The past six months or so have been full of unexpected changes, revelations, disappointments, and all in all, weeding out the bad in my life. Bad people, bad situations, bad feelings, bad habits, and bad health – both mental and physical. Weeding out the bad (especially when it’s not exactly by choice) is not as refreshing and exciting as it sounds. But as I believed and trusted that He would, God has proven to me that all the “bad” things I was going through were just preparation for all the good that was to come. I’m not one to brag, but life has been pretty freaking great for the past couple of months. The past several weeks have been full of hope, joy, laughter, change, and restoration. I’ve learned that change isn’t always bad, people will disappoint you and downright hurt you for their own gain, hard times will come and go, and guess what – life goes on. Life is still as beautiful and magical as I thought it was when I was a naive teenager. I’ve taken time to myself to heal and deal with the many changes and other things I’ve experienced recently and you know what I realized? I have absolutely no control over other people or what situations God has planned for me to endure throughout my life. But I can control how I carry myself and how I react to those situations. If I give the best of myself in every situation that life brings me to, good or bad, God will recognize that. If I pray through both the hard times and the good times and praise God for who He is regardless of the circumstances, He will honor that. And if I give up my constant need to control everything in my life and just start to LIVE, God will see that I trust His plan and His power enough to not take everything so freaking seriously. I now give myself daily (sometimes hourly) reminders to LAUGH when something goes wrong, to CRY when I’m hurting instead sucking it up and holding it in, to TRY NEW THINGS and even to suck at them really badly when I try them, and to be thankful for the fact that controlling things in this life is NOT MY JOB! God reminded me this year just how plainly human I am. I’ve been given this one short opportunity to seek his truth and love others and enjoy my time here on earth. That thought used to put SO MUCH pressure on me. (“Life is short- make everything you do perfect.”) But that is so, so wrong. My new thoughts: Life is short, so make it worth living. Live to be as wild and free as you can possibly be, because there is the deepest sense of freedom you gain when you love God for making you imperfect and trust Him above your own understanding. I live to serve a prefect God, so why in the world would I need to be perfect? So that’s where I’m at. That’s what I’ve learned this year, despite the hard times, disappointments and unexpected changes… and I think that’s pretty freaking worth it.