And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. Romans 8:28 NLT
Self-Reflection is important to personal growth. Some people choose only to self-reflect at the beginning of each year, but I also think that it is important to evaluate oneself during milestones. Birthdays are a great opportunity to remember the life lessons that God teaches, in order to shape us more into His image. So, while some women shy away from telling people their age, I am learning to appreciate every day that God gives me on this earth; it allows me occasions to celebrate the woman that I am developing into during this season of life.
This week I celebrated my 43rd birthday and I would like to share with you some lessons that God is using to teach me how to embrace my destiny in Him. These are things that I had to learn to release in order to receive the plans that God has for my life. His plans are to prosper me and not to harm me and to give me a hope and a future Jeremiah 29:11. This applies to your life as well when you learn to submit to whatever process God wants to use to prepare you for whatever He has in store for you.
1) Stop investing more time into the relationship than the other person does. When you make a habit of doing this, you will combat feelings of rejection when the person does not meet your expectations.
2) Stop fearing the unknown instead of using it to challenge me. Every moment in life is a new experience. Some moments will be rewarding and others will make you want to cry. Whatever situation you are confronted with, keep Jesus in the equation and the experience will mature you and make you stronger.
3) Stop pretending to be someone that I was never intended to imitate. There is no one in this world exactly like you because God created you for a specific mission. Once this truth is recognized, the less likely you are to become unfulfilled with God’s plans for your own life.
4) Stop masking pain instead of taking steps to receive healing. A lot of the pain that I experienced was because I didn’t learn the lesson the first time, so I often remained vulnerable. Learn to allow God to reveal in order to heal. There is a reason that you are going through the obstacle, so submit to the process.
5) Stop ignoring God’s warning signs. We should always want to pursue God’s perfect will as opposed to His permissive will. When the journey that we are on veers down the wrong course, God will always send us roadblocks. It is us up to us to recognize these signs and to ask God to place us back on the right path.
6) Stop complaining about things that I can’t change. God is always in control even when things don’t go as planned. We should always keep in mind that God knows the end of our story. We are only privy to one line at a time in the chapter.
7) Stop entertaining stagnant relationships. If relationships are not growing and maturing, then they are dying. Jesus wants us to live an abundant life, so is important to surround yourself with those that will help to foster this lifestyle. If your social group is not causing you to improve, then it will eventually drain you of your vitality and it will make it more difficult for you to pursue your dreams.
8) Stop devaluing myself. It is very easy to start comparing yourself to others when you are not content with your circumstances. Recognize that this is a trick from Satan to make you feel inadequate and to make you feel like you don’t deserve the best that God has for you. This is a lie and you should choose not to internalize this and to instead meditate on the truth that you are the “apple of God’s eye” Zechariah 2:8.
9) Stop focusing on other’s destiny instead of pursuing my own. When you stop to pay attention to the path that someone else is traveling, it causes you to get distracted. Seek God for yourself about His plans for your life. If you follow His guidance, you will not be disappointed.
10) Stop obsessing over mistakes. Life is about learning from the experiences that we encounter. Choose to let your mistakes motivate you to do better the next time.
Prayer Starter: Please help me Lord to embrace every season of my life and to learn from every situation that I encounter. Help me to recognize your sovereignty and to not get frustrated when life does not always go as planned. Help me to remember that you are in control and to submit to the process of being refined into your likeness. Amen