As the month comes to a close I thought what better time than this to write about the importance of reflection and how we can learn from it. It’s helpful to take a look back at our accomplishment, or lack of, and use it to our advantage. It gives us an opportunity to evaluate what we could’ve done differently and/or better. We can take the things that worked out well, evaluate what factored into the success of them, and use them for future accomplishments. And on the other hand we can take what didn’t work and learn what not to do next time. Reflecting is a time to learn more about ourselves as individuals and also to look at who or what may have helped along the way. It’s a time where we can think about what we’re grateful for and why or what we need to work on and change. Over all, it’s just a good and useful tool for personal growth.
Taking a look back at my life is something that has always been hard for me to do. Instead of seeing what I’ve accomplished I tend to have tunnel vision toward what I didn’t. It’s a hard pill for me to swallow. I feel like a failure and get oppressed by anxious thoughts like: “Once again I didn’t follow through with what I said I would do. All I do is go around in the same circle accomplishing nothing”, and blah, blah, BLAH. Then those thoughts lead to other thoughts that are irrelevant such as, “I wonder what my husband thinks. He must think I’m lazy and incapable” and “I haven’t done anything with my life to give my kids a reason to be proud of or look up to. What is wrong with me? Ugh!” Ridiculous but true. It’s this domino effect of negative thoughts piling on top of another until before I know it I feel the weight of my entire life’s mess ups on my shoulders and I just can’t stand myself.
Thankfully though, God can stand me, and my life’s mess ups are never too much for him to handle!
Now with my new mission to walk with unhindered faith I am practicing constant prayer and awareness of the lord’s presence because without it I am just the mess that I talked about earlier. I ask for his help to overcome those negative thoughts and I trust that he hears me. No, I KNOW that he hears me because not only do I just believe that he does but I notice a difference. When I have doubts I am beginning to instinctively remember that Jesus is my lifeline and my life is no longer my own. This means that he is behind the wheel and totally in control regardless of my accomplishments or my shortcomings. Being able to accept that I am not in control takes that heavy burden off of my shoulders and allows me to reflect and plan ahead with a different perspective.
For example, I have this planner that challenges me to reflect on the past month right before a new month begins. As I was doing that today I found that I didn’t do a very good job at staying on task and meeting the goals that I wanted to meet. I could’ve defaulted to my usual way of thinking and beat myself up about it but instead I asked the Lord to give me his perspective. Then as I sat and thought about the past month I started to see the wonderful things that the lord has done in my life and was able to shift my thoughts to an attitude of gratitude. I began to take the tasks that I didn’t accomplish for the month and and brainstorm ways to successfully complete them in the coming weeks. I thanked the lord for what I had accomplished and finished my time of reflection feeling confident in the lord’s plan for my life.
In conclusion, through reflecting I learned that if we spend our lives focusing on what WE didn’t accomplish we might miss out on what GOD has accomplished. We have to remember that he is in control. He has mapped out each of our lives with love in mind and he does not make mistakes. His ways are better than ours. The sooner we can accept that truth, the sooner we can allow him to work out the details of our daily life. As long as we involve him in every detail we can be sure that he will not allow us to face more than we can handle. When we feel like life is getting the best of us we need to lean on Jesus that much more and realize that he is our source of strength. He is our lifeline. He is the example that God designed us to follow and our lives should be a reflection of him.
Be encouraged, God is in control!
You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail. –Proverbs 19:21
Love & Blessings!