As I Look Back Over The Decade…I Got A Testimony

I saw people’s posts of their decade reviews and their end vs their beginning of the decade comparisons. This prompted me to review my decade and as I also looked at my 2019 vision board, I realized that God has been good. He is always good but sometimes the Holy Spirit need to give you a reminder. I saw some things on my vision board have been and are steadily being accomplished. And all glory goes to God!

I am also reminded some battles are not to be conquered in one fight but over a period of time so we can learn to depend on God. So some things may have seeped over into 2020 but be encouraged. I am speaking to myself too.

This decade, I became a homeowner and a parent/caregiver to a relative. I also started my online t-shirt business (on hiatus now and I am in prayer about it) and wrote and published three books within this decade. I was able to learn and grow professionally and spiritually. I healed from heartbreak and realized some of my deal breakers. I made it through betrayal and learned what true forgiveness looks like.

Instead of hiding it, I became more transparent in my struggles with anxiety and fear, especially with those I love. I also got my driver’s license in this decade and got acknowledged at work for my contributions. I saw my students grow and step out of their comfort zones. I bore fruit even during difficult seasons and impacted others in ways I could not have done without God. I also battled debt and high property taxes and saw God provide.

I learned I needed better self-care, I needed to set boundaries, and I needed to learn that I can’t earn God’s love. My family and I overcame some things I thought my family and I would not survive. I also learned that it is crucial to see things from God’s perspective. I journaled in my note pad like crazy. I did self-assessments prompted from bible plans and self-reflection. I blogged. I led a women’s group and bible study and we learned about waiting with God and learning to trust Him. I maintained a gratitude journal.

I travelled to New York with friends for the first time. I had a ball and it was such a faithcation. I went to a Christian concert at the House of Blues by myself and had a ball. I went to a Christian Education Retreat twice. I learned some awesome things. I learned about trauma care and self-love. I went to Atlanta for the first time and for a college tour, thanks to my job. Last year, my family and I found a cool, inexpensive place to travel to that is peaceful and a train ride away from home, thanks to not having at the time the money to go on vacation. I saw my family grow and get closer. I got such an awesome birthday gift in 2018; my youngest niece was born on my birthday.

I completed a Mental Health First Aid training for those who work with youth and realized also my mental health is important. I realized some of your battles people won’t understand and some blessings and successes people won’t cheer with you. The latter one broke my heart. I did the thing that rattles my nerves and spoke at a few events. I took deep breaths. I had anxiety attacks. I prayed. I cried. I prayed some more. I exercised here and there, valued my love for walking, and realized the importance of stretching every day. I worked on building my confidence. I started wearing a little concealer and foundation (something I thought I would never wear) and embraced my thick eyebrows. I learned how to do my own crochet hair styles. However, I still don’t know how to crochet a scarf. I gave up. I will try again this year. I learned that I enjoyed preparing Bible study lessons because I love God’s Word and preparing a lesson helps me to break it down for myself also. I learned that I can’t do everything or be everything, and that is okay. I learned that sometimes you have to encourage yourself.

I prayed for God to teach me full surrender. I talked with Him about being afraid and not feeling like I could make it some days. I have a ways to go but I am not where I started. And although I ended this year still feeling anxious, I survived. I thank God for being my Father, my friend, my provider, my coach, and my protector. I also thank Him for being patient with me and loving me through every season, imperfection, fear, and triumph. May I lean into God evermore this year and decade not for what God can give me or do, but for who He is. I am nothing without Him and can’t do anything without Him. I am more than a conqueror. I am grateful.

Gentle Reminders

As I prayed this morning, I asked God to help me to acknowledge Him in all my ways. My mind then flashed to last night of me reciting “as I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep”. That traditional prayer often rehearsed by parent and child kneeling came to my mind last night and just before I could try to recall why it was stuck in my head this particular day, my nephew turns his bear on that someone got him. It recited that very prayer, and I remembered that he has been playing it lately more frequently. 

This morning I recognized that God gives you gentle reminders daily to just stop and acknowledge Him, not because He wants to go on an ego trip. He wants to remind us in all our busyness as well as all our daily responsibilities and activities that He is still here and still invested in us. He wants to fellowship with us and adorn us with His love always. But sometimes, we forget God, we ignore God, and we don’t spend quality time with Him. 

I encourage you to acknowledge Him now. Greet Him with a big hug of praise.

So, I thank You Father for waking me up this morning and for loving me with an unfailing love. Thank You for looking after me while I slept and for being so merciful. Thank You for You just being You, such an awesome God I serve. And thank You for Your gentle reminders of Your presence and to just stop and breathe it in. 

Love,

Tannika 
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What are some reminders of God’s presence or unctions for you to just stop and acknowledge God?