A lot of life lessons get figured out during your 20s and 30s. At the start of 2010 I believed all of these lies were true. It took almost a decade for me to learn these are all false beliefs, but I am grateful for entering 2020 wiser. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg of things I will learn in my lifetime, and I am grateful for the experiences that have shaped me.
Divorce means you let your marriage fail
Divorce is still a taboo subject and many people still strongly disagree with it. Listen to this, just because you get divorced doesn’t mean that you’re a failure. It doesn’t matter what faith you come from (if you even do). Even divorce can be forgiven.
As a strong 2 and 3 on the Enneagram test, I strive for success in all areas of my life. Sometimes, however, relationships need to end in order for the people in them to flourish. I will always love and cherish my first relationship, and I’m so grateful for all of the things I learned in it and the memories we created. He is a wonderful human, and I am thankful we realized we still value our friendship, but we were headed in completely different paths. In order for both of us to continue growing into healthy people, we had to do that separately.
Vulnerability is a weakness
Often, it’s the times when we take the difficult path of vulnerability that we show the most courage. Being vulnerable takes courage. Being vulnerable with your spouse takes courage. Talking with your boss about a promotion takes courage. Admitting to your child you made a mistake takes courage. Take the risk. It’s worth it in the long run, even if it doesn’t seem so right away.
Dr. Brené Brown words all of these idea better than any other person. I shared some of my takeaways from her Netflix special, but I encourage you to watch it for yourself if you haven’t already.
You can fix toxic relationships
Newsflash! People are human. Humans are messy. People will let you down. Toxic relationships don’t always start out that way. It may be after you give yourself distance from that relationship, you see the toxicity.
Last year, I ended a toxic relationship. Not by choice, necessarily, I just discovered that this person was lying to me. Even though it was one of the hardest things I had to do, I called her to confront and talk to her about it. Instead of owning up, apologizing, and talking through the situation, she continued to deny, so I hung up. It’s been almost 7 months, and we haven’t spoke. It wasn’t until I stepped back and had space that I realized how toxic the relationship was. Her story is not mine to share, but she had her own struggles that I was convinced I could help her with and drained myself trying.
However, over the last 7 months, I learned that toxic people have to heal themselves. I may be a counselor, but I cannot heal everyone. It isn’t my job to. While I have some pretty incredible people I surround myself with, the only relationship I can put all my faith in is my relationship with Jesus.
Which brings me to the next lie…
Christians have to vote Republican
This may seem silly, but it needs to be said. You can be a Christian and not vote with the republican party. I’ve voted since I was 18. Last presidential election, I had a very sick feeling in my stomach and voted for every position but the president. There was just no way I felt comfortable voting for Donald Trump, but I believed we, as Christians, still needed that “R” representation.
Fast forward to the next 4 years, countless tweets, racist remarks, and a better understanding of the Bible. If Jesus was walking the United States today, he wouldn’t be a Republican! (For the record, I don’t think he would identify as a Democrat either).
But… abortion? I understand why so may people are so passionate about this subject. However, it can’t be the one thing that we as Christians hold on to justify siding with a particular party. Christians should be pro-life. All life. Every gender, religion, sexual orientation, ethnicity, person should matter. Unfortunately, under the leadership of the current president, we are moving farther away from the people Jesus modeled us to be.
Last month, Matt Galli, editor and chief of Christianity Today, courageously stepped out with his article Trump Should Be Removed from Office. It ruffled a lot of feathers, but for me, solidified what I have been struggling with over the last few years. A few days later, Timothy Dalrymple published The Flag in the Whirlwind: An Update from CT’s President.
I encourage you to read the entire article, but I will leave you with the last paragraph.
Out of love for Jesus and his church, not for political partisanship or intellectual elitism, this is why we feel compelled to say that the alliance of American evangelicalism with this presidency has wrought enormous damage to Christian witness. It has alienated many of our children and grandchildren. It has harmed African American, Hispanic American, and Asian American brothers and sisters. And it has undercut the efforts of countless missionaries who labor in the far fields of the Lord. While the Trump administration may be well regarded in some countries, in many more the perception of wholesale evangelical support for the administration has made toxic the reputation of the Bride of Christ.Timothy Dalrymple The Flag in the Whirlwind: An Update from CT’s President Christianity Today
Vote how you feel led to, but don’t believe the lie that you have to vote a specific way or you aren’t a real Christian.
No one really loves working
Everyone needs to make money, so many people settle for jobs that leave them less than satisfied. Honey, life is too short not to love your career. Doing something you truly love is worth going back to school for. It’s worth the rejection. Finding something you are passionate about is worth every heartache that led you there. There’s something incredibly fulfilling about enjoying going to work each day.
I was fortunate enough to land my dream job in the last decade. Not only am I doing something that I have a passion for and that I love, but I work with some of the best teachers in the state. Also, I have the coolest kids and most genuine and caring families at my school. I won the school counselor lottery for sure.
Working out is key to good health
Hear me out. Working out has a ton of amazing benefits, but it is not the end all be all to good health. Good health starts from within. In order to live a truly healthy life, you need to be fueling your body with good food and working to maintain a balance in your mental health.
You can work out all day long, but if you aren’t fueling your body with the right nutrients, and balancing your stress levels, you aren’t healthy. In 2019, I focused on my mental health and shared seven ways to be more optimistic and lower stress as well as ways to reset when you need a break. This year, I hope to share more mental wellness posts, but I am also going to focus on the way I am fueling my body.
What is a lie that you are leaving behind in the last decade? Leave me a comment below.