One year has passed since I began this Seeking to Become series. It is hard to believe it has been that long, but there is written proof of it so it must be for real. I have been on quite the journey, and while it has been a terrible challenge, it has also proven to be a year of amazing growth.
To wrap up this year of Seeking to Become and look forward to another one, I want to share with you some of the things I have learned from the experience. I hope that by reading this you will be encouraged to seek to become more like the Savior and reach out with faith to meet your challenges. I have not been perfect in attaining each of the goals, but I know I have become a better version of myself for the trying.
*If you would like to read a monthly challenge in its entirety, click the Month/Year heading.
Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation.
--Isaiah 12:2 (KJV)
I have come a long way on this one. I have felt so alone, but with these words in my heart and mind, I have found strength and been able to cast out much fear. Also, I started singing when I have struggled and it has been a great comfort to sing inspiring songs out loud in those hard moments.
Seek the Lord,
and his strength:
seek his face evermore.
I have been able to keep up my prayer goal, while I have allowed the summer non-schedule schedule to chip away at the personal scripture study. It isn't entirely gone to the wayside, but I should focus on it again. The ability to focus my mind on holier thoughts throughout this time has certainly guided me onto more peaceful paths than I could ever have imagined. I have a portion of patience that I did not have before working at this particular goal.
2 Corinthians 4:8-10
8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair.
9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
There were times when I wanted to give up, yet the knowledge that I should not despair because I am not forsaken and, therefore, cannot be destroyed provided me with an understanding of my circumstances I had never been able to see. My life might be a wreck, but it is not over. There are blessings in store for me that I cannot imagine. I am not sure how good of an example I am though. I strive to do what is right, but have been slipping along my way from time to time. I realize now that I need to work harder that His light might shine better through me.
O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good:
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Since becoming more aware of the goodness and blessing I receive, I have been able to cultivate a more keen sensitivity to the gifts of service and friendship given me. I am better able to recognize how much God knows me by seeing, in the moment, many of the blessings I have that are so small yet so valuable to my happiness. I try harder now than ever to give thanks in any way I can to those angels on earth who make my life endurable.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
This particular scripture simply solidified my belief in sharing all you can with others. I was shown more clearly what a difference giving to others with a happy heart can make. Throughout the following months, I made a point to continue seeking out opportunities to give and share what I could and it provided me with an extra measure of joy I needed in difficult times.
My car just about died in January after setting forth this challenge and because of my fortitude to be faithful despite the odds, everything worked out. I was astonished, yet not so much at the same time. I was able to make hard decisions about the repairs and it was fine. This is a really big deal to me since I know how ignorant I am to how things work with car repairs. That one experience changed me forever. I see my world very differently now that I am focused more on exercising faith.
Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
-- Jeremiah 31: 3
I cannot fully express in words the impact this verse had upon me that month and every day since. There are still days when I get down in the dumps, yet somehow the depth of the sadness does not feel as suffocating. I now know better how beloved I am.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
Praying for understanding creates a strong bond between us and the Lord. I cannot say I have figured out how it works entirely, but I do know I have been able to make more sense of more incomprehensible issues and topics than ever before in my lifetime. And when something does not make any sense whatsoever still, I am blessed with an overwhelming peace and I am comforted.
Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.
Isaiah 41: 10
I am still working on this goal. Much fear has been cast aside, although I have bad days from time to time which remind me of the fear I still needlessly hold within my heart.
And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while [Jesus] talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
While not consistent with seeking answers directly from the scriptures, I have surely developed this skill. It is astonishing how quickly the solution to a complex problem can be brought to light when taking the time to stop and reach for the words of God to guide you.
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy: for thou hast considered my trouble; thou hast known my soul in adversities
Not sure how glad I've been, but it has been refreshing for me to recognize the tender mercies I am blessed with receiving. There have been countless little miracles from this period of time when I set the goal clear through the present that continue to surprise and gladden my heart.
All the while my breath is in me, and the spirit of God is in my nostrils; My lips shall not speak wickedness, nor my tongue utter deceit. God forbid that I should justify you: till I die I will not remove mine integrity from me.Job 27:3-5
The mere suggestion of this focus on integrity has caused me some needed introspection. I want to be known for my integrity, yet I now see clearly the cracks in my shield. I have made better choices in many situations and it brings me joy to know I am working toward a spiritually stronger me.