It all started in November of last year while traveling home for the holidays. At the time, I was in my senior year of college working full-time and picking up different art projects in addition to my already massive schedule.
I always looked forward to taking the train home from Chicago to relax and spend time with my family and friends, and this trip was no different. I never could have imagined what was to come of that cold winter’s night. It was just a regular trip home, until the unexpected happened.
On the drive home from the train station, my family and I were held at gunpoint and shot at several times by two carjackers as we went down a side street in the city. It was only by the grace of God that we were able to maneuver our car around the gunmen and speed off to the nearest police station. But even though their attempt to kill my family and I was unsuccessful, there was still emotional scarring left that needed to be healed.
I realized that even our greatest victories require that we tend to our wounds after the fight has been won.
Terrorized by the incident, my initial reaction was to bury the pain of almost losing my life by overcompensating for it in other areas of my life. With my never ceasing responsibilities of school and work, I thought it would be the perfect time to flex my big girl muscles and keep hustling. Hopefully in the hustle and bustle of all things normal, I would just become numb to the pain. But unlike before, I was no longer inspired to do my job well.
In those moments of dry ambition, I started to understand that only God could provide me with the inspiration needed to fully enjoy life again.
I wanted nothing more than to get back to the basics of what made me feel inspired and fulfilled in my everyday life and these five steps were major keys during the process:
1. Refresh yourself in the word of God.
Nothing is as refreshing as digging into the scriptures for yourself and gaining a fresh revelation of the bible. We don’t have to wait until Sunday to be reminded of the promises of God. It is available to us any time we are in need.
“Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.” –Romans 15:4 NLT
2. Look back at your past victories in order to gain faith in your present trial.
This step makes me think of the battle between David and Goliath in 1 Samuel 17. I love that when David was about to go up against Goliath, he whipped out his spiritual resumé in front of the army of Israel in order to attest to the faithfulness of God. He told them of his past victories as a shepherd boy where he killed both a lion and a bear. If God could deliver him from those two beasts, then surely God was capable of delivering him from this giant!
We need to be more like David in our confidence of the Father. He is more than able to heal us, deliver us, and restore us from our present trials. Just take a look back at your spiritual resumé.
3. Make sure your squad is #goals.
Through my own recovery process, I knew that I needed people who would be able to encourage me and were not offended when my cup was running more empty than full. It is important to have people in your circle that can build you up in your time of need and not tear you down.
“As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.”- Proverbs 27:17 NL
4. Take a break from social media.
Everyones life looks better through an Instagram filter. It’s hard to focus on becoming whole when you're so busy focusing on other people’s gifts and talents. Allow God to show you what’s so special about you by not allowing yourself to fall into the temptations of comparison and jealousy.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.” - Hebrews 12:1 NLT
5. Make worship a priority.
Above all else, I believe that if we wake up every morning intentionally giving God our everything, we will find a rest in His presence that is far above anything we could ever imagine.
“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the LORD is God…For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.”- Psalm 100:2-5 NIV
Maureé Sullivan is a Detroit native who is passionate about spreading God's love through the creative arts. She is an art director, blogger and recent college graduate, completeing her Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Business from Columbia College Chicago. You can connect with Maureé on Instagram, Facebook and ByMaureé.com.