It’s easy to get off track when life gets super busy. To get so caught up in your day-to-day life that family, friends, work, relationships, stress…it can consume you and make you forget to put God first. Or turn to him instead of others. I did that recently. I was so caught up in the day-to-day: my stress, my fears, my impulses…I wasn’t turning to the Lord. I wasn’t letting go of control. One day I woke up and felt lost. I realized that aside from getting off course spiritually, I wasn’t taking care of myself. I was so concerned with caring about everyone else and trying to please others, I stopped caring about what I really want and need and what the Lord wants me to do.
Then, just when I think I have enough to worry about and filled with so much anxiety, I covered the Cleveland Clinic Children’s Heartthrob Ball. My heart was overwhelmed by what the three Courage Award recipients went through. My friend Christine, one of the honorees this year, underwent a liver transplant. Jessica, the second Courage Award honoree, had a large benign tumor on her face. And Charlie, the third recipient, is four years old and had a heart transplant. Seeing their courage… their strength…it was overwhelming. My heart was over flowing for them and I was sobbing. It puts things in perspective when you see someone going through far worse. Not to dismiss my feelings, my problems, but they are nothing compared to what they have gone through. Then two days later the three missing girls: Amanda Berry, Gina Dejesus and Michele Knight, were found. Seeing the happiness of the families and of the community, hearing what pain and horror these girls endured for ten years…again, perspective.
Joel Osteen is my favorite preacher. I swear whenever I’m dealing with something, need to be spiritually fed, and I watch his show or open up his devotional it is always pertaining to what I’m going through. I’d like to share some of the advice he’s given that has helped me:
1. You may have a set back, but it’s God giving you a chance to set up the next move
2. God will give you beauty for ashes
3. Weeping may endure in the night, but joy comes in the morning
4. Don’t focus on your obstacles, focus on God
5. Disappointments are for a season, but God’s favor is for a lifetime
6. Don’t give up. There is reward for staying in faith.
7. Don’t be a baby, only you can make you happy
8. Quit expecting people in our life to be perfect (that includes ourselves)
9. You have to adjust to keep the peace
10. Don’t allow differences to sour your relationships
11. People will disappoint you. Don’t run to other people, just run to God
12. No one person can meet all of your needs, don’t put that on them
13. Letting emotions rule our life leads us to make wrong decisions
14. Some people try to get things from people they don’t have to give. Don’t fault them.
15. Don’t be stubborn, be the bigger person
16. When we live a shallow life we don’t please God. When we don’t please God we keep from receiving his blessings.
17. Be a victor, not a victim
18. You have to do the right thing even if you don’t feel like it
19. You can choose to be happy despite how you feel
20. It’s always the darkest before the dawn
We all go through tough times. It’s necessary though. You learn more about who you are, what you want and need. You learn who your true friends are. You learn who you can and cannot trust. It gives us a chance to pass God’s test and grow in our faith.