Number one: Life is meant to live and not to overthink.
It's easy to fall into the sense of fear, what ifs, maybe, and all lingering questions that perhaps won't have answers right now. It's easy to be disappointed and mad at life. It's easy to point our finger at the mistakes of other people and prove we're on the right track. It's easy to be lonely and discouraged if everything does not go according to our plans. It's easy to turn our back on the people who hurt us and leave us. It's easy to unlove those people who cause us great pain and to take even. It's easy to count our failures and see our own weaknesses. It's easy to unlove the parts of us that we don't like.
Hence not all of our feelings are reliable and truthful. It may come and sometimes you just need to let it pass. Not all people have the same values, principles, and a heart as yours; it's okay to be different.
It's okay to go on your way and choose the hard parts of life. Forgiveness is hard, choosing kindness and gentleness toward the people who hurt you is totally hard, celebrating while you are in the midst of suffering is hard, and choosing gratitude in your emptiness is hard.
Our choices and reactions toward the situation around us depend on us. I usually want the easy choices but it leaves me with more burden. But when I choose the hard choices; it makes me at peace and I learn to trust God more. I learn to seek Him more and His truth.
After all, life is meant to live and not to overthink. As long as you're seeking God and His truth, you'll be okay. You're not everyone's cup of tea, you don't need to please the people around you, and you don't need to prove yourself to anyone.
Number two: Get out of your head and go along.
This year I want to celebrate more because I discover something in myself through HIM. God removes many things and people in my life. And I realized I can overcome it not because of my willpower but because God is with me; He never leaves me. I just only need Him. He allows many things to happen so I can turn my eyes to Him again. I could dive deep into His words and kneel my knees again in prayers. I can be with myself and learn new things while unlearning old things.
Get out of yourself and seek the truth so you can go along.
Number three: Be discerning
Thus Jesus reminds us to become wise as serpents and harmless as doves, we must develop discernment, to combine the wisdom of the serpent with the harmlessness of the dove. Discernment is part of our armor as warriors and we have to use it. Not all people have good intentions and motives but it doesn't mean that we need to cage ourselves and stop making connections with other people. We just need to put some spaces between the lines. I remember when I started to have my online business, there are many insincere customers who would not show up and ghosts like they were getting on my nerves. Some also would not settle their payments. Some would schedule a meet-up and won't show up. And in social media, there are a lot of people who are not genuine. I am gullible at times but I'm practicing now to be careful. We need to be gentle and wiser. Guard your heart and your mind through Christ Jesus. We're in a constant battle while we're here and Satan is an accuser and the father of lies.
We could still help and share something with one another but it is not also wrong to recognize that someone is taking advantage of us or that the cards are stacked against us; we must be careful. We can still show the love of Christ to others because the Holy Spirit is guiding us. And it's not your job to pay people back, God will take care of who did wrong to you.
Number four: Move forward
It's okay to cry in your disappointments but life does not stop for anyone. Get up and continue living by faith. Let go of the people and the things that withhold your peace. Just like what Paul said that we must forget what lies behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. Inhale His grace and exhale hope. God lives in you.
Number four: Listen to the rebukes and corrections of mature people
I used to get along with people who have the same interests as me and are same-aged but now I like to get along more with those people who are ahead of me in different aspects of life. I prefer to listen to their stories now and consider their advice and listen to their rebukes and corrections; particularly to my parents now. At times I also connect to those people whom I look up to and already successful in the chosen path that I also wanted to venture into, I connect with them. I remember I messaged an entrepreneur that I looked up to and to my surprise she messaged me back and give me some heartwarming tips. I'm so kilig to her and of course to those great mentors and advisers who are just one call away around me.
We need help. We need tampal.
Number five: Surrender
It's so liberating when you're not afraid anymore in life because when you fully surrender to Him, you'll be ready again to conquer. He'll provide everything to sustain you.
Surrender everything and even the people around you; let them be themselves and surrender everything to God.
When you surrender to God, you won't be afraid of life's challenges. You won't be afraid to go along alone. You won't be afraid if your plans failed. You won't be afraid not to be good enough. You won't be afraid if everything fails because you know He has greater plans. His thoughts are higher than your thoughts and His ways are higher than your ways.
God is so great. God is sufficient. God is a lover. God is a great father. God meets me even in my weaknesses and fears. God is my provider. God is my future. God redeems my dying hopes. God never fails to surprise me. God favors me. God writes my story.
What else? There's more in Him and there's more in life.
Whom shall I fear?
Loneliness, rejections, accusers, disappointments, doubts, worries, insecurities, name it all.
I am a child of God and even if there's something or someone who would scare me again; I do believe, He's with me all along.
AJA, you're doing well because God is at work too! Keep the fire burning.
Stand firm, and you will win life.Luke 21:19
Be wise, my son and make my heart glad, that I may answer him who reproaches me.Proverbs 27:11
The prudent sees danger and hides himself but the simple go on and suffer for it.Proverbs 22: 3
Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future. Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.Proverbs 19:20
Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.Matthew 10:16
Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you live peaceably with all. Beloved never avenge yourselves but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, "Vengeance is mine," I will repay says the Lord.Romans 4:17-19
Submit to yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.James 4:7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:7