Justice. The definition is ‘just behavior or treatment’. Just meaning what is based on or behaving accordingly to what is morally right and fair. My definition of the word justice would be ‘a wrong that happened to you was made right’. My struggle has been real lately with wanting justice on a few things in life. Let me explain. There have been different times in my life where someone possibly hurt me, mistreated me, or took credit for something I did. And while each situation is different, I realized something. Some of the things that I thought I had moved on from, proved I wasn’t completely over them quite yet. Because the truth of the matter is, if I was really over Betty Jo who did me wrong a few months ago, it would not still bother me that she never apologized or acknowledged what she did or said.
Expectations. There is that word again. The problem that I have had lately is putting my own expectations on justice. I have expected different people to do the right thing and fix any wrong doings. Treat me the way I would treat them. News flash, that ain’t gonna happen. I cannot place my expectations of how a situation should be handled according to the way I think is right. Because if you remember from my previous post on expectations (link here), expectations set you up for disappointment. They take away your joy and distract you. It makes it hard to appreciate all the good things in life because you are so focused on the one thing that is not happening according to what you thought.
My sister said something the other day that made this justice fiasco come full circle. She later brought me to ask myself “Do I really trust God?” Let me walk you through my answer the way I thought it out in my head:
Do I trust God? Duh, of course. God is good, His love is great, and I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). But hold on…do I really trust God? Trust him enough with my life and every decision in it? When I say I am not going to do something because I will let God handle it, am I really doing that? Because you see, if I really trusted God, I wouldn’t be worried about justice at all. I would trust that God will work everything out, but more so realize that God is just. We serve a just God. There are so many verses in the bible about God being just but I will reference Psalm 25:8 (the message), “God is fair and just; He corrects the misdirected, sends them in the right direction.” I realized that these “justice” situations are a matter of forgiving and then really forgetting. Trusting that God will right any wrongs.
Happy Birthday to Me! I turned 28 years young this week. 28 and feeling great as I like to tell everyone! Another year has flown by right before my eyes, and the word that has been on my mind lately is blessed. More than anything I just feel so blessed right now. Blessed to have lived 28 years on this earth. Blessed for my health, my family and friends, and just this exact season that I am in right now in my life. All glory and praise to you Lord. Now while 28 years may not seem like a lot of time to some people, it is all I have ever known. 27 was an eventful roller coaster of a year. I cried, I laughed, and continued learning some much needed lessons in life. So, what better way to spend my birthday then sharing with you a few things that I learned when I was 27.
Pray for those who persecute you. One of my favorite posts I have written on this blog is titled, “Hurting People Hurt People”. If you haven’t read it yet, I highly encourage you to do so (link to post). This post describes in detail a time last year when I had to learn one of the hardest lessons in life: to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. That was one of the hardest but most rewarding things I have had to learn. That situation pushed me to grow and mature more than I ever thought possible. It taught me to trust God, love fearlessly, and made me a stronger person with thicker skin. Not today Satan. Not now, Not ever.
God is not in a hurry. I am. No matter what season of life we may be in, I feel like we as humans sometimes are eager to get to the next. I was guilty of this this past year even though one of my favorite sayings is, “there’s a reason for your season.” I always have been a believer in that expression. However, I had to remind myself on a few occasions this past year to stop looking to the future and embrace the season I was in. Although sometimes I would look at my calendar and think to myself, “Okay, it’s time for this next life event,” I realized I needed to let things happen naturally. AKA I needed to sit back, take the passenger seat, and let God take the wheel.
Let Go and Let God. Any fellow control freaks out there? Where my planners at? I don’t think I realized just how much of a control freak I can be until I began dating someone who was the complete opposite. Now, while I may be in denial and think that I’m not as bad with planning my life as some people are, I realized that I do possess this trait. Something I say all the time is, “Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail.” While this is true to a certain extent this phrase only applies to a limited number of things in life. Because the reality is that God is in Control. Now don’t confuse what I’m saying here. Obviously, if you are trying to lose weight and don’t meal plan, have an exercise plan, or do the work, you’re not going to achieve your goal. What I’m saying is that at the end of the day, I learned I need to release my worries and problems, and let God handle it. I realized that I don’t have control over a lot of things in life, rightfully so. But let me tell you, life is so much easier when you let God handle everything.
It’s okay not to be okay. Life is hard. Really hard. The struggles we face, the pain we feel, it’s no wonder God didn’t intend for us to spend eternity here on earth. We go through different seasons, we change, and we live in a world where the pressures, comparison, and evil things in this world are constantly present. It’s okay to go through times in life where you may by struggling whether it’s in a relationship, with your children, or your career. What you must be careful of is how you spend your time during that struggle. Looking at Social Media multiple times in a day and seeing other people’s highlight reels isn’t going to make you feel better about all the stuff going on in your life that we would never share on social media. That’s just a recipe for comparison waiting to happen. You need to take the steps that are best for you whether it’s spiritually, mentally, or physically. Whether it’s seeking a counselor, therapy, or joining a support group, do the things that will only help lift you out from the thing pulling you down. Leaning into God and having a good community of family and friends can help make the not okay times okay.
Make the most of your life. Life is short. We really don’t know how much time we have on this earth. With that being said, I realized the need to make the most of the time I have on this earth with those I love. Why not take that trip, go to that concert, or take that first step to your dream goal? Instead of giving physical gifts for birthdays and holidays, why not plan experiences that’ll create memories and adventures that you can have forever. Now that is priceless. (Hallmark, holler at ya girl. 😉 )
What do you see when you look at me? Do you see a lot of hair and makeup? Someone who must be superficial and high maintenance? Someone who looks naive and like they haven’t experienced much in the world? What if I told you that there are plenty of times I walk out of the house with no makeup and my hair a mess? What about the fact that I’m in graduate school right now with a 4.0 GPA? Or how about that I have experienced and know what it is like to lose a child. Not what you initially thought?
We all do it. We look at someone and judge them before really knowing them. The word judge can sound pretty harsh, but it’s true. Think about it. If you are forming an opinion or conclusion based off of how someone looks (no matter how nice it may be or not), you are judging them whether intentional or not. One of the most frustrating things I have experienced is someone judging me before ever meeting me. They assumed things about me from what they saw on social media. Social media, now that’s a whole other topic that an entire blog post could be written about. But while I’m on the subject, here is your daily reminder that what you see on Social Media is not real life. I remember at the time that I was being unfairly judged, thinking to myself, “Dang, at least get to know me first, and then if you want to talk negatively about me, go ahead.”
Everyone has a past, a story, and a journey. There is a popular expression that says, “You never know what a person is going through.” And while I am guilty of hearing it so much that it sometimes loses its depth, it’s important that we remind ourselves of the gravity of that statement. People’s actions, beliefs, and views are a mixture of their own life experiences. A 10 second interaction with someone could have nothing to do with you but everything to do with personal things going on in their own life. Or maybe you have experienced looking at someone who appears to have life together and all figured out. Spoiler alert, that’s not true. We all have our struggles and things going on that the world may never know about. Whether it’s struggling with depression, an eating disorder, or a miscarriage. In a world today where people can so freely and easily spread hate, it’s important that we stop and are sensitive to each other. Especially as women, it’s important that we support and uplift each other instead of tearing down. Before you come to a conclusion about someone or speak about them, stop and remember that all isn’t always what it seems. There’s another popular expression that says, “What you see is what you get.” And while that may be true for some things in life, that doesn’t always apply to people.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.