4 Life Lessons

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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.

Uprooted

 

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Since the new year has arrived, my world seems to have turned upside down. What’s that saying again? Things aren’t falling apart, they’re falling into place…?

I’ve been steady on my path to fulfilling God’s purpose for me and Satan has turned the heat up on me 100 times over. I’ve gone through almost every emotion possible, had a few break downs, and leaned harder on my faith than I ever have before. I can’t help but wonder what it is that I am getting close to accomplishing that the devil is trying to prevent.

To some degree, I’ve gone back to isolating myself from people. Just a little bit. Or at least I’ve taken a step back from anyone who I can not be 100% sure are contributing something positive to my life. I value my peace and sense of security more than ever before and I’ve come to realize that people around me have an outstanding affect on just that. Not to mention, I’ve found that surrounding myself with people who have similar ideas and the same faith as me tend to keep me on track.

But for a moment I was questioning if I am wrong for wanting to be a little more picky about who I surround myself. I questioned if taking a step back from social media was truly the right thing to do. Could “people” really be that bad?

Well that brings me to the present day. In January I began my hunt for my “success groups”. I attended classes and interest meetings for many groups and organizations both on and off my campus in search of the one that would fit. After some time and some research, I narrowed my search down to just a few groups and began to settle into them. Everything really seemed like it’d go well with each group and for most it did, however, there is one group that things just did not seem to workout with.

A life lesson that I thought I was already familiar enough with decided to bring me some more lemons. The reason I tend to pull away from people and prefer to keep my circle extremely small is because I learned a while back that most people don’t love (or even like) me unconditionally. In today’s day and age especially, people like dismiss anything that doesn’t give them instant gratification. I learned very quickly that in one of my new groups, openly disagreeing with what the group wants (or specific individuals), instantly makes me an outcast. The feeling of being exiled like that initially took me to a low I haven’t seen in years. Suddenly, it seemed like I was so alone when I was only looking at that one group of people because I had nearly forgotten about all of the love and support I had from elsewhere. Suddenly, I seemed to have forgotten that I’d already become a part of other groups and did not have to solely interact with just that one.

Of course it didn’t take me long to see the light and to realize that the cloak of loneliness had been thrown over my eyes, but I had a thought. I remembered why I’ve chosen in recent years to take a step back from social media and why I’ve become such a picky person about who I allow to exist in my circle. I really value my inner and outer peace and sense of stability.

At the same time, as much as I love the life of a hermit, I know that it’s not good for me to just live under my safety shell. It may not seem like it initially, but my presence could make some sort of positive impact. And my outspokenness could be what inspires others to do the same and make a change some day. Not to mention, I think I needed a little bit of fire under me for me to really make a change in my life.  And after one month, I can honestly say that I feel renewed.

 

 

 

First week back & my new mantra

I am officially back for a new semester and I’ve got to say it started off so, so rocky. 😅 I actually had a little bit of a rough time getting home because of all of the east coast snow delaying flights. Once I actually got home, I was battling hormones and jet lag at the same time. It didn’t help that when I got to one of my classes, the professor basically described her class as a living nightmare because of her unrealistic expectations she will place on to her students. And I’m not saying this just because it’s what I think, I am taking what she said and re-stating it. That pretty much ruined my mood and attitude for my other classes for the day and possibly the week. But I think I did a very decent job at making an effort to always keep my head up, stay motivated, and stay on track. Along with the many other things on my mind, I had a very difficult time even getting out of bed this week, BUT I am proud to say that I fought through it and I am using my time this weekend to charge up my spiritual batteries so that I can come back three times as strong. I am planning to create some motivational posters to put on the walls in my room and I’ve decided on a mantra. “One year left”. Picturing the things I plan to have an accomplish after I finish this chapter of my life lifts me up a lot. I am being careful, however, not to shift all of my focus onto how “great” the future will be when I get out of this place. That was one of my 2017 mistakes that I vowed not to make in 2018. I will enjoy this year and I will enjoy the current chapter of my life. My little mantra is good for the days that I just… can’t, but it is not my daily motto.

I can see the light!

Oh! Oh! Oh!!!!!

I had a little thought pop into my head today. For once, I am on a new path. I’ve finally broken the cycle that I was in…!

Ok, I have to slow down. So, today I took my last difficult exam for the semester (besides finals) and I know I passed it! Now… I don’t know that I passed it with the grade I want, but ultimately, I know that I am going to pass this class. I’m going to pass all of my classes, and I’m actually expecting to remain on the Dean’s List. But… oh where was I going with this…?

Oh! So, I was walking to my car and I was thinking about how long I’ve been doing this college thing. And then it hit me.. I have 3 semesters left. So what if I’ve been doing this for so long. THIS is a point that I’ve never gotten to. I’ve never gotten down to the last 1.5 years of college. I’ve never been able to say, in 1 year I’m moving to Japan. But right now, I can say it. The overwhelming amount of joy that hit me from this made me take a look at myself and I realized that I’m finally moving forward.

This was an amazing realization for me and I’m really proud of myself. I feel like I can actually see the light. I’m so close to being where I want to be.