By ALLISON MILLER
Happy New Year! May we all go in this new year with the mindset to execute the goals, plans and aspirations that God has for our lives.
It is amazing of how quickly time flies. Regardless of the speed of time, there are always lessons to learn. I would like to share the lessons that I have learned in the past 12 months.
At the start of the year none of us knew what was in store for us, and if we did, we may have made different decisions towards a more favourable outcome. However, I am assured that nothing happens without reasons. Reasons we may not understand at that moment, but reasons nonetheless.
At the end of 2017, I had come to the conclusion that it had been a year of character-building on a level that I have never experienced before. I look back at that year, and as hard as those lessons were, I am grateful for each of them. I have gained strength and wisdom from all of those lessons and I believe that I am a better person for it.
In character-building, the first lesson learned is that sometimes you will have to be OK with not getting an "I'm sorry" after you were wronged by someone. It does not matter what the relationship may be, you have to be OK with not getting that apology, because you just won't get it at times. What blows my mind is that "I'm sorry" goes a long way and yet it seems like the most difficult thing to say
Another lesson I have learned is that as much as I've been hurt, more than likely I have caused hurt as well. Maybe I said some things I shouldn't have; had conversations I shouldn't have had. As much as we want to people to take responsibility for their actions, we have to take responsibility for our own actions as well.
I have now l learned it's best to deal with any emotional hurt immediately. When we allow it to fester, unforgiveness sets in. You can apologise and forgive without getting involved in that situation again. This was one of the hardest lessons for me, to leave some relationships. Only you or I can determine when that time is. I had a disagreement with someone close to me and said something regrettable in the heat of anger. Few people will be honest and tell you that anger and lack of forgiveness make you sick and weigh you down. The worst part of it is that this hinders your prayers from being heard, and none of us can afford that. I apologised to the person and the relationship is now in a better place.
Another lesson I learned was that struggles don't stay with us if we hang in there, and if we trust God, it will always work out. Obedience to God's word is not an option, it is a requirement.
And this is an old lesson: when someone shows you who they are the first time, believe them. Leopards don't change their spots. Yes, I believe that people can change, however, some people choose not to change.
Overall, the best and most important lesson is that God has the final say. He sees and knows all things. In the end, He will work everything out. We just need to give Him a chance. I have learned to embrace lessons rather than despise them; they make us the people who we are.