Sunday, March 2, 2014

Two steps forward, one step back

Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. - Arnold Bennett

The process of growth and discovery is laden with struggles and discomfort. Earlier this week I experienced a moment where I went back to my old thoughts and feelings. In an instant, I was consumed by my past mistakes and feeling of unworthiness.  I was feeling like a failure and unworthy of any goodness in my life. My past struggles haunted me and I felt like I had accomplished nothing. I felt suck on a page from my past and unable to move on.
As we grow and change, sometimes there will be moments where we feel like we took a step backwards. Moments where we feel hopeless and of no value. But we must accept how far we have come and let the moment pass. Change doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process and sometimes we will have days were we feel like we aren’t moving at all. But we can’t let those times get to us. We must let the moment pass and move on.
Just like cheating on a diet, that one piece of cake does not remove weeks of hard work, unless you decide to give up on your progress. We all have set backs and moments of discomfort, but the key is to find a way to get over them quickly. Having someone to support you is important. We all need someone to remind us of the progress we’ve made. We all need someone to cheer us on and keep us moving forward. We all need someone to remind us that God is on our side and He has a bigger plan for us.
God sees our struggles and he knows what we need to go through to get to the other side. So don’t let a bad moment or a bad day keep you from moving forward and becoming the wonderful person God created you to be.

Strength and growth come only through continuous effort and struggle.- Napoleon Hill

Saturday, February 22, 2014

New Beginnings

After a yearlong break for my blog, I have decided to start writing again. The past year has seen even more growth than before. For a long time I felt like such a disappointment to my family. I was confused about who I really was and I didn’t understand what I really wanted in life. It took me forty long years to figure out myself. Sometimes I feel like the Israelites and their journey through the desert. Their journey could have been short, but God needed them to learn to be faithful and full of God’s love and mercy. It took forty years for the Israelites to understand what God was doing for them. The same was true for me.

It took me forty years to understand what God could do for me. Forty years to learn I can’t do everything on my own. Forty years to learn that my way wasn’t the best way for me. Forty years to learn how to love and be loved. Forty years to truly love the person God created in me and stop trying to deny who I am. Once I let the real me shine, my life turned around and everything became easier. I finally learned to be comfortable with myself and that allowed me to be more comfortable with others.

Looking back on the last year of my life, I have seen so many changes and so much growth. I have learned so much about myself, my likes and dislikes, what really makes me happy and how I can really make others happy.  I have seen a side of my life that I thought only existed in dreams. I became more confident.  I have reached new heights in my relationships and myself. I have stopped blaming others and focused on how I can live my life completely.

The Lord has blessed me in so many ways over the past year, providing me with a new career that allowed my talents to blossom, talents I had forgotten even existed in me. And in that journey of discovery, love found me when I wasn’t even looking.  The Lord brought the most amazing man into my life, a partner that brings out the best in me. A partner that supports me 100% and loves me for who I really am, not what he wants me to be. A partner that is there to comfort me and understands how I feel in times of need. A partner that makes me believe again when all can feel lost. He is someone who knows how to hold me and make everything feel okay. I never knew love could be so amazing and so complete. 

Now that my forty years of wandering in the desert are over, I can’t wait to see what else the Lord has in store for me.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

A heartfelt reminder and proclaimation

The growth I have been experiencing is not only noticed by my readers, but also my closest friends. Below is a letter from a dear friend reflecting on my progress. The letter allows me to recognize my transformation.

To my dearest Anna,

You have the laughter that warms up the room and a look that lures people to you.  The light hearted attitude and the ability to accept others make you a magnet.  You are an attractive human; you work hard, achieve goals, embrace others, and give of yourself.  You have the heart of a servant.  
Along your path you have discovered those addictions which bind you.  Through this process, you found yourself exposing memories and reevaluating past actions.  Revealed aspects of who you are and how you got here.  You have been stripping down, exposing yourself and embracing the process of being broken down. You are naked. 
In your nakedness you are exploring the freedom and liberation of truth and enlightenment.  You accept the pain and understand that this pain is different than past suffering.  Past suffrage is a pattern, an addiction, a cancer.  Present pain is of acknowledgement, of understanding, of release, and of renewal. 
In your nakedness and liberation, be aware, the enemy is always near.  He will always be slithering around with sweat seductions, and open up easy roads back to destruction.  Be guarded and alert.  Do not be filled with pride or despair.  Do not attack your enemy alone.  Always seek our great Father, God.
Fill your life with good.  Seek ways to use your servant’s heart to serve the Kingdom.  Use your gifts to be the benefit and the light for others.  You are a blessing and your journey will be a testimony.
Fight with passion to break free from your chains.  When you get exhausted, seek out the Lord first.  When you need support, only seek out those who are in Christ.  Remember Proverbs 27:6; “Wounds from a friend can be trusted.  But an enemy kisses you many times (deceitfully).
My Blessings and My Declarations:
No longer does shame bind you in shackles, no longer will fear hold you in bondage, no longer will lies entrap you, and no longer will Satan seduce you. YOU ARE THE DAUGHTER OF A MIGHTY KING; NO LONGER WILL YOU BE ENSLAVED!

I proclaim this with love and admiration. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Facing the woman in the mirror

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart.  Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” Carl Jung

Now that my birthday has past and I am over my fear of being forty, I have reflected on my last year of thirty-something. The last year of my life has been amazing. The growth I have experienced is beyond words.  A year ago I felt I had wasted my life. After three failed marriages and numerous job changes, I felt like I was getting nowhere. I decided I had to make some serious changes in my life to feel complete. It was hard to take a deep look at myself. I always wanted to blame other people for my failures, but in reality the only common denominator was me. So I decided if I wanted things to change, I needed to look at myself and no one else.
                As I began to examine myself, I feared that I would not like what I would find. It’s easy to live in denial and ignore all the serious faults we try to hide. Facing me was scary; I reached into depths never before explored. I discovered more about myself in one year than I had my previous lifetime. It was hard to face the truth about myself and admit the areas in my life where I did not honor myself or others. The deeper I dug, the more pain I revealed. Reliving the pain of my past was devastating. Feeling this pain for a second time and facing the consequences of such choices was harder than the initial hurt. As the pain subsided and the healing began, I realized how much I cheated myself and allowed others to harm me.
                Once I learned how my past hurts had affected my life and would affect my future, I couldn’t ignore them anymore. Now that I was given all this knowledge about myself, I had to decide what to do with it. Armed with so many discoveries, I had to take immediate actions to change my future. If I kept living my life the same way I was only creating more destruction. Taking a deep look at me was difficult, but the freedom I received from it was worth so much more. I have awakened new talents and desires to lead my life in a more positive, fulfilling direction. Now I can really begin to live!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Turning Forty; life is good and only getting better.

Why is the thought of turning forty such a big deal? Why does the age of forty bring so much dread? Forty seems to mark the end of youth and the beginning old age, but forty is not such a bad place to be. As Bob Hope once said, “She said she was approaching 40 and I couldn't help wondering from what direction”. As I approach my fortieth birthday, I reflect on the decisions and actions that brought me to this path in life. 

When I first thought about turning forty, I was focused on where I had expected to be at this point in my life. I was focused on my several failed relationships, my financial loss and struggles, and mediocre career. I became very depressed looking at all my failures. As I wallowed in self-pity, I allowed my thoughts to stew on all the things I didn’t have; no husband, no house, no financial security, and an unfulfilling career. I felt so old and unaccomplished.

I was pulled from my pit of despair by my best friend’s persistence of the progress I have made in the past few years to better understand myself and move in a more positive direction. After two years of self-discovery and growth I am ready to hit the restart button on my life. I have managed to set myself up for great new adventures and opportunities.

 I have put systems in place to improve my finances and become debt free in three years. I have increased my education allowing for more career opportunities. And although I am not in a relationship, God has exposed me to the errors of my past, provided me knowledge, and blessed me with discernment to allow the right person to come into my life. As I look at my life with new vision, I see that it’s pretty good and only getting better.