“Life is a series of battles and blessings.” From a devotional I’m doing as part of my read through the Bible plan. It’s really making me think about how I got where I am today.
In the past, I’ve listed my battles, those tragedies, adversities, and life-altering events that shaped who I am, on paper. On the same page, I noted my blessings, those opportunities, benefits, and surprising outcomes that positioned me where I am. Interestingly, many of the circumstances listed as a battle had to be duplicated on the blessing side.
Just yesterday, as I was with a coaching client, she asked me this question, “Have you always been this way?”
“Confident. Outgoing. Happy.”
Pretty ironic, considering what I’m dealing with right now. Friends fighting hard against the beast called cancer. Serious ongoing concern for my grandchildren. Two funerals this week. People I’m close to struggling with finances. Relationships in shambles. And just finding out that my four year search for my birth father has probably ended, due to his death in October.
But her question, and the way she viewed me, really made me think about the battles of yesterday, and how they transformed me into the confident, outgoing, and happy woman I am today. (I really am all of those things — mostly.)
These are a few of the things I shared with her:
- Started reading the Bible regularly. Didn’t always want to, so I asked God to fix my want to. It took time, but He did, (fixed my want to), so now I do, (read the Bible).
- Resolved not to allow people or situations to rain on the parade of the life I was given. Chose to praise God no matter what. That resolve has been tested repeatedly, but I’m still praising. (The Hallelujah Factor by Jack R. Taylor is an inspiring read, thanks for recommending it, Sharon.)
- You’ll hear me say this a lot, realized I couldn’t always trust my feelings, they can be dirty, little liars. But I can trust Jesus. So I continually choose faith in Him over my fears — especially when I don’t feel it.
- I learned to dissect overwhelming responsibilities and break them into bite-sized chunks, making them more digestible and easier to swallow. I get more done when I have ten small things to tackle, versus one looming giant project. Each small thing I mark as complete, energizes me to do the next thing.
- Taught myself to practice making tiny decisions, when big ones were too much, until I became comfortable with the process. Then I grew into small decisions, again practicing until I felt more confident. Finally, I was prepared to make bigger ones, and they felt less intimidating.
- I stopped allowing myself to question a decision after it was made, realizing it was wasted energy to keep re-hashing something that was already done. (See, that was a decision right there.)
- Continually ask God to protect me from deception, to set me straight when I started to go wrong, and to keep love at the forefront of my decisions.
Life doesn’t always go as we planned or hoped. But I speak from experience, battles can transform into blessings, when we allow God to make crowns of beauty from our ashes. Yes, we will have moments of sadness. Yes, we will grieve. Yes, things can get scary and confusing. It doesn’t mean we have to cower or crumble. As I say in my upcoming book, you can’t see the good things waiting ahead of you, if you don’t get up off the ground.
Anita Fresh Faith
Psalm 18:39 (NIV)
You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me.
Anita Brooks motivates others to dynamic break-throughs, blending mind, heart, and spirit, as an Inspirational Coach, International Speaker, and award-winning Author. Her books, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, and First Hired, Last Fired — How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market, are currently available at all major bookstores, Amazon, plus other online retailers.
Anita fulfills her mission to help 21st century women and men make fresh starts with fresh faith by sharing what she’s learned through experience, interviews, and research. She’s energized by overcoming adversity, work with integrity, healthy relationships, identity issues, and abundant living. Anita inspires audiences all over the world to believe as she does — in business, as in life and love, it’s never too late!
Anita’s favorite pastime is watching sunsets with her husband of over 30 years, while they laugh and dip their toes in the water. Her favorite passion is inspiring others to take life’s battles, and transform them into victories.
You can connect with her on Facebook, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn, or Twitter. Keep up with Anita’s latest happenings at anitabrooks.com. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request information on having Anita speak or train at your next event.