Remember the Victories

Corn mazes are a blast to do in the fall season. Back in North Carolina, there was a place that every year, would make a massive maze in some silly picture with corn. It’s fun, but also strange. Dear Danielle and I did one a couple years back; it was a cold rainy day, so it was perfect for a spooky maze all to ourselves. The goal was simple, go in, find the stamp stations, and get out. Easy! Well, not really. Since it was a rainy day, there was a ton of fog and lots and lots or mud. We started out strong, but halfway into it, started running into mud puddles and were getting turned around. We only needed one more stamp, but we started losing it just a little. Not with each other, but with this labyrinth that we couldn’t seem to find one little area. As we are both completionists, we had to get that last stamp, no cheating for us! I started to lose hope, but Danielle reminded me, in a pep talk that would rival any Disney Channel original movie, that we could do it, we hit all the other areas, we are not letting one stamp stop us!

Back in, had I had water to splash in my face, it would have been done. It was time to kick this corn’s butt! Not sure if corn has a butt, but in any case, we kicked it! We got that last stamp and left the labyrinth as champions.

Our reward? The best stickers you could print given by the most hype high schooler imaginable!

I think we all find ourselves in these moments. We’re stuck in the thick of it. Maybe life is not being easy, or maybe you’re in a season of trying to find your purpose and place. It can get really hard in these moments to have hope. You feel like there is no way you you’re gonna make it or find a way out, but you have to keep moving forward. You have to remember the victories.

I’m a big proponent of not letting your past define you; we’ve all made mistakes and can’t let that hold us back. When you recognize mistakes, it shows you are maturing, so don’t revert back to immaturity. What I will say is this:

Your past is a testimony to God’s love over your life.

What do I mean? I mean that if you are reading this, you have survived. You woke up today, that means that God isn’t done with you yet; you still have a purpose for your life. You have a story, a journey that you are on. You are growing and maturing from who you were into what you will become. When in the midst of trials and just overall busyness in your life, look back at the ways you have been victorious.

It’s really hard for me to dream about the future because I worry a lot. I wonder about finances, the logistics, and the unknowns that could happen. I myself, have to remind myself of the victories. We moved to Orlando with just one job and no idea what was going to happen. Yet, despite all of the finances, logistics and many unknowns; God opened the door. So, as I look forward, I have to remind myself that God was there in my past. He was there when I was deep in the weeds, and will continue to be there as I move into more unknowns.

I look at how when I was applying to school, I had no idea where to go. At University, I had no idea what I should major in a how to narrow down those ideas. Once graduating, I had no idea where I was going to work or for how long I should stay. When getting let go, we had no clue what the plan was next. Each and every stage of my life is a testimony to God’s love. Last week I talked about trust, and a big thing in all of these stages was that I had to have trust and remember that God can move mountains because he has done it before.

In the unknowns, have a ton of fun.

It’s easy to get stressed and want to just crawl into a hole until somehow life is sorted out, but we can’t do this. The enemy would love to have you pull away from engaging in your life. I remember last year, in the midst of job searching and trying to figure out what was next, Danielle and I chose to have a ton of fun. Now, I was stressed and Danielle was too, but she hid it better, but one thing we did that helped, was play Rock Band. Playing Rock Band is an incredible thing, mashing plastic guitars and singing into a mic at our TV is a strange thing, but it’s so fun. One night we stayed up way too late, but needed that so much. You need to have Rock Band nights in your life, you need to have fun and stop letting the unknowns in life drag you down.

Currently, our Rock Band nights have turned into board game nights. We are in a season of yet again, seeing what’s next and trying to figure out what we do now. We have to remember the victories; that our past testimony shows God’s love and provision for us and that we must have fun in these decisions.

Don’t crawl away. Have fun. Make it a priority to be with friends and have moments where you can laugh or lose your voice singing into your TV.

Remember the Victories

I love that story of the corn maize. In our lives, we have to give pep talks. Remember that you have made it this far, all of the pain and unknowns you have already faced, God has delivered you to where you are now. I think about the Israelites wandering in the wilderness. Over and over God gives them victories. They were freed, food literally rained from the sky, and they were protected from enemies. Yet they would lose sight and complain, when the evidence of God’s love was right there. Right after the Israelites walked across the sea to freedom, scripture says this in Exodus 14:31,

“And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in him.”

They looked at the victory and remembered that God had them. God has you, too. He loves you so much that he would send his son to die for you, and come back to life to free you. You have something the Israelites didn’t, a relationship with the one who hands you victory.

Remember the victories in the midst of the labyrinth.

-Joshua Thomas

About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__

 

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