Psalm 118:17:” I will not die but live and will proclaim what the Lord has done.”
At the beginning of 2017, I made a bold declaration. I decided that I was going to live. Live fearlessly. Live a life surrendered. You see coming into 2017, I was facing one of the biggest storms I’ve ever faced in my life. It shook me up and changed my entire world. But I decided that 2017 was going to be the year that I placed all my trust in God and I was going to LIVE while believing in his promises. I wasn’t going to be afraid nor was I going to worry about what’s next. I was just going to live. I was choosing to live knowing that all things, including this storm, would work together for my good.
Was it always easy living out this declaration? Nope. If anything, it challenged me more than ever. Every time worry would try to settle in, every time fear tried to become my constant companion and bitterness tried to set up camp in my heart, I would remember my simple declaration, “I will not die but live…”
My decision to LIVE in 2017 made way for some unforgettable experiences and life long lessons. One of the biggest lessons it taught me was that my brokenness was not a permanent destination but rather a temporary location. The pain that I felt day in and day out was only the effects of God stretching me and molding me into who He needed me to be for the next season of my life. I will admit, there were many times that my declaration became overshadowed by my pain.
I thought to myself on countless occasions what could I possibly offer others when I’m all messed up on the inside? But what I came to realize is that some of my most powerful moments of ministry this year were birthed from my place of brokenness. I gave more. I loved more. I felt the pain of others. I trusted more. Although I was silently falling apart on the inside, I still felt like I was living my best life. Every time I obeyed the voice of the Lord despite how I felt, I was consciously choosing to live and not die.
This year, God gave me the strength to live even when I felt like dying. He lifted me when I felt like giving up. He saw pass all of the anger and the “I don’t care” mask and saw deep down that there was just a girl who wanted to be loved even with all her scars. A girl who did not want to feel abandoned or rejected anymore. A girl who just wanted reassurance that everything would be fine and that her story would be different. A girl who needed his healing touch once more.
2017 truly showed me that my pain has purpose. That I have a purpose. Because I made a conscious effort to believe in the promises God had spoken to me, I was able to experience His unfailing love and power in ways I never did before. I literally saw prayers answered right before my eyes. I visited 5 different countries and 6 different states in one year. God made ways out of no way. Financially. Spiritually. Physically. He performed miracles right before my eyes. I lost things (literally... LOL) and God restored them unto me.
So 2017, Thank you for showing me who I am and what I am really made of. You challenged me, my mindset, and my way of doing things. You set me on the path to healing. I’ll never forget all that you’ve taught me.
To God: Thank you for holding my hand through the process. Thank you for never letting me go and for giving me the strength to LIVE so that I can declare what you have done in my life. Your unfailing love towards me and your relentless pursuit of my heart brings me so much joy. I know You have so much in store for 2018 and where you lead, I will follow <3
To my friends and family (new and old): Thank you for every kind word you have spoken into my life this year. Your presence, words of encouragement and affirmation have been a healing balm for my soul. You made life a little easier to bear and a whole lot of fun. For that I am forever grateful.