Reflection and Growth

“Now we see only a dim likeness of things. It is as if we were seeing them in a foggy mirror. But someday we will see clearly. We will see face to face. What I know now is not complete. But someday I will know completely, just as God knows me completely.”

1 Corinthians 13:12

Two things keep sticking in my mind over the past year; reflection and growth. The start of the year, dear Danielle and I chose the word, “lover,” to be the word we would focus on and attribute to our mindset. Little did we know that this would be tested as everything changed in a crazy way. I am so thankful that we chose this mindset, because this year dealt with a lot, and there was a lack of love all around. I was ready for a year of busyness and wanted to focus on how to love better, but what happened was a year of resetting rhythms. I am thankful for that reset, I’m thankful for the time or reflection over the past and a growth towards what may be next.

Maybe this year was hard. Maybe you battled with some tough fights. Maybe you need someone to tell you it’s going to be okay. It is, because there is always hope. No matter how dark it may seem, there is always hope. For me, I knew I needed to deal with some past hurts, but I would fill my time so I never had to fully process those feelings and fears. What happened though, is that God used this year of reset, to cause me to reflect and deal with those hurts. Because I was able to fully let go and heal, I am choosing to move forward in growth. I think this needs to happen with all of us. Use this time where all of our rhythms have been forced to change, use it in order to reflect on the past and grow into who you have been created to be.

Reflect on the blessings in the pain.

The verse written above speaks to something that many of us face, not being able to see clearly. Life gets difficult, we all experience this in our own ways, and it can be hard to see how God can use many of these hardships for good. God is always good, even when it may not seem like it. When I journal, I am able to process moments in my life that seem tough, and after the season, I am able to understand the blessings that came from that season. This pat year I was able to reflect on where I had been and where God had brought me from. Even in my hurt, I was able to see how God used that to make me stronger. I am more confident in who I have been made to be and have learned to be authentically me because of this reflection.

Grow into who God has designed you to be.

It is incredibly foolish to believe you don’t need to grow. I have talked with many folks who have an air about themselves in which they act like they are the best in where they are. This is a result of pride, and pride hates growth. Growing comes from the wisdom of humbling yourself under the power of God. I don’t know everything, that’s why I choose to read a lot and have made it a priority to learn something new every day. Don’t be foolish, don’t reflect on your life and choose to stay who you were. Be who God has designed you to be. Choose to listen, choose to read from experts, choose to empathize with others who may not be like you; choose to have wisdom. Reflect on the blessings in the pain of your past and choose to grow into the person God has called you to be.

As we all enter this season of Christmas, the end of the year is coming. That doesn’t mean all the issues go away, but what it does mean, is that there is a chance for you to reflect over what God has taught you and decide to grow closer to who you are meant to be. Journal or document what this year has taught you in some way, be vulnerable with the hardship and find the joy in what it has brought. I know I learned to forgive the people who hurt me in the past, and I found that by disconnecting I am more connected to what matters in my life. Share it with everyone, share it with me here in the comments or tag me in your post about it. I want to celebrate with you in your reflection and the growth you have experienced. You can share this post or post a photodump on Instagram; whatever you do, let others experience the same joy in a year that was filled with hardship. You can find me here.

Know that you are made in the image of God and worthy of love. So, take time for reflection of the blessings and grow closer to who God made you to be.

-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 follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__

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