In LIFE, things happen! Both good things and bad things. That’s just how life is. Of course, we all desire good things, but unfortunately, bad things are inevitable. Just when things are going along well, it often seems that something happens that steals the life we know, robs us of our joy, and strips us of our hope. When these types of negative disruptions in our life occur, it stops us in our tracks, oftentimes, draining us of the ability to live life with joy, and happiness – the way Jesus intended. Causing us to disconnect from life.
Jesus told us a lot of encouraging things, but he also knew we would face difficult challenges. In John 16:33, Jesus warns us of the impending difficulties we would face in our lives. He said “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” His purpose for telling us this was so that we would know how to handle life when troubles showed up. He was letting us know that if we fully depended upon Him as our source of our life – that we could be at PEACE. Yet, peace sometimes is difficult to find when faced with troubles. And when faced with troubles, we often disconnect from our life, people and support that is essential to our ability to thrive and live a full life. Of course, I’m not saying everyone disconnects from life when troubles occur. However, it is important to be aware that when troubles come, the level or degree of disconnect depends upon the type of trouble you are faced with. Each of us have varying degrees of threshold for how we deal with and resolve troubles when they happen. Thereby, creating your own personal ability to handle or not be able to handle life when it happens.
If you have been in a place and you have grown discouraged, frustrated and disappointed with life; or you have disconnected, then, today, I want to personally welcome you back to LIFE!
You might be saying to yourself, “Well, you don’t know why I disconnected from my life! It was painful. It’s easier this way. You don’t know my situation, or my circumstances! You can’t possibly understand what they did to me! The report they gave me was negative! I lost everything!”
And my reply to you is that I don’t have to know the details, but if you have given up on life, just going through the motions, with no real joy, disconnected from the life that you once knew, then I’m talking to you. And today I want you to know that it’s time for you to take back your life and walk in peace as an overcomer! You need to know that just as Jesus warned, you’ve simply had an encounter with trouble, but take heart…he overcame so you could overcome and live a full and abundant life!
At the beginning of this year, after seven years of facing and maneuvering through intense troubles, let’s just say, I experienced a case of extreme exhaustion. My previous troubles had been of the caliber where statistically I should have totally disconnected from life (if you want to know the entire troubles I encountered feel free to Google Me). During those seven years of hardship, I made a decision that I was going to overcome. Jesus had warned me, I understood, and I was willing to step up to the challenge. While facing, dealing with and handling trouble; putting in all the hard work, I neglected one important detail. Myself – and it all took a bit of a toll on my body. Even as a woman of great faith, willing to sacrifice for others, making certain all trouble was dealt with in order to overcome the trouble… I just wore myself out. And it’s taken most of the year to get myself back in TOP PERFORMANCE with help from ministry partners and lots of prayer. Today, I’m almost back to 100% and I’m definitely in that place of peace. During my down time, I reflected on a few foundational principles that I needed to revisit, and that I knew I needed to reapply to my life.
If you have found yourself in a place where trouble is present, and it has caused you to disconnect from life, or become weary, to the point of feeling worn out, overwhelmed or perplexed; I want to share just a few things with you to help you get your life back.
During the time, when I was worn down, it was hard for me to slow down. I’m a people person and well, I ‘m always concerned about everybody else. I’m a giver and I want everyone happy around me. I want to see everyone reach their maximum purpose potential, so I have a tendency to overstretch myself. Faced with being literally in bed for 30 days; endless doctor’s appointments, surmounting medical bills, I had to resolve a few things. How and why was I here and what was I going to do about it! I couldn’t continue at this pace, so I obviously needed to make some much needed adjustments in my life before the total disconnect occurred.
See, you have to understand that time, stuff and things never stop, even when trouble is present. The world and people will continue on their way. So, when trouble comes I want you to ask yourself a few questions before you get to that place of disconnect:
How did I get here?
Why did I allow myself to get here?
What am I going to do about it?
For me the first thing I did was to make certain that God was totally first in my life. I had to make certain that I had things in the proper priority in my life. I needed to make sure I was following Matthew 6:33. I needed to consult HIM before taking every step – not just some steps. Not that HE had lost the #1 spot, but on occasion I had become so busy with life, children, and taking care of everyone and everything, that I overextended myself. I’m a workaholic so it’s easy to do.
Set right priorities. Intentionally make God first in your life. Schedule time for God, have your quiet time, attend church, get to Bible Study, Volunteer. It’s a small price to pay, to make certain God is directing your life.
As I lay in bed the first 30 days, I so missed being in the presence of God in church. Now, I’m even more appreciative of the opportunity we have of freedom to worship and gather in the Name of Jesus! Put God first and don’t take HIM for granted!
Secondly, I needed to set some boundaries in my life starting with myself and my family. For example, with my children, as much as I want to make every game, the reality is that I’m not going to make every game; but I’m still their biggest cheerleader. I had neglected my health, pushed myself thin to make certain that I was always at their events and activities.
Support your children, but not to the neglect of your well being or the well being of others. Focus on the things that are really important: quality family time, personal time, etc.
Also, I can’t make every event in the city…Yes, I’m a social butterfly, I love great events and activities, I love attending worship encounter, but I realized I can’t and don’t have to attend every play, dinner or celebration. I sent lots of cards and flowers and edible floral arrangements since I had to slow down for my health, and I found that most people were still appreciative. So, I guess it’s true, the thought really counts!
Set limits with others. This was a biggee for me! And one where God had to do the greatest work in me. There were people that I thought I could depend on, and when I was down, for whatever reason, I found that I could not depend on them. That made me angry, because I would be there for them; as a matter of fact, that was part of the reason I was worn and ragged. I had to reel my emotions back in and say to myself… no one owes you anything, give them to God. God reminded me that I had done my part – I had just been responsible for planting a seed in their life, now it was up to others to water. So, in setting my limits, it helped me to forgive and let go!
And there is so much more that God revealed to me during this time! But bottom line, at the end of January – not knowing what was wrong with my health, down to a size 0 (yes, zero), and after endless doctors reports, I came to a solid conclusion – God, wanted to WELCOME ME BACK TO LIFE! I realized that my troubles had come to disconnect me from life, but Jesus said, “that we should live life to the fullest!!!”
John 10:10 (CEB) The thief enters only to steal, kill, and destroy. I came so that they could have life—indeed, so that they could live life to the fullest.
So, I regained my spiritual strength, activated the power within, and recommitted to life GOD’s WAY and demanded my life back! And you know what? He welcomed me back with open arms to LIFE!
Honestly, I don’t fully comprehend why bad things happen, but I choose to believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you wiser, stronger, and a help to someone us. If you recognize that God is equipping you to rise above the power of your pain in the midst of your greatest trouble, you can begin to take your life back.
My life is a testimony of God’s transforming power. By all the signs and indicators of what I experienced through our very troubles, I transformed into a stronger and wiser individual.
So, to YOU – WELCOME BACK to life! Get back to doing it GOD’s WAY starting now. Ask yourself like I did the questions, and then do something about it! Now, eight months later, I’m stepping back into LIFE with my full God-given power and authority!
I’m excited about the WELCOME that I’m receiving from Life!
I’m enjoying every moment, stopping to smell the roses, getting my priorities straight. What about you? It’s a choice!
Always know that you are loved and appreciated! And remember, in life troubles come and many things can go wrong; we can find ourselves in places that are far from where we originally felt we should be. We all know that life does not always turn out as we plan it. This is an indisputable fact. Nevertheless, God has promised if we trust Him and stand on His promises, we will be victorious (Isaiah 40:28-31).
WELCOME BACK to LIFE! Welcome Back to us moving forward together as overcomers! Let’s purpose to prepare now to walk into the full life that awaits us together in 2013! Are you ready? I know I am!!!
Be emPOWERed and in PEACE!