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Light.

Light.

I am thankful…

Thankful for the hardships.

Thankful for the growth.

Thankful for the amazing opportunities that have been placed in my lap.

Thankful for amazing, encouraging, unconditional friends.

Thankful for family.

Thankful for tests of faith.

Thankful for losses.

Thankful for failures.

Thankful for success.

Thankful for community.

Thankful for the past.

Thankful for a future.

Thankful for everything.

My life absolutely is not perfect, far from it. Everybody says that, I know.  Though I’m sure some believe everything is going great for me–which right now it is but the misconception is that social media only portrays what we want everyone else to believe about us, not who we really are.

I’m on a mission to change that.

I’m going to be as authentic as possible because it is important to not fool everyone into believing that I have the best life because I don’t. But one thing I am doing is living MY best life. This is the life I was given. This is the life I was CHOSEN for. The life I was hand selected for by God himself. I’m not going to operate in anything other than excellence. What a shame it would be to let this gift of life go to waste. What a disgrace to God to not be the best possible version of myself. And the best possible version of myself includes me being completely transparent.

Judging by social media you probably think I’m happy-go-lucky living my little life, and I am happy with my life but I am not always happy. I post devotionals not just to share with others but also for myself. I post funny jokes and memes to be lighthearted even in the toughest times.

But here is the truth behind everything you see on social media:

I’ve made some really great friends this past year and unfortunately I’ve lost some really great friends. I’ve been sad. I’ve been angry. I’ve been completely vulnerable, authentic, and transparent with someone and my heart broke a little over their departure in my life. But it is all a learning lesson for me. How to be, and how not to be. I’ve become the most authentic and vulnerable with the right people, the lifelong people who have never judged me and never left me for being me… no matter how tough of a season I may go through at times, and this makes my heart so full.

Because for all of the hardships and trials there is so much blessing on the opposite end. I am thankful that I’ve lost people, I appreciate the people who are in my life so much more and am more careful with those people.

Some days are more nostalgic than others and I already am an over thinker so every time I think about the past I upset myself and dwell in heartache. That isn’t healthy but it is who I am sometimes and it is all a learning curve.

And I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned that it isn’t always my fault. Sometimes people are too critical without considering their own flaws. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I sometimes intimidate people and run them off. Other times it is absolutely my fault. I’ve acted irrationally and impulsively and end up pushing people away. Even people I care about and have gotten close to. And I think it is just as important to recognize that I also have some toxic traits. Traits that I need to work on, and have been working on tremendously over the last couple of months. I can say with a clear conscious that I am better than the person I was two years ago, two months ago, even two days ago. Because growth is constant. When you stop growing, when you’ve stayed in the same place, the same situations is when you need to reevaluate life around you.

I’ve learned to always go with my gut because my first instinct usually turns out to be best. I’ve learned to just let things go. Let situations go. Let people go.

I’ve learned that I cannot control every situation, and the situations I am not in control of take a step back from and let things work out in it’s own time. In God’s time. And not just proclaim it to God but completely release myself from those situations instead of trying to meddle in the middle of it and take back some control. Let it go completely and leave it all to God.

Okay so, honesty hour.

I have issues. Everyone does. A large issue in my life that I have been unable to control for quite sometime, and am in the process of overcoming is more of a lady-issue that I will spare any dude who may be reading this the nitty gritty details. Basically my reproductive system all caps HATES me sometimes and puts me through more pain than what should normally occur. As a side effect of overcoming this my hormones reacted negatively and weren’t the kindest to me. So for a while I dealt with a few emotional issues as well.

I have a greater respect for people who struggle with mental health. I’ve come to learn that it is a real thing. It isn’t just something that people can control and choose to not let their emotions affect them. It is truly uncontrollable sometimes and you cannot help it. I have experienced it first hand and can now relate.

No worries, I am a-ok and am back in full control of my emotions and mental health.

Add that to my list of defeats.

It is all by the grace of God that I can embrace ALL of my imperfections and use them to contribute to my growth as a person. My past is not squeaky clean. It is rough, and cracked, and beaten, and in complete disarray. Whose isn’t?

But my future is full of hope. Full of blessing. Full of goodness. Full of success. Full of growth. I will laugh without fear of what is ahead of me because I know the worst is already behind me.

I’ve lived a life separate from God, and although He never left my side, I left Him. I abandoned Him to live my life my own way, because I was naive enough to think I could do it all without Him… And a life without God is the darkest place I could ever even imagine.

I am confident that even my darkest days to come will never be absent from light.

How much of a relief it is that our future is secured??? No matter what we do we cannot mess up the plans the Lord has for us. Jeremiah 29:11. Do not fool yourself into thinking you are that powerful.

I will be humble, keeping in mind that His grace and His power is an ocean and I am literally sinking within it. I will love, knowing that Christ built His ministry on love alone and that not even the most evil being can conquer a kingdom built in love.

The light, the life-light, lives within me. I am the light. And I will continue to be the light. The brightest light I can possibly be. I hope to blind everyone with my light (sorry in advance). Being a light in the world, but not of the world.

I am not perfect, the only one who was truly perfect we denied, murdered, and turned our back on. I will be as transparent and authentic as I possibly can be knowing that I am and always will be a sinner. All I can do is try to exemplify who God is the best way He has equipped me to.

And for this life, this life of sin, this life of redemption, trails, tribulations, defeats, success, grace, mercy, this life full of light, I am thankful.

“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” -John 8:12

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