10 Things I Learned In 2014
Yeah, I know, I’m supposed to be on a blogging break, but I just can’t pass up the chance to share some of the things I’ve learned this past year. 🙂
Below are just a few of the things I learned this year. In many ways, these lessons continue as I walk forward in faith with God.
Healing from past disappointment can take years.
To say that I’ve been disappointed about shattered dreams is an understatement. Some days I think I’ve finally come up above the clouds, only to settle back underneath the next day. I have triggers, moments of despair and having to fight to stay full of faith. But there are also days of overwhelming gratitude for where God has brought us, how He has cared for our hearts, and just marveling at His hand of grace in so many ways. I don’t like that it’s taking so long, but I believe I still have lessons to learn.
Community can be found on the other side of the screen.
I never knew there were real, authentic and beautiful women on the other side of a computer screen, in another state, even another country. You’ve given me strength for this journey and I am so grateful for each one of you. I have learned this year that, at least for me, blogging and writing, it’s all about community. Sure, I write to bring Him glory, but I want to share stories and encourage you in your faith. I want to sit and have virtual coffee with you and chat up a storm through words. As I’ve had to ease up some in the writing, I’ve had many featured guests who have blessed this blog with their words. I would love to invite you to share the brew by way of a guest post on my blog in 2015. We’re better together.
Sometimes all God wants me to do is show up.
Seasons change and I’ve realized that what was God’s will for my life one day, may not be the next. Instead of spending so much time asking God, He’s shown me that all I really have to do is show up with a yes in my heart, and he will take care of the rest. Whether that pertains to my job, my art, my marriage or my children, I simply have to resolve to show up and watch what God will do.
I am still broken.
I do not believe that healing from past hurts will come until I lay down my disappointments. It’s time to let go of lost hopes and dreams and allow God to work through the disappointments. He is the Good Shepherd and will always bring me through the valley. For now, I will wait on Him with broken wings.
Blogging through books is good therapy.
I often have a hard time focusing on what I’m reading unless I take notes. Deciding to blog through books as I read them is a great way to allow the words and lessons there to sick deep into my soul. I’ve had the privilege of blogging my way through two books this year. The first was my series on Becoming Living Art using Emily Freeman’s book, A Million Little Ways, Uncover the Art You Were Made To Live, and the other was my Journey to the High Places, using the Hinds Feet on High Places devotional.
God will bring healing from the scary parts of my story if I allow Him to.
I never intended to share certain parts of my story for all the world to read, certainly not the most intimate ones that bring me pain. But after quite a bit of nudging from God and a lot of prayer, I stepped out and shared a scary part of my past. The response was overwhelming and I realized that there were so many who needed to read my story, so they would know they were not alone, and that God could and would bring redemption and healing.
Facing the storm isn’t so bad.
This past year, I’ve had to do a lot of looking up in the face of the storm to see what God was doing in and through it. It’s not always easy, some days near impossible, but I know that God is in the center of the storm. I can face anything as long as He’s with me.
It takes courage to have faith.
There have been days when I longed to have greater faith in my circumstances. What I lacked though, was courage. It takes courage to be able to rise up and hold your head high in the midst of pain and brokenness and believe that it will all work out in the end. So this year, I’ve learned a lot about courage and how it goes hand in hand with faith.
It’s okay to be real.
This year I’ve learned more than ever that what people want is authenticity. When I put my imperfect, messy and broken self out there, just as I am, it helps others to know that although their life isn’t perfect, they matter and they aren’t alone. I’ve been more real with my life this year than I ever have in the past. I am learning that life is not about neatness and perfection and goals met, but rather, it’s about the journey and what happens in the in-between places, and how one brings glory to God in the process of walking out real, messy faith.
Contentment is something I am still learning.
I write the words and share the scriptures about how God promises to work all things together for His good, yet most days I don’t do a very good job of walking it out. So contentment is something I’ve been learning, especially over the past few months, and will continue through the new year. I want to be able to know where my hope lies at all times, and not spend my days in regret and clinging to the past. I want to move forward in faith, through the hurt and pain, believing there are blue skies ahead. I want to be satisfied with my life, and the only way to have that satisfaction is to have more of Him.
How about you friends? What have you learned in 2014? I would love for you to share.
I’m linking up with Emily Freeman over at Chatting At The Sky. Stop on over and read about what other’s have learned this year.