New Year Reflections as I Close the Door on 2017
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only." A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens
If I had to sum up 2017 in one word it would be - paradox.
a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement or proposition that when investigated or explained may prove to be well founded or true.
Many people were shocked by some of the events of 2017. And just as many people were excited about those same events.
Some people saw hope for a future. While some people declared utter doom for humanity.
Some people pointed to a revival of morality and others questioned the moral basis of those in power.
Indeed, it was a year of paradox.
I say paradox because depending on where you choose to live, the income that you make, and the religion that you claim, both views could be proven valid.
When I look at some of my own struggles and victories in 2017, I see the same paradox.
In 2016, I started a transition into pursuing, I mean really all out pursuing, a new path for me. I decided to get outside of my comfort zone
After spending more than 20 years in the workforce, I could declare "I've seen it all." The truth is that I discovered that I haven't seen half of it. And I would have never known how much I didn't know had I not decided to venture outside of my comfort zone.
After serving over twenty years in ministry, I could declare "I've seen enough." The truth is that starting my life coaching journey has exposed me to how much I don't know about the human struggle.
Early in 2017, I declared certain victory as I boldly walked into my destiny. The truth is that I found myself many times doubting whether or not I had taken the right path.
As I encouraged you through more than 100 blog posts in 2017, I discovered that the more that I wrote, the more that I had to say. And the deeper that I thought about life and its mysteries, the more I realized that I still had much to learn.
I marveled at the many blessings I experienced. But I found myself looking around at the suffering in the world and feeling besieged by the overwhelming need to help others.
In all of this, one of the biggest lessons that I learned is how to live in the uncertain space of transition.
Struggle doesn't come without sweat.
Pleasure is made sweeter on the other side of pain.
Growth is painful and uncomfortable.
And life has a funny way of unfolding in the most unexpected ways.
There were many times that I questioned "should I just kill this blog?" And at those moments, I would get a message or post encouraging me to keep posting.
As I stand on the doorstep of 2018 and peer through the window, I see brightness. But I also see clouds and the haze makes the picture very fuzzy.
And it is at these uncertain moments that I pull out my faith and hold it tightly.
I choose to believe that what is on the other side of the door to 2018 is a bright and shining future.
The pain of my past is the pushes me towards my purpose.
And in me is rebirthed a hope and passionate believe that 2018 will be the year of the more love, peace, and joy.
I choose to believe.
As I silently close the door to 2017 behind me in a few hours, I invite you to join me on that same pathway to love, peace, and joy.
Yes, it may be a struggle. But we can get through it together. I believe in you.
And as I cheered you on in 2017, I will continue to be here in 2018 cheering you on. For this I know: if you are reading my blog you are part of the hope of humanity, a bright and shining light.
For I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will continue to perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:6
Let your light shine in 2018. And let us put our lights together to brighten the pathway to a future of hope for those around us.
Yes, my friend, I am cheering for you.