What I Learned From A Year of Not Dating

Can you believe it’s already been a year? I made a decision to purposely not date for a year. Here is the short version of the blessings and heart lessons I learned.

Put GOD first, regardless of my status.
And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Deuteronomy 6:5

Deal with the old wounds.
Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled Hebrews 12:15

Deal with the anger.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23

Deal with childhood memories.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ. Philippians 3:13-14

Confront the sin that has morphed into habits from the items above.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. Romans 12:1-2

Love God more.
God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Keep reading His Word and learn what it means: context, content, concepts.
For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness. Colossians 1:9-11

Start with the Gospel. With everything.
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Colossians 1:17

Invest in eternity.
Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Matthew 18:18

Single or not – embrace God’s best.
I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. Philippians 4:12

And…I’m still not ready to date!

God is still speaking to my heart on different areas of growth that I know He wants me to tend to before I consider entering any other sacrificial relationship. I am so thankful that He has walked with me through those greyer moments, when I had to face truths about myself that I didn’t particularly want to deal with. I praise the Lord that He still covered me with His grace, forgave me for my sins and renewed my heart so I can serve Him. I am deeply thankful that He showed me I could change.

Blessings,

Mahal

One Year Off Facebook – Best Year of My Life

Hello Healing Partners!

I enjoyed one year staying OFF Facebook. So why in the world would I get back on this site? Here are a few lessons I learned.

1. If we want to change the conversation, we need to participate. Contribute. People will talk about the same things unless we give and share something different.

2. Go where people are talking and connecting. We don’t do telephone calls anymore. I learned not to fight the technology, but use it in a great way to leverage how to get the message out to a lot of people at one time. Uh, kinda like this blog! ­čÖé

3. Be brave enough to share your story. I probably would’ve been fine burying the cancer journey and all its difficulties. But God showed me that there are too many people who are healing from something. I learned what to apply in my life by watching other people heal. Maybe your story will help someone, too.

The healing journey shows that we can approach familiar things differently. Facebook is how most of my family communicates. Instead of dreading the barrage of online stickers or oddly-posed selfies, it was time for me to engage in the conversations and start contributing with messages that show the love of God.

I’ll be guilty of the occasional food foto and even a two-sentence rant about standing in line for way too long (you know, things that don’t really matter). But my prayer is that those are limited. Instead, could you pray that I use social media to show the powerful and purposeful, life-changing love of God to others?

The one year off Facebook might seem like the best year of my life, but there is so much more to come.

What about you? How do you benefit from your online activity? (other than having a great time here on my blog? Okay, I’m kidding). How has online content influenced you in your own decisions? Do you regularly learn new things online?

Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer.” Psalm 19:14

Blessings,

Mahal

I’m in this! – Video with me in orange scarf

Look, Ma, I’m on tv! Well, more like a short video that was shown during the Christmas programs.┬áEither way, my mother was proud ­čÖé I’m the one with the orange scarf! A personal thanks to Mr. Nathan Larson, a youth pastro at the church, who has an incredible talent (and tolerance) for editing and production. Enjoy and┬áshare the video freely!

Christmas musical 2014 from Nathan Larson on Vimeo.

The new way we celebrated new year’s eve.

2012 going into 2013: home. probably asleep before 11pm. I had just finished chemo/radiation treatments. I was back at work, thankfully working from home, but still struggling to get through the day without a nap.

2013 going into 2014: same thing. Sensitive to crowds and loud noises, feeling like I survived the first year of recovery and feeling too vulnerable to be out late at night.

So when I decided that we would go house-hopping for new year’s eve this year, my daughter was surprised. We hadn’t stayed up this late, other than our occasional movie nights at home. For me to have endurance with more than one audience in the same evening was a new experience for both of us.

We were able to enjoy family and friends and bring in the new year with lively energy. We arrived home safely, in the 40-degree version of a Los Angeles winter. Warmed with vanilla tea, homemade tamales and banana creme pie, we reminisced on the unexpected wow moments of this past year. We came home after 1am, with a new memory of how we celebrated new year’s eve.

This experience is a┬ámarker of healing. I really felt that the Lord turned around my previous holidays, as Proverbs 10:22 reads, “The blessing of the Lord, it maketh rich, and headdeth no sorrow with it.”

He showed me that He really walked with me through the new stages of healing this past year. Psalm 1:3 reminds me that the Lord gives me due seasons, “And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.” The Lord gave me these memories right on time and when He provided us with opportunities to bond as a family, He didn’t hold back.

There were many times last year (ha, I can say that now) when I felt like I wasn’t enough and I felt like I was falling behind on too many things. Even with my episodes of doubt and discouragement, the Lord walked me through those moments and reassured me that I could trust Him. And tonight, I really saw the the reward of His grace. God gave us a rich life with simple things.

Healing through my first client. How God brought me back to work.

I took on my first coaching client after almost two years of focusing on recovery and getting my life basics in order. I probably didn’t feel completely ready but the Holy Spirit told me to “Just listen.”

After receiving her the first completed assignment, it was clear that she was in her own season of renewal. On our first call, I asked her if she was healing from something. The extended pause on the other end was validation. She proceeded to tell me about the recent events of loss that come along with the new life stages, as we get older.

I had to thank the Lord again on how He used this return to coaching as a way for me share my own healing. What a clever and wonderful God who knows exactly how to get me back to work! 

I hesitated for months before deciding to coach anyone. I felt so inadequate, weak and clumsy. I began doubting what I could possibly contribute in a conversation with another person when I felt like everyone else’s life was more “together” and orderly. But God’s grace picked me back up and sent me this client in a way that was only possible through His power.

I also want to share with you how GENTLE the Lord was in bringing this new situation into my life. He didn’t force it, or slam it in my schedule with a jolt. It was almost effortless and the timing went so smoothly and without pressure. I used to compartmentalize work from my faith, thinking it was an area of life where I had to push and perform. Thankfully, the trials in my life have shown me that God is eager to manage everything. Psalm 119:71 reads, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” I find this to be true. That it is good that I discover the beauty of God’s grace in the workaholism that I so viciously guarded as my own.

The result of this blessing is that I’ve also added “healing” as one of the facets of my coaching practice and I’m appreciating that I’m in a tender place to build it, one brick at a time with God’s loving, helping hand.

I pray that you can ask God to intervene in the issue of work, time off, leave of absence and even returning to work without feeling overwhelmed. We are in such a rush for normalcy and it can put us in a vulnerable place of inadequacy. But I pray that you can seek the Lord and remember that He is enough.

Blessings,
Mahal