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Learning how to swim with the current

Can I be real with y’all? Like really real.

The other day I had an epiphany.

If heartbreak can make you a better lover, then it was never in vain.

So here’s the scene.

One night I had been thrown off by a comment made towards me by someone close to me. It’s not that what was said was offensive but rather the manner in which it was said. Ultimately, I knew deep down inside that the person’s intentions behind saying it were purely good, because I have full confidence that said person cares about me.

However, moments later I find myself still thinking about what was said and wondering why I feel “some typa’ way”. So after attempts to psyche myself out of being upset, talking to myself and praying, I came to understand something significant.

A large portion of my upset had been caused by triggers. The manner in which the person had spoke, had for a brief moment reminded me of how someone I once considered close would speak to me. This person had a way of belittling, depreciating and making me feel small, which would often lead to a massive argument, or silence. Sometimes for days.

But that was then.

Here I am, today at a far better season in life only to discover that I am upset not at this person before me, but at the memory of how this used to go down. In a way, my reaction was purely habitual. And in that moment I understood why I had felt “some typa’ way” and more importantly what I needed to do in order to be better.

I decided it best to communicate clearly that I was previously upset and to explain why. After all, if you can’t be open with loved ones, who can you be open with?

To cut a long story short, we conversed. I spoke, and the person listened. I then also listened as the person spoke. I was given the space to speak my feelings. They were valid, even if not justified. I was allowed to be vulnerable and to express how I had arrived at the place of being upset. So, we talked it out. Apologies were said and it was resolved in such a calm manner that I couldn’t help but recall how this scene would have played out in the previous year.

Debra of 2013 was in a very different headspace. In many ways she was manipulative, at times too sensitive, immature and far too easily tossed by her emotions. An offence could often lead to a very intentional silence and eventually blow up into something far bigger than necessary.

So what changed? I let go, analysed the good and the bad from that season and grew up. I am growing up. I’m choosing to react differently. By His grace, I’m becoming more intentional about making the right decision at the right time. And that’s the beautiful thing about trusting the process. We always have a choice.Free Fire 2017 movie

I heard a message the other day via the Elevation Church podcast on making wise decisions and one line in particular stood out to me.

“Our lives are a series of decisions. Your decisions dictate your directions”.

Look back over the past year and you will see living evidence of your decisions.

After coming through a difficult season, do your decisions change for the better? Do you apply the lessons learnt? Whatever happened, you can choose to be bitter or you can choose to be better. Ultimately, both options require a certain level of willpower so you might as well choose the right one. The choice is yours.

You don’t have to be held back by past mistakes, past offences, past sorrys-you-never-got. Let it go. When we become intentional about learning from a season or instance of pain, what was once a stumbling block can now be repositioned to propel you into a far better decision and direction for yourself and those closest to you.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone – Psalm 118:22

Past offence doesn’t have to equal a life spent offending others. Contrary to popular opinion, hurt people don’t have to hurt people.

Allow the season to teach you. Take as much time as you need in the classroom. Let the lesson mould you, with more compassion and grace.

Maybe you were once devalued? It doesn’t have to become your identity. Part of making pain work for you, is to vow to never allow yourself to settle for a love that is not kind. Love even harder, so that no one else may feel what you once felt.

Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing –  1 Peter 3:9

Ultimately, when there is a lesson to be learnt, God will continue to send trials as your teacher. Think back to Matthew 14:22-33 when Jesus calls out to Peter in the midst of a storm, inviting him to walk on water. Note that

Jesus never calmed the storm, He simply reminded Peter that in the midst of the storm, He is.

So stop fighting the process and trust that He is working all things together for better. The waves are only there for a season to teach you, so you might as well swim with the current and trust the direction in which it leads you.

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing – James 1:2-4

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