Tag Archives: weaknesses

The Top 3 Lessons I Learned in 2017.

Our Creator is continually molding us, using our experiences and allowing others that can draw out our best self, if we let them. At the end of each year, I like to take time and look back on the year. This year was a year of numerous changes in every aspect of my life. Reflecting back on 2017, I see how much I’ve been able to learn and mature. Without all the complexity, and if I had stayed in my comfort zone, I wouldn’t have been pushed to growth. Most of all, without these changes, I would not have developed a closer relationship with my Savior. Without further ado, here are the top 3 lessons I learned in 2017.

1. Faith truly is believing in the “assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” There were certain decisions I made in faith, with wise consult, realizing God was leading me in a new direction. People thought I was crazy at times (even if they didn’t say it). In each situation, God came through. In fact, He came through in the nick of time in the last instance! Faith is not easy. I learned how uncomfortable it can be to live in the discomfort of now while not yet having the answer of how the situation would play out. But a life of faith brings us into a closer relationship with God. Walking by faith means sometimes taking the first step forward when you don’t know exactly where you’ll step next, or why you’re being asked to step that way! God is truly faithful.

2. Always surround yourself with positive people who truly want the best for you. When it comes down to it, the people you thought were in your corner…May not actually care about you as much as you thought. In difficult times, people will show their true character. Look at the character of those around you. Just as we are called to “test every spirit,” it’s important to examine the character of those influencing us. Negativity and criticism pull you down more than you can imagine. Unfortunately, I had to learn that the hard way. Going forward, I’m eager to spend time with the people who encourage me and build me up, and building new relationships of this sort. Positive relationships are life-giving and bring joy.

3. When I am weak, Christ is strong. I’m actually a little bit in awe when I look back on the year. A lot has happened in one year! Especially when it came to school, I sometimes wondered how I was going to finish strong. With Christ, we are overcomers. Leaning on Him, we can accomplish so much more than we ever thought possible! We can make it through situations that seem impossible. With Christ, I made it through difficult job changes, grueling semesters of school, and (by the end of the year) multiple moves. I’m going to keep leaning on Christ’s strength as life continues to change and require great persistence!

What lessons have you learned in 2017?

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Photo by Ryan Graybill on Unsplash
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Power in Weakness.

I almost didn’t believe what I was reading. A dear mentor texted me after an event where I was able to be one of her guests. I had to re-read the text a few times to make sure she wasn’t talking about someone else. Me, a great conversationalist? Yes, it was true-she was complimenting me on what I perceived was one of my weaknesses!

I reflected on her words and on the event. She was right–that day, my efforts had been successful in connecting people and keeping an interesting conversation flowing. My friend, believe me when I say that is not me! It was the power of Jesus & His Holy Spirit working in me.

Perhaps Jesus is shining through you in ways & areas of your life you never expected!

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It just goes to show that His power is made perfect in our weakness! In fact, God may very well be using your weaknesses to shine through you!

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” I will all the more gladly boast of my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”~2 Corinthians 12:9

 

Embracing Who You Are

Do you embrace the person that you are? There is a widespread problem of people wanting to be someone who they are not. Maybe they are trying to follow what society says they “should” be, or maybe they see other people and want to be more like them. Most people have struggled with this at one time or another. These are deceptions.

We were “fearfully and wonderfully made,” as Psalm 139 reminds us. We were created in God’s image. Different people show us different aspects of God, and our various personality characteristics can evidence this as well. The Lord didn’t create us like someone creating an art project due for class the next day.

     We were sculpted by a Master Artist that is attentive to every detail. 

Embrace you: your strengths and weaknesses. Even your weaknesses can be channeled into strengths. When we lean on God to help us with our weaknesses, it is an opportunity to grow closer to Him. It is an opportunity to grow in character. If we constantly saw our strengths, we would forget our need for our Father.  Think about those great sinners who have become great saints: St. Paul, for example. His domineering ways that caused him to persecute Christians turned into radical evangelism that helped to spread the early Church.

When you recognize and accept the way God has made you, you will be better able to harness your strengths and work for His Kingdom. Some find my introverted side difficult to understand. I have had to learn to embrace that side of me, as extrovertedness is often more valued by society. Not too long ago, I took a vacation. Just me. Some people thought it was strange for me to go on my own. But I knew that it was what I needed. It was a gift to be able to take that time. God wired me as an introvert, and sometimes I just need space to recharge. That space gives me energy and better allows me to serve others. My introvertedness also brings with it a great intuition that allows me to better connect with others. I can’t detest the way He made me, because each aspect of my personality is purposeful. I am the child of a King! It is the same with you.

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We thank You, Father, that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Teach us not to detest ourselves, but to always remember that we are Your children. Show us how to build Your Kingdom with our strengths, and to lean on You for help in overcoming our weaknesses. Thank You for the intentionality with which You have created us and every single human being. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen!

God Can Use You.

A few weeks ago, I was about to throw some brown bananas into the trash. (What a cliff-hanger, right?) Then I thought twice and put those bananas back onto the counter. I don’t like to throw food away, both for monetary reasons and because so many don’t have enough to eat.

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I had remembered that even bananas that seem too far gone can make banana bread. 

So I set out to find a gluten-free banana bread recipe that wouldn’t require me to buy any more ingredients. (If you’re wondering, I used this recipe. I didn’t even put in the dates, but still thought it turned out really good!) I got to baking, and within an hour and a half, had pulled out a steaming, delicious-smelling loaf of banana bread from the oven.

The banana bread was delicious, a treat I had not tasted in some time. I marveled at those bananas that had seemed disgusting. They had almost gotten thrown in the trash. But instead, I gave them a second chance. Despite their disgusting appearance and probably tasting disgusting raw, they made a delicious banana bread.

Many of us have felt like a rotten banana at some point in our lives. Maybe you even feel like one now. Most of us have felt, at one time or another, that God can’t use us, that we are not good enough. Your past may have been far from godly and you think that means God won’t use you now. That is far from the truth, my friend. 

“But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”~2 Corinthians 12:9

So let God use you. It doesn’t matter what you’ve done or how you have failed now.  You are not ready to be tossed aside; you are ready to be made into something great. Even in your weaknesses and failings, the Lord can shine through and show His power! Give Him permission!