Saturday, December 31, 2016

2017.....A Year of Risks.....

I took a look back over my posts from this past year.  2016, it was supposed to be my year of being Intentional, Grateful, and Authentic.  As I reflect on these things, I have to wonder if they were really what drove me.  If every interaction I had was really about these three words.  I have to admit to myself that it probably wasn't.  I don't know that this was my best year of authenticity.  I was real, but I also wasn't.  I hid behind a lot of insecurities in a lot of different situations throughout this year.  I'm not going to put myself down for that, because I don't think we can fix everything in a year.  I don't think we were meant to.  I think that we are just meant to live better than the year before.  Sometimes there are years filled with lots more darkness than there have been in the past.  Sometimes we get stuck in that darkness for most of the year, but then we begin again. 

So, I'm not going to let go of being authentic.  It is still very much a part of the core of who I am.  It is still very much a part of the process that I want to work on.  Being authentic isn't about always being so open and raw.  Being authentic is about caring about others, developing community, and being open enough to risk. 

My word for 2017 is risk.  This year I want to risk all that I have to live life to the fullest.  I don't want to stop having adventures just because I think that everyone expects me to stay in one place.  I don't want to stop seeing the world, experiencing life on every continent, being a part of cultures that cause me to examine my life and share the grace that I have been given.  Risk isn't about giving up on dreams, or people.  Risk is about not being okay with living a mediocre life.  Taking chances, applying for that job that you might never have applied for before.  Not staying in an environment that is toxic.  Risk means moving mountains and going after the things that I'm passionate about.  Living my life in the most authentic way that I can, and being willing to let go of those things that only cause hurt and pain. 

This year might not be epic, but it sure is going to be a year for a lot of changes.  It sure is going to be a year for me to decide what makes me happy, what fills me, and go after it with all my heart. 

I have a lot of resolutions, and goals for this year.  Drinking more water, reading my Bible more, taking time to hike, writing real letters. 

The most important though is that I refuse to be stuck in a life that is convenient, or a life that doesn't challenge me. 

Here's to 2017....may the risks be worth it! 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Darkness helps the Light...

Never in my life would I have dreamed that I would be in the place I am in, or actually was in because I can say that I am definitely on the uphill climb to this valley.  Sometimes though you have to be in a dark place, in order to see the light.  Sometimes it isn't about the people that surround you as much as it is about getting up out of that hole, allowing yourself to be okay with your truth and letting yourself wallow for just a little bit. 

 I think oftentimes we want everyone to be happy, we don't want to be around sad people.  We don't want to be around people that are depressed, lonely, and unsure of the steps they are taking next.  We just want happiness.  I get it, because I have been one of those people.  I have been a person that didn't want to be around the "Eeyore's" of the world...that is until I was one.   Until I was so deep in darkness that I honestly didn't feel like getting out of bed most mornings.  

I had convinced myself that I was worth nothing to this world.  I had convinced myself that my life wasn't actually worth anything, that when I was created...there was something in me that was created wrong.  I had convinced myself that everyone was only hanging out with me because they felt they had to.  That I had no friends, that I was unlovable.   Then I hated myself for doubting all those things.  And...the wall was put back up.  

I am a strong person.  There aren't a lot of people that have broken the wall down, and I hate to admit, but sometimes the wall goes back up.  It shouldn't, but it does.  Isn't that the case with all of us though?  Okay..maybe it is just me.  Maybe I am the only person in the world that constantly has trust issues.  I kind of doubt it.  

Here's the thing though....if we don't trust people in our life, because they have shown to be untrustworthy over and over we continue to allow them to be a part of our lives?  Do we continue to allow them to hurt us, or live in fear that we will be dropped without a moments notice?  Do we allow that anxiety to continue to drive us?  

That is where the darkness comes in.  Sometimes I think we have to walk in the darkness for a little while.  Sometimes we have to let the world swallow us up, not in a destroying kind of way, but just a way in which we allow ourselves to journey inward.  But then.....we let the light back in.  

We talk to people about our struggles.  We open up, and try to figure out why the world looks so dark.  We realize that we were created for good things, even if it seems like the world and people in our world are against us.  We let people in, reach out even when we don't want to...and we allow ourselves to be loved.  

We all have moments and times when we are walking in darkness.  Even a candle has to be in the dark sometimes.  I think the most we can do is understand where people are at, and admit where we are for ourselves.  Admit when we don't have it all together.  Admit when we are having days where we just don't see the hope, joy, and love.  Then after admitting that we do things that will help us know our worth.  Whether that is passages from the Bible, songs that have worthy messages, or just sitting down to coffee with a friend.   

My light has been pretty dim the last couple of months, but I think that I am finally by God's grace on the journey to full brightness again.  I am not perfect, and the best that I can do is to grow on this journey, search hard for where God wants me, and live out His daily truths.  My days are not always going to be happy, but they can always be full.  My days aren't always going to be full of light, but they can shimmer with hope...always.  

Darkness is necessary...because if there wasn't darkness...we wouldn't understand or need the light.