6‬:‭10‬ KJV)

This time of year, people get into the “giving” spirit. I’ll say this, if your “giving” isn’t done in the spirit of love then you can keep your “giving”.

Know this…

“And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.” (1 Corinthians‬ ‭13‬:‭3, 13‬ KJV)

Photo credit: LeJuene Thompson (Instagram: LeJueneThompson_MadameButtrfly)

Don’t give up!

As I titled this post, I chuckled. It is funny to verbalize some things that you have already known, but to finally say it makes you laugh. Sometimes to speak those things out loud brings clarity or finality.

Living inside my head, I’ve probably had several lifetimes. Seriously, the wisdom gained from experiences and just sitting back watching others, I’m grateful to have had these opportunities. Don’t get me wrong, they have not all been good experiences, however they were lessons. The saying goes something like, “There’s nothing like bought sense”. I do say, I wished I had bought some sense at times.

I reflect on the song, melodiously sung by the late Whitney Houston, “I Didn’t Know My Own Strength”. There were times I didn’t know that I would come through certain situations, but God was my helper. This is why, looking back, I’m grateful. I know it wasn’t my strength. I would have crumbled under the pressure.

As I’m writing this post, sitting in my favorite spot in Starbucks and drinking on one of my favorite drinks, I say to those of you reading this to not give up. Hold on to that little thread of hope seemingly slipping through your fingers. Know that what may appear to be the end is just the beginning. You can’t give up. You have to see what’s right around the corner. It’s much better than where you are now. You have to believe this. Without faith in God, however small it might have been at times, I held on despite what I saw and felt. If it still seems that that’s not enough, I need you to find something, whether present or past, that was a source of happiness, peace, calm or joy to fix your mind on. Think on it when times are hard and there is no one around to lean on.

Be encouraged. It gets better.