So 2017! A new year, a new start. For me, that means gleaning a lot of knowledge, advice and truth from 2016. Honestly, it’s been a pretty good year for me. A rocky, anxiety filled year full of ups and downs, but good. In many ways, great. I grew a lot. I gained a sense of who I am, as a child of God, as a woman, as a mother, as a unique personality. God had a busy year with me, building my confidence, leadership skills and determination, and teaching me to deal with insecurities, anxiety, and a variety of failures. Ha, let’s face it, I’ll always be learning to deal with those! I’m not perfect, but I am on the perfect path. (Bear with me here, I do have a point in all this self-talk blah blah blah!)
Ok so two major things I learned this year:
Clarity. What is really important to me. I’ve spent so many years trying to be and do what everyone wants (I know,cliche, but true). I thought that if I could get get it right, make everyone else happy, then I would finally be happy. Trying to climb a ladder of success that doesn’t really exist. Trying to fake a personality that isn’t me. Trying to push issues under the rug that need to be dealt with. But over the course of this year, God led me to the end of some of the rainbows I’d been chasing and (shocker), there were no pots of gold waiting for me. Only confusion and a lost sense of direction awaited me there. On the journey out of this wilderness I learned a simple but difficult truth. Happiness only comes from having the courage to love. (And courage is not my strong point #biggestscaredycatinlifeever #fearandanxietyownmysoul) The courage to love my God with all my heart no matter where it leads or who it offends. The courage to love my children and do what what is best for them instead of taking the easy road and giving in. Even when it hurts me more than it hurts them. The courage to fall in love when my warped sense of fear and logical reasoning create and impenetrable wall of ice around my heart. The courage to love the world around me when the world seems to constantly want to attack me. The courage to encourage when it takes me out of my comfort zone.
So clarity. This truth has been imprinted on my soul this year. Can you guess what the other major gain from 2016 was? Yep. Courage. I know, right?! So obvious! I can’t help it.
But seriously, this past year I’ve gained a heap of courage (a heap?) while learning love and courage are the key to, well, everything good. God is so cool like that! The way he weaves everything together! So, with this newfound truth and a newfound courage, I’ve decided to stop playing the game and take action. I have no one to impress but God. His opinion and his words of approval are the only one’s that matter.
Landing the plane, I promise!
Those of you who know me know I’ve started several blogs, with a passion for spreading the message of hope and encouragement, only to watch each of them fail. As I’ve pondered this, I realized that it takes courage to encourage, it takes hope to spread hope, and until this year of extreme growth, I had neither. Which would explain the massive failure!
Today, January 1, 2017, I have a newfound confidence, not only in my status as a child of God, but in myself, in the woman God created me to be. In my personality, in what makes me me. The sober, analytical, emotional parts of me that I’ve spent a lifetime trying to squash. The funny, goofy, logical parts of myself that I like, but try to mold into a shape that just doesn’t fit. I got to a point where I started to hate the traits I considered to be my strengths, because they didn’t look like the ideal I had somehow manifested in my brain somewhere. But no more. god has given me a gift this year. The courage to love myself and the courage to love others. I am using this newfound courage to love and encourage as many people in this life as possible, with every fiber of my being. I am starting with this website, loveNcourage.com, to spread words of encouragement through the gift of writing that God has given me. I hope it creates a ripple effect of love and courage in evertone who reads it.
I have so much more in store for loveNcourage throughout 2017, so I hope you’ll subscribe to the blog! I’m so excited to begin this journey, and I pray for excitement and courage on your journeys through 2017 as well!
Happy New Year, and God bless!