God is so good to me. While there is work yet to be done as I endeavor toward building the life of my fantasies, I am a happy and content woman right here in this very moment. In this very moment, there is not one unmet need in my house. Yes, I have needs and some are pretty profound, but there is nothing  that I can do about them in this very moment. Nevertheless, my immediate needs are met – I have food, shelter, clean clothes, health, and a person or two who love me.

Over the past year, I have grown in ways that are pretty remarkable. Personally, I think my perspective on forgiveness has changed and improved the most. I figured out how to let go of hurts, anger, and sullenness, and it wasn’t through any of those platitudes that people so quickly toss out when they prod you to, “let it go”. I found my perspective by spending time on the problem and peeling back the layers. It took time, lots of time, to make peace and I had to let go of the voices telling me that God won’t forgive me lest I forgive (implying that I would go to hell if I died before “getting over it”). In this case, as with countless others, I never operate well when I operate out of fear or do things just because somebody said so. As I head into 2018, I’ll spend some time figuring out what safe restoration looks like in those places where I’ve let go. I’m looking forward to better understanding myself so that I can understand and extend grace toward others quickly, freely, and and through the filter of seeing their humanity and goodness (everybody has some, you know).

I also committed to letting go of fear in my professional life. I did what I suspect people (should) do when they get married: I made a decision to fully commit and to stop toying with getting a job as an escape plan. There’s nothing wrong with a job, and I’m not saying that I won’t ever get one. I’m saying that I gave up giving in to my fears every time I came upon a difficult or unplanned situation. I gave up the luxury of not acting because I feared rejection and set goals beyond just paying the bills (yes, giving in to fear paralysis is a luxury). It’s amazing how I was the same person with the same skills and the same resources, but this decision changed me and changed things in my business; it gave me conviction.

Finally, as the locomotive that 2017 has been continued to trudge along, I began thinking about my habits, both the ones that I am conscious of and trying to inventory myself for the ones to which I am blind. I thought about the fact that I believe I’m just under the halfway mark of life and that my habits will likely be the bridge that will carry me across. This sobering thought made me ask myself whether I’d be walking, crawling, or crying across. Then, panic set in and I thought, “It doesn’t matter whether I walk, crawl or cry because I don’t trust this bridge at all. I’d rather die than depend on this bridge”. Since I don’t control the flight of the death angel, I decided to remodel my bridge. Oddly, I don’t think I could’ve done the remodeling before now because it took me a while to figure out what mattered to me. Evenso, I feel more powerful and capable than I’ve felt in a long time. I just believe that the things will work out as long as I do my best.

But here is what’s interesting: as I began to push more in each of these areas of my life, I began to notice that I missed church and God. Let me explain. I believe God and church are two separate things and that they don’t always travel as companions. In either case, I’d stopped hanging out with both. What I get from church is community and a place to be vulnerable and to talk about the contradictions between the various parts of my life and how I’m working on fidelity (a way to achieve alignment that is authentic and consistent). What I get from God is a sense that there is a safety net for me, that I am not doomed, a reason to keep going when I am uncertain (indeed, a hope and a faith). Perhaps, there’s something about deciding to go-for-broke to do and attain those things that matters to you that reminds you of how little control you actually have.

I’m so excited about what 2018 will bring. I believe my world is rich with opportunity, love, ways to grow, to build, to receive……………to live!