Opportunities to grow and change for the better in 2021.
2020 was filled with unusual challenges but it also had opportunities for growth.
A year ago, life took an unexpected turn for many of us. We weren’t sure how things were going to work out with the pandemic. Three of my immediate family members were frontline workers. I was concerned for their safety as well as my own wellbeing.
Initially, it was difficult to sort through my emotions. But as I learned to untangle them, I could identify my feelings. I felt a mix of emotions like uncertainty, fear, stress, sadness, worry, anger, and anxiety. The extroverted part of me missed daily connections with colleagues and friends.
As an empty nester, I was alone often for extended periods of time. One of the lessons I learned in the past year was making friends with myself. I learned to sit with my emotions and make friends with them.
So, what did I do with these dark emotions? I could not ignore or wish them away. Trying to control them made them stay longer. But I found hope through God’s word and prayer. I love the Psalms because they encourage us to be open and honest with God about our feelings. I learned to engage my emotions and release them to him.
And in the process of acceptance and release, I leaned on God’s promises. I found comfort and joy deep within my soul.
Looking back, I can see how God renewed and refreshed my spirit when I confronted my fears, let go, and invited him in. I found the courage to embrace “being” and “doing.” Inviting God into that dark space brought freedom. It helped me draw closer to him.
When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul. ~ Psalm 94:19
Daily I prayed for my loved ones, friends, and our nation. I asked God to protect and keep us safe. I limited time watching the news. The pandemic deepened my trust and dependence on God.
Last April, a friend and I came together as we felt led to help women cope with the pandemic. We wondered how other women were dealing with the stress and what we could do to help. Since we are trained coaches, we developed the Forever Changed for Better group coaching program to help women define the “new normal” and identify opportunities to change for the better.
Several of the women who signed up were grappling with uncertainties associated with the pandemic, such as working remotely, homeschooling, and racial tensions. They struggled with emotions like fear, anxiety, and worry. But they were determined to move forward and identify new opportunities for growth.
By the end of 9 weeks, the women had embraced their new normal. They felt more confident and were no longer fearful of the future. They had a road map for pursuing their dreams and goals. The women are all making progress towards getting better.
It’s been a blessing to guide them through the process of embracing change during the global pandemic. God used the program to bless the women as well as my friend and I.
What is one valuable lesson you gained in the last year? You too can discover how to confront your fears, engage, and release them with God’s help. You can identify opportunities to grow and change for the better.
If would like to learn more about the Forever Changed for Better program, connect with me at www.hiddentreasuresandrices.com
Temitope is a scientist, author, speaker, coach, mentor, and Bible teacher. Her passion is to help women walk through hard times in victory and help them encounter God while learning practical ways to discover hidden treasures in their trials. She is married with four grown children and lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Connect with her at www.HiddenTreasuresandRiches.com.
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