Six months ago my life was drastically different than it is now. Six months ago, out of a reverence for tradition and holiday celebrations, I was in the midst of doing what everyone does – I made a list of resolutions (or goals, if you prefer that term). I deeply looked at my life and I was scared as I faced the uncertainty of what was to come. All I knew then, was one thing: 2016 was an awful year, and it would take nothing short of a miracle to make me to make it through 2017.
And from that moment forward, I began the fight for change, for peace, for joy, and for love. I wish I could say that journey was quick and by February 1, 2017 I was completely healed. But friends, I’m hear to tell you, slow and steady wins the race.
On December 31, 2016, after the kids and I attended a very spirit-filled church service, I knew that it was going to take not one, but several miracles from God to turn my life around. 2016 was full of disappointment, fear, and heartbreak and I was convinced that our family of four could not take anymore pain.
On any given day, during the last six months of the year, this was our situation:
- Anxiety attacks were the norm rather than the exception for any of us.
- My ex-husband became ill, and regardless to how I felt about him post-divorce, I once loved him very much and his illness hurt me too.
- My kids wanted to move from Texas to Mississippi very badly and that didn’t happen. They were disappointed beyond belief.
- I finally realized that the romantic relationship I had been in for the past six years was toxic, narcisstic, and emotionally abusive. Once I realized it, I blamed myself for it. All of it.
- I believed that once was enough. I attended (in-person or on-line) one church service either on Sunday or on Wednesday per week and that was it. I prayed once a day – first thing in the morning and that was it. I listened to one playlist of praise and worship music that had my standard 10 favorite songs and that was it. I was really quick to get on my knees and cry and pray and wallow in my pain whenever I needed to, but as for me making time to have a constant relationship God, I thought that once was really okay.
When 2016 ended, my entire family was full of sadness, despair, heartbreak, grief, disappoinment, sorrow, confusion, and fear. By the time 2017 arrived, we added two more things to our arsenal – hope and faith. We were hopeful for the miracles that we knew that our faithful God could create. Somehow, I woke up on New Year’s Day and felt ready to take the world by storm. I knew that 2017 needed to start with me sprinting my way to acheiving the necessary, peace, joy, love and all things good.
But that’s not the way it worked. Because that’s not the way God works.
Just so we’re clear, when you are going through a storm and preparing to come out of a storm, God will bring you out out of that storm slowly – improving your situation little by little so you have time to see His goodness, grace, and mercy at work in your life.
He changes our lives for the better with His steady hand.
Here’s how all of this looked in our world:
- I decided to join a new church. A church, nonetheless, that I had visited periodically over the past 18 years. The new member process took two months to complete.
- I took a career leap that changed how I write, where I write, what I write about, and who I write for. As a result, my writing is much more authentic and a true reflection of the grace, mercy, and miracles I’ve experienced.
- I took a 12-week class at church that would help enhance my relationship with God and enable me to grow spiritually. Not only did it do that I meet really cool people, I have a greater biblical understanding of life as I live it. I learned that it’s okay to invite the Holy Spirit into all areas of my life everyday of the week – not just Sunday morning while I’m in church..
- When I chose the word miracles as my word for 2017, I decided to accept the miracles of God in my life. Now, I accept them, and I also help create them for others.
- I just didn’t understand the true meaning of love. I didn’t realize it is a choice, and that the most challenging yet most rewarding decision I make everyday is whether or not I am going to love like Jesus. (Because of human nature, I will always fall short, but I am having a blast trying.) And over the course of the past six months, I’ve started to understand that if I continuously chase after Jesus and allow His love to fill me, I am complete.
And while this list is no where near complete (we’re only halfway into the year), I am choosing not to anticipate what’s going to happen next. Instead I will hold God’s steady and unchanging hand, and allow Him to lead us into the life He has planned. And no matter how slow it is, I’m opting for the steady force of His Holy Spirit to make all things clear.