Firstly ,God is good. Secondly, Happy New Year :D
As per Bee Crowned tradition, this post explores major 2019 thoughts and lessons for me. Read, enjoy and be blessed.
Free - Living for an audience of 1
I can be so hard on myself, so really hard on myself but as I was writing the Reset Day 4 devotion, I realised wait hold on, I have come a really really long way and yes despite the many ways that I still have to develop, I am proud of myself and I am thankful to God for it all because if not for Him, then in all honesty I really won’t be here.
Dispelling perfectionism was one of the key things I had to learn last year for my own sanity. I’m not even fully there yet, with regards to being free from the clutches of perfectionism but I am better than I was.
I have found that for me personally, perfectionism, perception, affirmation and self-confidence have been intrinsically linked. How others perceived me was such a big thing for me and living for the approval, affirmation and applause of others is honestly one of the most debilitating things.
Now I’m not going to say that I am totally there, however, I have come a long way in terms of the opinions of others vs the opinion of the Lord (regarding me).
Living for the approval of people is definitely a trap and if you live by words of people, you will definitely die by them - may not be physically but definitely emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. So it’s really important to ask yourself the question, who am I living and seeking approval for/seeking to please?
Beauty in the dry moments
Comparing the end of 2019 to the end of 2018 and it’s already a testimony. Although calm and fine, 2018 NYE/NYD wasn’t the greatest for me. I felt so down in my spirit and tired to be fair but fast forward t0 2019 and my soul is in a different place for which I am just so grateful. Even my end of year post for 2018/2019 was a bit dry (subjective to be fair lol) but there is also beauty in those dry seasons because for instance, now I can look back read it, notice the difference and see that God is just so good, so faithful, so merciful and so kind! That is a defintely a huge benefit of writing things down, being able to look back, re-read and see the growth and development.
Disney Love and Reality Love - Building Romantic Relationships
I was thinking about it the other day and sometimes as nice as they are, these romcoms and Disney films can really infiltrate the pysche and make people believe that love is meant to happen in a guy meets girl and falls in love straight away kind of scenario. Maybe this is the case for some, but for me it’s just been a very different ball game entirely. Let me be so real with you, my love life story is just something else and has not been the greatest at all, but with each experience, as cliche as it may sound, and albeit the heartaches and disappointments, there has definitely been lessons learnt and wisdom gained.
Vulnerabilty, asking questions, guarding your heart and being courageous are just some of the things that I learnt more of in 2019, when it came to building relationships with members of the opposite sex.
Then there’s the whole narrative around ‘shooting your shot’, being pursued versus being the pursuer, seeming too forward and forthcoming. What I would say when it comes to this is to use wisdom. I’m going to have to elaborate on this a whole lot more based on what I have personally learnt during 2019, but in the meantime, be wise. In James, we are told that we can ask God for wisdom and He will liberally give it to us. Wisdom is knowledge that has developed, quality of experience, sensibility. To be wise, you must also be patient, because sometimes you may need to hold your tongue until the right moment.
Patience is something this generation really needs to develop and have a good attitude about. This is something I explored on the Reset Day 5 devotion. Patience produces wholeness and if you think about it from a relational perspective, it is better to be whole in Christ before entering any romantic relationship, because no man or woman can put back together your broken pieces.
I will elaborate more on this whole section, so I guess you can take this as your teaser hehe.
Social Pressures, Social Media Anxiety - Living Offline.
Social pressures exist and they are real. Social media anxiety exists and is real.
We are in an age where everyone is doing so much. There are businesses popping up left, right and centre, new ministries, new websites, events, the list is endless and as much as it’s great to see innovation and all, sometimes it may either feel as though:
1) You are not doing enough,
2) What you do have, is not seen because you’re not as popular as the bigger influencers out there.
There are times where I just genuinely do not want to be on Instagram. I want to be off the grid. But sometimes these moments remind me that Bee Crowned is truly by His grace. Naturally I’m introverted and as much as I’m unphased by public speaking etc, sometimes I just like to be quiet and getting on with things in the background, however, due to the nature of the society and generation we live in, a vast amount of marketing, business development, attracting new visitors/followers etc falls primarily in the space of social media and being quiet in the background doesn’t necessarily garner that growth.
Of course, there is a difference between falsely putting yourself out there and genuinely doing so, and I believe people can see the difference between the two, but what I would say with regards to social media anxiety is to remember:
- You can live and live very well and peacefully offline BUT in the same token you can also do the same online by being disciplined and creating boundaries for your soul, your mind and your heart.
Guarding your heart is extremely important as explored in Reset Day 2, but you have to be able to recognise and identify your triggers. For me, personally, around a certain time of the month, everthing just seems to be heightened so my social media consumption will reduce around these times because I know how I tend to feel around these moments.
Growing in God
In and amongst all of the above, I can truly say that God and I have really come a long way. 2019 our relationship just blossomed for which I am super happy. God spoke to me about so much, He showed me so much, He disciplined me, He strengthed me, He graced me, He loved me. Knowing that I have God in my corner, fighting my battles, watching over my life, my going out and my coming in and is involved and interested in all the intricacies that exist pertaining to me is such an amazing thing.
It has not always been easy, there have been times when I have been so mad and annoyed, frustrated and depleted, unbothered and uncaring and I have had to hash it out with the Lord but what are relationships about? The good and the bad, the ups and the downs, the twists and the turns. Obedience is key, albeit difficult and being obedient with the minute, the miniscule, the most ‘seemingly’ unimportant reaps great dividend.
Guys, read your Bibles. Inscribe those words on your heart. Develop a relationship with the Lord. Seek to please Him. Let that be the desire of your heart, to follow in the way of the Lord and do right by Him. Have faith, believe and trust in the Lord, look for Him, represent Him, allow yourself to be used by Him. The greatest decision I have made in my life is to surrender to Christ. The walk can be lonely, not the most culturally and socially enthralling but I have peace, I have joy, I am victorious, I am loved and I am grateful.
2020 - let’s go!
- If you need help and/or advice on Bible reading, surrending to the Lord or any questions at all, message me :)
- If you’re not signed up to my mailing list, you can sign up here.
- To read the Reset Devotions, you can do so here.
- To read up on all my previous end of year posts, you can do so here.