In the past, I have touched base on various moments of residual hurts I’ve experienced over the years. Though they’ve impacted me in different ways, I’ve grown to appreciate them as they’ve shaped my perspectives as the adult I am today.
As I sit here and reflect, I cannot help but smile. The journey to my smile has been a jagged one with so many twist and turns. With moments of what I like to call, “starburst” with the euphoric power to lift the spirit to new heights as it leaves a lasting mark. These burst of lights come in many shapes, phrases, and tones. Whether it be from the connection of being in the right place at the right time or randomly “bumping” into opportunities; each has the momentum to bring lasting smiles.
I have had the privilege to embrace these moments. Some are more noticeable than others but they all have given me the strength to push through some of the darkest of times. Which brings me to the title…Learning To Smile. Smiles are not really mastered until they have reached a level of genuine bliss. We are raised in a world where standards must be met.
Proper interaction of hellos and goodbyes with a standard etiquette come with the expectation of knowing when or how to approach life’s routine. Dealing with depression makes this very difficult at times. I can say from experience; smiles have the power to elude many from noticing the shivering chaos which resides behind it. Over the years I have buried myself in work to avoid confronting issues; however, time has a way to catch up with us when we least expect it. At this particular moment, I’m proud to say that I have developed a love for Jesus that I didn’t know before.
I have always believed in a higher divinity. I just often struggled with man’s perspective on how I should approach religion. Always being told the struggle in my life was from sin I still had in my life; really scared me in ways that I didn’t notice. It created a mindset that I needed to do more to have some type of normalcy in my life. When life would throw a curve ball; I was quick to blame myself. This constant condemnation of myself created the monster of insecurity leading to morphed acceptance of toxic verbal and at times, mental abuse. Staying sin conscience pulled me further from the lord as it made me feel unworthy.
I used to think I was the one mistake the Lord made. The anomaly not meant to prosper. Visiting different churches over the years fueled this fire deep within of wanting to seek the truth. Some things made no sense to me. Seeing pillars of the church partake in negative behaviors such as gossip, profanity and malicious intent proved to be disappointing. So, much so that I actually took a step away from the Lord all together.
When I say, “took a step away”; I say it loosely. I always had this undying respect for my Lord Jesus but was ashamed that I could never live up to the ideology of Christianity. I can’t tell you how many times I have felt the lords presence as he brings me peace when the past rips my heart open and insomnia grasp every breath I chokingly try to take. Jesus would whisper in my ear how special I am and provide me memories of those closest to me. This brought me comfort as I realized I have been blessed with the most precious gifts…my family.
The past few months my husband has devoted his time to the Lord. Studying and reading daily… drawing closer with the Lord. Feeling his peaceful energy has softened my heart on so many levels. Without intent; he has encouraged me to seek the Lord. I have found a great appreciation for the message of Grace from Joseph Prince. Understanding the true meaning of grace has brought the warmest of smiles. I have the strength to take on the day knowing my heart rest in Jesus. My character is changing due to my love of Jesus; not because of rules or expected duties. I strive to be the best me because I want to show my love for Jesus and plant those seeds of grace.
In closing, I want to take a moment to encourage you to find your genuine smile. Make an effort to reach out to those you haven’t spoken to in a while and remind them that you care. Be slow to anger and quick to listen to those closest to you as you show them how much you love them. This life becomes beautifully blissful with love, so lets spread it with every aspect of our lives!