Last night, I was frustrated with a certain situation in my life (and not divorce, or Pete or anything related to that!), and then I watched the latest sermon from Joel Osteen and it set me straight (why is it that whenever I am feeling a certain way, watching Joel preach is EXACTLY what I need? God at work, much?!). This week’s episode was entitled, “you can have the last laugh” and is all about situations that may make you instinctively want to get back at them and in worse ways than they’ve offended/hurt you, but taking the high road is the way to go. An excerpt:

God has a plan for us to succeed even when we’re treated unfairly. Our human nature wants to fix things on our own; getting even with someone, repaying evil for evil, but that’s not God’s plan. Scripture says, “Never avenge yourself but leave the way open for God.” You can either avenge yourself or let God be your avenger, but you cannot have it both ways. God wants to be your avenger and make your wrongs right. And God doesn’t just stop at avenging. He goes on and blesses you in front of your enemies. Psalm 23:5 says, “God prepares a table before us in the presence of our enemies.” Part of His vindication is promoting you so the opposition can see it.
Whenever we face unfair situations, instead of being discouraged, we should have the attitude “They may be laughing now. It may not be fair. But I’m not the least bit worried. I know their injustice is preparing the way for God to promote me.” If we can learn to stay on the high road no matter how great the opportunity to make somebody look bad or how much we want to pay them back, and learn to rule over our emotions and trust God to be our avenger, He will bring justice in our lives that will not only make us better off, but better off than we could ever have been on our own.
So true – my knee-jerk reaction was to want to hit back and hit back hard, but in reality, what would that have accomplished? Not a whole heck of a lot. Watching Joel last night made me realize how much more vindicated it DOES feel to take the high road and not let immaturity and selfishness bleed into my thoughts and actions. It’s not worth it. There is much more in life than “getting back at people” – like living and breathing and being thankful for each and every day we have on Earth. Not stupidity and ungratefulness.
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So I have been MIA for a couple of days as I’ve been traveling for work (San Fran and back in 24 hours – fun *said in a sarcastic voice* – nice to see a bit of the city, but the back and forth travel was very tiring!) and have read a lot more of the Joel Osteen book I mentioned in a previous post – Your Best Life Now.

 

An interesting section on reprogramming your mental computer was excellent – it was all about not dwelling on the past, doing away with self-pity and negativity, and choosing to be positive and dwelling on the good in life, versus the bad. Obviously, this is a very healthy frame of mind for me to think about as I still of course have my ups and downs during this journey, but beyond that, it’s something I think everyone should be thinking about on a daily basis – to CHOOSE to think and behave positively, no matter what adversity lies around us. It’s EASIER to think about all the negative – job is stressful, money’s tight, etc – rather than to turn that negativity into positive energy and trusting that God has a path for us, and though there are plenty of tests and trials, that only makes us stronger and hungrier for what lies ahead in life.

 

So, as I sit here typing this entry thinking about all of the work I need to catch up on at work, it’s a good reminder that ya know what? Life could be a lot worse and there is a LOT I can be thankful for…just something for us all to think about. It’s easy to get caught up in the negative and let it snowball and spiral out of control.

Reflecting on these past few months, I remember one of the first thoughts I had when I realized that our relationship was heading for divorce. I didn’t want to feel labeled as just another statistic, another failed marriage, something I never thought I’d have to cope with. I felt like a castoff, unwanted, unneeded, worthless. At times, I still feel apprehensive about being labeled and wondering what people think of me, if they are judging, if they wonder what happened, if it was my fault, that I’m a failure.

But when I start going down that negative path, I realize that I’m better than that, stronger than that and AM worth something, to someone special, somewhere down the road…I know God has a path for me, and it may take awhile to find someone special, but I’m okay with that. I’m taking it one day at a time, and when I start worrying about labels, or what others think of me, or how a future partner will “react” to the fact that I’ll be divorced, I think about all the good things in my life, and all that I KNOW I have to offer in myself, and feel better. One day at a time.

As I mentioned in a previous post, my grandparents have been unbelievably supportive. They turned me on to a minister out of Houston – Joel Osteen – who is absolutely fantastic. He’s very inspirational and really hits home for me. He has a program I watch on Sunday nights as I prepare for the week ahead. It really helps set my mood and refocus for the week ahead.

I’m reading his book “Living your best life now” (an excerpt of which can be read here). It’s all about living life to your fullest potential and a huge part of that is redefining your mindset. There are seven steps to living your best life now, and they include: enlarging your vision, developing a healthy self image, discovering the power of your thoughts and words, letting go of the past, finding strength through adversity, living to give, and finally, choosing to be happy.

I’m only in the self-image section of the book, but already, it’s been eye opening on so many levels. I highly recommend it!