Friday, May 26, 2017

Choices and Faith

Choices. 
We all have to make them. 
It's kind of what life is all about. 
We have thousands of choices every single day. 
What time do we wake up?
What will we wear today?
Will we choose joy or anger?

Will we listen to our bosses?
Will we practice patience and kindness to everyone we come in contact with?
Latte or cappuccino? 
I really could go on and on here, but you get my point.

That whole idea of free will.
Are we really in control?
We seem to choose what we think we want and the path we want to make for ourselves.
Or we can choose to follow the will and path of God.
I read this book my boss recommended to me a while ago, called Redeeming Love.
It's emotional, heartbreaking, maddening, frustrating, joyful and hopeful and in one.
Seriously. Trust me on this one.
Read it.
It's set in the 1800's and is about a woman who was sold into prostitution at 8 years old.
Eight.
And it tests her faith, her humility, and her self worth.
No this is not just for women.
It's an amazing read and puts things in a perspective you never knew.
In a way it's a cheesy love story, but it's so much more than that.
I found myself enthralled wanting to finish in a day, but don't rush it.
I might even read it again because I went so fast just wanting to know more.
She has choices that put struggles she never needed in life.
She chose to hurt others, herself, and walk away from people who wanted to help her.

It was happening in the 1800's and it's still happening now.
We know what our lives should be. Or at least we think we do.
Have you ever tried so hard to go down one road and all you get are trees falling in your path?
One thing after the next and it's more struggle than it's worth?
Now don't get me wrong, without struggle we wouldn't know accomplishment, but some things aren't meant to be that difficult and when you follow the right path, everything seems to open up and smooth out.
Am I right?
God puts us through what He knows we can handle.
We may not always understand the why, while it is happening, but when we do, it's an amazing revelation.

Image result for redeeming love

Take my life for example.
I thought that a certain man was what I wanted.
I thought we'd get married, start a family and live, happily ever after.
I knew there would be struggle. I was more than willing to choose some struggle,
with the faith that we'd get through it together and be better for it.
And maybe that's the path God wanted me on as well, to teach me a lesson, but it was not the path he wants me on for my life.
He gave me signs, I'm sure of it. I just didn't want to listen.
I thought I knew what was best for me and what I wanted.
Wrong!
And I am grateful he pushed me out faster than I would have thought.
I don't want to know what my life would have been had I decided to stay.
I wouldn't have had one.

So, I let life settle down and I gave myself some time to heal. 
And worked through my faith in understanding what I'd done so wrong that God thought this is what I deserved.
Again; wrong.
It may be exactly what God wanted for me, but not to hurt me and not to hurt my ex.
It was a lesson we both probably needed in life.
And I learned a lot from that entire experience and am better for it.

Image result for redeeming love
And after I stopped feeling sorry for myself and putting myself down for what had happened, I decided to pick up and move away from something so incredibly familiar to me because I felt I was being led.
I know this is exactly where I'm supposed to be right now.
Through all the transition I never once hesitated if this was right.
And that brings me comfort. 
It makes it easy that I have family and a small network here, but it's more than that.
I was meant for more than what I was doing.
I have more to offer that someone else is going to notice and embrace and challenge me in a whole new way.
Who knows if Nashville is my forever home.
I'm not sure if I want it to be; to be honest.
I'm up for a life of adventure.
Something to remind me I'm alive and able and capable.
But right now, I think God wants me here to settle myself.
Reminding me that I am worthy.
That this is just another turn on my path and it may be a really long turn or He might straighten me out towards something even more incredible.
I just have to remember, regardless of how my life turns out, that I need to follow my heart and my faith.
Image result for redeeming loveI have to remind myself that my choices and the consequences are mine and I can choose joy or I can choose struggle.
I mess up every day.
But when it all comes down to it, I want joy.
I want to believe that I'm choosing God's path rather than trying to control my own.
But man I'm having a hard time being patient with it all.
I am constantly struggling, but He humbles me and is working on me all the time.
Even when I think He's left me alone, I am reminded by all I'm surrounded with, that He is way more powerful than I could ever imagine and that power is only for good.
And I know He has more for me than where I am and I can't wait to do what I am called for my Him.

I will continue to love on those who are dear to me.
Practice patience and empathy, support and encouragement.
And work to be humble and not so ungrateful for not having what I want when I want it.
Without life's struggles, I'd never know how blessed I am with the family and friends and 'things' I have in this life. They've carried me when I've been weak and never walked away from me when I was at my worst.
That is God's love shining through these amazing souls I love with all my heart.
And I want to be better and live better in His eyes.

So seriously, go get this book and read it slow. Soak up every word.
You will not regret it!

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