This Is My Now
Have you ever felt like you have been stuck in the same season for like...ever?! You just feel like no good will ever come to you or that you won't find your happiness again and that you will end up being some crazy cat lady that lives alone? My response to you would have been, "Hello, nice to meet you. Join my club." That feeling was me to a "T". I was having a pity party, party of one with balloons BUT, I got a new perspective and a breath of fresh air and I feel like I can tackle the world.
Let's backtrack a hot second to where I was before the Lord brought me back to reality...
I was using the word "never" a lot when I talked about my future or things happening around me. I know to "never say never" (cue Justin Biebs...) but that's the unfortunate place I was stuck in (I'll never have..., I'll never look like..., I'll never be..., I'll never get...you fill in the blanks). You get the point. My perspective was all out of whack. I was looking at my life way too closely and not giving God the benefit of the doubt. Hence lies my other problem. I would feel God in the sunny, pretty, easy moments but when it felt like my world was crashing down around me and the "never showers" came flooding down, I didn't feel him there. I was viewing my life and my future like it all needed to happen within 24 hours. Now, God can produce miracles but it's the goodness He has planned that comes about in His timing (and, of course, it's always perfect!). Looking too closely constricts our minds from seeing the bigger picture and focusing on what the real deal is.
This world throws some crazy things in our faces. God will bring your cruise control on life to a halt if He thinks it's not going to be for your good. That's not to say that it happens when or how we want it to but, in the long run we are thankful for the life accidents that he protected us from. Sometimes we think we heard what God wanted for our life loud and clear but we so easily can get distracted by the noise in our own heads and by the noise the world throws at us. It's confusing and it puts us in a dark place because we feel so, well, empty. We feel like we have no purpose, nothing to live for but yet we are still on Earth so God clearly isn't done with us yet. So, if He isn't done with us then what does He want us to do for Him and His glory for our good?
I won't lie to you; this was a haunting question for me. I thought God took away the only thing that gave me a purpose and a meaning. What He really did was took that something away from me so I could discover so much about myself, find who I truly am, and give myself a meaning on my own, not based off of what someone/something else dictates about me but more so realize the meaning I have in God's eyes. It wasn't what I wanted to happen but honestly, it needed to happen. My heart may never be the same but, it's still beating.
Let me be totally honest here, I didn't know who I was. I know that sounds strange but it's the truth. I know the exterior and basic things; my favorite color is purple, I love Disney, I'm an only child, etc. but when it came down to knowing AND loving me, I didn't know who I was or how to even begin to love myself. I worked very hard at being the person I needed to be or felt I had to be for others. I always felt like there was some sort of standard of myself that I had to portray for every person that I met to ensure that they would like and accept me. In all of that mess, I lost myself. I was so wrapped up in this warped world where I needed others to love and accept me before I could love and accept myself. I had to remember how much I really love God with all my heart, which in return allowed me to learn to love myself just the same. And here is the reality of it: the only acceptance you need in this life is God's and you already have it!
Loving myself was, and is, a journey. I didn't just roll over one morning and say, "Hey, I freaking love myself." (Uh, no.) I began to surround myself with encouraging and truthful things and people. I began to study and read (and believe!) scripture. I have people that understand and encourage me. They help me when I am in my "ugly place" and they genuinely love me for me; not who I am trying to be. Also, word of advice, social media is NOT going to speak truth to you. It will continuously let you down and lie to you and put thoughts into your brain about the guy/girl you think you need to become. I love social media but it can be just as damaging as it is delightful.
I want to encourage whoever may be reading this to find who you are, love that you immensely and release that you to the world to find who you are; whether that be for the first time or the hundredth. Be selfish for yourself for a little bit and get in tune to what God is pushing you towards. Be open to everything; new experiences, new friends, rejection, changes, etc.
So...now what? It is time for me to be me. I am setting goals of all kinds, pursuing dreams, getting involved in all kinds of things, facing challenges, accepting rejection proudly, and overall expanding my horizons. It's scary. It's different. It's definitely a learning process. But, most importantly, it's fun and I'm genuinely happy. Once I finally released those balloons from my pity party of Never Ever After, God swooped in and is guiding me in such a way that I feel OK when the good and the bad occur. I'm getting a little bit stronger with every moment of every day. I've got family, friends (old and new), and the Holy Spirit walking through this crazy thing called life with me every step of the way. They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade but how about make your own drink? Live by being and loving yourself and live for the Lord. Make it an Arnold Palmer or be crazy and make a lemon popsicle..who cares? It's time to find you again and so, sit back and let God take the driver seat of your life ride. You never know where He might take you. Claim your life back, buckle up, and be ready to be blessed.
This is MY now, and I'm not letting go or looking back.