On to a new year…

 

This year some of you lost a loved one. 

 

This year some of you had someone you thought loved you walk away.

 

This year some of you failed a class.

 

This year some of you got fired.

 

Here’s to all the people out there who will not miss 2017. Here’s to all the people who drank more wine than water and all the people who made more mistakes than triumphs.

 

Ugh.

 

I get it.

 

Disappointment. Loss. Hurt. Pain. Broken hearts. 

 

Some of these words could describe your 2017. Some of them describe mine.

 

Some people look back on 2017 as being a great year. A year of joy, triumphs, and accomplishments. These are good things that should be celebrated.

 

However, I know many of you look back on 2017 with sadness.

 

I get it. 2017 wasn’t that great for me. Although on the outside I looked like I was doing awesome, secretly I struggled. I think secretly, we all sort of struggled. Our social media says, “this year was great #blessed”. But the truth is we weren’t great. The year wasn’t great. And to be honest… life kind of sucked.

 

It is easy to want to start 2018 with a fresh, clean slate… but I’m going to challenge you not to forget the past. Your past failures and struggles are making you wiser. Your past is not meant to be forgotten… (including those old embarrassing Facebook pictures from 2009…)

 

Your past is a treasure, a rare jewel that explains who you are. Your past mistakes, failures, and trials become the real ancestry DNA to who you are. Some of the best blessings are lessons, and closed doors lead you to where you are meant to be. Allow your scars to be a testimony of the Lord’s strength. The Lord is the Ultimate Healer and He cares for you.

 

However, you do not have to stay where you are. You don’t have to stay sad. You don’t have to stay worried, upset, and hurt. Wake up eager in 2018. The Lord’s blessings are among us. It is never too late to be who you want to be. Chase your dreams and stop waiting. Stop waiting on tomorrow to be better than today. Find joy in the everyday adventure. Trust Him with your tomorrow, and live for Him in your today. 

 

Most importantly… breathe in-and-out.

 

Remember in 2017 someone had their first born and someone fell in love. 

 

Someone aced a test and someone saw a sunset for the first time. 

 

Someone had their last first kiss.

 

Someone brought home a puppy from the pound. 

 

Someone watched their child achieve their dream.

 

Bad moments happen… but good moments happen too. Yours are coming. And I promise it is easier to have joy even in the pain when you walk with the One who provides joy in all circumstances. He is working for the good of those who love Him. Even in the painful and crappy moments. Even when you overdraft and almost miss your flight , so run in the airport during holiday season…(@me in November.)

 

 

Your triumphs are coming.

 

 

But be willing to find joy in simple things in 2018.
Life isn’t always about big moments. So you didn’t get the job… but you know what it is taco Tuesday and you’re gonna have half-priced queso. So he didn’t text you back… but you had a sweet day with your family.  So what that woman hates you… but you have a friend in your life who is willing to do anything with you, even if it means running stupid errands in the shotgun seat..so you don’t have to be alone.

 

Life isn’t about big, worldly things. Sometime life is about finding joy in simple blessings like fresh fruit, a smile from a stranger, half-priced queso, and a good book. In 2018, focus on finding joy wherever you are and in whatever circumstances. This can make 2018 better. If you seek God and His Kingdom, you are naturally meeting joy along the way. And joy that can give you peace and hope when life stinks.

 

Even if life stinks – God is good. Even if your past is painful…. remember Jesus can comfort. And if your 2017 kind of sucked, trust God with your tomorrow and live for Jesus in your today – yes today, not tomorrow – stop waiting and trust your Maker. Life wasn’t meant to be easy. Every day may not be perfect, but every day is a blessing if you’re living with the Giver of Life.

Scripture to reflect on…

1 Thessalonians 5:18
Romans 8:28
Habakkuk 3:19

 

photocreds: of a girl who kinda didn’t like 2017 (lol me, @lemmebeyourvalentine), taken by one of her greatest friends @EmmaErhard
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Written by Grace Valentine

I love Jesus, diet coke and sunflowers. I wish I lived in the mountains, but love the two states I call home--Louisiana and Texas. I can watch Criminal Minds all day and dream of one day owning an ice cream truck for fun. However, my main goal in life is that more girls will realize the worth they have through Christ Jesus--and with Him and Him only we are enough.

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