(If you are just joining us, welcome to our story. If you’d like to catch up, start here. I pray God uses our narrative to illuminate hope in the midst of any dark situation you may face.)
I feel like I’ve learned so much through this journey and want to share some of the insights I’ve gathered along the way. Here are 8 Things I Learned From Graduation Day and the Onesie:
1. Life doesn’t always turn out the way we plan, and that’s okay. It may mean that God has something even better in store. And even if it doesn’t seem that way, His plan IS the best plan for our lives. We have to trust Him, know that His ways are higher than ours, and know that He has good plans for us!
“5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” – Proverbs 3:5-6 (KJV)
“8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord.9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9
I used to take this scripture to mean that I was stupid and could never be as smart as God. Although this is true, that perspective is very negative. I have since come to learn that what this scripture is really saying is that God has even better and more amazing thoughts and ways than I could even imagine! I have a pretty big imagination, but God’s imagination is even greater! This perspective makes me excited knowing that if I can think BIG not only can God do it but He may have something even better in mind!
”For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” – Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT)
Disaster may strike, but it is not then end of your story. He will give you a future and hope! What a beautiful promise.
2. It’s okay to dream even if those dreams never become a reality. Don’t beat yourself up for dreams that never come true. You don’t have to feel shame and regret for hoping and dreaming for your life. The key is to keep your focus on Jesus, delight in Him, and He will take care of making your dreams a reality, or even better, blowing them right out of the water! When it comes down to it, He is our Ultimate Hope no matter what dreams may fail!
“Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” – Psalms 37:4 (NLT)
3. It’s okay to be disappointed when life seems unfair. We just have to understand that disappointment isn’t the final outcome!
“3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.” – Romans 5:3-5 (NLT)
4. We need Godly friends in our lives. This ties in with the next two points!
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.” – Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)
5. Isolation is not the answer when you’re facing tragedy in life, we need support.
“9 Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. 10 If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” – Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 (NLT)
6. Letting others in is worth the risk. In general, I have a hard time allowing others into my life. But, in this situation, the hurt was too much and I couldn’t do it alone. it’s a risk to invite someone else into your pain but it’s a risk worth-taking.
“Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ.” – Galatians 6:2 (KJV)
7. Words fitly spoken are powerful. My friend shared from her experience and it encouraged me. Her words were like a healing balm! I knew if she could make it through the tragic situation she shared with me, I could make it too. We shouldn’t underestimate the power of our words!
“The tongue can bring death or life;…” – Proverbs 18:21 (NLT)
“The words of the wicked are like a murderous ambush, but the words of the godly save lives.” – Proverbs 12:6 (NLT)
“ A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” – Proverbs 25:11(KJV)
“ Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.” – Proverbs 16:24 (KJV)
“Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop: but a good word maketh it glad.” – Proverbs 12:25 (KJV)
8. We need to give ourselves a break. I was so upset at myself for acting so foolishly and not seeing the clear writing on the wall that I wasn’t pregnant. But there are some things that are human responses , and it’s okay for us to be human.
“13 The Lord is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. 14 For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.” – Psalms 103:13-14 (NLT)
If you are facing a trial or a tragedy, be encouraged today and know that Jesus loves you so much! It may seem like everything in your world is crashing but just take refuge in Him and make this your prayer:
“5Let all that I am wait quietly before God, for my hope is in him. 6He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will not be shaken.” – Psalms 62:5-6 (NLT)