I would love to hear from everyone. What are the greatest lessons you learned in 2017?
I have learned a lot. I feel like many of the lessons started in July while I was at the beach. The Lord really started dealing with my heart about my priorities. What I didn’t realize was that my out of order priorities was a sign of the condition of my heart. I love the Lord and He knows my heart. My heart is to serve and please Him. However, I was suffering from some heart idols. I didn’t even know that term when the Lord first started dealing with me. This was just the beginning of “The Year of Learning”. Ironically, to get me to be still long enough to really listen and learn the lessons God had prepared for me, it took suffering a concussion. 2017 became “The Year of the Concussion”. That’s funny to me. It’s just another sign of God’s sense of humor. It’s also proof that God sees things differently than we see them. Who knew that a severe bump on the head could bring clarity and understanding?!?! God knew.
So here’s what I learned before the concussion…
- God’s timing is perfect, even if it means waiting 14+ years and sometimes beyond (God’s Timing, When?).
- Memories do not have the power to control and limit me unless I allow it. It’s important to be able to say “This is where I’ve been. This is not who I am.” (Memories…Past, Future, Present)
- The greenest grass grows from ashes. This is nature’s proof that God gives beauty from ashes. You CAN thrive From the Ash Heap. (From Ashes to Grass…Green, Green Grass)
- In life there are situations that cannot be fixed by our own means, but God can make things right. We don’t even have to worry or be anxious about a thing. (OMG! I Can’t Even!)
- God has a way of reminding us of how far we have come and the ‘run over’ of blessings even in our darkest season. (Run Over By God)
- Sometimes you just have to let things happen. Trusting the Lord promotes freedom in our lives. (Just Let It Happen)
- My priorities need to be reassessed. Listening to the Lord through His word, prayer and Holy Spirit will help me understand what needs to be changed. (My Life…Oh the Facets!)
- A change in priorities means accepting a change in your current situation. (Facets of Life…Part 2)
That’s a lot of learning, but what came next were some profound lessons…and some not so profound lessons from concussion recovery. Irony! I love it! I am still in concussion recovery and I am still processing some of these. Maybe these will offer you food for thought as well.
- We often become offended and outraged over things of little consequence which only serves to distract us from what really does matter. (I’m Back & I’m Outraged)
- God’s yoke is easy and His burden is light. I have to stop toiling and striving, and serve from a place of rest. (Easy and Light)
- Scars from our past are for the journey, and should be shared. The story doesn’t end with the scars and ashes. (Scars for the Journey)
- If I’m ever going to soar, I must drop the sand bags of my past which includes forgiving and letting go. (Drop the Sand Bags & Soar)
- Joy and sorrow can coexist. I don’t have to deny the pain, but it’s important to focus on the joy that can be born from the pain. A greater appreciation of the blessings should result from our pain, sorrow and grief. (A Joyful, Sorrow-Filled Heart)
- Heart idols or soul idols are hard to overcome. They are things such as control and approval. I’m being delivered day by day. I look forward to walking with my sisters through Idol Lies to continue to overcome the idols of our hearts together.
- You were meant for more than just existing. You must be doing something, being somewhere, or helping someone. That’s who you are. You have to have more of a reason to get up in the morning than just to exist. That’s by God’s design.
- Your self-worth or your worth/value has to be tied to more than what you do or who you are for other people. Your worth or value must be tied to who you are in Christ.
- Having an idle mind or being bored can be a very dangerous place. However, it can also be the perfect ground to hear clearly and straightforward from God.
- Schnauzers are horrible little creatures that have no brain or respect for others. Disturbing the peace & noise pollution are terms that come to mind.
- Dimly-lit light is still a little light. It contains a glimmer of hope to one day shine brighter again.
- The absence of the people missing from your life, like those that have passed on seems so much larger when you spend a lot of time alone, even if it’s been years since the loss.
- When your short-term memory fails you, your long-term memories kick into full gear. This includes things that you haven’t thought of for many, many years. These things seem to come to the forefront of your mind.
- Celebrating or observing a birthday, counting another year completely takes on new meaning and appreciation when you have been forced to pause from living life.
- When assessing a situation that I can’t control, can’t do anything about or can’t contribute, it is of utmost importance to learn to say, “I can’t do anything about this and that’s okay.”
- My value is not in what I do. People may not get that, but your value is not defined by the opinion of people. Run the distance.
Many of these lessons were recorded while I was still recovering from the concussion in a dark, quiet room. However, I believe many of these have a heavy bearing on my life now and going forward. One common thread in these lessons is relinquishing control. That’s my primary lesson I’m taking with me into the new year. It’s a continual work, but I recently read a quote from Craig Groeschel, “You can have faith or you can have control, but you can’t have both.” This has resonated with me and I feel I will continue to hear this in my spirit in the new year as I overcome the thing that holds me back.
So my question for you…what lessons have you learned in 2017? How do you think these will make a difference in you now and your future? What will resonate with you in the new year and become a theme to make you a better you. I really look forward to hearing from you all. After all, we’re on this journey together. Let’s share the lessons so we don’t all have to learn them the hard way.
Love & prayers to all for a blessed 2018!
Photo Credit: Christian Joudrey