This Person: Advice to Myself

Don't stand at the horizon and look back -- look forward.

Don’t stand at the horizon and look back — look forward.

There’s comes a time when you realize you aren’t sure what happened to your old habits, old characteristics — and you miss them.  The good ones, anyway.
You miss…YOU.

I used to think everyone was inherently good.  I used to never tell secrets because I grew up realizing that people are never as trustworthy was you want them to be.  I used to want to help people no matter if they were rude to me, nice to me, or seemingly worthless individuals.  I used to guard my heart so well that I could never get broken — but that came with a price.  I used to say what I thought because I had innocent, naïve, loving thoughts.  I used to welcome anyone and everyone as a new friend.  I used to go after whatever I loved, whether I was good at it or not.  I used to chase joy instead of reputation.

When did I become someone who forgot these things?  Someone who lives differently, and loves selectively.
I’ve become vulnerable, but for the wrong reasons and to the wrong people.  I forgot how much I know that trusting someone wholeheartedly is a great risk, reserved only for ones I know are worth the risk.  I became someone who doesn’t always use words kindly.  I have become a person who is no longer all inclusive to others; someone who runs from others as soon as they offend or hurt me.  I’ve become someone who chases a “good reputation” and lives in fear of doing anything that might “look bad,” rather than chasing joy and delighting in my freedom.

My advice to myself?
Love inclusively.
Trust carefully.
Search for the good in someone until you find it.
Forgive always.
Help whenever you see a need.
Use your words kindly.
Never fear.
Chase after joy.
Be bold enough to embrace failure.
Be true to God.
Dream big.  And bigger.
Be free.
Pray harder.
Never give up hope.

The truth is, sometimes I just don’t know what kind of person I’m becoming.  The person my parents are proud of?  The person my friends are entertained by?  The person chasing after success?  The person afraid of truly going after her dreams?  The person who looks good on paper?  Or the person doing all she can to become who she wants to be — not who her world and the people in it are trying to make her into?
For now, I’m going to take my own advice and see what happens.  After all, the one person you know you can trust is yourself.

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Shut Up and Watch the Fight

  Exodus 14:14

Exodus 14:14

 

I have a problem with being quiet.  For all who know me personally, that comes as no surprise, I’m sure.  When I was younger my elementary report cards always noted “talks too much” or “talks abundantly” or “loves to talk.”  I like to talk.  Conversations are learning experiences.   I learn something new or affirm something with every conversation I have.  Plus, I like to say stuff.  When I have something to say (which is almost always), I want people to hear it.  Why wouldn’t I? 

However, it does come to my attention that some things are really better left unsaid.  Sometimes I just need to bite my tongue and refrain from saying what thought comes through my mind.  I do know that sometimes I am just to be silent. 

Exodus 14:14 has been making its home inside my thoughts lately. 
It says:  “The Lord will fight for you; you must be quiet.”

Oh what sweet words to hear!  I don’t need to waste another breath on problems or people who seem to only bear down on the weight of my soul, smothering me in stress and choking the joy and life right out of my day.   All I need to do is be quiet, for the Lord will fight for me. 

I may have picked the fight, but Jesus is going to win it for me.  What a delightful truth!

I don’t know if you are like me and find it hard to simply shush up.  I don’t know if you have a long courtship going on with words like I do.  I don’t know your struggles.  But I do know one thing:  The Lord will fight for you, and He never fails

Just take a minute to close your mouth, open your eyes and ears, and listen to God.  Watch Him fight for you.  Watch Him conquer your problems for you.  He will