Written by: Mandy Hill
2014 has taught me a few valuable lessons when it comes to the callings that God has on my life. It’s truly been a wonderful year, even with it’s tough times; but through it all my God was very present, faithful and full of grace.
Here are my top three lessons learned.
1) It’s never about my little dreams; it’s ALL about His BIG dreams.
Boy, have I been stretched in the area of my dreams. Whenever I chase after my Mandy-sized dreams, I’ve discovered I am missing out on so very much. God’s dreams for me and my life are SO much better than the ones I could ever come up with. In 2014 a few circumstances arose that totally left me heartbroken, but God was right there to heal, restore and show me His plans. It was during those circumstances that my God gently drew me closer to His side, once again grooming my character.
2) Trust is the glue of life. It’s the most essential ingredient in effective communication. It’s the foundational principle that holds all relationships. –Stephen Covey
Sometimes God asks us to do hard things; things that require an abundance of obedience and trust. When you’re certain you’ve heard from God, let no one stand in your way of seeing His plans accomplished. “[Most] blessed is the man who believes in, trusts in, and relies on the Lord, and whose hope and confidence the Lord is.” (Jeremiah 17:7 AMP) Do you have a word to share with someone? Speak it in love. Are you being asked to bless someone in a certain way?Bless them and then some. Is God calling you to a new ministry? Accept His calling and give it your all without reserve or disdain. Keep your eyes on Jesus and step out in faith and trust to do that which He asks of you. Trusting and following God’s will will strengthen and grow your relationship with Him in incredible ways.
3) Grace. We all need it. We also need to give it.
I admit, God has grown me the most in the area of grace this year. People mess up. People make mistakes. People hurt you; sometimes intentionally, sometimes unintentionally. However, I am not exempt from mistake-making or feeling-hurting. When I find myself in a situation that sucks, it helps to have this verse tucked into my heart: “And as you would like and desire that [people] would do to you, do exactly so to them.” (Luke 6:31 AMP) The ugly reality is, the majority of people don’t think or act this way. People will be people. Don’t let that stop you from living a life full of grace.
Father God, thank You so much for the lessons You teach us along life’s journey. Thank You for Your dreams, for the incredible way Your dreams fit my life so much better than my own. Thank You for circumstances that deepen my trust in You. Yes, thank You even for the yucky circumstances, because it is in those that I can see You the clearest. Finally, thank You for Your example of grace; the ultimate example. I pray that You will help me to extend grace in all situations, especially the situations that are the hardest. Thank You, Jesus! Amen.