Embrace 2017

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A few weeks ago I posted on my Instagram about how 2016 had essentially shut me up. I vowed that 2017 would not do the same, hence my first post of 2017! I promised myself I’d get one out in January no matter what. If you’ve been on any social media platform, no doubt you’ve seen people talking about what a difficult year 2016 was, and it surely was. Yes, there were a lot of deaths in 2016 – some of which touched me personally. Yes, the political goings on and the dialogue surrounding it was emotionally and spiritually exhausting. I refrained from expressing feelings and opinions because, frankly, I felt like there were more than enough words out there already and I didn’t see the point of adding to the talk soup. That coupled with the fact that no one really seemed interested in a true dialogue, kept my mouth shut and my pen down. Those who know me know that I’m fine with being quiet…

Personally, 2016 started out really good. I had a lot of fun, went on some much needed road trips, and hung out with some of my favorite people. Everything was rolling along until it wasn’t. Life struggles swooped in and everything changed. The day-to-day “stuff” became all-consuming until, just like that, I found myself stuck in a hole. Forget about a light at the end of the tunnel, all I could see for miles around was more hole. It started to take a toll on me to the point where I got quiet in real life as well. For months it wasn’t at all unusual to find me binge watching series after series on Netflix or reading (and rereading) endless pages of fan fiction (some of which are REALLY good btw, but I digress). I reached a place where my greatest effort went into finding an escape where my mind could find rest from everything, if only for a little while.

I’m not sure what specific thing woke me up. All I know is as 2017 approached a word dropped into my spirit - EMBRACE. Something about that word broke the funk I was in. Being the word nerd that I am, I Googled the definition: “1) to hold (someone) closely in one’s arms, especially as a sign of affection; 2) to accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly or enthusiastically.”  That was great, but how did it apply to me specifically? I prayed about it, (mostly I just listened, which is also prayer) and Jeremiah 29: 11 came to me: “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This happens to be my favorite verse; my ‘life verse’ if you will. Without going into a long explanation, I ended up flipping the verse from being God’s promise to me to being my prayer to Him. My prayer went something like, “God, I embrace the plans You have for me. I embrace the prosperity, the hope and the future You have for me in whatever way You choose to do it.” So my focus for 2017 is two-fold: 1) I embrace the life I have even as I let go of my focus on what isn’t and 2) I embrace the opportunities that come my way this year, even, or maybe especially, the one’s that scare me! No sooner had I said, “Amen,” than a friend tweeted me about a master class being taught by my ‘mentor in my head’ on the very subject I’ve been wanting to learn about. Needless to say I signed up. This is a HUGE step for me, but I’m ready and, most important, I’m embracing it!

Happy New Year to you all!!