As January comes to an end I look back on this month and realize how much time has been spent in reminiscing and rehearsing the negative memories of the past.
I’ve read several public posts on friends social media who are linked to used-to-be friends and mourned the passing of those relationships. The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained.
There has been more than a little time spent contemplating correspondence received from family members spanning the past year. None of it was positive. In fact, much of it was judgmental, hurtful and downright insulting. The end result of those exchanges will probably be more lost family ties. But, rejection is just God’s way of saying, “Wrong direction.”
Now please, just let me say here, for clarification sake, spending time mulling over the negative stuff is so NOT my bag. I’m a lover of peace, and will usually go wa.a.ay out of my way to avoid conflict, but conflict eats at my soul until it becomes necessary to look it right in the eye and deal with it. In this season of life, I’ve grown wise enough to realize I have NO influence over what others think; the decisions they make, or their choice to like or dislike me and my actions. Still, dealing with the fall-out is mandatory for my peace and spiritual well-being. So…at the beginning of this year I started a new journal dedicated to just that.
Here’s a list of things I’ll have to implement:
Forgiveness – It is mandatory. Reconciliation is optional
Learn to say NO – It will show you who your real friends are. It will give you respect. It will give you more free time. It will give you a new perspective. And, most importantly, It will bring you Peace.
Just roll with it – Sometimes that’s all you can do.
Ignore most of what people say – Watch what they do instead.
Don’t worry about the expectations of others – Live your own life and adhere to your own standards.
Take time to do what makes your soul happy – Happiness is when what you think, what you say and what you do are in harmony. Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, or worn. It is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love grace and gratitude.
Don’t complain – Complaining will not fix your problems…when you focus on solutions, you allow new and exciting possibilities to show up for you.
Close the door to the past – Open the door to the future, take a deep breath, step through and start a new chapter.
Start Over *
When you’ve trusted God and walked His way
When you’ve felt His hand lead you day by day
But your steps now take you another way…
When you’ve made your plans and they’ve gone awry
When you’ve tried your best and there’s no more try
When you’ve failed yourself and you don’t know why…
When you’ve told your friends what you plan to do
When you’ve trusted them and they didn’t come through
And now you’re all alone and it’s up to you…
When you’ve failed your kids and they’re grown and gone
When you’ve done your best but it’s turned out wrong
And now your grandchildren have come along…
When you think you’re finished and want to quit
When you’ve bottomed out in life’s deepest pit
When you’ve tried and tried to get out of it…
When the year has been long and successes few
When December comes and you’re feeling blue
God gives a January just for you…
And so…we start over, forgetting what lies behind and straining toward the upward call of grace and peace.
You are living a brand new kind of life that is continually learning more and more of what is right, and trying constantly to be more and more like Christ who created this new life within you. In this new life one’s nationality or race or education or social position is unimportant; such things mean nothing. Whether a person has Christ is what matters, and he is equally available to all.
Since you have been chosen by God who has given you this new kind of life, and because of his deep love and concern for you, you should practice tenderhearted mercy and kindness to others. Don’t worry about making a good impression on them, but be ready to suffer quietly and patiently. Be gentle and ready to forgive; never hold grudges. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others.
Most of all, let love guide your life, for then the whole church will stay together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of heart that comes from Christ be always present in your hearts and lives, for this is your responsibility and privilege as members of his body. And always be thankful. Colossians 3:10-15
Follower of Christ, writer & artist.