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Acceptance isn’t mandatory…

I was standing in line at Starbucks, getting ready to order my mango black tea lemonade… it’s ridiculously good.  A man behind me asked me to help him order and we got to talking.  He was 41, and he made it clear, he’s living his life by his own terms.  As much as I appreciated the free lemonade, I appreciated his candor way more.  He seemed genuinely happy. He offered me three pieces of advice. Don’t be for sale. Don’t run for politics. And just be yourself.  It’s not worth it to try to be anyone other than yourself.

So who am I?

When you read my devotionals, I never want you to get the impression that I have no real struggles or that I’ve spiritually “arrived”. I die daily, and some days, it’s an ugly death.  We are all in this journey together, sharing in the joys and the hurt. I’m able to recognize the pain because I’ve had more than what seems like my fair share. I hope to be a part of the healing process and share my experiences through different avenues. It doesn’t always work out the way I’ve intended, however, because the burdens are heavy and the weight often feels unbearable.  My survival is what lets me know God is real. It’s what makes me want to help others.  I know that survival is just the beginning, we all have the ability to thrive.

I sometimes get angry with God. I don’t always want the challenges, yet His mercy and grace continue to manifest in unimaginable ways.  Unfortunately, my lack of patience has only lengthened my trials. I have to remind myself I don’t get to skip the lines. I’ve had to learn the extra hard way that growth takes time, endurance, and perseverance. Coping mechanisms have hindered me and I’m learning to let them go.  I now know there is no use in trying to hide the scars.  They are still there, even if the world doesn’t understand what it’s seeing, I still feel it.  Those experience don’t have to defining, but they are a part of me.  Acceptance from others is never mandatory, but my happiness needs to be. Forgiveness is essential, especially of ourselves.

So don’t live for the world and stop hiding who you really are.  As children of God, we don’t belong here, in the state it is, anyway. True joy comes in the light, so stand openly for what you believe in…and if you don’t know what that is, there is no better time than the present to figure it out.  We need to be okay with being different…let people learn to love you for who you are, and accept that some people will hate you for the same reason. We have to face the darkest part of our souls…or we never get rid of it. Every day, God sends people our way to teach us lessons and to remind us of God’s goodness. Live life actively. Take what you can from it each and every day. It’s one way God sends us messages, and I don’t want to miss what He’s saying.

Thank You for reading. Please be sure to share your thoughts below!

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