In the last couple years of my life I have made some major changes. If you've kept up with my blog you should be more or less aware of what those changes have been. It wasn't an easy road. I've been in more valleys than mountain tops. This week, in fact, has been very difficult for me. The girls are visiting their dad in San Diego. While the relationship I have with my ex is fine, the hurt is gone from the break-up and all that; I have found that I don't care much for who I am as a person when my kids are gone. I struggle with my depression more so when they are gone than when they are with me. I've learned how much of a glue and an anchor they are for me.
You want to know what's neat about these times in my life, though? I made a change of heart spring break of last year. I had a change of mind years before this time. But, wanting to change and actually changing were two very different things. I only changed when my heart was finally softened and willing. A lot has happened in this last year; but one thing I can say is that my change a years ago was legit. And though I have made some poor choices since then, it will never change the fact that I truly changed. Did I have growing yet to do? Yes. Was I going to always make the right choices? Of course not. I'm human and I was addicted to things like a drug. Giving up an addiction isn't for the faint of heart and no one can imagine my pain and loneliness during those times. I don't expect anyone to understand those times in my life. Even someone else who has experienced the same things as me will never understand the exact feelings or emotions I was having because every single person in this world is different and unique. Every one has a story! Everyone's story is different in some way. Some stories might be similar; but there are always differences under the surface that make everyone's experiences just different enough that we have no choice but to just except that we won't understand it fully. Instead, I want to learn to love. I want to come to realize that I might be able to offer up some suggestions or advice because of my life's experiences; but in the end, I have to chose to love the people in my life in spite of what happens because I'm learning that EVERYONE HAS A STORY.
You want to know what else? I have had someone in my life who has been there for me every step of the way. She was someone that God put in my life specifically. God literally molded this person, I feel, for the purpose of helping me get to where I needed to be. I have followed her lead, her advice and gleaned from her God-given wisdom on numerous occasions. I have also blundered and had moments where I wasn't thinking about her guidance at all; but it was never more than a day or two to pass by before all that I learned from her hit me like a ton of bricks. I picked myself up, I pulled out the spiritual weapons she taught me how to use and I kept fighting.
On top of that, I found myself quoting her wisdom to others. People don't know it but pretty much any time you ask me for advice, I'm quoting from this strong leader that I have in my life. Her advise was as pure and helpful a year ago as it is now. I'm not perfect; but the things I've learned from her helped me so much that I can't help but share it with others. I'm going to do my best to help the women in my community who struggle with their fiery darts, as I did, by sharing what I've learned with them. And for those of you who don't live in my community, here are a few things that I've learned:
"The smallest thing can be a victory and should be treated like the biggest victory."
"No matter how small the victory, praise God, thank Him and worship Him."
"When you feel like a failure, stop and find a victory no matter how small."
How many times I called her crying about a failure that happened. Some of these phone conversations where I shared the details of a painful failure were colossal! But, she never skipped a beat. She mourned with me because I was mourning and she was always able to find the smallest victory in my mountain of garbage. She would pull it out from the tears and says, "This is what we are going to focus on. This is the victory and we are going to rejoice in it." I shared my mess-up with her, but she didn't hear all that. She heard the tiny little thing that happened that she saw as the victory that I had over-looked. I cannot begin to tell you how quickly that calmed me down. I didn't have to be a failure when I had Jesus to forgive me. And I learned how to take the smallest victory and put it in front of my enemy and say, "I'm not completely broken and I will win!"
"In a way, its a privilege that the devil sees you as a threat. The devil is attacking you because he's scared of you and what you might do for the Lord."
"Don't give Satan a victory! Why would we ever let him know that he's winning?!"
At these points in the conversations it seemed we always turned to Beckah Shae and her powerful song "No More!" Where she fights against her fiery darts. We have played this song together. We have cried and prayed. I turn on this song anytime I need a boost to fight my enemy.
"God stops us from moving forward with our passions sometimes because he wants us to know we can't do it without him. He must get the glory."
It's not always easy to hear someone tell you that your passion for Christ is misplaced. But, I'm thankful for the faithful friend who always reminds me that no matter how badly I think I want to do something for Him, if I'm not allowing Him to work in His own timing than I'm not really doing it for Him. I have big ideas and my ideas are usually multi-million dollar in size. But, this advice reminds me to narrow down my passion and let God work in His own timing.
I hope these things are a help to you, too.