One of my favorite words lately has been “life.” I think because I’m starting to see life as an adventure instead of something terrifying and unknown, my heart has begun to soften and open a little more toward whatever comes with life. And that fact makes me smile at random points in the day, because that is huge. Someone who used to be terrified to live. . . now her favorite word is “life.” There is hope for you, friend. Soon you will feel more affection for life, and it will feel even better than you think it will. It feels so, so good. Even when things are hard.
I am a few pages into a new chapter of life. It’s such a drastic new chapter that it feels more like an entirely new book; maybe it’s a new volume of my book? Metaphors aside, I’ve been spending my time thinking about and fondly remembering what’s happened in my story so far. I’ve only written here on this blog purely in Spirit-led moments for the entirety of this year, and a few little things I’ve wanted to write about have piled up in my brain (and on scraps of paper laden around my house). What would you say to a little catching up, right here and now? Let’s do it.
I learned a little about specific prayer, and how personal God’s love for me is. God answers prayer, and we know that, but earlier this year there was a period where I prayed for a few particular things. I prayed for a relationship between two of my friends to be mended. I prayed for a groove I could get into for my homework and assignments so that I wouldn’t be as overwhelmed, because I was unreasonably overwhelmed. I prayed for a friend’s loved one who was in an in-between place concerning faith, that she would seek God and God truly, without any religious baggage attached to Him.
And one by one, I saw these things become reality in the world just as I had asked.
I was told what one friend said to the other in order to mend their relationship, and it was exactly what I’d prayed that person would realize. I felt deep peace and calm when I sat down to work on my assignments, even though they’d become bigger and more terrifying. And my friend told me about a long conversation she and her loved one had about God; in that conversation, her loved one had stated that she wanted to know the truth about who God really is.
“All we can do is pray” is the exact opposite of a weak state. He listens to us, and cares for us in intimate ways.
I learned a little about peace and it’s relationship with His voice. I was one hundred percent ready to step down from my role in a ministry, feeling no guilt or doubt about it– until I was given an opportunity to do what I deeply love, within that ministry. My conviction was a bit cloudy after that, and I didn’t know what to do. “Do I become gloriously free from the thing I don’t want to be part of, or do I stay stuck in it because I get to taste one of my strongest passions?” I was restless and desperately seeking answers. I didn’t know what to choose. All I knew was that He had called me to follow my passion, and that when I was confident in leaving, I had deep peace about it. I had to make a choice. And when I chose to leave–
Instant peace filled my soul.
God is certainly present in my chaos; He is with me and He is working in it for His glorious purposes. But I’ve noticed something: when He speaks, I know. I might be utterly confused about the details, I might not like what He says, I might doubt if He said what I think He did. But I know when He speaks, because I know Him. And His voice never comes in a confusing blur. He brings peace with it. There was a lot of chaos in my brain, but whenever I considered what I knew He’d said in the first place, there was stillness in that. I was calm in my soul when I visualized leaving.
It’s been a few months now, since I left, and let me tell you: He was right. I am so glad I listened to His voice. Find peace in His words, friend.
I learned a little about my identity and what being defensive says about me. A person in my life (who didn’t have the relationship with me to do so) questioned my abilities and my intelligence. I felt wounded, insulted, and angry, and wanted so badly to defend myself against this person. I wanted to let them know just how good I was, how many people had praised me, how much I really did know.
But then the Lord told me, “Those who plan peace have joy” (Prov. 12:20).
I didn’t need to defend myself, because I knew who I was. I knew that I could use my abilities and intelligence without having to prove it to someone else. And I decided to plan peace, ignoring the offense this person gave me, because I had become secure in who I was. No one else’s validation needed.
You are gifted, smart, and worthy. Sometimes people don’t recognize that, but they don’t have to. Don’t let someone else’s inability to see you affect how you live. Don’t feel defensive; just be.
I learned a little about humility. I took a class this semester taught by an absolutely brilliant man, with brilliant classmates, and even brilliant authors writing the books we read. It made me feel not at all brilliant, because it was a challenging class for me. I was discouraged at first. But my professor and the Lord continually reminded me that, no, I’m not an authority–
And I don’t have to be.
Humility isn’t solely an attitude about what you can do; it’s also being completely okay with the fact that there are things you can’t do. Be willing to learn and be open to the wisdom of others, and not only will you gain knowledge about something new, but you will have much more peace about the entire process.
These four lessons were learned a few months ago, but I wanted to tell you about them because I’m still living in the effects of them. Praying specifically, hearing His voice, being at peace with myself and others, and admitting I don’t know a lot of things– these are part of my life every day. And I am so grateful that He never gives me anything meaningless.
What are you living in right now that He could be using to share a heart-change with you?