Sometimes life grabs you by the throat and squeezes
I’ve always been instructed to pray bold prayers, so finally, I started to do just that. I asked God for several things, and I also asked him to take several things away from me. However, I didn’t realize the level of preparedness that I would need in order to get through what God was about to deliver.
A spiritual journey. Yep, that’s what I asked for. And you know what? God ripped me up and out of my comfort zone faster than I could finish the prayer! I have spent my time since then going through every emotion possible and slowly beginning to lean on my faith in ways that I didn’t even know were possible. I’ve got so much that I want to write and share, but for now I’m just going to talk about 4 lessons I’ve been blessed with recently:
Lesson 1: Be grateful for the blessings you do have
Honestly, I really thought I had this one down! I thank God all the time for the blessings I do have. BUT, I also have a terrible tendency to let the tiny setbacks in my life overshadow the good things. I realized that I need to spend a lot more time than I did before expressing gratitude. It’s not enough for me to just thank God for 5 minutes in the morning, before bed, or just before I bite into some food. I need to express my gratitude constantly so that I can never forget how fortunate I really am. There are a few ways that I have began to express gratitude more often, but one in particular that interests me is community service. Helping someone else really motivates me to be better, but also reminds me to be glad for all of the small things I do have.
Lesson 2: Know that you’re not alone
It’s so easy for the devil to whisper in my ears during my moments of darkness and remind me that I’m all alone and that no one can save me. So I’ve learned how important it is for me to really know and believe that I am not alone. There are people who have been through or are going through whatever it is you’re going through and they survived. You never even know but, some people may be going through it at the same time as you and they’re right beside you. It’s easier to slip into depression when you think it’s just you and that the world hates you, but if you recognize that you’re not alone, it makes that little light at the end of the tunnel much brighter.
Lesson 3: Lean on those who want to support you
It’s easy to think about and forget the people who you believe are there for you during tough times. Actually allowing yourself to be vulnerable and leaning on them is another story though. Sometimes I really felt all alone in the world and the old me would have wallowed in that pity party. This time around, I leaned on the people God strategically placed into my life pretty hard. I allowed myself to open up and talk about my feelings, break down, and even ask for favors that I’d never usually ask for. As much as I hate doing that, I really strengthened relationships, built new ones, and decreased the weight of the stress that I was going through.
Lesson 4: Keep pushing and never give up
That darn depression induced tunnel vision is the worst! It really makes me stop in my tracks because I’m almost convinced that the rest of the world has come to a screeching halt. In reality, it’s only me that’s stopped moving forward and making progress. That’s something I’ve learned I can not do. When it seems that one door is shut, it’s imperative that I start looking for the next door! Giving up is just not an option and neither is accepting the answer “no”.
Lately, my advice to those around me is to do what’s best, not what you think is going to be the right decision (unless they are the same thing). It’s good advice that I have got to apply to my own life more often. I look at every day these days as if they could be my last, so I live them to the fullest. I do what I can with what I can, and I can not stress about what I can not do. I appreciate my life much more and my trust in God has been increased 100 times over. I don’t assume that everything will be okay, or that the hard parts of life are over, but I assume and BELIEVE that it is all handled and that I should not worry about things anymore.