The past few weeks I’ve been a bit of a hermit. On purpose. I took some time to be still and reflect on the highs + lows of 2018. My missteps. My shortcomings. My victories. My growth. And where I want my focus in 2019. My hopes. The areas of my life where I still see God challenging me. The accomplishments I hope to achieve. And the person I continue to hope I become.
Each year I choose a word. A word that has significance in my life. In 2018 that word was BELIEVE. Guys + gals, I love life - everything about it. But as I’ve mentioned before, the past few years have been a real bitch to say the least! To be completely authentic with you, I hit some real low points over the past year. I knew coming into 2018 that I was going to have to believe in God’s faithfulness more than ever, because honestly, I hadn’t yet seen him deliver in my life the ways I felt I needed Him most. It’s those critical moments when we feel completely stripped that our faith is put to the test. How are we going to respond? Do we give up, wallow, or persevere like the warriors we were created to be? I will always choose to be a warrior. That’s what my parents taught me. And coming off of Christmas, that’s exactly why God sent us His Son in Jesus Christ. So that He could bare our sins and shortcomings so that we could have life. He has already fought all of our battles so that we can be victorious. And so, I will continue choosing to BELIEVE. That I am free. That He has my hand. That He has a beautiful story laid out for me as the Author of my life. And at the end of my story, which is ultimately His, I win. All to glorify Him - my loving and faithful Father. And guess what? He has continued to refine me over the past year (that's a beautiful thing!) and there were also many high notes! I'm grateful for it all; He is oh so good. All the time.
So as we close 2018, here’s 3 ways God delivered:
I learned to embrace + accept my solitude and singleness by choosing Jesus first. Not gonna lie, it’s hard to be 35 + single when all of your friends are married and/or with children. My life looks completely different; it’s not my ideal. And being totally raw with you, I struggled with it at times over this past year. There were moments when the silence in my life was deafening, and so I turned to the dating scene which ultimately proved to be disappointing. But through some missteps of opening myself up to a few relationships which weren’t up to par or worthy of my attention…I found myself back with God. And I realized that I am perfectly content with this season of my life. I’ve enjoyed the rest and the tranquility. So for now, I’m grateful for Jesus as my true Romancer, teaching me my worth and preparing me for the time that He unveils the righteous + worthy man for me. And I refuse to settle for less than.
I turned 35 and God showed me the art of living. By having a voice. By standing up for what He wants for me as His beloved daughter. By going against the grain at times. By being bold and unpredictable. By having fun. And by freaking laughing at the humor of it all. So as Proverbs 31:25 was etched in my heart over the past year, so it was etched on my forearm with my first (and last according to my dad) tattoo: “She laughs.”
Prayer after prayer for a new opportunity in my career, and God delivered. I rekindled a friendship with an old co-worker all because of my tattoo - and through her, I received a great job opportunity that uses my education and experiences, provides me health benefits (after two years of having none), monthly bonus opportunities, and the chance to finally work my way to get ahead instead of in a hole. Praise Jesus!
So here we are, about to embark on a new journey in 2019, and I have a new word to live by: PASSION. I saw a great definition of what this word means - “a willingness to suffer for what you love.” The best example of this being the passion of Jesus Christ. And with that being said, not settling for a life that is mediocre. I want all the feels this life has to offer. I want pursuit. I want love. I want goosebumps. I want greatness. I want PASSION! And that’s what I choose in the coming 12 months. With fire in my heart and sacrifice, I will live passionately in my faith, in my work, in my relationships, in my health, and in my creativity.
And here are a few of my passion goals:
Pay off my debts and be a better steward of God’s resources.
Recommit to my wellness ways - clean up my eating, exercise (even if a little) daily, and maybe lose a few healthy pounds.
Continue to choose God first and follow with intentional obedience. Be open to His new opportunities.
Live boldly + creatively. I’ll be writing more + more. Providing more content. Picking back up on a creative project that requires me to learn a new skill. And after a few gray hairs surfaced this past week (eek!), I’m thinking of a big change-up. I’m thinking a blonde version of me in 2019!?!? Yay/Nay?
Read more. Learn more. Grow more.
Take faith-calculated risks.
Love with my whole heart. And be loved by a whole heart.
Be in the Bible daily. The Word is alive!
Get involved with a charity or volunteer organization.
Remember this: more of Him, less of me. Period.
So what do you think? Do you want to join me by living a passion-filled 2019?
Cheers to a great year ahead!
“The purposes of a person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” (Proverbs 20:5)
“The beauty of a woman is not in a facial mode but the true beauty in a woman is reflected in her soul. It is the caring that she lovingly gives the passion that she shows. The beauty of a woman grows with the passing years.” (Audrey Hepburn)
“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive, and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” (Maya Angelou)