As the holiday season is among us, I am reminded of the immense work that God has done in my life. Unfortunately, by the people around me who are doing reflections of their year and overall life and feel like it’s not enough; They are not doing enough; they are not fulfilling a purpose; My heart is heavy as I hear their pleas of inadequacy, searching for the right words to calm their discontented spirits.
In November 2013, I was in the same predicament. I had no peace in my life nor in my heart. I wanted more. I worried about the past, the present and the future. I had very little hope that change would come. I found myself in Barnes and Nobles one Sunday morning, wanting so desperately for my life to change. I spent the whole day reading books. Books about travel, books about pursuing a higher degree, books about writing my own book and books about relationships and wedding planning. What exactly did I want out of my life? All of these things. The question was, how to take the first steps towards attaining my inner most desires? I found that the answer was in humility. My number one issue was that I was not happy with my present. I felt stuck. I didn’t feel like I was progressing as fast enough as my peers. I hate to admit it now, because I always consider myself my own competition, but I was looking at others and comparing their success to my own, which is the worst thing to do. I didn’t feel like I was growing professionally, I felt more than competent to take on more responsibility at work but didn’t see an avenue to pursue this growth. I’d never traveled beyond the Caribbean and I wanted to see the world so bad, I didn’t have my own apartment nor did I have a car (which was a personal choice) but hey it could’ve been nice, and I was single and hadn’t been in a substantial relationships since I was in my late teens. Humility came with acknowledging that I was more than capable of having everything my heart desired simply by putting my life in God’s hands wholeheartedly. I wouldn’t complain about my job, I would thank God for it. I wouldn’t pout when hopping into a friend’s new car I would thank God for their blessings. I shut my mouth and continued to pursue excellence in all aspects of my life even though I didn’t see nor did I fathom the plans and the ways God would shake up my life in 2014. I found peace, not only in my present but in my future. My security in God grew stronger and I learned how to truly forgive. Forgive my past, forgive those who said something to me or did something to me that did not align with how God defined me, now all that was left to do was watch God’s plans unfold and it did.
After getting baptized in January and declaring publicly that the lord was my savior, I soon booked a trip to Europe that changed my life. I planned my first event for my organization Reserved that turned out to be a success. I went to a seminar that taught me how to write and publish my own book. I then went on to travel through Europe and all the cities I only dreamed of seeing. It changed my life and showed me that all things were possible through God. I came back from Europe only to discover that I was getting a raise and a bonus at work…what? I wasn’t expecting both. I completely bounced back financially over night, it was as if I never took money out of my bank account to pay for Europe-all was covered. I started dedicating my Tuesday nights to prayer meeting at my church. The thing that I enjoyed about prayer meeting was that it taught me how to be selfless. We didn’t spend 2-hours praying for ourselves and our own problems, we prayed for others. We prayed for those individuals living in rural Asia, India and Haiti or the forgotten Native Americans suffering from alcoholism and poverty on reservations. We prayed for women caught up in human trafficking and for people whose family members were suffering from cancer, mental illness and other serious ailments. I learned that the world didn’t revolve around me, I learned to pray and I learned to worship. I even began listening to gospel music-Alpha and Omega by Israel Houghton is my favorite song ever. Eventually things began to look up for me.
I began to take the idea of going back to school seriously. What I would go to school for was still a mystery but I knew I was beginning to love business and entrepreneurship and I always wanted to be a writer and write for a magazine.
I stopped partying as much, matter fact I didn’t party at all, yet one day I decided to go to an event called “The Greatest Day Ever” and met my boyfriend. Turns out he’s so gentle, giving, and intelligent, a little bit CRAY-CRAY, very introverted but overall a great person and I am happy he’s in my life. I soon realized in order to pursue a new relationship I would need to make sure my closet was completely cleaned and all skeletons were gone. I co-hosted a sister circle with some of my closest friends. We spent the whole day forgiving; forgiving our past, confronting skeletons that were holding us back and praying for one another. We wrote our insecurities on an index card and released it out of our souls. It was one of the highlights of my year. All was forgiven.
Later on in the year I began to plan to go to South Africa. Africa, was just a mere dream of mine and it was just about to become a reality when my manager left the company and I was promoted into her position. Promotion comes from God, and that had God’s promise written all over it. Now, I am sitting in my bed pretty much typing my year in review anticipating my conclusion so I can thank God for his blessings. But before I do that, I want to share the inspiration for this post. I was listening to a sermon today by my Pastor Cymbala and he preached about peace and the four types of peace we need to have in our lives and in this New Year:
- Peace with God (When you have peace with God, there’s an understanding that you’re covered. Humble yourself)
- Peace that covers our past (Letting go of the recriminations and sorrowful memories that might be holding you back. It is what it is; you can’t change your past all you can do is forgive yourself and others)
- Peace that covers the present (Letting go of those feelings of inadequacy and desires of not having what you want at a certain age or not being where you want to be. Be content in what you are blessed with but continue to pursue your goals.)
- Peace that covers the future (being secure in that all things work together for the greater good)
In life there are ups and downs, highs and lows, good days and bad days. But one of the things God has shown me this year is that he has a plan for each and every one of our lives and there is no coincidence that we are where we currently are. The present, no matter how monotonous it might be is preparing us for our future and our past cannot be changed so let go of the baggage. God has mapped out our life from when we take our first breath to when we take our last and we have to be secure in knowing he knows what’s best for us and he will provide beyond our inner most desires. He will unleash dreams we never imagined could unfold in our lives. So get ready.
Peace, Love and Happy Holidays!