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Remember when you were in school and you couldn’t wait for the final bell to ring so that you could be free? Free from tests, teachers, and studying. Free from confinement. Free to be with your friends again, to eat a snack, to practice your favorite sport, or just chill out. That is how I’m feeling now. Most people say that circumstances are the classroom and challenging times are tests. Tests of your strength, wisdom & tenacity. Difficult circumstances always come to make us stronger right? And, they come to give us a greater insight into life & ways to become better individuals. Just as school did.
While you are in class, you long to rush out, but you have to spend that time being taught something that will help you succeed in life. It is when you take that victory graduation walk, then find yourself applying what you’ve learned, you finally understand why all that time was spent in class.
I am at the point where I feel I’ve been in this class long enough and I long for sweet freedom. Freedom from worrying about what the interviewer thought of me. Freedom from stressing about money. Freedom from fearing anything happening that I can’t afford to handle. Freedom to be at ease with my place in life. I want the bell to ring. However, we all know that you don’t leave class, let alone graduate unless you meet the proper requirements. So as I take my life exams, I try hard to recall what I’ve been taught and apply understanding. During these class times, I’ve learned some important life-lessons and I will share a few here:
1. God is a Provider. And He has multiple ways to take care of you. Most people look to a job as their sole source of income, but I can emphatically say without a doubt that God is my Source. He has provided for me in ways I could never imagine. He has opened up opportunities to make money from many different routes. He can and will do the same for you. Never look to one place or person as a source for what you need. God has different ways of taking care of His children. Now, some experiences I liked more than others, but I was grateful for them all which brings me to my next life lesson.
2. I am capable of doing more than I imagined. Sometimes we get stuck in a box, because we have talent in a certain area, we may become identified by that. However, having a talent doesn’t mean that is all you can do. Resiliency requires reinvention. You will be surprised at what you are capable of when you have to hustle and get creative for your well-being.
3. Surround yourself with people who genuinely have your best interests at heart and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Your network of friends/family can be your greatest resource. I am blessed to have a cipher of people who sincerely care about my well-being. From praying for me, to providing jobs, to blessing me financially, feeding me, and/or just encouraging me. My network has kept me strong. A good network of people will keep your sane during hard times. I cannot wait for the opportunity to return the favors.
4. Acceptance of your circumstance equals strength. Sometimes we have to accept the challenge and stop trying to rush out of it or escape from it. Accept where you are and ask God to help you learn whatever lessons He is presenting. He is always available to answer you and provide help. Once you accept the facts, you can begin to understand truths. Some important truths are:
Search out truths in the midst of the facts and the facts won’t seem so bad. God is with you.
5. Worrying hinders, it does not help. Sometimes we make things worse than they really are because of worry. We create more drama and fear by worry. Worrying solves absolutely nothing. In fact, it will hinder you from being productive. Once the initial shock of the challenge wears off, get busy figuring out how to overcome it. Whether you lost a job, a spouse, house, money, or something else of value, you CAN overcome it and even be better than before. But only if you are willing to keep living and working through it. Your attitude will help you GROW through change. It won’t always be easy but it will be worth it.
These are just a few of the life lessons I’ve learned these past few months. Every season is a class, so I’ve learned to embrace it. But I will admit, I am so ready for the bell to ring. But I am determined to stay in class so that I can graduate (Magna Cum Laude, no less) to the next level in life & receive all the benefits that come with it. This is Toiah Gordon, Class of “As-Long-As-I-Live“, wishing you love, peace and great life lessons!