To Learn is to Live
So I have been trying to figure out what exactly I have learned this past year. Everyone has been asking me how my year was, what I did, what I’m doing, and what I learned. So far, due to my lack of understanding of what to say, have just said it was a good year, but it was a rough year full of ups and downs. I still am trying to figure out exactly what to say, however, I think in the midst of figuring out what to say, I have figured out what I have learned…At least one of the bazillion things, that is.
I have walked down a path of healing from past habits that I never told anyone about and thought I could fix them all on my own.
I have learned that just because you learn something once does not mean you have learned it forever. Just like in math how certain problems hold mini problems within them, so it is with learning things like choosing joy in the midst of challenging circumstances. I thought I knew the equation, but this time around, there was a little more to it. And I refused to see that I had not yet learned choosing joy to the full…If to the full was ever possible. You can never stop learning. I always thought people meant that in terms of education and schooling, and, yes, your walk with God….But I guess I didn’t understand that that applied to every aspect…Not just reading a Bible verse and having a revolution.
I have escaped bad mindsets, and am still in the process of reaching a good mindset. I have done a truck load of complaining this past year-something that, sure, I have done, but now I am known for it by my closest friends. That is when you know there is a problem. So I am still working on that…Learning to think about such things that are noble, true, right pure, admirable, lovely, excellent, worthy or praise, and so on and so forth.
I am learning that I cannot plan every detail of my life. Transition is life. Life doesn’t have a transition here and a transition there…Transition is constantly ongoing in your life. And I have learned how to trust God on new levels, how to plan less and pray more, and grown in understanding that prayer is so powerful….It breaks barriers. Prayer goes where I can’t. It reaches 700 miles away to Rockford, IL from Tulsa, OK (and vise versa). I am so thankful for where I’m at all because of the powerful God I serve and love who hears my prayers and acts on them in His perfect timing. His timing really is perfect.
I have learned to put people first. To be fully present in conversations that I might not necessarily want anything to do with. I have to pick and choose the conversations that I am a part of wisely, but, nonetheless, I have learned a lot about listening. Sometimes listening is better than advice giving.
However, speaking of advice giving, I have learned that it does not make any difference the age of a friend and or “leader” in your life. They can be a few years younger than you, and if you are teachable, you can learn so much. And sometimes you don’t need to even give advice to a situation, just encouragement or a big hug. Physical touch can be a pwoerful form of communication when used properly and respectfully—and caringly.
I have also learned what it means to call God the “Great I Am.” He is truly the Great I Am. He is, so we don’t have to. He hurts, so our burden can be light. He is, so we can live our lives in freedom. He was, so we could be. He is, so we are. He will be, so we are capable. Does that make sense?
I learned to respect myself. I always thought I had, but it was more of a pride issue than a true, wholehearted sort of self respect out of love for my Creator and love for myself. I have dealt with feeling ugly for a long time, specifically with my face. I have had terrible acne that no medicine has been able to cure. The only thing left for my face is a light procedure that cost thousands of dollars. I can’t afford that anytime soon. So I have learned to look myself in the mirror and see past the scars and constantly recurring acne and say, I am beautiful, because, really, truly, I am. I am in God’s eyes. And if someone thinks I’m ugly, it’s because they’re missing out on a life with God. And hey, maybe my face isn’t acceptable in society’s standards, but in all honesty, what does that matter? I still have my days, but that’s when I pull out the Scripture and allow god to remind me.
I have also realized how thankful I am for a vehicle. Seriously, it enables me to go to small group while I am home. I missed that environment year round while I was in Tulsa. I hated not having a car. I thought it was so sad that nobody was willing to pick me up for small group, either. I tried so hard to get to one, and I couldn’t. And now I appreciate when I am able to go so much more. Even after one night, I had so much going on in my heart that I don’t know where to begin…
And with that said, I also came to realization that in th past year, I became so caught up in school and my pain, that I lost sight of God…My first love. I was stuck in the motions, doing what I thought I “should” do. Wow. Maybe that was all fine and dandy, but my heart had turned to stone in a sense. And last night, God shattered the barriers and reminded me of His love. He reminded me how great He was compared to my current problems and my future. I am not alone. When you are closer to God, you are, simply put, happier. Psalm 84. Read it. Study it. It is so good. And if that one chapter is revolutionary, how revolutionary is the entire Bible? I’m so excited all over again, and I am extremely thankful for a God who works the way He does. :)
So I think that brings everyone up to speed on my life. I’m not sure what else I learned, but I could go into all the good moments I did have with God this year. I guess I’ll save that for next time, because that’s a lot, too.
Huh….I guess I had a pretty good year :)