I’ve thought about this post for a moment. How will I ring in the new year, 2018? I have kept a journal since October 1992. Once upon a time, I would go back and read the past year’s entries on New Year’s Day. Let me say this loud and clear. I was a hot mess. Broken. Busted. Disgusted. Masking. I would read the entries, one by one. Without any awareness, my tears would stream down my cheeks. Before I knew it I was sobbing. Large, broken, shoulder-shaking sobs. I don’t think I ever finished reading an entire year’s entries. Eventually, I stopped looking back. I didn’t see growth. I was only reminded of my always fractured state of being.
This morning while in church, I heard the pastor reflect on 2017 from what I considered “the half empty glass” perspective. I was very disappointed. I thought to myself, “That’s not encouraging anyone or giving them hope.” For me, my glass is half full. In fact, my cup was running over! The year of 2017 was great for me! I believe that 2018 will be the fulfilling of some God-made promises. This last year has been my best, by far. My pastors from Summit Worship Center (Austin, TX) always encouraged us to extend our faith….to really stretch and go beyond ourselves. I made a conscious decision to do that. I had already known since spring 2016 that God was going to move me. It would not be until late 2016 that God began to have me get my house in order and declutter. I went on a major household purge. By the time 2017 rolled around, I was ready to buckle down with God and seek His will. I had been given this book, which I have mentioned in my other posts, “Draw the Circle: The 40 Day Prayer Challenge” by Mark Batterson. I sought God for the impossible and I believed Him for it. I would rise early for what Pastor Andrea called the Hour of Power.” I would pray and study God’s word. I would rise by 5:00 AM and loved that still quiet of the morning. God spoke and kept speaking. He was very clear about what I was to do: look for a new job; resign from my old job; sell my house; sell this; sell that; give this away; or give that away. It didn’t make sense to me, but I trusted Him.
Before I knew it, my life completely shifted. I resigned my job, sold my house, got a new job and purchased a new home. During the entire process I just kept trusting God. I would remind Him that all this was His doing and His name…His reputation was on the line. In that obedience, I experienced the smoothest transition ever. So I did have a great 2017. God exceeded my expectations, doing more than I could ask or imagine. I’m still in awe and still find myself shaking my head in amazement. I knew He would do everything He had told me. I kept believing it…even when I could not see it…I still believed.
I now sit in my new home in my new city, knowing I’m on the path God has orchestrated for me. I still don’t know the details of God’s plan, but I know I’m where I’m supposed to be. For some time now, I have been of the mindset that I do not have to know all the answers or have it all figured out. It’s okay to live in the unknown. I’m still doing that, but I’m still trusting God, too! I feel like I finally got to my happy….not that superficial happy that people want to see because my truth would make them uncomfortable. They don’t know what it took for me to get to my happy. Maybe my happiness is more contentment. Maybe that contentment stems from the wisdom I’ve gained from years of hurt and pain. Maybe that happiness is just that joy that I finally understand that the world didn’t give to me and it can not take from me. It brings me to a place of being centered and grounded. It’s not what I do, but who I am. It is not me; I am it. I AM centered. I AM grounded. I no longer sweat the small stuff.
This is my happy. This image is what that happy looks like for me. It only took me 52 years to get here. It is my hope that you will find yours in 2018. Take a picture today and tuck it away in your phone. On next New Year’s Eve, take an new picture. Pull out that old picture and compare it to the new one so you can see how far God has grown you. I wish you and your family many blessings in this new year.