Friday, January 1, 2016

Hope and Lessons Learned (My Life Last 2015)

Flashback to the year that just passed when I...

Got betrayed and rejected. Lost someone important. Doubted my worth. And suffered from emotional, financial, and physical struggles. These happened, one after another.

I can see lots of tears that swelled my eyes. The anxiety that woke me up from my sleep in the middle of the night. The throbs in my shattered heart that numbed my whole being.

I can clearly recall that moment when I was lying in my bed catching my breath as if I was drowning in the sea— a deep sea of depression. Helpless. Hopeless. Barely feeling the wind that hovers above and through the horizon. Huge waves of hurts and fears were swallowing all that I am. And I've lost the passion to fight the raging waters so as to see the sun and feel the warm breeze touch my skin again.

All I wanted was for the pain to end. But my clouded mind couldn't think of anything better than just pray once more for an escape.

But I wasn't given an escape.

When I lost the will to swim, God went deep down to lift me up. Nope. He didn't just throw a lifebuoy which I can easily reach for. Perhaps, He knew it wasn't the kind of help I needed.

He went through it with me. His Word held my hand and let me know that I am not alone. He encouraged me to fight as He fights for me. From there, I remembered I have all the reason to face that battle— and absolutely none to quit— because I have Him. He's got the strength I needed to carry on. So, I clung to Him as He instructed me. My Lord has been so passionate to see me reach the shore and dance in the sands of His grace and catch the rays of hope anew. He never let go of me even after I got back there. And I couldn't thank Him enough for never giving up on me when I was so weak and felt like already giving up on myself.

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My depression could've been a major setback in my life last 2015. And honestly during those dark times of my life, I didn't see myself wanting to welcome new year anymore. But here I am, writing about some of the good things my experiences the past year have taught me, which strengthened my faith and made me look forward to a better and stronger person than I ever was.

I have learned that...
* Being brave is something which trials and circumstances teach us and is also something we choose. The brave ones are those who decide to trust God and be still, not in the absence of fear but despite the existence of it.
* To love our self as we love others isn't selfish. It's freeing. In learning to appreciate who we are and see our self the way the Lord sees us, we'll be free to be who He wants us to be... and even more free to love others genuinely. 
* The people who truly love us and care for us are the ones who stay at our side to pray for and encourage us when we're at our worst. They are those who still try to understand us even when we're completely not understandable and cling to us even when we got not even a smile to offer them. We should never forget to thank God for having them in our lives.
* Doors are shut not because God wants to withhold from us the things we desire but because He wants to give us something way better than what we choose to settle for. Closed doors are meant for our protection from troubles and heartaches in disguise. 
* God is more than willing to rescue us from the surging waves of struggles and pain but we must also be willing to swim through it with Him. It's not that He cannot take us away from them with His own might. He just wants to strengthen our faith so that when the troubled waters toss us, we will not be easily moved. (Such strength can also be in the form letting go of the things or people He wants us to let go of or going to where He leads us to without doubts knowing that He will never leave us nor forsake us).
* Hope is such a beautiful thing. Life without hope is never a life at all.

Learning these lessons the hard way isn't what I imagined nor how I would choose to take them up but despite how they reached my senses, what matters most is that God gave me the opportunity to learn them. I don't know what awaits me this 2016 or what's in store for me. But I got to keep reminding myself not to fear, for throughout this year and even the next years to come, God is with me. I have hope in Him that will never fail.

And to end this post, let me share some of the verses which encourage me in my faith.
1 Peter 1:6-9 New Living Translation (NLT):
"So be truly glad.There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while. These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world. You love him even though you have never seen him. Though you do not see him now, you trust him; and you rejoice with a glorious, inexpressible joy. The reward for trusting him will be the salvation of your souls."
Truly, life on earth is never perfect and easy and only God can make living a joyful, meaningful, and purposeful life— despite circumstances— possible. And so whatever comes our way, may we continue to hold on to the hope that He has promised to those who trust in Him. God bless you. :)

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