The Foolproof Fourteen: 14 Life Lessons That I’m Taking Into 2014

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Lamentations 3:13-24 (NIV)

13 He pierced my heart
with arrows from his quiver.
14 I became the laughingstock of all my people;
they mock me in song all day long.
15 He has filled me with bitter herbs
and given me gall to drink.

l./16 He has broken my teeth with gravel;
he has trampled me in the dust.
17 I have been deprived of peace;
I have forgotten what prosperity is.
18 So I say, “My splendor is gone
and all that I had hoped from the Lord.”

19 I remember my affliction and my wandering,
the bitterness and the gall.
20 I well remember them,
and my soul is downcast within me.
21 Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:

22 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
23 They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
24 I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him.”

When I think of how this year started, and where I am now… I should be broken. But I’m not. These past two years have been pivotal, but in this one year I’ve had two injuries, four jobs, and some serious disappointments that could have easily set me waayyyyyy back. But they didn’t. They made me more of a fighter. I needed those experiences to have the mindset that I have. I needed every discouragement to have the mental tenacity and to propel me even deeper into my God given purpose. It’s deeper than what I think I can do. It’s about what I can do for Him, and what He can do through me. I almost gave up so many times. I questioned my gifts and abilities. I second guessed my God-given visions. BUT then, I fought back with faith. When I tell you, the devil and his team of evil plotters tried each and every single tactic to get me off track in EVERY WAY, all because I decided to completely surrender my all to Christ…. That’s not even the half. But I’ve been blessed with a beautiful reunion that turned into a divinely ordained courtship, amazing career opportunities for 2014, and such a strong support system that is growing more every day. These victories and triumphs and beautiful gifts from God I recall to my mind, therefore I have hope. It is because of His mercies that I am not consumed. Great is thy faithfulness. I’ve never been more excited for my future. I’ve never been more at peace, even when things aren’t perfect and my “success” isn’t visibly before me, I’m content. And I wouldn’t have realized my dependence on God if things were always peachy. If I had everything in excess, there would be no room for God’s hand to step in and provide.

He’s trying to get me to learn some things and I’m finally listening. Instead of coming up with shallow New Years Resolutions, I decided to do something more realistic, like reflecting over the top three lessons I’ve learned through this year’s hardships and victories. The remaining 11 (I wanted to do 14 to take into 2014) are just some key reminders that I like to call The Foolproof Fourteen that will keep me from repeating 2013’s mistakes! And I’m sure they’ll help you as well. J

Lesson 1:

Just because God reveals something to you doesn’t mean He’s going to give it to you right away. It takes years for certain things to manifest. But those years are essential to your spiritual growth and maturity. Take that time to develop your God given gifts and abilities, give, pray for others, spend time with family, volunteer, be active in your church, and take care of your health. You’re not as effective when you’re not at your best and that includes your physical health.

Lesson 2:

God will hold you in one place to force you to seek Him and Him alone, to get quiet and away from all of the noise, and to force you to depend on Him. I would always try to make things happen for myself, make things work the way I thought they should, and when they didn’t I would fall to pieces. Oh but God, He slowed my roll plenty of times in plenty of ways. He allowed certain situations to make me SIT DOWN and SEEK HIM, forced physical stillness and emotional solitude. And I’m not bitter because of it, only better. I trusted God to heal me – and He did. I trusted Him to provide even when I couldn’t work – and He did. I trusted Him to send me the people with my answers – and He did. I trusted Him to send me a godly man when the time was right – and He did. And NONE of this was done in my own power. None of the opportunities presented, none of the help I got was from my own doing. God placed it on the hearts of those who helped me. Period. It’s amazing what He’ll do when you let Him.

Lesson 3:

When you decide to give your all to God, and let go of your ways for His, you’ll get distractions like never before. Man oh man. From dealing with the wrong men, to injuries and physical challenges, to mental distractions trying to push me back into the things I left behind for my own good! Don’t let this trip you up! You’re meant to be a fighter and that means speaking the word of Truth over your thoughts, over your dreams (yes literal dreams, the ones you have when you fall asleep. You’d be surprised how much the enemy works on us through those. Pay attention.), over the lies spoken over you, over discouragements meant to tear you down, speak LIFE and encouragement over yourself like never before during this time. Find scriptures, biblical references with related situations and see what God says about it. That’s the only way you’ll be free from deception, mental slavery, and bondages. Renew your mind! That means, replace those old decaying thoughts with new productive thoughts. Romans 12:2 (MSG) “Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.”

4: Follow your convictions. They’re gifts from God, and the keys to true freedom. “When you develop a conviction that supersedes your condition, your freedom will be eminent.” –Pastor Reginald Woodard
I promise, no matter what happens on TV or what your friends or favorite celebs say, it’s a okay to feel bad for doing something foolish, and against God’s will.

5: Isolation is sometimes necessary. There will be people that can’t go with you to the next level. Leave them in the past. NOT saying, go get a bunch of fake friends and leave yours in the dust, just use wisdom and discernment. Are you made better and stronger from being around them, or are all of your weaknesses put to the test? Hmm.

6: Changing your environment will change your life. Better environments, better people. Destructive environments, destructive people. Be wise when deciding where you hang out.

7: Stay at peace with everyone and forgive. This starts within your own family. Don’t take any grudges into a new year. Don’t burn any bridges. Put your pride aside and make it right!

8: Trust God for discernment. This is the key to keeping you sane. He will give you the heads up way before the mess up. Trust me, we ignore it all the time then go crying to Him to fix it. But He loves us, so He makes it better.

9: Being single is better than a meaningless mingle. Nuff said.

10: Be content while aiming higher. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with striving for success by God’s standards, as long as you realize that with or without those accolades, accomplishments, and achievements, God will still use you and provide all you need.

11: If God said it, He’ll do it. His word is all we have to stand on and our faith is the only thing that brings that truth to life. Be consistent and never quit! When hard times come, regroup and get back to it.

12: Serving others with joy in your heart is the only true way to happiness.

13: You’re never “too good” for anything and you’ll never have all the answers. Have a humility check every few days, or God will give you one.

14: God’s timing is the only timing that matters. It will all make sense one day. Be patient. “Patience is not your ability to wait, but how you act while you’re waiting.” –Joyce Meyer

In 2014, I’m determined to FOCUS. Proverbs 4:23-25:

“Above all else, guard your heart, for it affects everything you do. Avoid all perverse talk; stay away from corrupt speech. Look straight ahead [FOCUS!] and fix your eyes on what lies before you. [I’ll focus on God’s plans to prosper me, give me hope and a future with an expectant end!] Mark out a straight path for your feet; [set your plans, organize your goals] then stick to the path and stay safe [put those plans into action carefully moving with the direction of the Holy Spirit, trusting God every step of the way so you don’t get too ahead of yourself, or prideful.] Don’t get sidetracked; keep your feet from following evil. [Self explanatory.]”

Don’t allow the enemy’s distractions and lures to temptation get you off track! Never give in, never give up! Fight fight fight and stay in tune with the Holy Spirit. Stay away from those things that trigger your weaknesses and gravitate toward the things that you draw strength from (church, family, godly mentors, friends, studying the word, prayer and meditation, singing, etc.)

There’s no better feeling than to look back and see constant confirmation, evidence of growth and fruitfulness as a result of consistent obedience. Fail forward. Learn how to embrace challenges as growth opportunities. You may never see the fruit of your seed, but sow anyway out of obedience. Ask God what He intends for you to learn from each and every situation, and He’ll tell you. It’s time for us to focus. It’s time to focus on the things of the Kingdom. Finish strong!

Xoxo,

Cee
www.ceecreatively.com
ceecreatively@gmail.com

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Posted on December 23, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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