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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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… ♥