I’m so grateful to be brought up the way I was. I was raised in a loving home by both my mom & dad. Brought up in the church (even beyond that because I was a preacher’s kid). Life had its ups and downs as most do, but from all that, there is this beautiful redemptive story that God has written in my life. I learned a lot of things at an early age through life lessons and experiences & I’m so grateful for each and every one of them, the good and the bad. Now that I’m in adulthood, I’m seeing how those lessons that I learned are proving true as I intentionally apply them while I navigate through this jungle we call life. It’s funny what lessons take & what don’t when you’re growing up. Adults can talk your ears off about learning from their mistakes, but when you’re young you’re going to do and listen to what you choose to. I was so oblivious to the lessons that were being instilled in me when I was younger, but in hindsight I can see a clear view of them & I’m so glad my mind clung to them. Today, if you don’t mind, I want to reflect on 5 things I’ve learned at an early age that have been key components in my stage of life right now.
A Relationship With God Will Get You Through
I grew up in the church. Every Sunday morning, Sunday night, & Wednesday night you would find me in church. I would have to had contracted the plague to miss a church service. Even on vacations, we would find a church to go to! Though I remember a period of resenting having to go to church all the time, even then those truths & teachings were making their way into my mind and heart. I was taught about the importance of having a relationship with God in our lives & how that relationship will get us through our most trying times. I was taught that no matter how far you run, how hard you fight, how much you hate Him, you can always come running back to God & He will welcome and still love you with open arms, ready & willing. So many times I ran from Him. So many times I’ve hated Him. So many times I fought Him. But He has never let me get too far away from Him. When I hit rock bottom with nothing else going for me, time and time again, I knew I could always run back to Him because of what I was taught every Sunday & every Wednesday (and even the little family devotionals in between). I’m so grateful for this lesson in my life because I put my relationship with God above all other things. I know that even when I have nothing else going for me, my relationship with God is what’s going to get me through my storm.
Time Management & Organization Is Key
I’m not sure when I started learning about time management & organization, but from what I can remember I’ve always had a love for it. I remember reading books like 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, Organizing from the Inside Out for Teens, & Life Strategies for Teens. I cherished my Zig Ziglar Performance Planner! I was a weird kid, but those life lessons stuck with me & helped me acquire crucial skills at such an early age. Because I learned the importance of time management & organization I was able to accomplish so much more than I could have ever imagined. These lessons are so instilled in me that I cannot not be organized even if I tried!
Related post: How I Organize My Day
Steer Clear of Unworthy Men
This was a tough lesson to learn, but it eventually stuck! I’ve had my fair share of unworthy men (or I should say boys!) going all the way back to middle school. And bless their hearts, they were just babies that didn’t know any better, but still. Through all my experiences and heart breaks, I’ve learned my true worth, where to find my worth, red flags to watch out for, & how I should be treated. I remember one moment in my life where I had just broken up with a guy and the blinders were removed from my eyes, seeing him for who he really was, and something just clicked! And honey, let me tell you what God told me: “You are a child of the Most High God. And princess to be exact. There is nothing that can destroy you or prove that you are unworthy because you are covered in My holiness. You are more precious than rubies. You are to be cherished, taken care of, & loved. Anything less than that is not from Me.”
You Will Always Get Caught
Always! Point blank. I’m convinced there are very little people that don’t get caught doing wrong. When I was young, I would always get caught. If someone hit me & I hit them back, I would be the one that got caught hitting. I lied to my 4th grade teacher about something I can’t even remember, but I do remember the whooping I got because of it. I snuck out with my friend when we were at her house and got caught by her parents, and when I thought I could hide it from my parents, some how some way they still found out. It wasn’t like I was super careless in my shenanigans, but eventually I learned that I will always get caught. I’m not sure if you get some special spidey sense when you become a parent, but I was for sure my parents had some kind of super power to know when I was doing wrong. As an adult, I’ve learned from those lessons and steer clear of doing the wrong thing because I know that it will eventually catch up with me. And as an adult, you don’t just get a pop on the butt or one month grounding, rest assure it will be something that will affect the rest of your life.
Having a mentor/older/wiser friend is beneficial
I had lots of friends my own age, but it was those friendships I had with women much wiser & older than me that helped me grow into the woman that I am today. I remember women like Ms. Betty, Erin, Shelly, & Tenielle who were my friends & mentors, gave me wise advice, & prayed over me when I lost my way. They were the ones that had the courage to call me out on the reckless lifestyle I was living & it was them that provided me the encouragement to rise above it. It takes a village to raise a child, and parents can only do so much before their child stops listening. I’m so grateful that God placed these women in my life. And now into adulthood, I seek out those same kinds of relationships. I build relationships with women who have been where I’ve been & I soak up as much as I can.
These 5 things I’ve learned at an early age are woven in my DNA & I see how these lessons play out in my every day life. I’m so grateful for how God writes out this beautiful story & allows me to remember and reflect on how far He’s gotten me.