Ebb and Flow

 

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The movement of water is a continual Ebb and Flow.  A rhythmical pattern of coming and going or decline and regrowth.  We experience this ebb and flow in our own lives also.  If you notice the pattern, we too are in constant movement, experiencing phases or seasons of ebbing and flowing.

There was a time in my life where I was easily agitated by any degree of change. The moment there was change, my mind would immediately go into what I call “story telling mode”.  The stories would play out in my head, usually negative of course, which in turn would cause my anxiety to grow with each passing moment.

The only constant is change

But, I soon realized, that change is inevitable whether we choose to be anxious about it or not.  At any given moment, we will experience some degree of movement in all facets of our lives.  People change and situations change. When, how, and why situations end and another begin is unknown and certainly out of our control, so might as well accept them.

Reasons and Seasons

Eventually I began to look at my life in the bigger picture.  I stopped looking for the reasons why things evolved, turned directions, or ended.  Instead I understood that we all go through seasons, which ultimately meant the situation was here for a while, not here to stay.

Whether I like it or not, that isn’t point

I admit, acceptance and surrender doesn’t come easy.  It has taken me quite some time to understand that it isn’t about liking the process or even my own comfort. The game changer began when I whole heartedly believed that God allows things with a bigger plan in mind, and I don’t have to like it, see it, or even agree with it!

In life, circumstances will continue to change.  Relationships will come and will go. Emotions fluctuate. Perspectives shift.

But I will embrace it all and release control, to the ONE WHO KNOWS IT ALL.

 

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.

Jeremiah 29:11

 

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Maneuvering Your Vessel

 

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Small boats are quite interesting vessels because they freely allow to be maneuvered wherever the captain wants to go.  Sometimes they are taken through rough waters where pounding waves and rain threatened to overturn it to the point of capsizing. Other times, boats pass through smooth, serene waters requiring minimal guidance. With what seems to be a light touch, the waters gently escort the boat without much movement or maneuvering, gliding through its destination convinced it is their fate.

In a similar fashion I believe our lives are much like this.  When we allow to be steered freely our experiences are quite different.  Like a small boat, we accept where life takes us.  We don’t fight rough waters, but rather navigate through them with ease.  We learn to trust our journey, riding the wave with the assurance that as all storms before it, this too shall pass. 

When life brings us through serene waters we glide through them just as freely.  We embrace the moments of calm and use it as a time of reflection.  But it is important in both instances however, similar to the small boat, we go with the flow, accepting fully where we are at any given moment with a grateful heart.

5 Ways That May Help You Navigate Through Adversity

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t”

 

Adversity.  It has happened to me and no doubt it will happen to all of us at one time or another.

Today, I would like to share 5 ways that I found helpful when navigating through my own adversity.  My hope is that in some way, this may help you too.

Acknowledge what is happening

Many times, we are tempted to ignore the obvious in our lives.  It is easier to live in a sort of denial and pretend the situation is not happening.  But remember when we do this, we are just prolonging the situation.  Find the courage to accept things and take action.

Live in the “NOW”

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34).  Bible scripture tells us repeatedly to live in the present moment.  You would be surprised to know how many times I pondered the future and created scenarios, many of which never happened by the way.  Only to realize I was creating unneeded anguish for myself!  Don’t waste your time and energies on replaying future scenarios.  Instead, be your own light or the light someone needs TODAY.

Do not let fear control you

Fear is a powerful emotion!  But it is just that . . . an emotion!  During difficult times in your life, don’t allow your emotions to lead, as they will betray you every time.  Instead allow God to be your compass and then do the best you possibly can.  And for those moments you start feeling fear creep in, remind yourself of this fact, “FEAR does not come from God!”

There is a purpose for your pain

For many, this may be a hard one to believe.  But I can tell you from my personal experience this is TRUE!  Our pain DOES have a purpose.  And although we might not be able to see it while we are walking through the fire, no doubt in time you WILL discover the purpose.  Your pain will mold you into a better person, when you surrender and allow yourself to be transformed.

This too shall pass

Remember that circumstances CAN and DO change, moment by moment.  The good times pass, but then again so do the bad times.  Believe in your mind and heart that this “thing” you’re having to walk thru, will one day be over.  And for the times you might be overwhelmed with it all, repeat these words to yourself, “this too shall pass.”

THE MESS IN THE MIDDLE

 

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Ever feel like you’ve made a mess of things? 

You’ve made a choice in your life and it turned out all wrong.  Truthfully, big life decisions can be difficult to make, especially because we don’t know the outcome.  Sure, we can speculate on how things may turn out, but we will never know with certainty.

And so, we make a choice and go for it, only to discover shortly thereafter, that maybe, just maybe that wasn’t the best decision after all.  Our head becomes filled with questions.  “Did I rush into this too quickly?”  “Maybe I should’ve asked for some additional advice?”  Or, worse yet, you start to question your own judgment upon realizing you have officially created a mess for yourself.

As times passes the mess grows and things become more difficult.  Now you’re in over your head with seemingly nowhere to go. You begin to feel stuck, stressed, and disappointed.

Then one day, out of the blue, things begin to shift. Something unexpected happens providing a window of opportunity to turn things around.  Whether you turn right, turn left, or make a U turn, doesn’t matter.  All you know is you’re finally moving forward and on your way out of this mess you’ve created.

Months later you reflect on what happened.  Now you’ve not only made it through the mess, but things turned out completely different!  As a matter of fact, much better than you ever thought possible! And although your mess in the middle was one of the most difficult experiences in your life, you feel a sense of gratitude knowing this was all part of a bigger plan.

 

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Oftentimes we must go through a messy middle to arrive to an “alternate” ending. Because God will always redirect you and take you from where you are to where he wants you to be.

 

 

 

 

NOTHING IS EVER REALLY WASTED

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Whether you believe this to be true or not . . .

NOTHING IS EVER WASTED!

No failure, no mistake, no pain, no loss,

no experience . . . NOTHING!

There are reasons why things happen!  It’s as though there is a perfect master plan for our lives.   And although oftentimes we might not fully comprehend it, nevertheless it is unfolding daily.

I know you’re probably thinking, “Really?,  A master plan?”

I don’t proclaim to fully understand it myself, although I have experienced it to some degree.  I can tell you that while going through trials in my own life, at first it makes absolutely NO SENSE!

But as time passes, things have a way of becoming clearer.  You see, time allows us to have a deeper understanding of our situations and our circumstances.

Ever held a paper with written words right up close to your eyes?  All you see is just blurred writing, right?  But as you slowly move that paper away from your eyes, the writing starts to become clearer.  Continue moving it farther away and you will begin to see even better. However, it is not until your paper is held at a far enough distance from your eyes, that reading is possible.  And it is at this pivotal moment that you begin to make sense of it all!

It is in this SAME WAY that we experience every trial and every circumstance in our lives.  At first, we cannot make sense of it. In those first moments or even days we question EVERYTHING!  What usually follows is doubt, anger, fear, we sense loss, feel irritable and even bitter!

BUT AS TIME PASSES, it allows us to have clearer vision to fully understand that for every failure, mistake, pain, loss, or difficult experience, THERE IS A PURPOSE AND A LESSON TO BE LEARNED!

You see, NOTHING you’ve ever been through is wasted!

No trial you’ve ever gone through has been in vain!

FOR OUR SOUL ALWAYS GAINS INSIGHT

AND WE ARE NEVER THE SAME!