I don’t know about you, but personally 2017 has been a year filled with obstacles and lessons learned (read: it’s been TOUGH). My life has changed drastically within the last 12 months, and thanks to a positive attitude and the strength and perseverance from my Maker, I made it through. Tougher, stronger, better, more patient than ever.
Here’s a list of lessons I learned during 2017:
I am stronger than I think I am.
It’s inspiring to see what a human being is capable of handling in difficult situations.
A positive attitude is so powerful.
If it wasn’t for a positive attitude, I would definitely not have been able to get through 2017. God gives us so many opportunities in life, and your attitude determines the outcome.
God protects us from things that we don’t even know we need protection from.
We might only realise it later in our lives. If you are super determined to do something, and it just does not work out no matter how hard you try, take a step back and ask God if it’s meant for you. It might be something He is protecting you from.
In the words of Pastor Michael Todd, ‘God only funds his own plans’.
A positive support network is crucial.
Have friends or family to help you stay on the straight and narrow and to keep you going. Make friends at your church. When you feel like you’re starting to backslide, or you are losing motivation, speak to someone who understands you and who will be able to give you advice and some clarity on things. I always appreciate a different perspective.
Going to church is non-negotiable.
You can’t call yourself a Christian if you’re not planted in a local church. It’s in the Bible. Easy as that.
God will reward you for the sacrifices you make.
Don’t focus on the gifts, focus on the Giver. Do all things to honour God, not to be rewarded by Him. He is, after all, the one who blessed us with our talents, and it’s our duty to use them to the best of our abilities.
We don’t always need to know why God asks us to do certain things.
If it comes from Him, there is a purpose behind it, and it is for your own benefit. There’s no need to question it. Just trust God.
2018 is going to be Greater!
2017 was my drought, my journey through the desert. 2018 will be my flood, I’m ready to receive my mantel.
Blood is thicker than water.
Family is so important. They are (mostly) the reason you are the person you are today. Keep in touch, and fix relationships while you can. Also, be as open and honest with them as you possibly can.
Things aren’t always as they seem.
If you are about to make a big life decision, ask God to help you make the decision. He knows best. Ask yourself if you’re making the decision for the right reasons. Don’t accept a job offer purely for the money. You might end up hating your job, and your life. Also, in most cases, when something looks too good to be true, it usually is. There are exceptions though, and that’s why it’s important to press into God and ask him to guide you.
Vision is vitally important.
‘Where there is no vision, the people perish.’ – Proverbs 29:18. Always ask God for vision to guide you through life.
Focus on the good.
Nothing is perfect in the world. God will sometimes put us in places and we don’t understand why. It’s important to focus on the good, and not the things you don’t like. Don’t go where you’re comfortable. Go where you will learn and grow.
Everyday is an opportunity to be better and to be a positive influence in other’s lives.
We serve an amazingly powerful God who loves us in a way that we will never comprehend.
He is always with us and wants to speak to us daily. We just need to open ourselves up to Him. He is always waiting to engage.
People CAN change, no matter how old or set in their ways they are.
They just need to surround themselves with the right people, and open up their hearts.
Less Is More.
I’ve removed a lot of clutter from my life over the past couple of months. Actual physical clutter from my home, and also mentally. I’ve made a conscious decision to not let unnecessary things get to me. I’ve also burned a lot of bridges – cut ties with ‘friends’, de-cluttered my social media accounts, etc. It’s so refreshing, honestly.
God’s timing for our lives.
I’ve come to realise how important God’s timing for our lives is. If God gives you an opportunity, or a decision to make, there is most likely a timeline attached to it. Even if your decision is extremely difficult, it’s important to make it ASAP. It usually leads to an open door, or to other important events which need to unfold in your life. Try not to overthink it. Trust God, and ask him to help you make the right decision. Don’t put it off because it’s too difficult. It might derail you completely, and take you ages to get back on track.
God is always listening.
Even when it feels like your prayers are hitting the ceiling, I promise you that God is listening. As mentioned above, it might just not be the right time for whatever you’re praying about. No matter how difficult things get, always find comfort in the fact that the Almighty is always with you and listening. And remember, in hard time when it feels like you’re alone, that’s usually when God is carrying you.
Look back, but only to see how far you’ve come.
I am happy to say that I’ve accomplished a lot of my 2017 goals, even though it didn’t feel like it at all. It’s good to reflect on the past to see how far you’ve come and in what ways you’ve grown, but just don’t dwell on the past. That’s never a good idea! Focus on the good.
Can you relate to any of these? Feel free to share your thoughts on 2017, and any of the lessons you learned from it.
Lastly, may 2018 be GREATER for every single one of you! May you receive blessings in abundance, and may you constantly strive to draw nearer to God.