I have to say that I really admire Paul. His writings are honest and straight to the point. Every time he wrote to one of the churches, he had no problem telling them what was up, but he always followed it up with encouragement on how to live. Having just celebrated my 27th birthday, I have learned, that daily I could use this kind of correcting and encouraging.
You have to understand that the last year of my life has been a rough one. I lost a job, experienced major changes, and the hardest of all was losing my dad in April. People and things have been stripped from my life, and there are times when I feel like I'm standing here completely exposed. Losing a job wasn't the worst thing that could happen, even having to give up a nice car and the freedom to spend money as I pleased wasn't that bad. That all paled in comparison to losing my dad. When I lost my dad, I lost my best friend, and my biggest cheerleader. The pain of that loss still aches from time to time. But through it all God has been teaching me! He has been growing me and molding me into the woman He wants me to be.
Even though it's been a hard year, I did experience something amazing and life changing. I spent two months in South Africa. While there I was challenged, broken, loved on, and completely and utterly changed! Those two months taught me so much, but I feel like the biggest thing I learned, was that God uses EVERYTHING for His Glory! All the pain and hurt, He uses it to show His glory in our lives. When I began looking at the trials of the last year in that light, it made them easier to deal with. It made the fact that life can just plain stink sometimes, and ok thing.
I can't just focus on the bad stuff though. I have been so blessed in the last year. I have made new friends, and met people that have deeply impacted my life. I've learned to enjoy life and be bold! God is good and He blesses us for our obedience! It reminded me over and over again of my favorite verse in the Bible:
Ecclesiastes 3:1 " There is a time for everything; and a season for every activity under heaven."
I know this seems like an odd favorite, but I discovered this verse when I was 12 and have leaned on it ever since. Knowing that in our lives, there is a season for everything brings comfort and peace in the times of trouble. God is good no matter what. And because we serve a good God, our circumstances are for His purpose and His good! Praise God!
So this next season of life may not be what I want it to be, but I will abide in who God is and who he is making me into. Because if my life isn't about Him, then it is not worth living. I want to challenge you to do the same!! View every trial and hard time as an opportunity to grow and bring glory to Christ. Live every day with purpose and joy! Be a light of who God is in you. Be bold, and live and awesome life!!!