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Hope & Encouragement

What it means to be Present.

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

This year has been filled with amazing triumphs and heartbreaking challenges. I have laughed. I have cried. I have recognized the power of God working through my life and in my doubt, I have questioned His presence. For all that I have experienced, for every lesson that I have learned, I want to share this one piece of advice with you as we move into a new year: create a life and a world in which you want to be present. To do anything less would be to sell yourselves short on the blessings that God has in store for us.

I urge you to be present in your present. Don’t get lost in the daydreams of what you think should be without taking steps in the real world towards what actually could be. Our intentions need to match our actions.

So be present in the real world… no Photoshop needed.

There is much good to be discovered. There are dreams waiting to be realized. There is love that is meant to be felt. Just because pictures aren’t taken or videos captured, doesn’t mean life isn’t happening. Usually the memories that are missing from the digital archives are the ones that has the most profound impact on the way we see the world.

Yes, technology has made it easier to share our lives more freely but it has also opened us up to unprecedented levels of comparison, misguided logic, and unrealistic standards. We’ve become a society that is okay with squandering our time on filters and hashtags. It’s easy to forget about developing the inside when we put so much energy into seeking validation from what can be seen by the outside.

Our bucket of truth shouldn’t be filled by opinions based on well crafted perceptions. Those will still leave us empty. Instead, I challenge us to be present in the real world. Experience every moment actively and curiously. Breath in the good and exhale the bad. Accept that the challenges will come, but also ask God to help you to be ready to receive the blessings He has in store. Sometimes we put the good on hold simply because we aren’t ready, and that is never what God intended for us.

So be present for the journey.

There are times, however, that we aren’t ready for the yes, as hard as that may be. We have to figure out what is really important to us and then we have to decide if it’s really as important as we say it is. If it is, we have to be present for the process. Remember, God will always be more concerned about who we are versus what we have. It does us no good to sacrifice long-lasting solutions for short-term patchwork.

Getting to know God is a serious commitment, and the desire to participate in that journey has to outweigh our desire for Him to solely answer yes to our requests. Truthfully, it’s a conflict of interest. If we are dependent on His yes’s, then our relationship with Him has little to do with who He is but what He can do for us. No one likes to feel like that, so why would we treat God like that?

There’s also value in finding the potential in His no’s. What He adds to our lives is just as important as what He removes. We have to pay attention and accept His decisions. We may never see the bigger picture, but we shouldn’t block future blessings based on current situations. Our emotions will always get the best of us when we decide the way in which life should happen, irrelevant of God’s input. The way we plan out life usually isn’t the way God is going to take us.

So let’s commit to not chasing after what shouldn’t be. Only with consistency and effort will we be able to trust in God so much so that we are willing to make peace with where He brings us. It may not always feel good, but do know that with God, we will end up exactly where we need to be. With God, we can inspire, we can comfort and we can forgive. We can create a world in which we all find joy so be present. The best memories are always the ones that actually happened.

Thank you for reading. Please leave your thoughts below!

Love’s an action
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