22 Things I Learned in Year 22

22 – my Exodus chapter, my first year with the Lord, was packed with so many sweet lessons and truths to hold on to…

  1. Your life will go through many seasons, and before you know it, another year has passed and your life looks completely different than you could’ve ever imagined it. Don’t give up.
  2. The enemy will try to get you to focus on all that you’ve lost. You must choose to remember that the people you’ve encountered and the experiences you’ve had were ordained by God to create you into who He wants you to be. Even before you were a Christian, God was shaping you. “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland.” Isaiah 43:18-19
  3. The same God in the Old Testament is the same God we serve today, tomorrow, and forever. He never changes, and He never leaves. He leads us in the same way He led the Israelites out of Egypt. “And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead them along the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, that they might travel by day and by night. The pillar of cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night did not depart from before the people.” Exodus 13:21-22
  4. Making a difficult decision will still be difficult even if God called you to do it. You have to continuously have faith and rest in His Word to keep yourself from second-guessing. Jesus knows it’s painful, and He’s there to soothe you if you turn to Him and believe He’s what you need.
  5. It’s not easy knowing that you have hurt others. Pray for those you have hurt.
  6. There’s always going to be something you want that you don’t have. Remember that the Lord provides everything that you will need to get through this day.
  7. Someone (or everyone) will always seem like they have his/her life together more than you do.
  8. Forgive others, but also forgive yourself. Jesus has washed you from your past sins, your sins today, and the sins you will commit in the future. Lean on what Jesus did for us. “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,” Ephesians 1:7
  9. God’s way truly is the best way.
  10. When God’s will is being done, it may look like everything is crumbling around you. Stand firm anyways and keep your eyes on Him. “Jesus answered him, ‘What I am doing you do not understand now, but afterward you will understand.'” John 13:7
  11. Life is messy, and it won’t ever stop being messy on this side of eternity.
  12. Hard times will always come, so it’s better to learn how to get stronger through them instead of hiding from them. “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4
  13. Growth hurts.
  14. The Lord will be faithful to the ones He has redeemed. “He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it.” 1 Thessalonians 5:24
  15. At first, letting go seems bearable. But it gets harder as you watch everything that you let go move farther and farther away from you out of your sight.
  16. Yes, time heals you. But Jesus has a purpose in that time to do His work in you, as long as you’re willing.
  17. If you realize that the seeds you planted in your garden do not represent you, it’s okay to start over. For me, I kept trying to pick out my own seeds and build my garden on my own – occasionally looking at God to bless what I put together. Every time I looked up at Him I felt conviction. For a good reason. I trusted myself and my judgment more than His. Surrendering is not easy. But handing him the garden tools and letting Him choose the seeds will allow Him to build the perfectly meaningful garden He already planned for you.
  18. You cannot expect things to change by wishing they would change. It takes prayer. It takes offering the Lord a willing heart. It takes His power. It takes putting aside everything else. It involves action when the Lord puts it on your heart to do something.
  19. “It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey” is a cliché saying, but we truly don’t live that way. We are constantly looking to accomplish the next goal or get to the next milestone rather than living fully in the present.
  20. God breaks chains for a reason. Hint: He doesn’t want you to put them back on. Whatever He has broken He does not intend you to carry with you. He broke the chains so that you can move forward.
  21. When you’re struggling and feeling bad about yourself, remember that there’s probably someone looking up to you thinking you’re perfect just the way you are and striving to be like you.
  22. Seeking help does not mean you are weak. Diseases are real; mental health disorders are real; sicknesses are real. The Lord brings up professional doctors to help you when needed. No, they are not God, but God is responsible for what they are able to do for you.

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