Is it me, or does the holiday season seem to be one of self reflection? Most of us, I think, want to be the best we can possibly be. Yet in order to get there we have to weed out the ugly parts of us.
And I don't know about anyone else, but God sure has convicted my heart more this year, than any other year ever during the course of my life. As this year draws near its end, I reflect on the good times and the bad. The hightlight of the year: I married the love of my life in August. I prayed and prayed for God to bless this marriage, despite our flaws and our mistakes. Since then, God has been working hard on me, and on my husband.
HE has been showing me my flaws, and showing me the "how-to's" of making it better. This direction and guidance has certainly hurt my own self image..I mean what human wants to see everything they do wrong? But the spiritual blessings have been far greater than the emotional pains. How can I make my relationships better... with God, my husband, children or any other friend or family member if I have no real clue just how flawed I am. Each one of us has self destructive ways that hinder our own ability to grow, or be used by God. Without God's guidance, this can be impossible to see.
As though seeing is isn't painful enough...fixing gets a little more complicated. Thanks be to GOD that HE doesn't just show us what we do wrong and walk away.
But our openness to it, and to this growth brings in a whole new set of possibilities. Possibilities of being closer to God and receiving the blessings of the heart. Those of us who've experienced the blessings of the heart know that these are the very best ones.
This is the time of year, every year that I stop and reflect on myself. What do I need to do differently next year? How can I give more or be better? But every single year, I fail.
This year; however, with the works of my God on my heart I am determined to carry everything HE has shown me forward.
My prayer is for a clean heart...and to never lose the lessons HE has given me. But you and I both know I will fail, despite my determination, withouth God's help.
By far, the greatest spiritual lessons I have learned this year are:
1. HE will give me what I ask for, if my request promotes HIS will and HIS message. (I prayed for a blessed marriage, and HE has worked hard in me to weed out the bad every since.)
2. It is far better to give than to receive. (Doing what's right, even if it means we have to be humble or serve someone else, leaves us with spiritual blessings that no earthly gifts could ever compete with.)
3. We should always look within ourselves, before judging or fingerpointing. (If we stop and evaluate the situation, we will generally find that we are JUST as guilty, if not moreso.)
I've never wanted to be closer to God in my life, though I have been saved since I was 18. I've never seen some of the things in myself and in God that I have seen this year. God is opening my eyes,and my heart and for that, I feel blessed, loved and so very very thankful that HE would take the time and spend the energy on me. I don't deserve HIS love and mercy, but I sure am thankful for it.