Looking outward vs inward

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It’s so easy to get so caught up in our day to day lives, families, activities, and our areas of struggle that we forget there is a world of people around us, right in our places and spaces, who need someone to reach out to them.

Part of my journey of surrender is to focus more outwardly on the lives of others than inwardly at myself, my needs, my cares, my plans, my life. I don’t think we intentionally set out to have an inward focus, but we live in a very self-centered world, and I think the enemy is great at getting us to be so caught up in our own lives, our own messes, our own problems, our own struggles…that we do it without even realizing it.

Last summer when immense suffering came about in my life, I heard the Lord so clearly one day say to me, “Andrea, your healing will come as you give out to others.” So that is what I am setting out to do….and God has allowed me the opportunity to encourage, pour into, pray with, and minister to others. I have started a monthly IF:Table in my home, a daily word of encouragement/devotional through my Facebook page, an online Anything Project Bible study group. When I go places, run errands, meet a friend for coffee, or just am hanging out at the park….I see it all as an opportunity to connect with others, to meet someone new, to hear some of their life story, to pray with them, encourage them, and speak hope into whatever dark circumstances they face.

It’s amazing what can happen when we surrender in this way. When we get our eyes off of our own selves and onto others. When we choose to exchange our safe & comfortable lives for a life that might be uncomfortable. It changes everything. We gain so much….more love, more compassion, more grace.