Concluding 2012

Sometimes, no matter how far removed you feel from a situation, no matter how "over it" your mind has concluded itself to be, no matter how assured you are in your sense of forgiveness and calm...

All it takes is a split second to throw all those grounded and confident sentiments out the window. One glance, one text, one photo, one fleeting thought.... and in the blink of an eye, all the confidence and strength that has been "built" can just vanish.

Which begs the question, was it ever really there to begin with? 

In Phillipians 4:6-7 [NASB], Paul reminds us to "be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

2012 was, by far, probably the hardest year of my 27 years of life. Okay, maybe the second most difficult time period. It is definitely top two of years I'd rather never be repeated nor brought up in casual conversation.

Now, don't get me wrong, I've had some pretty decedent memories ....sprinkled lightly throughout the year. Went to a couple NFL games, furnished my first apartment, bought my first TV (WITH all the premium channels), shaved off a good portion of my hair, solidified some friendships, frequented house parties, found my favorite bars in different cities, witnessed the beauty of love via a few weddings and engagements, danced my joys into the atmosphere, enjoyed the wonderment that is Sunday night programming on HBO, wonderful dates and memorable laughs with a handsome man or two, and lived long enough to mark another notch onto the tree of my existence.

And, while I am grateful for all these things, I am still cognizant that this is also the year that I have read more self-help books in the history of me (the fact that my self-help book count was at zero before 2012 may or may not be relevant). I've read on confidence, psychology of family connections, the need for forgiveness, boundaries in relationships, faith building, spiritual growth, defining love, learning to let go of love, the art of small talk, rules of power, etcetera and etcetera. I have lived months of my life in quiet corners and moments filled with a constant searching in books and sermons and blogs. I needed answers for all that I felt and couldn't find the words to describe. I needed to quantify and organize and just make sense of a lot of pain and depression that had marked my life during the previous year. I felt like my feet were stuck and I couldn't take one step forward unless I understood what was happening and had happened.

2013 is nigh as I don't think I have found the answers that I so diligently sought. I've learned a whole ton of shit that I'm sure will be useful the next time I am asked for advice but... yep, nothing really concrete solidified in terms of my existence except the fact that forgiveness is the key to everything. But, that's a whole entire other post.

2012 has taught me that all my time spent sulking and holding on to the past was a demonstration of a lack of faith. If I choose to believe in God and pray that He lead my life daily and make decisions that are in line with what He ordains, what am I worrying about? What is there to agonize over when I am being held in the hands of the Creator and Orchestrator of all that I am? How can I say I have faith in Him and still second guess the seasons of my life? People leave, doors are closed, and chapters end. Has He not told me that it wouldn't always be easy?

I need to learn to live life according to the faith I claim.

Whenever you heart is heavy, whenever your heart is weary, whenever your mind is troubled... abid in Him and He will calm your soul and give you the strength and peace to make it through. Not yourself... not your will... not your strengths... not your understanding. Things will happen in this life that are outside your realm of understanding. You will hurt, you'll love and lose, you'll love and win, you'll be inexplicably blessed with a new job or car or home. Or maybe things will just be still and silent. Just like the blessings can be better than expected so the disappointments may catch you off guard just the same. And sometimes the calm moments of our lives are meant to help us prepare of beautiful opportunities or maybe just to help us get things in order so we can get back from the deficient to a place of peace.

It is all balanced and it will always be okay.

Don't give way to toxic thoughts capturing you're mind and ruining your countenance. Replace those negative, and sometimes debilitating, thoughts and feelings with truth, light, and love.

Remember, "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me" [Philippians 4:13, NASB].

Moving forward into 2013, I need to focus on less seeking. I want to spend my time living and loving.

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things." - Philippians 4:8, NASB


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