In part 1, I introduced to you my friend, Jia, who wrote for us here on the blog. I’ve been wanting to feature people who, just like all of us, did not have any kind of preparation for experiencing words so foreign to us—quarantine, lockdown, pandemic—faced challenges in multiple aspects of life, yet somehow, have eventually managed to live life to the full and even make and take opportunities out of this season we’re all in. Read part 1 here if you haven’t.
We continue with the second half of the mindful and practical steps Jia took on her journey forward.
Written by Jia Enrile
Part 2 of 2
4. I decided to be patient with myself as I am with other people.
I realized that I am not extending to myself the same grace and patience I give to the people around me. I’m very hard on myself and while I love growth, sometimes I forget that there’s a process I have to go through to actually grow and become wiser. Part of that is forgiving myself when I realize I’ve made a wrong decision and learning from it. I also started to slow down and be more present in what I am doing or where I am.
5. I reminded myself of major life decisions I made: to completely trust God in everything and to surrender my anxieties and worries to Him (this involved A LOT of daily self-talks).
I’m in a better place now but it doesn’t mean that I already find everything easy. In the past months I realized that I am a ball of anxiety and worry but I also learned that there will always be something to worry about if I choose to focus on those. So I started making the daily decision to lift all my worries, hopes, and prayers to God and to trust that He is taking care of everything. I just need to carry on with what I can control and need to do every day. Knowing myself better also allowed me to know what my triggers are and when I am starting to be anxious and worried about anything, and I have learned how to better manage them when they come. This is where self-talk comes in.
6. I held on to the Word of God.
What really got me through the roughest of roughs this year is the grace of God and His truth that I held on to, especially when I thought there was no way I’m getting out of a dark and difficult time. Even when I wasn’t feeling joyful and I wasn’t seeing the victory over my situation yet, I held on to and kept on going back to God and His word. And in the past months, these are the Scriptures I remind myself over and over again: Proverbs 3:5-8, 1 Peter 5:7, Romans 5:3-5, Romans 8:28. I’m so grateful because we have Jesus, and because we know and have Him, we can remain hopeful, and find joy even when there is suffering. It was the toughest seven months I’ve had to face thus far, and while I know there will always be trials and challenges, I can trust that victory and redemption always comes because I’ve experienced His faithfulness this year. He did say He is the same yesterday and today and forever (Hebrews 13:8) and we can trust Him.
I know there are people who have already adjusted well in our current reality, and I’m happy for them! But I also know there are those who still find it difficult to adjust or are unsure where to start, and that’s okay. Everyone deals with change and loss differently, and we all have a different pace, but I hope what I shared gives you an idea on how to start your journey towards healing, and helps you move forward. It really is not an easy process, but it is worth taking the time to do so.
Be patient with myself. Look back and remember how God pulled me through so many other tough times. Hold on to God’s Word—unchanging even when everything else changes. In other words I need to give myself space to adjust, and make space for God to move in me. Eventually I will see how He’s moving around me and for me.
I’ve shared this countless times: experience is not the best teacher; the experience of others is. That is, if we are willing to learn from them. We are each going through our own difficulties and losses, but the path to healing is similar. I hope you reflect on these milestones on Jia’s 2020 journey and learn from it as I sure have. While the pandemic is not yet over and there seems to be no end in sight, we can choose to live our best life now, and we can.
If you need someone to talk to or simply to listen to your story, send me a message.