In the middle of the mess… chose joy, peace, love, kindness, patience, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Humility speaks volumes in a world full of pride.

Going through my Facebook time hop today and came across this little gem.  It started out with “this maybe should have been a blog post”.  Well, lucky for y’all it is becoming a blog as we speak.  It was one year ago today that I wrote the following words.  Of course I’m going to read through and edit/revise, but for the most part it will stay unchanged.  It really spoke to my heart today.  It’s kind of funny that my own words happened to be just what I needed to hear this morning.  They were kind of like a pick me up from, well… myself.

 

1 year ago:

“This maybe should have been a blog post, but not many of you see my blog.  Whether you agree or disagree with my opinion, please be kind.  Remember that often I go out of my way to make y’all feel loved.  It has been on my heart to address this issue for a while now.  Going through a difficult situation really brings out the true colors of people around us.  Sometimes people are just trying to help or make you feel better, and say the wrong thing.  Those times should be simply overlooked.  The question I find myself asking is, what about those times when a friend or family member says something biting that seems directed for our hurt?  I say (get ready for this)simply let it go!  In the future use discernment in who you trust for advice, but forgive people for their hurtful comments even when they are not sorry.  You are already dealing with enough, don’t carry those hurt feelings with you.

Surround yourself with people who build you up!  You don’t need any help tearing yourself down, if you’re anything like me you do a good enough job of that on your own.  Well, stop it!  If there are things you don’t like about yourself, change them!  People will talk no matter what you do.  Seek God’s plan in all the messes of your life.  He is the only one  who will always want the best for you.  His plans for us are good, and his timing is always perfect. (No matter how hard it is to wait). In the middle of the most difficult situation I’ve faced thus far, I’m learning how God will use our strenuous circumstances to mold and change us, if we will let him.  Whether my situation turns out the way I’m praying or not, my Faith WILL stand.”

Today:

MY FAITH WILL STAND.  So many times as I prayed, and confidently spoke about how I just knew God was going to answer my prayers.  God did NOT answer my prayers the way I thought he would.  Does that mean he didn’t answer?  Things didn’t turn out the way I prayed, until I started praying for God to change me instead of the situation.  When I became willing to move forward without having things go my way, God moved in my situation.  I asked him to make it better… instead he made me better.  I asked him to save the marriage… instead he brought me out of a situation where I was not respected or loved the way I deserved to be.

loved

Divorce came and went.  I learned that I am way stronger than I ever thought.  Not because of anything I’ve done, but by the faith and hope that has been instilled in me through studying the bible.  I still struggle with a lot of issues, self-doubt and intense fear are just a few.  I always think something is wrong with me.  I am terrified of being walked away from.(On a daily basis I think how I just want someone to stay.  Someone to choose me, over the other woman.  Someone, who can’t wait to tell me about their day, every single day.)

walk

I can honestly say, I’m so thankful that God didn’t leave me in that marriage.  As I sit here typing, Frankie is snoring on the other end of the couch.  The two little munchkins are laying on a pallet watching a movie and arguing over blankets.  Sometimes I find it hard to believe that this is my life.  So much has changed.  Even when it didn’t feel like they were good changes, God was working.

1 year ago:

“I have been told how stupid I am, been laughed at, and made to feel inadequate, all by people who say they love me.  When a situation takes longer than people think it should for us to get through, they become frustrated with us for “still” being upset.  That’s okay.  They really just don’t get it, if they have never been through it.  Even if they have been through something similar, the bottom line is nobody knows your pain except you, and God.  Trust him!  Lean on him!  I get it, there are times you really need someone to talk to.  Just be prepared, because EVERY SINGLE PERSON will have an opinion.  Let them give it if it makes them feel better, then go ahead and do what you feel God leading you to do.  They may get upset when you don’t take all the wonderful advice they offer.  Let them be upset!  Do what you feel is right for you, not what someone else says they would do in your place.  You don’t have to apologize for knowing your own mind and heart, even if no one else understands.  Don’t get me wrong, there are many people in my life who continuously raise my spirits.  I guess what I’m trying to say is weigh your words before you spit them out.  You can never truly know what another person is going through.  So before you say “here’s what I would do”, stop!  Offer encouragement instead of advice!  Give love instead of judgement!  Add kindness to their chaos.  As for me, I will continue to look to the one who made me for guidance.  If you don’t believe like I do, fine. You may never understand the reasoning behind the choices I make.  That’s OK, sometimes I don’t get you either!”

Today:

A friend asked me last week one day, “How do you keep your head up/keep going when you feel like you suck?  This world is a crazy place.  People are mean.  I’m starting to believe there really isn’t good in everyone.”  She was right “people ARE mean”.  Some people are horrible.  They do things I couldn’t even imagine to each other.  I’ve come to know that I can’t control the actions of others.  I can be kind anyway.  Sometimes I get so tired of being, “such a good person”.  It feels like I’m at the bottom of everyone’s list.  I feel like I suck on a daily basis.  I keep trying.  I know my sweet friend thinks, I’m just so happy.  I am very happy, but not every minute of every day is peachy.  Real life is real hard.  On most days, I wake up counting down the hours until bedtime.  I work my butt off, and feel insufficient.  I’m so hard on myself.  There’s not enough time in my day, not enough money in my wallet, and not nearly as much time spent with family and friends as I would like.  The house is a mess, the laundry needs folded, and I always have an overwhelming feeling that I’ve forgotten to do something important.  I am a bundle of emotions.  I’m fighting to get back to me.  I use the word fight, because I’m not going to give up.

 

scared

I don’t know where I’ll be in 10 years, but I know I won’t look back and say I gave up.  I threw in the towel because it was hard.  Sometimes life is REALLY hard, and oh so messy.  Like right in the middle of all the happy, it’s still hard.  The best strategy I’ve found for “keeping my head up” is to bend my knee and bow my head.  Sometimes I talk to God, but here lately I just listen because I’m at a loss for words.  It’s not always an instant fix, but it directs me back to my center.  It puts my focus back where it should be.

 

1 year ago:

“If you know me at all, then you know I would never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings.  More times than not I put others first and do whatever is asked of me.  Recently I have learned the value of saying no when I am overwhelmed.  No matter what comes I will be okay, it’s just that occasionally I need someone to remind me.  As my friend Connie always says, “it either will or it won’t”.  I’m leaving it all up to God.  It won’t always be easy, but when this storm blows over I will still be standing, not by my strength but by the power of God within me.”

Ephesians 6:13 

“So use every piece of God’s armor to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing”

Today:

I went to church last night.  I found myself thinking about how I’ve written an entire book called “Faith on Fire”, and I don’t feel like my faith is on fire at all.  I struggle with even knowing how to pray, or if I’m praying for the right things.  All I know is that the bible says to talk to God about everything, so I do.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18:

“Celebrate always,  pray constantly, and  give thanks to God no matter what circumstances you find yourself in.”

Life is messy, imperfect, and hard.  Right in the middle of the hard we often find respite in the smile of a stranger walking by, our children giggling, a good book.  You have to take the good right along with the bad.  You do the best you have with what you have, and trust God to get you where you need to be at just the right time.

isaiah

There’s a quote that has stuck in my mind for years.  “Everything will be ok in the end.  If it’s not ok, then it’s not the end.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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