“They” say life is what you make it… (*Haa*) but is it…really? I used to think that was true until I found myself living a life that I did not make. No matter what I did, or how I looked at it, I just could not find what I needed in that life for it to be fulfilling for me. I felt trapped in it so I tried my best to find some level of contentment through material things. I was too scared to take the big leap (of faith) to “make” a different life so I stayed in the one I had, secretly hoping things would change.
For a while, and I’m talking years, I thought my life would never change. I had a good job, a husband and family, friends, most of the things I wanted and money; but I dreamed of a different life. A life where peace was plentiful, love was unconditional, and joy was eternal. I thought because I had most of the things I wanted that I could grow to be content living my life without the other things I knew were missing; which eventually began to create a major void. At the time, I did not understand that the void I was feeling in my life could only be filled by God through the gifts He had given to me (and you). I would buy myself things that I liked and desired thinking they would bring me happiness; and they did temporarily, and then I was right back to feeling the same void I felt before I made the purchase. I thought I was loving myself by doing that, when in actuality I was just pimping my emotions. I was spending money buying material things that would make me happy, only later to realize I had some new things, and the same voids.
It took prayer and self-examination of the inner-ME to gain an understanding of what it would take for those voids to be filled. I began to understand I would have to work from within first, and that would guide my outer physical atmosphere: my world. I acknowledged what I needed to do to be whole, and I did it.
- I forgave some people who did not ask me to which allowed a healing to manifest within me
- I changed my heart towards some people and situations
- I changed my way of thinking to a more positive one
- I began to love myself from the inside, out
- I began to show more kindness to others, even those who were not kind to me
- I loved my enemies and prayed for those who despitefully used me (Matthew 5:44)
It took years of pain to understand MY worth and value. It took years of doing the same things over and over expecting different results to know I would have to be the change I desired in my life. It took years of praying and talking to God to acknowledge the answers I was seeking were being given to me, yet nothing was happening because I chose to ignore them. I did not want to do anything that would cause me to step out of my comfort zone, so I did not agree with the answers God was giving me. I just ignored Him and kept praying in hopes of receiving a different answer. That did not work!
I was afraid to be happy because I knew it came with a price. I knew it was going to cost me some things, relationships, and probably some material possessions too, but after years of suffering I was fine with paying those costs. I reached a point in my mind where I did not care what people thought about the decisions I made. It was Me and God! I knew a few things that helped me to move forward during that time in my life. I knew:
- “If God was for me, WHO could be against me?” (Romans 8:31)
- “With God any and every thing IS possible” (Matthew 19:26)
- As long as I was making decisions according to His will for my life “all these other things (I desired) would be added,” (Matthew 6:33)
- “He would restore to me the years that the locusts had eaten” (Joel 2:25)
- “He would be my provider!” (Philippians 4:19)
2012 was life changing for me…emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I did lose some things and relationships; and others I let go because they were non-negotiables to whether or not I continued to just live or if I started to thrive! The hardest thing I had to do in 2012 was love myself, but it has also been the most rewarding. Through loving myself, I gained an awareness of my inner worth, which filled the voids I carried for so many years. I gained the courage to tell fear to leave and the strength to believe in ME! I did not want to lose some relationships, things, and investments, but the love I now have for myself allowed me to see they were not for me anymore and it was necessary that they leave my life to make room for the new relationships and things God has in store for me in 2013 and beyond!
I pray this post has blessed you and encourages you to take an inventory of the “inner-ME.” I hope that something I said encourages you to let go of any fears and love yourself regardless of the costs.
Love, Peace, & Blessings to YOU!!
“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” (Galatians 5:22)