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Life In the Fast Lane: Lessons Learned Over the Last Few Months

Nicole Smithee

Life has been happening fast these days, and the last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind of wonder and work, and well, a lot of other things.

It wasn’t that long ago that I stood in front of my closest friends and family and said, “I do” to the man I love.  It wasn’t that long ago that I packed up a dozen or so boxes and said goodbye to my quiet Brooklyn apartment to move into Ben’s loft located in the hustle of Lower East Side, Manhattan.  It wasn’t that long ago that I held tightly to my new husband on the back of an old motorbike exploring the winding roads of Chiang Mai on our honeymoon, with the breeze tickling my arms and the sun kissing my shoulders.  It wasn’t that long ago that I transitioned out of leading the non-profit work I had been a part of for the last two years to begin a new endeavor of developing a strong leadership community at my church.  It wasn’t that long ago that I began meeting and planning and dreaming with a few others about the launch of an online community for young women (which you will hear more about over the next few weeks.)  It wasn’t that long ago that I began steps towards writing and publishing a book with not only my name on it, but my story and my heart as well.

A lot can happen in a few months. My last name has changed.  My zip code has changed.  My work has changed.  My plans have changed. My focus has changed.  All in the last five months.

With all a lot of change comes a lot of learning.  Wisdom cultivated in past seasons of anonymous faithfulness, hidden obedience, and grace-filled endurance have already put to good use.   And sense I’m on the subject, for some of you readers who may find yourselves in a season of that feels monotonous, may I offer this encouragement:

I’ve had plenty of seasons of waiting and hoping for breakthroughs and open doors and answered prayers; seasons that have required me to trust that the seeds of faithfulness I was sowing, though hidden, were not fruitless.  These were often frustrating and even lonely times. These have also been seasons of my life have been some of the greatest gifts I have ever received, though I will admit they certainly didn’t feel that way at the time.  I’ve discovered that God is in the waiting- that He is Lord of the hidden, just as much as He is Lord of the harvest. In the unchanging and unexciting times of my life, I got to know my Savior up close and personally, and found Him to me the One who not only sees me, but satisfies the longings of my soul.  I’ve discovered on the other side of these seasons, that they have prepared both my heart and my character for what was to come.  In the hidden, in the challenging, in the waiting periods of my life, God Himself was preparing me for what He had already prepared for me.  And the same is true for you.

Yes, wisdom birthed out of past seasons has served me well. I’ve also benefited from the advice of others, the guidance of the Word of God, and the leading of the Holy Spirit as I navigate what is new.  God is always teaching us, and if we pay attention we may just be wowed by the sheer amount of revelation Heaven desires to throw our way.  Not only is Jesus showing us new things, but His Spirit is helping us apply those new things- gracing us to soar to new heights of humility, deepen our love for others, get back up when we fall, and persevere through what feels overwhelming or perilous or both.

Below are some of my most recent findings- ways in which my Heavenly Father has been affirming and correcting me, my Savior has been training and equipping me, and the Spirit of God has been helping and empowering me.  I should say that these lessons have not all been embraced easily and quickly.  In fact, some have been reluctantly accepted and clumsily applied.  But none the less, here they are.

I pray that these findings assist and encourage you in your own journey and through whatever season you may be in.  And I pray above all that you would experience the rich kindness and goodness of God in every moment of discovery and revelation He has for you.

LESSONS LEARNED OVER THE LAST FEW MONTHS

  1. It’s not always the burden that breaks you, but how you carry it.
  2. Behind most issues of personal pride are unaddressed fears.
  3. Investing in people is the most rewarding job of all.
  4. Great things usually take longer than you expect, but it’s worth the time.
  5. You can’t have authenticity without vulnerability.
  6. Comparison is dangerous, and should not be tampered with.
  7. Pursue progress over perfection.
  8. Old ways won’t always open new doors.
  9. Be as kind to yourself as you wish to be to others.
  10. Prayer doesn’t replace my hustle, but it does what my hustle can’t.

 

Let’s keep the conversation going!  What have you been learning lately?  Share the wealth by leaving a comment below…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Michael Dalto
    April 27, 2018 at 5:54 am

    Nicole
    Im so happy for your marriage – and all the wonderful things God is doing in and through you!
    I’m sure The Future has more blessings than you can imagine!
    Thanks for your faithfulness-and transparency- which takes courage – and teaches and comforts, letting so many know they are not the only one to have felt what they felt – or thought what they have thought.
    Thank you for pursuing God and going against the tide!
    I look forward to seeing all the wonderful things God has for both you and your husband in the years ahead – as God uses you both to help change and affect so many lives across the Earth!

    Congratulations on your marriage!
    Michael Dalton
    ps – you have a wonderful writing gift – I’m sure there will be many books to bless the world!

  • Reply
    Tiffany
    May 8, 2018 at 11:36 pm

    This is INCREDIBLE, thank you for sharing! I am ALWAYS encouraged through your blogs!
    I can definitely relate since I’ve gone through some transitions myself!
    Lately, I’ve learned the following!
    – My ability to disciple and love others is not as effective when I’m not tending to my own soul.
    – Saying no to commitments allows the opportunity for me to say yes to what God has called me to.
    – Finding my true calling and purpose has only come through true surrender to Holy Spirit.

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