We as a team of writers wrote a blog about New Year’s Resolutions. I was a part of that blog, I chose a word like everyone else, and I wrote about it. I often hear people say that they can’t believe how much their lives have changed on a year to year basis. I can honestly say I used to think that too. Things happen on a day to day basis, when you don’t pay attention that really adds up to a life changing amount of interactions. I can say that until 23, I kind of floated. Then I was 24 looking back on year and not realizing how drastically different it had been than my previous years. Now, being 25 I am acutely aware of how my week to week interactions go and ultimately how they work into shaping me as a person. The differences of being 23 to now being a few months in to 25 seems pretty drastic. New house, new job, new church, a new boyfriend or two, a new hair colour, but probably the best things to come out of it are the relationship I have myself and God. At 23, I didn’t really have much of a relationship with God. On top of that I was in a relationship that I lost myself in. I even saw myself as a fiancé and not as Ashley anymore.
Since then I am pleased to say that really do like myself as a person, but I am even happier about where I am in relationship with God. What a patient God we have, to sit and wait for me to try and fail throughout my early 20’s only to welcome me home with open arms when I finally realized how deep in the dark I really was. As a very plan full person, when God’s plans and timelines didn’t match mine, I thought his should default to mine. Not recognizing at the time that I should have been much more welcoming of ideas and plans for my life that weren’t mine. So, feeling like I have it more under control now, and being in the best relationship I’ve had with him in my whole life this far, I feel like I need to share some things with you.
I wrote a blog before the Holidays saying that I realized during a night shift that I was so busy I hadn’t even prayed or had a conversation with God for more than three days. What? Would you go for three days without talking to your best friend? What about the one who let his son die to give you life…
I don’t think so! I have learned my lesson since this past Christmas because I went from being too busy to remember to pray, to being too busy to figure out a run to the grocery store or how to factor in time to blow dry my hair. I know I have to master the fine art of saying NO. I don’t mean saying no in a negative way, I mean it like if you have two evenings free a week after all your work time and other commitments, don’t feel bad saying no to going to coffee with an acquaintance that doesn’t speak much goodness into your life. You do not have to feel selfish for having to set aside time in your schedule to just be alone, and to commune with God. If you feel like you need permission to do that, consider this it!
There Is No Wrong Way To Pray
I have talked to probably 10+ people in my life that have prayer closets. I have no idea what I would put in a prayer closet. I know that for me I feel closest to God in the quiet parts of my day. In the morning getting ready for the day, and in the evening when I use my journal. But I also have worked on a relationship with him where I don’t have set aside times to pray. I have an ongoing conversation all day long. Think of it like when you are texting a best friend or significant other, you normally have an ongoing text message string all day. You never really say good bye, you just text back when you can. I want you to feel good about however you chose to pray, there is no wrong way and everyone is different. I think we can all agree that God knows we are all different.
You Are Going To Make Mistakes
How great is it to worship a God that knows you aren’t perfect and loves you anyway? There is no façade, you can’t hide who you really are, underneath your clothes, your hair and makeup, the show you may put on for the world. God knows what’s really going on. I hate being late. I hate it a lot. But sometimes a side effect of being a city transit user is being late. Occasionally when I am late, I don’t think God is angry at me for not being perfect and showing up on time. He loves me through fights with loved ones, through missed busses and bad hair days. He loves you too. You are made in the image and likeness of God. Mistakes or not, he loves you.
You Won’t Get To Keep All Your Friends
This is a list I am making being an outgoing 25 year old woman. I promise you I have met an incredible amount of people during my lifetime. You are going to meet people who “get you’’ down to your soul. You will feel it in your bones. The connections I have made have been both wonderful and heartbreaking. You don’t get to keep all these people with you. I learned this when my best friend died before I turned 18. There are other ways to lose people, you move, you outgrow each other, (which I used to think was a made up thing adults said about friends they secretly didn’t like). Now that have outgrown certain friendships I understand. The feeling of loss you will feel, inevitably, should not keep you from forging new friendships.
Worrying Is Wasteful
See above for my feelings about this one. All the time I wasted worrying was time I should have spent praying because in the end, God is here to fight for me, not against me. Worrying is like telling God you don’t think he knows what the best outcome is for you. Of course I’m by no means going to tell I can promise bad things won’t happen. But know that God is going to help you through all the obstacles. Side note, that also took me about 23 years to learn, is even though you God has your back, you are allowed to ask for help when you need it. It doesn’t make you weak. It makes you smart. Please don’t struggle alone. You are never alone. The burden is always lighter when you share it.
So while my word for the group blog was love, this is a little update. I think I struggled too much putting my whole existence for the next 365 days into a word. So instead you now get to see the things I have learned and the things I have been working on. Everyday everything you adds up to making you, you. My wish is for to know what makes you happy, and go after it. You’ve had about two months to get used to writing 2015 on everything, now here is a reminder for the resolutions you may have forgotten about
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