2013: Top Ten Things God Has Taught Me

lessons from 2013It seems like just yesterday I was sitting at midnight on December 31st welcoming in the New Year with fireworks and friends.

My heart full of joy, my mind running around excited for the things the new year would bring.

And as this year is drawing to a close –incredible things this year did bring – many of them in the form of lessons God taught me in my walk with Him.

Some of them easy.

Some of them hard.

But it was walking hand in hand with Christ and listening to His precious voice as He led me like a good Shepherd, taught me as a wise Teacher, provided for all my needs as a loving Father, and never left my side as my closest friend that I will be able to greet this year as a different person.

A person who has been transformed by the work God did on the potter’s wheel as He challenged her faith, renewed her mind, and changed her heart.

Each year I like to remember the ways God has worked on me.

The things He has taught me through the circumstances I went through and through convictions in His Word.

Here is my top ten for 2013:

1. God always hears my prayers even when it seems like nothing is happening. If I am not receiving my answer today it’s because He has something better planned for me tomorrow. There is always a reason for the waiting seasons in life, I need to trust that His plan and timing is better than my own and that at the right time He’ll get me exactly where I need to be – until then I need to patiently use my time wisely for His kingdom.

2. God is good but that doesn’t mean that life will always be good. If we want to become more like Christ it means we must go through the same things He went through. That includes suffering, hardships, betrayals, and temptations. It is only by going through those things that our characters are transformed, our faith is strengthened, and we become a true reflection of Christ to the world. Instead of complaining about my hardships I should merely look at them as great opportunities to grow in Christ.

3. God has given me dreams, talents, and opportunities to live my life to the fullest for His kingdom and instead of going through the motions and making excuses to put off doing things for God for another day I need to learn to step out of my comfort zone daily to fulfill God’s call upon my life. And then one day when I’m looking back I won’t regret the things I should’ve done but didn’t and I’ll be able to say I lived my life wholeheartedly for Christ.

4. Words are powerful and I need to use them wisely because they have the ability to destroy or uplift a person. One day I’ll be accountable for every word that has ever come out of my life so before I say something I need to think about how I feel if those same words were said to me. I need to think about whether or not God would approve of those words.

5. God needs to be #1 in my life, not just a Sunday morning routine. What matters more than how I worship Him with my words on Sunday is how I worship Him with my actions and my life every single day in between. He doesn’t want me to live a mediocre halfhearted life but a life that is wholeheartedly devoted to Him. He wants me not to just talk the talk of faith, but actually walk with Him by faith every single day, and unless I live my life out in faith with my actions then my words are meaningless to Him.

6. I need to live in the present, not in the mistakes or pain of my past or the hopes and dreams for my future. All I get to work with is today and if all I am thinking about is what I could have done differently yesterday and what I want to do tomorrow then I’ll waste the moment I have right in front of me. The past is a good place to reflect on. Learn from and grow from, but it’s not a place to live in. I need to stop looking in the rearview mirror and start looking ahead with Christ. I can’t change what’s behind me, but I can make a difference about what lies ahead so I need to focus on my present and future with Him.

7. I need to stop worrying about what people think about me and care more about what God thinks. In the end I will not be judged by how I measured up according to their standards or where I stood with them but how I measure by Christ’s standards and where I stood with Him. As long as I have God’s approval I don’t need to waste time thinking about how I may get everyone else’s because it doesn’t really matter.

8. I can’t control all the things that will happen in my life. The circumstances I will face. The people that will walk in or walk out. The changes that may occur. But there are many things that I do control. Like how I react to situations whether they are good or bad. What choices I make to move ahead or stay behind – and ultimately how my life will end and what legacy I will leave behind. Instead of worrying about what I can’t control I need to focus on making right choices every day with Christ that will not only be good for my future – but will also be meaningful for His kingdom in eternity.

9. We all have a story. We all faced tragedies. We all have things from the past we’d rather forget. But often times it is those hardships that God wants to use for His kingdom. It is those things that we want to hide that He wants to recover, redeem, and use to encourage others who are walking through the same struggle in life. He wants us to turn our pain into someone else’s hope by being bold enough to share our story, our battles, and our hurt no matter how hard it may be. And in doing so we will draw not only ourselves but also others even closer to Him.

10. God doesn’t want me to get too comfortable inside the four walls of my church. He wants me to go outside and reach out to those who are broken, lost, hopeless, and need. He wants me to be His hands and feet to the world around me. He wants me to love and care for people the same way that He would if He was still here. And even though I’m not Mother Theresa or a big name preacher I can do my part to make a difference in the lives of the people around me. My mission field is not in Africa or India but right here in America and I need to do what I can to spread God’s truth, hope, and love to the hurting people right next to me.

…and that’s my list!

Please feel free to share what God’s been teaching you this year as well! I’d love to know what kind of work He’s been doing on your heart these past few months.

Also – I am going to take a (much-needed) break from blogging until the beginning of next year but although I won’t be on here I will still be updating my facebook page with what God puts on my heart so you are more then welcome to browse around there.

And I want to remind you that if you have any prayer needs within the next few weeks I would love to lift you up in prayer. Feel free to email me and let me know what’s going on so that I know how to pray for you. 🙂

I hope you all have a wonderful, peaceful, and memorable Christmas and New Year. May God continue to bless you, encourage you and strengthen you as you walk with Him.

Love you all and looking forward to hearing from you! Be blessed! -Anna… ♥

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38 thoughts on “2013: Top Ten Things God Has Taught Me

  1. Hi Anna! I’ve been missing your posts. I haven’t been seeing them in my Reader. Great post. It seems we’re learning the same thing! God is teaching me to let Him lead me out to the ocean. To take me out of my comfort zone and be courageous enough to watch what He does with the waters around me. He’s reminding me the importance of prayer and praying circles around the things that matter and again, waiting on Him for the results as I obey Him. I pray for the courage to continue to step out in faith so I can walk on the water with Him! Thank you for this post! Blessings to you, girl! ❤

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    • Hey!! And happy new year!! 🙂 I hope it’s been treating you well so far! God is definitely teaching us many of the same things. He’s been putting a desire in my heart to keep on praying persistently for those in need around me and has been challenging me to get out of my comfort zone in a few areas. I’m looking forward to this new year for both of us to see how God will stretch us in our faith and use our lives to bring Him glory as He keeps on transforming our minds and working on our hearts so we can truly reflect Him to everyone around us. 🙂

      May He give you the courage you need to keep taking those steps of faith daily as you trust Him to lead you through the waters. Be blessed sister!!

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  2. These are all great life lessons. I was especially touched by numbers 6,7, and 9. The idea that God will use even the darkest chapters of my story to bring glory to His name and kingdom always inspires awe in my heart!

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    • Yes. God’s ability to use even our darkest and hardest times in life to encourage others and make a difference for His kingdom is incredible! God truly is a Father that loves to redeem- first by forgiving us on the cross and giving us hope for a new ending with Him in eternity (that we don’t deserve) – and second- by redeeming the trials and storms in our life and using them to to be a source of encouragement for others. It’s such an honor to serve and be loved by a God whose mercies are new every morning!

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  3. Awesome list. All of it is very true and completely practical. The biggest lessons I have learned this year are along the lines of 1, 2, 6, and 8 in your list. I have learned that I need to be able to let everything go, not to hold to anything or anyone too tight, but to hold to only Christ. Christ will never fail, but everything in this life; our hopes, dreams, loved ones, friends, possessions, knowledge, and even our own feelings; can all fail or leave us. Christ will never leave us. As Christians, we must be prepared to lose EVERYTHING.

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    • I agree. God has really been teaching me both this year and last year how important it is to focus on the things that matter to Him – which are eternal rather than the things of this world that will fade away and can fail us. The great thing about being Christian is that we have Christ and in Him we will always have all that we will ever need for this life!

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  4. Thanks for these Anna! Hope you’ve been well. I took my break and now I’m back. I just popped in to see what’s going on in your corner 🙂 and I find you have something quite similar to what I wrote last week 🙂 thanks for all the inspiration in 2013. You’re a blessing!

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    • Hope you’ve been doing well too Marlene!! I see we both needed to take a little break from blogging! 😉 It’s been nice but I have been itching to start writing again. It seems like my heart and my mind never run out of things to say!

      Thank you for being a blessing in my life too through all of your posts! It’s so encouraging to meet wonderful people like you who are using their life and words to bless others in their walk with God. May you continue to be a blessing always – and may this new year bring you even more joy, peace, and growth with Christ than ever before. Be blessed!

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  5. It’s the small details about God, which causes a person to rethink his or her ways. His love for us is amazing and keeps on giving, even when we don’t deserve His blessings. I truly enjoyed reading your top 10 list about what you’ve learned. There are many who take these sort of things for granted and miss out on His full blessings.

    Thanks for taking the time to stop by, Like, and Follow….

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    • Thanks Antoinette! God’s love for us is truly amazing. It’s overwhelming to think about how much He loves me when I don’t deserve even the least bit of His goodness and grace toward me. I’m glad I stumbled upon your blog and am looking forward to reading more posts from you. Hope you have a wonderful New Year!

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  6. A very heart felt and inspiring reflection on what God has been teaching you throughout this year. These are excellent lessons we all need to apply to our own life in service to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

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  7. Anna,
    It seems that the lessons God has been teaching you this year are so similar to the ones he has been teaching me! You’ve inspired me to do a similar post, although I’ll probably wait til the end of the year. Enjoy your blogging break!
    God Bless,
    Kirsten

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  8. I love your list of lessons learned. The biggest lesson I learned this year is trusting God is not in word only, but in every detail of my day. Trusting Him to take care of me for the day, to guide me down the right paths, to protect my children, etc.
    I will miss your blog while your gone…hurry back!

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    • Thanks Marilyn. Trusting God seems to be something I keep learning year after year! (Maybe because it’s something we can never stop doing). It’s easy to say we trust Him but not as easy to live like we do. Hope you have an incredible Christmas and New Year’s!

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