Maybe I should have entitled this six things I should have learned a long time ago, but wasn’t paying attention. I don’t know if you are like me but I tend to have to see and hear something over quite a few times before it goes from head knowledge to becoming heart knowledge. So far, this year has been one of key lessons taking root in me and I pray that they will serve me and my family well. Here are the first three and I hope they bless you in some small way:
January – God sets up divine connections – When God called me to write a book I was astounded. I had never written anything in my life. He has been faithful over the last 3 1/2 years through this process to send the proper help that I needed to complete it. When an independent editing company suggested I start this blog, I was terrified. I didn’t even know how to begin, but God kept encouraging me that it would all be okay! I tend to be a very private person, so this was quite a leap of faith. If you know anything about blogging, most bloggers work long, hard hours to develop a large following. I don’t have any extra time to do that. In January, one of my favorite bloggers ask for guest bloggers and I submitted something to her. She chose to publish one of my articles on her Facebook page. I was so thrilled! It was totally a divine connection. I have 436 followers who see my posts, she has 29,300 on Facebook and 33,900 on her blog page!!! Her name is Sheila and she writes amazing articles on love, sex and marriage from a Christian standpoint. She has written many successful books and tours the USA and Canada. She posted my article on January 11, which unbeknownst to her is a very special day in my life. It is a date in years prior where God turned my life around in a huge way on 1/11. She then recycled my article for another post in May and I had a huge upswing in hits to my site once again. I am reminded of the verse, Psalm 37:5, “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.”
By the way, Sheila’s web site is: http://tolovehonorandvacuum.com/ if you would like to check out her posts.
February – God equips you for what He has called you to do – This point was driven home in my heart during the time when the Coptic Christians were about to be martyred on the beach. Who can forget the image of those brave men in their orange jumpsuits on the beach with their murderers poised behind them with their weapons at the ready! I was shaken by that image and what had been happening to believers, but God used their families to remind me that He never sends us to fulfill a call that He hasn’t equipped us to handle. As they interviewed the families of those martyred men, that very lesson came alive. The family members made statements indicating that they were grieving but knew that those men were born for martyrdom. They told the press that it was an honor and a privilege that they could serve Christ in this way. I think they felt called and equipped, don’t you? Isaiah 55:8 “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. This reality broke any fear of attack for my faith right off of me. Our God loves us so much. He will prepare us for anything and everything if we allow Him.
March – Grief doesn’t take a hiatus just because you want it to go away. – Eric and I had been looking forward to the wedding of someone who is as close as a daughter. When he passed away, I was determined to still attend that wedding and enjoy it. As the time grew closer, I began to hope that when the plane touched down in Florida, the grief would somehow stay behind. Not only did it stay with me, but the harsh reality of being alone was even more real when I hopped into my rental car and drove in silence to my destination. It was my first wedding without him. I was so happy for this couple that I love so much yet so sad and empty all at the same time. Never had I experienced such a combination of emotions all at one time. Grief recovery is one of my specialties as a counselor, but nothing compares to hands on experience. Attempting to avoid grief in never a good idea. If you want to stay healthy and get through the grieving cycle in God’s timing, you have got to ride the wave of grief when it presents itself. No shoveling, no holding back. This passage of scripture came alive for me that weekend: Ecclesiastes 3 New Living Translation (NLT)
A Time for Everything
3 For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2 A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3 A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4 A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
What lessons has God taken you through this year? As we reach the halfway mark, it is a great time to reflect on what you have learned!