I'm alive. Ready to serve Him for another year. I can't put into words the amazing things God taught me this year, but now that I caught you up on where I've been, can I just say that this year was one of the best years ever for me, cancer and all?
Here's what I learned...
LISTEN MORE. TALK LESS.I'm actually at the point where I'm just sick and tired of being sick and tired. Ever been there? But if you take away health issues, the year was AWESOME! Losing my voice allowed me to hear more of my husband's thoughts on life. He has such a lovely voice, by the way. He really should be on the radio too. But I'm the talker in our marriage. Talk talk talk talk talk. How has this man put up with me all these years?
God taught me a great lesson during all of this: LISTEN MORE. TALK LESS. That's overflowed to all areas of my life and marriage. It's awesome.
BE STILLIf you listen more and talk less, by the way, God will show up more in your life too.
Who wants a one-sided relationship with our Savior? Or anyone else for that matter?
If all we do is talk His ear off (which He loves of course), how will we ever be quiet enough to learn what He has to say on the matter?
Sometimes the most excellent prayer time is when you just sit and be still.
TRUST MORE.I grew up in a pretty messed up family. We kept all our issues to ourselves, heaven forbid anyone knew mom had a drinking problem, dad had a hitting problem, and life in general was messed up in our upper middle-class suburban castle.
So I have sort of taken that into my adult life. Until this year. It's OK, in fact, it's really helpful and super awesome, to open up and let people know what's really going on in that noggin' of yours. And your life.
TRUST people if you haven't learned to do this yet. Trust God. Black helicopters aren't out to get you. Trusting more can be a lifesaver spiritually.
ASK FOR HELPI have always been too independent. I grew up with parents too busy for me. I was a mom to my baby sister. I never had anyone to help me. So I learned to rely on myself. An awful thing, by the way, esp when you grow up and get married! But now I'm a redeemed control freak (in progress!).
If you can humble yourself enough to admit you can't do it all by your lonesome, there is great joy in being served by others.
And it makes you want to pay them back. A wonderful cycle of giving, I say.
Go ahead...ask someone for help today!
ASK FOR PRAYERI always ask people "how can I pray for you?" But when they ask back, I say "it's all good" or just give a surface issue like "more sleep."
When you have big life-altering decisions to make, it forces you to admit you can't figure it out all by yourself and drives you straight into the hands of your loving Heavenly Father.
We had no idea, should we do surgery, radiation, let things stay as they are? There were many choices presented before us and we just wanted to ensure that we choose the one God desired for us and our future family. To do that, we had to ask elders and friends to pray pray pray that we could make the right decision. And lo and behold, we did. Cancer free baby!
NEVER BE TOO BUSYI have some of the neatest friends. They rallied around me with prayer, support, meal offers, home visits, you name it during this year. The thing that was the most precious to me through all of this was just feeling loved. By my family and friends, both new and old. NEVER be too busy to spend time with friends and loved ones. There is nothing more important in this world than serving God and loving others. Nothing I tell you, nothing.
Make time for the people that matter most to you. Cherish them. Have coffee dates, phone chats, daily texts, board game parties. Whatever works for you. Just don't let them get lost in the wayside of life's craziness.
READ YOUR BIBLEIf I had to guess, there are a lot of Christians out there who say this year will be the year they spend more time in the Word. Stop putting it off! GET IN THE WORD. NOW! Even if it's just 10 minutes a day. Find a time and a place and a way for it to work for you and stop procrastinating. Don't do it because you feel you have to. Cuz you don't. There's nothing written in the Word that says you have to be in the Word. Do it because you WANT TO!
This is the #1 thing I learned this year. I mean, how else are you ever going to know how to live your life the way God intended and make good decisions during the time we have on this earth? How will you keep God's goodness and greatness in perspective when you are going through difficult times? How else will you understand the plans He has for you? Open your Bible. RIGHT NOW.
Make your bible your best friend. Still a work in progress for me, but totally worth the effort!
"Oh happy day, happy day, when Jesus washed my sin away."