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Christian and Socially-Conscious…One Woman's Expression

Archive for the tag “grateful”

My 2015: Back To Loving ME!

Here I am again reflecting on the year—smiling, fully conscious of the joy I have in my heart as memories flood my thoughts.  I entered the year with a list of goals AND A PLAN.  First, however, I knew I needed to commit to being whole.  I was finally tired of holding myself back.  I had reached the point within my self where I had intentionally settled on uncompromisingly growing into my best self.  To do this, I had to return to the basics.  In 2015 I returned to loving me and it feels oh so great!

2014

Have you ever been afraid to be great?  I have.  Thank God those days are over!  How can I say that I want all of the blessings God has for me and then await them with closed hands?  It seems silly now, but it took a while for me to see my self.  I wonder how many people are like how I was, wanting better but not wanting greatness.  (Is that you?)  How many people are denying their uniquely-made brilliance and settling for mediocre because that is now the accepted norm?  Guess what, we are not normal! We are supernormal!  We are exceptional!

As I go forth in claiming the promises God has given me, I do so in humility.  This is a good thing as I have discovered the difference between being humble and having low self-esteem.  Oh, how fine that line can be, especially in a world where lowering the esteem of another seems to be a sport.  (Why does “Hunger Games” come to mind?)  Loving your self, however, is the counter to the world’s punch.  Admittedly, I could not love myself without growing closer to God.  It is a continuous process.  How exciting!

About ten years ago or so, a woman told me that the Lord is going to do great things in my life but I would have to learn humility first.  I remember this like it was yesterday because her words confused me.  I thought, “Who is this lady?  She has me all wrong.  I am already humble.”  Although I was woolly, I knew she was prophesying to me.

Had I known then what the lesson plan looked like for me to learn “humility”, I probably would have said, “Never mind.”  I may not have cried out for God to bless my life in ways only He could.  I may have settled.  Sometimes, maybe more often than we care  to realize, the blessing is in not knowing.  His ways are not our ways.

Having gone through the coursework and passing the test, I have now invested in the blessings.  They are already a part of me.  They have always been.  I just needed to return to the basics to locate them.  I just needed to love me, my humble self.  The world offers many temptations to that which it defines as “success”.  Humility provides balance.  Yes, “balance”–something to remain upright and steady.  Won’t He do it!?!?

3.26.15 Instant hand on neck - Copy

 

The Backhanded Temptation

A part of life’s journey is the continuous greeting of temptation. Some are more obvious than others and amazingly they arrive in numerous forms. As a result, I have learned to pray for increased discernment.

Woman Praying

One of the behaviors I had to grow in the awareness of was that of consciously thanking God in the “good” times. I needed to break the habit (–the backhanded temptation–) of having as the motivating reason for humbly coming to the Lord, that of listing needs and wants. Sure, I would regularly pray for others too and it would be common that I would include expressions of gratitude, but at some point I noticed that I would for sure make time for God when I had a need…or when someone asked me to pray for her/his need, again there I was bringing to Him a need.

Upon reflection, it had been easy to develop this way. It seemed like most of the gospel songs of which I listened to then evidenced situations of people needing God. Most of the sermons I heard seemed to highlight a people in a place of need. The alter callings seemed to be marketed to those in need. As a result, in my adulthood I would take my worries, my concerns, my problems to the Lord because that is what I was taught to do. This is what I still do and what I believe I should do, but in doing so at that time I can honestly say that there were many, many times when I would forget to pray and I noticed that it was more probable that I would forget during times when things were going well. Isn’t that something? Am I the only Christian with this experience?

When I fed them, they were satisfied;
when they were satisfied, they became proud;
then they forgot me.
—Hosea 13:6

I am thankful for this awareness. Interestingly, it came as a result of being overwhelmed with happiness and needing to express it. Guess where I turned? That’s right. I turned to God to say, “Thank You”.

I have recently watched God manifest a series of miracles in my life. They are so awesome to see. As I type this, I am smiling with excitement because God is truly amazing. I am very conscious that in this time of life, I have an expressively grateful heart. As a result, it would not be unusual for me to pray and have moments when I just take a minute to say, “Thank You God” and just start listing stuff. When you KNOW that you KNOW that God is REAL, sometimes you just have to take a moment and list the blessings He is truly doing, has done, and will do in your life. (Amen.) As my relationship with God deepens, I find that just as determined as I was to express to Him my concerns, I am just as excited to say, “Thank You.” His presence in my life is much too appreciative for me to forget to acknowledge His blessings along the way. It’s funny. I am finding that I am even more blessed by doing so.

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