We are called to be humble lovers of God and people but a valuable lesson that I have learned is that it is okay to pat myself on the back.
Maybe the most encouraging thing for me personally is to at times not even recognize the man I once was. Now please understand I have miles of growing to do. I have not arrived. But a situation will arise and my prospective is so different than what it once was that I can't help but quietly say, "Thank you God for not giving up on me."
Recently I read The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson and the one part that resonated with me the most was when he wrote about not only prayer for open doors but closed ones as well. Sometimes we want a door opened so badly that we want what we want and we ask God to grant it to us. What if that is not the door God wants opened? Most of my life I would have said well let me have it anyway and I will catch up with you later.
I have a dream that I have chased on and off for several years. There was a time it was my idol. It was that important. It was not a bad dream or something evil. It was just an accomplishment that I somehow felt I needed to be fulfilled in my life here this side of the veil. Now while nothing is concrete someone has expressed an interest in possibly making this dream come true.
And I truthfully say, "God if this is not a door we are walking through together then please close it."
And the Father I have come to know joins me with a little loving pat upon my back.