Check out that 9th grade fall school picture! Man I remember taking that picture. And that's only because I thought I was rocking it in the fashion and makeup department.... oh brother!
In honor of the 10 year challenge going around social media right now, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on the last ten years.
If you know anything about my past, you know that the last ten years have been pretty rough. I wasn't doing the right things and I definitely wasn't loving life.
If I could go back in time, these are the things I would want to know. Actually, things I hope I remember for the next ten years as well!
1. Change is a good thing
Don't be so worried about how things used to be or how you THINK they are supposed to be. God's plan is so much better than anything I could ever imagine.
"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jeremiah 29:11
2. Appreciate your family
You won't always see eye to eye, but the older ones do know more than you, and the younger ones need someone solid to look up to.
“Bear with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgive each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive.” ~ Colossians 3:13
3. Admit when you're wrong
Because it's going to happen. The only perfect person was Jesus. We will make mistakes, ask for forgiveness, and learn from them. Hopefully you aren't stuck in the same cycle of mistakes. But if you are, I pray God reveals himself to you and you find your way back.
"If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." ~ 1 John 1:9
4. It's okay to be different
"In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly." ~ Romans 12:6-8
We are created unique and perfect in our own way. We should not be ashamed! God has given us each our own gifts!
5. don't worry about the future
You cannot know what is coming next, and you cannot change what has already happened. You have to live in the moment, and trust God's plan. This is one of the hardest things for me, and definitely what I want to work on the most.
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” ~ Joshua 1:9
6. Forgiveness is necessary
I am great holding a grudge, but that's not what God calls me to do. I am learning to forgive, learn from the pain and maintain relationships.
"Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."
~ Ephesians 4:32
7. marriage is not going to solve your problems
My goal for as long as I remember was to get married. I longed for a solid, God-led relationship that would last forever. But I didn't ever think about what I would have to contribute to the relationship. In reality, the problems of my single life would have only intensified in marriage. I had to figure out my problems first, be on a better path, and love God more than anything. God was, and IS, the only one who can truly fill any hole I have. Not my wonderful husband, our precious baby girl, or anyone else.
"Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness?" ~ 2 Corinthians 6:14
8. find a community
Friendships are great, but community is better. Friendships are usually based on similar interested but are mostly surface-level. Community on the other hand is a group of people committed to helping the others grow spiritually, at all cost. They are going to give you Biblical advice even if you don't want to hear it at the time; they may not have anything in common with you except that they will lead you closer to Christ. It is even better if you ARE friends with your community! But it might not start out that way. (I have a whole post about this coming up in a few weeks!)
"How good and pleasant is it when God's people live together in unity!" ~ Psalm 133:1
9. Love fearlessly
When I look back over the last ten years, I know there was little room for love, because I was filled with the things of the world. I wasn't open to receiving God's love. Even above my husband and baby, God's love is the best thing I have in my life now! I hope you have received it too!
"Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves." ~ Romans 12:9-10
10. You are where you are for a purpose
As hard as life gets sometimes, God is always with us. Even when the world is against us, Satan seems to have a stronghold, and all seems lost, God is walking right there with us. He wants what is best for us, and will always be the true Friend, Father, and Brother we need in any situation.
"The Lord is not slow in keeping His promise, as some understand slowness. Instead He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to parish, but everyone to come to repent."
~ 2 Peter 3:9
Milestones of 2008:
Milestones of 2018:
Those lists look so much different from each other, and I am so glad for that! I see all the positives of 2018, but also all the negatives of 2008. Without those struggles and trials, I wouldn't be where I am today. And as hard as those times were, I am grateful for all I have learn.
I hope you can look back over your past 10 years and see God's hand in them. I pray you continue to see His hand in these next 10 years!
Jesus lover, wife, momma, teacher, and hopeful writer.