We're coming to the end of 2016. Can you believe it? Time waits for no man. This year has been a year of up's and downs to say the least. First, my career took a turn for the worst when I was demoted from my position for reasons totally out of my control.  At first, I was really ashamed because I just received a promotion and it was practically announced to the world. Well, at least to everyone within my circle of family and friends. Can you imagine? Everyone making a big whoop about your accomplishments, you being so proud of yourself for making progress and then to lose it all? Not only that, but you lost it because of something that had very little to do with you.

Can't imagine it? Let me help paint a picture. It's like going to your high school graduation. You are all dressed up in your cap and gown, looking spiffy. Your family and friends are in the audience cheering you on. You walk up to receive your diploma, you do a little dance as you walk off the stage, diploma in hand. Then 3 days later, you get a call saying that you have to give the diploma back because you didn't pass one requirement in gym. Oh and you were never told that you need to take gym and that gym class was created 2 weeks prior to graduation. Do you see the unfairness in this situation?  Do you see how someone can get really depressed, dissappointed or even furious over this? Well that's pretty much how my year started. 

So what do I do? I begin to dig myself out of the bottom by speaking positively in my future and looking for other opportunities to make my life better.

I started to hope for the best because harping on the worst will only keep my mind imprisoned in thoughts of failure and fear.  I also begin to realize that life can throw some serious curve balls at you that you're really not prepared for and somehow God expects you to roll with the punches and keep moving forward.  

One of the weapons in my arsenal for dealing with these challenging times is the word of God. Seriously, scriptures where God is showing me how he moves and my place in his overall plan help me to move on from temporary setbacks. Look at this one. 

 "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland". Isaiah 43:18-19

How beautiful is that! How encouraging. God is telling us that we should not dwell on yesterday because every day he is doing a new thing. Every day he is making a way for us. Every day he is providing nourishment even when we find ourselves in a dry wilderness. He is doing a new thing! God is moving in new ways. He is providing fresh food, fresh water and new opportunities.  

When I look back on 2016, I can truly say it was a challenging but very good year. I've developed new relationships, started a non-profit for teen girls, improved my over physical health in tremendous ways and started this blog. Oh yeah, and did I tell you about the time I jumped out of a plane? God is good! Really, really good!

In the end, although I've lost some things, I've also gained some things that are actually more beneficial to my future than the former things. I've learned that through our ups and downs our best option is to stay with God. 

So I say goodbye to 2016 with love. For 2017 my goals is to forget the former things and fully accept all the new things God has in store for me. 2017 is going to be great! Not because I'm wishing it to be, but with God's help, I'm going to make it great year! 

Until next time,

Live in gratitude. Live in love.