A little over a year ago after a three-day spiritual fast I dreamt about a website and groggily scribbled the name on a piece of paper before drifting back to sleep. As I typed in the webpage the next day I was shocked to find that it was a website dedicated to Christian writers who wanted to start their own blog. I had been fasting for clarity in a situation and although the message received in the dream seemed to be totally out of left field, as a self-proclaimed writer I got the message and promptly started Grace Provided. I wanted to share with you some of the lessons that I have learned (or had to relearn) throughout this year of growth.
- When you give, you get: I began this blog not only as an acceptance to what I believe was a call from God, but also to assist others who deal with many of the same situations I’ve struggled with in life and to prevent people from falling into similar traps. Many times I find myself re-reading older post if making that treck around the mountain again or writing the pain away in times of sadness which usually provides the woo-sah needed in that moment. What I have come to understand is that this blog is as much for me as my readers and perhaps the clarification I sought while fasting. My suggestion release the fear of giving if it’s something you struggle with. Wether it be through sharing your story, devoting time to someone, giving much-needed information or even a material possession, it’s worth it in the end. Even if you don’t actually receive anything physical in return knowing that you helped someone in need is actually a pretty great reward.
- Follow your passion: I have a multitude of passions, teaching, working with animals, skating but by far my love for writing exceeds them all. Each time I sit down to write an article I’m blessed in that many times my fingers can’t keep up with the thoughts in my head and it feels like a joy not a chore. If it were something I disliked doing I’m sure I would not have made it to a year and some change. My advice to those that don’t currently see an opportunity to follow their passion coming up on the horizon is to make your way towards it anyway. If you want to write begin writing, if your desire is to become a singer start lessons, you want to be a nurse seek volunteer opportunities, you want to play the guitar look up YouTube vids on how to get started. There is way too much information out there for us to live on excuses and not follow our dreams if we devote the time and resources (not always monetarily) necessary. Instead of watching television for an extra hour or two at night use that time to work toward your dreams. Many times our determination determines our destiny and even a small step is still a step in the direction of your dreams. Keep taking baby steps towards your passion and I bet you’ll see it coming up on the horizon in no time.
- Commitment phobia permeates : By this I mean if you have a fear of commitment you may see evidence of it in more than one area of your life. This pertains to writing my blog because towards the beginning of the year I set a goal to write a post every week throughout the remainder of 2015. Although I love writing, this was a lofty goal to set for myself with school, work and so many other things going on at the moment that I didn’t realistically think I could do it. Honestly, I didn’t even want to put my self-imposed goal out there because I know that I will be even more apt to keep it if I may be held accountable. As I stated previously, lack of commitment may be prominent in one area of your life, but eventually you may see it trickle down to others. For me, in the past I hesitated to commit to anything without a definite end goal, like earning my degree, I knew I’d be finished in four years so that commitment didn’t scare me, but something like marriage was another thing. My lack of commitment is evident not only in relationships but also in finding a church home and even the amount of times I’ve moved, over the past 16 years I’ve moved a total of 12 times (and no I’m not in the army). For many years I deemed myself a church hopper and it was always because something was wrong with the church, it was either too big, too small, too far etc, you get the point. I went from church to church searching for the perfect one and was truly hoping that God would literally yell at me from His heavenly throne as I entered the church doors to tell me that this was the one. In a way it was fear of making a wrong decision as I had in the past, but that fear prevented me from making any decision. Speaking for these two past issues, within this year I have purchased a home and about three weeks ago joined my church and am well on my way to kicking any other necessary committal phobias out the door which by the way is a goal I’m committed to!
- Writing does a body good: This blog for me has been somewhat of a public journal and keeping a journal has been proven to help people reduce stress, manage anxiety and cope with depression (University of Rochester Medical Center). It’s kind of like telling your best friend your darkest secrets, fears or anxieties without the fear of it getting out or being criticized, not if it’s a blog of course! If you consistently read my blog you’ll know that towards the beginning of the year I broke up with my then boyfriend of almost 3 years and although I wasn’t destroyed, I was truly heart-broken. Releasing the would’ve been’s and moving towards the unknown wasn’t something that I wanted to do initially but as we know life is a series of choices and the option of wallowing in the past wouldn’t work for me. Blogging my way through this break up was a God send because as I stated before once I wrote about the experience and got it out I always felt so much better. In addition, I think writing helped me shift my focus towards future possibilities and embrace the positives of my current relationship status. Many times talking to God does the same thing for me, it is a cathartic and cleansing experience. Not everyone wants to blog about their life but keeping a journal by your bedside may help for personal issues. It’s also a great way to keep a memory of what’s going on in your life at the moment so you can look back and see how God has blessed you or how far you’ve come.
- Share your dreams (but not with everyone) : When I initially started my blog, I told no one. The main reason was because I didn’t want those I know to support just for supports sake, but I also didn’t want the critiques or negativity that may have come from those that felt they knew my heart but in actuality did not because of past views. I didn’t want likes on my blog simply because people knew me but hadn’t even taken the time to read an article. Simply stated I wasn’t here for likes. Don’t get me wrong, I love it when someone truly obtains a nugget of inspiration from my post because my goal is to truly help other’s but I rest in the fact that God will send those that need to hear what I have to say as He see’s fit. Go for your dreams, but always know who is going with you, rooting for you or just waiting for you to fail, although if God is in it, you can’t fail!