Life Is A Journey Of Faith
“Life is just a chance to grow a soul”. ~ A. Powell Davies
Welcome back to my Faith Journey.
As I walk along this journey of faith, I often find myself thinking about the meaning of my life and also my purpose. During a part of my journey, I pondered the difference between being happy and being joyful and I’m finding that there is a difference between the two. I am not always happy about the turn of events in my life, especially when I react to those events and the emotions that accompany them.
There are times when I feel so emotional, angry or sad about an event. Those are certainly not happy times. Then there are times when I am content and unrealistically content no matter the outcome of an event. Happiness cannot bring me joy because it is wrapped up in the feelings that I have for a moment in time. It can last for months, and even years, but it can also disappear at a fleeting moment. I have learned that joy is something much bigger than happiness. It is a feeling of peace that comes over me that in whatever the situation, I can feel comfort in knowing that no matter what, God’s got me. I can feel His arms all wrapped around me. It’s that ‘peace that passes all understanding’. I can find joy in knowing that the peace of God is inside of me. It is lasting and enduring even when the life events are not going my way. I know that He will get me through it.
Life happens and on a daily basis as a human, I can decide what an event means for me and how I will interpret that event. When I interpret events, I ultimately choose how it affects me either positively or negatively. I decide what the meaning of an event is to me and I determine how the event will affect my happiness or my displeasure. I can choose to wallow in my misery, or I can choose joy.
The game of life can be viewed as a win or lose. Am I winning at this game, or am I losing? When other people are involved in these events, who played the better hand? Who came out on top, or who made the smartest move? I survived that round, now what’s next? What lesson did I learn from that experience? Or did I learn any lesson at all? I ask myself, did I respond properly to this life event, or did I simply react? I’m sure you can think of times when you reacted to an insult. Someone pushed the wrong button and you just have to let them know who they are messing with. Whether you are right or wrong, did you win by your reaction?
Responding to an event can be viewed as taking responsibility for the outcome. It’s being deliberately aware that something happened and I can be considerate of my feelings, knowing that I am equipped to handle it. I can actually ignore the insult and not take it personally or I can react by giving that person a piece of my mind.
I believe in being compassionate, understanding, and treating other people with respect. However, many times in life, I have not received the same consideration. Even so, I am learning how to respond to life events as opposed to reacting. Reacting can be thought of as playing tit for tat. Someone says or does something to hurt my feelings, so I could react with that same energy to hurt them back. But who wins? Understand this, responding intelligently does not make me a coward. There is a difference between responding for understanding and reacting for revenge. It shows my strength. I choose joy.
I believe that my purpose in life is to strive to be obedient to God and wise enough to know what events I encounter truly matter in the long run. I look forward to where this faith journey takes me. Life can sometimes be challenging, and there have been times that it has felt like some days were not worth getting out of bed. However, I know that this life is not only filled with lessons to learn, difficulties to overcome, and heartaches to endure but it is also filled with beautiful celebrations and triumphs that will ultimately lead me to my purpose. Still, I choose joy.
God did not promise me that my life would be smooth and easy. I have learned that having it smooth and easy does not make me stronger or better. I am exercising my faith muscles as I face my struggles. The struggles and challenges that we as humans encounter come to test our faith, ultimately strengthen our relationship with God and allow us to sometimes stumble and eventually land on the path to our ultimate destiny. Without the struggles and challenges of life, we can become weak, with no sense of worth. The challenges that come our way can be blessings in disguise. Of course, we don’t recognize them when we are in the middle of a challenge.
On this faith journey, I have found the meaning of joy. I am not always happy about a situation, but I am learning to be joyful despite the situation. I am learning that I can react emotionally or I can respond intelligently. I am learning that how I respond determines the outcome. I can focus on the fact that my idea for that life event did not go the way that I had planned. So I can react by crying about it, getting depressed and overwhelmed about it, and simply being miserable because of it. Or, I can respond intelligently by realizing that this was just a hurdle to jump over, a challenge to overcome and that a lesson was in there somewhere. I choose joy.
No matter the mistakes, the heartaches (and I have had plenty), the losses, and the disappointments that I have experienced in the past, there is nothing that I can do about it. I look back on many of those life challenges I have endured and have overcome and I am stronger because of them.
Many of the people I have encountered on this faith journey entered my life for a reason. People come into my life for a reason or a season. I just have to determine the reason and recognize when the season is over. In the past, I have tried to hold on to some relationships thinking I could fix people or fix the situation. I had not yet learned that you can’t fix people. Fixing people is not my job. So, I asked God to give me wisdom. One of my favorite quotes is the Serenity Prayer which says “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.”
There have been people who were only in my life for a moment and they made a lasting impression on my heart, both positive and negative. There have been some people that have touched my life in such a way that I was relieved when they left. It was as if I could finally breathe because they were gone. their season was over. Others are still present in my life and who will stay in my heart forever. I have learned some lifelong lessons from some, and others have given me the opportunity to learn some things about myself. At any rate, I have learned that there was a purpose for any hardship, a purpose for heartbreak, a purpose for the struggle, and a purpose for any battle that has come my way.
I’m sure you have heard it said that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Looking back at the person I was, I compare her to the person I am today. My heart and my soul have come to know that I would not be the person of faith that I am today had I not endured the events of my past. I have grown so much and this faith journey has been a journey to grow my soul.
Thank you for coming along on this journey of faith with me. I will meet you in the next chapter. Make it a great day on purpose!