Life Lessons (Part 2)

Happy New Year everyone! It’s officially the first day of 2012 and there are MANY reasons to celebrate. The year 2011 for some was chaotic and for others was historic. Either way, if you’re reading this, you survived 2011 and can embrace the newness of 2012. As we go into this new year, it’s always important to reflect on the year that has passed. In the last blog, I shared one of 2011’s Life Lessons and I’ve been overwhelmed by your response. It’s humbling to think that this process can inspire others. Thanks for sharing your feedback.

So, I wanted to share one of my challenges from 2011. That challenge is around decision making. Let me be a bit more specific (and to some degree transparent). As I shared last time, the holidays have been a bit different because of the dissolving of my marriage nearly four years ago. One of the things that divorce does, or certainly SHOULD do, is cause you to look at relationships with a more discerning eye. For me, it’s made me incredibly cautious about moving forward. After all, marriage is the one relationship that is supposed to symbolize success. Think about it. You go through the dating process looking for “the one”. After several failed attempts, you finally lock in the relationship that you believe will be “for better or worse”. Most go into marriage with no plan B. Well, divorce comes and changes all of that. After being married, no one plans to be single again.

So, with all of that said, one of the TOUGHEST things to do is to start dating again. Wise people take time to really rebuild their lives. I mean you have to literally rebuild and regroup spiritually and emotionally. There’s not really a prescribed time limit for this but, to avoid hurting anyone else, time must be taken. But how long is too long? And when do you know you’re ready? My family jokes me ALL of the time and wants me to “get back out there”. But can I be transparent with you? I REALLY don’t want to make the wrong decision. There are so many factors to consider. I don’t want to make the mistake that caused me to make the wrong choice the first time. Granted, I’m not the same person I was 12 years ago. Thankfully, there has been a lot of growth in all areas of my life since that time. However, knowing that I once made a poor choice makes me a bit timid that I may make the wrong choice again.

And THIS is where the lesson comes. Life is all about perspective. Too often, we find ourselves viewing the glass as “half empty”. That perspective always looks at the negative side of things. We use semantics sometimes and call it being “cautious” or even “selective”. Now those adjectives are important characteristics to have. However, what if we changed our perspective and realized that this time could be the RIGHT decision? What if the choice you make is the one you were born to make? This is really where we have to trust our relationship with God to guide us.

Sometimes, we expect God to literally tell us EVERYTHING. We think He’s going to tell us what to wear, what to eat, and who to marry. So when we ask Him about these decisions, it could get a little frightening when we don’t hear a specific answer. However, when you look at parenting, a parent tends to give those types of instructions to their children in the beginning stages of their existence. When my daughter was first going to school, I wanted to take her to school and sit with her in class. I needed to know she was safe and successful in her environment. As she continued in school, the need to constantly check on her IN the classroom diminished. I was still interested in her progress but that was realized by checking her homework and working through questions as opposed to sitting in class with her daily.

Perhaps God hasn’t told us the answers for certain decisions because He’s waiting to see what we will do with what He has already given us. We have learned certain valuable lessons and growth isn’t demonstrated in Him telling us what to do. It is demonstrated in us using what He’s given us to make a decision. So, perhaps this fear of making the wrong decision should be changed to making a decision and trusting God that it is the right decision. After all, God IS our guide and, like any good parent, He will support a good decision and give warnings when there is a wrong decision.

So the rebuilding process continues. Perhaps the next move isn’t God’s to make, but my opportunity to walk in faith. And for you, the same holds true. It’s time to step out of our comfort zone and use what we know to move forward. We can’t move forward until we move. Let’s commit to making a move in 2012.

One love.

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