Scripture: “Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. ” (Proverbs 4:6-7 NIV)
Song Inspiration: 20 Something – SZA
Before celebrating my 21st birthday last week, I took some time to reflect on all the life lessons I’ve learned in the last year or two. Doing this has made me realize that I have grown SO much as an individual in just a short amount of time and I am so thankful that my faith stands strong in the Lord. Without faith, I truly would not be where I am today.
I have learned many, many lessons, but for the sake of length and time, I have narrowed the list down to just 20. I pray that some of my personal lessons will be of help to you and that God gives you the wisdom to grow in whatever area(s) of your life that may needs a lil’ bit of watering:
1. Everybody ain’t ya friend. While in college, I realized that I have just a few friends and a TON of associates. And that’s okay. I’ve also learned that not everyone can be trusted and to be careful who I call a friend.
2. It’s okay to not be okay. More specifically within the Black community, we’re taught to always be strong or that therapy isn’t needed or to never show signs of weakness. But we’re all human. We’re gonna have our days where we’re feeling down or days where we’re not at our best. Never be ashamed to say that you need help or to take a mental health day.
3. A person’s negative behavior shouldn’t always be taken personally. While working and studying within the area of behavioral analysis, I’ve learned that sometimes, someone’s poor behavior towards you is really not about you. It could be them having a bad day, or them not having another outlet to getting what they want. By understanding this, I’ve gained peace of mind in many situations, big or small.
4. Life is not a race. I remember being back in high school and even back a few months while in college, it seemed like everyone around me was so much further ahead in their lives. I kind of felt stuck in a way. But I just had to hold on to faith and remember that my life is not my own. God already told me in Jeremiah 29:11 that He’s already got everything planned out.
5. Never settle for anything less than what God has for you. I’ve wanted things so bad that I jumped into situations that I knew weren’t for me, and they turned out not to be enjoyable. God had bigger and better things planned for me, but I wasn’t patient. Rushed efforts do not equal God’s divine plan. God doesn’t rush his masterpieces.
6. You’re not really living until you’ve stepped outside your comfort zone. Stepping outside your comfort zone is where the real opportunities happen. You’ll be surprised to see how far you go when you get a little uncomfortable.
7. Comparing yourself to others can be mentally damaging. They are not you and you are not them! You have your own process that is completely different to someone else’s. Focusing on someone else’s life while still trying to figure out your own is just too much. Remember, God’s got it. If you delight yourself in Him, He’ll give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4)
8. Tomorrow is not promised. Live each and everyday intentionally. We hear about and see so many people dying. Young people too! We truly don’t know when it’s our time to leave this Earth. Living intentionally as much as possible really increases your quality of life.
9. Don’t miss out on opportunities because you’d be the only one doing it. I don’t know if this is just me, but sometimes I will decline opportunities available at my disposal because none of my friends would be there to do it with me. Doing some things alone are important! I recently just took on an opportunity alone and it was one of the best experiences ever!
10. Discipline in all things is necessary. I’m actually still working on this one. (Pray for me. lol) Whether it be committing to a diet, staying within your financial budget or waking up early to get a few scripture reads in, remember that discipline is crucial to staying on track.
11. Know the Word for yourself. Not everybody out here is sending God’s people the right messages, so be oh so careful and actually take the time to learn the Bible for yourself. Not only for the sake of making sure you are getting fed the right stuff, but because you would hold so much power knowing the Word for yourself. You can confidently stand strong on what you believe in and knowing His word can be helpful in many life situations.
12. Embrace the gifts that God gave you. Personally, my gifts reside in writing, singing, and I’ve recently discovered inspiration. As I’ve mentioned before, I used to be so shy and I never really wanted to put myself out there, but how could I hide what God blessed me with from the rest of the world?
13. Be Yourself. This lesson is more connected to my shyness. When I first meet people, I tend to be somewhat closed off. Typically when I ask people what their first impression was of me, their answer kind of goes something like this: “You were really quiet and shy, but after I got to know you better, I’ve learned you’re really sweet and fun to be around.” I’m a very outgoing, bubbly person and I need to embrace that more as I come across new people in my life.
14. Some people are only meant to be in your life temporarily. Whew chile. This is a good one. I used be extremely hurt about losing friends who I thought would be a part of my life forever. People I had been friends with for years! After much prayer, God revealed to me that those people were only in my life for a season and He had much better relationships/friendships for me.
15. God will send the right one when it’s time. I have dealt with a lot of meaningless relationships to the point where I gave up on trying and just gave it to God. When I tell you singleness is one of the best blessings EVER! Cherish it! God can reveal a lot to you when you’re in your season of singleness.
16. The fruit of the spirit will carry you through life. Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self-Control. (Galatians 5:22-23 NIV) As I live my life day by day, I try my best to keep the fruit of the spirit in the back of my mind. It’s these 9 things that have helped me become a better person and I love who I am becoming with the help of the Holy Spirit.
17. Even when people do you wrong, show nothing but love. This can be soooo hard, but over time, I’ve learned just not to retaliate. It saves unnecessary energy, keeps you calm, and doesn’t give the other person the satisfaction that you reacted in a certain manner, because that’s usually just what they want.
18. As long as you’re God’s child and you’re living according to His will, you will always be blessed. God always takes care of His own. Remember Psalm 37:4 ?
19. Always appreciate the small blessings. Sometimes, we can take life for granted and since 2017, I have been thanking and praising God for the small things He’s blessed me with. He didn’t have to wake me up this morning, but He did. He didn’t have to bless someone else so they could bless me, but He did. He didn’t have to do this or that,…but He did.
20. Smile more. People tell me this all. the. time. My life hasn’t always been what I want it to be, but simply because I’m here, I have a reason to smile…