We hear that saying "life is for the living" all the time, normally around funerals. Many of us get all riled up on emotion then let the roller coaster of this world take us down to the depths and we stay there indefinitely. Sometimes I forget that I'm young, still young and I recognize now more than ever that my youth is fleeting. I think I'm at the age when only my parents know my age. Let's just say I'm in my Fran Fine age until otherwise stated. If I don't live now, when will I?
When I say "live", I'm not talking about the fast life, the "hoe phase", or any other term often associated with "living" by society's standards. No shade to anyone who is living how they live. Do you. What I mean by living is to not just exist, but seek and live out my purpose, to not solely work and wait for my name to be called. I mean to let myself breathe, embrace joy unspeakable, and peace that surpassing understanding. All of that comes from the Most High, but I'm learning that it's really okay for me to happy. Happiness is temporal, so you get it while you can but how you get it does matter. Many will disagree and that's okay, but life isn't about you being happy.
I've lived by that for years, but I left it at that. Being happy isn't wrong but purpose tends to trump happiness for me, rather it should. We can talk about the difference between joy and happiness later, but today I just want to jump into livin'.
Even in my last moments of youth, I feel as though I've lived many lives, truthfully speaking I've simply existed in many capacities. For years, I've put off livin' for responsibilities, external circumstances, and my own choices. Much of the latter was my choice to wait on somebody or something to just do me. I've talked myself out of countless moments of livin' due to my choice to be Christian and acceptance of call and position. Moments that weren't wrong and the Holy Spirit didn't convict my spirit about those moments, but I just couldn't. It should be noted that as a Christian, I strive to live up to God's Will and keep His commandments, but I've fallen short. I have done many wrongs and have current struggles, but I am proud of none of my sins. With that being revealed, everything isn't falling short. People's perspective of sin ain't the same as actual sin -unless I do anything to offend purposely but that's another lesson. Though leadership brings more scrutiny, I should still be able to live. There was always an excuse, but after recent life changing events on a global citizen standpoint and on a personal level, I've seen all my years flash before my eyes. God has brought me through many valleys this year alone, and it's been a heck of a ride the past, well I likely stopped counting. Much of the last few years have been a blur. Can anyone relate?
In times I couldn't work at all it hit me that life is more than about working. In a time we couldn't assemble in person, the importance of relationships was reiterated. While being ladies who lunch, my mom shared the revelation that we'd been in a desert experience for over a decade, and it really hit that if not now, when will we live?
Every human has experienced pain, anguish, disappointment, hated, discouragement, heartache on some level, so when we realize that and move past it, we really have to move. Life isn't stagnant, it ebs and flows. It's movement. Sometimes life is rough, sometimes life is smooth, but it is always for the livin'.
I just had a birthday. Though a few loved ones tried to celebrate me, I can't fully say I have celebrated the life I've been graced with if I'm honest. Today, I'm forcing myself to find gratitude because I know I'm blessed. Though this ride gets crazy and tends to have a lot of valleys, I'm here for a reason. I am not owed anything, but I owe the Giver of Life to live the one He gave me.
I am grateful for relationship with the Most High, but I need to commit to growing it more.
I am grateful for my family and true friends who have become a part of my family.
I am grateful for my church home and for being a part of the Body of Christ as a whole.
I am grateful for the vision God gave me. Though my businesses need growth, I am assured that if God gave it to me He will make a way to see it through however He sees fit, but my obedience to His Will is required.
I am grateful for the measure of health I've been granted.
I am grateful for the journey of trying to be a good steward of time, health, talent, and finances.
I am grateful for the lessons the pain has tried to teach me; I just need to lean in and listen more.
I am grateful for strength to accept the consequences of my choices.
I am grateful. For what are you grateful? It doesn't have to be your birthday. Let this be your everyday affirmation.
If no one has shown you today, I love you but God loves you better. Be blessed.