I’ve learned so much in the past year. We never anticipate how much we’ll grow or how much change will happen, but it’s inevitable.
Slowing down, taking the time for reflection. Making time to sit and think. Taking time to plan. All great leaders plan, because part of being intentional is planning.
Reflecting, taking time to sit and write, thinking about what is happening. Being analytical is not natural, it’s something I’ve worked hard to get better at. Putting words to feelings—and being okay with emotions both bad and good. Really seeking to process what’s going on around.
Making alone time a priority. It’s so easy to get caught up in everything and not take the time to be alone and undistracted. For personal and God time. I had to learn that, I’m still having to learn that. When we’re empty we have nothing to offer. Take time to soak it in, read, write, think and have time to be alone so that when we’re with others we can bring something of ourselves into the conversation.
Talk big. Learning to ask real questions and really listening.
Relationships—realizing that everything comes down to this in almost everything we do, God, family business, friends, it’s all about the relationship. How we’re connecting with people, being in a relationship with those around us. Without relationships our lives are very meaningless. We need God we need those around us to connect with and unite us. In a world of social media it’s hard to be intentional with that, which makes it all the more important.
Hard work is good, but not letting that be an idol or rule us is something I’ve had to learn. Learning again and again to place my identity in Christ rather than man or the things around me.
Finding value, in people around me, books, music, culture and entertainment, not to make them an idol, but to find the beauty, the art, that God put in them. God made things of value. Not just floating through life but being intentional and making choices.
Being more empathetic. The injury to my hand has changed the way I see the world in so many ways. I’m learning more to enter into other’s pain, to empathize and to better love them. There’s something about experiencing or watching a loved one go through something like this, suddenly it connects you with all the other people who’ve gone through similar things.
No, I’m not sure I would go back in time and erase this event, this injury to my hand. I will never think the same way, or feel the same way again. I may not be able to have full mobility of my fingers, aside from a miracle from God. But I’m not sure I’d change it. Frodo experienced so much pain, growing in the hardship and being a part of something much bigger than himself. He didn’t want to go back and redo the past. He endured to the end because he was living for something larger than him self. He had wounds that never fully went away, the memory only moments away. I still think back to that day, that hour. Sometimes I’m filled with feat and sorrow, sometimes I laugh and talk about the adventures the things we do. As Hiccup put it “It’s an occupational hazard.” And so it is, so it is.
No, I have to believe that his happened for a reason. God had something different, and much better for me than I could have ever imagined, and it involved pain, and crying and depression, and tears and blood. And yet I have to believe, I truly believe this is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Through it all, God’s been faithful, through it all he’s always been right there, and He’s always way more interested in the journey than the destination.
It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Truly the seeming discord, the tension, the perception of bad and good is a complex thing, maybe too big for our human minds to see. I truly believed for a miracle, and Ive see God do them, but He chose not to do one for me, but rather walk the long hard road through the wilderness with me.
How can it be that so much good comes from so much pain? Joy from sorrow? This world is upside down.
We’re all looking for answers, trying to find meaning, and waiting for those moments of revelation—and it’s hard in the moment. It’s so hard to see beyond our present circumstances, but that’s what He’d have us do. To look beyond ourselves, and see the bigger picture.
We’re waiting for those moments of clarity and answers and I’m here to say it will come. Thank you Father for circumstances you allowed to happen. The hard things that you’ve seen fit to befall me, for I wouldn’t be who I am today without a=walking through them. There’s no looking back in this life, it’s all pressing forward. It’s continuing to move on and adapt and become who we’re meant to be. The person God has for each of us to become.
Maybe it’s prophetic, maybe it’s just foresight, and maybe those are the same thing. But I’ve known I would write this for a long time now, so here it is, at last.