I’ve been on this earth for three decades – over 360 months, 1,500 weeks and 11,000 days. Over this time, I’ve learned some lessons about life, faith and love, and I feel like I learned the most in the last year of my 20s. I want to share 30 truths that I have come to know about being human, a Black woman, an introvert and having a relationship with God; some of which have come easy to me and others I’ve had to fight to understand. Here’s part one of a three-part series (of 10 lessons each) sharing the wisdom I carry with me each day.
- Love God and allow God to love you.
Jesus instructs us to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind (Luke 10:27, NIV). But how do we love someone we can’t see, especially when we live in a world devoid of love, and people are supposed to be representatives of God and His love on earth? The first thing I did was read what the Bible said about how much God loves me. I read scripture after scripture, book after book that describes, shows and defines God’s love for us. When you see how much He loves you, it’s hard not to love Him back. It’s difficult not to accept it. Seek God first and let Him into all areas of your life – your heart, soul, mind, hurts, finances, relationships, etc. Your life will begin change the moment you do!
- If you want to love other people, then you must love yourself first.
Jesus also tells us to love our neighbors as we love ourselves (Luke 10:27, NIV). I’ve taken this to mean that if you don’t love yourself then you won’t know how to love others. If you handle yourself from a place of brokenness you will do the same with others. You can’t love others until you learn to love yourself. It’s the only way you’ll be able to truly, unconditionally love people. So accept who you are and who you aren’t. God created you as He saw fit, so don’t EVER compare yourself to other people. Be committed to becoming your best self while staying true to who you are.
- Love others, regardless of how they look, act, live, etc.
God created each and every human being, animal, insect, ocean, mountain, tree, star, etc. You get the point. He created all of this and yet human beings are His most prized creations. He loves each and every one of us, so we should respect this and do the same when it comes to other people.
- Love is a choice.
It’s more than a feeling, a phase, an act, something you can fall in or out of. Love is everything! We choose to be or not to be love in word, action, spirit and truth by the things we say or don’t say, do or don’t do, by our attitudes, thoughts and beliefs. We make the decision to care for fellow man in the way they deserve to be cared for and cherished, or we don’t. Just because someone hurt you doesn’t mean they don’t love you. They made a decision or acted outside of the definition, or choice of love. They decided to (or out of habit) be selfish, mean, and hurtful instead of being love. No one is perfect.
- If you want a true, intimate relationship with God, you have to accept that you are human.
Humans are imperfect beings, and we will always be imperfect. We are walking contradictions, full of complexities, weaknesses and strengths. God knows this because He made us. We don’t have to tell Him this. So when you’re lonely, afraid, angry, confused, depressed, feeling hopeless or whatever it may be, be as honest as you can be with God. Talk to Him like you would your best friend. He hears you, and He respects your humanity, and He will deliver whatever it is you need to get through. He loves you as you are, but loves you enough not to let you stay who you are. He wants to see you be and do better. Let Him. Give Him your raw, pure, true heart, soul and mind.
- God wants us to have a relationship with Him, not religion.
God created you to be His friend, child, His purpose and destiny on earth. He didn’t create you so you could follow a bunch of rules and be miserable when you break them. He created you to be in constant fellowship, conversation and connection with Him, His love, wisdom and truth.
- Marriage is hard work, but every hurdle is worth it.
So…I’ve been married five, almost six years and in a relationship with my boyfriend, fiancé and husband for 13 years. Wow, time flies! And time hurts, lol. Marriage is so different than dating and being engaged. There’s a security that comes with taking the vow to love someone for the rest of your life, no matter what. When you choose to get married you choose unconditional love in every sense of the word. The longer you’re together, it’s easier to take each other for granted, so you have to work harder to be intentional about your relationship, especially when it comes to spiritual, emotional and intimate growth. It’s beautiful work!
- Get married because you’ve found your partner in legacy.
Don’t get married for material reasons, so you won’t be lonely, or because your man or woman is fine and you’ll have cute kids (side eye). Get married because you’ve met the person that will show you who God is in humanity. Marry the man or woman who will lead you to your purpose and help you build a God-given legacy. Marry the person who has the character, heart, soul and a mind that you can’t live without!
- If you want to be whole, you must deal with your past wounds.
Childhood, teenage and other types of wounds have a way of resurfacing when we don’t confront, work through, heal and grow from them. If you don’t deal with them, they will literally haunt you in one way or another, and you won’t realize it until they’ve burst at the seams. If you need to see a therapist to get through it – do it. I started counseling almost a year ago, with a God-believing therapist, and it was the best thing I could have done!
- If you want to reach your dreams, you must write a vision, goals and plan for your life.
If you fail to plan then you plan to fail. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it’s true. Habakkuk 2:2 (NIV) says “Write the vision and make it plain…” Our dreams and visions are communication from God. He wants His purpose for us to come true, so we must record them. They make us accountable to them and more likely to bring them to life. If you want something, write it down, put it on a vision board and say it out loud. Don’t just hope and wish for it to happen, plan for it to happen!
What are some of your life lessons and truths? Did any of these stand out to you?
Make sure you check out 30 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 30 Years (Part Two) and 30 Life Lessons I’ve Learned in 30 Years (Part Three)!
Be loved. Love you. Be love.
*Photo Credit: CreateHER Stock