I’ve Learned

You know those moments where you have so much to say, but you don’t know where to start? That’s the moment I’m having right now. So, bear with me, I will try my best not to make you read too much in losing your attention or writing to little leaving you hanging.

In my 34 years of life, I have learned quite a few lessons. Never use someone else’s toothbrush, identify your audience before you speak. Show love, not to receive love but rather from a selfless, unreciprocated place. First-time parents are raising children and being raised themselves. Friendship often comes in seasons. It doesn’t make it any less meaningful, but seasons come and go. Enjoy them while you can but remember to let them go. Kids really do say the darndest things that are often true. You can’t make someone love you, like you, or desire to be with you. Even if it appears so, it’s usually temporary, and the time you spend putting in effort for false attention is not worth it. Especially when there’s plenty of people who love, like and desire to be with you simply because …you’re you.

I’ve learned there’s nothing the world can give you that will take away being tormented. Not drugs (even if it’s weed), sex, successful career, owning material things, or having a family that loves you. Volunteering to feed and clothe the homeless doesn’t take it away. Having a friend that’s there every time you call; won’t do it either. Even looking your best and being praised, won’t do it. The only thing I’ve found that has removed the torment from my life is the love of Jesus Christ. I know, I know, I probably sound like King Solomon with the whole, nothing new under the sun. However, he was on to something. Everything we do, think, act on, is nothing new. Someone has done it before us, and others will do it after us. Therefore, we can’t find worth in any of those things. It wasn’t until I finally beckoned the call from the Lord that my torment diminished.

It wasn’t so much that the situations around me immediately began to change. My heart regarding circumstances started to change. Even when a storm was around me, I praised Him. When things were going great, I praised Him. When I didn’t feel anything at all, I praised Him. I learned that you don’t praise God based on how you feel at the time. You praise God because He’s worthy to be praised at any and all times. I learned you shouldn’t have to be prompted to remember the goodness of God. There’s plenty of things you can reflect on to remember His grace. Not being killed by a car, not having that specific person continue to creep in your room, not taking a step off the ledge, being able to hold your head up high after a defeat. Waking up to a new day able to start over again and repent of your sins so you can spend eternity with your Heavenly Father.

We take grace for granted. We assume it’s our good behavior that gives us grace. Truth is we don’t deserve grace, nor can we ever earn it. There’s no amount of donations, volunteering, or any other act that ties to helping others that can earn you the right to grace. You can give away your kidney to a stranger, and yet this won’t earn you a one-way ticket to receiving God’s love. If God has called you to do these things, that’s great. Just don’t be misled into relying on your actions to persuade His.

In my 34 years, I’ve learned that both men & women can be emotional. People associate being emotional with whining or tears but being emotional can relate to anger or building a wall. Your emotions can either show up or lock you up. To me, that’s all emotional. I’ve learned that emotions if mishandled, can cause chaos. Emotions, if dealt with in patience, can promote peace. I’ve learned that life can change literally overnight, but that doesn’t mean a person can. I’ve learned that children soften even the hardest hearts, and there’s no amount of lessons in reading articles or watching a documentary that can take the place of exercising sanctification through reading God’s WORD. I’ve learned we live in a world where we’re so quick to identify what makes us different when we’re very much the same. We need each other, and more importantly, we need Jesus. I’ve learned that insanity is seen as brilliance, and we accept even the very things that go against nature. We do this to make people feel accepted when, in all actuality, we allowed ourselves to accept the most demonic things and still consider it to sparkle like gold in its “uniqueness.” Deep down, knowing the sparkle is but an illusion to distract us from seeing the very thing we hate. The very thing that brings us to the extinction of conscience, life, and truth.

I’ve learned that losing a job can be a mountain for some, causing them to jump off a bridge and a release for others to finally make a leap of faith. At the end of the day, emotions are still connected to actions, and regardless of the action’s feelings are real even if you can’t touch, see, smell or hear it. They’re real, and they can be really deceptive. I’ve learned that the mind is a terrible thing to waste, yet our culture tends to spend much of its time not keeping simple principles in mind. Love thy Neighbor, Love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. Wives respect your husbands. Husbands love your wives. Children obey your parents. Parents do not provoke your children. I’ve learned we can make the simplest things more complex to puff ourselves up, to deceive even ourselves into believing we know something that others don’t. I’ve learned that you can’t find your worth in anything. You can’t find your worth in anyone. You can only see your worth in the one known as Jesus Christ, our Lord, and Savior.

When I say I’m #DyingDaily, I’m saying that my flesh pulls me towards sin. Drink this, say that, go there, do this. Being a Believer is one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. Being a Believer means I no longer desire to choose sin. I no longer want my life to go my way in this fallen world. I no longer believe that being comfortable in making others comfortable is more important than truth. I no longer see others the way I want to see them, but as God allows me to see them. I know longer love others through acceptance. Rather I love them through the love God placed in me to give, and that is by living and proclaiming the way, the truth, and the life in Jesus Christ. So, if you’re wrong, if you’re in error…don’t worry, I’ve been there too, and I’m still learning. I’m still growing in sanctification and guess what God in His grace has called me and allowed me to answer. Won’t you answer the call? Won’t you stop living as the world has commanded and live as God has commanded? We will endure here for the moment as Christ lives in us, but we know that our reward is the beginning of living with Christ.

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