What God has been teaching me

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Every year comes with its own valleys and mountains, happy and sad surprises, bitter and sweet moments, open and closed doors, and highs and lows.

And each valley, each mountain, each surprise, and each moment brings us unique lessons of its own.

As Mel, one of my favorite bloggers put it so well once, I attended “Holy Spirit University” once more and the lessons I learned far outweigh any lesson I’ve learned in a physical classroom or a textbook.

Sometimes attending “class” was hard.

And taking certain “tests” was even harder.

But if there is anything I have learned it’s that there are no shortcuts to growth.

We must go through pruning seasons where God cuts off things that no longer help us grow.

We must go through desert seasons where we learn to depend on God alone to meet our needs.

We must go through seasons of brokenness where we learn to hand over our pain to God and allow Him to heal us and make us whole.

Every lesson, every season, and every day serves a purpose to build us up in Christ and make us more like Him.

And I’m so blessed with all the lessons I have learned this year.

Here are some of them:

  1. God sees the big picture in life and I don’t. Trusting Him means I don’t need to have all my “why’s” answered. It means sometimes I need to walk ahead even when the road is dark. And where I am today is exactly where I need to be. If God isn’t opening new doors yet, I’m not ready for them. He is in control and He knows what best and when the time is right He’ll be faithful in making sure everything works out according to His plan.
  1. I may not be as talented, gifted, or skilled as someone else out there but God created me just the way I am for a unique purpose to fulfill and the quicker I embrace myself, insecurities, weaknesses, shortcoming and all the more He can use me for His kingdom. The only way I can make a difference in this world is by fulfilling His purpose for my life, not trying to fulfill someone else’s.
  1. Sometimes when I look around at people I wonder why someone has what I don’t but nothing good comes out comparing my life to others and what they have because while I am too busy counting their blessings I miss my own. As long as I have a beating heart, food on my table, and a roof over my head I am already much more blessed than most people in the world. The grass is greener where you water it and I water mine by finding new things to thank God for every day and remembering that regardless of what I have or don’t have, He is more than enough for me.
  1. Real beauty isn’t measured by the style of my hair, the size of my jeans, or how much make up I wear. It’s measured by what’s inside my heart. If I want to be truly beautiful then I need to spend less time in front of the mirror and more time in front of God’s Word because it’s the beauty from inside that shines brightest of all.
  1. I will not always see the fruit of the ministry I do right away but that doesn’t mean that I should stop serving. Some fruit only grows years after it’s planted and I shouldn’t give up just because I don’t see changes in lives today. I need to just plant the seed and move on and trust that God will continue watering it, nurturing it, and growing it in the hearts of people for years to come.
  1. As much as I want to keep certain people in my life not all relationships are meant to last forever. Some are only for a season and I need to cherish it, learn from it, and then let it go and trust that if God is removing someone from my life it’s because He is only opening up space for someone else to walk in.
  1. God is writing my love story and at the right time and place He will bring the right person into my life. It’s up to me how I will live out my season of singleness and I will choose to use my time not worrying about when I will get a ring on my finger but instead focusing on how God can use me best to serve others, to grow in Him, and to get ready for what He has in store for my future.
  1. There is an enemy out there who wants nothing more than to destroy my faith in God and the only way I can prepare for my battles is through prayer and God’s Word. My victory over every battle, every trial, and every temptation will always come when God is fighting it for me.
  1. Who I am behind closed doors matter more than who I appear to be on Sunday morning at church. My character is shown best not when everyone’s eyes are on me, but when no one but God is watching. He alone knows my motives and my thoughts and I need to make sure that my life matches up with what I say I believe. Not just in public, but especially in private.
  1. There is no guarantee that God will answer the prayer I’ve been praying, that the right doors will open when I want them to, or that the storm I am walking through will end soon. But there is one guarantee that I can ALWAYS be certain of today. I don’t have to face a single thing alone. In the midst of my pain, my unanswered questions, and my uncertainty God is right there beside me. Even when He seems silent and even when He seems far away. He is there to carry me every single step of the way.

…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 – if I’m not on here for a few weeks it’s probably because I’ll be stuck in a world of resumes, cover letters, and interviews (hopefully) 😉 so please keep my job search in your prayers if you can! I will be updating my facebook page with what God puts on my heart, and most likely twitter, and instagram so you can find me on there in the meantime.

And please don’t forget 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 have a wonderful Christmas as you celebrate the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ and a blessed time welcoming in a brand New Year with Him!

May this one bring many blessings, answered prayers, breakthroughs, open doors, lessons, and growth in your walk with Him.

I love you all and look forward to being back very soon! Be blessed! -Anna… ♥

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72 thoughts on “What God has been teaching me

  1. I love this! Our Father has been doing similar things in my life, and oh, how the growing pains hurt sometimes. But as a mentor taught me recently, the silversmith heats his silver not only until the dross separates but until he can see his own reflection on the surface of the pure silver. ❤

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    • That’s such profound wisdom. Going through pain is never fun but I have learned that with God’s help there’s always so much growth that comes out of it! It’s always worth it in the end… God bless you! ❤

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      • I love all of what you write… I’m trying to remember that God is in charge right this moment as I go through a painful divorce with an abusive spouse. It’s taken me a while to get to where I am and I know God is with me, walking me through every detail every day but it can get very overwhelming some days. I’m so thankful for people like you who bless us by writing from your heart! God will get me through this because his plan is better than mine. He is able to do exceedingly abundantly more than I can think or ask… trusting in him daily. Thank you for blessing us.

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  2. Hi Anna!
    I hope that you’ve been well and had a wonderful year! I’m interested to know when you’ll be back to blogging. I know you’re doing great things and that God is using you in incredible ways! Have a blessed new year!!

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  3. Hi Anna! I have been going through a lot of emotional pain lately. Thank you for this. You have no idea how much your blogs have helped me survive. Every time I feel like killing myself, I’d read your blogs and I’d immediately feel better. You’re truly an inspiration! God bless you! 😇😉😘

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  4. k so i just recently found this and read this and i’m dying because it’s sooo good and then i got to the bottom and your name is anna and my name is anna and then i freaked out. haha anyways i love this soooo much.

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  5. Hey Anna! I hope you had a great Christmas and that 2015 has been going well so far. I really enjoy reading your blog but it’s been a very long time since you posted–I miss your writing! 🙂 Are you planning on being done with this blog and doing other things or just taking a long break?

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    • Hey Hannah! My 2015 has been quite an interesting journey so far, and I have been away from blogging for much longer than I anticipated but I definitely expect to be back to blogging soon! Hope you have been doing great! I always enjoy reading your posts about the new things God is teaching you!

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  6. I really enjoyed this post although I saw it late. I related to most the words. I kindle shared one on facebook page, number 8. Keep writing! I enjoy your honestly and stand in God. Never lose this gift. You help people.

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  7. may the good Lord have His way in your life and your ministry.I am truly inspired of your work,you’re indeed the daughter of the Most High,His name shall be glorified in the work of thy hands.I pronounce an abundance of blessings ,spiritual and material in your life in Jesus’s name.Be blessed

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  8. Hi Anna! I have nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award because, having followed you for several years now, I’ve come to appreciate your loving encouragement that you write about and the faithful witness you give to our Lord and Savior. Please see your nomination at my post “Thank You” at lljostes.wordpress.com. Should you accept, please see the little to-do list at the bottom of the page. May God continue to bless your outreach with the Good News of Jesus! Laura

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  9. Pingback: Green Bean Life

  10. Happy New Year Anna! It’s so nice to see how well you’re doing in God. Love the list. #5 resonates quite well. I need some serious catching up on all I’ve missed. It’s been so busy. Quite hard to read other blogs and stay on track, yet you’re always on my mind.

    Hugs,
    Marlene

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    • Happy New Year to you too Marlene! I hope it has been a good one so far! I’m sad to see that you’ll be shutting down your blog but I’m excited for what the Lord has in store for your future. May you continue to serve Him wholeheartedly in all He calls you to do. Wishing you the best of His blessings on your life! ♥

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  11. Thanks so much Anna! Greetings from Zimbabwe I absolutely LOVE your blog. Seems like you and I were in the same class at HSU ;). I couldn’t have compiled a better list.

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  12. 2014 has been a year when God has taught me humility in so many different areas of my life. I don’t know why it’s such a hard lesson for me to learn but it can really be painful at times. Nevertheless, it’s a lesson I need and I’m grateful for his discipline in my life at times.

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  13. Pingback: top 5 lessons of 2014 | –by their fruit–

  14. Late coming on here, I’ve been crazy busy myself, but you have an awesome list! I think you passed last year’s enrollment in H.S.U. with honors. 🙂 I’m praying for an upgrade for you in your next position. Have an amazing new year in Him. Blessings.

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    • That’s awesome Sarah. I just read it and absolutely love it! It’s awesome to have my lists to re-read every year to see the different lessons God teaches me throughout the years. I hope 2015 will be a great year for you and that you’ll continue growing in Christ and becoming more like Him in all that you are and do. Have a blessed day! ♥

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  15. Such truth and depth to your reflections! Thank you for sharing.
    I am learning what it means to STAND. (Ephesians 6:13)
    (I am a frenetic DOer. God wants me to stand so that He can do it through me.)

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    • Thank you Loreen. What a powerful lesson to learn! I remember growing up I’d always try to visualize putting on the full armor of God as I got ready for the day so that I was prepared for anything that would come against me. May you continue standing strong through everything God leads you to. Have a Merry Christmas!

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  16. Pingback: What God has been teaching me | State of My Heart

  17. Anna, I can totally relate with all 10 of the lessons you’ve learned this year. This year has been one of the toughest because my faith and character has been tested and tried and tested some more. I’m still unsure whether I’m out of this season of testing, but I know I’ve grown closer to the Lord. I know I’ve come to depend on Him more. I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned and I’m learning to embrace the trials instead of kicking and screaming about them. I see them as new opportunities to go deeper and higher in the Lord. He’s truly revealing His secrets unto me by the Holy Spirit and it’s amazing. Thank you for sharing the lessons you’ve learned. It helps me understand that many of us are being birthed in to new levels of faith and strength.

    Merry Christmas to you Anna!

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    • Hi Marilyn, wow, my faith and character have both been tested and tried time and time again by different circumstances this year, and though hard at the moment I’m so glad I went through them because just like you, it only made me dig deeper into God’s Word and cling even harder to Him. Trials are ALWAYS opportunities not only for God to test us but for us to test His faithfulness toward us if we just believe and keep on going with Him. (And He ALWAYS comes through!)

      I hope this year brings you new growth and opportunities for you faith to be strengthened in Him. Have a Merry Christmas!

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  18. Wow!! This is definitely my list of 2014 lessons! I was trying to make a compilation and simply couldn’t put it in words! May I please ReBlog this?

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  19. We are waiting your little glance ,full of hope…
    the same smile you can share with us , the joy of the smallest things it is the best gift that God can give us, and He can do it everyday.
    in a tear, in a smile … He always is closed to us ,
    merry Christmas

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  20. What a beautiful reflection of the year’s lessons Anna, thankyou for sharing! So many things can relate to particularly 5), 9) & 10) lately. Good luck with the job search and have a very happy and peaceful Christmas!

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