So, as I'm sure you could already tell, my blog was down for a while. There was a technical glitch but, I let Christmas kidnap me and hold me hostage for a bit so, I just didn't get around to fixing it. Not that I am complaining. I have all of the symptoms of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to Christmas. But, alas, it has passed and here I am.
I've been spending a lot of time reflecting over the past year and just how much has changed in my life. I live in a completely different part of town, have a whole new group of friends, I am living alone (with the exception of my daughter) for the first time in 17 years, I have a whole new career, and I am single and dating. I even know how to swing dance and do the tango now. How much change can one person pack into a year? My goodness. Change is scary. Really scary. But, I can honestly say that I am exactly where God wants me at this point in my life and He just keeps refining me, through my circumstances, into the person He knows I am in Him.
I am truly in awe of how much he has blessed me and taught me in the past year. There are two major lessons that He has impressed upon me over and over again that I want to share with you because I may not have these lessons down yet, but thank God that He has not left me where I used to be.
- I am not responsible for other people's choices and emotional well-being. Take a second and think about that. I mean, REALLY think about that. Once that sinks in, it's life changing. I have spent WAY too much time tying myself into knots about those two things. It is scary how easy it is to fall into that way of thinking. We all want the people that we love to be happy. But, it becomes unhealthy when their happiness becomes your responsibility. I'm not even good at being responsible for my own happiness, how in the world am I supposed to be responsible for everyone else's happiness? This is not to say that we shouldn't ever take responsibility for mistakes that we've made that have caused them pain. We should love everyone as we love ourselves. But, I think that is where we get confused. We assume that loving ourselves means that we do anything and everything possible to be happy all the time. That is NOT what the scripture means. Sometimes, loving ourselves means making really hard choices that may hurt like hell but we know are for the best. Loving the people in our lives does not mean that we exhaust ourselves trying to keep them as happy as possible. It means that we consider them and what is best for them and love them accordingly.
- This is the most important lesson I've learned this year; choosing to believe that God really does love me as I am and not as I should be. I have made some TERRIBLE decisions in the past that I am not proud of. I even allowed my mistakes to define me for a while. In fact, for far too long. Open your Bible and really take notice of God's love, forgiveness, and ability to use the most dysfunctional people in the world. Allowing myself to be defined by my poor choices is, in essence, not accepting our Savior's biggest sacrifice for us. We treat it as though it was all for naught. The ENTIRE reason God sacrificed his son was to release us from being identified by our inability to be "good enough", just so that we can spend eternity with him no matter what we've done. THAT is how much he loves us.
I know that I have already posted this video in one of my previous blogs, but it seems as though that post got lost in the glitch and it is the essence of what I am talking about. So, here it is once more.
Happy New Year everyone! Here's to new beginnings with God's unfailing grace and love.