I could probably write a novel about 2012, spanning from health set backs, surgeries, relationships, work and school issues that arose throughout the year. It would make for one long post, but I think instead I will focus on yet the positive aspect of it all. Which is, though I have fallen MULTIPLE times throughout the year God has never NOT been there for me to pick me up. As I think about how many times I have disappointed Him, went against His will for my life, made my own decisions and broke His heart- He still whispers to me so ever sweetly.... "You are my daughter, I will never leave you nor forsake you- I will heal your heart: Just let me in" He grace truly is sufficient. It is amazing as a human to try to grasp the whole concept of unconditional love, I mean think of the most horrendous thing a person could that you love could do to you that you see as unforgivable... but yet no matter what you would still love that person because that is who you are! That is God, full of that love no matter what. As we are made in the likeness and image of Christ, we strive daily to love people with that same love. I fail at it daily... I wish I could say I don't respond with immediate emotion to situations, whether its anxiety, anger, bitterness, resentment, pride or just pure unforgiveness- I constantly have to remind myself of how much grace God has bestowed upon me daily. I need to give that same grace and mercy daily to anyone in my life no matter what they have done to me.
As this new year starts, I have remained in prayer constantly asking God to heal my heart. To heal it of the hurts from 2012, of the bitterness towards people whom have broken me within my life. There were people that were in and out of my life quickly and for reasons that I may or may not ever understand, but I do have to remember that God has a perfect plan in everything. You know my students have recently made comments about how I choose to respond to situations in my life, whether they over hear a conversation or in a time that is acceptable for teachable moments I share an experience that I hope they will learn from they are ALWAYS surprised by how I choose to handle myself afterward. One girls says "Coach Messina- I hate that you are always so positive, I would be so mad if so-in-so did that to me". I always laugh because it is true- most people would respond differently. Yet I know myself well enough to know that if something did not turn out the way I thought it should then God has a bigger plan. God will use it ALL for Good (Romans 8:28). I know that is those situations I was 100% myself, I gave myself fully and that is all I can do- the rest is in God's hands. I trust Him to guide my paths. Though I cannot say this is easy, nor have I always had this outlook.
The bible talks about not becoming weary while doing good, but this is not a very easy concept. In the midst of all the health battles and surgeries, I easily became worn down. I became someone who questioned everything. I became someone whom I no longer recognized, and I hated myself for that. Yet once again, the fire to run back in to the arms of an everlasting God stuck with me. He was right there with me the minute I chose to turn back to him and follow His path for me. His grace and mercy are the only reasons that I am where I am today. Some of the people that I allowed in my life were toxic, others were put there for a reason. Some I wish were still a part of my life, yet I have had to accept once again that God is faithful and His plan will prevail. The small pain in my heart now will not amount to the happiness and joy that will overflow as I watch this journey unfold. God is the author of my life story, it is time for me to stop trying to walk ahead or behind him but to walk right beside him, and when times get really hard I need to allow him to carry me through the storms. This song I have been recently spending alot of time listening to during my worship times is called "Walk with me" from Jesus Culture.... I love the lyrics...
"Author of World- Walk with me, Ruler of the earth, walk with me. Calmer of the storm walk with me, Healer of my heart, walk with me- How I need you Jesus, How I love you Jesus. In your Presence there is peace, there is rest. In your presence there is light that never ends. In Your Presence there is JOY" This song speaks volumes to me in my life right now. I will continue to ask Him to walk with me daily as he is will never leave me nor forsake me. My hope is in Him. He will heal my heart and make it whole no matter the circumstance. I am forever grateful for a God who loves me so much!
Another thing I am reminded of as I enter this new year is how I need to start seeing myself through the eyes of Christ. It is so easy as woman for us to look for flaws especially within our appearance. I will do that sometimes, although I have always been confident in myself as a woman, I have sometimes struggled with comparison to other woman, whether in appearance, talents, skills etc- I sometimes think I am not "good enough". But then I am reminded that when I think that or say that I am insulting God's creation. He made me who I am! I read this recently in a book I am reading.... I wrote it on a post it note on my computer to remind myself everyday...
"I am a daughter of God, a Holy Princess, a woman created with strength that I have yet to fully grasp and there is a story that is still being written by the divine Author Himself. He has bigger plans for me than I could ever imagine. Need to rest in His arms of grace. It is time I start seeing how amazing I am in His eyes. I am ENOUGH, I am WANTED, I am BEAUTIFUL, I am CHOSEN and I am CALLED"
The scripture below will forever be what keeps me going.... This reminds me everyday that God is not done with me. My purpose in life is to live for Him. Whether I am single or married with kids, my purpose will not change. He is the center of my life the one that I can never lose. He is the not only the healer of my heart in my times of doubt and struggles, but He is the lover of my soul- He has me in his hands. In Him- I will forgive those whom have hurt me, forgive myself for choices I have made, and I will press forward to the path in which He has set forth in front of me.
I welcome 2013 with open arms and a receptive heart. I will leave that which is behind me and look forward to that which is in front me! God I am ready! Bring it :)